Stevie Wonder Reflects On Motown, God And Prince [NPR]

Stevie Wonder needs little introduction. His awards and achievements — 25 Grammy Awards, a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, more than 100 million records sold worldwide — only speak partially to his legend. His career began when he signed to Motown Records at the age of 11, becoming a teenage soul sensation…

How pirate radio changed the airwaves [BBC]

Fifty years ago, the government put a stop to offshore pirate radio stations like Radio Caroline. But during the 1980s, it experienced a resurgence among black music-lovers. Trevor Nelson, DJ Jazzie B and Gilles Peterson offer a history of this era of pirate radio. Produced by Fatma Wardy. Filmed by Alexi Peristianis, Clinton Forde.  …

Richard Russell’s XL Recordings Empire

Richard Russell, the head of XL Recordings, walked into a small recording studio in West London and found a woman named Caroline Simionescu-Marin sitting, cross-legged, atop a rack of audio equipment. Russell is known for signing distinctive and driven young artists, from M.I.A. to Vampire Weekend to Adele, and on this drizzly August morning he…

Gil Scott-Heron Tribute Mix

Bill Brewster’s tribute to Gil Scott-Heron The first time I ever heard Gil Scott-Heron’s music was the spring of 1982, almost exactly 35 years ago. In the early 1980s, the NME started to do beautifully curated compilation cassettes that were, for me at least, a treasure trove of new discoveries. On the second in the series,…

Playing Favourites: Chee Shimizu

One of Tokyo’s most revered diggers plays Aaron Coultate a selection of ambient, pop, boogie and rock from Japan.   Most of Chee Shimizu’s records are for sale. There are roughly 5,000 of them in his house in Shimoigusa, a sleepy district on the outskirts of Tokyo, where Shimizu lives with his wife, Kanako. The…

Clyde Stubblefield Tribute Mix

Clyde Stubblefield, who famously played drums for James Brown and created the iconic rhythms that were extensively sampled in hip-hop, sadly passed away from kidney failure in February. It took only 20 seconds for Clyde Stubblefield to drum his way to immortality. They came near the end of James Brown’s “Funky Drummer,” recorded in a Cincinnati…