Glastonbury ’17 – Thursday Picks

Glastonbury Festival returns to Worthy Farm in Somerset today (June 21-25), with an eclectic line-up spanning across 80 stages. With thousands of acts performing, it’s nearly impossible to select my top picks, however, I’m going to try a select a few ‘must-see’ acts each day from Thursday-Sunday. I’m not going to do my top picks for Wednesday, as the first day is all about settling in, getting your tent pitched and preparing yourself for the fun-filled days ahead – unless you’re one of the early birds who went yesterday and already have your tent pitched with a drink in hand! However, if you’re looking for the perfect way to kick off Glastonbury tonight, check out the Shangri-La warm up session at the Clash stage (19.00-3.00). Ok, let’s crack on with Thursday’s Picks shall we?

1) SHY FX: WOW! Stage (02.00-03.00) 

First up is jungle and bass producer Andre Williams, aka SHY FX, who takes to the WOW! Stage along with Stamina MC. The UK Producer, fresh off the success of his latest single We Just Don’t Care featuring the incredible vocals of Shingai Shoniwa (Noisettes), will showcase his eclectic style and Reggae summertime vibes. The innovative producer has always championed new sounds, having previously joined forces with Chase & Status, David Rodigan and MC Rage in 2014 to form sound system Rebel Sound, and ultimately winning the Red Bull Culture Clash. Get ready for SHY FX to kick off this years festival in style. 

2) The Residency Live on Radio 1 – Kölsch: BBC Introducing (23.00-00.00) 

Danish tech-house DJ and producer, Kölsch (Rune Reilly Kölsch) is set to light up the BBC Introducing Stage with his live Radio 1 Residency show. Known for this ability to produce emotion-induced music, Kölsch perfectly combines both mainstream and underground styles, all the while producing luscious, sonic soundscapes. With the success of his critically acclaimed album 1977 followed by 1983, Kölsch consistently delivers with tracks such as ‘Grey’, ‘DerDieDas’, ‘Cassiopeia’, ‘Der Alte’ and recent single ’Speicher 97’ EP – not to mention producing some excellent remixes such as Eric Prydz ‘Generate’ and personal favourite, Monkey Safari’s ‘Cranes’. Currently signed to iconic German electronic label, Kompakt and set to take up residency in Hï Ibiza this Summer, expect an epic set from the Danish Don with his melodic and intimate form of electronica.

3) Annie Mac Live on Radio 1: BBC Introducing Stage (19.00.21.00)

Radio 1 DJ and premiere tastemaker Annie Mac, is set to host her weekday show live from the BBC Introducing Stage. Having made her highly anticipated return to the airwaves last week after giving birth to her second child, Annie returns with a bang, bringing along a few special guests with her. Known for impeccable music curation talents, this year’s eclectic lineup includes performances from George Ezra, Charli XCX, Donae’o, Shy FX and Nadia Rose – all championed throughout her weekday show. Following the success and antics of last year’s live show from Glastonbury, with performances from Mura Masa, Shy FX and Mele and Monki’s NRG Flash, we’re no doubt in for yet another exciting live show from the Queen of Radio 1. Welcome back Annie!

4) The Residency Live on Radio 1 – Eats Everything: BBC Introducing (22.00-23.00) 

Bristolian producer Daniel Pearce, AKA Eats Everything, also brings his Radio 1 Residency show live from the BBC Introducing Stage – his first of four performances throughout the festival. Having kicked off the year joining the Radio 1 Residency series alongside the likes of Kölsch and Deadmau5, Eats Everything is set to take up residency at Amnesia in Ibiza this Summer with his infectious, party stylings. With a string of impressive releases under his belt, including ‘Big Discs’ EP,  ‘The Duster’ ft Green Velvet, his most recent ‘Clash Of The Tight-Uns’ EP and a personal favourite, Tiga vs Audion’s ‘Dancing (Again!)’ – Eats Everything continually proves why he’s one of the UK’s finest dance music exports.

