TOP TRACKS OF THE MONTH – December 2017
‘Tis the season for end of year best of’s but before I look back, there’s the small matter of a mountain of fresh and ridiculously good new music. So here in the usual playlist form is 100+ must-hear tracks.
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As ever there are loads of tracks that I couldn’t include in the playlists as they don’t exist on compatible streaming sites. I’ve included a few of those gems below along with some others that are just so damn good they deserve a bigger big up!
Darkie Fiction — Selula
With its pulsing synth and endearingly skippy beat, ‘Selula’ is a fine calling card for a South African duo blessed with a brilliant band name – ‘Darkie Fiction’ – and a professed mission statement to help (South) Africans make music true to themselves. Rapper Katt Daddy and vocalist Yoza Mnyanda grew up on kwaito, afro-funk, neo-soul and hip-hop and artists like Brenda Fassie, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Steve Kekana, TKZee and Boom Shaka. In an interview with OkayAfrica, they said “Popular South African music just sounds like American music. We hope people listen to our music and feel proud to be South African and proud to be black. We want to celebrate the way black kids grew up and the way black kids are living now—that’s what we want to teach and that’s what we’re learning—to embrace where we come from and what we are.”
The video (below) for ‘Selula’ was made with a few rand and a ton of goodwill from their friends…
Run Child Run – Cant Catch Me
Having spent the last few years collaborating with the likes of Nicolas Jaar, Queen Elephantine, Dave Harrington, and Momo Ishiguro, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Ian Sims is ready to venture out on his tod, under the moniker, Run Child Run.
The debut album ‘Vanishing Point’ is a series of evocative late-night reflections guided by hypnotic vocals that emerge from a landscape of thick atmospheres, hypnotic beats, and a touch of organ. Sims influences come from a wide palette – such as the modal jazz of Coltrane and Miles, the classical Indian music of Nikhil Banerjee and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and the trip-hop of Portishead and the minimalism of James Blake
Clearly feeling right at Om, Ian expanded on the creation of the album: “The music is primarily a process, a practice of self-discovery more concerned with approach than with outcome. It is a meditation, in which melodies and rhythms are explored through repetition until they find their simple resting place.”
Cotonete – Cabo
Cotonette sounds like the finest French funk-jazz band of the 70’s but their deceptively authentic brew is actually 100% 21st century, concocted in Paris by – depending which press release you read – a 9 or 10 piece band – either way there are a lot of them.
Is it groove, soul or psych, is it southern country style or north african electro folk, samba or shiny disco… make your own mind up.
Marie Modiano – Guérir ma colère
Let’s go full Francophile and remain in Paris long enough to bathe in the sumptuous delights of novelist and singer Marie Modiano’s stunning new single, ‘Guérir ma colère (Heal my anger)’. It’s released courtesy of the La Souterraine label who continue their exploration of the French Underground, with an 11 track compilation of established names, new collaborations and the first fresh shoots of unknown musicians.
Modiano has a new album due in February 2018 so next year can’t come soon enough.
GBM Nutron & GBM Milko – Life 101
‘I grow up on Kitchener, my favourite Calypsonian was Spoiler, so now you get the picture‘ – so begins GBM Nutron aka Jason Carter nailing his Calypso and Soca colours to the mast early on. Carter started singing Calypso as seven year old at primary school but drifted away from the music after moving to the States. After falling back in love with the music at 16 he’s now dividing his time between North America and the Caribbean with a series of carnival hits both as a producer and vocalist.
Golden Teacher – Sauchiehall Withdrawal
Golden Teacher, Glasgow’s premier avant-punk-funk unit, herald a highly anticipated debut album No Luscious Life with the Fela Kuti-meets-James Brownian funk motion and ESG-style disco jabs of Sauchiehall Withdrawal
Guy One – Estre
North-Ghanaian Kologo master Guy One opens the door to his first international release (January 2018). His name is self descriptive, Guy One , ie he’s the number one artist of Frafra music, named after his people: the Frafra.
On ‘Estre’ he’s joined by special guest Florence Adooni, one of the leading voices of Frafra-Gospel. She interweaves perfectly with the horn arrangements of Max Weissenfeldt, as well whoever is responsible for the seriously funky drums.
Tobi Sunmola – Wolves Cry Too
Nigerian born but Manchester-based Tobi Sunmola was a Mobo One To Watch back in 2016 and has enjoyed support from Radio 1 and 1xtra but he’s back with a new EP “City of dreams”, co-produced with fellow Mancunian TWO4KAY .
Ben The Doonhamer – Canvas Stains Remix
“My name is Ben, or The Doonhamer. A term given to people from Dumfries by Glaswegians from when we worked by the Clyde. It seemed fitting since I moved here to be with my friends “The Being” and more involved in the Hip Hop community. I have been writing, recording and performing for around 15 years. I make music for pleasure not for money & all the music on this site will be available for free”.
Strangelove – Lonely Souls ft. Bellatrix
Fear and Loathing meets Young Fathers for a hallucinogenic poetry video – Directed by filmmaker Taz Tron Deli, this passed me by when it came out a few months back but it’s too good not to mention. ‘Lonely Souls’ explores the difficulties of modern romance and the alienation of urban life through a series of trippy imagery.
“After a month of micro-dosing LSD we began formulating ideas for the visual aesthetic of Lonely Souls in a pub in Bethnal Green,” the group told Dummy over email. “We wanted to convey the dizzying turmoil of modern romance and set it against the alienating experience of living in London (or any major city). The result lies somewhere between a bad trip and a feverish hallucination.”