Thursday, 22 September 2016
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Enemy Forward is the third album by electronic music veteran Simon Grainger (aka Graingerboy) and the follow up to 2013's highly acclaimed mini-LP Silent Universe. Recorded over the space of two years between London and Yorkshire with Ian Catt (St Etienne), Graingerboy's new album is a call to arms from its author and is an aural and symbolic representation of Simon's long battle with M.E.
Enemy Forward is about reintegrating into the world and starting to live again after a long period of downtime and recovery. It reflects on the damage that a long term serious illness can do to friendships, relationships and other peoples perceptions. However, instead of creating a work that is emotionally heavy, Simon has made an album that celebrates love, life and pop music, with its rare power to transport us and heal us in times of need.
The 9 track album is full of infectious hooks and melodies and is guaranteed to please the heart as well as the feet and features co-writes with artists such as Hiapop faves Lippy Kid and Steve Kimber. These collaborations help infuse the album with the spirit of community and friendship which makes Enemy Forward a perfect tonic for the times we find ourselves in.
Enemy Forward is triumphant, joyous, and full of optimism.
"Post punk electro pop with soaring typically British 80’s influences, crimped hair, bad eyeliner, disco pulses and a small town indie feel" Dean Thatcher, DMC Magazine
"Grainger’s mournful and solid song writing sets him far apart from his peers with his unique sonic blueprint of musical diversity. He seems quite impossible to pigeonhole, which in our world of manufactured artists and repackaged Greatest Hits is entirely invigorating. The boy did not only do good, he did better. *****" Nick Smith, Polari Magazine
Enemy Forward will be released via PopCrisis Recordings 14th October.
Simon can be found on Twitter @Graingerboyo
Sunday, 18 September 2016
In just three years hiapop Blog has become something that I never thought it would ever become.
Hundreds of thousands of hits, a Twitter follow ratio of over 4:1, an ever increasing Facebook following and of course #hiapopRadio via Radio Kaos Caribou. I've written for five music publications and continue to do so.
Unfortunately, hiapop Blog has also become a slight victim of its own success. I am sent albums, EPs and singles to review at an alarming rate and with a full-time job, work with a local Community group and a young family, am finding it difficult to keep up.
I would therefore like to shout-out for writers to come and join hiapop Blog. Successful reviews will obviously be published with the possibility of being accepted for some of the outlets that I currently write for. Like the bigger publications, hiapop Blog can't pay you but you will be able to listen to some great music along the way.
If you're interested please email, tweet, message, whatever takes your fancy! There is already a big list of stuff waiting!
Saturday, 17 September 2016
#MoreInCommon is a compilation album in support of the UK charity HOPE not hate. Since the EU Referendum vote, something nasty has been going on in our country. Eastern and central Europeans are being told that they are no longer welcome here. Ethnic minority Britons have been told to “go home” and Muslims and Jews have been abused on the street.
We may be shocked, but we should not be surprised. The toxic nature of the Referendum debate has unleashed visceral hatred. Egged on by inflammatory language and images during the campaign, it has emboldened the haters lurking within our midst.
But this is not the Britain we know and love. These thugs do not speak for the vast majority of people in the country.
#MoreInCommon is a national campaign to bring our communities back together and with this album a host of diverse artists have kindly donated songs to help raise much needed funds and exposure for the charity. This proves that whatever your background, whatever form your art takes, we can all join together and unite to celebrate our diversity.
Contributing artists include:
Beak>, Chris & Cosey, Datblygu, Thought Forms, The Membranes, Pulco, The Rainkings, Love & the Family Tree, Tired Arms, Mwstard, The Tramways, We're No Heroes, Hotel De Salto, Adwaith, Ysgol Sul, Graingerboy, Ela Orleans, Owl Biro, Climbing Trees, Anhrefyn, Ani Glas, FFUG, Feral Five, All Hail Hyena, Fran's Word Salad, Jamie Morrison, Jupiter C, Lippy Kid, William Gray, Moon Gangs, Vinna Bee, Sheer Zed, Quiet Noise, Demento, Frenchbloke & Soundhog, Bloodflower, The Tramways, Repo Man, Radio Europa, Chick Quest, Fresh Snow, Kevin Pearce + over 30 other artists.
Organiser Simon Tucker states:
"After the Referendum I was shocked to see all the vitriol that was being displayed on social media and the news. People who I respected were spouting such hateful views that it would make me really angry. I got so sick of shouting into the void and arguing on social media that I decided to contact HOPE not hate to see if I could get involved. They suggested I start up a branch of the charity in Carmarthen which I have done. However, I needed to do more so I had the idea of utilising the contacts and friends I have made over the years in the music industry to see if they would be up for donating songs to the album.
“I was overwhelmed by the response I got (must thank Twitter for this) and I am so excited by this album. A lot of the people involved are in my favourite bands like Beak>, Thought Forms (Invada have been great) Chris and Cosey and Datblygu so to get them involved was a great thrill.
“I also wanted to include a lot of up and coming and independent artists who many people may not know and I hope by their inclusion on the album it gives them some great exposure as they are all fantastic and deserved to be heard by as many people as possible. Every penny made from the album will go to the charity”
Nick Ryan of HOPE not hate said:
“We’re delighted that Simon has brought together so many artists in support of our work. #MoreInCommon was our response to Jo Cox’s death and the divisions and disunity which emerged during the Referendum process. We’ve had a fantastic response so far, and with the support of this new album – alongside others who’ve so kindly donated their money and time to HOPE not hate – we’ll be able to continue that effort well into the future.”
Download will be available to download from the 28th October here (the link will be live from this date)
For more information on HOPE not hate please visit:
Friday, 16 September 2016
Maxi Jazz And The E-Type Boys – Simple.. Not Easy (Man In The Moon Records)
CD / DL
9 September 2016
8.75 / 10
Buddhist rapper and former Faithless member releases a new album.
After twenty years fronting Faithless, arguably one of the most successful and influential electro dance acts of modern times, Maxi Jazz has marked his return with sounds from his roots. Gone are the pulsating hooks once occasioned by Sister Bliss and gone are the masterful multi rhymes that accompanied them. Instead Maxi immerses himself in a superb blend of blues, soul and jazz (no pun intended) with the occasional nod towards reggae and authentic R&B along the way.
With Simple… Not Easy the brilliant E-Type Boys breeze through ten tracks all sounding like classic covers and all executed with a clinical professionalism that really needs to be heard to be believed. The treatment pf Faithless favourite Mass Destruction for instance is a master stroke with a gorgeous reggae beat and horns which add a while new angle to the track, will appeal to older fans as well as prompting a wry smile from the new.
Album opener Change Our Destiny sets out the intention immediately. Its dramatic bass, piano and horns act as a monumental prelude to a track which sounds like one of those classic film or TV themes. It shows not only that Jazz is a songwriter of quite unequivocal quality but also has a strong ear for an infectious tune.
Known for his clever rhyming couplets lie after line after line with Faithless, he now constructs more regular verses and choruses as though it’s something that he has done for a lifetime. Simple… Not Easy is slick in the extreme. Back To The Bottle is a gritty sounding rock standard that you’re sure you’ve heard before and recent single Bitter Love with its deep bass in a country rock style works brilliantly with the occasional reverb. Guitars whine and drums roll against a chorus which is hard to forget.
A surprising direction for Maxi Jazz perhaps, but one in which he seems very comfortable and is entirely successful.
Published on Louder Than War 7/09/16 - here
Published on Louder Than War 7/09/16 - here