Mikill Pane – You Guest It EP – Review


It may not seem that long ago when we were treated to some new material from the Hackney artist, Mikill Pane. So, I was a very pleasant surprise to hear about a new, and importantly, free, EP arriving on Sunday. Not only is it free for anyone to download, it also features other great artists, such as Example, Ed Sheeran and P Money, which can only ever extend a track’s quality.

Kicking off with the Example featuring track, ‘Andy Warhol’, playing on the idea that everyone will be famous at some point, for 15 minutes. “The rich have got the money, but the poor have got the power, what you gonna do with your quarter of an hour?” You can always rely on Elliot giving a great hook on his featured tracks, but it’s rare that we actually get a verse as well, and I could only think back to the ‘What We Made’ days of Example – which I do kind of miss. However, the two together produce a great track in ‘Andy Warhol’, including, in my view, Mikill’s best lyrics in the EP, “I started with a track like a rapping Dwayne Chambers, they said that it was dope, and that’s how I became famous,” being my personal favourite.

Slowing the pace down, is the second track ’25 Tracks’, featuring the exquisite vocals of Ed Sheeran, “You can find me floating sky-bound, when you tell me it’s my time now”. Will there be a review of a Mikill Pane without mentioning Ed? Doubt it. Obviously the two combined their supreme talents to create the alternate version of ‘The A Team’, in ‘Little Lady’, which will always make me stop and listen, and I’m afraid this is another track which will affect my simple levels of concentration.

The third track on the ‘You Guest It’ EP, is ‘Heart & Sole’, detailing sex and shoes, when put simply. And again, has a great hook vocal feature, this time in Paloma Faith. A bit of a surprise this one, but a really effective one, like really effective – the lyric delivery from Mikill really combines with Paloma’s vocals! “Even though Mikill Pane’s not a household name, it kind of rolls off the tongue.” With this level of material, it soon will be.

Moving onto ‘Paper Princess’. “There’s this picture of you and I, and thats the one thing I’ve been left with,” at this point you’ll be thinking this may develop into a heartfelt love track. Er, “On Wednesday, it’ll be gone cause that’s when the dustbins are collected.” Adore that start, and to be honest, the rest of the track too. The guitar strums surround Mikill’s lyrics perfectly, and when added with the always brilliant Yasmin’s chorus, it makes for a fourth great track in a row. On a roll then?

A roll which continues. “Join P Money, Fem Fel and I, on some ignorant shit…” A contender for my favourite track off the EP, ‘Hey Baby’. Featuring Fem Fel and P Money. Oh, and Katie Price. Yeah, you know, Jordan. Yes, Jordan. No, really, Jordan… Yeah. With her providing the loop of ‘Hey Baby’ surrounded by the best hook on the EP, “I’m not your baby, I’m not your man, you’ve had one too many JDs, I don’t think you understand.” This track contains actual ‘laugh-out-loud’ lyrics, beginning with Mikill, “As far as women go, wouldn’t exactly say jigalo,” and so many others I could quote, so so many.

Now for the unfortunate end. ‘Taking Hold’ ft. Jakwob and Rocky NTI. “I hope that when I’m dead and gone, I leave a legacy of songs behind, and my tombstone says ‘Here lies a man who said the shit that was on his mind.” Think this can sum up the EP; “said the shit that was on his mind.” Similar in pace and style to the ’25 Tracks’, but the added works of Jakwob ensure it has it’s own feel.

Every single track on this EP is magnificent. Every feature is meaningful, and not done for effect on drawing people in. Sure, seeing Ed Sheeran and Example on the tracklist will do that, but their respective features are actually very very good. Same goes for Mikill. Such a cliché, but he really is getting better and better with each release, and I cannot wait ’till the debut album drops this year!

For now, you can download You Guest It here, and if you want listen to it on the little Soundcloud box below. Plus make sure you look out for an A64 on SBTV soon!

