Monday, January 13, 2014

Favourite Mixes :: 2013

Here are a couple of my favourite mixes from 2013. They are not really in any particular order, but they have caught my eye over the past year. They both feature different genres, and the selections are on point - although they do let off different vibes.

Firstly, a Perseus & Jonas Rathsman Essential Mix, put together for BBC Radio 1 earlier in the year. The intro of Underworld blending into Chris Malinchak sets the mood for this mix, just laid back, easy listening. The mix goes upbeat a few times, then slower with the Aaliyah songs, but overall this transition of tempo works beautifully.

The second mix is far more in your face - Oneman's 'Solitaire Vol. 2'. This mix has it all: house, Chicago rap, funk, grime - you name it. Anyone who knows me knows how big of a fan I am of Oneman. His selection is always right in line with my taste, whether it's live or recorded. If there was a mix out there which includes the vast amount of my musical taste, its this one. It also closes with Oneman's remix of Mount Kimbie towards the end. Probably my favourite mix from 2013.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Washed Out

Washed Out is a project by musician Ernest Greene, and the pioneer of the genre named "chillwave". WO released 'Paracosm' a couple months back, and I was going to write my opinions on it, but I didn't feel like I listened to it enough. However, just before writing this post I searched them in my iTunes, and discovered some of the lost treasures in there, which I feel like I have more right to share. Therefore, this is isn't going to be so much of a review, more of a general description on the vibe of WO, and my favourite tunes.

Firstly, I have to touch on 'Paracosm'. It is a really good album, and I particularly like the colourful warmth that the album presents. 'Don't Give Up' is probably my favourite off this record, backing up the colourful nature of the whole album, this song in my view accumulates the album in a single song. The bonus track 'Pull You Down', is right up there as well - a tribal feeling, yet atmospheric song. Both of these are linked below.

My favourite songs are taken from Washed Out's earlier work. The EP 'Life of Leisure', and the debut album 'Within and Without', are both fantastic and I suggest you check them out. The song off the EP 'Feel It All Around' is just beautiful, I have linked this below. It is pretty much a sex song - but to be fair most of WO's songs have that feel to them, easy listening and passionate. Overall I am a big fan off WO and the unique vibe which Ernest Greene presents through the project. 'You & I' deserves an honourable mention as well. An incredible track.

Monday, December 9, 2013


BANKS is a female singer from LA. She has been releasing some big songs over the past year, with an array of different dance and electronic producers. The unique production is combined with her mysterious voice, which is extremely similar to Lana Del Rey's.

I came across her work a few months back whilst listening to Rinse FM. Her first major breakthrough song 'Warm Water' was played, and got exposure. Since then I have constantly been checking up on her discography via Soundcloud, and loving her work.

I felt it was the right time to post about her, as she recently dropped a new favourite song, 'This Is What It Feels Like' - produced by Lil Silva & Jamie Woon, along with an EP. This is probably the song which stands out to me the most, and is for sure my favourite of hers thus far. It's deep, smooth and suspicious, keeping in tune with her consistent style of vocals and production. Check out her new EP and other work on Soundcloud.

She's also a babe.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

SOPHIE :: Numbers

I've really been feeling the work released on Numbers by artist SOPHIE. Numbers is a club & record label, ran by a group of house // electronic DJs including Jackmaster. It has dropped a couple of songs with SOPHIE which are blowing up in numerous mixes.

The production is very broad. The song "EEEHHH/Nothing More To Say" has a poppy and upbeat feel, where in contrast the track titled "Elle" - released on Numbers, is darker with Hip-Hop at the core. Whatever your fancy, SOPHIE brings heat with every release to date. A personal favourite in my iTunes at the moment, and I'm looking to go to a live set in the future. I have linked a couple of mentioned tracks below. Check out more if you haven't already on SoundCloud.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nas :: Illmatic

For this post I thought i'd focus on Illmatic, my favourite Hip-Hop album. As i'm typing this up I have Illmatic playing in the background. It's hard to believe this album is nearly 20 years old, and nothing reminds you of that more than the album artwork of Nas as a kid, fading into a street in Queensbridge, New York. Most people reading this will probably know Illmatic is Nas' first and, arguably his illest record. It's even coveted in the industry as, 'one of the best hip-hop albums ever'.

