Looking Back: The Great Escape 2013

The Great Escape 2013

By Bruce Rave

For years, the UK has had smaller versions of Austin’s SXSW. Several continue to thrive, and none more so than The Great Escape. It takes place in Brighton every May. 300 bands play in this charming party town, which is located on the English Channel. The event is more of a regional European festival with attendees and bands arriving from far and wide: Australians came to play even US bands like The Orwells, Phosphorescent and Parquet Courts, not only showed up, but blew people away in the process. A few established Brits such as Billy Bragg and Everything Everything played for those willing to shell out extra pounds to see them. For me, it was all about the up and coming peeps… just as it is at SXSW.

I saw about two dozen bands over the course of three days. If I were to give you one group that hit the biggest home run for me, it was The Strypes. These Irish mid-teens hammer out an intense R&B/garage blend of early Stones and Yardbirds. If you like this kind of music as much as I do, their live show is a “10” and it will be impossible not to have a smile on your face. They have amazing poise for their age, on and offstage. I interviewed them during the weekend, and that chat will soon be posted on B3SCI – stay tuned. Strypes hope to hit America next March for SXSW 2014. Another band that I interviewed was Tribes, who are also great live. Look for that post in the near future. This London band borrows more from the 70’s glam period and just released a new album in the UK. It follows up their top ten debut. They had the misfortune of following The 1975, who flashing-back had dazzled us at the B3SCI SXSW party in March. With two serious UK hits now under their belts, The 1975 drew such a huge throng that many Tribes fans gave up waiting in line. Temples matched the keen expectations I had for them, of which were mostly based on their first single “Shelter Song”. Their set contained several more songs with hit potential, and Temples absolutely deliver live. All four guys in the band ooze stardom, and front man James Bagshaw sports a perfect Tommy Bolan hairdo (bonus points). Temples played two unannounced shows, one being a few hours in advance of the also secret 2am set from Palma Violets. I didn’t see PV that night, but I recall they killed at SXSW.

Some other highlights among a slew of strong artists: Catfish and the Bottlemen came highly recommended to me by BBC honchos, and I loved their melodic, guitar-driven energy. Echotape are up and comers with huge potential that remind me a bit of The Horrors and even Temples. The Family Rain are three brothers, including two twins, who play like Wolfmother’s second album should have sounded. Owen McGarry is a promising Irish singer-songwriter with a crystal clear voice and lots of potential. Merchandise hail from Tampa and have become NME darlings with their dark and dirty post-punk power. An added bonus for me was at one point winding up in a private courtyard where Little Green Cars were taping a beautiful cover of Neil Young’s “Philadelphia” for VEVO. A major buzz artist was London Grammar. Her sweet voice attracted a huge outside line. I got in and can see why people are excited, even if her softer, slower style isn’t quite my glass of white wine.

While TGE is smaller than SXSW, it’s still impossible to cover everything due to schedule conflicts. One US band I hated to miss was electropop band Feathers from Austin. They definitely cut through the clutter and were on lots of lips. For SXSW, 6th Street in Austin has become such a shitshow that attendees avoid the street at all costs at night. Not the case in Brighton. Sidewalks, bars, and cafes were filled with college types and other mellow locals who seemed unfazed by the festival, so walking between venues was a real pleasure. We really lucked out with the weather. Brighton had endured ten consecutive stormy days, but not a drop of rain fell during the festival. One downside shared by both TGE and SXSW: As both events grow, there are more and more lines that make it impossible to gain admittance to certain showcases. Both festivals now have the task of trying to grow without being too big for their own good. I hope TGE can retain the casual intimacy that it still has at this point. I highly recommend it to anyone who can attend, but I’d do it within the next couple of years.

The Great Escape england (Official)

* Links and playlists from Rave’s weekly new music show can be found on his blog and be sure follow Bruce on Twitter too!

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B3SESSION: Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Ben Leftwich Bootleg LA B3SCI

We linked up with York UK-based singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich while he was in Los Angeles this past winter kicking off his debut headlining U.S. tour. We had the very distinct pleasure to capture a couple exclusive performances; including “Maps” filmed on the inside of a photobooth as well as an impromptu performance of “Break The Day Open” from his In The Open EP.

