Riz Ahmed, star of BBC AMERICA’s two-part miniseries, Britz, is not just a tremendously gifted actor; he’s also a mad-talented hip-hop artist producing music under the moniker, Riz MC. Equally influenced by KRS-One and Radiohead, his tracks are as sonically adventurous as they are politically provocative. (Check out his MySpace page for a sampling of his recordings.) Riz was kind enough to be Anglophenia’s guest blogger for today, and he tells us what songs and artists are currently in heavy rotation on his iPod:
4Hero – Creating Patterns (Visit iTunes artist page)
Original dance music innovators – their story is the journey through Detroit, hardcore, jungle, dnb, and nu jazz breaks. This heritage is central to my own music – and this album is my all time favorite. Featuring Gill Scott, Ursula Rucker, and lots of live musicians. Genre defying, bold, and classy. (Listen to album tracks at IMEEM)
Roy Davis Jnr ft Peven Everett – Gabriel (Download track)
Burial’s Untrue album triggered major old skool garage / two-step nostalgia in me, and I’ve been able to indulge it with the likes of TRG and Martyn’s new releases. But this is the original anthem for me, and even though it’s not really British it takes me back to a special time in when UK music was full of promise and a special time growing up doing pirate radio and writing lyrics. Peven Everett never got a penny for this – hopefully the love people have for this song makes up for that.
Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim (Download)
As much as I like records for an aesthetic or certain sound, quality lyricism is something I seek out with special interest. I’m an MC, but my influences aren’t mainly from that tradition. This album is full of poetry – haunting honesty and words that bring on a sad smile on first listen. (Sample tracks on IMEEM)
Thom Yorke – Eraser (the remixes) (Visit iTunes artist page)
Across several albums, Radiohead’s electronic tinged material is up there with Björk as far as profound influences on me go – they’re always taking risks without ever being callous, throwaway, or trashy. Thom Yorke’s Eraser album pushed all the right buttons for me – but these remixes are harder but still carry the emotion of the original – The Bug, Burial, Modeselektor, and Surgeon took it from the earphones to the club.
Animal Collective (Download)
Tom from indie band The Official Secrets Act sent me this. We have prolonged conversations over text about stuff we like. I didn’t love Panda Bear but this is inspirational – a tripped out, urgent, instinctive and I think a much more daring version of what TV on the Radio could be.
MAD DECENT podcast (Download)
Diplo (along with Switch) is one of my favorite producers. I love this podcast – hearing underground music, often from across the world, soaking in different rhythms and palettes – it stirs me up and keeps me restless and jealous when I make my own stuff, which is a good thing.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Anglophenia returns Monday, December 1st.