Recommended listening from the past 3 months:
- Blue Lab Beats- Xover- The London duo, who have risen up through the UK’s current Jazz scene, have produced in Xover an album which incorporates Jazz, Hip Hop and laid back RnB it’s a smooth classic best enjoyed with a large glass of red wine.
2. Dr Octagon- Moosebumps- The return of Dr Octagon sees some of hip hops finest, Kool Keith, Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien, Qbert and Kid Koala, reunited to produce an enjoyable old skool referencing album. Fans of real hip hop look no further.
3. Rival Consoles- Persona- Another brilliant release from an Erased Tapes artist, a label which is having an exceptional year with Nils Frahm’s brilliant album recommended in the 1st quarter. Rival Consoles are that bit more electronic and that bit more techno influenced than some of the other artists on Erased Tapes roster but are nonetheless brilliant.
4. Sons of Kemet- Your Queen is a Reptile- Another album rising out of London’s current Jazz scene. Your Queen is a Reptile sees each track named after strong women which have inspired Sons of Kemet. Having received universal acclaim this album is one worth exploring in depth with repeated listens for maximum enjoyment.
5. Daniel Avery- Song for Alpha- All fuzzy warm techno and cleverly constructed beats. Avery’s 2nd album isn’t your standard techno affair but is beautifully executed.
6. Novelist- Novelist Guy- Novelist finally drops his full length debut album featuring his both his own production alongside his aggro street flow. Reminiscent of early grime releases from Wiley, Novelist Guy is far from the chart crossovers of Skepta and Stromzy.
7. Jon Hopkins- Singularity- Jon Hopkins latest could have been weighted down by expectation given his current rise to critical acclaim since his last album. However, Singularity sees Hopkin on fine form and even introducing a far more pumped up techno sound than on previous records. A real joy and one of the best and most complete releases so far this year.
8. Blocks & Esher- Something Blue- Something Blue was fittingly released on Metalheadz and is perhaps the best tribute to that label’s pioneering sound in the 90s that has ever been made. The album wears its influences on its sleeve, Goldie, Storm and Kemistry, Doc Scott, Rufige Crew but easily fits amongst the best work released by those DnB pioneers.
9. Good Music- Good music released a four intriguing albums which provided as much as an insight into label head honcho Kanye West’s mindset as they did Pusha T, Kid Cudi or Tenyana Taylor. Perhaps the strongest and best release was Pusha’s Daytona but all are an engaging if not sometimes brilliant listen.
10. Ben Howard- Noonday Dream- More experimental than his previous releases and certain to put off fans of his debut album and early work but still an enjoyable listen which could easily soundtrack sunrises on beaches the length and breadth of Devon and Cornwall.
11. Sophie- Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-insides- The future of pop? Quite possibly
12. Skee Mask- Compro- Inspired by 90s IDM and Jungle Skee Mask’s Compro is yet another release that harks back to the Jungle sounds of old.
13. Gabor Lazar- Unfold- If an electronic album was ever a buffet this would be it. Taking in sounds from grime, jungle, techno, dubstep and more Gabor Lazar’s Unfold is the sound of someone with a hyperactive disorder being let loose on Fruity Loops. Utterly fun, brilliantly enjoyable and over far too quickly.
14. Duppy Gun Productions- Miro Tape- Taking influences from dub, hip hop, dancehall and techno, Duppy Gun productions Miro Tape is by far the best and most exciting mixtape I’ve heard since DJ Rupture’s Gold Teeth Thief or the Ragga Preservation Society’s SeekersInternational release. One to play loud and on repeat until the police kick your door in.
15. Kamaal Williams- The Return- Another recommendation for an album which comes out of the UK’s burdening Jazz Underground. The Return is produced by one half of Yusef Kamaal, who’s debut and only album was plugged on this very blog two years ago. This release doesn’t stray too far from Kamaal Williams work as part of that duo and again pays homage to jungle and DnB of the 90s whilst marrying up those two sounds with Jazz. It was a winning formula for then and well worth the return.