Goodbye 2012

In 2013 may you all be happy, successful, positive and loving. Open your eyes to the world, take chances, no regrets. Treat others as you would like to be treated, and above all enjoy life.

2012 the year...

The world was supposed to end a few times.

The only time the dates would ever make us go mental and write status' saying 12:12 12.12.12.

We said a tearful cheerio to T4.

We all danced Gangnam Style.

We were immensely proud of being British during the Olympics & Paralympics.

We welcomed to the world baby Blue Ivy.

We congratulated Princess Katherine on her new baby news.

We said go away to hurricane Sandy and a sad rest in peace to those lives destroyed in this tragedy as well as in the unnecessary school shootings.

We cheered on as her majesty celebrated her diamond jubilee.

We said hellooo to Christian Grey's saucy ways.

We laughed at the spitty spitty tape of you know who.

Think positive. Be happy. x

Rascall Soundzone talks UK Garage

Ever since I started getting into uk garage which wasn’t until 1996 I saw it progress and evolve rapidly over a very short time span. The views I am expressing here are totally of my personal opinion from my time djing, producing, working in and owning a record shop. The music industry was my main career for 10 years but I do not pretend to know it all as most of the ukg artists I looked up to and still do have been around a lot longer than I have and were the founders and pioneers of the uk side of garage. In my views that I am expressing I won’t be touching on where the sound originally evolved from over in the states as we could keep going back forever. This is solely about the UK aspects of the sound.

Why do people say that UK garage is dead? Well that could be for a number of reasons. I’m just going to touch on a couple of points and key issues which I believe did not and do not help.

The social and public relations decline:
First and foremost is the way and speed that the sound changed from mainly vocal uplifting tracks to the darker side of things in which we saw crews and heavily based mc tracks and nights being created. Now I do not believe for one minute that any one of these crews or artists are to blame and I really believe that they was just trying to move a genre forward to what they were feeling at the time. I personally pinpoint the changes in which the way the djs and mcs presented themselves started at the heartless crew. They were very good in what they did and how they brought a different aspect to the scene. It worked very well and people had a great time and they did the job perfectly. I'll be honest, their style was not really my thing but I can see why it worked. The main problem here was that they were so good at what they did that there was bound to be other acts trying to do the same thing but in their own way that seemed to end up attracting the wrong crowd of people. By now there was also a change in punters choice of, how can I put this, stimulants. Champagne and other bits I believe changed the attitude of the clubbers inside to which it brought a different attitude. There are so many aspects of why a scene dies out, you cannot blame the music alone. During late 2000 to 2002 a lot of promotions and clubs took a few bad hits with gun violence and knife crime and associating it with the nights themselves. It’s a shame, a few bad eggs ruined the nights in which people really loved. Once the media had tarred the UK Garage brand with associating it to the crimes it was very hard to get any major club to let a company put an event on. Also the councils and police got involved quite heavily at one point and were getting nights stopped before they even had a chance. I believe in the end that the major brands just gave up as they were losing too much money each time.

This is a major factor. This might sound strange when I say that the decline in record sales dramatically damaged a scene. You have to remember that the UK garage market is and was actually very small globally. With introduction of pioneer cdjs it was getting harder to shift vinyl units. A lot of the main producers that were churning out the main hits were indeed producers of other genres where their bread and butter lay. Why waste your time when it’s your main career writing tracks to shift 500 units which hardly breaks you even when you can sell 10,000 units globally of the main genre your known for. These guys dominated the sales during major years of UK garage and when they jacked it in the selection of quality garage quickly thinned out. This left a lot of the sets sounding the same and becoming boring.

With it becoming harder to get a set anywhere playing uk garage, because a lot of clubs were shutting their doors to it, a lot of up and comers that just wanted to get bookings, and who can blame them, found other genres in which they were interested in. Again this kills the sales like I stated in the previous paragraph and moves producers to concentrate on what is going to be the next genre in fashion.