5) Skream: Love Bullets Stage (22.00-01.30)

Oliver Jones, AKA Skream, is set to take to the Love Bullets Stage for a solo set and B2B Special. The former member of pioneering dubstep duo Skream & Benga, has helped shaped the direction of dance music over the last decade, and now showcases more of a tech-house vibe as seen in his recent reworking of Leftfield’s ‘Open Up’. With the success of his imprint Of Unsound Mind, Skream has pioneered both rising and established artists, with releases from the likes of Eli Brown, Motions, Billy Turner, Waifs & Strays and Solardo. While Skream is set to go B2B with tech-house duo Solardo on the Friday night, the identify of the special guest for Thursday remains a mystery. Could it be Patrick Topping, who he went B2B with in Barcelona recently? One thing’s for sure, we’re in for one electrifying set.

Check out my Glastonbury Playlist below with all of Thursday’s picks. Check back soon for Friday’s selections.

 

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April Selections

1) Dillon Francis – Say Less ft G-Eazy

While Dillon Francis is without a doubt the funniest celeb to follow on snapchat, he’s also pretty damn good at producing music too. His latest offering sees him team up with Canadian rapper G-Eazy for his rambunctious new single ‘Say Less’, which serves as the follow up to 2016’sAnywhere’ ft Will Heard. A collaboration a long time in the making, G-Eazy goes in bar after bar with his slick flows and sharp lyrics, even giving Gerald the Piñata a shout out. Mix that with Dillon’s bouncy, bass-riddled trap production and you have one epic track. ‘Say Less’ is available via Dillon’s own IDGAFOS imprint (I don’t give a fuck or shit) – a term which originated from his 2011 song of the same name and was later expanded into his successful merch collection. Having recently completed Coachella Festival, upcoming dates for Francis include a string of Las Vegas performances including Surrender, Intrigue and Encore Beach Club. G-Eazy fans can catch him at Open’er Festival in Poland (June 28- July 1) and Splash! Festival in Germany (July 6-9).

iTunes: Say Less 
Google Play: Say Less 
Tour Dates 

 

2) Blaenavon – Lonely Side

Indie trio Blaenavon (Ben Gregory, Frank Wright and Harris McMillan) shared their new track ‘Lonely Side‘. The single is taken from their debut album That’s Your Lot and premiered as MistaJam’s Hottest Record on Radio 1. ‘Lonely Side’ is quite a personal track and serves up a glistening slice of indie pop with its smooth guitar riffs and flourishing synths.  Currently on a sold out headline tour, upcoming dates for the Hampshire trio include O2 London (June 16) and Reading & Leeds Festival (Aug 25-27)

iTunes: That’s Your Lot 
Google Play: That’s Your Lot 
Tour Dates 

 

3) Shy FX – We Just Don’t Care ft Shingai Shoniwa

UK Producer Shy FX (Andre Williams) dropped his latest single ‘We Just Don’t Care’ featuring the incredible vocals of Shingai Shoniwa (Noisettes). The Jungle and bass producer showcases his diverse and eclectic range, effortlessly blending tribal, percussive beats and bass heavy vibes. The innovative producer has always championed new sounds, having previously joined forces with Chase & Status, David Rodigan and MC Rage in 2014 to form soundsystem Rebel Sound, and ultimately winning the Red Bull Culture Clash. Having recently signed to Insanity Records, upcoming dates for Shy FX include Reading & Leeds Festival (Aug 25-27)

iTunes: We Just Don’t Care
Google Play: We Just Don’t Care
Tour Dates 

 

4) The xx – A Violent Noise (Four Tet Remix)

Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) dropped a new remix of ‘A Violent Noise’, taken from The xx’s third studio album ‘I See You’. While the original offered up a much sparser track, Four Tet has once again worked his production skills serving up a more house-driven dynamic that’s double the length. The blissful track is taken to new euphoric heights with its swelling synths and rolling percussion. Four Tet is a long time collaborator with The xx, having previously taken on remix duties for ‘VCR’, ‘Angels’ and ‘Seesaw’. Four Tet recently performed at Coachella Festival. No word yet on UK dates, but stay tuned.

