Paul Morley gives his perspective on the new Spector video

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And so to Spector, the latest collection of sharply clad young men to roll off a conveyor belt marked “the London indie scene” into a box marked “Big time?” Yes, Ma, the boys are growing up, becoming men. All that needs to happen now is the release of a thought-provoking video, one that finds favour with this island’s most decorated (with badges) music writer. Well, wouldn’t you just know, the Fiction Records five-piece have put out a moving picture to accompany their beguiling anthem “Never Fade Away” and here am I, the monkey at the keyboard, to say “Arise, Spector, and take your place in the pantheon of indie legends.” What of the video?

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Paul Morley gazes at Grimes

GRIMES 1

It is rare that I, Paul Morley, a man variously described as a “prophet” or “guru”, find myself late to the table of some new musical banquet. But I shall admit that in the case of Canadian dream pop singer Claire Boucher, who performs under the moniker Grimes, I have found myself sitting down to eat halfway through the entrée – nothing but a crumb of toasted brioche remains of the foie gras. Still, if something grabs you it grabs you and just because I wasn’t the first to recognise Ms. Boucher’s talents, as I was with Joy Division, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Drones and Kylie Minogue (in the actual, not artificial sense, of course), doesn’t mean I cannot guide you through the sensational (as in, “causing a sensation”) video to her hit MP3 single “Oblivion”.

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Paul Morley looks inside K Koke’s emotional prison (his mind)

K Koke

It is rare that I, Paul Morley, find myself as enraptured with a recording artist as I find myself now enraptured by one K Koke, a rapper hailing from north-west London’s forsaken Stonebridge Estate. Life here is a Hogarthian nightmare and the progress of our modern-day rake, Mr. Koke, is fascinating to witness. His stand out seven-inch single, ‘Are You Alone Fam?’, is a three-minute slice of vicious revenge laced with an emotional depth that is present in the work of few other lyricists working today. The song tells the story of ‘Spider’, known to Her Majesty’s government as Darren Mathurin and to some of his less charitably minded fellow estate dwellers as ‘rabbit dick’. Spider ‘turned grass’ on some of Mr. Koke’s posse in a bid to curry favour with the boys in blue. Well, that shit wasn’t going to fly on Stonebridge. Spider’s evidence led to no convictions, but as far as Mr. Koke was concerned his former friend was a ‘jake prick’ who needed to be torn apart through the medium of popular song. It’s nothing new of course. After all, Buddy Holly himself laid down a series of (unreleased) albums dedicated to barracking his enemies and you don’t need me to tell you that in the world of ‘urban’ music the ‘diss track’ is as old as the form itself (Bambaataa, Smalls, Dogg et al). So when Mr. Koke’s song landed in my inbox you won’t be surprised to know that I let out a big old yawn. Really? I thought. Another song about street characters turning snitch… please… But then, well, then I gave it a listen and the layers of meaning that came through broke their way past my Mission of Burma t-shirt into my formerly cold heart. Allow me to move in for a closer reading of some of the lyrics.

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