Introducing: DefByMisadventure

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Originally from Co Tyrone, DefByMisadventure (aka Marius Magfhogartai-Marius) is an Irish producer based in the UK – Preston to be precise.

DefByMisadventure has a clear preference for head-nodding and lavish explorations of genres and styles but the hip-hop influence looms largest on the horizon, as evidenced by introductory tunes ‘Chevynova’ & ‘Versacered’. Both tracks are smooth, cool as fuck hip-hop inspired electronic tunes, with popping beats, slick samples and swaggering grooves, and all permeated entirely with an elegant air of chicness. Moving along an uptempo, stuttering snappy beat combo, ‘Chevynova’ swaggers on its way with sultry sax-solo sample and vocal snippets adding a final veneer of allure to this infectious production. While the bumping beats remain, ‘Versacered’ offers a more chilled and elegant side to his approach. Fueled by a bouncy beat and infectious rhythmic groove, it bobs along a rippling of chiming synths, popping percussion, as it moves along on its merry way with quite a swagger. Two sublimely cool tracks to introduce you to DefByMisadventure’s wares.

Listen to both ‘Chevynova’ & ‘Versacered’ below now:

Albums of the Year 2018

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Yes, it’s that time of year again, lists, lists and well, more lists – and from every angle possible. That said, drawing up a list of my favourite records from throughout the year is one of the most enjoyable aspects to the blog.

There was lots of great music in 2018 (as is the case every year) but here are 18 of my favourite records from the year – 18 for 18 if you will.

Without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2018. Enjoy!

18: Conor Mason – ‘On The Surface’

Conceived, developed and rendered into life over eighteen months in his hometown of Derry, Conor Mason’s fourth album is a treasure trove of musicianship and songwriting craft and is very assured in his musical landscape, conjuring the wistful wonderment of Elliott Smith, Grandaddy, Villagers and Matthew Jay. In essence, it is an exploration living life with uncertainty; the highs and lows, curiosity and change, and significance, or insignificance, of humans in the universe. Flowing gently by, amid a sea of hushed lilting vocals, whispering lyrical poeticisms and subtle instrumentation, Mason reveals himself master of hook, harmony and heart. At times fragile, tender and touching, his songs are paradoxically permeated by an air of richness and comforting warmth, yet shrouded in melancholy, and draped in Mason’s intuitive song writing and storytelling abilities. A beautiful record.

Listen in full here.

17: The Coral – ‘Move Through The Dawn’

The Coral returned with their ninth studio album in 2018 and their prolific work rate and flair for psychedelic folk and classy pop songs shows no signs of abating. Move Through The Dawn glides along serenely, laden with seductive, sweet melodies and lush string arrangements, with the likes of ‘Reaching Out For a Friend’ and ‘Sweet Release’ bouncing around your head all day. While ‘Outside My Window’ and ‘Stormbreaker’ remind us on The Coral’s other side (and the closest relations to 2016’s Distance Inbetween); heavier riffs, jagged guitars and general air of menace. It is another wonderful and solid record from one of Britain’s most enduring and lovable bands.

Listen in full here.

16: Kneecap – ‘3CAG’

Comprised of Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Provaí, Kneecap are a satirical hip-hop trio from Belfast who perform in Irish. The trio combine a fluency in Irish with an amazing delivery and a wry sense of humour to produce one of the most unique homegrown records of 2018. Over eight tracks, their mixtape 3CAG offers a satirical take on life for young people, with a particular west Belfast slant. If like me, your command of Irish leaves a lot to be desired, it doesn’t matter a jot. The beats are superb and so infectious, and the flow and lyrical skill on show is second to none, with plenty of laughs thrown in for good measure – anyone who might be sceptical to begin with will be easily won over, just press play.

Listen in full here.

15: Gwenno – ‘Le Kov’

Gwenno’s debut, 2015’s Y Dydd Olaf, was almost all in Welsh; Le Kov, sung in Cornish is just as stunning and serene a sonic dream. The music continues in a retro-futuristic psych-pop vein, but Le Kov is even more expansive sounding than Y Dydd Olaf. Gwenno’s calm, precise and often reverbed vocals navigate a whirlwind of electronic noise, intricately weaved mixture of moods, textures and pulsations, and soaring strings.The record feels alive, vital and organic, like a luminous dream, it is a place playfulness, shimmering beauty, mythology and modernity that are all interwoven with freeflowing ideas, synth-lines and electronic blips, and an undercurrent of poetical dissent. A stunning record – inviting and bubbling with creative ideas, energy and possibilities – from a unique talent.

Listen in full here.

14: Half Man Half Biscuit – ‘No One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut’

Album number 14 from Half Man Half Biscuit sees Nigel Blackwell and company in top form with a collection of great, cheerful, upbeat tunes combined with witty, sardonic lyrics. Musically it picks up where Urge for Offal left off, a rocky, brash and pretty loud post-punk indie backdrop for sardonic but never cynical takes on everyday life. In short, it’s got what a HMHB LP always has; the irresistible wordplay, varying cultural references, surreal and improbable surreal tales, and the most quotable lyrics in the world. A real treasure.

