Canvey Island cds, tapes and vinyl: Awate Special

Bi-Rail-Train UNITEDSome United fans were feeling a socio-political disconnect with the world and were in need of something tangible, something visceral, something that just might make their life that little bit better. We at Bifurcated thought it only right to introduce them to – if they hadn’t already met – our good friend Awate (@Awate91).

The conductor – on his best behaviour, what with being a massive fan of Awate – helped the disillusioned fans onto the train one-by-one.

There, of course, was only one train waiting to depart, there was only one destination …

Canvey Island!

 

The United fans were herded off the train, towards the car park where they found the car-boot sale and the stall run this time by someone who looked suspiciously like Awate … NO! Wait! That IS Awate!!!!!

 

 

 

Awate: “I’ve probably got a bit of an obsessive personality when it comes to art. whether it’s a movie, TV show, song or comedian if I love something, I find out everything about it, the people who made it, their lives, any hidden meanings or interpretations I may have of it etc. Quite often I’ll only listen to two albums for about 18 months. These songs I’ve got to flog to you fall into that category.”

 

These are the songs Awate picked and why (in his own words)…

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Nightmare by Arthur Brown

“The first is a song by Arthur Brown called, ‘Nightmare’. I first heard Arthur Brown’s music in a Burger King advert on television about 10 years ago. They were talking about their dirty flame-grilled burgers and inevitably used the song, ‘Fire’ by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. So, I remembered the first four bars and often sung it if someone said the word ‘fire’ (I tend to do that. I quote songs and episodes of The Wire/Curb Your Enthusiasm the way some people quote Twain, Shakespeare or Oprah).
Anyway, about 2 years ago I got myself a copy of the stereo version of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown album. I couldn’t get past the first track. It was bloody brilliant. From the opening lush string intro and unsettling breathing of an unknown demon to the playful and groovy organ about to kick in, this song is a journey into the madness of hell. The lyrics seem random at first, but when put into context of the first five songs of the album (or SIDE A for you old people who have heard of vinyl) which in itself is an EP about someone journey into hell. The repeated refrain of, “Why is it so cold outside? SO COLD!” and it’s distinctive chord structure is more brilliance. Oh, and I have to mention that countless artists who have been influenced by him and have tried to copy his whole style. He’s still rocking into his seventies by the way and I can’t wait to see him live this year!
My obsession with this album, especially the first five songs, especially this one made me want to write an early prog rock album with dusty drums, hard bass and a mad organ. That’s secretly being planned for 2021.”
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Running Up That Hill/Hounds of Love by Kate Bush

“The second piece of music that I’ve been unhealthily obsessed with is the Hounds of Love album by Kate Bush, specifically the title track.
My first experience of Kate Bush’s music was with an unnamed mentor of mine in the rap game who would start his days off in the studio with some Kate Bush and Alanis Morissette and I would laugh at him. Years later, I found that Alan Partridge wouldn’t stop going on about her and I was curious to find out what the songs he was singing in his medley were. I started to listen to all of her albums and thought that Hounds of Love was the best put together. Her other albums have spectacular highlights but some songs are not in the same band of quality in my opinion. By the way, her harmonisation in songs such as ‘Kashka From Baghdad’ is criminal.
Running Up That Hill is a perfect song that always brings chills down my spine. Even if it’s the fifth time I’ve heard it in a row. The bridge of, “Come on baby, come on darlin'” is just ridiculous. And the song, Hounds of Love, just brings happiness to my life. I love the way she sings, “With nothing real, I just can’t deal with this,” in the second verse. Both songs feature classic 80s production with powerful synth chords. I actually came to the realisation that the reason I liked the idea and basic sounds of Kanye West’s 808s album was that it sounded 80s, a decade I was fascinated with but wasn’t alive for. This was just the real thing. Again, the first five songs on this album are linked thematically by issues of relationships with partners, parents and childhood. So good. So, so good. And like Arthur Brown, Kate Bush paved ways in her style for people like Madonna and Lady Gaga to act “unique” and “different”.”
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The Red Flag by Pól Mac Adaim

