If there’s one man that’s dominated our musical commute in 2016, it’s Anderson.Paak. The Oxnard native and super soul brother is a beast on the mic, while his discography so far askews the more trap-tinged productions of so many of his peers, favouring as he does a more melodic and old school orientated approach to beatmaking. Needless to say that, since dropping his sophomore album ‘Malibu’ at the turn of the year, we’ve had his sounds on constant rotation here, and now a new project is seemingly set to be released soon on the mighty Stones Throw Records.
Teaming up with renowned hip-hop beatsmith Knxwledge and following their hotly tipped first EP ‘Link Up & Suede’, aired last December, the duo are all set to unleash their full collaborative debut as NxWorries, titled ‘Yes Lawd!’. Anyone not au fait with the work of Knxwledge should head over to his Bandcamp right now, where you’re sure to find beat tape after beat tape available to download… prolific really isn’t the word on this one. An expert on muddied loops, sample chops, and heavy drums, he can certainly bring the funk as witnessed last year on Kendrick Lamar’s award winning album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, and here it seems he’s soon to be the perfect foil for .Paak’s buttery flow.
First up to bat from the longplayer (aside from the previously issued tracks from the EP) is ‘Lyk This’, a supremely flavoursome cut, which pairs bombastic drums and sampled strings with a brazen, self assured turn from the singer. It certainly has our collective heads bumping and promises much for an album that may yet feature on a few end of year lists!
The album ‘Yes Lawd!’ drops on Stones Throw Records, October 21st 2016. Streamselected tracks from the LP below.
The 2015 semester is now in session and what better way to reignite than with an absolute banger of a release from one of our favourite South London crews. Yes the 22a imprint makes a welcome return to our turntable with a fourth outing, an EP entitled ‘Thoughts of You’ from label boss Tenderlonious. Since we last caught up with the South London multi-instrumentalist and vocalist behind 22a’s existence a little under a year ago, things have moved on at a rapid pace for him and his 22a bredren. A third split release featuring beats from Mo Colours and Reginald Omas Mamode IV appeared back in September of last year and quickly sold out (original copies of the vinyl are now fetching a tidy sum on Discogs), while two tracks from Tenderlonious were picked up by Sounds of the Universe for their ongoing Art+Sound 12″ series on Soul Jazz Records.
For his first release of 2015, Tenderlonious returns to his own label and drops four tracks of low slung, jazz inflected deep house sounds that clearly take inspiration from days gone by without ever resorting to pastiche – a trap which so many of today’s producers seem to fall into. Kicking things off on a loose limbed tip with the spatial ‘Something Special’, cosmic keys ride over chattering percussion for a pretty excellent opening shot. ‘Little D’ is a little darker in mood but no less essential with its nagging rhythms, while on the flip, ‘Thoughts Of You…’ continues the mid tempo four to floor attitude, pairing flourishes of jazz piano with a driving kick. This is most definitely Detroit Beatdown… Peckham style. Finally, the set closes out with possibly the strongest cut ‘Wow Wee (Not Seen U B4)’, which slowly drifts into view after a brief interlude, a minimal beat giving way to elongated and circular tones that produce the sort of mesmerising effect you would normally find exuding from the depths of downtown Chicago . Without doubt a solid four-tracker, you should get your hands on this limited release before you have to resort to finding a (more expensive) copy on the second hand market. It seems the 22a crew are here to stay and with each record, the music just keeps getting stronger.
With the World Cup finally over, so finishes our month long hiatus from the Internet (well, predominantly this blog), but that’s not to say there’s not a little more Brazilian sunshine to enjoy before we get plugged in again and the clouds descend (although we expect the mood in Rio is still pretty overcast). When thoughts turn to sunnier climes, it’s always nice to pack a tropical tune or two, and whether it be South American or otherwise, it seems the French production duo Souleance share the same view as they’ve turned in a new four track EP of beat-orientated Brazilian edits for the First Word Records fam.
Since pairing up back in 2009 for the supremely well-received boom-bap mission that was the ‘Le Monde’ EP, DJ Soulist and Fulgeance have already released an album and several EPs for the London-based record imprint and here they pull together another quartet of beats that are this time heavily indebted to Bahia and beyond. Released last week on digital, the little collection packs a serious kick when it comes to all things Samba and things start promisingly with ‘Segrados do Samba’, a heavily filtered Samba rhythm giving way to snapping drums, percussion, a nimble electric piano line and a choice vocal refrain that gives the tune a boisterous bounce. Elsewhere there’s ‘Vem Jogar’, a suitably smooth journey that comes some way to giving us an idea of what would happen if Maga Bo got hold of the Azymuth master tapes, while ‘Novo Mundo’ is another choice cut, underpinned by a funky breakbeat and a curious vocal hook. Finally, for the digital heads there’s ‘Dum Dum’ which so happens to be our preferred rhythm and one sure to cause a little damage on the dancefloor.
Preview all four tracks below via the wonders of Bandcamp and look out for a 7″ to drop later this month.
Hot on the heels of their recent EP from a seemingly revitalised Domu, fledgling UK label Sector 12/12 returned to the fray last week with a brand new release from Berlin-based producer Mike Davis.
The digital imprint Sector 12/12 first appeared on our radar a few months ago following a low key launch at the beginning of the year. In that time, label head Mr Shift has already delivered two free Bandcamp releases to pique listeners’ interest, following up an initial EP of deep ambient electronica from the producer Infest with the well-received (and somewhat out of the blue) comeback release from Domu. Both shed some light on the agenda of the new label, a love for pushing twisted electronic sounds overground clearly proving to be a pivotal force that initially brought Sector 12/12 into being. This fact is further confounded by the release of this third EP, written and produced by Mike Davis, a quality four-tracker that features conflicting takes on forward-thinking techno.
Davis is a new name to us, although we’ve been reliably informed that he’s been making electronic records since 2011. Of Canadian heritage but currently based in the musical hotbed of Berlin, he’s a prolific producer (so much so that when asked to submit a demo, he sent through 22 tracks) and by the sounds presented on this EP, a well-versed one at that. Here he flexes his production chops in various ways, pulling together diverse strands of the techno genre and showcasing them in a more than cohesive manner. The productions unmistakably share a common bond with the rawer elements of 90s house and 303 acid culture, yet each of the tracks explores the territory in a different way.
The title track ‘Baniza’ opens things up and heads straight for the jugular with a deep and gnarly sound propelled forward by the simplest of kicks and a relentless bassline that provides perfect fodder to fuel those 6am shuffles on the dancefloor. ‘Toasted Acid’ begins in a similar vein before breaking out into a more refined and driving slice of futuristic funk, while the 303 (as the name suggests) is heavily worked in the background. It’s a mixdown which is more than capable of blowing the doors off any night at Berghain, yet has enough going on to stand out from some of the more soulless productions of its contemporaries. The second half of the EP is slightly more ‘soulful’ kicking of with ‘Synaptic’ which layers syncopated synth stabs on top of a driving hypnotic groove. For us though, it’s perhaps the final track ‘Pedestrian Sound’ which takes the prize, a warm old school style jam with skippy drums and sweeping synths that create an evocative hybrid of deep house and soul-infused techno. Overall, it’s an inviting glimpse into the world of Davis and another solid collection of sounds presented by Sector 12/12.. We can’t wait to hear what’s in store for #4!
Check out samples of the all four tracks below and if some take your fancy, make sure you support by picking them up via the label’s Bandcamp page.
Anyone at least a little familiar with this site and its history will know that among other things we have a heavy interest in the genre that is (was) dubbed ‘broken beat’. From that now seemingly dormant scene there is perhaps one man that, since the mid-noughties, has continued to forge a lead all of his own, building an impressive CV that has seen him relentlessly tour (both as a musician and a DJ), promote, collaborate and release eight albums over a productive sixteen year stint.
With his ninth album ‘CHURCH’ now in the bag and due to be issued later on May 27th via Mashibeats/Ropeadope (on digital, CD and 2 LP vinyl!), Mark de Clive-Lowe is now back on the promotion trail to ensure he maximises the returns on an album that promises to put the producer firmly back in the spotlight as a present-day pioneer. In celebrating the recent milestone of acquiring 20,000 fans on Facebook, the producer, beat-maker and virtuoso keyboardist has decided to compile a 2GB collection of his previously recorded work and release it free via the BitTorrent platform. Comprising of early albums such as his debut ‘Six Degrees’, the trailblazing ‘Tide’s Arising’and the super rare Japanese outing ‘Journey 2 The Light’, as well as EPs, remixes and rarities, the package serves as a perfect introduction to the man and his music and a reminder to more seasoned followers of the quality and depth of his back catalogue.
Available for only 24 hours, the file should be off air by 17:00 BST tonight, so whether you want to download everything or simply plug a few gaps in your current MDCL collection, we urge you to visit this site NOW.
If you still need a little persuading, you’ll find five of our favourite picks from de Clive-Lowe’s early discography below. If you’re a fan of electronic soul, then there’s a whole heap of treasure to discover!