No less than two years to the day since Run The Jewels 2 vibrated it’s way down our ear canals, the first offering from the new Run The Jewels album (you guessed it – Run The Jewels 3) has hit the interweb.
Squelchy synths – CHECK. Rapid fire lyrical delivery – CHECK. Glitchy 8 bit breakdown – CHECK. That’s the RTJ we know and love.
Better still, you can download it for free courtesy of the Adult Swim Singles 2016 program. Grab it whilst it’s hot.
There has been a real resurgence in the past couple of years for more stripped back soul and R&B sounds breaking through. Think punchy finger-picked bass sounds (a la The Jackson 5), distant horns echoing hearty melodies, splashy drums, all fronted by super-rich, church honed voices.
Lady Wray’s September release on Brooklyn’s Big Crown Records – “Queen Alone” – exemplifies this sound and deserves your full attention front to back.
You get the feeling as you move track to track that the writing and recording process of this album was somewhat cathartic for scene veteran Nicole Wray. Understandably so when you read into the ups and downs of her career since being spotted and swept along with the 90s pop / R&B juggernaut Missy Elliot.
There are hints of vulnerability in the words of the protagonist early on in the record on tracks “Smiling” and “Guilty”. Albeit these are masked with the strength of a smile or a wishful thought for the future. There’s absolute lyrical sass on the short but snappy “Underneath My Feet”. You’ll soon know where you stand if you cross this one!
The standout track is undoubtably the single that has been circulating since the early summer – “Do It Again”. An honest portrayal of the turmoil and anguish that races through a lover’s mind at the (what now seems obvious) end of a relationship. The track showcases Lady Wray’s heartstring pulling delivery at its absolute gravelly best.
We are very (very, very) pleased that the label saw sense enough to put this out on vinyl. This is exactly how this kind of music should be enjoyed, slowing spinning away on an LP12 on a Sunday afternoon.
This track isn’t exactly new, but this video is (well at least to the non fee paying public). It’s been floating around on iTunes for a while but hit YouTube a week or so ago.
It’s another fine piece of work from Romain Gavras (think Kanye West & Jay-z – No Church In The Wild / M.I.A. – Bad Girls).
The story goes that this was originally meant to be a jungle banger, but Jamie decided to slow it down a touch to get a different sonic effect. We’re fans at DV towers. Watch and enjoy.
WARNING: Don’t watch the video for, nor think about the concept behind this song if you are prone to introspective thinking of a deep philosophical nature.
T S I E R (“this shit isn’t even real”) is slow building but ultimately opens out to be a belting bit of dance/pop goodness. The layers of haunting vocals blend with the uncomplicated but addictive shamanic rhythm and fish-hook melody to “take [you] to another place where the stars won’t beat [you] sideways”.
Last week also saw the release of a plum pair of remixes from the likes of Jynx and Adesse Versions. Extend your audio pleasure by taking a listen below.
Thanks to Drums Eat Everything for the nod on this one. Immaculate taste as always.
We’re going to go out on a limb and say that Alborosie is probably our favourite Sicilian reggae artist ever… No disrespect meant to anyone else from this southern Italian island who’s flying the reggae flag, but Puppa Albo just owns his sound and continues to bring out heavy reggae rollers. New track “Strolling” is no different.
Teaming up with the apparently ever present Protoje on this mellow little mover, there are horns, a healthy splash of reverb, some pretty out there synth screeches and Alborose’s gravelly vocal delivery. All of this comes up trumps to our ears. One gripe if we may, a fade out!? Come on, it’s not 1985 anymore.