Mikill Pane ft. Yoshee – Kings (Official Video)


A while back, I brought you all a preview/review of Mikill Pane’s 4th EP – The Morris Dacner. And it was brilliant. I won’t write it all out again – that’d be pointless, so you can check the review and listen to each track for FREE over HERE

But today was the day when Mikill released the video for the opening (and my favourite) track, ‘Kings’. A great song in itself, but now backed up with great visuals, it’s even more engraved in my mind. Love it, and brilliant vocals from Yoshee as well!

 

Ed Sheeran – No.5 Collaborations Project EP | Just Over A Year On!


I thought I hadn’t written a longer piece in a while, and I sort of wanted to, seeing as I’ve just passed the 5,000 views mark. And I was trying to think of something, thinking while I was listening to my music in that little world I head off to. And I was listening to, in my view; Ed Sheeran’s best ever work. The No.5 Collaborations Project. I didn’t just listen to it once through. Probably closer to 7/8 times through. Which may sound ridiculous – but I just love it that much.

And I thought, it’s just a bit over a year since its release, so I could do a piece on what’s happened to Ed since, but I’d already done that HERE, so I was stuck. But I thought why not just do a year on review of one of my favourite EP’s since I’ve been alive. So I did. Try and enjoy it!

When I bought this EP, in physical form, and off iTunes, I had known about Ed’s talents for a few good months, so I’d already bought and listened to everything of his so far. And at that point, I wasn’t a massive grime fan. (I wouldn’t say I am now, just I enjoy a bit of it) So I remember being unsure as to what to expect.

But by the first track, I was blown away. However, I can never decide which of the tracks is my personal highlight.

I mean, ‘Lately‘ has Ed and Devlin rapping supremely.

You‘ has Wiley flowing quite deeply, surrounded with Ed’s enticing chorus. Always had a connection with Wi’s, as usual, brilliant lyrics on this track!

Family‘ has P Money going deep on his car crash, and, I’d say, has the best production – as always, courtesy of Jake Gosling.

Radio‘ has the brilliant JME, and again, has Ed’s chorus’ at their best. And also, ironically, got a bit of radio play – which was right at the start of Ed’s radio playlist domination.

Little Lady‘. Well, does it need bigging up? Mikill Pane story-telling over the already beautiful ‘A Team‘ chords and chorus. Everyone’s supposed to remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. Well, I wasn’t alive then. So, my version of that is that everyone should remember where they were when the first fully listened to ‘Little Lady‘. I was ‘doing’ revision, and it came on, and I was just captivated in the heart-retching tale of the girl Mikill portrays.

Drown Me Out‘ features Ghetts, with, I’d say, some of the best lyrics on the EP.

Nightmares‘, with Random Impulse, Sway, and, at that point, a fairly unknown Wretch 32. All of the artists smashed their respective verses on this one! (Oh, and big up to Random Impulse, who today, singed to Universal!)

The lastly, Dot Rotten’sGoodbye To You‘ – another deep, personal, and great, track.

It’s just impossible to choose a favourite track from that list!

I think what makes the EP so special is that. practically all the artists, including Ed, were fairly unknown. It was a proper ‘Project’ as Ed called it. Grime mixing with Ed’s vocals just work absolutely perfectly!

And furthering that, Ed was either lucky, or the artists were saving something big for the next big thing, which happened to Ed. Because, Wiley, P Money, Mikill Pane, to an extent, Ghetts, and Dot Rotten – all went deep and/or personal. Which will always make for amazing listening – especially when protected by Ed’s superhuman vocals.

I very often get carried away with a release. And to an extent, it does die down after a while. So it really shows a release’s class when I still have that same connection to it, that I had when I first plugged myself into it. And the No. 5 Collaborations Project does just that!

It also got another slice of radio love recently. With BBC Radio 1xtra airing live performnces of a few of the tracks, including, ‘Family‘ ft. P Money and ‘Letely‘ ft. Devlin, plus a couple others. You can check these brilliant performences on YouTube, but I thought I’d include ‘Little Lady‘ in this post:

It obviously also represents Ed’s first real musical chart success, as the top image shows, it peaked at number 2 on the iTunes chart. Which would be amazing on its own. But this EP had no promotion, or record label backing – only the likes of Twitter etc. So, even in that sense, it’s a special EP!