Since wrapping his last string of European tour dates, Ben has been recording and prepping the release of a new album. We can’t wait and we will definitely keep you posted but in the meantime enjoy our B3 session with Ben Leftwich below.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich england (Facebook)

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B3SCI Session: Avi Avital

avi avital

World renowned and Grammy-nominated Deutsche Grammophon recording artist Avi Avital recently linked up with B3SCI in Austin, TX to chat about his musical relationship with the mandolin and to play us the bulgarian folk dance “Bucimis”. We captured Avi doing what he does best with this unique and special impromptu performance at the Bungalow on Rainy St. during mid-day set up at SXSW 2013. Avi really gets into it about half-way through. Check it out below…

Avi Avital (Facebook)

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B3SCI Session: Thomas Dybdahl Performs “This Love Is Here To Stay”


Back in Austin, during SXSW, we caught up with Norwegian singer/songwriter Thomas Dybdahl to chat for a bit about his forthcoming What’s Left is Forever release. Check out this exclusive performance of his new track, “This Love Is Here To Stay” from the album.

Thomas Dybdahl norway (Official)

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B3SCI Presents: Rainbow Jackson w/ LEVELS, Burning Jet Black, Act As If + DJ sets by Immigre! THIS TUESDAY 5/14/13

B3SCI Presents Rainbow Jackson

Join us in Santa Monica this Tuesday night as B3SCI Presents team up with the Central S.A.P.C. for a great night of local music with this month’s artist in residence, L.A. based rock band Rainbow Jackson. And just like the band’s single “Flamingo Starr” suggests, their live show is gonna ‘take you over for a supernova.’ Trust us! Rainbow Jackson will joined that night by a stellar bill of buzzing talent that includes LEVELS, Burning Jet Black, Act As If and DJ sets by Immigre. Entry for the residency night is FREE (21+) and you can get additional details on the show here. We’ll see y’all there!

The Central S.A.P.C. california (Gig Info)
Rainbow Jackson (Facebook)

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Giveaway: The Neighbourhood Autographed Prize Pack


The Neighbourhood’s debut album I Love You has already landed a spot on our top albums list for 2013. For a band that came from nowhere in mid-2012, this quintet from Los Angeles have done a sufficient job of kicking up noise all around the world with their sing-along lush pop-scapes and reverb drenched rock. We had the chance to speak with the band back in November about this rise to fame and what the future might hold (listen to our interview here).

For one lucky reader out there, we are giving away an exclusive prize pack of autographed swag by the band. For your chance to win a signed I Love You CD and poster email us here and say that you’d like to to be entered in The Neighbourhood prize pack giveaway. Include with your submission an answer to one of the following questions. We’ll be picking our winning email submission at random next Friday morning (5/17). One entry per person please. Also, be sure to pick up your copy of the new album here.


Who in the band looks the coolest in a pair of shades?

What famous LA street sign is featured in The Neighbourhood’s new music video for “Sweater Weather?”

In what city will you be seeing the band perform on tour this summer?

Stream the I Love You LP:

The Neighbourhood california (Tumblr) (Facebook) (Purchase ‘I Love You’ LP)

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The Philadelphia Hip-Hop That You Need to Know: Part II

jazzy jeff fresh prince

By Teddy Pendergrass

In continuation of my thoughts that Philly indeed birthed some of the most talented emcees of this generation (read more here), I’d like to rant on the current state of hip-hop in the 215. In all honesty, I find myself critiquing every rap song I hear, and interestingly enough, I always seem to lose myself into dozens and dozens of track replays from unsigned Philly rappers. Why do I get so bored with most emcees world wide, but can’t get enough of people that you never heard of? I’d guess it has something to do with my theory on mainstream v. independent rap. That popping artists rarely have the passion to match lyricists who are still at the bottom.

