Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Sweet sixteen - what the kids are listening to...

As one gets older it’s a sad inevitability that you lose touch with the cutting edge sounds of the day. No matter how much you listen to music it’s inevitable that the loud and brash sounds that appealed when you were sixteen are a little too abrasive and so music with smoothed edges appeals that little bit more. That’s not to say that you can’t stomach experimentalism but simply some genres – (hardcore, thrash metal and trance to name but three) are best enjoyed young.

Having said all of that, I am determined for the purposes of research (and curiosity) to unearth the music that appeals to the current sixteen year old – not Lady Gaga or Tinchy Strider but the underground sounds that spearhead the tribes of the typical teenager. I’ve been out and spoken to the nation’s youth from Norwood to Norfolk to find out what is ticking their boxes right now...here are ten acts that are doing it for them...why not listen to at least one that takes your fancy and discover something new? (My particular favourite is Mount Eden).


This Duo’s somewhat unsubtle Bend Over video has had over 2.5 million hits on Youtube – perhaps unsurprisingly given the macho posturing and female booty shaking. Having said that, there is no doubt that Renegade X has a great dancehall voice and there is a good chance these guys will continue the Jamaican tradition of dancehall legends.

You might like this if you like: Barrington Levi, Beenie Man


Bullet For My Valentine

South Wales Metallers just about to release their third album and play a key slot at this years Download (Donnington in our day) festival. Bullet combine orchestral arrangements and strong melodies with heads down thrash. To me they sound a bit retro but they’re absolutely massive with the youth...

You might like this if you like: Metallica, Iron Maiden


Sub Focus

Nick Douwma melds sounds of many of the best dance scenes of recent years into a coherent bass led whole. Combining drum n bass, house and techno to provide a blissed out festival dance vibe – the sort of music that you can imagine taking the roof off the dance tent at Glastonbury. He’s actually been recording for a few years but only released his debut album in 2009. Like a number of current dance acts he is clearly influenced by (and has remixed) the Prodigy and Dizzee Rascal.

You might like this if you like: Chemical Brothers



You don’t know where my people coming from cos you don’t go there!
Yeh, we’re jus tryna make doe here!

He’s controversial – having done time for weapons offences but Peckham born Gigg’s rhymes exhibit a maturity which could see him in for the long haul. He’s already worked with Mike Skinner and Don’t Go There even made ripples in the States – one to watch.

You might like this if you like: Jay Z, Roots Manuva


Mount Eden

New Zealand producer whose Sierra Leone track (see link below)has been massive on the web (4 million hits on Youtube alone). Eden has remixed the Prodigy, Sigor Ros and Burial and is likely to be a BIG name on the Dubstep scene in the next few years.

You might like this if you like: Hyperdub style dubstep

Enter Shikari

St Alban’s finest. Shikari are a thrilling melding of metal and happy hardcore and are reknowned for their shambolic but energy filled live shows. They’ve had considerable success, selling out London Astoria before they were even signed (eventually releasing their debut on their own label) and subsequently with two UK top 20 albums.

You might like this if you like: Prodigy, Rage against the Machine


Professor Green

Foul mouthed UK rapper who recently scored a top 5 hit with Need you Tonight which sampled the INXS hit of the same name. He’s no overnight sensation however, having firstly been signed (and unceremoniously dropped from) Mike Skinner’s ‘Beats’ label then losing his father and getting stabbed with a glass outside London nightclub Cargo. Undeterred, he self-released single Upper Clapton Dance which, as anyone who has travelled on London’s 253 bus will tell you, is a pretty gritty but accurate account of the east end’s ‘murder mile’. Green isn’t one to pull his punches so it will be interesting to see how this pop phase of his career pans out.

You might like this if you like: Eminem, Plan B


Trash Talk

The self-proclaimed ‘most dangerous band in the world’ (a title once bestowed on Gun’s n’ Roses). In truth, these Californians thrashers are closer in sound to US hardcore acts from the 1980’s or the similarly hardcore Gallows. This is mosh pit music at its very best and completely alien to anyone over 20 (although I must admit I quite like it!) Steve Albini produced their debut and they’re now on their third album –the live shows are, perhaps unsurprisingly, legendary.

You might like this if you like: Napalm Death, Black Flag, Mudhoney



House influenced indie band currently causing a wave in the States following a series of shows at the South by Southwest music festival. The buzz has picked up on the fact that they manage to combine the euphoria of a rave with what is essentially guitar music. They boast Bill Murray as a fan and their debut album arrives in the summer.

You might like this if you like: Foals, LCD Soundsystem

Boy Better Know

A grime based boy band featuring Skepta (and once upon a time Wiley). Given the recent crossover success of Dizzee, Lethal Bizzle and Chipmunk there is no reason why they shouldn’t do very well indeed. To these ears they lack a bit of finesse but again there is raw potential here which could lead to better things later on. Their recent Too many men touched upon the important social issue of not having enough women in nightclubs...

You might like this if you like: Dizzee Rascal, Chipmunk


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