Even though it (apparently) won song of the year 2012 at the last Worldwide Awards , I only heard UK artist Andrew Ashong‘s hypnotic “flowers” recently – thanks @shuggie! The lead track of this excellent three-track EP on Theo Parrish‘ Sound Signature label ebbs and flows its way around, and feels like it has always existed. A wonderful addition to the canon of flower-based songs, and hopefully only the beginning of Ashong’s career.
The deeper I get into music, the more I’m starting to like electro and rave. Sparse, full of energy and overcoming the limits of hardware with creativity. UK DJ and producer Paul Woolford started his Special Request in 2012, releasing a few vinyl 12″s that introduced a 21st century take on early nineties rave and proto-jungle. “Soul Music“, a full album by Woolford’s alias, was released this week. I loved the early releases and have been eagerly awaiting more material… and the album delivers!
In the weeks leading up to the album’s release I’ve revisited the mix linked above. And listened to it again. And again. Damn this is good. Taking in eighties electro, Electronic Body Music, UK bleeps, classic Detroit and a few Special Request tunes, the flow and energy of the mix are inspired. Dig in.
- V/VM – The Death Of Rave 024
- The Egyptian Lover – Egypt, Egypt
- Meat Beat Manifesto – Radio Babylon
- Unique 3 – Activity
- Renegade Soundwave – The Phantom
- Hokus Pokus – Different World
- Model 500 – No UFO’s (D-Mix)
- Innerzone Orchestra – Bug In The Bassbin
- Unity – Unity (Future Sound Of London Remix)
- Gordon Edge – Compnded (Edge*1)
- The Brothers Grimm – Exodus (The Lion Awakes)
- Wax Doctor – A New Direction
- Special Request – Ride VIP
- Special Request – Mindwash
- Special Request – Broken Dreams
- Ragga Twins – Spliff Head
- Lee Gamble – Rufige
- Grooverider – Sinister (Remix)
- V/VM ‘The Death Of Rave 013′
My lord. My friend J. Smoke played this to me a few weeks back in front of a packed dance-floor. Spiritual afro grooving by all ages was the result. Instantly picked up the fresh reissue of Ebo Taylor‘s 1980 album “Conflict Nkru!“. While the track above is the definite highlight, and up there with the best afrobeat I’ve heard so far, the rest of the tracks are lovely as well. Play loud and be thankful.
Lots of great (new) music, but time to take up the digital pen has been scarce. The debut album by King Krule deserves an exception. Krule, aka nineteen year old Archy Marshall, was raised on a diet of fourties jazz, classic hiphop and UK pirate radio and has grown up blending all these influences into a musical style very much his own. Krule is a shameless romantic, but a wary city-dweller at the same time. He longs for intimacy and disdains it at the same time.
“6 feet beneath the moon” has been in constant rotation for the past few weeks, and rather than try to put my finger on what makes it a very special record, I suggest you open the doors to Krule’s universe through the two tracks above and listen for yourself.
Six years ago Simon aka Scrappington from NY made a mix called “slow music from west africa“. While in possession of some Fela Kuti, Mulatu Astatke and Orchestre Baobab records, my knowledge of (West) African music was fleeting. This mix triggered what is now a deep love for the variety of sounds from the continent. Fast Forward to June 2013, and a friendly message from Simon alerts me to the fact that a second volume has arrived on Awesome Tapes From Africa*. Picking up the thread as if the first instalment wasn’t six years ago, volume 2 casts a wider net and rounds up a set of deep and pleasantly melancholy tracks. Summer fodder; enjoy!
- Lord’s Special – Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe – Nigeria
- La Guinée-Wodi – Orchestre de Kindia (Dirou Band) – Guinea
- Yatouloveras – UCAS Band de Sedhiou – Senegal
- Teranga – Ouza et Teranga International Band – Senegal
- Feresirima – Peacocks International Guitar Band − Nigeria
- Na – Djorçon – Guinea-Bissau
- Duga – Orchestre Rail Band – Mali
- Sigala - Magatte N’diaye with Star Band de Dakar – Senegal
- Touraman – Horoya Band National – Guinea
- Sali – Amadou Ballake Traore – Burkina Faso
- Ma Penda – Orchestre Bawobab Gouye-Gui de Dakar – Senegal
- Footaane – Etoile de Dakar – Senegal
- Douga – Quintette Guinéenne – Guinea
- Ife Uwa Adi Agwuagwu – Celestine Ukwu – Nigeria
- Danaya – Nahawa Doumbia – Mali
2013 is turning out to be a great year for music – here are nine current albums tips for your summer soundtrack.
Day‘s debut album Land of a 1000 Chances has been on constant rotation since being released a few months ago. A labor of love that’s part desert, part mature b-boy. Has lost none of its charm after 30+ plays. Check out VQ, and more info here.
Mount Kimbie have a new home on Warp, and sophmore album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth is a step onwards from the acclaimed Crooks & Lovers. More instruments, layered songs that worm its way into your mind and a proper band feel at times. I wasn’t checking for this at all, but it has become one of my favorites of 2013. Check out You Took Your Time, and more info here.
Paula is the new project by David Carriere from TOPS, and Relaxed Fit was released as a pay-what-you-like download last year. This 8-track collection of ridiculously catchy cassette-dubbed weirdness turned out to be too good, and is now receiving a proper LP/CD release. Check out five tracks here and get your wasted eighties slamdance on.
…Like Clockwork is the return to form of the mighty Queens Of The Stone Age, and proves once again that when this band is good, it leaves scores of other bands crying on the floor of their rehearsal space. Give up dudes… check out the opening track and realise there’s more where that came from.
Joey Bada$$ was born in 1995, and makes glorious golden-age hiphop like he was actually born and living in the early nineties. A publicist’s wet dream, but only interesting if the music lives up to the hype, right? It does. Download his latest mixtape Summer Knights, or check out Right On Time first.
Congo Natty is the name of the jungle/reggae collective started by the Rebel MC in the early nineties. Jungle Revolution is their first album on a big(ger) label after almost twenty years of independent releases. There’s no way I can even pretend to judge the album on a neutral basis – tunes like Fever, Junglist and Emperor Selassie I are part of my musical Blueprint. Love it.
James Holden‘s second album The Inheritors sounds like a band of historic shamans gaining acces to analogue synths. To soundtrack a solstice. While talking to their ancestors and tripping on hallucinogenic drugs. The results are trippy and disorienting – was listening to this on the train and I nearly missed my stop. Heavy. Listen to The Caterpillar’s Intervention, more info here.
Omar‘s The Man delivers on the promise made by the eponymous single a few months back – another timeless album by a UK soul singer who can claim 23 years of continious quality. If you ever have the chance to see him live, do so. You won’t regret it. Untill then, listen to Ordinary Day and check out more info here.
Steve Gunn is a new name for me, but has been active since 2007. He recently joined Kurt Vile as a guitarist, but luckily finished Time Off before that. Part Michael Chapman, part John Fahey, this is an essential end-of-the-day / feet-in-a-stream summer album. Gentle and deep. Check out opening track Water Wheel.
Want more? Let me know in the comment section; I can easily do another nine made up of recent reissues and mixes.
Because I have and will, and I hope you do too.