Friday, 31 December 2010

Looking Forward >>>

There is plenty of music to look forward to in ’11 as always, so much so that this list could go on forever. So I’ve chosen a load of people I’m looking forward to hearing more of in the coming year. Plus I’m keeping it to people that are either bubbling under, pretty new, just need shouting about or have something cool on the way I’m excited about.

They dropped plenty of teasers in ’10 their first EP for Keysound is just the tip of the iceberg just check out their massive radio/mix archives for proof. More EPs and hopefully an album on the way in ’11 means we’re all in for a treat. They’ve built their own world that sounds unlike anything else but gets close to what I’d imagine Flying Lotus soundclashing DMZ on a pirate radio station in another dimension would be like.

Martin Kemp
Easily sitting quietly at the forefront of the UK’s dance underground the Blunted one keeps the quality stuff creeping out consistently. His sound has so much bump, flex and weight that they’re a pleasure to dig out. Its got to be tough to make a tough yet supple house groove that really flexes but he makes it sound easy. More of that will make ’11 more than a pleasure.

He’s been so consistent with his deep techy bass addled vision of the UK house sound in ’10. I’m always reaching for his beats and those of his Deep Teknologi label mates. There is something about the dark side of UK Funky that really appeals to me, the balance of rough and raw with a subtle soulful flex is a killer combination.

Kassem Mosse
At the front end of ’10 I was still pretty bored of house/techno it had been years since I’d been excited by the sound. UK funky and its hybrids slowly brought me back to that tempo and this man Kassem Mosse alongside, MMM, Kyle Hall, Omar S and John Roberts feel it again. A steady stream of 12”s would keep me hooked for sure.

Bakey Ustl
His debut EP on Unthank is one of the most fucked up and compelling house 10”s I’ve heard for some time. I’m really looking forward to hearing what’s up his sleeve for ‘11. More curveballs and mad house grooves are more than welcome around these parts.

Jam City
He’s been taking it kind of slow in ’10 after some hefty hype before anything had really happened he kept his cool and a couple of 12”s later and I’m on board, expect big things from the Night Slugger next year. Rumours of an album on the horizon and god know what else should see that he has a big year. His sound is just infectious, that raw blend of eski grime, supple electro and an ear for turning things on their heads are a good combination.

Non Person
He just dropped a few hints in ’10 but its wet my appetite that’s for sure. The 12” on Clouds label Channel Zero is a killer slice of out there hip-hop with a heavy bass music thread running through it. Sitting somewhere in no mans land between Clouds, Brainfeeder and Mount Kimbie, Non Person finds a place of his own. I’d love to hear more.

Every time a track of his comes on the radio my ears prick up. There is something about his synths and infectious melodies that puts him next to the likes of Hyetal, Rustie and half of Night Slugs as someone that can bring a load of emotion to a dance floor in a twisted euphoric ball of energy. With releases on the way for Keysound and Local Action in the pipeline he’s going to be making moves and I can’t wait to hear it.

Esben and the Witch
Like quite a few tips here they where one of mine for last year as well and they delivered some quality stuff bubbled under and got singed to Matador, where they’ll be releasing their debut album ‘Violet Cries’ next year. Top quality brooding post-rock drenched indie music.

Dro Carey
Hazy dreamlike visions of hip-hop and R&B from a youngster from OZ, he’s had one 12” so far on Trilogy Tapes, a load of tumblr posted bootlegs and the odd mix. It all sounds pretty irresistible I’m intrigued. With forthcoming material on Ikonika’s Hum & Buzz label and god knows what else he’s got to be one to watch.

Golau Glau
The mysterious silver pop duo have been a top tip of mine for some time now, they’ve got an album in the works and have been in the lab getting their sound down. No one does the haunted silver pop like them and I for one can’t wait to hear what they come up with.

