MUSICAL BULLETIN: SINGLES
BY MUSICAL ISOLATION
Sainté ft A2 and Knucks – Summer is Blue
Previously featured on Snippets (Vol1 No2 – August 2020), rapper Sainté has grown a cult following in the underground rap scene. ‘Summer Is Blue’ sees the rapper call the chill UK rap Avengers, by having A2 and Knucks feature in what is a sensational track being backed by an ethereal pad synth. Starting off with Japanese dialogue the song showcases each of the three rappers talents in the booth, making it an enjoyable listening experience.
Coldplay – Higher Power/My Universe
The British pop-rock maestros have returned with two new singles as part of their upcoming 9th studio album named ‘Music of the Spheres’. A concept album that places each track based on fictional planets within a solar system known as ‘The Spheres’. The album is set to confront world issues surrounding racism, climate change and Geopolitics using aliens and planets as a metaphor.
‘Higher Power’, brings an energetic vibe with 80s synth carrying the band through the song. Heavy basslines and electronic guitar plucks take the band into new territory stylistically. Previous tracks ‘Hurts like Heaven’ (2011) and ‘Birds’ (2016) bring similar vibes.
‘My Universe’ featuring BTS sees the two groups collaborate on a song that is supposed to convey the message that two groups from different backgrounds and ages can come together no matter what society may think. The music video for this song may be one of the best music videos of the year. Huge Guardians of the Galaxy vibes.
Darius – Feels Right
The French Producer has been making waves in the electronic world ever since his breakout EP ‘Romance’ came out in 2014. He produced arguably one of the best singles of 2020 with ‘Equilibrium’ featuring Wayne Snow.
Darius is back with a disco-infused single that explores the old school nuances of French House made famous by acts such as Daft Punk. Featuring vocals from labelmate Dune (of Roche Musique), the song transports to a space-themed odyssey with an interesting bassline and chords to die for.
Sam Gellaitry – IV EP
Glaswegian electronic producer Sam Gellaitry has been in the conversation for a few years especially in North America due to his affiliation with the world renowned Soulection label.
Usually associated with experimental trap electronic music, Gellaitry has transitioned to making guitar-driven electronica that sees influences from disco, indie and French house.
ENNY – I Want
The Peng Black Girls rapper began to ruffle feathers in the UK Scene after the remix of the song featuring Jorja Smith grew as part of the Colors Series on YouTube.
ENNY returns with an afro-house-esque inspired track in the mould of Kaytranada or Black Coffee. The swing within the instrumental lends itself well for the rapper to spit while also singing the chorus by herself.
BY MOLLY SAXBY
In a world full of love but I don't need love,
Or I don't see love,
Or I don't know love,
A floating existence inside wandering abyss,
A freeing life of purposeless purpose,
Which means that purpose isn't real,
So what is true?
In a world full of love but I don't crave love,
But I want love,
But I deserve love,
A hope for a utopia which does not prevail,
A life of significance in insignificance,
Which means that I still dream,
Of what can be true.
BY ALEX HARDIE
September 24, 2021
What is beatboxing?
Is it just making sound?
Arguably yes. It is making sound; or rather copying sounds. Sounds like symbols crashing or a police siren. Any and all sound, pitch, modulation and noise can be beatboxing!
The basic drum sounds are a prime example of this. The Kick, Snare and Hi-hat are all common sounds that almost anyone can do with a rendition of “Boots and Cats”. This is how Doug E. Fresh started in 1981 and the reason it is called ‘Beatboxing’. He copied drum machines known as beatboxes, hence the name. However, drum sounds are not the only noises to be incorporated in beatboxing.
A bassline holds together the harmonies and the melodies in a piece of music.
The walking bassline in a Jazz piece and the laser-type basses in Drum and Bass and Dubstep are vastly different, however, they both do the same thing to the human ear.
We are automatically drawn to the extreme high and low frequencies in a bass line hence why it has been crucial for beatboxers to mimic and create new bass sounds. There are a wide variety that can be used but the most widely known to non-beatboxers, is called throat bass. However throat Bass wasn’t invented by beatboxers. In fact, most vocal sounds have not been invented by beatboxers, only adapted and pushed to the extreme. The same Throat Bass technique that beatbox artists like Codfish and Bigman are so famous for using originally started as Throat Singing. A traditional form of singing used in three different cultures. The Tuva (Located in a region of Russia and Mongolia), The Innuits (Located in Canada) and the Xhosa (Located in South Africa). Although the Throat Singing of the Tuva is maybe the most famous, the fact that three completely different cultures had created similar techniques shows it is possible to push your voice and create new and exciting textures with it.
