Dub to Step: Culture Cuts Review

I’ve been listening to mixes from Culture Cuts Collective lately and thought I’d do a couple of reviews and help spread the word a bit. First up is Culture Cuts mix “Dubs to Subs”.

Culture Cuts Collective

Dub to Step – Culture Cuts Collective

Dub Roots Reggae/Dubstep/Deep Dub/Dub/Future Dub

Described as “a deep blend of dubby steps and rootical flows”, Dub to Step is one of the latest cuts from Culture Cuts, a “collective [that] is a community of broadminded, unbranded, musical, comical and cultural characters… [aiming] to connect quality cuts of crafted culture, creating original entertainment verities”

Released on October 13th 2010, Dub to Step is a chilled out mix which nicely blends reggae, dubstep and dub beats into a nice mellow package. Those expecting heavy brain-jarring dubstep will be disappointed as this collection is more about proper dub and chilled dubstep beats with a reggae influence. That’s not to say the odd wobbly-bass line doesn’t make an appearance, but it’s not in-your-face and compliments the vocal samples. Personally I would have preferred a couple of heavier dub-sections but no real complaints as I also think it works perfectly as it is – the boys at Culture Cuts seem to prefer the “dubber” side of dubstep, serving a chilled out auditory experience that will leave you wanting more. There is a nice dubstep drop towards the end though, just to finish off the mix which works really well. All in all a sweet mix that is perfect to listen to whilst travelling or simply relaxing, coming in as it does at a cool 21 minutes.

The mix can currently be found on the Culture Cuts playlist in the sidebar to the right alongside some other cuts –>

[You can play the cuts in a pop-out menu while you browse the net] – Or, just listen to the mix itself below. The full archive of cuts can be found at Culturecuts.co.uk


Vodpod videos no longer available.

You can find the link to Culture Cuts in the footer at the bottom of every page, as well as some other interesting links which I hope to be expanding in time. The Culture Cuts RSS feed can also be found in the sidebar to the right bringing you the latest updates in releases. Check out the Guardian’s RSS feed and We Concur’s alongside while you’re there.


Beauty sleep is not a myth

The official Irn-Bru logo

Image via Wikipedia

Ground-breaking new research has shown that people deprived of sleep for long periods of time appear less attractive and more unhealthy, a study has concluded. Unbelievable.

A Swedish study has shown that the concept of “beauty sleep” is not a myth – although being a “well known” concept it has lacked scientific support.

Volunteers in the study were photographed after eight hours sleep and again after being kept awake for 31 hours. Remarkably, observers rated the sleep deprived volunteers as being less attractive and less healthy than their well-rested selves – truly some revolutionary findings. Who would have known, unless this study was conducted?

The untrained observers were asked to “rate” the faces of 23 young men and women after a normal night’s sleep and then after a night of sleep-deprivation. The authors concluded in the British Medical Journal:

“Sleep deprived people are perceived as less attractive, less healthy and more tired compared with when they are well rested”

I’m sorry but, excuse me? Sleep deprived people are perceived of as being more tired in comparison to when they are well-rested?

Who is funding research like this? Apologies for the sarcastic tone of this post, but seriously, I am just amazed that this was actually researched. It is concluding that people that have been awake for going on for 31 hours are going to be perceived as being less attractive, less healthy, and more tired? Does science ever apply common sense, or does it have to test everything before it accepts it as “fact”?

I just get irritated at research like this, the fact that time and money goes into researching these sort of “hypotheses”, despite the fact that a seven-year old could probably tell you the answer for free. So what have we learnt from this? Sleeping less makes you look as if you have slept less. If you stay awake for 31 hours, people will think you are ill. And you probably are ill – stop drinking Irn Bru and get some rest, yeah?

Visualising Friendships


Mapping Friendships - Planet Facebook


Facebook intern Paul Butler has generated a stunning visualisation that shows the relationship between over 500 million Facebook users. “I was interested in seeing how geography and political borders affected where people lived relative to their friends”, he writes. “I wanted a visualization that would show which cities had a lot of friendships between them”.

The image above shows where people live in relation to their Facebook friends, with each line representing a connection between different cities. Brighter lines = more friends between the cities.

After adjusting the graphic and data, Butler was surprised at the detailed image of the globe that emerged, though he writes: “What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life.

“When I shared the image with others within Facebook, it resonated with many people. It’s not just a pretty picture, it’s a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders.”

The large sections of the world that are missing represent the areas with the least Facebook presence, for example China and Central Africa.

Video footage of police man-handling disabled protestor

Video footage has surfaced of a disabled protestor being pulled from his wheelchair by police, dragged along the pavement several yards and then dumped on the curb of the pavement. Sympathetic protestors attempt to save the man from the police but to no avail. One police officer is then seen to be aggressively pulled to the side by a fellow officer! Evidently due to the fact that he was too heavy-handed and thuggish in his actions towards a handicapped protestor. Each day more footage and imagery are coming to light showing the police brutality in the recent demonstrators – many with no identifying numbers on their lapels meaning no accountability! Watch the video for yourself and make up your own minds, however. (Warning – some strong language is used by the shocked witnesses)

The BBC interview with Jody McIntyre, the disabled protestor in the video above, can be found below. It must be said that the BBC interview seems slightly biased and accusatory, but I will leave it up to you to form your own opinions. Leave comments below to share your view. Big respect for Jody McIntyre and much sympathy for him and his cause.