There are quite a few artist or label owners that continued and some still continue to carry on producing and releasing something they love such as Mj Cole, Sunship, DnD, Karl Brown, Matt Jam, Wideboys, Charma, Domino, Robbie T, Duncan Powell to name a few. Even our own label Final Cutt Records which Jabz founded didn’t start until 2003. But even some of these guys slowly disappeared for one reason or another be it personal or music related.

People these days that use to be into UK garage think it is dead or do not wish to listen to any new stuff or give it a chance because they cannot move on from the bad associations it once had. The sound has changed a lot over the last 5 years or more and it is slowly becoming the sound it once was. Not everything is going to be liked by everyone but that would have still been the case nearly 20 years when it first began but because people hear a couple of tracks on an album they believe that it is the only sound of UK garage around and just dismiss it. I find it hard to believe that it is completely dead when I’m constantly hearing it on pirates and podcasts still. What makes me really laugh is that for example Sunship remixes a track, Kiss fm playlist it and then people really love it but have no real idea what genre it is.

There is another issue with UK garage and why I believe it is not moving anywhere fast is due to the fact that there has been no real evolution in the sound since 2002. Nearly every 2 step track I hear seems to have the same old elements. I would like to hear a lot more different sounds being used apart from the same old strings, stabs, bass sounds etc. I know it is hard to just come up with these things but I’m not really hearing much attempt to do so. I might sound a bit harsh and maybe my wording could be better but hopefully you can understand where I am coming from.

On ways to change how people perceive UK garage I think there needs to be a bit more quality control on what goes out on major cd albums. This is a main point of advertising to the general public and through this media a lot of views could be changed. I also believe that someone with the love and time should look at putting on a regular night again where old skool and dark and grime based garage is barred. I’m not saying anything is wrong with grime but it is a far cry from UK garage. I’m not talking about headlining a Saturday night at a big club where you’re never going to fill it, I’m talking about having a small bar somewhere where if there is no massive dance floor people don’t feel like they have to dance if they don’t want to and it won’t feel like a dead night because of this. This way people are getting to hear new music and it is being filtered back in again. Look at how it started in the first place. Everything comes back around again in the end but it’s the way you try and bring it back in which is the make or break of it having the chance to evolve. Too many promoters just try and put on the same old big nights which end up being dry. Yes there are exceptions but it’s generally the rule.

I’m sure there are hundreds of people that would disagree with me but like I said this is only my personal opinion.

Think positive. Be happy. x

A single rose

A single rose amongst the weeds
Through the harsh winds and bitter colds
Still standing alone
Grazed at, trampled and covered in dirt
Vivid red turned dull
The hope for a ray of sunlight
A drop of water

Think positive. Be happy. x

The Growth Of Music

This topic has been popping up a lot this year, maybe because I'm more involved with the music scene or it is just a growing issue. I shall be talking about uk garage particularly, however not restrained to the genre. I would like to express that these are my own views and of those who have been mentioned.

Music is love. Love what you do. Play what you love.

The subject came about when people talked about wanting to change the name of the new style of garage, in order to re-introduce it to more people who would accept it. The term "new garage" often turns people off the idea. Going to "garage" events, people not in the music scene expect and want old school, and the others want to hear the new music.. where is the middle ground? It is still the same genre so I don't believe the name is the issue, there already is "nu skool" and "future garage" but at the end of the day it is all garage, just a more evolved take on the style.

"The fact we are talking like this shows we need change and we are willing to work towards a way forward for Garage as a whole. There are enough djs/ radio shows/ to bring old/ new/ whatever to listeners, we just need unity and a united vision, not division" DJ Emma Champion.

But evolution of music is natural right? Music is always changing, people are always learning and new talent emerging every day. Then why are there still the stereotypes of genres? Music is an expression, in this instance the new style of uk garage has come a long way since the last decade, but then why do people still associate garage as being old. Is society open to change? People need to consciously understand that there are always new things out their and genres will constantly grow and change and should not be labelled as one particular thing. 

