Every weekend we post a rundown of the music – old and new – we’ve been enjoying in our UK and US offices that week.
No emphasis on the boxfresh or the under-the-radar: just an honest account of what’s spent most time on the respective office stereos, with (where possible) links to the music.
Norwell – Harmonia
We’ve no idea who Norwell is, but we’ve fallen hard for the grainy, Border Community-esque analogue charms of this mini-album, released last year on Montreal-based label Box Records.
Luke Abbott – ‘Amphis’
Talking of Border Community, the label’s very own Luke Abbott releases the follow-up to 2010’s colossal Holkham Drones this spring. ‘Amphis’ is the first track we’ve heard, and its fluttering, insect-like percussion and queasy synth gasps share that same sense of Olde English wyrdness we sensed on label boss James Holden’s excellent 2013 LP The Inheritors.
Mobb Deep – The Infamous
We’ve no idea why Mobb Deep decided to reissue their seminal sophomore album in the same week Nas’ Illmatic got its 20th anniversary re-press, but poor timing shouldn’t put you off rediscovering this touchstone of ’90s NYC hip hop, as brilliantly illuminated by Pitchfork’s Jayson Greene this week.
Three Legged Race – Rope Commercial Vol. 1
Robert Beatty’s Three Legged Race project is always worthy of closer inspection, and Rope Commercial Vol.1 is no exception. Dusty, fractured electronics that sound like they tip-toed out of Delia Derbyshire’s forgotten toy chest? Oh yes.
Ezale – Drug Funnie
The Oakland rapper dropped his 90s-baby-baiting mixtape at the tale end of 2013, but we’re hearing it now thanks to Dre Skull, who played the Run DMC-sampling slapper ‘Foreal Foreal’ on last week’s EVR show. The similiarly nostalgic ‘5 Minutes of Funktown’ finds Ezale rapping over the likes of Whodini, Rick James, and Morris Day, and the year of West Coast rap marches on.
Celestial Trax – Paroxysm
Glassy, fractured hybridized grime from NY-based ex-pat Celestial Trax, Paroxysm; follows a successful run of Bandcamp releases, and manages to dissolve two decades of British dance music into a veritable acid bath of neon sound.
Mixrace – ‘Dirty Amen’
Discovered on a DAT that had been packed away for years, we can thank the brand spanking new 8025 label for rediscovering this oldskool jungle gem. What does it sound like? Well the title ain’t lying, let’s just say that.
Future – Honest
The long-awaited album from everyone’s favorite rap astronaut drops next week, and while early listens have proved less revelatory than the first time we heard Pluto, we’re not going to count out Future just yet.
Lana Del Rey – ‘West Coast’
The divisive pop queen follows that stellar Disney cover with the first single from Ultraviolence, the Stevie Nicks-meets-Cardigans swooner ‘West Coast’. Haters to the left.
Fatima – Yellow Memories
The Swedish soul singer truly comes into her own on this long awaited debut. It’s not just her strong voice and delivery that shine but also the selection of beats from what is undeniably an all-star production team.