Despite remaining quiet in the aftermath of 2010’s Contact Love Want Have before returning with last year’s I Make Lists EP, Sara Abdel-Hamid (a.k.a. Ikonika) has more than proven her status in the modern club diaspora since bursting onto the scene with her first EPs on Hyperdub. Aerotropolis, Contact's followup, is light years away from the immersive bleeps of its predecessor, but that works out to Abdel-Hamid's advantage, as proven on this particular cut. 'Mr. Cake' sees Ikonika's interest in 80s freestyle flesh itself out over a sunny landscape with shimmering synths and crunchy Linn drums taking prominence. However, while the dystopian landscape still pops up on tracks such as 'Backhand Winners,' we're ultimately won over by this new chapter.
Profuse apologies for the lengthy hiatus. Here’s something we’ve been vibing off quite a bit lately in lieu of a lot of the stuff that’s been gathering heat in the underground: two favourites - one producer on the come-up and one songstress who’s kind of fallen by the wayside in recent years - colliding for a rather scrumptious refix in advance of Murlo’s breathtaking Last Dance EP on Glacial Sound. Get to know.
We’ve never doubted Kingdom for a second, maintaining his status within the top producer tier over the last few years. However, he’s stepped it up quite a notch on his newest EP, Vertical XL, threading its tracks with a consistent narrative, much like the focal points found in Girl Unit’s Club Rez EP and Jam City’s Classical Curves.OG Master sees the producer go outright grimy, hammering relentless kicks and airy synth leads together within a bone-chilling environment, contrasting the lighter side of the EP with finesse. If this is what Kingdom’s got in store for us, then we’re more than willing to jump in for the ride.
The last couple of months have seen Joe Cowton hit his stride with a snarling cross-pollination of grime’s relentless air and the backbone of the more sinister side of house, evident through his collaboration with Peverelist on Hessle and last year’s Des Bisous 12” on his Pale Fire imprint. However, TFB, the main cut off his newest release for All Caps, sees his recent excursions distilled to the very core, as some would say. All it takes is one listen to see how effective - and intimidating - its presence would be within a club environment. Compared to Blawan and Pariah’s restructuring of the track, suspending its clipped 909s within a barely-there “dungeon” foundation, the original leaves little room for the club-goer to protect itself. That’s the beauty of it.
Though Scotland-based ¥oin’s been a familiar name for quite a while, he’s taken his time stamping his name on a tangible release until this month: earlier this week, his collaborative EP with OL set off the proceedings for the Fine Grains label and a few days prior, his All Black mixtape surfaced on LiveMixtapes of all places (well, ClubMixtapes anyway.) This low-slung cut off the All Black tape has some rather slinky vibes to it, turning Japanese instrumentation on its head to craft something that wouldn’t sound out of place with a few bars on it. Let’s just hope someone’s voice gets to grace the man’s instrumentals sometime this year, shall we?
It’s been a little minute since we’ve posted anything due to various reasons, let alone write on them, but that’s not particularly important. The fact that GoldFFinch have come out with their first proper release for 2013 was enough to rouse us from our slumber - this particular cut’s been floating around for a while (much like the other three cuts on their EP), but its eerie sub-bass, vocal cuts and distant synth stabs were too good for its creators to hold onto for long. Say what you want about the “4/4 bass” music circulating at the moment, but GoldFFinch are one of the few that truly do it well.
Sydney’s Hunter Gatherer imprint is one which we’re tipping to become a far more widely known name in the Australian electronic music scene. With three releases under their belt this year already (the first of which from previous Generic Cast contributor, Gardland), the turnaround and quality of the label is impressive. Nander (aka Nick Anderson) is the latest producer to release material for the budding imprint, with two tracks, ‘Steamer’ and ‘Speech.’ Both move into interesting, some what experimental territory, pushing the boundaries of Techno in the process. The mix itself contains a host of unreleased Nander bits - which we can only hope we’ll be seeing more of in the near future.