So how does it all work? All areas have links that effect each other and this works for everything including the music industry.. Producers/Artists create pieces from their own influences and loves, the media promote music to the audience, the audience will listen to what they like, the "hot" producers/artists will be booked and promoted more, the others get less acknowledgement, the media won't promote them, the audience concludes that their music is "old", and the vicious cycle continues.. leaving the talent to keep rising but no one wanting to pay attention to their views. 

"I may be in line at the grocery store and hear something I like. I will pull out the phone and Shazam it to sort which tune it is. I am ALWAYS searching for new stuff." The Sassy Yank.

Growth of technology where do people go to hear music? The evolution has passed through vinyls to cassettes to CDs to MP3s, and now in this day and age, YouTube. Doing a quick survey, 6/10 people listen to the good old radio for new music, and the others go to music sites, predominately Youtube or Soundcloud. Music promotion has also evolved and it's all about gaining that first airplay on radios, filling up all the social networking sites and uploading to Youtube and Soundcloud. 

"People follow trend setters and originality is decreasing." Christopher (Permanent St8).

Commercialism DJ's complain about only old tracks being played on majority of uk garage radio shows. But is this because it is what society wants to hear? This goes back to the topic of the genuineness of music  and it's listeners. It isn't on a small scale any more, people are generally listening to the same thing that's on the popular radio and TV channels just because it is "hot right now". 

Research time
Taken from "The appeal of UKG is that it knows not to take itself too seriously. While it was once on the outside looking in, trying to prove itself as a set of feelings and sounds - having to be serious and headstrong to some extent - it didn't have to sacrifice the fun to push on through. And this is what's great about today's generation, the parallel stars." Read More

Taken from "The question of how commercialism has hurt the music industry is more than a little bit misguided. The music industry is commercialism. Maybe that's somewhat cynical. That does not mean it is an untrue statement. The music industry is run by people that truly do not care about music. Executives of record abels, program directors of radio stations, and anyone else who is "in charge" of the music industry care less about music than they do about selling advertising and merchandise." Read More

Taken from an online discussion. "It does damage the variety of music that makes it's way into our record collection since bands that are loved by a minority don't get the fame or money they often deserve, and they are often forced to give up. And while commercial music is created to be enjoyed by as many people as possible, it is not being created out of simple enjoyment for music." Read More

Taken from Last.FM. "I work in a (commercial) record store, and everytime I see new CD's coming in. And when Korn turns into POP-Korn*, Nelly Furtado trades her musical identity and the beautiful original (sad) use of her voice and still make happy songs to make some sort of pussycatdoll-music, and when Richard Ashcroft makes a Robbie Williams-pop CD when The Verve had so much potential, then I ask myself... is commercialism killing music?" Read More

Solution? Whether it is society, commercialisation or DJs and producers, something needs to be done. There are already radio shows which promote new music, and dozens of various events.. but they are all aiming at specific people who make an effort to listen to the new music. We need to be thinking on a much broader scale and let the nation and the world realise that music is more than their labels. We need to work together, intervene and just really grab people's attention. There will always be a trend, unfortunately, but I think somewhere along the lines people have got stuck into these same ideas and don't appreciate music as a genuine heartfelt piece of art. 

What others are saying
"The reason it is not underground anymore goes way deeper, it's because people just follow fashion these days, not much is underground these days! As mainstream music goes downhill in general, youth are not used to quality underground sounds. Everything is too easy these days, people used to spend all day in record shops, now they want 5 million tunes on their iPod in 5 mins without any effort made, that's why the underground has gone. Nowadays people don't even wanna pay £2 quid for a tune. I play old and new and my only stipulation is that it is GOOD. 100% just good music, not just cos it's new or cos it's old. Old skool will never die no matter how much the new skool wishes it would. It's only the djs and producers that can move it forward.DJ Emma Champion.

"It's Particularly hard as artists who enjoy experimenting with different sounds, as everyone wants to label u" Soneni and The soul.

