On June 27, as Nelson Mandela was reported to be lying in hospital on life support, London-based activist and hip-hop producer Carlos Martinez released the track "Madiba’s Message".
Visions in Black and White - Images from Indigenous Australia Redfern Community Centre, Sydney Until June 24, 2013. www.headon.com.au "Ngurragah," says Barbara McGrady, and smiles. The word, pronounced "nuh-ruh-gah", is one of her favourite utterances. But this committed activist and community photographer won't be using it to describe her latest exhibition, being held as part of Head On, the second largest photography festival in the world.
Burn The World AC4 March 2013 Ny Våg / Deathwish / Shock www.ac4official.bandcamp.com Swedish hardcore punks AC4 blast nuclear policy on their new album, Burn the World. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to frontman Dennis Lyxzén and main songwriter Karl Backman. ***
More Light Primal Scream First International Released May 13, 2013 www.primalscream.net British indie rockers Primal Scream are best known for Screamadelica, the breakout dance-crossover album that embraced ravers in a sweaty bear hug in 1991 and left them in a state of blissed-out awe.
Live in K-Town Random Hand Bomber Music April 1, 2013 www.randomhand.bigcartel.com West Yorkshire ska band Random Hand blend hardcore, reggae, punk and dub with plenty of politics. Bassist-vocalist Joe Tilston, who is also a critically-acclaimed solo folk artist, talked to Green Left’s Mat Ward about their new live album. ***
Deep Thought EP Caper April 5, 2013 www.caper.net.au Rapper Caper slams the Native Title Act as a "white bible" on his latest release. The Narungga emcee, who has worked as a Native Title field officer in South Australia for the past 10 years, raps on his track "The Writing's On The Wall": A lot of misconceptions about us owning land We don’t own any, man I work for Native Title The government is a rival Assholes with a white bible
The Campaign Kings Konekted Class A Records April 19, 2013 www.classarecords.com Kings Konekted have just released some of the choicest cuts in Australian hip-hop - and they were inspired by some of the whackest cuts in Australian politics. The Brisbane b-boys' new EP The Campaign paints a pretty gritty picture of life under cost-cutting Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
The Bryte Side Of Life Bryte Too Solid / MGM April 5, 2013 www.brytemc.com Bryte's new album, The Bryte Side Of Life, may urge his listeners to think positive, but it's not all sweetness and light. The Aboriginal rapper has lost none of the political bite that snarled from his award-winning first album, Full Stop, four years ago. The Perth-based performing poet kicks off his latest long-player with "World On Strike", a rallying call for global industrial action.
Silence The World Adept March 22, 2013 Panic & Action Records www.adeptofficial.com Swedish post-hardcore band Adept put plenty of politics into their punk, but never forget how to party, wherever they are in the world. Green Left’s Mat Ward spoke to vocalist Robert Ljung about their new album, the melodic metalcore masterpiece Silence The World. ***
Efforts And Means Astpai Jump Start Records, 2012 www.astpai.org Austrian hardcore punks Astpai jack up heavy slabs of guitar with speeding snares and leering lyrics. They serve up a rare and biting musical take on Austrian politics. Green Left’s Mat Ward spoke to frontman Manfred Herzog, also known as Zock. ***
XXIV UK Subs Captain Oi February 2013 www.uksubs.co.uk Punk pioneers UK Subs released their 24th politically-charged album last month, to rave reviews. Appropriately titled XXIV, it nears the completion of their bid to release 26 albums whose titles begin with each letter of the alphabet, in order. Frontman Charlie Harper spoke to Green Left's Mat Ward. **** Tell us about your experiences of playing Australia - any memories that stick out?
Work Like Chavez Rebel Diaz and Agent Of Change Released March 9, 2013 www.rebeldiaz.bandcamp.com For revolutionary rappers Rebel Diaz, the death of Hugo Chavez on March 5 came as a double blow. The Venezuelan leader had helped the Chilean hip-hop duo set up their community arts and resistance centre in New York's South Bronx after he visited the area eight years ago.
Watch Me Sam Khan www.bsomebody.co.uk At the age of 23, British Muslim rapper Sam Khan was the CEO of his own company, a clothing range, website and a record label called Be Somebody. Three years on, he has launched The B Somebody Project to raise funds for orphans in Gaza. The project follows in the fundraising footsteps of previous music he has done for Pakistani flood victims. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to him. *******
Verbal Reality Volume One Provocalz Native Sun / Hustle Hard, 2012 $15 www.provocalz.bigcartel.com "Every time you see in the media someone's been killed by police it always just happens to be an Aboriginal," says radical rapper Provocalz. It's 9.30 on a Saturday morning and the south-west Sydney spitter is telling Green Left why he made his hard-hitting horrorcore track, "Cop Shot".
Vibes, Love, Revolution Fear Nuttin Band Released 2012 www.fearnuttinband.com Fear Nuttin Band blend Jamaican yardie culture with American hardcore punk in the hybrid genre of “yardcore”. The Massachusetts-based group also throw in plenty of pugilistic politics and sharp satire. Front man Prowla and guitarist Christafari Regan spoke to Green Left's Mat Ward.
Idle No More (Invasion Day) The Mixtape Featuring K-Otic 1, Darah, Felon, Mr Forge, Toombs, Provocalz, Teila, Unda Dwella, Lorna Munro, Kaiyu, Boe Knows, Big Luke, Dubbzone www.datpiff.com