Where do I even begin with Mike Skinner? Formerly a British rapper for The Streets and now a successful solo DJ and producer, Mike has gone from strength to strength. I consider myself one of the biggest Streets fans out there and having met Mr Skinner in person I can safely say he’s one interesting individual. The Streets/Mike Skinner first entered the psyche of young British 20 something in March 2012 with a release of the critically acclaimed Original Pirate Material which netted him a Mercury Prize nomination. The Mercury Prize is a pretty big deal as it’s only awarded once a year to the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland and includes past winners such as Elbow, James Blake and The XX.
Having followed Mike’s career over the last decade it’s great that he never took his work for granted and always experimented with new sounds and creative expressions. In 2005 for example Mike Skinner and his partner in crime Ted Mayhem started The Beats Recordings which was an independent record label home to the now established artists such as Professor Green and Example. In 2012 Mike launched a new project, called The D.O.T., along with Rob Harvey of The Music which I haven’t had a chance to dig through yet but from the few songs I’ve heard it’s a very unique sound. If you’re interested in hearing more from the glory days of The Streets please check out the video below.
Mike Skinner presents: Tonga
Tonga is a brand new club night co-run by Mike Skinner and Murkage, the renowned Manchester-based collective of musicians and artists including several hot-topic grime names, such as Madam X. Over the last couple of weeks Mike Skinner has been uploading new songs to his Soundcloud account and they’re very much a continuation of the soundtrack he put together for the first Inbetweeners movie, a mash-up of rave, grim, jungle and other complementary musical flavours you can think of. Little has been said about Tonga and I have no idea what to expect from the night tomorrow seeing as the event is held at The Victoria in Dalston, a wonderful and raw pub that usually hosts rock and indie nights so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes down.
In a recent interview with Time Out magazine Mike Skinner had a chat about Tonga and his musical outlook: “We like to keep the [club] night as scuzzy as possible, while we’re as baller as we can be”. So here’s me thinking this is going to turn into a grime night. “Nope, It’s what you might call party bass“ says Skinner. “Bass music can get quite chin-strokey these days. At Tonga you’ll hear the darker end of house, rap, trap and grime”.
Tonga at The Victoria Dalston
The Victoria, 451 Queensbridge Road, E8 3AS,
Saturday October 4, 10pm-3am, £5
The event is now sold out on Resident Advisor but if you’re in the area it’s still worth turning up as there will be ample opportunities for some crazy after parties. Hit me up on Twitter @StyleDivision if you’re coming