Archive - hip hop

Grandmaster Flash to play Limerick

6 August 2013 by musiclimerick, No Comments

ON the first pop record with rapping to top the charts, Debbie Harry name checked hip hop’s pioneering DJ Grandmaster Flash.

On Blondie’s ‘Rapture’ in 1980 Debbie rhymed ….

“Fab Five Freddie told me everybody’s high
DJ’s spinnin’ are savin’ my mind
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
Francois sez fas, Flashe’ no do”.

Grandmaster Flash is one of the founding fathers of hip-hop. Flash was likely the first DJ to remix songs by seamlessly repeating the instrumental breaks with two turntables and a mixer. He also pioneered ‘cutting’ – pushing and pulling the turntable’s needle from which ‘scratching’ developed.

Together with his band of rappers, The Furious Five, on the Sugarhill label multi-million selling and groundbreaking hits ‘The Message’, ‘White Lines’ and ‘The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel’ in the early eighties showcased the hip hop sound that dominates the airwaves worldwide today.

Flash (Joseph Saddler to his relations) spent his teenage years going through abandoned stereo equipment taking speakers and radios out of old cars and working with them in his room, figuring out how the equipment worked. To cut between records and extend the funky breaks, Flash invented The Quick Mix Theory, The Clock Theory and the Peekaboo System.

“A lot of it was trial and error, I had to go through countless needles and turntables to find the right ones for these techniques”, Flash revealed in a NPR interview. “I found the right mixer but it didn’t have a system where I could pre-listen to the next track in my headphones. I had to create a new system which I called the ‘peek-a-boo’ system’ where I had to rig the mixer to listen to the next track.

“The Quick Mix Theory was a system for taking two records and manipulating them back and forth so that I could just keep that instrumental break going for maybe 45 seconds, and then more. The Clock Theory involved marking the vinyl with tape or a crayon to find sections of the track quickly”.

When Flash first performed his DJ’ing style in public, he got a mixed reaction. He soon realised that his mixes needed live vocal entertainment to get a party started. His first MC was Keith Wiggens (AKA Cowboy). “He reminded me of a ringmaster at a circus, he had a very commanding voice. He came up with ‘Get your hands in the air, everybody say ho, hey. It turned out to be the perfect diversionary tactic to get people off looking at me and to follow the MC while I go through a series of breaks seamlessly to the beat.”

‘The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel’ was the first major release to showcase these cutting and MCing styles. The track was built on the bassline of Chic’s 70’s hit ‘Good Times’ (another legendary innovative act due to play Limerick soon!)

Flash’s techniques are prevalent in the classic hip hop of Public Enemy, NWA, Jazzy Jeff, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Eminem and influenced the UK’s Big Beat scene (Jon Carter and Fatboy Slim), DJ Shadow and Beck in the 90s and more recently the block rocking 2manydjs.

These days Grandmaster Flash is regularly headlining musical festivals and events with artists such as N*E*R*D, Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy, Missy Elliott and many more. Among his many awards are the Pioneer Award from Source Magazine, the New Music Seminar Hall of Fame Award, the DMC Hall of Fame Award, B.E.T.’s Diamond Award and Billboard Award. In June 2004 he was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame with a plaque dedicated at 161st street and the Grand Concourse, and a street named after him in New York. And to top it all off, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in New York as the first hip-hop artists ever!

Grandmaster Flash DJs at The Library on Friday August 9.


Make your move in Limerick this weekend

24 July 2013 by musiclimerick, No Comments

MAM2_Limerick_29062013_0178The Make A Move Festival of Hip-Hop and Urban Culture returns to Limerick city this weekend.

AFTER a successful launch in 2012, Make A Move Festival returns this weekend. Confirmed for the weekend are DJs Johnny Moy and DJ Koncept at The Library, Captain Moonlight, Fathoms and Flying Buttresses will perform at the Hip hop Showcase in Blind Pig. Colm Kenefick plays Mickey Martin’s and DJ Aoife Ni Canna will discuss her recent radio documentary series on Ireland’s club culture, ‘Folklore from the Dancefloor’.