Mont Brown – ARF EP

Astronauts Really Fly (aka ARF) is Jay-Z’s undiscovered, competition. If you listen to all Mont Brown’s songs it has everything you could ask for from hip-hop and more. “Reachin” from the ARF EP is an extraordinary example. I can see the Philly ladies and gents alike playing this song loudly from their car stereos. Mont is definitely putting his heart into rap. I remember I saw a review for Danny Brown before he was this big. Anthony Fantano said Danny really figured it out with XXX, showcasing the importance of passionate and honest lyrics. Mont Brown is doing this but too many seem to be sleeping on it. Pace-O Beats’ small part in “Reachin,” is flawless. It’s pop music, man. What more do you want? Astronauts Really Fly could go on tour with Bruno Mars easy. Bruno Mars should sign Mont Brown for more “street” hits.

Philadelphia has a second force to be reckoned with as well. I’d like to introduce you to The Bakery Boys. This crew is for real, and some necessary competition for the dominant Odd Future. Bouts always make the game more interesting, right? Let’s review some Baked projects.

The Bakery Boys – FourEver EP

The title cut off the FourEver EP feels like old Roots but more raw, un-cut. “B-A-K-E-D.“ The Bakery Boys have crazy flow and team chemistry. The last verse is the most unique from Diabolicool (more reviewed on him below). Listen to his words closely; it’s pretty jarring but pure awesomeness. The track “Love Lost” shows range. It’s reminiscent of early 90’s fly rap, style and fun. The emcees like the chicks and can describe their infatuation ever so smoothly. Great tune.

“4:20” is slow, baking music. I admire how the Bakery Boys know to offer multiple sounds. And their flow has yet to become tiresome. The instrumental is amazing. While the Nate Dogg sample is probably my least favorite part, of the tape, it doesn’t stop me from listening again. Closing track “Salute” hits hard with some Cali rhythm. Rappers, definitely, have influence and youth in Philly have always loved California. The hook is a standout. Young hooliganism is ever present with The Bakery Boys and it’s captivating. I also love that nothing about these guys’ music forces the “Philly sound” stereotype.

I feel this EP really captures the mind-state of young street life. It’s not so violent but it’s real. It’s crazy ironic that rappers in their 30s are lying about what they’re really involved with, and the rappers in their teens are genuine and honest. This tape is pure quality. It’s my second favorite of 2013. Philly’s really holding it down as the initial track on my list is from Mont Brown. Variety man, that’s all it’s about in music and both these Philly camps have that down.

Diabolicool – Terrible EP

In introduction to this last review, Diabolicool is super strange. But his unique style is precisely what makes the Baked kids fierce competition. It’s important to not only be able to give the listeners what they want, but to also offer things they have never experienced before… things that may take some time to get used to.

Diabolicool x EARDRUM – Uh Oh

“Uh Oh (Intro)” let’s you adjust to the weird, otherly personality of Diabolicool and the gritty EARDRUM production style just right. Listen closely to connect with his lyricism or you’re not going to like him. “I’m the coolest cat like a snow leopard.”

Diabolicool x EARDRUM – Terrible

“Terrible” is an engaging psychological set-up. I like his creepy vibe that you can also bounce to. Remember Mobb Deep’s haunting beats? This is the new era of that, clearly. He’s got flow man. The transitions are classic. This is very impressive.

Diabolicool x EARDRUM – Big Bad Bastard

Now onto “Big Bad Bastard.” Diabolicool is confident in his style and skills. It’s super lyrical rap music. The album has introspect/intellect. Realize EARDRUM is the featured producer and capable of anthems.

Diabolicool x EARDRUM – Doctor Strange

“Doctor Strange” showcases Diabolicool’s alienated attitude. There is tons of humor in this track. “Ejected sperm on a fucking perm.” He doesn’t want to be taken too seriously over this spacey instrumental.

Diabolicool x EARDRUM – Freddy

“FREDDY” is horrific, with the incredible and only EP feature. I see aggression towards the enemy. They have hard shit, for the streets, which is huge in Philly. Diabolicool is so weird with this third eye shit (and everything else) but I can’t get enough of it. “I’m on fire like Richard Pryor.” Blah Blah Blah Favorite. <3

Diabolicool x EARDRUM – Looney Tunes

“Looney Tunes” is like old Obie Trice but not really. I love jokey hip-hop. And Diabolicool is fucking looney, “busting nuts in loose cunts.”

Diabolicool x EARDRUM – Try Me

“Try Me” is the perfect close. While The Bakery Boys really have the boom bap rap down pact. Everyone likes that stuff. “Knock, Knock.”