Murdz 86
He’s a UK Funky machine, raw house sounds with some of the most infectious percussion around. Its tough but with a load of flex, big bass and dance floor potential. Along with the likes of Funkystepz, Ill Blu, Coobe Beatz and Mad One, Murdz is someone I’d love to see releases from in ’11 because every time I tune into Live FM his tracks make my head turn.

Royal T
He’s been around a while but has built up a nice set of 12”s over the last year or so for the likes of No Hats No Hoods and Butterz, which are a solid foundation to build on for this coming year. He’s always switching up and coming differently with his sound by making grime bangers that fit his vibe and spread it out all at once. Alongside SRC, TRC, Teeza, Swindle, Darq E Freaker, Spooky and a load of others grime beats are in good hands.

So many more…

Monday, 27 December 2010

Mixes of 2010

This is a tough one the amount of mixes that can be found online is pretty insane, week in week out another arrives and gets a play. So off the top of my head I bring to you a selection of the finest mixes from this year. They come in no particular order, so don’t watch the ranking...

The Final Ruffage Session w/ Ben UFO, Ramadanma & Pangaea
What a way to start a year by killing off one of the best radio shows around: Ruffage Sessions. It was the brainchild of the above Hessle Audio crew, they made moves from their Leeds base with this show, not to mention their club night that went by the same name, which also ended this year in a quality send off with Shackleton, Kode9 and every Hessle guy within a 1m radius. This show was a special four-hour send off on Sub FM before the crew headed off to new things. It was bitter sweat at the time but ever since the crew have moved onto bigger things so its all good.

Bonus Best of Ruffage Sessions

Burial & Kode9 for Mary Anne Hobbs’ last show on Radio One
This was a watershed moment this year, Mary Anne Hobbs left radio one for pastures new after leaving one hell of a legacy and impact that rings through the UK underground far and wide. She managed to coax out Burial for a mix with non other than Kode9 and it’s a special one that’s for sure.

Ben UFO - Hessle Forever and Ever and Ever Mix #62 for LuckyMe
If your some kind of fool that doesn’t tune into the Hessle Audio show on Rinse every other thursday or so w/ regulars like Pangaea and Ramadanman or go to clubs then you’re missing out on one of the best DJs around in Ben UFO. His record bags are deep his mixing is insane, genres clash in the smoothest most unexpected ways, he’s the one and this will give you a taste.

LHF – Keepers of the Light Mix
This mysterious crew turn in mix after mix of solid gold on Sub FM and from their studio’s, they where one of my tips for ’10 and they continue to be for 2011 and you can see why from getting your ears around Keepers of the Light. I’m not messing around when I say they carve their own unique sound out in these mixes, it’s a world of its own.

Petchy on Live FM
Its tough to pin point an actual mix here, he’s on the radio most weeks and kills it every time with his MC Topsee. They epitomised UK Funky in 2010 with their raw charismatic pirate radio party vibes. Tune in to see for yourself or you’re missing out big time but catch the vibe from this teaser.

DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad’s Mix #195 for Fact
Two original juke heads go deep into the mix for fact and show us how its done Chicago style, which is a refreshing change to hearing bits from people from outside of the scene or cruising youtube, which was about the only way we could hear this until this year. It’s a mix full of hypnotic party vibes with a load of soul and drum machine workouts to die for.

Addison Groove Mix #157 for Fact
Headhunter went ape-shit this year and decided to break juke in the UK, he got addicted to the drum-machine/sample workouts and took it upon himself to make his own variants of the Chicago sound all while representing the native sounds of Rashad, Spinn and many more to UK audiences, it caused a hell of a stir and you can taste it in this mix. If you didn’t already have it this one from late last year is a must too:

Peverelist Mix #218 for Resident Advisor
He’s got to be one of my favourite producers around, no one sounds like him and that goes for his DJ sets too. His mixing is tight and selection on point, he lets the music breathe and find its own feat perfectly. Here you can see him blur the lines between dub, techno and dubstep in a distinctly Bristol way.

Levon Vincent Mix #46 for mnmlssgs
This came early in the year and still kills it big time. His spacious, tracky dubbed-out techno sound already feels timeless in its own way. If you like to get lost in a groove then you’ll be swimming in this one. Deep NY underground house sounds just keep bumping, it’s a subtle one that gets under the skin that’s for sure.

Shackleton Mix #133 for Electronic Explorations
Rob Booth’s EE mixes have been an inspiration for some time now and he pulls in one hell of a guest on this one. Shackleton’s sets are more like hypnotic tribal freak-outs than mixes. He plays live via laptop instead of DJing and does it the only way he knows how… Like a post-apocalyptic bass-addled thing, no one sounds like Shackleton. Its dark yet groovy spaced out and intense. His Fact CD has to be one of the best since Omar S too.

Kyle Hall & Floating Points on Rinse FM
Two amazing producers/DJs get together and cause mayhem on the airwaves by digging deep into their crates to create a vibe so big it stretched from Detroit to London. Rare house and techno gems sat alongside modern UK bass variants and laid back funk rollers with ease. You get the feeling these guys could keep mixing for days and it wouldn’t get tired.

Brainfeeder Radio w/ Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer, Ras G, Samiyam, Daedelus, Jeremiah Jae, Tokimonsta, Teebs, Strangeloop, matthewdavid, Kode9 and more…
Flying Lotus decided to celebrate the release of Cosmogramma and enjoy 420 with an epic live session that went on for hours from his crew Brainfeeder and anyone else that was in town. It was pure vibes all night long.

Darkstar Mix for 20jazzfunkgrates and Fact Mix # 200
This mix came right at the top of the year and showcased Darkstar’s vision, it was some kind of utopia with plenty of soul and space filtered through twenty-first century machines. If you book end it with their Fact mix last month ( you get some kind of insight into a group that created one of the best slow burning albums this year

Club Autonomic’s Layer Podcast Series
This was one hell of a series that set the tone of Autonomic’s moves this year. Headed by Instra:mental & dBridge the crew unleashed genre bending blends of techno, d’n’b, house, indie, old school electro and god knows what else in a seamless mix of new and old wearing their influences on their sleeves and reaching out into the unknown all at once. Oh yeah they also ran one of the best labels around Nonplus+

Braiden’s Journey Home Mix for Low End Spasm
One of the best DJs around is on Rinse most weeks, right now he’s showcasing an irresistible melting together of sounds that range from old school electro to UK bass variants via house and techno. He does it like no one else. This mix from earlier in the year gives you an idea of what he’s been about, but tune into his Rinse show for further reaching up to date selections they can’t be messed with. His breakout single ‘The Alps’ isn’t to shabby either.

Elijah & Skilliam Mix # 175 for Xlr8r
The Butterz crew killed it this year bringing fresh new life into instrumental grime, making moves as DJs and by setting up a label they showed there was still a raw party vibe hiding in grime’s underbelly. They kept it upfront with talent new and old, Terror Danjah, Swindle, Starkey and DOK feature heavily as well as up and comers like Royal T, SRC, TRC… Pure energy. This mix showcases their sound as well as any other they dropped this year.

Geiom’s mix for Planet Mu
He always puts out a solid mix, here we get a quality blend of sleek techy funky and many of its hybrids. It’s the mix that introduced me to Stella Om Source too. Quality producer, quality label, quality DJ.

Terre Thaemlitz Mix #188 for RA
A laid-back mix of ambient material and other quality selections from DJ Sprinkles, Terre crosses genres and spans many years here to great effect, it’s a beauty.

Since this list has been mostly about Internet downloads a shout out needs to go out to all those inspirational cats on the radio who week in week out turn in incredible moments of musical bliss: Dusk & Blackdown, Oneman, Brackles, Bok Bok, Elijah & Skilliam, more Petchy and any time Jackmaster reaches.

Not to mention all the Sonic Router mixes. My personal favourites have to be: Blawan, Non Person, Pariah, Clubroot, SRC, Dynooo, Orphan101, Icicle, Hypno, Distal, Desto, Oli’s bleep and Hivemind’s and Always Everything’s too, Eighteen, oh and Xpldr #1/#2/#3 by me if I had to give myself a shout…

Monday, 13 December 2010

Golau Glou – Myrrh & Myth

My favourite mysterious silver pop duo Golau Glou have made a Christmas EP for you all, you can grab it for free below, plus they’ve made a video for each track. At some point there will be a remix EP featuring the likes of Ghost Box’s The Advisory Circle and the wonderful Worriedaboutsatan. They’ve also been working hard on an album I for one can’t wait.

Yew from Golau Glau on Vimeo.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Richard Skelton

I wrote this for my friends over at Always Everything a while ago but its perfect Sunday music so have it again and check them out too, AE is a new website you should keep an eye on. They’re operating in a fuzzy sonic landscape joining the dots between disparate locations a bit like this review right here…

Proper murky, greyed out Autumnal colours. Fog. Landscapes. Richard Skelton thrives in an area where dense collages of sound and that organic shape shifting nature of, well nature takes hold… just look at that artwork, its pretty much what comes into view out of my car window every morning as I transcend hills and look over plateaus. Spectacular views obscured by atmospheric other ideas... Bleak, ghostly landforms fighting for attention through the cloud and fog, plants echoing a vague hue of green in the meagre repressed light they’re offered. I swear the atmosphere is against the whole idea of photosynthesis… Skelton takes these fogged-out instrumental sessions of cello and string and plays them relentlessly. Building layers of sound like some sort of post-rock, ambient beast thriving in the freedom that only the modern classical, boomkat sphere can bring him. Niche as it sounds Landings deserves an audience outside of that. Big time, it’s the soundtrack to the mornings you missed while you where busy sleeping or waiting for the light to come up. It’s the country flexing itself in the morning dew while those early shimmers of light slowly start to energise the life around it. You can feel the cold fresh air fill your lungs, the deep warm breathe filter out slowly. Its like the whole album takes place in that transitional period between light hitting the ground and you actually feeling the heat of the sunlight. Cold shivers of strung instruments itch urgently into loops and layers, carving out dramatic glimpses of landscapes you’ve passed through. The unyielding atmosphere is urgent yet blissful, like you’ve come to a halt in that car journey I vaguely mentioned above and got out.... You stop and see that this previously fleeting set of landforms, colours, climate, is a new existence, a harsh yet strangely beautiful place that echoes calm as much as it does hostility. In short, you’re going to get cold but if you look a little further you’re going to find a whole different experience that’s rife for exploration.

Richard Skelton has Clouwbeck on the way soon hear fragments of ‘From Which the River Rise’ here…

Clouwbeck ~ From Which the River Rises by sustain-release

Originally written for ae.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Xpldr #3

Its been a long time since I left you, without a dope beat to step to...

Vainqueur - Rangers – Extension [Scion Versions]
Airehead – Paper Street (Nick Høppner Remix) [BRAiNMATH]
John Roberts – Ever or Not [Dial]
Wbeeza – Boom [Third Ear]
Omar S - Solely Supported [FXHE]
Mood II Swing – Sunlight In My Eyes [Core]
Actress – Always Human [Honest Jon’s]
Bakey Ustl – A Tender Place [Unthank]
Kassem Mosse – We Speak To Those [Non Plus+]
Kyle Hall – Osc2 [Third Ear]
Levon Vincent – Woman is the Devil [Deconstruct]
Tazz – Lost [Underground Quality]
Braiden – The Alps [Doldrums]
Elgato – Blue [Hessle Audio]
Even Tuell – Workshop 11 Side A [Workshop]
Stellar Om Source – Copper Dream [Olde English Spelling Bee]

All wax, one take, two beers, one pasty, some snow and a beard…

Clap your hands if you want to fuck.



You may have missed…

Xpldr #1: Stream / Download

Xpldr #2: Stream / Download

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Sonic Router:

Sonic Minefield:

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