iTunes: A Violent Noise
Google Play: A Violent Noise

 

5) I Win – Lethal Bizzle ft Skepta

Lethal Bizzle unveiled his new single ‘I Win’ featuring fellow Grime MC, Skepta. Produced by Skepta himself, the Grime duo serve up a hard-hitting banger filled with intense horns and a fast pace energy. With plenty of bravado from their respective verses, the Grime heavyweights trade bars and deliver plenty of energy throughout.  ‘I Win’ is taken from Bizzle’s forthcoming project titled ‘You’ll Never Make a Million From Grime’. The EP is set to feature collaborations with Donaeo, Mostack, and Melissa Steel. Upcoming performances for Bizzle include Reading & Leeds (Aug 25-27) and O2 Academy Oxford (Oct 19), while Skepta is set to perform at London’s Wireless Festival (July 7-9)

iTunes: You’ll Never Make a Million from Grime
Google Play: You’ll Never Make a Million from Grime
Tour Dates Bizzle and Skepta 

 

6) Gorillaz – Ascension ft Vince Staples (Nic Fanciulli Remix)

Klaxon Alert!!! Grammy-nominated producer Nic Fanciulli has taken on remix duties for Gorillaz ‘Ascension’, taking the track to epic new heights. Having received critical acclaim for his collection of memorable remixes over the years, including last year’s reworking of Jamie xx’s ‘See Saw, ‘Ascension’ sees Fanciulli deliver an acidic slice of rhythmic tech-house, bursting with energy. Upcoming dates for Fanciulli include a Thursday night residency in Hï Ibiza, alongside Luciano, Steve Lawler, Joris Voorn & Kölsch! (June 8-Sept 28).

iTunes: Ascension ft Vince Staples (Nic Fanciulli Remix)  
Google Play: Ascension ft Vince Staples (Nic Fanciulli Remix) 
Tour Dates 

 

7) Gorillaz – Saturnz Barz ft Popcaan (Banx and Ranx Remix)

Ok, while we’re on the topic of Gorillaz, we might as well continue with another remix. I featured the original song in last month’s selections, taken from their fifth studio album Humanz, but couldn’t resist adding this incredible remix from Montreal-based production duo Banx & Ranx. Known for their reggae inspired music, the duo deliver a mellow dancehall takeover, extending upon the original and infusing tropical vibes throughout.

iTunes: Saturnz Barz ft Popcaan (Banx & Ranx Remix) 
Google Play: Saturnz Barz ft Popcaan  (Banx & Ranx Remix)  

 

8) Leftfield – Open Up (Skream Remix)

Leftfield, originally made up of progressive house duo Neil Barnes and Paul Delaney, were highly influential in the 90’s with their evolution of dance music. Since going solo, Barnes has taken his Leftfield DJ set around the world and is reissuing his first album Leftism after 22 years, along with a host of reworks from the likes of Zomby,Voiski, Hodge & Peverelist and Skream. Sampling the original vocals of John Lydon on ‘Open Up’, electronic music producer, Skream, of pioneering dubstep duo Skream and Benga, delivers a haunting reworking of the track filled with surging synth lines, propelling the track to exciting new heights. While Leftfield is set to head out on tour with Leftism from May 11-May 26, Skream is set to perform at Parklife (June 10-11) and Glastonbury (June 21-25). The reissue of ‘Leftism is set for release May 5, while Skream’s remix is available now via Hard Hands.

iTunes: Open Up (Skream Remix)
Google Play: Open Up (Skream Remix)
Tour Dates 

 

9) Lana Del Ray – Lust For Life (Ft The Weeknd)

Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd have joined forces for ‘Lust For Life’, the title track from Lana’s forthcoming fifth studio album. This is the third time the pair have collaborated together, with Lana featuring on two tracks from his 2016’s Starboy album, and ‘Prisoners from The Weeknd’s 2015 album Beauty Behind the Madness. ‘Lust for Life’ premiered with MistaJam on Radio 1 and serves up a dreamy pop ballad, with Lana’s wistful vocals and Abel Tesfaye’s shimmering falsetto working in perfect harmony amidst a backdrop of swirling synths, keys and atmospheric production. No word yet on an album release date, but stay tuned for more details. Update: Lust For Life is set for release July 21 via Polydor. Upcoming dates for Lana include Lollapalooza in Paris (July 22)  while The Weeknd is set to perform at London’s Wireless Festival (July 7-9)

iTunes: Lust For Life 
Google Play: Lust For Life 
Tour Dates: Lana and The Weeknd 

 

10) MØ – Nights With You

I last featured MØ in my January selections for her collaboration with Snakehips on ‘Don’t Leave’. Now, the Danish popstar is back with her new single ‘Nights With You’, taken from her forthcoming untitled sophomore album and follow up to 2014’s No Mythologies. Co-written by pop heavyweights Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco, ‘Nights With You’ perfectly captures MØ’s emotive vocals and rousing vocal hook. Upcoming dates for MØ include Pinkpop Festival in Netherlands (June 3-5)

iTunes: Nights With You
Google Play: Nights With You
Tour Dates 

 

11) Toddla T – Beast ft Andrea Martin & Stefflon Don

Producer/DJ and 1Xtra host Toddla T, unveiled his new single ‘Beast’, featuring R&B singer/songwriter Andrea Martin and rising MC Stefflon Don. Taken from his long-awaited LP titled Foreign Light , ‘Beast’ premiered as MistaJam’s Hottest Record. The single serves up the perfect balance between Andrea’s lush vocals and Stefflon Don’s commanding, killer verse, all working alongside Toddla’s slick production and infectious beats. The Sheffield-born producer and champion of bass, bounce and carnival vibes, is set to release Foreign Light July 28 via his new label ‘Steeze’. In the meantime, catch Toddla T every Thursday on his 1Xtra show and also performing at Parklife Festival (June 10-11) and Fabric (Aug 11)

iTunes: Foreign Light 
Google Play: Foreign Light
Tour Dates 

 

12) Mason – Rhino

Dutch DJ and producer Iason Chronis, AKA Mason, unveiled his appropriately named beast of a track, ‘Rhino’. With its stomping brass, groovy house production and fierce vocals from Dyanna Fearon, Rhino packs a punch and delivers on all fronts. Rhino sees Mason partner up with Defected Records for his latest release and serves as the follow up to ‘Toucan’ and 2016’s Nite Rite series. ‘Rhino’ is available now and will no doubt be tearing up dancefloors this Summer.  

iTunes: Rhino 
Google Play: Rhino 

 

13) Alex Metric – Freeek

London-based DJ Alex Metric, shared his latest track ‘Freeek’ ft Confessionals. The single is taken from HOWSLA’s forthcoming house-music compilation album, curated by Chris Lake and OWSLA boss Skrillex. The compilation showcases house music producers pushing boundaries and creating exciting, new music. Alex Metric, an already established name on the OWSLA label, delivers a stirring electro banger, with whirring synths and an infectious groove throughout.  In the lead up to the album release on May 5th, OWSLA will also be holding weekly HOWSLA-themed parties at Le Jardin in Hollywood. In the meantime Freeek is available now.

iTunes: HOWSLA 
Google Play: HOWSLA 

 

14) London Grammar – Oh Woman Oh Man

Fresh from the success of recent singles ‘Big Picture’ and ‘Rooting For You’, London Grammar unveiled their latest single ‘Oh Woman Oh Man’ produced by Paul Epworth. Taken from their forthcoming sophomore album, Truth Is A Beautiful Thing, the single perfectly captures Hannah Reid’s lush vocals, Dan Rothman’s hazy guitars and Dot Major’s ethereal synth and percussive work. London Grammar have enlisted esteemed British film director, Tony Kaye, to capture the visual soundscape of Oh Woman Oh Man. Trust Is A Beautiful Thing is set for release June 9th via Metal & Dust/Ministry of Sound. Be sure to catch the trio on the Festival circuit this Summer (Parklife, Glastonbury, TRNSMT, as well as headline performances at London’s Eventim Apollo (Oct 21) O2 Academy Brixton (Oct 30).

