Originality vs. Derivation


Gil Scot Heron – I’m New Hear

Gill Scot Heron’s latest album comes as a breath of fresh air in a time when the branches of indie rock, electronica and hip-hop are blurring more than ever. Something that seems so original now is actually Scott-Heron’s thirteenth album following the same rhythmic, jazz-funk and soul style he
pursued throughout the 70s and 80s. This album embraces a minimalistic sound, with more ambience and more prominent traces of dubstep than his previous incarnations. He mixes spoken word foreplay with bluesy melodies that create a pace and style that is uniquely his own. For a man who coined the mantra ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, his influence has helped shape a generation of neo soul and hip hop artists.

Chris Jones
Chris has been listening to: Deerhunter – ‘Desire Lines’

Sleigh Bells – Treats

Brooklyn, New York is the creative base for duo Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller. They are the new sensation that is Sleigh Bells. Formed in 2008, their debut album Treats dropped 11th May 2010, revealing their original, fresh style. Miller’s simple guitar riffs and bass are distorted to a new level, but are cut through in perfect balance with Krauss’ sweet, spacey melodies. Although Sleigh Bells are hard to classify, my best shot would describe them as a mega pop-punk-dance revolution. For those who love speaker-vibrating future hits, this distinctive new sound is well worth investigating.

Ellen Newton
Ellen has been listening to: Tek-One vs. A1 Bassline – ‘Arrakis ‘97’

Borrowed Ideas

Easy Star All-Stars – Dub Side of the Moon

This is not a rip-off, a threat or an insult to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, but instead, a complete complementary homage to what is consensually classed as one of the best albums of all time – a steady paced bass enticing you into dub-psychedelia. The tranquility of Us and Them is unstirred and the jungle-esque interlude in On the Run adds a lot to the dizzy ride. “Bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock and dub into one big family”, they say. This is a new born family, influenced by
preceding original and creative ideas, mashed into a fresh entity with a different sort of credibility. Enjoy the tribute.

James Wynn-Higgins
James has been listening to: Fat Freddy’s Drop – ‘Ernie’

Michael Bublé – Crazy Love

Upon first listening to Crazy Love, Michael Bublé’s recently re-released fourth album, you might think him, and his baritone voice often compared to that of Frank Sinatra, born in the wrong era. For the most part, the album consists of remakes of classic swing and big band songs; Cry Me a River, Bublé’s own big-band jazz interpretation of the Ella Fitzgerald classic, makes a loud and bombastic entrance as the opening track. However, the album is also peppered with originals co-written by Bublé himself. The more upbeat and jaunty pop tune Haven’t Met You Yet may seem a little cheesy but still remains a ‘guilty pleasure’. Regarding originality, he makes these songs his own, adding a ‘Bublésque’ vocal style. But more importantly, he makes classics accessible to the modern listener.

George Rivers
George has been listening to: Swedish House Mafia – ‘Until One’


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