If last year’s RBMA Carnival party is anything to go by – this year will be immense. Returning once again to bring the vibes is Major Lazer, along with a whole host of special DJ’s and mystery guests. The party is hosted under the Westway way on Portobello Road and is completely free, including free food & drink – all day. Yes.

… The catch? You have to apply for tickets and entry is based on first come first serve – last year they all went within 3 minutes.

Registration opens on August 11th at 10am via REDBULL.CO.UK/CARNIVAL. Make sure you’re on it early, these will be the hottest tickets in town come Carnival weekend.

In light of the recent riots in London organisers of the Notting Hill Carnival have said they’re monitoring the situation and will decide on whether or not the event will go ahead nearer the time. Lets pray these senseless criminals do not ruin one of this cities most beloved traditions.

SMASH.

The only one word that comes to mind when looking at Deviation’s double Carnival celebration line up. I’ve been sitting on some excluso information in regards to their forthcoming raves for a minute now (see, not all bloggers are bait) – it’s slyly been killing me – but now I can finally share. Get ready…

DEVIATION CARNIVAL SESSION EAST @ CAMP BASEMENT

– KODE 9 (JUNGLE/UKG)
– WOOKIE (CLASSIC GARAGE)
– WAAJEED
– DEGO
– BENJI B
– MOXIE
– MC JUDAH

£10 ALL NIGHT – 9PM-5AM

DEVIATION CARNIVAL SESSION WEST @ THE PARADISE

– DJ EZ (OLD SCHOOL GARAGE SET)
– DJ ZINC (BACK TO 96 JUNGLE SET)
– ALEXANDER NUT
– PHIL ASHER
– BENJI B
– SCRATCHA DVA
– RONNIE HEREL
– JOSEY REBELLE
– TERRI WALKER
– LIL SILVA
– MOXIE
– MC JUDAH

£10 ALL NIGHT – 6PM-2AM (Pre-sale here)

… S-M-A-S-H.

And lets not forget in between the two we have actual Carnival! This will probably be the most epic weekend of the year – you need to prepare, you need to sort yourself out and you need to get your tickets. Don’t f*ck this up. Go here, now.

See you on the [dance]floor.

Officially the last month of our beloved British summer, so best make the most of it. There’s loads of free gigs to save the pennies in your pocket, including PinBoard co-signed song bird Szjerdene and electronic R’n’B infused duo Creep.

After hitting the town last month for a couple of DJ sets, Q Tip is back. Full band and a whole show to himself. Legendary. Lastly, us PinBoard lot will be down at a couple of our favourite festivals this month including the big one for me, Big Chill. Any Kanye fans/stans out there? Holler!

Check out the rest of the festivals and what else is happening in the capital after the jump.

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The word ‘epic’ is frequently used for many a event that is neither epic, sensational or extraordinary. However, on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago at the prestigous and established Barbican venue, I headed down to watch Basement Jaxx loan their back catalogue  to the Dutch Metropole Orkest to deliver an entertaining evening of complete music merging and fulfill all the criteria that epic-ness involves.

Seated front row centre awaiting the first note, I had a quick glimpse around and assessed the crowd. It was clear that classical music lovers were in the house, alongside dedicated Jaxx fans seated with those who were just intrigued by the unique concept. As the lights revealed the 70 strong orchestra, 40 person Crouch End Choir and ‘Battlement Jaxx’ began, without a strobe light or whistle in tow, who would of thought dance music would of evolved and matured into such (classier) things. A cutting edge approach and a distinctive goal to interpret the music in the most orchestral way possible, I was apprehensive that within the uniqueness of the collaboration, that the essence of Basement Jaxx would be lost.

Luckily fifth song in, Jaxx’s regular singing features blessed the stage. Brendan Reilly, Sharlene Hector and PinBoard homie Vula Malinga all adorned in flamboyant costume injected the famalirity necessary for old school fans like myself. Joined also by a breakdancer, a ballet dancer and the funniest guy of the night, Le Gatueu Chocolate (think Barry White dressed in drag and heels with a little bit of an opera twang to his voice – lol) made for a great mish mash of visuals to keep everyone watching and listening.

Highlights definitely include the constant congo-ing among the front rows and the contagious and seemingly overpowering urge to spontanesouly get up and dance that spread across the auditorium’s audience like a wildfire when tracks like ‘Do Your Thing’, ‘Romeo’ and ‘Samba Magic’ were performed. Brillant vocal performances by Sharlene during ‘Lights Go Down’ provided a rare moment of calm in the show and was definitely a favourite of mine.

At times some tracks seemed almost unrecognizable (‘Red Alert’). Whilst other classics in ‘Good Luck’ and ‘Do Your Thing’ were exactly what you would expect and got the crowd on their feet pronto and all hands clapping.

