New unreleased M.I.A., M.I.A. and Diplo - Piracy Funds Terrorism, Dizzee Rascal, and more grime/dancehall!
M.I.A., live at Boom in Manchester, April 7th.
What can I get for 10 dolla? Apparently, not the frikkin M.I.A. album from Best Buy. While they are an electronics fan's heaven, their CD selection can be quite a joke. I was pissed and I dropped my stack of CDs and DVDs and drove on over to Tower, where I got the M.I.A. and Doves albums, finally, and for only $21.98. Got the Black and White Town CD single for free as a bonus too!
Well, M.I.A. lives up to the hype. I cranked it up 11 in my P.O.S. Altima, trunk rattlin'. My computer stereo doesn't do justice to this album. Politics and polemics aside, it rocks hard and deftly (loudly!) melds grime, ragga, dancehall, electro, breakbeat, and hip-hop, throwing in riffs that vary in intensity from sensible pop to hardcore bass. M.I.A. does for girme what Missy Elliot does for hip-hop. Excellent performance and production from all involved. (Don't miss Pitchfork's informative grime primer. Also, more on grime at this interesting blog).
There's talk among some critics about how M.I.A. is exploiting the grime/street music sound. (There's an interesting discussion here. Btw, I disagree with his opinion that the net is creating havens for niche/extremist musical factions, although it certainly may have that tendency in a vacuum. However, I choose to remain open-minded and have become progressively more inclusive as I continue to sample and blog).
More M.I.A. discussions:
- The excellent M.I.A.: Pitchfork Interview
Fun fact: M.I.A. was gifted a Roland MC-505 groovebox from Justine Frischmann of Elastica after working with them on their tour documentary.
Telling quote: "My problem is that politics is the first thing that defines who I am. It's like, "You're just The Other, you're this thing. You have evil thoughts about the world." When I watch President Bush on the telly going, we need to fight the axis of evil and kill these terrorists by all means necessary, I just go, "Sh*t, poor Dad." In the 70s all he wanted to do was be a revolutionary like Bob Dylan. He had idealistic views about changing the world for the better and fighting for people who don't have a voice-- the same thing that Bob Dylan wanted to do. Now, he's like this straight-up, evil terrorist; a gunned masked man with a semi-automatic ready to take down and behead people."
- Seattle Weekly: Music: Playing With Fire by Geeta Dayal
- I Love Music M.I.A. thread
It's hard to believe that this former Sri Lankan refugee and Tamil Tigers daughter is inauthentic in her approach or in her motives. I'd like to think that 'Arular' expands and builds upon the street scene since, although I'm not a grime/dancehall expert by any means, I hear many electronic influences that have emerged from outside the street scene, ranging from electro, to dub-n-bass, to tribal house. Perhaps it is this clever manipulation that refines M.I.A.'s sound just enough, making it amenable for the musical pallettes of MP3 blogs and fawning music critics out there. Whatever the case may be regarding the origins or motivations of M.I.A., I know that if I can't just sit back and enjoy groundbreaking music like this without ulterior considerations, I'd be bleary-eyed from reading essays and cultural dissertations instead of just listening to great music.
The great thing about grime is that it is edgy but easy to dance to, unlike its danceable, safe, and often dull progenitor, UK garage, which lacks that edge, and unlike UK d'n'b, which is danceable only to a small minority of us. Add to this edge M.I.A.'s keen political commentary (although incisive and inflammatory, it's buried behind the fat beats), and you have an incendiary audio device.
I think that M.I.A. may do for grime what Massive Attack, Tricky, and Neneh Cherry did for downtempo/trip-hop. I am not hyperbolizing when I say that 'Arular' often has the power and brilliance of 'Blue Lines' and 'Maxinquaye', although only time will tell if it has the staying power of a true classic.
The fawning Arular reviews that I spake of:
Anyway, if you aren't ready to shell out the dough, maybe the M.I.A./Diplo mash-up that's been circulating since late 2004 will change your mind. On the XL Recordings site, they even encourage you to track down these white label tunes to convince you of how good M.I.A. really is. Fans of 'Galang', 'Amazon', and 'Sunshowers' will be missing out if they don't hear the LP versions of 'Bucky Done Gun', 'Fire Fire', and '10 Dollar'.
M.I.A. - Do Ya
M.I.A. gets uncharacteristically freaky in this minimalist grimey jam.
M.I.A. - untitled
This song has Latin flavor, more Reggaeton than Rio Baile Funk
Link to a massive archive
M.I.A. - 10 Dollar (poj cutprice mix)
M.I.A. vs. Super Mario Bros. - Superlangalang
This is as silly as you think it would be.
M.I.A. and Diplo
M.I.A. and Diplo - Piracy Funds Terrorism
01-galangaton (diplo mix)
02-galang featuring lil vicious
03-ll cool j_cavemen - two bit rhythm (m.i.a. mix)
04-fire bam (diplo mix)
06-m.i.a._missy - one for the head skit
07-amazon (diplo mix)
08-the clipse - definition of a roller
11-you're good (diplo mix)
13-sunshowers (diplo mix)
14-baile funk one
15-bucky done gun
16-baile funk two
17-china girl (diplo mix)
18-baile funk three
19-lady killer (diplo mix)
20-uraqt (diplo mix)
21-bingo (diplo mix)
More grime and dancehall songs/mixes:
Diplo - Favela On Blast
Listen to minute 8 when The Clash's Rock the Casbah comes in. Wow.
Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp | video
One of his grimiest, hardest rockin' tunes.
Dizzee Rascal - Dream
Dizzee Rascal - Respect Us
Dizzee Rascal vs. Prodigy - Stand Up Fool
Dizzee Rascal real audio
Crazy Titch - Just an Arsehole
Crazy Titch starting beef with Dizzee Rascal? Hilarious, but annoying.
Klass A-Why Do You Do This
Sway ft. Wonder - Call My Name
Catchy grimey tune samples 'Like a Prayer'.
Rufus Dork - Sesame Roads
Kardinal Official - Fast Forward
Pitbull - Pitbulls a Bastard 2
Lady Sovereign - Random (brucker and sinden remix)
Petey Pablo - Freek-a-Leek (dj eddy remix)
Hot Reggaeton remix.
Swiftkick - Raver in Love
This is more a cross between breakbeat and hardcore than grime, but I thought I'd throw it in here. Features sample of 'C.R.E.A.M.'
So Solid Crew - Oh No (zip)
Big thanks to Boomselection, DJ Semtex, Kid Kameleon, and Cry On My Console, who are well-immersed in the scene.