"I think lack of decent production killed the scene off. House (especially Deep House) is killing it at the minute because it is excellent quality club music. A LOT of new garage being made is not even worthy of radio play let alone clubs. There is a couple of producers who are producing quality music but you can't build back a scene with 1 or 2 producers!! Make club bangers and get it back into the clubs." DJ Smiffy P.

"I like the exposure social media provides to artists, makes it easier to reach audiences that would have been more difficult to reach previously. I am pleased to see growth in the amount of producers, it is nice to see more UKG coming out. Still requires searching but its def getting better I think. I definitely feel there is a difference in the sound of old garage vs new garage but speaking from an outsider yet insiders perspective I think that is a lot of people just not wanting to accept change.which is not abnormal from normal life really. You can't have UKG come back and have it sound exactly the same as before as that was a different time in history. There have been updates in music applications etc so the sounds of course are going to be different and you have had other music styles change through the years so people are drawing from within themselves, their experiences etc. I of course am at a disadvantage since I am fairly new to the garage scene. It just isn't possible for it to be like it was as it was a different era in history. But having said all that there is a lot of really good new garage music and I feel that a lot of the new garage has the potential to be more crossover music then say some of the older garage, though my fav will ALWAYS be 2 step old school." The Sassy Yank.

"Old skool garage all the way can't be beat. Have to keep a close eye on my cds. I'm just a garage fan big on my old skool" Toni.

"But wouldn't the producers want to have their music heard?" Squidge.

"I think general society is open to change, but they see 'garage' as an era of music that happened, not as a genre like djs, and avid listeners understand. Remember that house and garage in the UK stemmed from other 'genres' yet.. we don't clamour for them like we do garage. Why? because of our fond memories associated with garage. In my opinion people need to stop trying to resurrect something that isn't dead. Music doesn't die, it just gets older, if the garage scene will once again become the focus of the UK music industry it will happen naturally...last time around 'deep house' tracks e.g. strictly rhythm, cloud9 etc preceeded garage. Deep house is prominent now.  I consider myself a listener first, then a DJ because hearing the music and enjoying it is my first buzz, then I get to play it (work with it) But then I just love good music. like I can't stick my fugees or chakademus album on cos it's 'old' !! farce - exercising of egos. I'll never play music because it's 'new'.." Eamonn James.

"White labels, test presses, 3 copies of a track and that was it! That was underground and exclusive!" DJ Kristal.

"People these days that use to be into UK garage think it is dead or do not wish to listen to any new stuff or give it a chance because they cannot move on from the bad associations it once had. The sound has changed a lot over the last 5 years or more and it is slowly becoming the sound it once was. Not everything is going to be liked by everyone but that would have still been the case nearly 20 years when it first began but because people hear a couple of tracks on an album they believe that it is the only sound of UK garage around and just dismiss it. I find it hard to believe that it is completely dead when I’m constantly hearing it on pirates and podcasts still. What makes me really laugh is that for example Sunship remixes a track, Kiss fm playlist it and then people really love it but have no real idea what genre it is." Rascal Soundzone. Read More

"Think that's this ego thing people keep throwing around. it's more the "sound" people are trying to put across rather than genres. Egos can get left at the door, all or nothing." Rudeboibrand.

"Old garage = sick but alot of the same tracks has been rinsed far too much over last 15 years. New garage hasn't been given a chance properly coz youngsters are still hearing oldskool tracks mainly. Many youngsters growing up into loads of types of bass music now where as I grew up on jungle & garage they're growing up on that. Is it underground anymore ?? U say it is but u got DJ Fresh, Skrillex in the charts, dubstep & d&b list goes on educating youngsters. Underground scene was underground until mp3 took over vinyl u went to be educated now u go on YouTube. People associate garage as old because that's what it is to younger generation just like Barry whites music is to me. I agree labelling garage as old is no different from labelling Motown music as old people still love it tho. Thing is I do love garage the fact it isn't moving fwd irritates me alot. For me that's a clear sign it should stay as it is. Defo I don't believe it's anyone's fault at all, sometimes trying to changes something with a strong foundation don't work. There's so many genres, sub genres to choose from now it's like a dj feast, even with meetings nothing has been resolved, will it ever?? Not so sure" DJ Zenn.

