Riot Jazz: 'we’re just having a party on the stage
Riot Jazz are an unorthodox brass band who take everything from classical film scores to electronic music as inspiration to produce wonderfully unlikely mash-ups. England may not have produced anything quite like them before, but they follow in the tradition of American groups Young Blood Brass Band and Hot 8 Brass Band – so that’s big, brassy harmonies, Hip Hop-infused rhythms and complex, high-jazz interludes, all played out with the slam-you-in-the-face vivacity that gives them such a commanding stage presence. The uproarious nine-piece formed in their university town of Manchester in 2009, after they were thrown together for a club night and found that they were on to something special. They’ve been festival regulars since 2009, delighting crowds at Bestival and Soundwave with their infectious energy and unique sound. We caught up with drummer Steve Pycroft to find out how they’re tearing up genre boundaries, why they look up to Stevie Wonder and what we can expect from them at Soundwave festival. When did you guys start out? So we got together in 2008 – our band leader Nick Walters got in touch with us all and said he’d been asked to put a band together for a night in Manchester; we’d be playing hip hop and quirky covers of pop tunes. We realised it was something different, something we could pursue, and it grew from there. So it all came about quite naturally? Yeah, it grew naturally. No one said ‘right let’s go and market this and make it work.’ It came out of enj
Akala: five songs which shaped hip hop
‘A lot of documentaries start the story in 1970, as if a cultural accident happened,’ said a bemused Akala, when he was explaining the evolution of MC-ing in Salford last year. ‘Let’s not pretend there was no foundation to this art.’ In his ‘Hip Hop History’ show, the rapper, poet and director of The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company illustrates the development of hip hop in easily digestible and quick-witted chunks.Born Kingslee Daley in Camden, Akala delves into the history of the genre in a lecture full of theatrics. There are bursts of rap, live music, videos and slides as the 29-year-old polymath takes the audience on a 3,000-year journey through time that starts with the griots in West Africa: musical storytellers who were able to recite five-hour-long poems from memory. Follow his leap forward to unexpected wordsmiths Muhammad Ali and Ella Fitzgerald, and you’ll find Akala opening your eyes to a genre you thought you already knew everything about.We asked Akala to name five tracks which, in his opinion, had charted the course of hip hop history. Here they are, from Gil Scott-Heron in ’71 to Biggie in ’94…
Channel One: the roots of UK soundsystem culture
In 1954, ‘Duke’ Vincent Forbes stowed away in a boat from Kingston, Jamaica, looking for a better life in London. He left behind family, friends – and, in the ghettos of his hometown, an emerging musical culture centred not on live performers but on massive amplified soundsystems. Within a year, a homesick Duke Vin had built his first system from cheap parts and a second hand turntable. A fire was lit: Caribbean soundsystem culture had arrived in the UK and the ways we made, played and raved to music was changed for ever. Over the decades that followed, British systems such as Jah Shaka, Sir Coxsone, Aba-Shanti-I and Channel One would become regarded as some of the best in the world. They imbued generations with a bass-centric musical ideology that would go on to influence almost all UK music and become an integral force in the genesis of homegrown genres like jungle, garage and grime. Simply put, soundsystem culture matters, and the sixtieth anniversary of its arrival on UK shores is a moment to celebrate and savour. Channel One was established in 1979 in east London. They played Notting Hill Carnival for the first time in 1983 and have been a fixture there ever since. Now comprising selector Mikey Dread and MC Ras Kayleb, the duo and their monstrous system of speakers and amps play roots rock reggae music across the globe and at their two regular London dances at Village Underground and Tooting Tram & Social. Ahead of their appearances at Soundwave and Outlook festival
Heading to Tisno?
Tisno is named after the narrow passage that separates the island of Murter from the mainland. A town with rich heritage displayed in its Italianate buildings, Tisno is a pleasant option if you just want to get away from the madness of The Garden nearby. The town centre is flanked by a wide seafront promenade busy with holiday makers all summer. The centre stands on the island side, separated from the mainland by a bridge originally built in the 18th century and replaced with a mechanical one in 1968. Local sightseeing mainly centres on churches. The oldest is the parish Church of St Spirit, originally built in 1548 and renovated in baroque style in 1640. Its beautiful tower was added in 1680. Within, the statue of the Madonna with Child is coated with silver and gold. Built around the same time, on the seafront stands the Church of St Rocco, while a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Karavaja requires a 214-step climb. Of the many events here this summer, Love International music festival is set in a magnificent natural amphitheatre with gently rolling hills leading down to a private bay, a shimmering sandy beach and crystal clear waters. An undiscovered, secluded paradise a short walk from town, the Garden site has a truly festival feel without losing its intimacy. Accommodation comprises 80 air-conditioned apartments all with balconies or terraces, luxury Indian Shikar tents for glamping and refurbished American airstream trailers. Summer events are broken dow
The best Tisno restaurants
The Tisno restaurant scene is a little sparse, but don't be tempted by the tourist traps lining the bay, because Tisno is blessed with some great culinary spots. These tend to be seafood-orientated, and take great pride in their fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Read on for our guide to the best places to dine in Tisno.
The Kornati archipelago has qualities that make it unique. It is made up of 140 islands and islets in an area only 35 kilometres long and 14 kilometres wide. Between the long, thin island of Kornat, which faces the coast, and the chain of islands on the other side, there is a stretch of water naturally protected from the open sea, with dozens of safe bays to drop anchor. Once you pass through one of the two narrow gates to the north and south, you leave the worst of the waves behind, and enter a strange, other-worldly environment, of treeless hills. The islands on the inside of the national park seem deserted. You might sight the occasional sheep, or a small votive chapel, built by a grateful sailor saved from a storm by the natural barrier of the islands, otherwise there’s little sign of human habitation. It’s a very meditative and minimal landscape, unlike any other island chain in the Adriatic. When you enter Kornati, you’ve arrived somewhere completely different. Whether you have your own yacht, or come on one of the many tour boats offering day trips around the national park, you will also get to experience the outer side of the archipelago. The contrast between the calm inner space of Kornati and the wild world of the open sea is unmistakable, not least in the geomorphology of the exposed rocks. Sheer cliffs offer spectacular scenes and dramatic sounds, from crashing waves to the echo of the human voice. The seaward side of the island of Mana is the most impressive; b
Niagara is the nearest comparison you could possibly make. The 800-metre-long waterfall of Skradinski buk, the picture-postcard main draw of the Krka National Park, leaves onlookers in awe with its 17-step series of cascades. Holidaymakers dip in its pure pools beneath waters crashing down from 45 metres over their heads. But this key attraction, surrounded by boardwalks for easy access, is only one of many in this most versatile and surprising of Croatia’s eight National Parks. By the beautiful town of Skradin, near Šibenik in central Dalmatia, the Krka National Park is named after the 75km-long Krka river it practically encompasses. Krka, like Plitvice, is awash in the marvel and miracle of natural travertine. Where the two differ is the degree of interaction with nature. Where Plitvice has sheer wow power, Krka offers hands-on adventure. To find out, take the riverboat four-hour tour to Roški Slap waterfall. Backdropped by three towns on the riverbanks, 222 bird species, 19 types of reptiles, 18 species of bats and 860 plant types, and rushing tributaries leading to the Krka estuary and the Adriatic, give Krka its flavour. On the way you can visit the park’s strange treasure: Visovac. This man-made isle is home to a Franciscan monastery where monks still reside and where trainees spend a year enjoying occasional games of basketball and greeting tourists with enthusiastic waves. As you arrive back on land, majestic swans swimming past local fishermen in threadbare sw