Victoria Kim are yet to release anything, but that’s soon to change. The duo are set to release a 12” - which is available for pre-order here, on boutique Sydney based imprint, The Finer Things. It doesn’t end there however, with the pair joining the illustrious Templar Sound family, as well as having a forthcoming release on Breach’s Naked Naked label. Taking influence from a diverse range of sources, their sound is something which we think is best heard - rather than written about. Their mix starts off in somewhat unknown territory (for us anyway), before moving towards more familiar floor-orientated business. Enjoy.
Like Deadboy, Mount Kimbie have remained quiet on the release front since mid-2011. In that time the UK scene has shifted from predominately 140bpm focused business (which arose from the original influence of Dubstep), to more 4x4, Techno indebted territory. It was always going to be interesting then how Mount Kimbie would interpret this shift. Couple this with the fact the duo moved from Hotflush to the legendary Warp Records in this period, meant your guess on what they’d produce was as good as ours. With ‘Made To Stray’ they’ve seemingly opted for a happy middle ground between their older stuff, and current trends, with the end result incredibly natural. The pair have always had an acute ear for melody - with this never more evident than when the vocals come in here. We could write a lot more about this track, but instead we’ll just leave it for you to enjoy.
The pairing of Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman (aka Dusky) started life as Solitary - a Progressive House duo. While Progressive House isn’t really a genre we cover at GP, we do enjoy their bangin’ House material under the Dusky moniker. After the momentous ‘Flo Jam' from last year, the duo have continued their run of form into 2013, with their freshly minted Nobody Else EP for Aus Music. It’s four tracks of floor-orientated material that’s sure to get bodies moving - and thus an essential in any DJ’s arsenal.
There’s nothing quite like a good label compilation, with a well done one showcasing an imprint’s various producer’s, and sounds. Few labels are as eclectic as Ramp Recordings, thus unsurprisingly making the Ramp 50 compilation pretty much impossible to categorize in terms of genre. It’s perhaps fittingly then that New York native and genre hopper, FaltyDL, has released numerous material on the label. ‘To London’ first dropped back in mid-2009 as a 12”, before again appearing last year on the aforementioned compilation. It’s a forward thinking bit, and has always been a firm home listening favourite amongst the GP crew.
Djrum is one of those producers that seems to continually get slept on - in our opinion at least. While not a complete unknown by any means, he’s yet to find broader acclaim in the UK scene, and beyond. In part it may be because of his relatively scarce amount of solo releases - which generally don’t exceed one per year. ‘Blue On Blue (Vodoo)’ is part of 2nd Drop’s Future Foundations 12” series, which are three separate records to celebrate the imprint’s fifth birthday. On the third and final installation of the series, it immediately shines through as the standout track, and one we’ve had on repeat since its release. Don’t sleep on this one.
Washington DC resident Martyn has a slew of releases to his name on a host of different imprints. Whether it be for Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint, his own 3024 label, or the Dubstep focused Revolve:r further back, the Martyn name has always been synonymous with quality. His latest bit - the Newspeak EP on Steffi’s label, Dolly, follows a similar path in terms of sound to his Ghost People LP. We could’ve picked any three of the tracks on there, but there’s something about the uplifting lightness of ‘Oceania’ which tips it over the line.
Deadboy has always rated in our top five favourite producers, so we’ve felt his near two year absence from releases particularly hard. Now, the London producer has finally made his long anticipated return, with the Blaquewerk 12” on Numbers. While the obvious track to post would be ‘Geek’d Up’ (which we posted a radio rip of way back in August 2011), it’s this bit that caught our ear. Deadboy has somehow combined a chunky bassline which oozes 80s sleaze, with soulful vocal cuts, and skittering synths - which switch between a deep House and studio funk sound. Confused? Just listen and you’ll understand.
Jéremy Guindo-Zegiestowski (aka Bambounou) continues on his fine run of releases with this bit for 50Weapons. The Full Of Feelings EP again sees Zegiestowski focus on a more Techno oriented sound - compared to his earlier cuts on Youngunz and ClekClekBoom. He keeps it innovative and rhythmic however, thankfully avoiding going into totally stoic 4x4 territory. ‘Filled’ is straight out, no-nonsense heavy floor business, and will certainly be getting a heavy rinsing in our sets. Tune.
