City in focus: Birmingham

Seagulls circling, with their plaintive cry in the air - even though Birmingham is miles and miles from the ocean - the canals are hidden now; fish n chip shops and a nineteenth century, red-brick hotel surrounded by destroyed buildings .. I've just returned to Paris after a month in the UK, the final days were spent in Birmingham.

Did a great interview with Michael Valentine West - the electro-maniac/fractured jazz 'decomposer' (even though he fought against me labelling his music jazz) ..

an eclectic artist who is deeply inspired by hip-hop in a way that is really fresh and unexpected. See, for example, this phenomenal tune 'Fake Gucci Watch' from his record No Head in the Helmet (Daddy Tank Records, 2012), released under his Suck Susan moniker - with its submerged beat and distorted hip-hop sensibility (totally punk-rock/gorgeous). 

Upcoming too an interview with the guys behind the Birmingham drum n bass label, Skutta Records...