iTunes: Truth Is A Beautiful Thing 
Google Play: Truth Is A Beautiful Thing
Tour Dates 

 

15) Francis Novotny – Between The Lines

Francis Novotny, shared his new single ‘Between The Lines’. The Gothenburg (via Paris) singer/producer and multi-instrumentalist, serves up a brass-heavy, electro banger, showcasing a wide range of styles from R&B to electro soul and even glitch-hop. Mix that with soulful vocals, pulsing beats and swelling synths and it’s safe to say, Novotny is pushing down musical boundaries and creating something quite unique all together.  With similarities being drawn to SOHN and Hudson Mohawke, this is definitely one artist to keep an eye on.  ‘Between The Lines’ EP is available now via Black Butter Records and features previous singles ‘Friendzone’ and Hit & Run’.

iTunes: Between The Lines 
Google Play: Between The Lines 

 

16) Novo Amor – Carry You

So while the majority of my monthly selections this month have been quite ravy, I thought it best to end on a more mellow number and what a beauty this one is. Welsh singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ali Lacey, AKA Novo Amor, unveiled his stunning new single ‘Carry You’. The single is taken from Novo Amor’s forthcoming Bathing Beach EP, set for release May 26th via Believe Music and serves up an enchanting and achingly beautiful melody, perfectly complimented by layers of delicate instrumentation and Novo Amor’s emotive, falsetto vocals.  In a recent Facebook post, Novo Amor commented that ‘Carry You’ is “an expression of nostalgia and a  wistful nod to a certain period of time”. Upcoming dates for Novo Amor include Bitterzoet in Amsterdam (Sept 19)

iTunes: Bathing Beach 
Google Play: Bathing Beach  
Tour Dates 

 

Check out the full playlist below and here’s to another exciting month of music ahead!

Katy B – What Love is Made Of

katy b

Katy B has unveiled her brand new single ‘What Love Is Made Of’.

The track which premiered on BBC Radio 1 with Annie Mac, is the first single to be taken from Katy’s forthcoming second studio album and serves as the follow up to 2011’s ‘On A Mission’.

What Love Is Made Of’ is an up-tempo track filled with euphoric house piano, dynamic synths and Katy B’s unique and commanding vocals taking centre stage– the perfect rave pop track.

Last year’s free ‘Danger’ EP, featured collaborations from Jessie Ware, Wiley, Diplo and Geeneus.  The new album continues in this form with some exciting collaborations from Jacques Greene, Joker, Skream and of course Geeneus, who Katy refers to as her Timbaland.

While 2011’s album ‘On A Mission’ bridged the gap between underground garage and mainstream music, Katy B’s second album will be in good company with artists such as Jessie Ware, Eliza Doolittle, AlunaGeorge and Disclosure, all championing underground music to wider audiences.

The new album isn’t due out till October, but you can catch Katy B at plenty of upcoming festivals including Radio 1 Big Weekend, Wireless, Global Gathering and Mallorca & Ibiza Rocks.

Red Bull Culture Clash

4 Stages – 4 sounds – 1 Winner

4 legendary crews & accompanying sound systems took to Wembley Arena last night for the ‘Red Bull Culture Clash 2012’. Presenting the best of UK House, Reggae, Grime, Dubstep and Garage, each stage went head to head in one of the biggest music clashes of the year. Hosted by Radio 1’s Big Dawg Tim Westwood and fellow Radio 1 presenter Gemma Cairney, it was up to the crowd (with the help of a decibel reader), to decide who should take home the coveted title and become the 2012 Red Bull Culture Clash Champion. Queue the deafening cheers and let the battle begin!  Warm-up acts for the night included ShyFX, B Traits, Dismantle and Stamina MC, who hyped up the crowd with a warm up clash.

