Raise one & kiss the sky, the axiom of ‘cloud rap’ gets some confirmation by two of it’s high priests, having swirled around the literal internet cloud these last couple of years. Outlandish, drugged hip-hop? Rap pulled from a blunted, ‘zined (un)consciousness? Outcast lifestyles of the experimental and thuggin’? The flap gets somewhat corroborated on ‘Cloud Body’, a celestial slice feel good cloud rap (comes in various flavours), and apparently it’s that shit that you can trust. Squadda and Mondre (Main Attakionz) once again proving they are as important to cyberspace, as Cheech & Chong were to VHS. That Bossalinis & Fooliyones gets lit October 22nd.
Futurist R&B and black widow romance relieved by fresh dirt and crushed blacks – bleak, lo-fi visuals for the beautifully written and sung ‘Shotgun’. Fragile verses and a pumping hook, Torontorian producer KLSH seems to have a thing for curious build-and-drops. A skeletal bed of digital cool sits under Jordan‘s vocal, carried home by her deft neo-classicist 90s/early 00s songwriting. Where he brings the rhythm, she really brings the blues, and this has to be an album highlight for capturing melodic stylism and pairing it with a post-Timbo prog’ness, albeit the simplest, most seductive elements.
Lifted from one of the best underground R&B LPs of the year, download that here.
Flying Lotus, pioneer, adopter, adapter. If this unreleased audio premiered on Diplo’s Radio 1 show proves just a minute inkling of anything with it’s ripped bass, southern hats and lush sample looping for glory under a veil of dirty compression… it’s that he be put in an $80,000 studio with Drake or Kendrick immediately so we can get some history made. A deep banger, it’s great Lotus has chosen to unleash it from his recently disclosed hard drive. Let’s have some more then.
Near perfect execution and a return to the monochromatics for this self-directed Weeknd clip. It follows up last November’s Mikael Colombu space epic ‘The Knowing’. And if all the people have wanted for 18 months is to sit down properly with Abel Tesfaye and see him utter direct to camera, their wish is his command. Appearing thoughtful with an almost childlike sincerity, behind the man, a mystery figure gradually takes her place amongst the inevitably faded. ‘Rolling Stone’ itself, was definitely one of the most absorbing numbers from the middle installment of the Balloons trilogy, the Thursday tape.
If you didn’t catch Rainy here back in December with breakout cut ‘Bout You’, then huddle up as her star is rising on this debut “collection of songs written on red buses, tubes, cloudy days and chilly nights in London”. Sailing out to the soultronic hub of LA, connecting with musicians like Oddisee and Ariel Pink associate Cole M.G.N, the singer/songrwriter from Norwood has knocked out these growed up, leftcoasting, downtempo vibes that belie her 16 years. Still soaked in Londonisms and broods on boyfs, Chanel and some business about the clink – there’s an undeniable, earthy charm. Sinking in and out of those impulsive diary entries, the singer’s velvety drawl rides on the fresh side of pop angst, as nimbus grooves keep the grit.
The EP also features production from Chet Faker and Last Night In Paris‘ Blk Rssian and is perhaps destined for heavy Autumnal spins. Especially with standouts like ‘Don’t Regret Me’, making our top 22Tracks right now, and ‘This Thing Of Ours’. Free download below…
The producer, real name Jeremy Rose, recently signed to do some work under Paul Epworth‘s new label Wolf Tone. Now I’m just wondering what it’ll be like mixing the high class pop of one of the biggest super-producers this 21st century, with Zodiac’s mysterious R&B, shapeshifting hip-hop and aerial-scapes from the next…
Never burnt always blunted, ItsNate’s latest eleven tracks sees the 23 year old doing things, that it could have been argued some time ago alot of other rappers in this field just weren’t. Injecting a missing ingredient: style, but it’s not comprised solely of that. ‘WSTLA’ alone may possibly be one of the more effervescent rap singles on these shores in recent memory (competing ironically with some of the cuts on Piff Gang’s ‘Plantlife’).
On NeverAverageTalkingExcellent Nate continues to usher in the new era of what “some of this man call swag rap”, albeit with a zest of waking-up-next-morning-with-work-at-9am world-weariness. When the clouds part, there’s some incredible production from new producers currently pushing a fresh feel and sound forward for the London scene. As when it goes beyond just the call of soulful kush, different dimensions of bassy, tripped hip-hop beds and flow cadences turn more dynamic, especially the second half with stand-outs like Weeknd sampling ‘Momentum’, ‘Schemin’ and ‘Above It’. It’s not grime, it’s not road rap, it’s not backpack, and the beats don’t bore. Broadened by the UKs evolving sense of intercontinental hybrid rap… whatever that is… may it continue. Free download here.
Archie Marshall… voice of the future. A heavy weight to put any young artist’s shoulder as they’re developing, but then, all the elements that comprise this piece of music are incredible. So too, is the un radical libre mind-state behind it. With early gems and his EP leading up, a dozen artists and stylistic references could be made of it’s parts, but ‘Octopus’ as King Krule’s latest sum is singular and arresting. How do you define his sound between the growl and the melange? If it takes you a minute to think about that, he’s doing it right.
Listen to the A-Side ‘Rock Bottom’ here as both that and ‘Octopus’ drop on Rinse’s label today.
Debates debates, but Missy Misdemeanour and Timbaland go positively ham on their latest single drops this week. The first of two, ‘Triple Threat’ is a little like Under Construction-era Missy and Tim employing trappy bass ‘relentlessness’, turning over a benchpress-ready update of ‘Bounce’ from Shock Value Vol. 1. Riding a solid platter of latter day Timmy ingredients thrown into a usual high-def blender, Elliot pretty much shuts the lady-rap game down. Sure, there’s no “Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta” going on here, but after fifteen years we’re still dealing with one of the most successful, iconic and purely dynamic female emcees of all time. Her most 31st century creative outpouring? Maybe not. Weatherproof? Definitely. Let’s look forward to the video…
Make sure you check out also ‘9th Inning’ here. Probably the more canny of the two cuts, deadly on all counts & album track-worthy. Both are available on iTunes now as seventh album Block Party is expected soon.
The announcement comes that Disclosure have just signed to West London stable PMR Records, and if the label’s track record for high quality releases, artistic integrity, yet pop adventurousness is anything to go by then that move will probably guarantee an even brighter outlook for the Surrey massive. This single featuring soulful Sam Smith on vox will be the hotly tipped duo’s first official release for PMR, and a precursor to that forthcoming album we’ve been waiting on since The Face EP followed a litter of enormous remixes and online gems. Pure phonky exhilaration. This is all, probably, the most exciting thing that’s happened today.