2016 – Best Of The Rest

It was a very strong year for music in 2016 and with festival line ups for 2017 starting to creep out, the prognosis is looking good for this year too. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to highlight all of the great music we would have liked during the year that has just passed, so we’ve used the festive break to catch up a bit.

With some grateful assistance from our hombres Quellequs and SpigelSound, here’s our run down of tracks and videos we first picked up on in 2016 (some of them may have come out during 2015!) that we didn’t get to feature on Dash ‘n’ Verve but that deserved to be.

Jessy Lanza – It Means I Love You

The rhythms, the tone of the drums, the synth stabs, the shifted vocal. So Jessy Lanza, so good. As was the rest of her ‘Oh No’ album, released this year on Hyperdub.

Fat Freddy’s Drop – 10 Feet Tall

The global dub dons released their fourth studio full length in late 2015, and they are really back to their best. This video hit the web waves in 2016 and complements our favourite album track sublimely.

Seanh – SadeVillain EP

This one took us back. Who’d have thought that 2012’s biggest selling UK artist in America (yes Sade outsold Adele that year despite 21 being as big as it was) and US resident but UK born MF Doom would mash up so delightfully.

Oh, and for those of you who didn’t get it first time around, ‘Operation Doomsday’ has been reissued on vinyl with the option to buy a copy with the original or redesigned cover. Get it direct from Doom.

Mickey Pearce – August

We mentioned this track in our feature on his most recent EP release. It truly deserves your attention as does the beautifully crafted video. Pick up the full length ‘Michael’ on Swamp 81.

Yves Tumor – The Feeling When You Walk Away

As mellow as they come this one, even the slightly distant drum that comes into frame two thirds of the way can’t knock you off your cloud as you float into the distance. Part of the ‘Serpent Music’ album that came out earlier this year on PAN.

Alister Johnson – Ago (feat. Rahan Boxley)

A glitchy, atmospheric rumbler with a synth break that grows at the pace and to the size of Jack’s beanstalk. Taken from the rather excellent ‘Broken Body’ release, out on Do Right! Music.

Solange – Don’t Touch My Hair

A stripped back, brooding piece of modern R&B from an artist who continues develop a sound that is very much her own. Huge shout to UK’s Sampha on this one too.

Tayá – Deeper

Newbie on the scene and Liverpool local delivers some strong yet sweet R&B ad libs over a dark and bounding rhythm. Shout to Drums Eat Everything for the heads up on this one.

Coco – My G

Building on the ‘Big Bou Yah’ and Big ‘n’ Serious releases, Coco came with some pure fire on ‘My G’. Sheffield grime is looking strong with this man behind the wheel.

Steve Spacek – Follow Me

Scatty with his rhythm, smooth with his vocals, this one’s had us in a spin ever since it dropped in September. Apparently if you plug your Christmas tree into your stereo whilst this is playing the lights dance in time and colour to the beat. We haven’t tried it and nor should you, but imagine how cool it would be. Get it now on EgloRecords.

Enjoy and Happy New Year all.

Mickey Pearce – Top 5 Goat Memes [EP]

Having put out his first full length LP* earlier this year, it’s a return to more dance floor primed tracks on firm DnV favourite Mickey Pearce’s latest release.

The sound is a mix of a lot of things that in your and our heads couldn’t come together coherently, but in the mind of Mickey Pearce all make sense. Formidable low frequencies, shatteringly abrasive kicks, discordant tin can rattles and shimmering synth stabs all infectiously fused.

There’s still a hint of the tribal flair that hooked us when we reviewed ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Get / I Am back in 2012, but as we mentioned then and we’ll say again now, Mickey Pearce doesn’t stand still, his sound progresses with every new release and the same is true here.

Another head scrambling power play, we expected nothing less. ‘Top 5 Goat Memes’ is out on Ten Thousand Yen now. Photo credit to Steve Braiden.

* The album ‘Michael’ was released on Swamp 81. It’s ‘Polyester’ and ‘August’ all the way for us.

Mickey Pearce – Don't Ask Don't Get

Over time, people change, it’s a fact. They absorb the world around them, it influences them and they progress as individuals. Some even change their name! In the case of the artist formerly known as shortstuff, he’s moved on with certainty with his new moniker; Mickey Pearce and crowned this shift with a mighty release on Loefah’s Swamp81 vinyl only label.

The new name’s no secret, the man’s been wearing both hats for some time now, and the official shift happened a while back. I’ve been waiting (much like Ed with his SBTRKT show) for a fair while to finally get my hands on what had proved to be a pretty elusive track in the digital world of music that I often trawl, and wanted to wait until I had a copy of Don’t Ask Don’t Get / I Am firmly planted on the platter before I threw my tuppence worth down.

I’ve heard the title track Don’t Ask, Don’t Get snapping along on a few radio shows for the past 3/4 months now and was sold on stories of a late October / early November release. Only in the last week, upon hearing B-side I Am in full for the first time did I twig that the tracks were finally out.

Tribal in its introduction, industrial in its body and with a pulsing wave swell of bass rippling underneath, you catch yourself latching on to subtleties in the production with each new listen of Don’t Ask, Don’t Get. It’s a song of multiple movements, a full days travel packed into one six minute offering.

For a flavour of how this track should be embedded into a mix (which it should), listen back to MP’s mix for Mary Anne Hobbs’ XFM show late last month.

On the back of the limited press vinyl only release (don’t even bother trying to hunt this down digitally online, you’re going to need to smash the piggy bank and walk to the shops to have this one) is another stripped tribal affair. I am opens as more of a dance floor ready beat before dragging you under with its aggressive, again mechanical, almost alien sounding rasps and vocal splashes.

With a release roster that’s included the likes of The Bug, Kryptic Minds, Addison Groove, Skream and Ramadanman, Mickey Pearce’s first outing on Swamp81 is a progression for both the label and artist. Get your copy from Surus.