Think positive. Be happy. x

Flava D - Home

Flava D eskibeatFollow @FlavaD_Producer

This will never get old!
Flava D, one of UK's leading producers in hip hop and grime. Currently part of Eskibeat Recordings, she works with people such as Wiley, Boy Better Know, Ghetts and Black The Ripper.

Think positive. Be happy. x

K Warren ft Naomee Hardy - Electric

Follow @K_Warren1
You know you are going to be dancing when there is a new production from K Warren, this great dance track features Naomee Hardy with the lovely vocals.

Think positive. Be happy. x

Shvona Lavette - Lovestung

"Lovestung," Shvona Lavette's second single off her forthcoming album Gossamer. The Indie singer/songwriter, comparable to Imogen Heap and Lykke Li, sings about the effects of love's captivity over an electro-dubstep infused beat. 

Coming off of her dance heavy debut album 3 Percent and Rising last summer, Shvona Lavette turns the page in her musical career with the upcoming January 2013 release of her follow up album,Gossamer.  Gossamer encompasses a broad range of bass heavy, slow dubstep sounds laced with sultry lyrics that draw upon the singer's personal life. The album displays a wide variety of songs and emotions that draws the audience into the world of Shvona Lavette.

Think positive. Be happy. x

Peace & Love

Firstly I would like to say thank you to those who are enjoying my little site of loveliness! You can find me on Bloggers and Bloglovin. I have now received over 15,000 viewers from 94 countries to date! I am delighted and amazed every day!

What is that one unanimous thing we would all desire... world peace. The festive season in full swing yet still devastating events are always happening. To those who have been affected by the injustices, our thoughts are with you.

It is the season to be jolly.. So I wish you all happy holidays and peace and love to each and every one of you. Enjoy the festivities and spread the happiness.

Think positive. Be happy. x

Static Delight

Static delight is one of the hottest nights in the Algarve bringing some of the world's biggest djs to its regular events in Kiss Club and Matt's bar in Albufeira. Now we are proud to present Static Delight records. 

S.Vincent - Esta Loca EP
S.vincent provides a slice of bouncy latino based deep house with floor filling remixes from studio tan (joe bloggs & mark martin) & curver. The track has already had amazing support and was well played over its launch at the Amsterdam dance event this year. Purchase on Beatport

Fresk Muzic - Carry Me Away ep
This time included is another massive Studio Tan remix, plus amazing remixes from House Assissins & Doors Can Jam. Purchase on Beatoport
Static delight - colour abuse @ Kiss Club, Albufeira - Foamo & DJ Matt Moore

Think positive. Be happy. x

La'Reda vs. Deadcell - Synthasourus Rex + Risk Everything (Deadcell Remixes)

La'Reda present the follow up to their debut single on the Rub A Duck imprint,  featuring the tracks "Synthasourus Rex" and "Risk Everything", both now remixed by Deadcell. 

The boys from U.S. based La'Reda have a biography that cuts right to the chase: 'an electro house duo with an addiction to bass, a dance floor orgasm and the insane in all its forms'. In the last three months the two producers have delivered a total of 11 original singles and 3 remixes; slowing down doesn't fit their description. At the legendary Coachella music festival this year they had the audience sweating it up during their live sets and at the record breaking Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas things pretty much went the same. With the original versions of the tracks presented here,  La'Reda made it perfectly clear why their music has such a huge effect on their audience.

The U.K. formation Deadcell doesn't mind a slightly elusive haze around their name. They have been described as 'the bastard love child of a long standing trance producer and an up and coming dubstep DJ/producer'. Fact is that Deadcell's output definitely rocks the clubs all over the world and receives the support of many heavy weight DJs. It truly has made them the best unknown producers of today. 

