TOP TRACKS OF THE MONTH – November 2016
After a punk induced sabbatical the monthly round-up of the finest new music is back with – as ever – some gems. Swedish alt-pop trio Wildhart deliver the catchiest put down of patriarchy ever recorded with hints of Braids and Massive Attack while The XX return with Hall and Oates in tow (and where H&O go pop soul magic follows). From Tel Aviv-via City Slang records, Noga Erez announces her arrival with the twisted politics of ‘Dance While You Shoot’. She’s due to make her live debut in London later this month.
Not content with one of the greatest band names ever, Riz MC & Heems aka ‘The Swet Shop Boys’ released T5 last month and it contains what may be my favourite rap lyric of the year “I run the city like my name is Sadiq”.
Anyway I won’t run down all of the 50+ new tunes but please listen to the playlist above on Soundcloud, or with a few more tracks on the OpenWhyd and finally subscribe to the ear enlightening monthly playlist on Spotify (Open in the app or your browser).
A few more highlights include:
HOLY SMOKE – ‘BLACK MYTH’
Last month was a good one for fans of the off-kilter rhymes and beats of LA rapper Zeroh with his ‘Tinnitus’ LP being quickly followed by his ‘lost’ collaboration with Jeremiah Jae. ‘Holy Smoke’ which has Kutmah on producing duties dates back to 2012 but got lost in the blur of Jae’s release schedule. Both Zeroh and Holy Smoke releases are out on HIT+RUN, who combine an ever more impressive artist roster with the live screen printing experience that made them their name.
BEN SOLLEE feat Jordon Ellis – ‘THE LONG LAVENDER LINE’
“Head East, Head West, Continue straight” Sat Nav has never sounded as funky as on ‘The Long Lavender Line’ with Ben Sollee making a welcome return after four years away. The GPS voice works perfectly with a very wonky wavering cello and a beat provided by Jordon Ellis, it’s a fabulously quirky gem topped by Ben recounting a tale of a man so wrapped up in Pokémon he walks straight off a cliff.
Ben Sollee: “Listening to this record is like looking through a scrapbook or reading a diary. Jordon and I stitched together audio memories from our years on the road to inspire new sounds and ideas,”
Jordon Ellis: “This record embodies a unique sonic and musical aesthetic that has been bouncing around in our brains for years, and that we have really wanted to get out and onto a project.”
LINDE SCHÖNE – ‘SORRY MAAR’
Linde Schone six track EP is nothing if not diverse with six self penned tunes flitting between breezy pop r’n’b, Burial style 2-step, hip-hop and power ballads. ‘Sorry Maar’ or Sorry But (according to Google Translate) is the sort of infectious pop dance tune that were it not in Dutch would be flying up the charts. The old school house keyboard riff recalls the pop dance crossovers of the early 90’s or perhaps classic Basement Jaxx.
Schone is the R’n’b queen of the Netherlands but it can’t be long until the rest of Europe falls under her spell.
JAY ROLEX & MC ALMOND MILK – ‘STUDZ UP’
If nothing else ‘Studz Up’ should earn Jay & MC Almond Milk a tidy sum in royalties every time Sky Sports’ ‘Soccer AM’ need music for a montage of dodgy tackles. I must remember to tweet them in case it’s not already on repeat.
MC Almond Milk and the ‘Madlib of the Clyde Valley’ Jay Rolex are back with a 12 track cassette “Smell The Audi”. Jay musters up a killer head nodding beat for the man who apparently isn’t a rapper but has a fine line in rhymes. The album launches at The Glad Cafe in Glasgow on November the 18th.
DEMARCO – ‘BACKAZ’
A spat with fellow dancehall artist Mavado and a collaboration with Vybz Kartel have kept Demarco in the news of late and ‘Backaz’ is maddeningly catchy although obviously it carries an x-rating for the lyrics. In it Demarco sings the praises of a lady with a pussy that is apparently so ‘fat’ it weighs “about a pound and a half” and is in possession of a backside that when slapped “sounds louder than the clappers”. If that doesn’t put you off then you’re in for a dancehall treat. The video also stars an assortment of rump shaking ladies although it appears to start in a very unglamorous car park round the back of a cash and carry in Manor Park (actually it’s Demarco’s studio in Jamaica).
HEJIRA – ‘I DON’T BELONG TO ANYONE’
‘I Don’t Belong to Anyone’ is the first single from the band since their trip to Ethiopia which they say inspired a period of intense creativity. Field recordings and beats made from sampled Ethiopian cassettes will feature on the album but the single has an almost go-go feel to it along with a huge rasping bass.
BUSY SIGNAL – ‘PLAY THE HORNS’
The likes of Beenie Man, Mavado, Charley Black and more have recorded on Seanizzle’s ’47th floor Riddim’ but for my money it’s the ever reliable Busy Signal who has the definite take referencing the riddims parping ‘toy’ horns in his chorus.
WORRIEDABOUTSATAN – ‘THIS RESTLESS WING (feat. Vincent Cavanagh)’
worriedaboutsatan are Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale a Yorkshire based electronica band who incorporate swirling ambient melancholia, skyscraping post-rock guitar atmospherics, and pounding slo-mo techno. ‘This Restless Wing’ has echoes of Underworld who’ve they’ve supported in the past, although excitingly for me they play Walthamstow’s Wildcard Brewery (otherwise known as the venue at the end of my street) on the 24th of November. Their LP ‘Blank Tape’ arrives the next day and you may have heard some of their music on Adam Curtis’s latest epic documentary ‘Hypernormalisation’ on which Miller was ‘music supervisor’.