I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview (prehear?) of the new Darkstar album, which will be out on Hyperdub in October. You know when you hear something for the first time and it all sinks in perfectly? It’s the sign of a really well-concieved record if you don’t have to go back and listen again to make sense of it, or work out what you think about it. And that’s how I feel right now. I’m off to listen again/again/again…


NME Radio

My Friday night show on NME radio starts again on September 3rd. Better get playlisting!

Guardian Music Weekly Podcast

I’m recording a guest spot on the Guardian’s Music Weekly Podcast tomorrow, with Dan Hancox and Rosie Swash. So I’ve spent the whole morning trying to work out what the heck to take along as my singles club choice. In fact, I spent a fair few hours over the last few days pondering this, because all the music I like sounds quite different out of context and all by itself. Pop records can easily stand alone and you don’t need anything else before or after to make it make sense; it’s self-sustaining. But an amazing techno mix of a drum ‘n’ bass tune; or a bare-to-the-bones juke track (that’s also unspeakably filthy), or a new bit from a grime producer’s new free-to-download album just sounds a bit strange out there by itself, surrounded by conversation. And it didn’t help not to have any electricity for most of the morning. Out to Alan and Pat the electricians, sorting out my heaters.

Skream Guardian Music Weekly

I’m intervewing Skream tonight for The Guardian’s Music Weekly podcast, for an piece around the release of his new album.

You can hear the tracks he’s released as part of his Freeizm series here. I rang Rosie to find out what equipment I’d be using and she told me that they use a Flashmic.

Wow. What an incredible piece of technology. I’ve done more print than I have radio so I’m still getting my head around how to make sure an audio interview records properly. I’m guilty of recording interviews on my iPhone way too often but when you’re writing for print it doesn’t matter – as long as you’ve got it, that’s enough. But for broadcast you’ve got to check so many other things: what’s in the background, how’s the ambience, does it sound warm enough, is there a clock ticking in the background that will render the whole thing unplayable? It’s a whole different world.

I’ve been interviewing Skream on and off for the past four years, most recently when I wrote his biog, which you can read on my biogs page. I interviewed him on the couch at the Red Bull Music Academy in Melbourne back in 2006 right at the start of what became a massive dubstep odyssey. I wasn’t the only one: I know tens of people who had the same experience as me, of becoming fully immersed in that world in the most adrenalised, complete, fully-in-it way possible. Four years later, I’m interviewing him for a newspaper not as a leading artist in and up and coming scene, but as an artist with an NME cover and Top Ten hit under his belt with Magnetic Man and someone with massive international pull. Some things don’t change though: we are meeting in Croydon.

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