The originals of both titles scored big time with the large crowds, especially because of the unique mixture of techno, trance, electro and splash of maximal house in it. For the remixes, however, Deadcell decided to give both cuts a massive overhaul. "Syntasaurus Rex" was turned into a no holds barred dubstep rendition that paves the dance floors with reinforced beats and bass drops. For "Risk Everything" Deadcell approached things from the other end of trade and carved out a killer electro house version with some serious maximal synth sweeps, stretched to the max vocal edits and a massive break. This means two tracks for every DJ that is ready to rumble. Literally. 

Follow @Rub_A_Duck

Think positive. Be happy. x

Skrilla UGQ ft Melody Kane - Certified Queen Mixtape

Skrilla UGQ, a female rapper releases her mixtape Certified Queen. The Mixtape is hosted by DJ Melody Kane (SBTV's Official DJ).

As an artist I have only been back on the scene after a 5 year break for 11 months and so far I have released 2 mixtapes (The Warm Up & Certified Queen), 7 visuals, 1 international collab and 1 campaign (The Make It Worth It Campaign). Not to mention being featured on many established blogs and national mixtapes (SBTV's Strictly Homegrown Mixtape and Unsigned Hypes Battle of the Sexes) as well as having my music video Turn It Up featured on the MOBO Awards website (New Mobo (Music).

As a new artist I aim to be as original as possible, The Certified Queen mixtape is filled with Hard bars infused with catchy melodic choruses. Any one who is a real music lover will clearly be able to hear my potential and see that my style of music is clearly different from the rest.

Think positive. Be ha
ppy. x

Killer (Greg Stainer Remix) - Rednek & Madeline Duggan

I recently posted the original clip HERE and this is the remix by Greg Stainer, and ohhh I am just lost in the music! Follow @SearRecords

Think positive. Be happy. x

Soneni & The Soul - The Zone

A tune that I can't help bopping along to! Follow @SoneniTheSoul

Grab their brand new EP - Million Miles Away EP

Think positive. Be happy. x

Terror Tone - My Luv

This is half dubby, half deep house, love it! Forthcoming on Stacked Records with a B side, January 2013. Follow @TerrorTone

Think positive. Be happy. x

Force & Styles ft Junior - Pretty Green Eyes

Original happy hardcore version of Pretty Green Eyes, by Force and Styles featuring MC Junior from 1997.


Think positive. Be happy. x

Dance your way through life

Royal news. William and Kate are expecting! She is a bit poorly with a rare extreme morning sickness, but she has the world's love and shall be all better soon. 
What's on the tellybox? Homeland Homeland Homeland! Oh how I wish I didn't have to wait a whole 7 days for the next episodes!

Fashionistas galore. New fashion sharing website for all things fabulous

Music music music, I could not live without it.

New Video Mike Delinquent Project ft Kcat & Mikill Pane - Mama Said

This Week's Events
Starring David Harewood, Tamer Hassan, Martin Offiah & Jocelyn Gee. New single from Leo The Lion (The Streets) who has teamed back up the legendary UK Garage producer K-Warren. "Only For One Night" is set to be the focal track when Leo takes part in the event of "24 gigs in 24 hours" on July 11th 2012. 

'Its A Big Thing' - Stemming from the Italian electronica scene 'The Big Game' offer a new variety of electro and grime. 'Fish n Chicks' is the forthcoming release from the Jesi Crew on the I-innovate label. Peep this early Promotion Taster. Fishing for sexy fly girls and greasy beats! Forthcoming electro release on I-innovate (UK) Coming Soon.

Think positive. Be happy. x

Dino Mileta ft Oggie - Love Like Never Before


This guy has talent! Follow @OggieMusic

Think positive. Be happy. x

Joe La Pop ft Leah Lost - You Got The Bass

Great electro pop tune for the weekend! Follow @LeahLost

Think positive. Be happy. x

MJ Cole - Sincere

This is the tune I woke up and had in my head this chilled Sunday morning.

Think positive. Be happy. x