Jenifa Mayanja and her Sound Warrior imprint alongside Dakini 9 are doing it for the girls. Photo Credit: Facebook
Your essential weekly music round up is back, and this time features new tunes from some pretty big names. Some fair well, others really shouldn’t have bothered, and along the way there are also some lesser known names who deserve a place in your affections.
Loco Dice - $lammer on Cuttin' Headz
On this evidence, Loco Dice has lost his way. Formerly, a purveyor of chunky techno funk with an acceptable hip hop slant, his latest on Cuttin' Headz is the sound of a the producer having a loss of direction. Called ‘$lammer’, it’s an obvious attempt a big summer anthem that comes off like a track made by a kid with ADHD. With cold claps, over-driven drums and synths so frazzled they sound like they’ve been left out in the sun for 100 years, it’s an irritating mess that never resolves. He can do better.
Betty Wright & The Roots - 'Betty Wright: The Movie' (Expansion)
Betty first rose to prominence in the 1970s as a soul and r&b singer with plenty of attitude. In 2011 she linked with Questlove’s The Roots for a contemporary album of soul and hip hop featuring the likes of Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg. It’s a seamless fusion of the old and the new with plenty of summery highlights and vocal highs that range from breezy gliders to more pain riddled moments of melancholia. Cop it.
DJ Koze - 'Pick Up' on Pampa
Next month, Pampa boss and curveball king DJ Koze releases his latest album. Before that he serves up a brace of brilliant singles from it. One is an impossibly sunny bit of sample heavy house with lush string sweeps and a little aching vocal that will swell your heart, and the other is a muted yet mellifluous deep house track with his usual sense of curiousness and whimsy in the melodies and warmth in the drums. No one does it like Koze as these two timeless jams prove once more.
Renato Cohen - '80 Energy In Da Sauna' (Kling Klong)
Despite the title of this EP, the Brazilian producer has managed to remove all traces of heat and steaminess from both the tracks which make it up. They’re as brittle and plastic as they come, and there is no semblance of any sort of arrangement anywhere: loops just come and go at the click of a button and the result is something so prosaic even the strongest drugs won’t save it.
Anestie Gomez - 'Short Stories For Tall People' on Pluie/Noir Recordings
This is an EP that marks the perfect mix of the synthetic with the soulful. In isolation, the sounds that characterise the slick minimal house grooves are abstract pops, squeals and watery droplets. But when used to carefully detail supple kick drums and tied together with broad, smeared synths, the results are utterly absorbing. It’s masterful mind music that infects your hips and heels with real subtlety.
Various Artists - Warrior Formulation (Sound Warrior)
Jenifa Mayanja and Dakini 9’s Sound Warrior label is a platform for female identifying talent, and for the sixth time here they’ve unearthed real deep house gold. Lady Fingers zones you out with a muggy and humid atmosphere and ponderous drums, Mayanja lays down a melodic bassline that weaves in and out of upbeat drums and funky hits, Ena Lind goes on a cosmic house journey and Lady Blacktronika serves up another raw and bristling beatdown cut that will get any floor shuffling.
Rex The Dog - 'Crasher' (Kompakt)
Rex The Dog’s first tracks in a while sound rather dated. Both cuts here hark back to the maximal electro house and indie nu-rave style of Digitalism and Justice. It was a cheap, short lived genre built on instant thrills and the impatience of youth, and despite all this artist’s many years experience, it seems even he can’t do anything to elevate that to anything more worthwhile.