Missives from the intersection of hip hop, rave, dancehall and the infinite cosmos
Guru - Nkwaada Nkwaada ft. Dobble
Guru is the master of these barely there post-Azonto beats pouring out of Ghana. He raps almost all of ‘Nkwaada Nkwaada’ in Twi, so I haven’t got the faintest Scooby why halfway through the video the song drops into the Danger Mouse theme tune. But really, who cares? Shit sounds good… Whilst a lot of afrobeats has a tendency to veer towards the cheesy, this stays rock hard and effortlessly cool, just pure hypnotic beat and amazing flows. In years to come people are going to be salivating over Guru records, but you, lucky reader, get to rate him NOW.
Lindan Jay x Scrufizzer – Just Cool Nuh
I heard Logan Sama wheel this out on 1Xtra last night, and it stood out head and shoulders amongst his otherwise murky agg. Linden Jay is on production duties – he’s been getting tighter and tighter with each release, and here he gives in to his bass roots to pull out a banger that harks back to the early days of dark, MC led garage, given the kind of booming production sheen of a Major Lazer track. As ever Scrufizzer delivers his trademark Wudda Wudda WOOOP WOOP yelps, and they still sound great. Plus it’s on free download. Bonus.
Hawk House – A Handshake to the Brain
Hawk House are stirring up all kinds of hype. Apparently their big USP over everyone else in UK hip hop is that they try and sound like Joey Badass rather than French Montana. As far as I can tell from this latest EP, they’re pretty nice, they’ve got some Daisy Age vibes locked down pretty well, and for the first two tracks at least (don't judge me!) I’m essentially bored shitless listening to it. There’s a massive resurgence in this kind of lounge-y jazz-y dusty golden age beat mining out there, all just waiting to tip into a horrific glut of new (sorry- ‘nu’) Hed Kandi comps. Having lived through the late 90s once already, I’ve no wish to see that shit again. Things take a dramatic turn for the better on ‘Vulcan Grip’ where they show a bit of bite over a shine-eyed synth led beat. I’d like more of this forward looking fire, and less belly examining ‘chilled’ nonsense, but what the fuck do I know? I’m just a bitter old DJ.
DJ Q – Tinashe Remix
Q is some sort of producer man machine. If you can imagine that massive sausage factory in the film of Pink Floyd’s The Wall – the one that sucks in all the school kids, chops them up, mangles them down then spits them out as perfectly formed sausages; then imagine all the school kids are actually amazing RnB songs, and all the sausages are unfailing lush bassline remixes, that’s basically DJ Q right there. I’m yet to hear a bad rework from him, so no surprises then that this is bloody great, and again, free for the taking. If only Christmas were this good.