With only these sounds: a Kick/Bass drum (B), a Hi-Hat (T), a Snare (K) and some form of melody or bassline you can create anything. For example, “Drop it like it’s Hot” By Snoop Dog or “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. The most iconic and recognisable parts of those songs only use these four different sounds. So, what could be created with more than four?
Beatboxing has come a long way in just Forty years ago. With Doug E. Fresh and his clicking techniques to Razel’s “If Your Mother Only Knew” where he did the beat and the singing “At the Same Time!” (what he would say in him shows). Nowadays, it is not uncommon to hear beatboxers do two notes at once, crazy whistles and noises that just don’t sound human! There are always more sounds being created and tried out, whether that be in competitions or just at home. Sharing these sounds has always been a fundamental part of beatboxing. That is how it grew from the streets of New York in the 80s to something celebrated all around the world with battles, showcases, and jam sessions both in person and online. Beatboxing has managed to achieve this by its ability to capture people’s attention and curiosity. “Can I do that?” and “I wonder how they do that?” are common thoughts that even professionals ask themselves regularly. Shortly followed by “can you teach me?”. Although, the beatboxing community has grown exponentially it is this emphasis on sharing and improving that makes the community feel small and connected.
A battle is when two beatboxers go head-to-head in a competition to outdo the other. They are judged of technicality (how difficult their routine is), musicality (how musical their routine is), timing, structure, flow and performance/crowd control. After two rounds of 90 seconds the judges will decide who wins and goes on to the next round. Battles are usually high energy hype routines full of special sounds that make everyone go wild. Battles are always the most exciting part of events and when artists produce some of their best work. They can be in person, such as The Grand Beatbox Battle (GBB) or online like The International Throwdown. The internet has also helped the beatbox community. Many battles and events get uploaded to YouTube meaning more people can watch, potentially bringing in new people to the community. Discord has also been a big aid to beatboxing. The forum site allows big group audio and video calls meaning that even if people can’t be in person, the battles can still go on.
But is Beatboxing music?
The dictionary definition of music is “vocal and/or instrumental sounds combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion”.
The beauty aspect, of course, is subjective, for example Mozart and Stormzy have vastly different audiences. Today there are a host of beatboxers whose routines sound like produced tracks. Artists write their own lyrics and structure routines with drops, choruses and bridges, much like popular music in the charts.
Some great examples of this are River (especially his routine “My Way”), Gene Shinozaki and Show-go. All three are perfect examples of real tracks coming from beatbox routines through various techniques including double voice, throat bass and singing.
Beatboxing is still very niche and underground in comparison to many musical genres. However, this does not detract from the fact that beatboxers can produce some incredible work. Incredible work especially considering they’re only using their voice. There are many different sounds and techniques out there that it begs the question how many more will be invented in the next year? Or five, or ten. How long, if ever, until beatboxing reaches the mainstream? Beatboxing is a great tool, a talent crafted over time much like mastering an instrument or learning a sport. It is an excellent form of expression, and a fantastic community to start out in.
If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, some key beatbox artists include: D-low, Napom and Alexinho on YouTube. Additionally, channels such Swissbeatbox and Beatbox International have a host of shoutouts and battles on them. Alternatively, feel free to drop me a message @Apollo.bbx on Instagram for any pointers or further discussion.
Photographs are by Kerry Curl and Micheal Morgan.
"Multi-disciplinary surface pattern design / Home / Fashion / joyful / honest / nostalgic
Patterned Nostalgia is focused on honest, accessible and joyful surface pattern design applied to a range of surfaces; textiles, wood, jesmonite and Herculite. The collection is spontaneous and created around Victoria’s emotional response to nostalgia and the everyday occurrences that she notices as a designer. The work is fun expressive and playful; which matches her personality. Each colour, shape and motif has been carefully chosen and holds an deeper meaning to Victoria, providing a sense of comfort, joy and sentimentality. But overall, she’s happy for you to enjoy her work as a form of escapism and something pleasing to look at.”
INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD MOONSTREET
BY DEVON HARVEY
What inspired you to get into ceramics?
In 2019 I was in a bit of a rut where I felt I just worked 24/7 and did nothing for myself. So, I made a list of things I wanted to try and potential new hobbies I wanted to experience, one of them was "throw a pot". So, I went with my friend Rob to a 4-week pottery course at Cernamic studio in Bermondsey (it’s now moved to Hackney) and it started there! I stayed on as a member afterwards and have been there ever since!
Is there a story behind why you chose to make pigeons and ducks specifically?
During the lockdown I bought a little wheel for use at home. The only room with wipe clean floors in my flat (important for clay!) is the one by the balcony roof where all the pigeons sit. So, I used to watch them sit out there pecking about and I made them in clay. Once I had the general bird shape, I then changed it round a bit to other creatures that are easy to recognise without much detail, and ducks were perfect. Plus, who doesn't love ducks ❤️
Do you have an artist or particular aesthetic that inspires your work?
I love "everyday surrealism" and a big inspiration was the styling of the characters in Aardman animations, like the penguin in Wallace and Gromit. But anything a bit odd and quirky I'm drawn towards. If it’s a bit silly, and nobody ever asked for it, I'm on board!
What is your most popular product?
The geese have been really popular, as have "Ed with the Bread". I think the secret there lies with the extra additions, like the baguette of Ed and the bread slices of the geese. It adds another dimension of silly to something and makes it a bit cuter too. They're very easy to become attached to, sometimes I feel bad selling them and sending them away!
Finally, do you have a favourite part about being a business owner?
I never started Richard Moonstreet as a business or planned it to be one, but so far, it's ticking over well and growing too. I love the ability to reach new people with what I do, and as it's just me doing the whole thing I do relish the challenge to juggling it with my normal 9-5 at the same time. Perhaps one day soon I might not need the day job...
Lucia Calfapietra is an Italian illustrator based in the south of France.
Deeply influenced by old children’s books, she plays with textures, clean shapes and vivid colors.
She combines dreamy sceneries with an ironic touch.
Her illustrations are published on magazines, book covers, children’s books and packaging.
Her work (and her free time) often revolves around food.
Through the act of cooking and the collective meals, connections are created and stories are born.
She often collaborates with the graphic designer and lettering artist Nicolò Giacomin.
MUSICAL BULLETIN: ALBUMS
BY MUSICAL ISOLATION
London Grammar – Californian Soil
The British band that met at Nottingham University are back with their third LP named ‘Californian Soil’. Inspired by Western America and societal attitudes towards women due to experiences encountered by the lead singer Hannah Reid, the album takes a leap of experimentation compared to the previous efforts by the band.
Reid for the first time takes charge of the themes and lyrics in this album, while the rest of the band guides this with trademark sombre tones, adding a bit of more electric guitar and distortion to tracks.
Having added producer George Fitzgerald to oversee some of the tracks and add a housey feeling to songs, the band feels more electronic than ever, relying heavily on synths and electronic production techniques to add intrigue to the music.
-Baby It’s You
-How Does it Feel
-Lord is a Feeling
-All My Love
James Vickery – Songs That Made Me Feel
I discovered this man opening for an artist at Electric Brixton in 2018 and have not looked back since. Having released a couple of great EPs in the form of ‘Until Morning’ and ‘Overture’, the artist has used these Extended Plays to develop his sound and introduce new audiences into his work of sultry and passionate R&B.
The album is brilliantly produced with Vickery showcasing his unique vocals that differentiate him from other UK artists within the R&B and Soul sphere.
-You Comfort Me
Dave – All Alone In This Together
The Streatham rapper has released his sophomore album where the name was inspired by the suggestion of classical music legend Hans Zimmer. A similar approach of curating an album by having a concept run through the project, Dave tackles issues surrounding his heritage and current life events he has faced over the last few years.
With the absence of regular producing collaborator Fraser T Smith, AAITT has seen new personnel being added to help craft the sounds of the project with James Blake among them.
-Both Sides of a Smile
Sam Wise – Free Game
‘Free Game’ follows his debut album ‘Sorry You Were Saying’ by allowing the rapper to showcase his unorthodox style of tackling uncanny beats.
