Summer is a season characterised by songs that keep popping up everywhere – at festivals, on tv and most importantly in your head. Whilst the following cuts are unlikely to receive heavy R1 airtime they are worthy waypoints on your path to a happy summer.
Jai Paul – Jasmine (XL)
Technically speaking this is a Spring song, released digitally as it was on 9 April. However, the vinyl release dropped more recently giving us a nice excuse to fly the flag for a track that passed some by. This is only Jai Paul’s second release on XL and both are special. In contrast to the thundering, base heavy debut BTSTU, Jasmine is a softer, more luxurious love episode that evokes Prince. Lush chords, wobbling synths and funk guitar make this an ethereal delight.
To quote the great Ron Burgundy, this is baby making music.
Hackman – Forgotten Notes (RAMP Recordings)
Originally produced by Saine in 2011, Hackman takes the acoustic guitar and longing melody and escalates it to toe-tapping territory. Hackman was definitely a big fan of the original (‘best bit of music i’ve heard in aggeeeees :)’ he commented on Saine’s soundcloud) and it shows in the production; overlaying a two-step vocal and pitching it up to 115bpm, Hackman puts a bounce into the track.
Best enjoyed with an ice cold brewski on a rooftop bar.
Jacques Greene – Ready EP (3024)
Jacques Greene had me at Another Girl, one of the standout tech hits of 2011. The Montreal-based producer worked the vocal and drop so effectively on that cut that I wondered whether his best days were behind him. Thankfully, he has limited his releases to high quality output only, effortlessly remixing Radiohead’s Lotus Flower and now dropping the double A-side (triple if you get the digital version) that is the Ready EP. Grittier than Another Girl, this one snarls like a caged beast, recoiling and then erupting with tough beats and 80s cop chase bass. Check Prism for a more pensive, throbbing sound.
Gym music par excellence.
Koreless – Lost in Tokyo (Vase)
Jacques Greene also provides remix duties for Koreless’ latest release, though on this occasion even a Mr Greene re-imagining cannot take the limelight away from the original. Koreless aka Glasgow born Lewis Roberts has been producing dream-speed beats for a couple of years now, honing his measured 2-step sound since Maria, via Up Down Up Down and the monumental 4D to arrive at Lost in Tokyo, a 3′ 38″ masterpiece. The now common multi-pitched vocal rests easily atop a metronomic clave and sombre organ to create a modest, otherworldly and soulful epic.
Have someone pipe this to you under the waves in the Mediterranean.
Haydn – Manchild (Brownswood Recordings)
Manchild can be found on the latest incarnation of the ever reliable Brownswood Bubblers series but this track stands head and shoulders above the rest. Wobbling base and sweeping synths waft Haydn’s lilting vocals across a desert of reverberating snares, background sounds flit in and out and all the while Manchild coasts along effortlessly. Hailing from Brooklyn and having worked with the likes of Fatima and Jesse Boykins iii already, Hadyn’s lo-fi sound has a very bright future indeed.
Let this be the last thing you hear before turning in.