From July 25 to 28 expect all elements of Hip Hop from Street Dancing, MC’ing, Rapping and Street Art and Graffiti showcased from all around Ireland and abroad with a special focus on the work of the emerging talent and skill from Limerick.

This year’s dance element of the festival is an fusion of hip hop dance workshops for young people in local communities and a celebration of Hip Hop dance culture on the streets of Limerick. “The festival has an exciting weekend of dance events lined up that blend in with other elements of hip hop culture such as the Park Paint Parade and fantastic hip hop gigs taking place throughout the city,” says festival director Rani Dabrai.

Some of last year’s popular events are back again, the Block Party on the Saturday 27 happening on Thomas Street and the Dance Battles happening in Daghda Space.

This Thursday 25, The  Learning Hub Limerick will host some hip-hop workshops covering MC’ing, scratching and rapping.

The Hip Hop Showcase happens in The Blind Pig, featuring Captain Moonlight, Fathoms and Flying Buttresses. Kilkenny’s Captain Moonlight tackles controversial issues head-on, described as a mix of Damien Dempsey and Public Enemy in the Irish Times. He is currently recording his fourth album ‘Offences against the State’ and played Glastonbury festival.  ‘Fathoms’ is beat production sound system controlled by Tim Ording who has been a consistent presence on the electronic/ hip hop scene since the nineties.  He is most recently known for his work as Melodica Deathship. Also on the bill is Limerick’s innovative  Flying Buttresses featuring rapper Sebi C and DJ/producer Deviant.

MAMLimerick_29062013_0081-copy-3Friday July 26, Paul Tarpey will chair a public discussion on the politics and practices that surround contemporary street art. Later in Ormston House, The Tackie Jam is a unique celebration of local Hip Hop talent featuring RAOK (Random Acts Of Kindness)  crew from Shannon plus guest performers from the music, art and dance workshop strands of the festival.

Cork based DJ and producer Colm Kenefick plays Mickey Martin’s.

Saturday 27 brings a US-style Block Party to Thomas Street. It is a celebration of hip hop culture featuring Bboy Bazzy B and the Limerockers Cru, Javier Ceone (Spain), Bboy Tommy ‘Guns’ Ly (US) and Bboy Iron Monkey all bringing their own unique blend of talents to the streets. The Paint Park Parade happening at People’s Park is a celebration of graffiti art. The after party is at The Library with DJ Johnny Moy and DJ Koncept. Subtle Audio showcases new breakbeat sounds in Dolan’s and Lady Grew MC’s at Blind Pig

On Sunday, Dance Cru’s from around the country are invited to Daghda Dance Hall to pit their skills against each other in the All Styles Dance Battle.

This event will pit various Cru’s  to battle it out in front of legendary Bboy and iLL Abilities member Tommy ‘Guns’ Ly and Bboy Iron Monkey.

The Blind Pig hosts the festival wrap party with DJ Peter Curtin and DJ Moschops and guests.

Make a Move happens in various venues around the city from Thursday July 25 to Sunday July 28.


Shafto & Golden

17 August 2012 by musiclimerick, No Comments

Shafto & Golden are a Shannon based rap duo with nice flow and rhyming. ‘Drinking in Shannon’ is the most recent track for Shafto & Golden rhyming over Kanye’s ‘Niggas in Paris’ telling it like it is in their home town and referencing many of the town’s social landmarks.

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

22 October 2009 by musiclimerick, Comments Off

hypnotic brass

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble @ Trinity Rooms Sunday 25th October 2009. The Chicago based 9-piece brass/jazz band hit Limerick this Sunday as part of their tour to promote their new album on the “Honest Jon’s” label. Featuring 8 brothers, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble started out as a busking street band and have since recorded with Erykah Badu and Mos Def. This “must see” show starts at 7.30pm in Trinity Rooms Clubhouse. For a flavour of what to expect check out the track “War” below and read Paul Tarpey’s excellent review of last years HBE gig on the Cheebah blog here.