Exams are over, uni’s out for summer and the UK is experiencing it’s classic, annual communal melt in true fat-men-unnecessarily-shirtless proportions. This means one thing, time to update the ipod and quickly exchange mixtapes before my friends and I jet of to various corners of the globe. Summer vibes and music to go just right with some fine Aldi Sangria is the order of the week, and in no short supply. Music that smells like suncream, to help us coast through our sweltering hangovers…
How To Dress Well
Aka the ridiculously underrated American producer/ singer is back with a track that sounds like lying on the beach in the breeze. Why HTDW remains relatively unknown is a true mystery, to me he should rank with the likes of M83 and Sigur Ros. Continually brilliant, exquisitely ethereal and with the perfect balance of R&B vibes to post-shoegaze chill, HTDW is back with this track to douse your ears in a much needed breeze.
How To Dress Well- Ocean Floor For Everything
Veteran of the mellow DJ variety, Jaar treated us to a 2 hour essential mix last week, and just lovely it is too. FL and I saw him last year at Melt! and he was perfection in the lake-side night, and that is how I feel when I listen to this mix. Crackly, breezey, piano, mixed in with the likes of Pearson Sound, Aphex Twin and just a dash of Jay-Z and Beyonce. With a tracklist that reads like a dream line up, you know you’re in for a treat in very capable, diverse hands and great company. Truly one of the best mixes I’ve heard this year (HTDW winning that for 2011 with ‘Love Yourself’), it is a 2 hour master class.
Nicolas Jaar- BBC 1 Essential Mix
SBTRKT and Jessie Ware
Unfairly lumped together, perhaps, but these two will always go hand in hand in my head. And what with Jessie’s Ware’s new cover being produced by Sampha, it is the trifecta. Continuing to be some of the most exciting musicians around, the new offerings from these two carry on their well established respect.
Jessie Ware – What You Won’t Do For Love
SBTRKT – gamelena
Unfortunately, no new offerings here. He joins my summer jams by virtue of having DJed me into the small hours last night at the ever amazing Rainbow Warehouse. Alongside Kissy Sell Out (next), he adds to Digbeths upcoming, incredible scene- really feels like the place to be at the moment, with new warehouses popping up in deserted railway arches and hosting world class DJs. Naturally, Zed Bias was on form, with a glorious mix of garage and reggae and all things sweaty. But my track here goes to Frankie Paul apropos of his heavy sampling in the Zed Bias classic Neighbourhood. This original is so much fun, SO SO much fun.
Frankie Paul- I Feel Good
Kissy Sell Out
Again, no new tracks here, just a rekindled love after he took to the fresh new Gibb Warehouse (RIP Custard Factory) for free on Thursday. A good DJ can make you feel like you’re reaching a higher level, when you’re only a few overpriced beers down, and Kissy is definitely a great DJ.
Dillon Francis & A-Trak
When I first heard this I tweeted that it wasn’t very good, and that was disappointing. Still don’t think this is exactly either of their bests, but a few listens down and I must admit… it is a grower. In a weird electro-pop, Vengaboys, Lazy Town, type way. I guess it just takes a few listens to realise that they may have tapped into a great sound, it’s undeniably fun, if it is a little chliched and cheesy. It’s almost like I forgive it, because it has a cheeky grin. It makes me smile and feel guilty, like all the best things in life. And just listen to that fun little piano at the end.
Dillon Francis & A-Trak- Money Makin’
Quite genuinely didn’t think I could love Kindness more; I was wrong. Here he is in his new video, teaching us how to be great like him. It’s like a lecture that I don’t want to sleep through. With a cute little kid. I feel like Kindness is an Ollie from Made in Chelsea that it’s OK to fancy. This is truly brilliant, in a Simon Amstel type way (aka the best way).
Julio Bash-COULDNOTLOVEANY-more. His new track is pretty much his usual serving of repetative beat and dancable melody. Trippy stuff, Bashmore’s signature style, and this new track welcomes in his very own label. More to come, how exciting.
Julio Bashmore- Au Seve
These boys have made quite the name for themselves, and must be some of the youngest names in the music-world right now. I caught them live a few weeks back, and they live up to their own hype- very talented young men. Here’s their new track that I fear I’ve already worn out. Can’t wait to see how the develop themselves.
Disclosure- What’s in Your Head
Simian Mobile Disco
This fits in nicely from Julio and Disclosure…We have had their gem of an album in our ears for a while now, but it’s only of late had a general release. It’s back to SMD’s best style and, I think, one of their best to date- with not one weak track. Set up to be my album of the summer, probably my favourite of 2012 so far and quite possibly the best this year…time will tell.
Simian Mobile Disco- I Waited For You
I have saved my favourite new track till last because I am just SO happy that it exists. Yeasayer have kept us waiting for just a bit too long, Tightrope having been the themetune to my 2010, I was desperate for new stuff, I just didn’t know it yet. Their being back in on the soundwaves makes summer that bit better and our ear canals that bit happier. Henrietta is classic Yeasayer, killing vocals and a signature twist (slowing it down to heart-melting proportions), with a dashing of synth and drum machine. They remain one of the best bands of our generation. Oh, Yeasayer, we can live on forever.
A lot more to write, these few weeks have been very kind to us. If revision had not kept me captive I would have been considerably more on it. But now I am free as a bird, and devoted, as ever, to my creating the world’s best mixtape for my lucky friend.
I’ll leave you with one last glance into my mind at the moment… it’s pretty much just tie dye in there. The nineties are my current love, and, lets face it, who can tell the difference between some nineties garage and some 2012 fresh music?! Crop tops are everywhere, I want to tie dye any thing at all, and Will Smith is back in our lives. Get the glow sticks out and your ears around these true classics.
Womack & Womack- Teardrops
(I just want to own all these clothes and those sunglasses and that on-point head bobbing)
HEY- HOO! Who wouldn’t want to be freinds with this lot?!
Naughty by Nature- Hip Hop Hooray
That’s quite a lot to be getting on with.