Round 1 – No Elimination
The crews get warmed up and start the hype (15 minutes each)

Reigning champions ‘Channel One’ kicked off the night with their impressive Channel One sound system and massive reggae riddims. Mikey Dread and MC Ras Kayleb headed up the team in the hopes of retaining their Red Bull Culture Clash title. Channel One were representing London’s oldest and original sound systems and clearly stood their ground as they kicked off the night on a high with their reggae carnival vibes and special guests Brother Culture Navigator + Solo Banton. Forget Notting Hill Carnival, it was all happening in Wembley tonight.

Channel One

Image: Redbull.co.uk

Annie Mac Presents was representing Dubstep supergroup ‘Magnetic Man’ (Skream, Benga & Artwork). With a host of special guest lined up, Redlight, Disclosure and Rudimental hyped up the crowd with some of the biggest tracks of the year. Even though it was only a warm-up round, they meant business! Annie continued to tease the crowd with snippets of TNGHT, Azealia and Kanye – just enough to get the crowd hyped up and wanting more.

Major Lazer (Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire) were up next, with their genre-defying style of reggae & dancehall. Major lazer knows how to work a crowd, with Diplo constantly jumping around the decks.  He even crowd surfed in an inflatable Zorb … And yes, this was only the warm up round. Opening with a questionable Bruno Mars dub plate, followed by Fun ‘We Are Young‘, which led into the massive ‘Pon De Floor’ track – only Major Lazer could do such a segue. He followed this with Elephant Man’s Gangnam (badman) style dub plate, that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Who’d have thought, Gangnam Style at a Red Bull Culture Clash!  Major Lazer was already breaking rules, as dub plates are only meant to appear in the last round. (*Update: Diplo took to Twitter to defend his actions claiming he hadn’t seen these rules and they must be clearly outdated.)

Image: Redbull.co.uk

To close Round 1, Boy Better Know had hefty support from their Grime collective including JME, Skepta, Frisco, Wiley, Shorty, Jammer, Solo 45 and Maximum.  Calling out Major Lazer for breaking the rules about using dub plates so early in the game, BBK went in on a grime remix of Gangnam Style (Gangnam Fest), which received a massive reaction from BBK fans. With the warm-up complete, it was time to get down to business!

Round 2 – The Selector
Sounds judged purely on track selection (15 mins)

Annie Mac Presents kicked off with Disclosure and their massive hit ‘Latch’, featuring live vocals from special guest Sam Smith. (More rule breaking as no special guests are allowed till round 4). Disclosure continued with some more crowd pleasers, including their remix of Jessie Ware’s ‘Running’. Major Lazer followed that up with an equally impressive set including Skreams remix of La Roux followed by Bengas & Coki’s ‘Night’ and the massive, yet slightly predictable crowd pleaser, House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around‘. His special guest Stylo G, took to the stage for ‘Call Me A Yardie’. Major Lazer received massive support from the crowd and it appeared he had this round in the bag.  The BBK crew smashed it with classic tracks such as ‘Too Many Man, ‘Duppy’, ‘R U Really From the Ends’ followed by Wiley’s smash hit ‘Heatwave’ and ‘I’m Skanking’. Channel One were joined on stage with some live brass, and came back fighting with some trash talk against AMP: “Magnetic Man you got beat last time.”  “Annie Mac, you look like a lost sheep’ “Skream & Banger…” Channel one showed their support of their iconic sound system as they confidently proclaimed: “This is real soundsystem”.

Winner of round 2 was Major Lazer (by a landslide). The crowd voted in their masses as the decibel reader went off the scale!

