Pick-Your-Own: August (Part 1)

There’s a staggering amount of new music that we get the chance to listen to every month, and in some ways it’s more of a curse than a blessing. Luckily for you we spend every waking hour (almost) sifting through the latest aural delights, so we decided to start a new feature highlighting the best that the previous month had to offer. We’ve started off the party with a bumper selection for August, so expect even more top notch music later on this week…

Tomas Fraser:
Arctic – Three Stripes EP (Liminal Sounds)

Arctic released his debut 12” on my Coyote imprint back in June and I always knew he’d go on and really make his mark. Cracking EP that pushes grime in ways nobody else is doing, ‘Seeps’ being the most obvious example. Breen’s storming remix of title track ‘Three Stripes’ is also a definite highlight.

Boofy & Lemzly Dale – Catch A Body / Banshee (Sector 7 Sounds)

Bristol’s burgeoning grime scene has unearthed a few gems this year, with Boofy and Lemzly Dale no exception. Their debut 12”, self-released on their ‘Sector 7’ imprint is lethal. ‘Catch A Body’ is as moody as it gets, fusing eerie synths with killer bass kicks heavy enough to destroy raves for fun, whilst ‘Banshee’ is just plain evil. Contemporary instrumental grime at it’s finest.

DJ Milktray – Hotel (Unreleased)

8-bar bootlegs of classic RnB tunes have started to crop up more and more over the past few months but none brilliant as DJ Milktray’s re-edit of R Kelly’s ‘Hotel’. Played by Slackk on his NTS show, itself a hub for the freshest instrumental grime cuts, the audacity of it, alongside immaculate sampling, is what really sings here. Brilliant stuff.

Lil Silva – Distance EP (Good Years)

Been a big fan of Lil Silva for a long time and his new EP for Good Years is an absolute skanker. Choosing not to follow the classic funky template hasn’t slowed him down either, with ‘No Doubt’ featuring a great vocal from Rosie Lowe demonstrating a penchant for the darker, rolling Swamp-esque sounds. ‘Mask’ on the other hand, sounds like deconstructed, down-tempo grime in places but that said, stand out track ‘One Twenty’ and ‘Salient Sarah’, featuring Sampha, are both more familiar Silva cuts – funky dancefloor gold.

Murlo – Adder EP (Unkown To The Unknown)

Murlo’s making so much great music at the moment, it was hard to pick a favourite release. His Adder EP for UTTU is probably the best of the lot though, working his romanticised, string-led take on grime to the absolute max. ‘Adder’ is the bounciest of the three tracks on offer but ‘Irises’ is a game-changer; violins and flutes carry the riddim off into a distant, joyous wonderland – honestly one of the most innovative tunes i’ve heard this year. Final track ‘Palace’ is awash soca rhythms and glorious melodies to round off what is a stunning EP.

Patrick Henderson:
Vakula – You’ve Never Been To Konotop (Firecracker Recordings)

Since finally receiving a working visa earlier this year, Ukraine’s Vakula has become a regular fixture in the UK and with tracks like ‘New Romantic’, that can only be a good thing. Taken from the bumper 3 x LP ‘You’ve Never Been To Konotop’, a collection of his work from the past 3 years, it’s perfect dreamy house music with a distinct taste of Detroit.

Jay Daniel – Scorpio Rising EP (Sound Signature)

Already becoming recognised as a top DJ, this youngster and contemporary of Kyle Hall is sure to explode when his debut 12″ drops on Sound Signature. Wavering between rough yet soulful numbers to more in-your-face percussive numbers, the Scorpio Rising EP is a promisingly diverse sign of what’s to come.

 DJ Fett Burger / Telephones – Tutti Frutti Del Mar (Sex Tags UFO)

Norway’s finest exponents of the weird and wonderful have done it again with the latest release on Sex Tags UFO. Sibling of DJ Sotofett and label co-owner DJ Fett Burger joins up with the mysterious Telephones to deliver this tropical slow-burner, with the euphoric, sun-drenched climax wonderfully executed.

 Forest Swords – Engravings (Tri Angle)

Forest Swords’ debut on Olde English Spelling Bee was amongst the best releases of 2010 and I’m not alone in rejoicing at his return to the music scene, this time through Tri Angle Records. Hailing from the Wirral, his atmospheric take on the dread sounds of dub reggae are compelling to say the least, with the excellent ‘The Weight Of Gold’ highlighting his knack for cultivating richly textured soundscapes.

Josh Thomas:
Murlo – Adder EP

I’d like to echo the sentiments expressed by Tomas on this release. Murlo’s brand of grime is brilliantly nutty and proper rudeboy, like, but on ‘Adder’ he wraps his grime in this romantic blanket that sends you drifting across a canopy of the Amazon rainforest.

Spaventi Dazzurro – Lonely (COSMOS)

M>O>S launch new sister label COSMOS with a late summer surprise from Amsterdam-based Spaventi Dazzurro. The ‘Jerkoff’ and ‘Crunchy Club’ version’s of ‘Lonely’ are a solder-meltingly hot combination of acid and house.

Midland / JD Twitch / Auntie Flo – ‘Autonomous Africa Vol 2’ (Autonomous Africa)

The second instalment from JD Twitch’s Autonomous Africa Vol 2 is not only another positive step forward in drawing attention to the problems caused by global capitalist interferences in the affairs of African countries, but is full of great music – Midland, Auntie Flo and Twitch himself appear on the 12″ release which features four lean Afrobeat-fed bruisers.

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