So yeah, maybe you think this guy is ripping another movement but I honestly don’t feel that way. Lots of kids, these days, have pride in their bazaar behavior. Just because more than one person is odd doesn’t mean he/she is ripping the other. It’s just an indicator of how much times have changed. This tape gets two thumbs up and is my third favorite body of work in the last few months. Philly all day, son.

In conclusion, While they’re certainly rough around the edges, you can see incredible potential with The Bakery Boys. Comedy, youth, versatility, honesty, originality and rebellion are needed, in the rap game, and that’s exactly what they offer. Astronauts Really Fly, on the other hand, represents crossover music. Top 40 needs Mont Brown and Pace-O on their radar. It’s so good that hopefully it’ll “pop” soon. It has to.

*Bonus Tracks:

The following tracks are random but it’ll let any doubters know that The Bakery Boys have a host of material that’ll get your head bopping.

Keep Fresh Alive – Jave x Tires

“Jave x Tires” is so trill. Oowops and tube socks are included in this freestyle that makes you disregard its originator. Lil Jave talks about life’s decisions with a natural smirk. The true skater lifestyle should add some more attention.

“Represent” lets leader TJ Atoms display his excellent storytelling ability over some more golden-era nostalgia.

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Review: Slonk Donkerson – Watching Every Channel At Once [EP]

Slonk Donkerson - Watching Every Channel At Once

Check out the new EP, Watching Every Channel At Once, from “ultimate parlor room name game” winner Slonk Donkerson. It approaches that Foo territory without ever getting too Foo. The title track could be a lost Slothbear cut, as they’re both very much of that same slacker vein and NYC sound. Slonk tags Dylan, Husker Du and The Replacements on their Soundcloud, and indeed there’s something Midwestern about them, an ethos borne from the garages of middle-America. I’d be hard pressed to find a band of this particular breed in LA, but the fact is that any coast, whether it be best or not, would greatly benefit from a band with such a clear sense of what they want to accomplish. By Chris Gedos

Slonk Donkerson – Watching Every Channel At Once

Slonk Donkerson newyork (Soundcloud)

Rating 8.4


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Premiere: Sir Sly – Gold (Twice As Nice Remix)

SIR SLY Twice as Nice

Twice As Nice shine up some “Gold” from LA based trio Sir Sly with this latest remix. The Australian duo make for a nicely matched pairing as they fuse a slow burning electro pulse into the song’s intransitive melancholy melody. Sample an exclusive premiere of the remix below and catch Sir Sly on tour throughout the US this May.

Sir Sly (Facebook)
Twice As Niceaustralia (Facebook)

Rating 8.3


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Mixtape: 5 Years of Overlooked Tracks


Music surrounds us, all day every day, and with the amount of music being released, it’s easy to miss great tracks. We’ve put together a selection of songs that have been in the audiosphere for a few years now, but seemingly haven’t garnered the attention that they deserved. So whether or not you’ve already heard these songs or overlooked them, they are well worth the listen. By Desiree Autobee

*Tracks and year(s) released are as follows.

Best Youth – Honey Trap (2011)
Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps – Calliope (2011)
Future Trends – How Can I Be (2010)
Donora – Boom Boom (2011)
Ra Ra Rasputin – Forward (2011)
Clive Tanaka Y Su Orquestra – Neu Chicago (2011)
NewVillager – Cocoon House (2011)
1,2,3 – Work (2011)
Jonathan Johansson – Redan Glomda (2011)
Motopony – God Damn Girl (2010)
Burning Hotels – Beard (2011)
Discovery – Swing Tree (2009)
Summer Camp – I Want You (2011)
Brite Futures – Too Young To Kill (2011)
Summer Heart – Please Stay (2011)
The Death Set – Can You Seen Straight (2011)
Wild Beasts – All The King’s Men (2009)
Nathaniel Rateliff – Shroud (2010)
Teenage Bad Girl – X Girl (2011)
ANR – It’s Around You (2011)

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Robert DeLong Performs “Happy” (Live Session)

Robert Delong kdc3

B3SCI stopped by Elias Studios in Santa Monica for an exclusive live session with electronic trigger maestro Robert DeLong. His set consisted of several songs from his debut full-length Just Movement, available now via Glassnote Records, including this stellar version of “Happy”. Following the performance was an interview with KCRW DJ and Elias Arts music supervisor Jason Kramer, which you can catch a snippet of at the beginning of the video.

