In this age of endless uploads and releases, trying to keep up with the flow can be pretty overwhelming.
That’s why every month we’re going to be highlighting some of our favourite tracks from the past four weeks. Our writers dig deep for big anthems and stuff that might have flown under the radar. Hopefully you’ll discover something new in each roundup.
This month we’ve got the unofficial follow-up to The Bug’s 2008 anthem ‘Skeng’, sultry R&B on Rhythm Section, and the second appearance from Commodo in the series, who featured in the best of February with the very same album. Indulge yourself below…
1. The Bug & Killa P – ‘Leng’
The internet lost its collective mind when ‘Leng’ – the grimier cousin and unofficial follow-up to The Bug’s 2008 anthem ‘Skeng’ – dropped at the beginning of the month. Although Flowdan’s recognisable, thunderous voice doesn’t feature on this version, the return of Killa P more than makes up for it with his lightning-speed lyrics – his famous ‘‘duppy de duppy de duppy de duppy de dem” line rolling off the tongue as easily as it did eight years ago. Thankfully, The Bug hasn’t tampered too much with a classic; although ‘Leng’ bears a striking resemblance to the original, this time around, a new prevailing triplet beat skips energetically over the familiar bassline and swaggering half-step kick.
“Whether you’re from Manchester or London, north London or Brixton”, if you’re heading fabric this Friday (where The Bug headlines Room 1), expect to hear this pulled up multiple times.
2. Tom Boogizm – ‘Cod A God’ (Ono)
Mancunian Tom Boogizm is known for his extensive NTS shows that explore just about every style under the sun, so it comes as no surprise the sound of the crate digger’s debut album Posh People Make Me Ill continues in this vein. Successfully uniting the forces of hip-hop, post punk and downbeat, Boogizm manages to create a truly individualistic sound that balances lo-fi ambience with delicate human expression.
Choosing a standout track proved difficult but perhaps the best is saved till last, with dreamy closer ‘Cod A God’. Dusty hi-hats provide the backbone as fragile synths clip just enough to make light in the darkness. A post-rave burner that echoes the warmth of Andy Stott’s ‘Faith In Strangers’ and the synth harmonies of classic Carl Craig.
3. Silentjay X Jace XL – Rockabye (Rhythm Section)
The 11th instalment from Peckham imprint Rhythm Section once again shows why their tidy releases have been turning people’s heads. On ‘Rockabye’, Jace XL’s silky-smooth vocals float effortlessly over the equally glossy production of producer/multi-instrumentalist Silentjay. With a nod to ’90s R&B, the pair perfectly combine to create a sleek lullaby with such seduction it would make even the likes of D’Angelo blush. Jace’s woozy line, “When I get out of bed I get this song stuck in my head” is extremely relevant.
4. NKC – ‘Hague Basement’ (Her Records)
The first track to be taken from NKC’s debut release for the mighty Her Records has been cropping up in recent sets from the likes of Kode9, Akito and label mate MM. ‘Hague Basement’ – its name a nod to the Dutch techno underground – comes over like a hard-hitting, industrial take on UK funky. Anchored by a relentless kick, the track locks you in a polyrhythmic vice grip and holds you there for the duration. The tension is almost hypnotic – when it finally lets up, you’ll be left feeling like you’ve been bludgeoned half to death. But as ever, the devil is in the detail.
5. DJ Nate – ‘Get Back Trik’
DJ Nate (aka Bakaman aka FlexxBabii ENT) is back with what appears to be a track from the follow up to his acclaimed Planet Mu release, Da Trak Genious. It’s unclear whether pairing the “get yo ass back” lyric with a sad vocal lament bears any significant meaning, however, it’s also unimportant. The combination of emotive harmony and captivating rhythm is highly addictive, treading a fine line between soothing and excitable. Footwork production is arguably his most successful endeavour, and judging by this latest offering it seems likely that Da Trak Genious 2 will continue in a similar vein to its predecessor.
6. Nidia Minaj – ‘Puro Tarraxo’
Shockingly precocious Lisbon-via-Bordeaux talent Nidia Minaj keeps up the pace by slowing down the tempo of last year’s Danger into mesmeric Tarraxo territory. Deploying spluttering vox chops and synthetic squeegee bursts, Nidia takes the propulsive rhythms of Tarraxo and renders them into a spellbinding barrage of interchanging sonic components. The result leaves you feeling as though you’ve been hit with an elaborate combo on Street Fighter – all you can really do is step back and gaze in awe, and before you know it, it’s over.
7. Commodo – ‘My Liege’ (Black Acre)
Undoubtedly the UK’s best underground producing talent right now. Every one of his beats is on point – just look at how revered his earlier Deep Medi releases are on Discogs. Commodo’s debut album has not disappointed. A definitive collection of beats exploring hip hop, grime, and dubstep. One of its standouts has to be ‘My Liege’, a dark, gruelling piece eerily conducted by harpsichord notes. Do not sleep on this album.
Featured image (L-R): Commodo, Nidia Minaj (Herberto Smith), Silentjay X Jace XL (Renee Stamatis), DJ Nate