Songs such as ‘Cheque Came’ and ‘Indeed’ featuring UK rappers Jesse James Solomon and Knucks respectively, brings the best out of the beat offered in the track, with ethereal synths dominating the mix and allowing Sam Wise to use his trademark voice inflections when singing/rapping. Overall a good project to listen to.
-Indeed ft Knucks
Drake - Certified Lover Boy
The long awaited follow up to Scorpion has finally arrived. Originally slated for a January release earlier this year, the record has arrived with Drake adopting a lover boy persona through the concept of the album. This comes through in certain tracks throughout the album such as ‘Girls Want Girls’, ‘Pipe Down’ or ‘Race My Mind’.
The production is impressive with the resources at disposal. Drake is also operating on a high level when it comes to bars, as if he still has a point to prove at this stage of his career. Is this an album people will look back on and smile like Nothing Was The Same? Time will tell.
-N 2 Deep
-No Friends In The Industry
PURPLE PASTELS ART STUDIO
I'm Divya Darshini, creative mind and founder of Purple pastels Art Studio. I am a multidisciplinary designer, Illustrator and an artist. I live in the beautiful city of Coimbatore, located in the southern most part of India, nestled in greenery & surrounded by a mountain range. Art and Nature are my life's biggest love. My inspiration comes from the nature around me. I like to keep my style of art and illustration modern, and colorful yet balanced. I have been a huge fan of Disney movies right from my childhood and always have a fascination towards creating my own characters with colorful and vibrant landscapes.
The main motto to start my Art studio is to make everyone's world cheerful and vibrant with my art and lifestyle products. I am a User Experience designer and Illustrator and I believe in more of emotional design, which drove me to start my Art studio, - connecting with everyone, bringing happy vibes to their places through my brand.
“‘Autism Acceptance Society’ is a project consisting of educational posters/infographic style work and merchandise about and around Autistic experiences (and some other common neurodivergent experiences) informed by my own experiences an Autistic person, as well as the experiences of nuerodivergent people in my life and others who have shared theirs through social media. I produce both educational work, responding to the most common knowledge gaps I have come across, and ‘wearable’ pieces to help encourage acceptance within Autistic people themselves as well as those around us.”
BOOK REVIEW BY KATHY BALDOCK
SUCH A FUN AGE BY KILEY REID
September 24, 2021
What happens when you do the right thing for the wrong reason?
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So, she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.
I had heard so many good things about this book over social media that I couldn’t wait to pick this one up.
So, we have two protagonists Alix Chamberlain who is a wealthy, privileged blogger who is living her best life but still feel unfulfilled. She dislikes the way she looks after having her second child and feels like she is missing something. The we have Emira, who babysits Briar, Alix’s eldest daughter 3 days per week whilst also trying to hold down another job to be able to pay her rent and trying to keep her health insurance.
One day, at eleven p.m. Alix calls Emira urgently to take her daughter to the grocery store. So Emira leaves her friends, still wearing her party clothes and is a little tipsy to help her employers but, surprisingly a security guard at the grocery store interrogates her and gets suspicious that she kidnapped Briar. As soon as Alix’s husband Peter arrives to the store, the problem is solved and Emira wants to forget this humiliating misunderstanding even though somebody filmed everything to make things right and emailed the video to her.
That someone Kelley, ran into Emira on the train. Kelley is tall, handsome and witty. Its not long before Kelley and Emira start dating. Emira starting to see Kelley opens a whole pandora’s box of issues that leads to some very strange behaviour from Alix.
“I don't need you to be mad that it happened. I need you to be mad that it just like... happens.”
Overall, I really enjoyed this read, I loved
the relationship with Emira and Briar. I especially loved the flow of the writing. However, for me the only thing I would change is the ending for me this fell flat, and it wasn’t the ending I would have liked. I do think that I am in the minority, however.
“I think it best we went our separate ways, and that those paths never crossed again.”
Hi my name is Izzy, I’m a third year illustration student currently studying in Cumbria. I create digital collage illustrations, which are usually very colourful! I am always being inspired by different things, whether it be a character from my favourite movie or a quote from a good book, I love to have fun when drawing! You can see more of my work on Instagram @izzycarrollillustrations