The last couple of years have seen producers round the world blurring the lines between hip hop, jazz, psyche and beats (whatever that means) and flinging out joyous, mind-bending new music like Gods chucking stars across the sky.
Borag Thunng Earthlet. Straight down to this month's thrills.
Jacob Reddy – Lean on the Scene Soft Pussy
SO the big question : Did Jacob Reddy write Lean on the Scene Soft Pussy after hearing Run the Jewels’ Meow the Jewels album? Pretty quick work if he did- it seems only moments ago that we were eulogising Meow the Jewels feline laced fun, and bemoaning the lack of similar cat-purr-basslined hip hop in the world. Then along bowls the Leeds based Jacob Reddy with a track that’s 60% purring, 20% weird meow samples and 76% sleazy half-forged lyrics about girls and shit. A listen to his flow suggests he’s been absorbing a fair wack of Awful Records - he sounds like a Yorkshire based version of Father, which turns out to be a rather excellent thing. This appears to be his first track on Soundcloud, but what a start! If you’re quick you may even be able to grab a download. Here it is now –
Nadia Rose – Station
There’s been a lil bit of hype growing around Nadia Rose. She’s a young South Londoner who’s been making a name on the hip hop underground, mostly by freestyling over mainstream US rap beats – your DJ Mustard’s and the like. ‘Course, there’s nothing wrong with this, but you know we like to celebrate something a bit more individual here at LNFN. This is where her cut Station comes in. Less than 2 minutes long, constructed from a dry snare, a bulbous bass kick, and a single horn stab, this is grimey, fat free UK bashment at its finest. The sparseness reminds me of the kind of beats the fresh faced LL Cool J used to demolish, and I’d love to see Rose jump on more tracks like this – she’s obviously chosen this beat from a sea of others, which suggests she’s up for pushing her sound beyond the more obvious US references of her peers.
salute - Goldrush EP
I wrote about salute in the first edition of LNFN and dammit he's back again already. He's just dropped a four track EP which only goes and features another favourite - Awful Records' ABRA. ABRA does what she does on the track Colourblind, lending it's jazzy rhodes funk an air of melancholy that's hard to better. Is there a stronger new RnB singer out there? Meh. I doubt it. Elsewhere on the EP, instrumental opener Tank is a high point, full of portentious brass hits and nervy claps, like a more melodic TNGHT. salute (and, yeah, he's insisting on that lack of capitalisation) is getting doper by the minute. The album is gonna be BIG.
Lazzy Beats – 10K
DO YOU miss the sound of UK Funky? If so, have some of this. Lazzy Beats is a Ghanaian producer who’s both prolific and scattershot. Some of his cuts sound amazing, and some of them I just don’t get at all. When he’s not churning out drive time-ready jazzy sax covers of Afrobeats hits, he can be found producing amazing dancefloor bangers – and 10K is an example of the latter. He’s ruffled a few feathers in the online Afrobeats world with this cut (or picked up a few moody tweets at the least), mostly because it features Ghana’s top rapper Sarkodie, but elects to use his vocal as another instrument, looping up a bar or two from Sark, and letting the music do most of the work. The result kicks like the best of DJ Cndo’s work, and deserves far wider attention in the UK. I suspect it makes as much- if not more- sense to the house & bass DJs of London as it does to the Azonto DJs of Accra.
We stuck up a lengthy label focus on Harsh Riddims earlier this week, and you’re doing yourself zero favours if you don’t go and read it now. Suffice to say that the Atlanta label is my new favourite thing, and if you’ve got any sense, you’ll head over to their Bandcamp and snap up everything in sight before it’s too late, and you find yourself pretending that, yes, you were into Harsh Riddims before Drake was stealing their beats. Covering insane electronics, house, rap and soul, I’ve yet to find a shit track in all of their output, but my current favourites are the albums by Fit of Body (bobbly, gritty house jams), Divine Interface (beautiful piano led ambience), and the Nima album that sounds like John Carpenter writing heartbreak synth burners for a young Eartha Kitt...
The last couple of years have seen producers round the world blurring the lines between hip hop, jazz, psyche and beats (whatever that means) and flinging out joyous, mind-bending new music like Gods chucking stars across the sky. With so much excellence and innovation out there, I reckon I can put together a round-up of killer new forms at least once a month, if not more. Please feel free to tweet me any stuff you think I should check out@ianmcquaid and I'll check out the LOT.