Maths Time Joy – Sanctuary

A new one on me, Maths Time Joy makes some rousing, sensual sounds and the new EP – Sanctuary is no exception. Think vocals from Inc, horn stabs and guitar riffage a la Jai Paul with poppy twiddles from AlunaGeorge.

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Pick of the tracks for me is After Hours feat. Flores but Cerulean is worth a listen too.

Set for release on 25 May, add to your Friday night post date mix for guaranteed succex!

Ata Kak – Sounds from Ghana

Having first unearthed the Ghanian highlife artist Ata Kak’s super tune ‘Daa Nyinaa’ on a cassette whilst crate digging in the Cape Coast, Ghana, niche blogger (check out the very excellent Awesome Tapes From Africa) Brian Shimkovitz embarked on a 12 year search to track down the man behind the tune.

The long search led him to discover that the singer, real name Yaw Atta-Owusu, had been in Canada when the track was recorded and that only 50 copies were ever pressed. With no master to work from, the cassette he’d purchased had to act as the source for all future editions.

Re-released on 3 March, Obaa Sima, is available to buy now (LP, CD, MP3).

Roots Manuva – Facety 2:11

It’s been a while, for us and Rodney Smith, but guess what, we’re both back with all the energy and flavour we had before plus some more!

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Roots Manuva’s new slammer Facety 2:11 has been doing the rounds this week and it’s definitely hitting the mark.

Released on Big Dada on 4 May (Big Dada / iTunes), with production from another London stalwart Four Tet, this one will blow the winter cobwebs off your speakers for sure.

Bok Bok feat. Kelela – Melba's Call

Having teamed up previously on Kelela’s game changing 2013 mixtape (it’s not a mixtape, it’s an album but let’s not split hairs) for tracks Guns & Synths and A Lie, Bok Bok and Kelela have once again joined forces to deliver a jittery hyper-funk belter – Melba’s Call.

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Kelela’s vocal is soft and playful layered over the shuffle and rumble of Bok Bok’s beat. This is definitely one to crank in the Nova when out on your weekend cruise.

Melba’s Call is released on Bok Bok’s very own Night Slugs on 31 March 2014. Pre-order it here.

Recent & Recommended

Alongside the peachy weather, we’ve also been treated to a handful of fine long-playing records this Summer. Here’s a quick overview of three that have caught our attention.

Jon Hopkins / Immunity (Domino)

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Jon Hopkins’ background in classical music lends his electronic sound an atmosphere that few other producers can match. Insides, Hopkins’ previous solo LP, flitted between grinding uptempo numbers and score-like tracks. This transition between the two genres is more subtle on Immunity. Opener ‘We Disappear’ comes complete with juddering, coarse beats and an industrial, pulsating clank. This brooding factory of sound is maintained through the next three tracks, culminating with the other worldly ‘Collider’, a tornado of a song which rips along for over nine minutes. Then everything changes. ‘Abandon Window’ offers calm after the storm, showcasing Hopkins’ undoubted talent as a pianist and composer (Hopkins was nominated for an Ivor Novello award for Best Original Score with the soundtrack to the film Monsters). The second half of the album rides out on this contemplative theme. The pace drops off and the beats play a lesser role before the title track brings everything together in one evocative, dream sequence of a song. The thinking man’s dance music.

Gold Panda / Half of Where You Live (Ghostly International)

Gold Panda’s 2010 debut Lucky Shiner really got our attention. The whimsical sounds and exotic samples make it the perfect accompaniment to a long haul flight. Three years on, Gold Panda’s follow up is no less powerful, albeit this time the sound is a little less playful. The textures and layers of sound are almost palpable on ‘Junk City II’ and ‘Brazil’ which bounce along with boundless vim. Gold Panda’s gift is his ability to create a collage of noise that seeps with emotion. As with John Hopkins’ Immunity, the uptempo sound on Half of Where You Live subsides to leave a more introspective vibe. On ‘Flinton’, Gold Panda wields lush strings, Chinese harp and trundling piano to deliver a sumptuous, beautiful song. ‘Enoshima’ continues on this theme, taking us deeper into Gold Panda’s travels while he toured the Lucky Shiner LP. With the album so overtly referencing places of significance to the artist, we’re pretty sure this will be another perfect long haul long-player. Traveller’s delight.

Fat Freddy’s Drop / Blackbird (The Drop) 

We were nervous ahead of listening to FFD’s third album. With such an extensive catalogue of dub-infused rollers, would this be a bit ‘samey’ and lack the innovation that made their debut, Based on a True Story, so refreshing? Concerns were heightened after listening to the LP opener, ‘Blackbird’, which feels as though it could have sat on either of the last two albums. However, whereas the other LPs reviewed above start uptempo and then slow down, Blackbird grows and grows, the first single from the album ‘Silver and Gold’ throbbing with rock-influenced electric guitar and Joe Dukie’s rich, unmistakable vocals. The stripped-back ‘Soldier’ stomps along nicely and then reaches a crescendo before taking you back to a heavy head-nod. ‘Never Moving’ is perhaps the most exciting track on the album, a hearty slice of electronica complements FFD’s trademark dub sound and Dukie’s vocals offer a Chicago house-esque opulence. The album rides out with afrobeat and funk influenced tracks ‘Mother Mother’ and ‘Bohannon’, two other sounds FFD blend with their signature style to great success. It turns out Blackbird is indeed innovative and as refreshing as an ice cube down the Y-fronts. Third time’s a charm.