From Blues To Hip Hop: The Pursuit Of Freedom Through Music

A Brief History Of Blues And One Of Its Descendants, Hip Hop

Willie Dixon once described the blues as being “the roots” of all American music. With a history that dates back centuries, it’s certainly a statement with merit. Even so, it can sometimes be difficult to identify influences of the blues in modern music, particularly for those who are relatively unfamiliar with the genre. In this article, we take a closer look into a few core influences blues has had on many of its musical offspring, with focus on one of its most popular descendants, hip hop.

The blues originated from enslaved African-Americans in the 16th century, when the genre gave a voice to the their common experiences in a period where the majority of society was indoctrinated to both deny and eliminate their self-expression. This was one of the major themes of the blues – the voice of the people, in addition to love, poverty, and betrayal, amongst many others. These themes were one of the elements that would later become essential in many of the multitude of genres that blues music spawned.



All you need to know for Melbourne's Download Festival

Fasten Your Seatbelts

Australia's very first Download Festival is happening this weekend, and we're here to provide the nitty gritty for tomorrow.

Set times for Download have been shuffled recently, so make sure you plan ahead and catch your favourite bands in action. The lineup is spread across four stages, which is always handy to help avoid clashes as much as possible.



Either memorise this map below or grab the Download app on your phone so you can get around Flemington Racecourse with no issues.



Dark Mofo 2018 reveals first lineup announcement

An Exclusive Australian Performance

Tasmania’s favourite winter solstice festival Dark Mofo is back for another year, and they’ve just announced heavy metal innovators Electric Wizard as the first act to join their 2018 lineup.

The UK four-piece will bring their unique style of doom metal to Australia fresh from the 2017 release of their ninth studio album, Wizard Bloody Wizard. Electric Wizard are known for constantly redefining the thoughts surrounding detuned guitar chords, and have provided the metal community with reverberating riffs and heavy acid rock since their inception in 1993.



Reviewed: Focusrite Clarett 4Pre USB

Innovative Music | | Expect to Pay: $1049

The Focusrite Clarett range focuses on tour audio interfaces designed to offer the kind of quality and features found in units costing twice the price. The series goes from the desktop Clarett 2Pre (10-in, 4-out) and Clarett 4Pre reviewed here (18-in, 8-out) to the single-rackmount Clarett 8Pre (18-in, 20-out) up to the Thunderbolt-only Clarett 8PreX, with a very respectable 26-in, 28-out. Aside from the consistent visual presentation, the line is also held together by its reliance on Focusrite’s decades of analogue design experience, along with Air-enabled preamps that reproduce the input impedance, clarity, and frequency response curve of the company’s original ISA mic preamp.

Available in Thunderbolt and USB versions, the Clarett 4Pre has four high performance, low-noise (-128dB EIN) mic preamps with a low distortion, ultra-linear design that guarantees a clean, open and transparent sound, giving accurate representation of the original performance. There are 18 inputs including the four mic/line inputs (two of which are also high-impedance instrument inputs), four fixed line inputs, and an ADAT input which supports an additional eight channels when combined with multi-channel mic preamps like Clarett OctoPre.

Hits and Misses


Input gain LEDs handily integrated around the gain controls

Flexible routing options

Great-sounding Air mode on all four mic channels


A few USB ports for connecting other devices would be nice


Reviewed: Positive Grid Bias 600W modeling amp

Link Audio | | Expect to Pay: $1999

We may not eat food in pill form or hoon around in hover-cars just yet, but we are well and truly living on the cusp of, if not smack bang in the belly of the future. There are people making music on computers that sounds like blips and bloops just like The Jetsons guessed, and we’re video calling each other on a regular basis just to tell each other that we’re minutes away on the tram. Fred and Wilma would be quaking in their loincloths if they knew half the things we can do these days. The advent of the internet and its expansion to the seemingly limitless world of hands-free technology has made it so that just about anything and everything you could possibly wish for is a swipe, click or tap away. Positive Grid is a company that has been at the coalface of this technological tin mine for years now. Famous for creating some of the most user friendly and sonically advanced music apps on the market, their new Bias Head sees them take one almighty leap into the physical realm and apply the entirety of their tone-tech prowess in the real world.

The Bias Head is, at its genesis, a modeling amp - just not like you’ve known before. As opposed to being an engorged menu of presets and optional extras, this unit seeks to put the power in your hands. You choose just about everything except the printed circuit board it is built on, and the unit itself quietly ensures that a) you have easy access to all your choices and b) every last one of them sounds as natural as the real thing.


Hits and Misses


Incredibly realistic tone

Literally infinite tone shaping options in a totally portable yet durable package


None - reverb would have been nice but you can get that elsewhere


Slash announces new album with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators

The Guitar Great Returns To The Studio

Slash looks set to continue his work with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators with the announcement that the group has been in the studio hard at work on a third album.

The Guns ‘N Roses guitarist has worked with Kennedy on multiple other occasions, including for his 2010 self-titled solo debut. The group then went on to release two albums under the name Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators: Apocalyptic Love in 2012, followed by 2014’s World On Fire.



This book is entirely dedicated to the best tweets from The Maine's John O'Callaghan

Featuring 365 Inspiring Tweets

John O’Callaghan, vocalist for American rockers The Maine, has shared his plans to publish some of his best tweets in a book to help inspire you in paperback form.

O’Callaghan has made a name for himself with the often philosophical and always inspirational snippets of wisdom he shares on his Twitter account, taking the time to send out daily tweets over the past eight years. If you’re not particularly well-versed in the world of Twitter, however, O’Callaghan has still got you covered with a new book containing 365 of his personal favourite tweets.



The soundtrack of resistance with Prophets of Rage

It’s borderline impossible not to call Tom Morello a guitar hero. Whether it’s his radical charisma, Harvard-schooled smarts, or his consistent ability to wrangle obscenely impossible guitar sounds into some of the best rock riffs of the past 25 years, Morello perfectly represents the politically conscious rock star – which, as it turns out, is exactly what we need today.

“We’re all excited to be here and on a mission together to not just make some great rock and roll, but to also attempt to have an impact in these troubled times,” says Morello of Prophets of Rage, the guitarist’s new rap-rock supergroup who will be making their way to Australia to headline the inaugural Download Festival. Fusing the cutthroat lyricism of Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Cypress Hill’s B-Real with P.E.


Ozzy Osbourne sues concert promoter AEG over restrictive booking conditions

Concerning London's O2 And LA's Staples Center

Ozzy Osbourne is taking a stand against live entertainment organisation AEG in response to the company’s conditional booking requirement called ‘The Staples Center Commitment’.

Osbourne is suing AEG under antitrust laws for allegedly illegally tying bookings between the O2 in London and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The claim alleges that artists who sign ‘The Staples Center Commitment’ with AEG cannot play the O2 unless they play Staples too, should their tour take them to LA.



WATCH: Glenn Tipton returns to the stage with Judas Priest

Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton has joined the band on stage for the first time since Parkinson’s disease forced him to take a step back from touring.

Tipton recently shared a statement informing fans of his decision to step down from participating in live shows with the band due to the degenerative disease. Andy Sneap is currently filling in for the guitarist on Judas Priest’s US tour, where Tipton last night returned to the stage to perform ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Breaking the Law’, and ‘Living After Midnight’.