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Harry Harland (Baron von Alias & MistaBreeze – Brace For The Impact EP)

Hip Hop has always had a close relationship to dance music, indeed it’s quite hard to work out now which camp you would put the likes of Dizzee Rascal in. Geordie MCs Baron von Alias and MistaBreeze, as their Magnificently Great Remix Album showed, have never shied away from creating dancefloor fillers either. Their new EP is further proof of this.

Opening track Impact does what it says on the tin, slamming into your ears like a drum and bass fuelled juggernaut before giving way to some impressive rapping from the lads and a decent verse from singer Eliza Lawson. Step in the Room (below) is another great song, all dirty electric guitar and confident swagger. The rest of the album is very dance-orientated, to the extent that closing track Do Your Worst wouldn’t sound in the least bit out of place on a Chase & Status album, but the quality runs all the way through.

As usual with this gang, the rapping is superb, with plenty of tongue-in-cheek Geordie-isms thrown in. The major change here is the production levels. The backing tracks now sound fully polished, while guest vocalists add to the broad appeal. It appears Baron and Mista are ready for the big time. Howay the lads!

EP is downloadable from here for free (until Sunday night, then available on iTunes):




Ed Lines (Caravan Palace – Panic)

A French dance set-up playing a fusion of electro, jazz and, as implied by their name, gypsy swing. Put on your braces, stripy t-shirt, trilby and grab your walking stick-cane. Caravan Palace are big on the Franco-Belgian festival scene but not particularly well-known over here. If you want to catch them this summer I love the way you can see them perform in that well-known gig city, Salisbury or if not there then Winchester’s Boomtown Fair. Panic is the band’s second, more electro-centric album.

Key tune: Clash