Just Geo – ‘Stick To My Guns’

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London Producer & DJ Just Geo has joined forces with fellow Londoner, rapper and songwriter, Warrs McFreeman for latest single ‘Stick To My Guns’.

With Just Geo drawing influences from a broad array of sounds, from old school Garage to retro video game soundtracks and Warrs McFreeman noted for a willingness to explore and experiment, while maintaining a distinctive Grime influenced sound – ‘Stick To My Guns’ is a perfectly paired union. Gritty yet melodic, ‘Stick To My Guns’ struts alone a flurry of tough, taught quickfire beats interspersed with samples and siren blasts. Its tempo is matched by on point vocals from McFreeman; slick wordplay served with a rat-a-tat-tat energy and delivered with precision. Gritty, edgy and taught, yet melodic Grime that is passionate, perfectly packaged and delivered.

Listen to ‘Stick To My Guns’ below:

YTK – ‘Slackface’

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Following a slew of slick singles, Baltimore-based hip hop artist YTK, released his debut EP Berea last week.

This six track EP is led by single ‘Slackface’ and establishes YTK as a master of crafting classy, breezy and majestic hip hop tunes. ‘Slackface’s’ hazy glow sprouts from an irresistible soft wave of hypnotising synths, intertwining clever rhymes over festively jazzy beats. This beguiling, washed-out textured haze of dreaminess shifts seductively beneath, as subtle as shifting sands, providing a perfect backdrop from YTK laying down his nonchalant flow. Laid-back and chilled, YTK’s sound is irresistible and distinctive, and you can’t help nodding along to. Fill your boots!

Listen to ‘Slackface’ below and the entire EP, Berea is here too.

TPM – ‘Fuck RTÉ’

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TPM are brothers Charles & Andrew Hendy from Co Louth, who you may remember from previous singles ‘Eat That Curry’ and especially, ‘All The Boys on the Dole’.

The sibling duo are back with another masterclass of no-fucks-given hip-hop in the shape of ‘Fuck RTÉ’. On this occasion, it is the law, courts, national broadcaster RTÉ and the TV licence who are in receipt of their ire and firmly in their satirical cross-hairs. Backed by eerie, Beastie Boys-esque production, the pair’s signature humorous lyrics and slick wordplay combine perfectly with infectious beats and a punk attitude; they are, as they say themselves “the only MCs are saying Fuck The Law and Fuck RTÉ”. This is just superb, humorous no quarter given stuff of the Captain Moonlight and Jinx Lennon ilk, it should have you (like me) playing it on constant rotation for weeks.

Listen to ‘Fuck RTÉ’ below:

PS – As seen in Newbridge, these two brothers are serious merch sales people, you have been warned!

The Legion – ‘Joy’

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It is almost 25 years since Bronx-based rap trio The Legion – Molecules, Cee-Low The Diceman, and Chucky Smash – released their debut record Theme + Echo = Krill.

Since them, the trio have mostly preoccupied themselves with solo projects, various collaborations and put out a compilation of unreleased material, The Lost Tapes, in 2014. But a quarter of a century on from their debut, it is new album, Three The Bronx Way, that marks their return as a group proper, showcasing the timeless quality of their street-minded Boom bap. The new album is led by the aptly titled feel good banger ‘Joy’. It is a bright, breezy and bouncy tune that fuses a funky bass line with stabs of brass and ‘Cules joyful sample chop, a perfect and irresistible combination for the silky wordplay and rhymes to thrive and leave an indelible mark on your soul. This is an absolute gem of bright feelgood vibes – pure magic.

You can listen to ‘Joy’ below and if if that is too you liking, you listen to new record Three The Bronx Way – homage to the 1974 Blaxploitation classic, Three The Hard Way – here.

 

Fold – ‘Stronger Than the Evils’

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Over the past few years, Leeds-based Hip-Hop/Trip Hop outfit Fold have proven themselves a reliable source of incredible music.

Fold’s 2015 self-titled debut was magnificent, pitting an enviable creativity with a powerful social consciousness to craft something thoroughly powerful, unique and memorable – as was their 2017 EP Written In The Sky.

After a four-year wait, Fold have returned with news of the follow up to their eponymous debut which is penned for release on April 13. Two new singles will precede the album’s release and Fold have shared the first ‘Stronger Than the Evils’, a brilliant and powerful track with Nottingham based MC / beatboxing champion MotorMouF. Fold have always stress a socially-conscious message and that continues as they rail against the many political and social issues, or evils if you prefer, that the world faces today. ‘Stronger Than the Evils’ is a funky-edged hip-hop tune with a irresistible groove and rhythm, laced with ominous blasts of synths, vocal samples and the blistering wordplay and beatbox work from Motormouf. An incredible and irresistible track – roll on April 13 and the new album.

Take a listen to ‘Stronger Than the Evils’ below now:

Sal Dulu – ‘Xompulse’

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Following up on from a string of stellar singles last year – ‘Duluoz Dream’, ‘Antasma’ & ‘Tyko’ – Dublin-based producer Sal Dulu impresses yet again, returning with the atmospheric ‘Xompulse’.

‘Xompulse’ is a beautiful piano piece punctuated by the classical, jazz and ambient influences ever present in Sal Dulu’s work to date. It is elegant, calming and spacious as we’re lulled into a dreamy opening sequence floating along a graceful reverbed piano that twinkles, ushering a richer, warmer second half as the melody gently shifts to a brighter tone, shimmering like an early morning sunrise. ‘Xompulse’ offers a decidedly calmer side to Sal Dulu’s talent; it is an elegant, tranquil and atmospheric beauty.

You can listen to ‘Xompulse’ below now. The Dublin producer’s other work is available here too, and well worth some of your time.

illmef – ‘Barely People’

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illmef is a Detroit-born, Sydney, Australia-based artist whose raw, barbed and outspoken sound dips into electronic, hip-hop and rap, among others.

Produced on a “shoestring”, illmef has kicked off 2019 by ushering his debut LP Light a Fire into the world. Triggered by a tumultuous social and political environment in his native US, Light a Fire unleashes a frenetic lyrical offensive across 11 tracks of barbed bars touching on issues of race, sexism, politics, anxiety, inequality, substance use, and more. The album is fronted by fantastic fiery lead single ‘Barely People’ – which is pretty typical of the record in general. The beats are fairly straightforward, simplistic or minimalist even, but they provide an ample energy charge for his raspy toned and feisty delivery to breathe, ebbing and flowing as it goes with an underlying grittiness and simmering anger. A fine vintage of raw, real & honest hip hop.

Tune into ‘Barely People’ below and if that is to your liking, you can listen to his debut LP Light a Fire, here.

Clear Soul Forces – ‘Hit Me Now’

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Detroit hip-hop quartet Clear Soul Forces are releasing a brand new LP, Still, on February 22 and to get us in the mood, they have shared superb slick single, ‘Hit Me Now’.

In under three minutes, the four members of Clear Soul Forces deliver plenty to excited about; boasting infectious verses and hypnotic, shuffling production. The slick wordplay is crammed tight with colourful pop-culture references – from Marvel superheroes to classic Nintendo games – and layers of metaphors, as rhymes are sprinkled over a neck snapping beat. Loaded with zip, gloss and bounce ‘Hit Me Now’ finds a balance between contemporary creativity and nostalgia – it is just irresistible, and will have you coming back for more time and time again. A slick, succinct and perfectly executed introduction to the new record.

Clear Soul Forces new LP, Still, is out on February 22 – for now, listen to ‘Hit Me Now’.

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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