Robert DeLong (Facebook)

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Mixtape: Mainstream VS. Independent [HOUSE]


By Teddy Pendergrass.

I come across so much music. I’m not a self-described hipster who hates anything mainstream. But I do notice that a lot of indie labeled stuff is shitting on what the media is forcing us to watch and listen to. This article addresses a variety of tracks to see which side is better in the club genre House, Mainstream or Independent? Let’s let a few random small fan base soundcloud discoveries, count as something “Independent”. And we’ll let some recent top ranking Beatport House tracks represent the “Mainstream”. Here’s our commentary on the topic, and chime-in with your thoughts in the comments section below!



John Monkman – Follow Me feat. Liz Cass (Original Mix)

John Monkman has 208 followers on Twitter. So I’m putting him on the indie side. The funk intro is great in “Follow Me.” The vocals are smooth and classy. The waves surely hook you in. Liz Cass is a good choice for singer. The bass waves are groovy. “Heeewwwwhuhuhuuuuuu” is so tingling. I like “Follow Me” but it’s missing something that says SUPER STAR. If Monkman doesn’t sell out, some more money/shine could bring this title to fruition.

Blondish – Distant Lover feat. Thomas Gandey (Original Mix)

Blondish is mentioned a lot by Pete Tong. They’re semi-mainstream I guess. “Distant Lover” has a nice trance, Egyptian groove. It’s missing that special something to take it to the next level though. Blondish for sure knows that vocals are back in. However Thomas Gandey’s singing goes in circles rather than a straight line. Instead, I’d prefer to be kept off-guard with the lyrics and/or switch-up the beat somewhere in these 7+ minutes. 

Teenage Mutants – Out Of Time (Finnebassen Remix)

This track is so stunning… at first. The track should have just been 3 minutes long and then ended. Contrary to popular belief, good House is not just all about a hot beat and vocals. You have to make every minute have key differences that necessitate the songs length. Finnebassen is quasi mainstream, he should know better than to be this repetitive.

Enzo Saccone’s 2013 Deep House Set

This is literally the best mix that I have heard since DJ Tiesto’s In Search of Sunrise 7: Asia, which is extremely mainstream. And Enzo Saccone is the most “underground” artist on this list! While his artwork is so, “yeah, I did this myself,” the music is so “yeah, I did this myself and awesomely at that.” Saccone is actually taking risks. It’s so unique and refreshing. The best type of music exudes said qualities.



Criminal Vibes – Song 2 (Club Mix)

Is a memorable sample what makes this track win? I’ll defer to you – the readers. Does it really have anything special to it? Echoes? Waves of synth? For me, it’s boring.

Gary Caos – Soul Power ’74 (Sax Power 2K13)

Another sample that sounds familiar. But where is the innovation? I like this more than “Song 2” but I still am getting my yawn-on. Build-ups are not supposed to feel like a task for the listener. It’s supposed to be the hook before the hook. I’ll pass.

My Digital Enemy – My Lips (My Digital Enemy Remix)

This is the third best  release currently rated on Beatport. The top tracks all have the same primary characteristic: trendy sample. Get some exciting stuff if you’re going to sample guys. It’s a turn off otherwise, for me at least.

Raw Silk – Do It To The Music (Federico Scavo Remix)

Ok, this sample is more engaging. “Do It To The Music” is definitely the best track, on the Beatport list, that I’m referring to. The track has the quality master feel. Nevertheless this track has no replay value for me. The song is too repetitive and not sexy enough. I hate saxophone use in club music. The fact that Enzo Saccone can pull it off, and this guy on Ultra Records can’t, is mind-boggling.



While some lack the expensive tools, many independent artists seem to have the real passion and drive. Both independent and mainstream house scenes seem to be failing at gaining my full on support. But I’m picky. I base the win completely on Enzo Saccone. He not only made me listen along for 40 minutes (so rare), but he used a sax right, which I thought was impossible.  Keep an eye on this one.

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