I’m finishing writing this off, as Ed prepared for his newest slice of collaboration to be played on Zane Lowe’s show – ‘You Don’t Know (For Fuck Sake)’ ft. Yelawolf (listen to it, and read my review on that link – oh and download it for FREE!). I do love it. There’s no denying it. But I’ve always preferred the thought of Ed with UK artists. But I guess it shows how far Ed’s come. He’s always said how much he’d wanted to work with American artists in this style of format, and he’s finally done it, and done it well! But yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever not like an Ed Sheeran track.

I really want to say though, ‘You Don’t Know…‘ is a brilliant track, and I really cannot wait to the full release of ‘The Slumdon Bridge‘! – 4 tracks from scratch, in 10 hours… Incredible!

But I don’t think Ed can ever top it for me. Which could be seen as a saddening fact. But everyone has their favourites from him – and the Collaborations Project will, I think, always be mine.

Ed Sheeran – Drunk (Fan Montage Video)


This video was created by Ed’s cousin, Murray Cummings, and features various clips of Ed and his musical mate, like Example, Ryan Keen and Random Impulse – plus his fans – showcasing the extent of his dedicated fan-base perfectly.

It’s the first of two videos for the single, ‘Drunk’, taken off his debut album, ‘+’ – the next one will be the official video, which features a number of cats apparently. Got to be a good one then!

But enjoy this for now – might even see yourself somewhere!

Review | Mikill Pane – The Morris Dancer EP


Funny, clever, and just genuinely brilliant.

If you ask a ‘normal’ human on the street, ‘Do you like Mikill Pane?’, they’ll probably say ‘Sure!’. ‘Ok, now name something of this that isn’t Ed Sheeran related?’ And, unfortunately a fair few will give silence in return.

For an artist that’s been releasing quality music for a while now, why doesn’t everyone know about him! This isn’t supposed to portray Mikill in a bad light, by the way. It’s just portraying everyone who hasn’t listened further into Mikill’s collection, in a bad light.

I’m not saying I’ve followed right from the start, and I’m not going to begin a ‘I listened to him before anyone else’ type of rant, because frankly, I don’t want to sound like a fan-boy. And to be fair, I’ve only began properly listening to him straight after the ‘Little Lady‘ release.

But that’s what amazing collaboration tracks, like that one, will do. If you haven’t really heard much about the other artist, you should go and listen to everything you’re able to.

And, when you do listen to Mikill’s music, you can fully see that ‘Little Lady‘ was no fluke. ‘Summer In The City‘, and my favourite, ‘Read My Lips‘ (brilliant video below) are two songs which can show up so many ‘big’ artists out there right now, who are effectively stealing your 79p spent on iTunes. His last ‘The Guinness & Blackcurrant EP‘, is still available on iTunes, so right after reading this, I suggest you buy the last one while you wait for the release of this EP. I would say order, but don’t really enjoy sounding like a North Korean dictator.

Anyway, ‘The Morris Dancer – EP‘. I could just have the review say ‘It’s just fucking brilliant’. But, yeah, that’s not really a review. So, I’ll explain why it’s so ‘fucking brilliant’.

The opening track – possibly the most important on any release. It allows you to convey the style of the upcoming music that you’re about to witness, so if it’s rubbish, it’s highly likely that the rest of the music is too. So you’ll stop listening.

If anyone stops listening to the EP after hearing the opening track, well, humanity is hopeless. ‘Kings‘ – I don’t know what it is, but it sounds like something – unfortunately I can’t remember what. Either that, or it just sounds so memorable that it’s an instantly loveable track! I’m hoping it’s the second option. Otherwise I’m going to be trying to think what that track it reminds me of, and probably failing.

Second up, is ‘I Like You‘ – which is available for a listen below. And if that doesn’t get you interested, again, humanity is fairly hopeless.

It’s showcases, in my view, Mikill at his best. It’s just one hell of a track – obviously including Mikill’s typically humorous side. Thing is, with humor in music, it very rarely works – as I find it just distracts you. But, it’s just different with Mikill. He can say things which could be said in a conversation, which just happen to be hilarious, but he’s able to put them into his music, and makes it sound completely natural. I think what makes it work, is that it’s that mix of clever and funny – similarly like Example’s full-on rap days actually.

