November 27, 2006


One of my favourite records of all time is Brainfreeze, on which Dj Shadow and Cut Chemist show off their infamous skills by only using funk 7"s. The result is, how could it not be, a remarkable set that is both very well crafted as utterly enjoyable because of the selected tunes, which are often great, but hard to find funk 45's. This album combines the best of both worlds: a compilation great funk and some serious scratching skills that never fail to keep it within the flow.

This record already saw the light of day back in 1999 and a lot has happened since then. A whole heap of scratch records were released after Shadows 1996 record "Endtroducing". Some good, but most of them boring. What's the fun of a scratch record when the craft is produced so gently and smoothly you don't hear the difference between actual scratching and a sampler anymore? Though all of them are undoubtly made with true craftmanship, most of the records fail to make an impression on me since they all sound like downtempo, instrumental hip hop or triphop that are build up from small and mostly unrecognizable samples. I like it a bit rougher, like the Brainfreeze album on which you can hear more than a "bassdrum snippet" and find yourself baffled once you find out that you're listening to three tracks running simultaniously. Luckily, there are still artists around that do it "Lock it Down stylee". Here are the ones that impressed us most:

Hailing from California. His solo album "Sunset Scavenger" is pretty good, but Zeph is even better when he links up with others. Must checkout albums are:

- Breakbuilders part 2: the next best thing after BrainFreeze. A serious contender, using discofunk and funk records that are more modern then the deepfunk Shadow and Cut Chemist use. The result is an amazing mix which makes it impossible to stay put. It sometimes sounds like early electro because of the focus on drums. Essential record.

- Hip Hop Bebop 2006
: made together with dj Mason of the mighty Haul & Mason duo, this album focusses on jazz entirely. The result is equally impressive as Breakbuilders, but with a total different feel to it. The focus is more hip hop and the album sounds like Guru's Jazzmataz albums at times, but is rougher in every way. The samples, to these ears, are pretty obscure, but can easily be found on the net with a little big of googling.

Mister Aul
Has it's base in France. We never heard of him before, but we were utmost impressed when he linked us on myspace. There are good tunes to be found on his myspace site, but you'd better check out his own website, which is full of goodies. Though trying to make "real songs" with his samples, Mister Aul also seems to enjoy the rough edge of which we stated the necessity above. Every track on his site is equally impressive.

Afrodisiac Soundsystem
ASS consists of Jed and DJ Haul, who also formed Afrodisiac Records. Their reissuing and remixing of some super rare West African funk tracks that Jed had brought back from a 5 month long record hunting expedition through Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, and Mali is splendid. They turn Fela into hiphop and hiphop into afrobeat, with just a flick of their wrist. Great album for afrobeat lovers with a wish to hear some obscure tracks and also great for those hiphoppers/early electro freaks that like to hear a different beat.

November 26, 2006

WARPIGS CREATE PARANOIA: Uncovering Black Sabbath covers pt 1

These last months, I stumbled upon some remarkable cover versions of the dark groove godfathers Black Sabbath (formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 under the name Polka Tulk Blues Band). Now we all know how great & important this band was, right?.... even if the evil singer made a pact with the devil and has now its own tv show.....Of course there were influential to every band in thew world who uses a rock guitar, but these creators of immortal riffs also have bestowed their wisdom upon German Schlager Stars.

Norbert Berger ('45) and Jutta Gusenburger ('48) are both born in the German town of Völklingen. From 1965 on they appear together as Cindy & Bert and in 1973 topped the charts with Immer wieder Sonntags (also appears on Vic van der Reijt's brilliant compilation of german songs Van Du tot Dadada). The Darker side of the duo is shown in their version of Black Sabbath classic Paranoid. Der Hund Von Baskerville was released as 7 inch B-side to Holly Holy on Cornet records in 1970. Just spotted that one for 125 bucks on ebay. The song in itself has a real psychotic feel to it (as it should) and the dog in the video surely increases the paranoia. Even if you hate Cindy & Bert's music(Can you imagine?) , you have to check this video below. You will be happy to hear that this German duo are still performing today.(thanx 2 chiswick for pointing out this one!)

November 22, 2006


Dubstep, a small subgenre in electronic music that sounds like slowed down drum 'n bass or two-step and mainly coming from London, is taking over the world. Rapidly. We're not going to boast here: apart from the odd song or two, we at Lock it Down never heard before of this kind of music. There is no shame about it, it's a London underground thing which kept to themselves a lot. Sure, nowadays, when even all papers in Holland are writing about this new craze and dubstep is all over the internet, you'll find people boasting about it like they were the first ones to discover it. But where were all those people when the artists, that are now receiving great reviews, were performing mostly to other dubstep artists in the scene? We at Lock it Down are honest: we weren't there. And that is just a damn shame, because, frankly, dubstep is the best thing that ever happened to electronic music as it is.

Smoothly combining the roots of Jamaican dub with its grandson drum 'n bass, two-step and grime, dubstep is taking things further where many people thought things couldn't be stretched anymore. The recipe is simple: slow down, speed up and go low.
We'll define that for you: slow down the riddim but make it so that you can dance twice as fast to it and make the bass sounds even lower and "wobble" it more as ever. Difficult? Yes. The riddims might sound complex to unexperienced listeners: I went to a dubstep party where most of the people there couldn't understand how to dance to the slowed down beat. Only after the dj (Kode 9) plugged and perfectly mixed a record that was twice as fast as his record already playing, the crowd understood that dubstep is also suitable to dance that old-fashioned drum'n bass stylee to. And thus it became a great party after all, that gained dubstep a lot of new fans. Myself included.

Being an avid fan of reggae dub, electronic dub, drum 'n bass and electronical music like IDM (terrible name!) I found myself somewhat bored after a couple of years. The "amen break" has been sampled to death, electronic dub artists seem to do nothing else but either copy themselves or Zion Train, and IDM, nowadays, is all about producing lame beats with acoustic guitars and rappers or taking it way too far in timing beats and breaks. And then I heard dubstep...It fitted perfectly with what I was searching for: innovative beats, massive sound, heavy bass and something new in general. Here's a small overview of "must hear" artists and "must see" sites.
Convince yourself.

Kode 9
Heavyweight producer who's involved in a lot of the records you hear nowadays.

20 year old wonderkid who supposedly wrote about 1500 tracks already, but Skream! is also responsible for one of the best dubstep albums released up till now.

Not from the UK, but hailing from Scandinavia, this guy's one of the most innovative dubstep artists.

Very creative when it comes to building riddims. Also the one that brings the bass down lower then everyone else.

Dubstep's first superstar

Digital Mystikz
Pioneers and leading producers of this scene. Very creative, with both strong takes on old style dub as new-style dub techno.

Dubstep record company number one

Dubstep record company number two

Dub Police
Dubstep record company number three

Dubstep forum

All there is to it: you'll find it here. The newest productions, gossip and shows.

All the newest mixes, productions and mash-ups can be downloaded from this site.

Of course there is a lot more to be found on both the web as on vinyl. To name just a few to bare in mind are: Wavescape, Taken and Various. But these links will give you a nice start. From there on, you're lost.