Sunday, March 01, 2015

garage rap # 16

The Heartless Crew! 

Whose website address at a glance could be misread as "heartless screw". 

But whose positivity 'n' bonhomie vibe could not be further from the sexual malice of tunes like "Swallow" (which I probably won't revisit once this series mutates from garage rap to what for a while I called  "gutter garage"). 

MCs Bushkin and Mighty Moe + DJ Fonti had one proper hit with "The Heartless Themes aka The Superglue Riddim" (#21 in 2002), then a near-hit with "Why (Looking Back)" (#50 in 2003), then a flop with the same year's "Hearts In the Music". Between 2002-20006 The Heartless Crew also hosted an eclectic and upful radio show on Sunday evenings for BBC 1Xtra.  

"The Heartless Theme" reached #12 in the Blissblog Fave Singles of 2002. Here's what I said about it then: 

HEARTLESS CREW – “The Heartless Theme aka The Superglue Riddim” (Warner) 

More positive G-rap: a wonderfully jaunty groove hooked around an insouciant whistling synth (like the kind of chirpy early-bird milkman who drives you up the wall) while Heartless Crew rap about how their success is all down to years of dedication and honest graft dating back to the early Nineties: “When we go shopping buy the latest design/That that that that that’s mine/Heartless Crew we bought the whole shop/Some people thought that we hit the jackpot/Or if we done a move that was hot/but nah nanana nah we been working hard.” And if you thought their name signified war-of-all-against-all ruthlessness, think again: they’re heartless cos “our hearts are inna the music.” Aaah. 

The follow-up almost-hit:

Cover of "Message To You Rudy" said to be done for an unreleased album:

At the height of their success, The Heartless Crew also put out a major label mix-CD, Crisp Biscuit, Vol. 1,  the entirety of which you can hear here and here. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

garage rap # 15

Seem to recall that Matthew Ingram, aka the Man Like Woebot, was a big fan of this tune - "Bounce" by Robloe & Kin featuring Nor-T Jack Fever. 

Indeed at one point, before grime had established itself as the Name, Matt proposed UK Bounce as potential genre tag. 

Although I think that was more to suggest the parallel between garage rap/grime-to-be and what was going on with Dirty South rap at the time (remember New Orleans bounce?). 

Like Laid Blak, another of those delightful one-shot oddities scattered by the nuum in its relentless ▻▻ motion (doesn't appear that Nor-T Jack Fever ever did anything else...)

"Bounce" placed at # 23 in the Blissblog Fave Singles of 2002. 

Here's what I said about it: 

ROBLOE & KIN featuring NOR-T JACK FEVER --“Bounce” (Locked On) 

In the gibbering-loon-on-the-mic tradition of Busta Rhymes,
Slarta John and ragga deejays too numerous to list,
the preposterously named Nor-T Jack Fever rides 
a limb-dislocating, wildly bucking robo-rodeo groove
somewhere at the intersection of garage, dancehall,
and Miami bass. Oddly the overall effect isn’t
comic but faintly disturbing. 

Here's the Break Dis mix - a bit breaksteppy, as you can imagine.