It achieved it’s first radio play, on 1xtra on the 17th – in which CJ Beatz also interviewed Mikill (which you can hear below)

Third on the EP, is ‘Cut Back‘ – which again can been seen as ‘typical’ Mikill Pane. But, the use of ‘typical’ is in a good way. ‘Typical’ can be construed as ‘boring’ or ‘samey’. In this case, it shows consistency. A word which so many artists cannot gain. (Well, Black Eyed Peas can. Consistently shit.)

The last two tracks happen to be my favourites. ‘Sounds Of The Night‘ (Original + a Will Power Remix). The original begins with a slightly distorted chorus, and develops into the sort of lyrics we’ve come to expect from Mikill. It’s also brilliant produced – a great beat behind Mikill’s delivery.

The Will Power remix is incredible. The two have worked together before, eg. on Mikill’sYou Don’t Know Me‘ – which was great in itself. So to see a Will Power remix on the track-listing really got me excited. Doesn’t disappoint.

Overall, I’d say ‘The Morris Dancer EP‘ is a full refreshing sound, from one of the most exciting British artists around. This EP will, no doubt, further the acclaim Mikill Pane has already earned. But maybe this time, he’ll get the acclaim from his own music.

Mikill’s full debut album, ‘Blame Miss Barclay‘ is expected this year – cannot wait to hear this!

The Morris Dancer EP‘ comes out 13th Feb. However, if you head over to THIS LINK you’re able to stream each track from the superb EP. So, I’d advise you do that. But make sure you bloody buy it too.

As a sidenote: I know I always seem to go on about how brilliant a bit of music is… But I do mean it fully. If I don’t like something, I’ll say it. But, there are no faults on this EP – I guarantee you.

Sheeran Update | ‘+’ Sales | US Supporting Slot!


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Just about to kick off another UK headline tour, Ed Sheeran has announced a couple of things before the opening gig in Aberdeen.

Firstly, ‘+’ has gone TRIPLE PLATINUM! – over 900,000 copies… Which is just incredible!

And also, for any American people reading, Ed’s been announced as the main support act for Snow Patrol’s US tour, from March 29th to May 18th! Book tickets here: Snow Patrol + Ed Sheeran | US Tour Tickets
(on sale from 13th/14th/15th January – depending on venue)

Oh, and lastly, even if you didn’t get tickets to this tour, you can still buy the official Sheeran merchandise here: Ed Sheeran | Store

My Tips For 2013! (yes, 2013)


I found this a hard concept to put across, even to myself. We’re only just a few days into 2012, and I’m already thinking about 2013? But, I thought it might read quite well, as no-one, as far as I know, has done a feature like this before – probably for good reasoning I guess.

The artists featured in this post will ultimately have great 2012’s. It’s meant as no disrespect to them if I’ve put them in my 2013 tips list, it doesn’t mean they’ll do nothing noteworthy in this new year – in fact, quite the opposite. They will build up a bigger fan base, play to larger crowds, possibly even get chart success, but 2013 will be the year they properly blow up! Basically, the artists tipped here, are the artists that I see having the sort of year Maverick Sabre and Emeli Sande had in the year just gone. (Sidenote: It also doesn’t mean they won’t do a Sheeran and storm the music world in 2012 without much promotion or backing…)

If that’s not explained well, I apologise, but I even found it hard to explain to myself. Hopefully you’ll get the picture after reading through to the end.

I did think of just rolling out a very long list of the relatively unheard talent out there, but then again, I wanted to say a little more on a few of the artists. Also, similarly to most of my posts, there will be people I’ve left out, forgotten, whatever. But I can’t know about everything, especially as this is music for 2013!

Ryan Keen was recently featured in the Daily Star’s artists for 2012, and that’s no surprise. I’d say Ryan will achieve great things this year, without doubt. He’s got new music coming fairly shortly, and notably a video made by the same people that make Rastamouse – and you have no heart if you can’t enjoy that fact. His unbelievable, flamenco style guitar skills, mixed with raw, honest, and heartfelt lyrics, delivered in a stunning voice will shine through and leave so many artists long behind. I can surely see Ryan being properly noticed this year, but I’d say 2013 will be when we see him conquer music, like his mate, a little-known Ed Sheeran has done so very recently.

