Sunday, 9 February 2014
|Kelela - no. 7|
1) Ellie Goulding - 'Life Round Here' ft Angel Haze
I'm not usually a huge fan of Ellie Goulding, but this cover of 'Life Round Here' is a solid interpretation of James Blake's beautiful original. A collaboration between the chart-topping pop singer and hard-hitting rapper wasn't something I was expecting (or particularly rooting for), but it works. While the high, thin quality of Goulding's voice usually annoys me, its wavering clarity sounds great echoing against the track's deep, full bass. As for Angel Haze's verse, I like how she reference's Chance The Rapper's version and applies the message on a more personal level (...but his is still better.)
Now HERE are good verses. Fast and hard, Pharrell sets the tone for a track about people on 'Sinatra'. You know, Sinatra, that stuff that makes you go 'ha ha ha ha ha ha ha'... This is an exciting little sneak peek of Major Lazer's upcoming EP, Apocalypse Soon, which is due to be released on February 25th!
3) Niva - 'Forest View' (Paradisvägen Remix)
Little-known Swedish artist Christian Lundqvist (glad I don't have to pronounce it) has gifted us with this vibing remix of Niva's 'Forest View' and as far as I know, it looks like his first release. The track envelops the dreamy vocals of the original with a pulsing, deep house beat, enriching its groove and lending it a greater sense of direction.
4) Shadow Child & Doorly - 'Piano Weapon'
This is scaldingly hot off the press, the Rinse FM rip having been posted on SoundCloud less than an hour ago. The uplifting keyboard riff is a joyful throwback to early house, and makes you think of how Mike Skinner, uniquely eloquent, reminisces that time goes by but in the underground scene 'that same piano loops over and over and over'. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you best click here.)
5) Moon Bounce - 'Shake'
This came to my attention when it was reposted by Mister Lies on SoundCloud a couple of days ago, and you can see why. An arresting blend of disco, trap and dance-pop, 'Shake' comes off the upcoming Dress Rehearsal EP by US producer Moon Bounce a.k.a. Corey Regensburg.
6) Leisure Muffin - 'In Wearable Hertz'
This is one of the first releases from notorious underground party in New York, The Bunker, and what a way to get the ball rolling. Michael Hopkins, under the alias of Leisure Muffin, layers bubbling electronic synths with gorgeous violin solos, which get weirder and more haunting as the track progresses. The result is a tone which passes confusingly between lively and deathly, intensely memorable and deeply enjoyable.
7) Kelela - 'The High'
Another highlight of this week has been new music by Kelela, whose amazing debut album I blogged about here. Produced by the brilliant Gifted & Blessed, the song is minimal and low-key with a perfect showcase of her evocative, soulful voice and that gorgeous Yukimi Nagano-esque vibrato.
8) Little Dragon - 'Nabuma Rubberband'
Speaking of Yukimi Nagano, Little Dragon have announced their new album! ARE YOU EXCITED? I AM! This isn't a new track, but a little behind-the-scenes teaser leading up to the upcoming release in May. Not to try and judge the album from this video, but it seems like the album is shaping up to be a bit more jazzy, a fair bit more experimental and a lot more personal. They better not make us wait TOO long.
9) Wolf & Lamb - 'Make Me Fall' ft. John Camp & Patricia Edwards (Navid Izadi Club Dub)
One of the best Mixmag exclusives I've heard in a while, this Wolf & Lamb dub is bouncy and guaranteed to move you. Great though it may be though, it can't better the original. I am completely addicted.
Another one of my favourite versions of 'Prototype' is by Tame Impala, an Australian band whose crooning vocals work well over the song's versatile groove. Who better than a psychadelic rock outfit to pick up on the hazy, spacey feel of the original?
Monday, 3 February 2014
What could have potentially been the least productive Saturday of my life was transformed into a journey of exciting new discoveries as this song accompanied the closing credits of The Jeffrey Dahmer Files, which was but a small sample of this weekend's Netflix binge. The very raw and gradually layered texture of 'Still Light' produces music that is poignant, haunting and unsettling, making it pretty perfect for a film about a guy who raped, killed and ate 17 people...
A bit of further research into the Swedish duo and I discovered that it was actually them who did the original of José Gonzalez's 'Heartbeats' on their 2003 album Deep Cuts, which I reckon deserves a little credit and a listen. Entirely different to the downbeat acoustic cover, this version is a funky synthpop mover with an 80's throwback feel.
After rummaging further through their discography, I found that the standard of their stuff is pretty consistently great (though mostly quite a lot darker than 'Heartbeats'.) My favourites spanned from 'A Lung' off their self-titled debut back in 2001 to 'Silent Shout', the title track of their 2006 album and finally 'Full Of Fire' off their most recent masterpiece Shaking The Habitual.
Being such well-established and obviously brilliant musicians, I feel like I should have definitely known about these guys sooner. NEVERTHELESS, better late than never (as they say) and now I get to nose-dive into a body of work that's 13 years strong. Thankyou, Netflix.