It’s been a while since I trawled the internet in search of musical gems so without any more waffle please enjoy over 100 fresh tracks. The finest in new music, all zipped up into handy playlists.

There’s a 100 song playlist on Soundcloud here or if Spotify is your streaming service of choice then please subscribe to my erratically updated monthly playlist (Open in the app or your browser).
Finally there are 135 tracks on OpenWhyd but for some reason the site won’t let me change their order.

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!

Sol Patches – Last Soil (feat. Andre, EMEKA, Chaski)

Binary me, can’t parish me
believe me, I’m living this legacy
trans nigga therapy, cause gender is a heresy
and i can’t ever let it be… construct by whiteness – (lyrics)

Sol Patches popped onto my radar thanks to my irregular and increasingly forlorn search to see if rapper/singer, Andre (formally Leandra & The Dream) has released any new music. Tracks like ‘Don’t Wanna Be Poetry‘ blew me away back in 2016 and of course, featured in my year-end top 200.  It’s a mystery to me why they aren’t yet a household name!?
And so one particular google took me to Sol Patches, a trans rapper who like Andre uses ‘they/them’ pronouns, and whose track ‘Last Soil’ features not only Andre, but also another favourite, EMEKA.

Here’s how Sol Patches describes the ‘Garden City’ album:
“Sol Patches (they/them) presents Garden City, a love letter written in music for trans people, we who dream and live to unlearn- creating in a field that denies our very existence. Sol Patches was born on the southside, raised partially on the westside, and has family roots in Cabrini Green. Part of their mission is a wide implementation of their stories to interrogate streamlined conversations of difference, while rooted in care, compassion, and critical theory. The social structures that are prescribed to the black body trans body tire Patches deeply. Garden City simultaneously specifies and abstracts the black trans body, a body often lost in violent translations. The investments made towards this projects are decidedly not capital. No income was involved, instead, a chosen family is responsible. Garden City marinates on this idea of chosen family, how each member’s hearts sound, how their love feels. Love letters are really just letters with a lot of love in them. Garden City is a love letter, and an inhalation. A testimony and a critical reading that tracks Patches’ experience riding a line at which fire is at peace with the dark. We pass through empty lots, where the grass was left unbothered, where the abandoned buildings tumble, where empty bottles glisten, where the kids played hide and seek, and where law enforcement hid around the block. Garden City is for those Gardens, a project that encompasses all these sightings and is in constant TRANsition. We want to welcome you to experience it“.

‘Last Soil’ – and the album it comes from – rewards repeated listening (I must be in the 100’s by now). It’s lyrically dense but playful and exudes warmth despite lyrics that don’t hold back on the forces stacked against ‘them’. Perhaps the opening chuckle from Andre sets the tone, and their appearance midway through is – for me at least – a highlight although I wouldn’t say they ‘lift’ the track as it was up there already.
Sol Patches already has a new EP out so check that here (the opener is particularly fine) and word has it that Andre is preparing a new multimedia show any moment!

Darkie Fiction – Bhoza


And it’s the turn of another blog favourite to return, Darkie Fiction, whose debut single ‘Selula’ contained some magic sonic signal that caused any listener to dopily lollop along in a half dance/half skip whilst grinning from ear to ear… maybe that’s just me but some songs have an energy that makes you smile (and move).
The bands’ self-professed mission statement is to help (South) Africans make music that is 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.

New single,  “epitomizes a proudly South African, VUK’UZENZELE (“Wake and up and do it yourself”), warm and uplifting song for all ages”. Stick it to the man, make sure they understand. Viva!

They’d like you to share the song with the #Bhoza hashtag to ‘make sure South Africa hears it’… aim high, the world needs to hear it. It’s a joy to have them back…Darkie Fiction to the top!

Darkie Fiction – Facebook / Twitter

Mx Blouse – Is’phukphuku

Sandiso Ngubane aka MxBlouse is a Rap/Kwaito/Gqom artist…their latest single Is’phukphuku, translates from isiZulu to mean “idiot”, and is a reflection on free expression, safe spaces and the agency of womxn.

“The idea behind this, as with the collaboration with Thor Rixon, Jakinda and Albany Lore, is to emphasise and highlight my love for all forms of creativity, my faith in South African artists, and long-standing agitation for supporting local at all times, wherever possible.”

Follow Mx Blouse on TwitterInstagramFacebook and SoundCloud.

Nakhane – You Will Not Die

I’m very late to the hype around another South African artist, Nakhane and hype is in this case very much justified. Nakhane’s voice is a thing of utter beauty and I can think of no higher praise than to say, when I first heard it I couldn’t quite believe it wasnt a new album by David McAlmont. Such is the similarity in phrasing, tone, pitch, everything. Listen to McAlmont on ‘You’ll Lose A Good Thing’ and then listen to Nakhane. Anyway, I should talk about Nakhane not past favourites, but being compared to someone with one of THE voices of this or any century can’t be a bad thing 🙂

Skinny Pelembe – Toy Shooter

Signed to Gilles Peterson’s 100% quality assured Brownswood label, Skinny Pelembe can just about keep this posts accidental South African theme going as he was born in Johannesburg. Shattering that thread, he grew up in Doncaster, England and produces, plays guitar, sings and MCs. ‘Toy Shooter’ pilfers the lyrics from Willie Williams’ Studio 1 classic ‘Armagideon Time’ and feeds them through the filter of psych-rock meeting beats and synth loops.

Sex Judas feat. Ricky – Go Down Judas

It’s the return of the sexual vigilante Sex Judas and his trusted sidekick Ricky. This time in full album mode. Norwegian producer Tore Gjedrem of Ost & Kjex fame, channels his love of comix, bohemia and fascination with human vice, the unspoken, the Red Light districts, the alleys of the mind into his alter ego.

Sex Judas is no bad character but certainly says what it’s author cannot.

“I wanted to create a world where any musical idea is possible, wound together by the world and word of Judas, the ultimate sinner, reborn as a child of Venus.”

Inspiration ranges from Africa to 80’s NYC, from Bohannon to Quasimoto, from Norwegian New Wave to Acid House. With contributions by friends in the Oslo scene as hometown legend Dj Pål Strangefruit Nyhus, composer Ole-Henrik Moe, jazzpianist Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidiki Camara from Mali playing that beautiful Ngoni, and multi instrumentalist Ivar Snuten Winther, the album touches anything from blues, funk, disco and post-punk to IDM, acid house and electronic explorer music.

Youth Iron Rock – Nat Birchall

Instrumental Roots Reggae Dub featuring legendary Jamaican trombonist Vin Gordon a.k.a. Don Drummond Junior a.k.a. Trammy (Real Rock, Heavenless, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Burning Spear, Yabby You etc etc. Youth Iron Rock was recorded old school style on vintage analogue equipment and mixed by dub master Al Breadwinner at the Bakery Studio in Manchester.

Tobe Nwigwe – Jôckîn. (The Originals)

Tobe Nwigwe has an amazing voice! Intimidatingly booming while at the same time gloriously soothing, Tobe rumbles in sort of the way that Charli2na did with Jurassic 5 but with way more bass and a much less cartoony feel.  Imagine if James Earl Jones had chosen rapper as a career path and thought, ‘my voice just isn’t imposing enough’.


Cloud Daddy & the Kingston Big Smokes – Two Things