Talbot Campus on #dayx3*

The cold cuts deep despite the sun’s subtle warmth. A young girl pulls her coat tight around her, shivering in the bitter air as she makes her way to the warmth of Poole House. Shelter.

Inside, the canteen marks a departure from the desolate barrens of the outside world – conversations compete for attention as students sit nursing hot drinks, discussing the ebbs and flows of existence. Despite the chatter, however, many seats are empty; the abandoned tables contrast with the hub of activity that the canteen usually brings. The cashiers wear Christmas hats, trying to invoke some festive spirit. A tiny Christmas tree sits atop a counter, looking forlorn. Today, we mourn.

Today is the day that Parliament votes on the proposals for the rise in tuition fees; today is the day that our government votes to condemn future generations to a lifetime of debt. Perhaps this is the reason Talbot Campus is so empty, so unwelcoming – a taste of things to come. I head out of Poole House and make my way to the AUCB campus, to see if the atmosphere is any different. As I step onto AUCB soil, the rays of the sun hit me in the face, blinding me. The campus, however, is also deserted. A stack of abandoned goods lay strewn on the side of the path – chairs, desks, planks of wood, a TV. As I make a right and head down the path towards the courtyard, I see a few students wandering aimlessly, some sitting on benches smoking cigarettes in the bitter cold as a bulldozer makes its way towards a construction site, scattering a few students who look lost. The atmosphere here is no different from Talbot Campus; it is empty, uninviting and desolate. Today the whole of Bournemouth University appears to be in mourning, the outcome already pre-empted by the few who walk the twin campuses with no real purpose. I depart. A small procession of students passes, some carrying placards, making their way to the SUBU coaches bound for the London protest. Some have not given up yet, imbued with a fighting spirit and a sense of optimism. They are chatting amongst themselves, laughing. It inspires hope in me.

In the circle courtyard outside Poole House, a banner reads: “Bournemouth University against Education Cuts”. The courtyard itself is empty. Work is still commencing on the newest “state-of-the-art” lecture theatre, the construction site fenced off. Who knows whether it will ever be filled once the cuts start to bite? I head back into Poole House, into the warmth. Grabbing a coffee, I sit down and mull over the scene before me. Suddenly, Christmas music pipes up, lifting the bleak mood. BU language society members stand in a line, enacting the songs in sign language for those who sit attentively. People clap. I chuck a few pence into the donation pot and make my way out, hands in pockets, deep in thought.

*#dayx3 is the twitter hashtag for the third day of student demonstrations which took place on the actual day that Parliament voted on the proposals to raise tuition fees. I wrote this feature on dayx3, as I walked around Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus. It was a cold winter morning, and the campus was fairly quiet, perhaps an indicator of things to come, I wondered. I filed this under Comment as well as Fiction>Stories, as it is also a piece of creative, journalistic writing.

“Now is the winter of our discontent…”

Sitting on the Police van - London students pr...

Image by chrisjohnbeckett via Flickr

– Richard III, William Shakespeare. 1594

So on Thursday 9th December, 2010, Parliament voted to raise the cap on tuition fees and condemn future generations to a lifetime of debt. All the protests, marches, demonstrations and petitions thus far have clearly had no impact on the government, which begs the question – how do people get the government to listen to their pleas?

This is our winter of discontent. The winter that has begun with London burning – images of fires and smoke trailing into the night sky as Big Ben watches over the chaos. Winston Churchill standing hunched over his cane, hand in pocket, as metal fences litter the pavements and graffiti is sprayed on stone monuments. Shattered windows and broken buildings highlight the less-obvious damages  – the damage done to the people, an electorate who believed in the lies they were fed, the false promises and pledges from a party that wanted “an end to broken promises”.

The cuts have not even started to bite yet, but already mass movements have been generated from the ground-up – bringing sympathisers from various movements under one shared cause.  Trade unionists, socialists, anti-war protestors, UK uncut demonstrators, students, sixth formers, school kids, teachers, lecturers, anarchists… all  have shown their faces at recent demonstrations.

This is only the beginning. Rather than discouraging demonstrators, the recent protests have actually inspired a generation who has found their voice – and found that they are not alone in their anger. The police violence of late has only served to fuel the cause, to promote solidarity amongst the groups, to educate the uninformed. These young protestors have had a crash-course in demonstrating – Protesting 101. They have had to learn quickly, and the results are beginning to be seen: protestors kettling the police, protestors breaking through the containments in small groups instead of large masses, bringing supplies and learning to hide their faces. There are those who show up just to cause trouble – from full-fledged anarchists to groups like the EDL who show up to cause trouble. Some “gang” members mugged several people on Thursday – stealing their phones or belongings whilst the police watched on, laughing or simply not giving a damn. But the protestors are learning. They do not stand for the violence, and ostracise those who incite it. Just like at Millbank when the fire extinguisher was thrown, the crowd turned on the culprits shouting: “Stop throwing shit!”. But what do you do when the ones instigating the violence are the police? Continue reading

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

Brilliant song and video focusing on the coalition government’s damning cuts – a protest song with a beat and a real message. Check it out and buy the single! There is a movement to get this song to Xmas no.1 – let’s do it!

Released 12th December for XMAS no 1.
Available from:

Proceeds to: Crisis, Disability Alliance, FalseEconomy and Women’s Health Matters. Launch gig for “Liar Liar” and FalseEconomy website 13th December, Vibe Bar Featuring Captain SKA, comedian Josie Long, Hackney Colliery band and DJ Jamie Renton (Chilli Fried)