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defining freethinking freethinking nyc James Poole recommendations

I love a good cover

I love a good cover. People tend to have strong views on covers. I used to fall into the camp of the ‘a cover has to add something’ people. Now I don’t. A good cover can be just that: an artist playing someone else’s song, but doing a good job of it. Fine, this can […]

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defining freethinking DJ Prestige recommendations

Return of the Super Ape

I am a Reggae music fan. I just got back from Jamaica, so I am on more of a Reggae kick than usual (not that that is a bad thing). I’ve been collecting Reggae records for as long as I can remember. One of my DJ buddies/ roommates used to have a huge crate of […]

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James Poole recommendations

Putting things into perspective

Music has the power to stop you in your tracks. Regardless of where you are, or what mood you’re in, hearing the right track can be like receiving an uppercut. I’ll keep this brief, but wanted to share a track with you that properly knocked me sideways. It doesn’t have to be the first time […]

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James Poole recommendations

Paul Weller: The Changingman

I live in the US. I’m from the UK. I think that this gives me a bit of perspective when commenting on the attitude towards music in the two countries. A bit of perspective; that’s all. So here goes: I’m going out on a limb. Paul Weller should be bigger out here in the US. […]

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James Poole recommendations

Folk: don’t write it off

I have a confession to make: I like folk music. Stop, come back. Let me explain… A couple of things this week have prompted me to share this insight. First of all, interspersed in the World Cup coverage on ESPN in the US is a new advert for AT&T. I was shocked when I heard […]

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defining freethinking James Poole recommendations

BBC 6 Music: make the most of it

I’m not sure that I’ve ever felt so passionate about a radio station. This is a big statement from someone who used to run one (albeit a student station). The news of the potential (likely, even) closure of BBC 6 Music came as a shock to me when it first broke in March this year. […]

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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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James Poole

Beyond eleven

Loud concerts can sometimes be bloody wonderful. Case #1: the Happy Mondays during their ‘we reformed for tax purposes’ gigs at the Brixton Academy. Bloody marvellous. They were a complete shambles on stage. Never ones to be known for their musical prowess – it didn’t matter. They made up for it – as they did […]

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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’ […]