Hearing 10 years of the Brixton duo’s greatest hits with an elegant string section, perked up and amplified with sharp horns and sexy brass. Then sprinkled with detailed percussion, all orchestrated and executed with conductor Jules Buckley’s guidance was the most skewed interpretation of dance music I have ever experienced. Although the whole concept was entirely out of the box and quite ambitious, by the sounds of the final roar of applause, I would say they pulled it off.

Epic.

The album Basement Jaxx vs Metropole Orkest is out now.

 

 

Good to see Ghostpoet getting consistent but progressive love from the scene and even better that he has a headline show at Scala to look forward to this Autumn.

After working with us, in addition to a strong album behind him, hotly tipped for a Mercury nomination later this year and tour memories from all round the country and Europe, it will be good to see what is sure to be a great deliverance in London Town come Thursday 13th October.

Tickets are cheap, so honestly don’t be late on this one. Can grab them from here.

Festival season is well and truly upon us. With Glastonbury done and hibernating for the next two years, there is still room for plenty more festival fun, with Wireless and Hop Farm over the weekend and Lovebox and Soundwave still to come, I’m definitely ready for the summer months. Aside from multi artists, multi stage happenings, Janet is in town singing hit after hit at the Royal Albert Hall. We went down to the first night and she was amazing. Honestly.

Also in town is Ms Badu and her annual show at Brixton Academy, J*Davey is flying over to show UK some love and those Odd Future boys (and girl) are back to cause more havoc. Hit the jump, there’s tonnes.

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Yesterday evening, whilst some of the team went down to ol’ PinBoard favourites, Eletric Wire Hustle on one side of town, I headed down to East London’s coolest venue of the day, XOYO to witness how How To Dress Well would portray his unique ethereal pop/R&B live.

I was somewhat apprehensive since in the last few weeks that I have found out about HTDW, I have been intrigued by his sound, even those times when it was an awkward listen. But as I walked into the venue, I still  knew very little about the man. To ease me into the unknown, I was happy to see Holy Other was the opening act. I posted up his EP at the backend of last month, which after a few solitaire listens, I started to enjoy the emo’ness that was taking over my body courtesy of his intense mystique.

When the cloaked unknown producer came on, although I liked the tracks I was aware of and some of the fresher ones too, the new experience made up of a large group of people, all caught up in one hypnotic sway was definitely erring on the best side of depressing. Nonetheless a perfectly awkward opening act, for a even more curious headliner. Tom Krell, better known as HTDW came on stage initially thanking all in the packed room. Told us how he just got from Barcelona and he felt sick. Gotta love the honesty.

Not knowing much about HTDW, other than his distinctive  voice, I enjoyed the set and it seemed the crowd did too, performing new songs and mixing them with previous releases like ‘Sucicide Dreams 2’ and his Transparent release ‘Take It On’ where there were definitely moments of Justin Timberlake’ness sprinkled in for good measure.  As he scattered between high pitched vocal and Mika-like sounds, whilst pulling his jumper with childlike tendencies, there was a freedom in all that HTDW was doing – it was all  imperfect to the mainstream eye, yet for me, it was uncomfortably acceptable. That is what kept me watching. From the folkey acapella which suddenly had a fighting falsetto harmony section, to the three minutes which HTDW intensely stared at a projection playing a haunting (to say the least) montage, then rapidly leaving the stage. All out of the norm yet enjoyable to get drawn into.

He performed new songs, such as  ‘How Many’ which had a easy on the ear dancey loop, with soothful harmonies kicking in midway. I also enjoyed what he described as his ‘Eurovision entry – possibly?’ ‘Happy’. The track possessed a massive thumping bass, rave sirens and a complete fall to floor that could only make you dance. All this alongside his nu-R&B flavour is all the more reason why HTDW will be closely watched by us PinBard lot for a while.

I’m a few days late into June, but you haven’t missed that much. Festival season is upon us and Queen Bey is making her debut at Glastonbury this month, the leftfield Spanish gathering, Sonar is set to be another great festival and theres loads else where throughout the country. Back to the capital, London is visited by Big Boi, Alicia Keys and tUnE-YarDs this month. Hit the jump and get into this months offerings.

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Mark July 12th on your calenders peoples, J*DaVey & Jesse Boykins III are heading over to London to headline Aesthetic Sounds 6th birthday show. The event, also headlined by Sarah Fonteyne, will be held at Vibe Bar in Brick Lane, tickets are £12 in advance / or before 9pm, £15 after.

Head over to aestheticsounds.com to purchase / for more info.

The ultra cool electric soul New Zealanders, Electric Wire Hustle are coming to London on Wednesday 22nd June. To perform for all their eclectic blend of music we so love, live and direct at Electrowerkz in Angel

This should be a good night and tickets are priced only at £8.50 in advance. Bargain! To whet your appetite even further watch this and book here.

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