Monday, 19 September 2011


So, Xbox and Ibiza Rocks have been running some supercool competitions. The first, which unfortunately we have missed out on, gave a brilliant prize. If you love Ibiza Rocks, then this was the perfect prize for you. Three lucky winners changed the very definition of the "typical" summer job by offering them a 6 week career as an Xbox "Man on the Ground" - they spread the Xbox word whilst partying with some of this summer's finest Ibiza residents, Example and Plan B included. You don't have to ask me if there was any Xbox 360 Kinect, action: of course there was. Here's Plan B paying a pretty cool surprise visit to a birthday party - the kind of thing that you'd see in Ibiza:

So what's this second competition? Well, despite already having given those three winners a prize to shout home about, and some peachy summer memories to boot, the second competition is still running and ends on 23rd September. All you have to do is share your best summer memory. Simple. And the lucky winner will receive the prize of a lifetime: see Snoop Dogg in concert at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, and meet the man himself, all accompanied by some amazing accommodation, and food and drink spending money.

This competition involves creating an interactive map which shows fans' ultimate summer memories, via the Xbox Ibiza Memories fanpage. Here's what you lucky beggars would get:

• Travel to and from Liverpool (Up to a total value of £100)
• Overnight hotel accommodation in Liverpool
• Food and Drink allowance (up to £100)
• 2 x standing tickets to the show (10/10/11) (general admission)
• 2 x Individual photos with Snoop Dogg
• 2 x Autographed items

Whilst I'd love to win this, I once met Travis from Gym Class Heroes after a gig at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth. Needless to say I was utterly starstruck, had some terrible pictures taken of me, but enjoyed the experience overall. At least I can say I've met him, eh? But Snoop Dogg, S-Dizzle, that's another kettle of fish entirely. It's something you definitely wouldn't want to drop like it was hot - it's way too cool to not hang on to!

So if you want a little chance of meeting Snoop Dogg, get your best, funniest, grossest or loveliest summer memories recorded down at the Xbox Ibiza Memories fanpage (go here before the 23rd September and let me know if you win. Or if you need someone to go with you...

Sponsored post

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Tuesday, 6 September 2011


This is the new song from Queen of Hearts - yes, it's a cover of 'Spanish Sahara' by the unobsequious Foals; and yes, it certainly sounds the part. Have a listen below to the electro-pop goodness:

You can still download this track from SoundCloud - I would (I have).

Though, all goodness aside, there seems to be something not quite there about this number. Whilst it sounds great, the worry for me is how easily this sound could be transferred onto someone more generic. It's self-styled electro-pop, sure, but it sounds nearly too in the direction of formulated pop to be altogether spirit-liftingly life-changingly exciting.

However, that is a little harsh; I just think it could've been done better. Is it because the original is so good? Could well be. I particularly like the last third of the song, where the crescendo begins to build up, with some lovely floating-ghost vocals sweeping over the top like clouds in front of the moon. The whole song should've been like this, then built up to something even more intense. That's it - that's what it's missing. Intensity. And it's also missing more dreaminess - where the soft-harsh sighs fly around is the most perfect part of this song, and it's where more attention should be focused, rather than forcing out some arpeggiated synth as an afterthought.

Nevertheless, I am looking forward to hearing more from Queen of Hearts. She has a new EP coming out soon, The Arrival (3rd October), so with Foals' masterpiece as its centrepiece it will be interesting to see, and more importantly, hear what else is on the spread.

• Like what you hear? There's plenty more on her SoundCloud
• And why not follow Queen of Hearts on Twitter?

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Friday, 2 September 2011


Just a short one. This is the sound of The Dø, French/Finnish duo who make some lovely sounds. Here is a song from their upcoming album (they've already had a number 1 album in France), titled Both Ways Open Jaws, set for worldwide release this November. Have a listen...

It's tribal electro dance glam weird chic, and I love it - the drums and the nonchalant, quasi-MIA-style vocals drive 'Slippery Slope' not down a slippery slope, but up a gnarly hill into a heatbox of noise and boogie. I can't wait to hear more from the album.

• Here's The Dø's official site
• Their Facebook page
• And why not follow them on Twitter?

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Thursday, 1 September 2011


Here's a real treat. This amazing talent that is Josie Charlwood has just blown my mind. Covering 'Feel Good Inc' by Gorillaz, she really makes it her own, incorporating sounds and effects that are so future contemporary that it makes my eyes pop, as well as singing in a wonderfully sweet voice, playing guitar, and beatboxing to provide a hefty drum track. She's a regular one-girl band.

It's great to see in this video the two shots: one of above, one of the pedals doing all the looping below. Wonderfully, the looping phenomenon seems to have caught a lot of attention - and for a good reason; playing like this requires a great ear for beats and what works together, as well as an improvising mind. This is basically making a track, but instead of being holed up in a dusky bedroom or studio, Josie Charlwood does it all live. Impressive and mesmerising.

• Check out Josie Charlwood on Facebook
• And have a look at her SoundCloud where you can listen to more covers, PLUS some tasty originals
She is also on Bandcamp
And Twitter

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