L.M.Y.E. – Manhattan

This is a pure dance floor delight. We could leave it at that and let the track play out to justify the accolades it deserves, but that wouldn’t be a DnV post now would it.

The temptingly building and unashamedly 2-step beat coupled with the “ruff ‘n’ tuff” underbelly of the track delivered by the bass line and it’s three note rising motif at the end of each phrase is what really hooked us (the low frequency gluttons that we are). The echoing of that motif in higher octaves, oh and the lusciously striking prominence of the piano that flickers into the frame every now and again, brings this all together spectacularly.

Shanti Celeste’s remix takes ‘Manhattan’ in a lighter direction and feels as though it fits better at the “rising sun in the morning” end of the night out spectrum rather than the “just past midnight ramp up” vibe of the original. Both have their place, both are excellently executed.

Pop to Idle Hands in Bristol to get your copy and thank the label that released this in person.

Sixtus Preiss – Rare Earth [EP]

It’s a ‘Rare Earth’ indeed when we are lost for words, but we really struggled to find the right ones to do justice to this formidable release from the Austrian powerhouse; Sixtus Preiss.

The diversity of sounds and moods that the EP offers is pretty mind blowing. From the aggressive and spacious shuffle step of ‘Common’ to the smooth but somewhat sombre feel of ‘Everything Is Still The Same feat. Kœnig’. You’ll find yourself asking how this musical jigsaw fits together to complete a picture, but you know what, it really does!

The title track and the equally infectious ‘Vitamin’ have been the stand out parts for us. Probably because we’re absolute fiends for a glitchy, squelchy synth coupled with a relentlessly chugging bassline. And who can resist a descending bass bomb and a tropical-esq beat when it’s coupled with a bespectacled nun joyfully dancing in a sun-kissed river.

Go fetch yourself copy and have possibly the most confusing yet fun 23 musical minutes of the year so far. Rare Earth is out now on Affine Records.

Arşivplak – Turkish Disco Folk

We genuinely don’t know a great deal about the artist(s), track or origins of this one but it’s been somewhat addictive do our ears and has definitely opened them up to hearing more Turkish music. What’s more it’s out on a lovely 7″ – yes please!

Any tips? Let us know

Common – Black America Again

In an age of heightened global political tension, divided communities and with the whiff of revolution in the air, it comes as no surprise that hip-hop heavyweight Common has something to say.

His eleventh* studio album ‘Black America Again’ has been crafted from the same cook book as the previous ten with its mix of styles, tempos and collaborations, topped off with a liberal serving of Common’s cleverly considered conscious word craft – this time focusing in the main on the inequalities and injustices currently playing out in the US.

The musical base of this 12 course taster menu (15 if you include the intercourses) is mostly smooth and mellow but the topping is sometimes tough to digest when you ingest the message it seeks to convey. Tracks like ‘A Bigger Picture Called Free’ and ‘The Day Women Took Over’ bubble under with their back room jazz double bass, trumpet breaks and flourishes of flute. Others like title track ‘Black America Again’ are built of sturdier stuff, all striding piano chords and borderline angrily delivered lyrics, eased only slightly by the swelling strings.

The production (courtesy of long time collaborator and tour drummer Karriem Riggins) frames Common’s and the plethora of guest vocalists’ words exquisitely. The album requires at least three straight listens right off the bat; one for the sounds, two for the words and three for the blend of it all. Each time you’ll find something different to latch on to, every time you’ll walk away thinking hard about what’s being said. Essential listening for 2016 given all that is changing in the world.

* Count ’em: 1) Can I Borrow A Dollar? (1992), Resurrection (1994), One Day It’ll All Make Sense (1997), Like Water For Chocolate (2000), Electric Circus (2002), Be (2005), Finding Forever (2007), Universal Mind Control (2008), The Dreamer/The Believer (2011), Nobody’s Smiling (2014), Black America Again (2016)

 

Wiley – Bring Them All / Holy Grime feat. Devlin

So we’re still waiting for the album ‘Godfather’, but the Tarantino style suspense has been eased slightly with the release of this latest teaser.

The beat is as tough as they come and follows the formula laid down by the previous release ‘Can’t Go Wrong’. Lyrically it’s everything you would expect from arguably two of the UK’s best MC’s going right now. The delivery is rapid, the content hard hitting and laced with angst.

The wait continues, the hype builds, expectation is high… Current ETA for the album is 13 January 2017.