Major Lazer wins round 2

Image: Redbull.co.uk

Round 3 – Sleeping with the enemy
Time to play another systems music. This is where things get nasty! (15 mins)

Channel One didn’t follow the rules for round 3, as they stuck to their original reggae vibes instead of championing a  new sound as requested.  Major Lazer laid down some serious reggae roots and introduced legendary Johnny Osbourne as their special guest, to perform ‘Buddy Eye‘ and the introduction to ‘Jah No Partial‘. (More rule breaking though with use of special guest) Major Lazer closed their set with the crowd singing along to Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’. BBK were still not pleased with Major Lazers rule breaking, so decided to get nasty and spoil Majors Lazers special guest for round 4. Usher was the big special guest being kept under wraps, and BBK served a low blow by performing their version of ‘Climax’ first. BBK also hit back at the so called ‘traitor artists’ that should have been on their stage with their crew. E.g. Ms Dynamite, who was repping for Annie Mac Presents. The AMP team brought out the big guns in the form of Ms Dynamite, who was dissing BBK over ‘Too Many Man’. Maverick Sabre was the next special guest and added a creative twist to their set, as he covered Oasis classic ‘Wonderwall’.  This was followed by the hilariously edited version of Diplos Blackberry advert and a skit version of Diplos ‘Express Yourself’ dance routine, involving overweight male dancers ‘Twerking’  in gold hotpants. Quite an image! The AMP crew were the clear winners of round 3 as they owned the Wembley Arena.

AMP Crew Round 3 winners

Image: Redbull.co.uk

Round 4 – The Decider 
The clashing crews play the biggest tunes in their bag. Last chance to own the battle. Custom dubplates played out here. (12 mins)

Big Dawg Westwood announced that as so many rules were broken by all teams, the previous rounds were to be wiped clean and the final round would decide the overall winner. It was anyone’s game from here on out, and each team were given 12 minutes to impress with their custom dubs, special guests and all out culture clash madness.
Boy Better Know were up first, with their final attempt to impress. They invited their first special guest Chipmunk to the stage, with a reworked version of ‘Oopsy Daisy We Killed You Again’. They continued spitting out  the hits including ‘Every Gyal‘, ‘Taking The Hardest’ and once again continued the war dubs dissing the opposing teams: “Skream & Benga snorting the Charlie” and Diplo’s a mutha’ f***** corpse in a coffin’. A lot of trash talk from the BBK crew, but their supporters stood by them. Their final special guest was the one and only Lethal Bizzlewho performed ‘Leave It Yeah’ folowed by ‘Pow‘ with Emmanuel FrimpongThere was massive support for the BBK crew, who put up one hell of a fight in their last chance to impress. It was up to Channel One to answer back with their final special guest Luciano. They once again proved that their reggae riddims stood out in front tonight against the competition. Annie Mac Presents team joined forces with a an impressive entourage for their final round. The first special guest included Katy B with ‘On a Mission’. John Newman also provided live vocals for the massive Rudimental hit ‘Feel the Love’. The one and only Example then took to the stage with his reworked version of ‘Changed The Way You Kissed Me’. Annie certainly kept the best for the final round and delighted the crowd with each surprise guest. As Annie constantly asks her listeners on a Friday night if they’re #raving or #behaving, after this set, the crowd were certainly #raving. Major Lazer set his final round in motion with a Pharoahe MonchSimon Says’ dubplate, followed by a mixed combination of dubplates from RDX ‘Jump’, Nirvana ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ and Blur ‘Song 2‘. Such a massive crowd reaction and this was even before he brought out the big special guests. First up was none other than Mobo award winner Rita Ora  with ‘Face Melt’ and international R&B star Usher! Yes USHER at a culture clash, who performed ‘Climax’ on the Stalag riddim.

Boy Better Know

Image: Redbull.co.uk

The final round saw big war dubs, a lot of creativity in track selection, some serious flows and some of the biggest names in music. But it was up to the crowd to decide the overall winner. Westwood and Cairney took to the stage again and each team received rapturous cheers from the crowd. The decibel meter measured each response, and even though many believed Major Lazer or AMP had it in the bag, Boy Better Know cinched it in the end, by 4 decibels, to take home the coveted title ‘Red Bull Culture Clash Champion’ of 2012.

Winners BBK

Image: Redbull.co.uk

Regardless of the result last night, the Culture Clash was a brilliant opportunity to showcase the best of the music scene today.  Big up everyone involved for such an amazing night and all I can say is ‘ROLL ON NEXT YEAR!’

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