In my opinion, Illmatic sums up urban life in NYC during the 80-90s. Hailing from Queensbridge, Nas incorporates the struggle of making something of yourself in the concrete jungle that is New York. The realness which he expresses in the record is flawless, and in a wise & fitting way. From the lyrics, to the album's structure, to the artwork... Illmatic is the perfect hip-hop album, which covers all dynamics.

Even though I don't dislike a song on the album, I do have my favourites. "N.Y State of Mind" // "Memory Lane" // "The World is Yours", are three of the stand out songs for myself. 

"N.Y State of Mind" comes forcefully into the album after the intro. Nas lets us know he's not messing about through some hard hitting lyrics. 'I'm like Scarface sniffin' cocaine. Holding an M-16, see with the pen i'm extreme, now. Bullet holes left in my peepholes, i'm suited up in street clothes. Hand me a nine and i'll defeat foes'. This is wrapped up nicely in a DJ Premier beat, - see my previous post for the admiration & thoughts I have on Gang Starr & East coast hip-hop.

Other favourites are, "Memory lane" & "The World is Yours". Both are more subtle beats, but still feature strong lyricism - 'Suede Timb's on my feet, makes my cypher, complete'. Presenting the culture of Queensbridge to the audience. Illmatic is a musical treasure, and an album best used to educate people on hip-hop. 

Below is the track "The World is Yours", listen out for that Timb's reference.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Top 5 Tracks :: So Far This Year

Here are my favourite top 5 tracks so far this year, as a countdown. It was pretty hard, and even now i'm unsure of my choices... I haven't included any of the stuff i've previously posted about, to mix it up a bit.

No. 5:
So the first song in my Top 5 is 'Wanna Party' by Future Brown featuring Chicago rapper Tink. Future Brown is a project by an array of dark & mystical hip-hop producers: Fatima Al Qadiri, Asma Maroof & Daniel Pineda. I'm a big fan of Fatima Al Qadiri's work, she has produced some massive tracks such as 'Hydra' & 'Ghost Raid', which led me to find this joint project, and this banger.

No. 4:
RL Grime's 'Because of U' was only released this week, and was a large factor in writing a top 5 post, as I instantly knew it has to go in there. I love his previous work such as 'Art Money', and this offers a slightly different vibe. 'Because of U' is a beautiful tune.

No. 3:
I am such a big fan of Mount Kimbie, so I had to put them in there somewhere. This year they released 'Cold Spring Fault Less Youth', and to be honest I could have chosen any song from this album - in particular the collaborations with King Krule. But instead I chose 'Home Recording', an extremely laid back and chilled tune.

No. 2:  
I first heard this song in a Boiler Room set, and had to listen to it properly outside a mix. An instant favourite of mine, and I've been listening to a lot more of this Swedish nutter. 'Solarflare' is another favourite, check it out if you haven't. 'Gatorade' edges it out in this case, to go in at number 2.

No. 1:
Not overreacting or anything, but this song in my view is a masterpiece. Slow disco & r'n'b vibes all over the place. I'm one of those people who prefer Drake's singing voice to his rapping voice, and the argument for that is best seen in this track. I'd probably just edge this as my favourite so far this year.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pusha T :: My Name Is My Name

I've been a fan of Pusha T since his Clipse days, and the work he's been rolling out on GOOD Music is some of my favourite in hip-hop at the moment - I said this in my Big Sean post a while back. I was going to review Big Sean's new album, but it just seemed all over the place. It did have some jams on it though.

'My Name Is My Name' is Pusha's solo debut album, and after giving it a few listens over the past week I thought i'd share my thoughts. The first half of the album stands out to me the most. Powerful grimey beats, with heavy bars by Pusha. 'King Push', 'Numbers On The Board' and 'Sweet Serenade', will probably be my three most go to songs from the album - these are all on point, and classic Pusha. The beats turn more mellow around the midway point. Still some good songs, but I prefer Pusha forcing his voice through so us listeners can hear what he's saying whilst reflecting the beat. Overall I really like the album, and it was definitely worth the wait.

I'm seeing him live next month at The Warehouse Project, in Manchester for 'Disclosure Presents'. He's the act that i'm most looking forward to seeing that night, and that's out of a strong lineup. Check the album out as it's one of the most anticipated this year from the world of hip-hop. The video for 'King Push', possibly my favourite from the album, is linked below...