Summer may now be but a distant memory, but thankfully September provided us with plenty of quality music to cushion the blow. As always our dedicated team of writers spent the month listening to everything they could wrap their ears around in order to provide you with a rundown of the best that was on offer. Enjoy…
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – ‘Deeper’ ( Invazion )
Although their forthcoming collaborative album is disappointingly no longer titled ‘Cocaine Pinata’ ( some party pooping suit thought ‘Pinata’ alone might be a more appropriate title ), there’s still much to be excited about in the pairing of Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, or MadGibbs as some have taken to calling them. On this, the title track from their third EP together, Gibbs spits a lovelorn narrative of hood romance gone sour whilst Madlib drops a beat that typically is equal parts exotic and soulful. With rap sub genres sprouting up quicker than many care to notice, this is a refreshing reminder that ‘classic’ styles will never die.
Funkineven – The Joker ( Broadwalk Records )
Steven Julien gets yet another party track of surprising finesse and swagger out of his already well worn analog hardware. Maintaining the same rugged, electro tinged synth groove throughout, he puts it through all manner of tempo changes, pitch bends and filters to really hammer home his point. After skewing the beat almost beyond recognition, a crazed-laughter filled breakdown gives way to its re-emergence as a strutting club destroying monster. The ‘Blue Monday’ esque FX that make an appearance on several occasions only serve to earn Julien additional bonus points, on this choice cut from another great EP.
Mix Mup – ‘Bungalow’ ( Hinge Finger )
Mix Mup’s due some attention, with a slew of quality releases both as a solo producer and with his eminent wonky house cohort, Kassem Mosse. Hopefully his new EP on Joy Orbison and Will Bankhead’s Hinge Finger will get him the recognition he deserves, with the highlight for me coming in the form of beatless closer ‘Bungalow’. Whilst the off-kilter grooves of the rest of the release are inarguable great, there’s something about the cavernous bleeps of this one that make it the true stand-out. Proper dreamy.
Beau Wanzer – ‘Hoedown’ ( Russian Torrent Versions )
An offshoot of the now omnipresent L.I.E.S., Russian Torrent Versions is undoubtedly a light-hearted reference to the label’s popularity in the realms of eastern-European file-sharing and it’s off to a flying start. One half of Mutant Beat Dance, Beau Wanzer’s offering on the subsidiary’s parent label was a bit underwhelming for me, but he’s really honed his game for this one. Nervously glitching bleeps and tuned toms give way to crunchy hats and a punishing kick create a freight train of a track. ‘Discretion is advised’ the distorted vocal samples warns, and rightly so.
Benjamin Damage – ‘4600’ EP – ( 50Weapons )
Berlin-via-Swansea’s finest Benjamin Damage returns to Modeselektor’s 50Weapons imprint with a 4-track homage to the rare ETI 4600 synthesiser. The lead track ‘ETI Rework’ is a ripped 4/4 brute riding aboard a frenetic and techy synth line, something vastly at odds with the opiate synthwave of ‘Nebula’. Mega.
DJ Funk – Three Fine Hoes (Sinjin Hawke Remix) – ( Booty Call Records )
Adding style and finesse to the raw appeal of a DJ Funk banger is neither easy nor advisable, but Canadian producer Sinjin Hawke has nailed it on his remix of ‘Three Fine Hoes’. Fusing brass power, elegant melodic flourishes and intricate drumwork with the misogynistic vocal spine of the original, the outcome is an absolute triumph.
Celsius – ‘Incoming (Arctic Remix)’ ( Madtech )
Arctic’s gritty rework of Celsius’ new one for Mad Tech is one of the best late summer bubblers I’ve heard this year. Fusing the jump-up energy of the original with his own, hoods-up brand of cross tempo grime, this is as rough and ready as remixes come. Absolute heater.
Nightwave – Rave Hard ( Heka Trax )
Back after a near two year hiatus with a new EP, Nightwave’s first transmission on newly crowned label ‘Heka Trax’ is barnstorming a four-track party piece. Stand out track ‘Rave Hard’ implores you to do exactly what it says on the tin, lacing together crazy snares, meticulously worked synths and absolutely huge, system-duppying bass bangs. Insanely good.
John Wizards are an awesome band from Cape Town, South Africa. Thanks to a chance meeting outside a coffee shop between band leader and producer John Withers and vocalist Emmanuel Nzaramba, the pair began to record music together, eventually forming the band John Wizards. Their debut album for Planet Mu references a vast range of their motherland’s sounds: from traditional African music through to the more modern shoots of South African House and Shangaan Electro. These sounds tussle with a myriad of weird Pop and R&B influences that ultimately leave the listener happy yet pleasantly confused. The main appeal of this record for me is how chaotically creative it is – you can just sense how much fun they had during the process.
Doctor Cockbloctopus -‘RITE LA? (Send for Slackk & his Midget Patrice) WAR DUB
September was the month that Grime went back to war. There are so many highlights to choose from all the War Dubs circulating online but Altered Natives lobbed a spanner in the works with this brute.
“Badbwoy Dis Ting Aint 4 U!”
‘Bring’ was a highlight of Blawan’s set in the Moat at Dimensions. Proper dark, swinging beats. The flip is slower and more gradual, but, as you’d expect from Randomer, still comes with a killer ‘drop’.
Cosmin TRG – ‘New Structures For Loving – Marcel Dettmann Rmx’ / ‘Noise Code – Lee Gamble Rmx’ ( 50Weapons )
Lee Gamble and Marcel Dettmann are a pretty perfect pairing to rework ‘Gordian’. Dettmann is at the top of his game right now and delivers a typically deep and clinical version of ‘New Structures For Loving’. The ‘Noise Code’ remix is the winner though, seven minutes of subtle and trippy minimalism.