Sunday, 4 October 2015

New music: 'Twenty Fifty Three' by L'Orange & Kool Keith

Taken from the album 'Time? Astonishing', which came out in July and is apparently a concept album about time travel and insanity, which certainly makes a change from lame-ass rappers spitting about bitches and hoes all day long. The backing reminds me of that old track 'You Showed Me', and the whole thing is a great example of how diverse hip-hop can be if it tries.

Listen & download for free via the link below.

New music: 'Wilkes Booth' by Verbal Kent feat. Skyzoo

A free cut from Kent's recent Anesthesia album, which is out via Mello Music Group. Over a great backing which sounds like a 60s movie soundtrack he spits rhymes at speed, producing an upbeat & positive vibe.

Listen & download for free below.

New music: 'The Revival' by Finale feat. Invincible & Pierre Anthony

From the new album 'Odds & Ends', which came out in August. The quality of Oddisee's production shines through on this track, from the jazzy drum break at the start to the catchy guitar melody. With great guest verses as well this is quality hip-hop of the highest order.

Listen & download for free below.

New music: 'Who's That' by Apollo Brown feat. Maffew Ragazino & Freddie Gibbs

Taken from Brown's new album 'Grandeur', which came out last week on Mello Music Group, this is a proper hard as nails slice of hip-hop. Over a backing Jay-Z would kill for the trio trade verses about how good they are, in the process proving, well, how good they are.

Listen & grab it for free below.

Track of the Day: 'Israel (Sparring)' by Chance The Rapper feat. Noname Gypsy

This laid back and smooth slice of hip-hop is further proof that Chance is one of the hottest properties around. Powerful words that float well over the mellow music, and some great guest verses from Noname Gypsy, who I've not heard before but will be checking out based on her performance here.

Grab yourself a free download below.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Track of the Day: 'Aim High' by Joey Bada$$

Exclusively available via ScionAV, this fresh track features a minimal, dark backing and over which Joey spits stories of struggling to exist. Weirdly he seems to be censoring all the swear words out himself, but apart from that it's a great track, less pop-sounding than some of the stuff on his recent album and all the better for that.

Listen and grab it for free below.

Recommended music: 'Music Complete' by New Order

It's a funny thing when bands have a massive break and then come back with a new album. You wonder why they're doing it, and if they should've bothered. Some (like The Stone Roses) don't even get as far as making a record. When the band is question is one of your favourite acts of all time the questions become all the more demanding - what's the new stuff like? Does it '"desecrate the grave" (to quote John Squire) of their previous material, or add something worth hearing to their catalogue?

Such discourse brings us to 'Music Complete', a possibly ironic title given that bassist Peter Hook has left / been cast aside (depending who you believe) in a well-documented split. To counterbalance that Gillian Gilbert has returned, having not been part of the band since 2001, and her influence is keenly felt here. I'm not sure I ever gave her the credit she was due for her contribution to the band, but the keyboard-led tracks here must surely be partly due to her input.

So how does it sound? As I've said, it's definitely more keyboard focussed, dancier, and harks back more the 'Brotherhood' and 'Low-Life' era of the band (ironically, those are the 2 albums Hooky is currently touring with his band, playing mammoth sets each night to a rapturous welcome), and overall it's a pretty successful compilation of all best type of New Order songs. There are dancefloor bangers like 'Plastic', and more traditional songs like 'Academic'. La Roux's Elly Jackson contributes guest vocals to three of the songs and enhances these, rather than taking them over. The other guests are less successful though; Iggy Pop's spoken word effort on 'Stray Dog' reminds me of the track he did with Death In Vegas as few years ago and disrupts the flow of the record. Meanwhile Brandon Flowers undoubtedly came in his pants the moment he was asked to to sing on 'Superheated', but it's the least New Order-ish and therefore the weakest track here, a disappointing way to end the record. On the other hand Tom Rowlands from the Chemical Brothers manages to inject some contemporary rhythms into 'Singularity' and 'Unlearn This Hatred', which somehow results in these 2 sounding simultaneously sounding like the best bits of both bands at once.

I reckon it's a solid 8/10 type of record. I've certainly heard worse efforts from reforming acts (or those who refused to go away in the first place). I'm tipping them for a slot at Glastonbury next year - you heard it here first!