Listen in full here.

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Pablo Zuazo – ‘Macaco Nu Jazz’

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Pablo Zuazo is a Brazilian-born jazz pianist, singer and songwriter who’s genre-defying sound zigzags between bossa nova, MPB, jazz, samba, hip hop and electronica.

This genre hopping approach is demonstrated expertly and with precision by single ‘Macaco Nu Jazz’. An astounding and meticulously crafted affair, it is a lavish exploration of genres, styles and eras. Macaco Nu Jazz’ is a super cool, gloriously smooth and funky head nodding adventure, spliced and diced into an infectious beat filled jam. You will be lost in a sea of breathtakingly lush layers, choice samples and irresistible beats and groove. Maintaining chillout and feelgood vibes, Zuazo has created a sound which oozes nostalgic feelings for all manner of hazy summer days and nights. An exemplary display of his deft skills.

Fall in love with ‘Macaco Nu Jazz’ below:

Phantom Phunk – ‘Cheap Thrills’

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Phantom Phunk are Tampa, Florida based trio of Alexa Toro (vocals), Nick Emiliozzi (drums) and Hector Fontanet (guitar), and also joined by local hip-hop artist Cloud Master Price.

Given the composition of the group, it will hardly be a surprise to find that together they make punk-tinged alt-rock, with a hint of hip-hop running through its veins. Phantom Phunk’s latest single ‘Cheap Thrills’ is both bizarre and exhilarating. Buzzsaw, bending riffs rev through the gears as synth, bumping bass and quickstep beats oscillate to the vocals of some psychedelic siren beckoning us listeners to simply “shake it!”. Then comes the drop and a momentary parting of the psychedelic clouds so to speak which provides just enough space for Cloud Master Price delivery his wares, as a flurry of energetic and focused barbed rhymes match the ferocity of the music step for step. A phenomenal tune, such energy and velocity, it packs a hell of a punch!

Listen to ‘Cheap Thrills’ below and if that is to your liking, their Struggle With Me EP is available for your ears here.

Bearson – ‘It’s Not This (feat. Lemaitre and Josh Pan)’

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With latest single ‘It’s Not This’ 24-year-old Norway native Bearson (Jakob Bjørn Hansen) is bringing all the deliciously catchy, colourful and chilled pop vibes.

Teaming up with Lemaitre and Josh Pan, Bearson’s latest is a gentle and dreamy piece of pristine pop. Playful piano chords and synth melodies dance over a bouncy hip-hop indebted beat as ‘It’s Not This’ slithers along a smooth slinking groove as Josh Pan muses in a relaxed contemplative daydream manner with crisp, soulful vocals. Fusing bright pop hooks with an irresistible groove and hip hop beats, Bearson and company serve up an unbelievably catchy three minutes of electronic pop heaven.

Tune into ‘It’s Not This (feat. Lemaitre and Josh Pan)’ below and judge for yourself:

Catching Flies – ‘New Gods ft. Jay Prince and Oscar Jerome’

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London producer Catching Flies is busy prepping the release of a new album and the first fruits of that labour come in the shape of new single, ‘New Gods’.

Joining forces with rapper Jay Prince and multi-instrumentalist Oscar Jerome, together the trio create ‘New Gods'; a warm aural feast of jazzy, soulful and slow-slung, hip-hop grooves. Sweeping electronic textures coalesce with soft drum rhythms, twinkling keys, flourishes of strings and bright flecks of guitar and are smoothly intertwined around the natural spoken rhythms of Jay Prince’s eloquent and thought provoking ponderings. An elegant, beautiful and dreamy blend of perfectly balance sounds, textures and pallets – ‘New Gods’ is a jazz-fueled hip hop lullaby.

That so far unnamed album is expected in late 2018 or early 2019 – for now feast your ears on the wonderful ‘New Gods’.

YellowStraps – ‘Blame (feat. VYNK)

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Belgian trio YellowStraps only featured on here with their sublime single ‘Nights Up’, which showcased their soul tinged alt-R&B with downtempo electro sensibilities with perfection.

The trio, comprised of Yvan Murenzi, Alban Murenzi, and Raphael Starkier, are preparing the release a new EP and ahead of which, they have shared the project’s title track ‘Blame’. A hypnotic slowburn guitar ushers in a simple beat before VYNK’s characterful vocals pitched somewhere between chilling, bleak and soulful deliver a tale of two people that are deeply in love, but they can’t make the compromise they need to make it work. While a blend of serene instrumentals and emotional undercurrents radiate jazz-influenced hip-hop sound, its tonal woes and poetic performance mean the vocals chime amid the jazzy instrumental seeds. Five minutes of blissful hypnosis – just wow!

YellowStraps will release their 4-track EP on April 20 via Majestic Casual, and if these past two singles don’t have you salivating, nothing will. Listen to ‘Blame’ below: