Friday, 27 December 2013


Since releasing his EP Moments earlier this year, Hungarian producer Dnte has been marrying the sweeping bass throb of trap/dubstep with the melodic influence of hip-hop to create a soundscape reminiscent of artists such as Nosaj Thing or XXYYXX. His mellow remix of RJD2's 'Her Majesty's Socialist Request' lends a deeper groove to the Arabian vibes of the original, while the smooth production on 'Stoned' makes for music that licks your ears like smoke.

And if you like this, you might enjoy TOKiMONSTA's new LP Half Shadows, which was released in September this year. Despite harbouring an instinctive suspicion of anyone who mingles upper and lower cases in an unconventional way, I've loved and followed her since I stumbled upon 'Sweet Day' four years ago. Still going strong, she's now being compared to titans such as Flying Lotus and Nujabes. While her 2011 album Creature Dreams remains my personal favourite, it's great to see her working with artists as talented as Andreya Triana and Jesse Boykins III. But don't take my word for it, compare for yourself!

Season's Greetings!

By now you should've tired considerably of Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra (is it possible?) and heard enough "merry christmas and a happy new year" to prepare you nicely for 2014. Well, here is my contribution to help you shimmy  into the new year with a smile on your face and a beat in your soul. 

1) Cuthead - 'Nautic Walking' and 'Maputo Jam'

These are a couple of my favourite tracks off the BRILLIANT new album from German DJ, Cuthead. Crammed full with uplifting beats and shimmering samples, I fell immediately in love with Cuthead's quirky, hypnotic sound. Listen to the entire album on Uncanny Valley's SoundCloud profile.

2) Angel Haze - 'This Is Me', 'Same Love' and 'Cleaning Out My Closet'

When considering the leaps and bounds we've made this year overcoming prejudices against sexuality, race, gender and many more, it is worth celebrating female rapper Angel Haze. Since following Beyoncé's suit and surprising fans by leaking her upcoming album Dirty Gold herself on the 18th, the album already looks set to be huge. However, while fiery tracks such as 'Echelon (It's My Way)' and 'New York' have got her the most recognition, it's the more hard-hitting confessional singles that reeled me in. Addressing the pain she dealt with during her childhood, sexual abuse from her father and her experience of homophobia, she provides us with a deep insight into what she's had to overcome to get where she is today. If anyone can prove that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, it's her.

3) Death Grips - 'Birds'

While Death Grips' fourth album Government Plates is probably not for the faint-hearted, it's a really interesting listen and surprisingly enjoyable in all its sordid, offensive glory.

4) Borealis - 'Lover' (Liar Rematriculation)

This gorgeous remix was dropped by Liar six days ago on SoundCloud. Like Lapalux, Tycho or Boards of Canada, Liar manages to turn this track into a portal to a fifth element. Press play and plunge into the hazy ether of another musical world... (And you KNOW it must be good if it inspires writing this self-indulgent.)

4) Axel Boman - 'Hello'

A whimsical deep house release from Swedish beatsmith Axel Boman.

5) Gesaffelstein - 'Aleph'

This is the stunning title track of Mike Lévy's new album. A huge name in techno and the music scene in general (having collaborated on Yeezus, none other), Gesaffelstein revels in producing the sort of dark intensity that we hear in tracks such as Kanye's 'Black Skinhead'. Executing the signature pounding rhythm of techno with measured veracity, the album is able to produce the sort of slow-releasing energy that can leave a lasting impression on the listener. It's the sort of music that wouldn't sound out of place in a film like Drive.

6) Close - 'Wallflower' (Huxley Dub)

A new dub by one of me faves, you can always trust Huxley to give you resonant bass and a hefty drop.


Nowadays, Wookie (a.k.a. Jason Chue... Chue. Wookie. Geddit?) is best known for the chart success that he's achieved with 'The Hype', a collaboration with singer Eliza Doolittle. Now this is all well and good and yeah, it's a catchy song, but it comes nowhere near the OLD Wookie we used to know. 

Whenever I'm craving some good, homegrown UK garage, my first point of reference will always be the 90's/early noughties (the golden era of the genre) and for me, Wookie's 'Battle ft. Lain' comes out on top every time. A bouncy 2-step composition released on the turn of the millennium, it marked a final triumph before the genre began to fall out of popularity and give way to darker strains of jungle and DnB. Wookie's shift from garage to house (genre of choice for many nowadays) is completely understandable, but let's not forget about this banger:

While we don't hear as much of it anymore, there are still many great DJs and producers out there keeping Garage alive. One such artist is Brighton-based Moony. Here's a brilliant rework of a Fugee's classic, 'Fu-Gee-La'. Enjoy!