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Random Impulse is by far one of the most unique artists out there that I know about. A combination of grime and hard guitar rifts, is something you don’t find easily. Random Impulse (real name, Jovel Walker) has found a gap which is somewhat untouched – which in music, is very hard these days. My only real criticism of popular music these days is that there does need to be more originality in the charts – and why couldn’t Jovel play a part in the reclamation of original and successful music – which I think will build up this year, with new and exciting artists breaking through this year. But like I’ve already said, this is ‘Tips for 2013’ – so again, I see Jovel’s big year to be the next one along.

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A third act who is associated with Ed Sheeran, is Mikill Pane. But with no offence meant at all to Ed (there’s obviously no offence meant AT ALL), I do long for the day when the majority of people know of Mikill through his own work. ‘Summer In The City’ and ‘Read My Lips’ are two tracks which showcase his talent perfectly, and really stand out amongst everything else. I find it incredible how more people are still unaware of his own tracks, people still just know him from ‘Little Lady’. I mean, that’s not necessarily a bad thing I guess, ‘Little Lady’ was one of the most heart-wrenchingly brilliant songs of the year just gone. But still, when I’m a fan of an artist, I want them to be mainly known through their own excellent material.

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Some other artists/groups I think will feature big in 2013 also are:
Josh Osho/ Etta Bond/ Kings Of The City/ Yasmin/ Passenger/ Josh Kumra/ Kal Lavelle/ Lester Clayton/ Antonio Lulic/ Daley/ Russo/ Dream Mclean/ Gabrielle Aplin / Red N Pink/ Shaka/ Lauren Aquilina/ The Dash (if there’s a revival in Rock anytime soon?)/ Liam Bailey/ Nina Nesbitt/ Leddra Chapman/ Maiday.

The beautiful thing about that very very long list, is that even I am still ignorant to much more UK talent. There’s so much more out there, and that’s the main reason I started this whole blog, so I can finally keep on top of talent that’s out there – and there will be so much more that comes through to our attention this year as well!

I feel I need to make this clear again, the artists featured will have a good 2012! Some will get tracks on Radio 1 and the likes, through ‘Records Of The Week’ features for example. Sheeran got a lot of attention from ‘The A Team’ being Fearne Cotten’s one week. I said it earlier, but they may even get a surge of chart success, like Emeli Sande did with ‘Heaven’ – which reached number 2! It’s just I think there first full on successful year throughout will be 2013.

Why I think these artists are tips for 2013, not 2012, is because of people’s attitudes to music. There’s so much music out there, but most people just stick to listening to the same things – even listening to good music over and over again. It’s not my place to say this is wrong, but it would help if they did the tiniest bit of searching, to find artists such as these featured ones. Just to give some more new excitement in music, in effect making it easier for proper talent to be noticed. The capacity for people to listen to music is large, so why not fill it up with a wider range? Don’t wait for the talent to come to you, go find it before the rest of the public have it thrusted into their ears.

That was effectively a rant I guess, but I didn’t really mean it to come out like that. What I’m trying to say, simply, is that artists like these shouldn’t have to only come into the public attention through things like the ‘BBC’s Sound Of’ features. People need to be more aware, and able to find the talent. I mean, it is effectively for their own benefit.

And that’s why I adore things like SB.TV so much. Jamal Edwards and his team are, and will, play an ever growing role in the development of music in the coming years. 2011 was just the start for them, and I can’t wait to see how big they are by 2013!

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Effectively, on reading back through this again, I’d say the title is misleading. I possibly chose it to be misleading subconsciously. I say this because, it’s more about the amount of talent out there in the UK. I want people to find new music, I’d much rather people liked artists like Random Impulse or Ryan Keen, than LMFAO or Pitbull. People need to know about the talent the UK has to offer. And anything I can do to make people realise this, the better.

Basically, see this post as a declaration of unjust in the music world we live in. Just don’t see me as a sort of mentally music based Charlie Sheen.