Thursday, 19 January 2017

Recommended music: 'I See You' by The xx

Image result for the xx i see you

Having had this album on repeat for 7 days I'm already sure that it's gonna be a contender for album of the year. It's been a long time (5 years) since the last album by The xx, and is some ways this feels more like a follow up or companion piece to 2015's 'In Colour' by Jamie xx than 'Coexist'. It's certainly the most consistently upbeat album they've put out, with some great dance tracks, while even the slower songs sound deeper but somehow less sad than before.

The few samples on here are well chosen - I'm sure you've already enjoyed singing along to Hall & Oates in 'On Hold' - and really add to the warmth of the songs. In the middle there's an (almost) solo song each for Oliver and Romy, where the pace slows a bit before picking up again as the album moves on. I particularly like 'A Violent Noise', which is a bit like a brother to 'Stranger In A Room' and like that track doesn't have any drums on it. the 1-2 of 'On Hold' and 'I Dare You' are a brilliant pair of upbeat tunes and send you on your way, via the melodic 'Test Me', to the end of the album.

I can't really exaggerate how good this record is - from the production to the tunes to the silky vocals there's absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. I bought the vinyl boxset (see pic below) which has a few extra tracks, of which 'Naibe' is the best. But whatever format you prefer just go out and buy it!

Video of the Day: 'Hallelujah Money (feat. Benjamin Clematine)' by Gorillaz

They're back - and it's about time! Damon Albarn loves a political comment, so what better time to release this scathing attack on capitalism than on the eve of the inauguration of President Donald fucking Trump. Featuring the beautiful vocals of Clemantine as well as some input from Albarn himself, it's a more mature sounding Gorillaz (for all the Spongebob Squarepants featuring video in the background). Let's hope for much more like this from him as 2017 rolls on.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Track of the Day: 'Lit' by Gidge

Taken from the album 'LNLNN' which is out today on Atomnation, this is a beautifully Scandinavian slice of crisp and clean electronica. The tracks on the new album have evolved from their last album 'Lulin', but this time the ambient shapes have been defined into a more dancefloor-oriented style.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Remix of the Day: 'Utopia (Jana Hunter Remix)' by Austra

'Utopia' is the first track from 'Future Politics', the new Austra album which is released on January 20th. Here Jana Hunter (Lower Dens) remixes it, and in doing so she somehow make me thing of Eurythmics. It's definitely got an 80s vibe to it, have a listen and see what you think.

Track of the Day: 'Wrong With Us' by Matthew Dear

Created in collaboration with Simian Mobile Disco, this is Dear's state of the nation address over a deep and dark house groove. "As time marches on I don't know what else I can do" he sings, "maybe something's wrong with us". Unfortunately he's probably right.

This track is featured on Dear's forthcoming DJ-Kicks collection which is out on January 27th through !K7.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Recommended music: 'Says Hi' EP by sir Was

With his full length album debut due in a couple of months this is a good time for you to get to know the lush eccentricity of sir Was. Swedish multi-instrumentalist Joel Wastberg is the man behind the name - he's worked with the likes of Jose Gonzales in the past but has now found the courage to strike out on his own.

This introductory EP dropped last year and serves as an open door into his world. From the snatched of Gaelic fiddle at the start of 'A Minor Life' you're immediately taken into an indefinable genre. 'Falcon' is even better - beat driven, with spoken and sung vocals a bit like early Beck. Other things this EP reminds me of include Money Mark, Larry Gus, old trip-hop records, Ibizan sunsets and Scandinavian fjords. I can't wait for 'Digging A Tunnel' to escape in March, but in the meantime I'll have this on repeat.

Remix of the Day: 'Tiny Cities feat. Beck (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Remix)' by Flume

Swooping in on the wings of 2017, this 10 minute, uplifting and extremely danceable remix is sure to banish the January blues. Flume's star is really in the ascendancy at the moment and this will definitely help keep up the momentum.

I can't help but be reminded of 'Wide Open', the track that Beck did a couple of years ago that was my favourite song of 2015. In case you missed it, here's the Joe Goddard mix of that track for you to listen to.