Scottish young gun (and co-owner of the Tuff Wax label) Lockah has quite a resumé on him, racking up releases on Mishka’s record label arm and the Jeffree’s imprint and remixes for Hundred Waters, Koloah and Danny Brown’s Bruiser Brigade over the last year or so. However, 2013 just might be his break-out year, with his Only Built 4 Neon Nites EP due out (or available now, depending on your sources) on Donky Pitch. This particular cut, if we may say so, might be an early contender for track of the year, especially with THAT melody. It might sound pretty familiar, but let’s throw that aside for a second and bask in its nightly glow… we dare you to throw this on and go the entire track without even a grin on your face.
Barcode (Clicks & Whistles Remix) by Blood Diamonds
If we’re being honest here, this particular combination is a little interesting… 4AD-approved hit machine Blood Diamonds and former A$AP associate Dominic Lord hopping on a track, remixed by personal favourites Clicks & Whistles. While Dom’s verses came backed with infectiously catchy synths and hooks, the North Carolina duo’s remix takes him on a jungle-tinged rollercoaster that seems to restrain itself a tiny bit. Regardless, it’s nonetheless worthy of making a dancefloor go crazy at the right moment.
Despite the excessive hype surrounding many of its tracks, Think and Change, the first compilation from Boddika’s NonPlus imprint, holds itself together as a whole, serving as a cohesive collection of tracks from like-minded contributors such as Four Tet, Kassem Mosse and Lowtec and a window into the label’s future. Pearson Sound’s contribution may feel a teeny bit odd compared to his last EP on Hessle for some, but it’s a much-welcomed change of pace among the compilation’s majority, edging itself with his trademark drums, Hoover-like pads and a ghostly vocal before finally giving in 2.5 minutes prior to the track’s end. We’ve never been disappointed with his material by any means, but let’s hope DK doesn’t go too house-y on us in 2013.
Catz n’ Dogz’s Pets label has just put out the second installment of their Friends Will Carry You Home series, and it’s a bit of a corker. The tracks by Trikk, A1 Bassline and Tom Demac stand out to us as well, but it’s this particular cut between Ben Westbeech’s housier alter ego and T. Williams (pictured) which had us hooked from the start. Standing more in line with their recent work, the duo works through an Afro-centric groove with (somewhat) eerie synth pads and sudden vocal pops coasting throughout its seven-minute duration. Despite a lot of tracks in this certain vein popping up recently, ‘And Then We’ proves itself to be an exception to the rule.
Grown Folk (pictured), after a long period of inactivity have returned with a flourish - that’s included a recent release on Icee Hot, a collab EP forthcoming with Main Attrakionz, and now this bit. On the other hand, Sydney based Dro Carey is generally fairly constant with releases - either under that name, or his Tuff Sherm moniker. After apparently floating around the Templar archives for a while, ‘Limbo Limbs,’ has now finally seen the light of day to promote Grown Folk’s aforementioned release with Main Attrakionz. It’s a somewhat heavy Grime indebted tune - which would no doubt sound good with an MC spitting over it. Gun fingers ready.
This one may have slipped under our radar, but we’re pretty glad Rustie’s returned with a vengeance after a big 2011. This doesn’t need any words, but if you’re still sleeping on this one - you’re a fool for that one. Enjoy.
We’re pretty keen on Stay+ and the sound they’ve pretty much single-handedly carved out in the UK electronic world. While most of their tracks do seem to follow a certain pattern - perhaps to the point where you could say it’s almost slightly repetitive, they’re still captivating regardless. We’re not quite sure what it is, but something lures us in every time they drop something new. Big ups,
Mr. Bashmore’s been rather prolific over the last twelve months, but it’s been a little while since we’ve seen the name Velour (or Hyetal, his partner-in-crime.) That dry spell has, thankfully, come to an end with their second slab of magnetizing funk. In comparison to the snappy drums and melodies of ‘Speedway,’ the flipside dials down the hard hits a few notches and settles itself for the night. If we may say so - the synths here are a tad bit more catchy than the A-side also. The Captain Sky sample doesn’t help matters much either. Let’s just hope there’s more Velour in the pipeline this year… don’t leave us hanging.