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James Poole recommendations

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip: the saviours of UK hip-hop?

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. If you haven’t heard of them, do yourself a favour: check them out immediately. Representing the acceptable face of UK hip-hop, this is an act with more depth, creativity and intelligence than the vast majority of artists out there. They have the balls to sample Radiohead – and get […]

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defining freethinking DJ Prestige recommendations

Afrobeat meets Soul Jazz

This past volume of freethinking, volume 3, I dropped in a little nugget I have had in my bag since the early 90’s, Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers “2000 Blacks Got To Be Free”. This collaboration between Africa’s King of the Afrobeat and the Soul/Funk/Jazz stylings of vibraphonist Roy Ayers has always been a favorite […]

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James Poole recommendations

The raw emotion of Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron. I feel almost ashamed that it’s taken me until now to write about him. His is a singular talent. He is almost the dictionary definition of a freethinker. Let me start with his latest album. A liner note asks that you listen to the album ‘for the first time under optimum conditions’. I […]

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James Poole recommendations

A hip-hop celebration of punk

The King Blues. Heard of them? No, I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago. So much music, so little time… I was recently put onto The King Blues by a mate of mine who was visiting from the UK (cheers, Mark). One listen to ‘What If Punk Never Happened’, and I was taken. The […]

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freethinking nyc James Poole recommendations

Closing the night

The freethinking ethos was loud and clear during volume 3. Genuinely, I don’t know where else you would hear Run DMC, Heaven 17, Sade, Dizzy Gillespie, Friendly Fires and Delphic all in one night. Throw in a Nat Cole tune to close the evening, and I think you’ve got something special. Nat Cole’s ‘Sweet Lorraine’ […]

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James Poole recommendations

The best band you’ve never heard of

You’ve probably missed this. My guess is that the music press is barely going to take notice. The NME won’t be screaming a headline, celebrating the tenth studio album of one of the most outstanding contributors to British music over the last 30 years. It’ll go without note – just as the majority of their […]

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defining freethinking DJ Prestige recommendations

Bizarre Ride II freethinking

It’s no secret that my moving from the suburbs in NJ to the Eastern Shore of Virgina during my 8th and 9th grade years at school shaped my music taste, as well as opened me up to everything Funky. From Funk to Soul to Reggae to early Hip Hop, the record store off of Market […]

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James Poole recommendations

Civic pride

Manchester. I’m not from there, but I still feel a tremendous sense of pride towards the city. Yes, it’s a great place to live, it’s got more decent pubs than an alcoholic could get around in a week, and it’s cheap. But it’s the music that counts. Last night I DJ’d at an event in […]