Been a good few weeks since I compiled a ‘Reaping’ together. Quite a few tunes have come and gone since then, leaving less of a mark than they initially promised. However these are a few that have continued to stand out in that period.
Noémie – Blue Blood
I’ve discovered loads of great bands since working at Boomtown Fair, one such band whom I’ve already mentioned on this blog are Gentle Mystics. They shall be gracing the Town Centre stage this year and are definitely worth checking out, but also Noémie, the lead singer of the group has recently embarked on a solo career set to run parallel with (rather than instead of) the Mystics’ material.
Although her Soundcloud page has a few odds and ends already, this is her first official single, and it’s a beauty. At the risk of being more obvious than I’d like and throwing in some over simplistic similarities, this reminds me of Portishead, Billie Holiday and Beth Orton rolled into one haunting, industrial Jazz song about “being lead by the beauty of love into a grim corner of the mind.”
Tyler – I.F.H.Y.
The sentiment in that last sentence is echoed with greater venom by Tyler in this track. I’ve pretty much ignored most of the O.F.W.G.K.T.A. releases for a while now, over hype tends to result in an excessively underwhelming output, but the last Earl Sweatshirt video snapped me back in the room. Both videos are also directed by Tyler and I’m really starting to think that an occasionally excellent rapper and an often interesting producer, is far more consistent as an incredible director.
The Mouse Outfit – Escape Music (Album)
On a somewhat different part of the Hip-hop scale, but no less appealing for me, is the forthcoming album from Northern UK based live band, The Mouse Outfit. This video is a short selection from each track, featuring some killer guest appearances from rappers such as Dr Syntax, Sparkz, Black Josh, Fox and Dubbul O.
I’ve had this on heavy rotation at the moment and they’re another band I would highly recommend catching if you’re heading to Boomtown Fair this summer.
Stagga – Who Ya Gonna Kill
Stagga muuuurdered it with this (and everything else he played) at Troyfest last weekend. Rather gutted most people were crammed in watching Craig Charles so the Chrome Kids room wasn’t quite as busy as deserved during his set. Usually I’d have been well up some Funk & Soul too but generally on the last day of a festival, I’m worn out and had most of my emotions wrung dry, so I need to be challenged, I need someone to provoke and push buttons. Stagga was definitely the right man for that job.
Bonobo feat. Grey Reverend – First Fires
Aside from the Cornelia collaboration ‘Pieces’ which we included in the last Chrome Kids show, I’ve pretty much just been approaching the latest Bonobo album only in it’s entirety . It’s nice to break it down into these succulent bite sized chunks every now and then but I’m not yet totally convinced that the sum of the parts is greater than the piece as a whole.
Omar – The Man
It’s tough being a Soul singer in the UK. One classic hit and a small time to shine, then you either get lost in middle of the road pop mediocrity or middle of the road Jazz obscurity (I’m being brutally and unfairly sweeping with that statement I know). To be honest, even though I haven’t known (or really cared) where to find him, I have no real idea if Omar actually got lost anywhere. He popped up in my sights recently with a couple of excellent collaborations alongside Zed Bias and his alter ego Maddslinky, then from nowhere he drops this slick, soulful, low down and funky number, just so we know that he is actually still, The Man.
This Is Moko – Summon The Strength
Hopefully This Is Moko won’t subscribe to either of my prophecies for UK Soul artists, although being as this reminds me of classic 90s Shara Nelson or the earlier Emeli Sandé material (which I loved), it doesn’t fill me with too much hope truth be told. Still at least we have this to enjoy for the moment.
Hawk House – Tidal Tendencies
The YouTube comments proclaiming ‘the UK Digable Planets’ or ‘the UK Fugees’ should give you some idea where the band formally known as A Yelow Man are coming from. Hyperbole aside, these guys definitely are refreshing. I’ve not heard the whole mixtape yet but it’s downloaded ready to roll. Grab yourself a copy here.
The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle
Another release that has been refreshing my eardrums is the new project from Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson called, The Uncluded. They might seem a world apart and I know a few people who like them separately but can’t quite gel with them as a duo, however I think they’re perfect partners in poetry and this track in particular keeps pulling me back round again.
Pusha T – Numbers On The Boards
Pusha T has always had an acute ear for a dope beat, back since The Neptunes lay down their wares for The Clipse first album. Although Push knows how to ride still, it’s definitely the Don Cannon (and possibly Kanye) production here that is the stand out feature.
Walton – Baby
Okay it samples Brandy and has the same swing as Blawan’s ‘Getting Me Down’ but who gives a f**k. It’s still more interesting and certainly more fun than most / all of the other things that I dug out of the Chrome Kids Mailbox today. This is only coming out on Vinyl but if you’re strictly digital and can put it to good use, I’m sure you could ask him or the good fellas at Hyperdub really nicely and they’d be able to hook you up.