on 13 February 2014
Rudimental need no recommendation. They are already huge and next week they're at the Brits, nominated in three categories: British Band (tough, against One Direction), British Album of the Year and British Single. They should win them all I say- and if there's any fairness in this world, then at least the best British single should be theirs. I am not sure which of their singles they are nominated with. It could be "Free" or "Waiting all night" I guess. For me they should be the winners just because of that incredible clip they did for "Waiting all night" (the best song of summer 2013 alright). You know the one: with the BMX cyclist losing a limb. Powerful stuff; video seems unconnected to the song's lyrics- yet who hasn't at some point in their lives experienced heart ache that feels as bad as physical pain, when the love is strong? Of course, one can rarely die of a broken heart and love's pains cannot compare to losing a leg or to living with constant physical pain; yet, the clip feels quite strong due to the comparison and must surely be one of the best video clips in the history of the medium.
Rudimental "broke into" the UK mainstream dance scene in late 2012 as far as I know, but they must have enjoyed some quite influential people's patronage previous to that because, from the start, their video clips- even the very first one- have been rather elaborate and expensive, and not the kind of videos that a struggling band who are just beginning their career could afford. All of Rudimental's clips are amazing and 6 of them are included in this "platinum edition" of the album (you can read which ones on the Amazon description of the product, so I don't type them here). As one can see all of those clips on Rudimental's you tube channel anyway, the most important extra of this platinum edition would be the 5 remixes of the original songs that are offered here and the two lives included. It is well worth buying the "platinum edition" therefore, especially as the price difference to the standard CD is minor. By the way, I've seen on you tube people complaining that "Home" does not contain the proper version of "Waiting all night" as seen on the video; that seems incorrect. You can find the proper song here and its "kidnap kid" remix, too. When you rip the CD to your computer the cover photo won't download though (copyright issues?). Who knows- you can always add it from the net later anyway, if you want the photo.
Although essentially a dance club act, it was obvious from the very start of their career that Rudimental are a very special kind of animal, due to their faultless aesthetic criterion that always feels right. Far-reaching in appeal, they are loved by many people (like myself) who are not very into drum'n'bass and the like. They have been immediately embraced by all sorts of music fans- not surprising, as they feel light years apart from your usual chart music offering. They have this "it" factor, which is so elusive to many others doing the same thing. Popular with all ages, too, they are; the other Friday evening my daughter was watching an interview of two of their members on CBBC, at the same time that I was cooking dinner, while watching their clips on my computer. They are loved by London people, because they love London people, something you will note yourselves if you buy the cd and read the "Thanks" section, where one of the members has written this: "I would like to thank my city, London, in particular Hackney. Thank you for being a place where so many different cultures can live amongst each other and learn from one another..... I have learnt so much from living here, I can feel at home wherever I go in the world". As a resident of east London myself (although not of Hackney itself), I can testify to the verity of this statement and to the ultimate truth that this is indeed what makes this part of London such a special place. Rudimental love their "home" and their home loves them right back. They are the current heroes of east London, and this is possibly why Essex sons The Prodigy (another beloved local dance act with wide appeal to all ages and all types of music fans) chose them as support to their 2013 New Year's Eve gig, at the North Greenwich O2. The Prodigy and Rudimental will undoubtedly prove to be the biggest and most important dance acts that the greater east London and Essex areas have borne and it was fitting they welcomed 2014 together. Wished with all my heart I could have been there!
So, it is not all just about the music: Rudimental are indicative of the intense cultural activity that is currently brewing in London's east central and northeast areas. Almost everything that is of any artistic consequence in London is happening around here now: with Spitalfields being the young fashion designers' base, Old Street Roundabout being the software companies' hub (hello Mind Candy and Moshi Monsters!), Clerkenwell being the Mecca of architects (even Zaha Hadid is a resident) and with Hackney (especially its Dalston, Haggerston and Shoreditch parts) being home to the studios of every kind of creative (or applied) artist you can think of, it is no wonder Rudimental are proud of their "Home" and chose the Hackney Peace Mural as the cover art for their cd. And by doing this, of course, they have contributed significantly to the raising of the area's profile, on an international basis. Hackney is now known the world over. And that incredible mural deserves all the fame it receives, too.
The moment I saw the cover of the "Home" album on a poster at our bus stop, I fell in love with them instantly, even before I heard a note of their music. It possessed the goldilocks effect: it felt "just right". In a way, that cover is "home", seeing how my daughter's best friend lives a stone's throw from where that mural can be found. If you are visiting London and you are a fan of Rudimental, you should bear in mind that the specific area around the mural, even though not objectively beautiful, is well worth a visit. The whole place is buzzing with exciting stuff! The Hackney Peace Mural is situated practically opposite the Dalston overground station. Exit right from the station and you'll immediately see it. It is opposite the coop and it is huge. You can also take a picture of the cute café on the other side of the road from the mural, which is also featuring on the cd's cover (the white building that looks like an angry face; the artist has signed it with his website too, in case you wish to contact him so as to have your own walls adorned in a similar manner). Around the corner from the mural is the super cult Arcola Theatre (on Ashwin street), where you can always find something unexpected going on (last time we were in the area on February 2nd, punchdrunk were having a workshop there and later that day there'd be a Spanish play in collaboration with the London Cervantes Institute). Next to the peace mural is a lovely outdoors café (Eastern Curve) best visited in the summer, and behind this café is an amazing parking lot full of graffiti you will want to see and photograph. As the gate to the parking lot from Hartwell street is locked, you will want to go around and approach it from Abbot street. All graffitis here are art works and no simple tags. My favourite is the immense goblin one, while daughter prefers the long orange punk carrot, by the car park's entrance. That one actually has a twin sibling: you can find the long yellow punk carrot, all chopped in slices, on the Regent's Canal towpath, if you walk it between Haggerston and Mile End.
Such are the interests of Rudimental's "Home" and anyone who is their fan should come and explore it. Rudimental would want you to discover the places where contemporary art lives in today's London, I am sure! And even if they do not win any Brit awards next week (which I sincerely hope they will do), they must know they are in our hearts and we shall never walk these streets (or canal towpaths) again, without their tunes firmly stuck in our minds and hearts.