It doesn’t take much imagination to understand why a collaboration between a producer like Clams Casino and an artist like DOOM would be such a successful pairing; It’s almost a match made in heaven. Clams’ trademark fuzzy ambience manages to coerces a typically rhythmical, albeit understated, performance from the masked rapper – but it’s the magic between both their respective worlds that seals this coming together.
The return of Jamie Woon! Frequenters of this site will know that we’re strong supporters of Woon, his debut album was ahead of the curve in many ways (cast your mind back pre-2011, which major label artist was releasing anything resembling “alt-R&B”?) but since it’s release he’s been ghost. Now though as Disclosure announce the final details of their impending chart-dominating debut album Settle - it seems like he’ll be rejoining the land of the living. Along with the likes of Jessie Ware, London Grammar, Eliza Doolittle, AlunaGeorge & others – Jamie Woon will also be featured on a new album track titled ‘January’. Fellow label mate and PMR’s first lady Jessie Ware will feature on a song called ‘Confess To Me’ and upcoming group London Grammar will appear on a track titled ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’.
Get ready for one of this years biggest albums. June 3rd.
Imagine you took The xx’s understanding of space and atmosphere and then added a humougous orchestral string section to it. Well, in what is arguably one of the groups most beautiful songs to date, that’s exactly what they’ve done. Sending their sound into the cinematic stratosphere ‘Together’ is a slow building masterpiece that quietly crescendos into a symphony of lush strings. The song will feature on ‘The Great Gatsby’ soundtrack (May 6th) helmed by Jay-Z, along side new music from Florence + the Machine, Lana Del Rey, Beyonce & Andre 3000 and many others.
In 1991 Prince wrote and produced a song called ‘Love… Thy Will Be Done’ for Martika, it was one of four songs that he wrote for her and the only one to see any chart success when it was released. The little known single has now been covered by Brixton’s very own Jessie Ware who administers her own emotive sentimentality to it, all the while sticking relatively close to the original.
Rudimental scored their second #1 single this week with ‘Waiting All Night’, they achieved their first back in May with ‘Feel the Love’. But even though it may not have received the same amount of mainstream attention as it’s successors, for me Rudimental’s best single to date is still ‘Spoons’. The deep house production on that record paired with MNEK & Syron’s addictively cool vocals still stands as their most interesting offering yet.
That said then it’s no surprise they’ve yet again called on singer/songwriter MNEK to assist them on their newest single ‘Baby’, along with Disclosure collaborator Sinead Harnett. In many ways ‘Baby’ feels like the bigger, bolder, more radio-savvy older brother of ‘Spoons’. It shares a lot of affinity with it’s predecessor, only this time it focuses more heavily on the dance. Sinead Harnett is a bit of a powerhouse too, her vocals on this are very serious. But a moment for MNEK’s voice – like seriously, this kid is actually insane. Great to see the pair enjoying what looks to be a genuine vibe in the video too.
Rudimental’s debut album Home is released April 29th. Pre-order here.
‘Voices’ is a bonus track taken off Inc’s sensational debut album No World, which they released back in February on 4AD. Frequenters of this site will know that we’ve been preaching about Inc. since 2011 and have recently taken up any opportunity to boast about their album. ‘Voices’ could have very easily made the final cut of No World - it’s overlain romanticism, quiet drama and of course those unfuckwitable harmonies that only siblings like these two can really match is a great addition to the other 11 songs already on the LP. ‘Voices’ captures the ethereal pop and R&B fanaticism that Andrew and Daniel Aged steam into all their productions. Make sure you grab that album if you haven’t already.
Don’t think there is a more befitting title for a song that unites Janelle Monae with Erykah Badu. As promised and right on time the android princess unveils her much anticipated lead single off her recently announced sophomore album The Electric Lady. It was impossible to predict where Monae would/could go after her illustrious debut but ‘Q.U.E.E.N’ paints a wonderful new portrait of an album soaked in even richer and more colourful soundscapes. ’Q.U.E.E.N’ brings Badu’s neo-funk power face to face with Monae’s afro-futurism and in turn they’ve created a gloriously fonky nu-age gospel; their minds together sound like Prince’s immaculately conceived alien love child.
Ciara’s new single ‘Body Party’, produced by man of the hour Mike Will Made It is arguably one of her strongest in years. If she’s able to maintain at this level throughout her new album, she might be on the verge of releasing her best LP to date. Still, I won’t hold my breathe – we’ve been here before. But for now and on what could possibly be her very last-last chance at producing a hit – she’s finally re-arrived with something relevant. Her very sexy albeit very predicable new video (starring Future, of course) was just released and as per usual sees Ciara doing what Ciara does best – take that as you will – and we appreciate it.
Sidenote: Mike Will Made It needs to produce Janet’s next album.
Since debuting her Neptunian-funk in ’98 with the release of her cult-classic debut Kaleidoscope, Kelis has gone through a number of musical rebirths. And although her decision to part ways with Pharrell & Chad after 2003′s Tasty album unsettled many fans (myself included) her fearlessness to constantly switch direction can only be admired.
After releasing her dance-heavy fifth album in 2010, Kelis returns after three years away with a warmer, more soulful sound. It’s unclear whether ‘Call On Me’ (which sounds a little unfinished) will feature on Her forthcoming new LP is currently being worked on by Dave Sitek (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, TV On the Radio, Santigold) and if the bursting horns, exotic percussion and sexy funk riffs on this record are anything to go by – their collaboration sounds very appetising. Hopefully we’ll get more of this on that new album.
Update: Kelis just uploaded the official version of her new track, now called ‘Jerk Ribs’ onto her soundcloud. Sounds even better.