“As a Manchester United fan this song means a lot to me. As a socialist, it means even more. Though ‘The Internationale’ is the most famous socialist song and is the one that the ideology of financial and social equality is most synonymous with, this is the real gem.
Written by Irishman, Jim Connell in 1889, it was originally set to be to the tune of ‘The White Cockade’ but thank goodness people put it to this. It makes me want to cry every time I hear Pól Mac Adaim’s version. Even his version of the Internationale is spine tingling. His voice is powerful, soft and full of pain. And his accent makes it sound even better. He’s a real artist as well. he doesn’t just do covers. He writes his own anthems about the plight of the Palestinian people, the Irish and the brave souls who went to Spain to fight fascism. If you had to pick a political affiliation based on anthems, the whole world would be socialists. Oh, and Labour – stop singing this song, you sell outs (other than Jeremy Corbyn and a select others).”
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Coffin For Head Of State by Fela Kuti

“I won’t do much ‘splaining with this one. Just know that Fela Kuti is basically the Nigerian Bob Marley/Malcolm X and this song is to be listened to with deep concentration and a broken heart.”
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Hip-Hop by Mos Def

“Now known as Yasiin Bey, Mos Def is my favourite musician of all time and this is probably my favourite song of his. I have a favourite song of his for every mood and scenario but this might be number one because it was the first song of his that I really dug.
From the opening line, “SPEECH IS MY HAMMER, BANG THE WORLD INTO SHAPE” which is awesome on so many levels. The first 100 times I heard this song it blew my mind. I was just taken aback by how I had been sleeping on someone this good with words. With the, “Speech is my hammer line”, I liked it so much because I had heard rappers use punchlines and similes but Yasiin is very metaphorical and he makes himself seem somehow more poetic than anyone else in the rap game. He also loves to juxtapose words (From the core to the perimeter) and uses paradoxes quite often, (Stay fluid even in staccato). His use of call and response is witty and cocky. He also uses popular phrases/titles in his songs like a collage and that’s one of the most beautiful things for me (The Invisible Man got the whole world watching/Native Son, speaking in the Native Tongue).
I’ve seen him perform about 9 times and met him a few times now and it was during this song, my favourite, in 2009 when he finally recognised me in the front row as the bloke who knows all his lyrics at all of his gigs and he gave me his drum sticks at the end of the gig. “This is for you,” he said. And to top it off, he signs this song off with one of my favourite lines ever: “From the sovereign state of the have-nots where farmers have trouble with cash crops.”
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Many Men by 50 Cent

“The type of rapper I am, people seem surprised and even disappointed when they find out I’m a 50 Cent fan but the truth is, without this guy and this particular song, I wouldn’t be a rapper.
You see, being the oldest child in a household with not much music, I would listen to whatever was in the charts until I was 12 and my best friend’s older brother gave me a copy of, ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin”. After that, everything changed. 50 Cent was my idea of what masculinity was, especially as a black boy in London where there are no role models. From then on, I would do everything I could to emulate the life I thought 50 Cent had. Because he was so aggressive and physically intimidating and didn’t care about whose feeling he hurt, I wanted to have his ruthlessness and cockiness. Even more so because I was a kid who was bullied!
This song, Many Men was the first rap song I heard that sounded poetic. He talks about sunny days not being special if it wasn’t for rain and also gives a rare glimpse into his insecurities after being shot. It was also his melodic and catchy hook that got me writing sing-songy choruses when I first started to record music and that set me apart from my peers.”
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Austerity by Awate

“This is my song, produced by Sway’s long-time DJ, Turkish, who is amazing. It’s loosely about the government’s austerity measures and how they are affecting poor people like me and those who live around me.I was making pop music for a few years when I left uni because I wanted to blow up. I think it’s more important to say what I feel and what needs to be said .
I was born in 1991 so I didn’t experience Thatcher but from what I have seen and heard, a lot of art and media was against the Tories and for the working class. It seems now, a lot of TV shows, films and even comedians have decided that socialism is a joke and push the Daily Mail’s Tory agenda. So let’s not support the status quo which is to kick the poor. Kick the minorities. Kick the disabled. Kick the elderly. Kick the obese. Kick the bald. Kick the vegans. Kick the bearded. 

Instead of that crap, I’m going to rap really well about what is important and hopefully people from economic background in the UK and further will hear what I have to say, read up about it, get angry and join us at protests, occupations and online.”

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“I hope I’ve convinced you to buy some stuff. If not, my mixtape, Elements is available for free download (or donation) right here:
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Elements Download

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And you can follow me on Twitter:
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@Awate91

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and Like me on Facebook:
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Awatewillmakeyourlifebetter

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Peace!”
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We then dropped off all the United fans at their homes, reminding them that they can also find Awate and more of his own music on his YouTube Channel: AwateMusic.
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We hope Awate will make your life better … he has ours.

 

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Also available in the series (see below)…

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