News: Bullet For My Valentine shoot themselves onto Download bill

BULLET For My Valentine have been confirmed for next summer’s Download Festival.
The band managed to slip the secret out by posting the appearance as part of their tour dates on their website.
Festival booker Andy Copping said: “Let’s take bets as to who else will ‘leak’ their Download appearance!
“Yes, Bullet For My Valentine are doing Download 2013.”


News: Hendrix to make a slight return in 2013

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PURPLE H-amazing! Despite being dead, guitar god Jimi Hendrix is to release a new album next year.
The late musician had recorded previously unreleased material in 1968-69, and this work is set to get a release under the title People, Hell and Angels in 2013.
In a statement on his website, it says: “On March 5th, a collection of 12 previously unreleased recordings by Jimi Hendrix will see the light.
“People, Hell and Angels follows Hendrix in 1968 and 1969 as he works on material apart from the Jimi Hendrix Experience and suggests new, experimental directions.
“Hendrix toys with horns, keyboards, percussion and a second guitar, exploring fresh diversions from his legendary guitar work.”

Soundcast: B-side Britpop

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OF LATE I’ve been listening to a lot of Britpop, the defining music of my yoof.
And by “a lot”, I don’t mean sticking on What’s The Story (Morning Glory).
I mean I’ve been listening to long-forgotten albums by the likes of Gay Dad and Spacehog, trawling charity shops for Gene singles, outbidding people on eBay for the right to hear Longpigs b-sides.
Basically I’ve pushed deeper and harder into the recesses of ’90s guitar pop than I’ve ever been.
Alas Spotify doesn’t allow for a lot of this, but nevertheless I felt compelled to put together a playlist showcasing some of this forgotten Britpop, dusting off the B-sides and album tracks, and featuring nothing ever released as a single.
Fall into the time tunnel below, and feel free to point out hidden gems I’ve missed in the comments section.

Review: Diablos Del Ritmo is devilishly infectious

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IF YOU only buy one album of Afrobeat-influenced vintage Colombian tropical dance music, make it this one.
OK, maybe I’m being a bit pithy with that introduction, but it would be a pity if such infectious music as is contained on the latest Analog Africa compilation, Diablos Del Ritmo, was overlooked due to the niche factor.
Because this collection of music to come out of Colombia, particularly the ports which welcomed in shipments of African vinyl in the 1960s to hugely influence local music makers, from 1960-1985 is sure to put a smile on your face.
Yes, it can come across as an archiving project as much as a double-album at times – such is the wealth of music contained within – but ultimately it’s a lively mixture of tropical sounds and African rhythms, the sort of sounds that frequently sneak in to sample-heavy hip-hop or electronica artists’ work nowadays, but in a natural environment.

News: Dapper raps for free from Rhymesquare

INDEPENDENT clothing label Rhymesquare launched earlier this year, and fresh from releasing their first Rhymesquare threads they’re getting people throwing shapes with a free hip hop compilation.
The Introductions album is completely free from Bandcamp here – and to whet your appetite here’s a free to download copy of The Delegates Of Rhyme’s Spark, a totally retro piano-led track.
Other acts on the compilation include Tony Le Tigre, Skunkadelic, Great Scott, Brotherman and Riggs.
Grab one and have a listen now – miss out and you’ll feel like a bear with a sore head.

News: Download add seven of the best

WHAT’S that coming over the hill? Is it a monster, is it a monster of rock?
Seven more massive names in the world of metal and rock have been signed up for next summer’s Download Festival.
Joining headliners Iron Maiden, Rammstein and Slipknot at Donington Park on June 14-16 will be Queens Of The Stone Age, 30 Seconds To Mars, The Gaslight Anthem, Motorhead, HIM, Alice In Chains and A Day To Remember.
A spokesman said: “Download Festival is well and truly turning the heat up as a further seven bands are announced for one incredible weekend.”
For more information visit or call 0207 009 3484.
And to hear a playlist of the acts confirmed on Spotify, click here.

View: Mercurial talents of Alt-J deservedly rewarded

AS LITTLE as my opinion is worth – pretty much nothing next to the £20,000 Mercury Prize money – allow me a moment to pay testament to Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave.
The group were bookies favourites and last night they did pick up the 20th Mercury Prize for their debut – thanking their parents for “not making us get jobs” and promising to take them out for dinner.
Now I have voiced criticisms of the competition before, of tokenism and of complete ignorance of certain genres, but there is no disputing that An Awesome Wave is head and shoulders above nearly everything else released this year, and the Mercury got it spot on.
It’s a hypnotic, shifting, engaging, inventive, stimulating concoction, which sees a band rising above songwriting templates to create something which is hard to tire of – it’s the album of 2012 that I keep coming back to.
It says it all that even the band admit to loving their own work – singer and guitarist Joe Newman said: “I like listening to it and I think that is a testament to it.”
Hear hear.