February, the month Kanye West popped up f’in and blindin’ on ITV with more black artists on stage with him during one song than had appeared in the previous 30 years of the Brits.
Taylor danced, Lionel looked confused and Liam Gallagher pronounced it utter s%^t… so all in Yeezy must be doing something right. There was also a cape.

Anyway the Brits aside here are my musical highlights of the month.

Subscribe on Spotify for a huge ever-growing playlist of the best of 2015 (or the artists who bother with Spotify anyway). There’s a Whyd playlist below, and Soundcloud too if thats your thing.

BRAIDS – Miniskirt

“You feel you’ve the right to touch me
Cause I asked for it
In my little mini skirt
Think you can have it”

The Braids new LP “explores a number of heavy subjects, including pornography, abuse, and slutshaming“, so says the press release and as the first track to be heard “MiniSkirt” is one hell of a cathartic angry calling card.
Raphaelle Standell may sing sweetly but her lyrics scream with frustration.

ROZI PLAIN – Actually

If you look up ‘beguiling’ in the dictionary it probably says ‘adjective: charming or enchanting, often in a deceptive way e.g. Rozi Plain’s utterly beguiling voice’.
Rozi’s new album may currently be under lock and key in a caravan home on the Hebridean Isle of Eigg but ‘Actually’ is evidence that ‘Lost Map’ headhoncho and Eigg dweller Johnny Lynch is poised to release Rozi’s latest soon.

Head to Lost Map’s website where you can download a free 9 track taster of the labels roster.

QUEEN KWONG – Cold Daggers

Originally ‘discovered’ at 17 by Trent Reznor and thrown straight in as support for Nine Inch Nails, Queen Kwong’s star has been in the ascendancy for a while now without ever quite catching fire. However a packed four night residency in London, and the backing of former Cure keyboard player Roger O’Donnell may indicate she’s finally taking off. Think PJ Harvey fronting the Stooges and you may get some idea of the sort of punk power on display but best of all catch her live given half a chance. By the end of the show she’ll probably be singing next to you in the moshpit or surfing on your head.

MELANIE DE BIASIO – I’m Gonna Leave You (The Cinematic Orchestra Remix)

In January a lorry fire in the Channel Tunnel looked like scuppering what was to be a triumphant performance at the annual Gilles Peterson Awards show at London’s Koko. Her ‘No Deal’ LP had been garlanded all year and I’d been looking forward to seeing her live for an age.
Thankfully a combination of P&O ferries and cabbies got her to the venue in time to perform one number and in the process teal the show. Performing her reworking of Nina Simones “I’m Gonna Leave You” she prowled the stage in almost darkness switching between half whispered vocals, yoga moves and flute playing. The track is a pitter pattering ever building transcendent jazz opus that had the crowd mesmerised.
Such is my love for her original I was initially unsure of the wiseness of even the Cinematic Orchestra attempting to play with perfection but they pulled it off. Built around a looped vocal their reworking is more akin to the legendary tripped out Mixmaster Morris version of Coldcut and Janis Alexanders ‘Autumn Leaves’.

MISSY & LUDA – Revolutions

On February 7, 1964 The Beatles boarded Pan Am Flight 101 to New York, but ‘An Adventure To Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space’ imagines the Fab Four taking an unscheduled detour through a rift in the space-time continuum… to 1990s Brooklyn.

An epic 48-track double LP free download available from Monkeyboxing.com teams the Beatles with Hip-Hop’s finest. Think the Grey album but with every great MC, not just Jay Z.

The offcut below didn’t make the final album but finds Ludacris and Missy Elliot riding the Beatles “Revolution”.

B DOLAN – Seat at the table

“When bullets flying and people dying, we don’t forget.
Know how to poke out your ass, but won’t stick out your neck?”

The third volume in B. DOLAN and BUDDY PEACE’s ‘House of Bees’ mixtape trilogy arrived in February. Aside from the finest if perhaps not the most legal samples, skilfully diced by Buddy Peace, the ‘House of Bees’ series birthed the prescient hashtag #FilmThePolice and asked “Which Side Are You On?” on racism and prejudice against the LGBT community.

As the co-creator of Knowmore.org – a site dedicated to holding corporations to account through purchasing power – you expect a political lyric or two and “Seat at the table” doesn’t disappoint.
Over a HUGE self produced beat Dolan takes to task those rappers and celebrities who “profit off black culture while remaining silent in the face of white supremacy“.
To buy the ‘House of Bees’ mixtapes and get news on the imminent official LP, head to BDolan.net.

FREE DOWNLOAD: The production guru behind House of Bees, Buddy Peace has been busy creating 300 second instalments of his finest beats, raps and samples and releasing them online every tuesday and thursday.
Nab the lot for precisely no english pounds from his Soundcloud.

PLANETARIAN – Let’s Be Lovers

OPEN MIKE EAGLE – Ziggy Starfish (Anti​-​Anxiety Raps)

DIGITALANALOGUE – Cafe Royal

CHAOS IN THE CBD – No Signal Found

FRIDA SUNDEMO – For You, Love