You’ll remember back in December 2011 we introduced you to Julian Cruz, when out-of-nowhere he released his single ‘Potion’, followed by his fascinatingly dark Black Heartmixtape in March the subsequent year. As per, very little was (is) known of him except that he’s from from Toronto (tick) and was rumoured to be associated with The Weeknd (tick). Following the release of his debut project Julian quickly returned to obscurity releasing no new material since 2012… Until now.
Yesterday and true to character he randomly uploaded a set of new singles titled ‘Get Yours PT. II’ and ‘No Matter What’ – both of which sink even deeper into his R&B obsession. At his core Julian is very clearly a 90′s R&B fiend, but thanks to the sonic-pull of his generation he’s confidently able to contextualise his influences into sexy, avante-garde centrepieces. You’ll recall early notions of bygone heros like Ginuwine, Chico DeBarge, Donnell Jones and Jon B while listening to ‘Get Yours PT. II’ and ‘No Matter’ (conversely, there may even be a little Janet influence somewhere in there too) but most promising is that everything this time rounds feels a lot more focused, polished and concise.
Kendrick Lamar enlists one of Britain’s biggest exports to assit on the latest remix of his seminal ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’ single. Not content dominating the adult-contemporary arena, Emeli Sande is introduced a new generation of hip hop followers by adding vocals to Lamar’s biggest track to date. A very smart move on both sides and the results are pretty nice, bonus. Who else could’ve got Sande to say “f*ck” and “p*ssy” on a track?
At this point singer/songwriter/producer MNEK could release a full album of his refixes and probably shift a shitload of units. His reworks have all breathed new life into pop (culture) classics and now he’s at it again, this time with Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Waiting For Tonight’, mixed brilliantly with Sweet Female Attitude’s garage anthem ‘Flowers’. The self-produced beat is contorted and warped and as per usual – a book could be written on his vocal wizardry. Yep, we are besotted.
Here’s the lastet production from mysteriously rising British producer WATER. Having already released an EP entitled Sluts(which contrary to what it’s title may sugest actually paid surprising homage pop diva’s like Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Britney Spears), he’s back and steadily releasing new material from this forthcoming EP Lune. The new project will host the lead single ‘Every Pulse’, along with his newest release ‘Float – a charismatic and serine ballad which again features the angelically toned Stone Fox. Of course WATER wouldn’t be a contemporary music producer without concealing his identity (oh Burial, what did you start) so of course very little is known of this crusading producer, but whoever he is – he’s making a nice impression. Take a listen…
The b-side on Julio Bashmore & Kowton’s collaborative releaseMirror Song is by far the rowdiest of their joint effort. Possessed by the restless spirit of grime ‘And What’ is charged by Kowton’s erratic drum programming and a series of ridiculously barbarous bassline drops. This will induce an involuntary screwface – suggested listening times: rush hour. Mirror Song is out now – make sure you get that.
There are very few singers as powerful and as arresting as Coco. O and even fewer producers able to produce her as well as her bandmate Robin Hannibal. The two stunned critics with their gorgeous debut in 2009 and are now beginning to ready the release of their anticipated sophomore album Avalanche. The album’s lead single titled ‘Better Off’ is a shimmering, subdued affair with warm tonal tendencies & smooth textures and is also the only track on the album with a featured artist. The duo are assisted by an unmistakable guest verse from Kendrick Lamar, who expressed his admiration for the Danish group when he sampled ‘Tiden Flyver’ (a single they released through their off-shoot group Boom Clap Bachelors) on his seminal ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’ single.
Having already featured on Tyler, the Creator’s new album and having caught the ear of Jay-Z – it could be a huge year for Quadron. Expect their new album Avalanche on June 4th.
As the release date for Disclosure’s debut album draws ever closer, the duo reveal a new album cut called ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn’. The song is funkier than their previous pure-garage releases and although it makes for interesting insight into what their new album will offer – it isn’t their strongest effort to date. Production aside, towards the end of the track the non-stop vocal loop begins to feel a little jarring. But make no mistake, this won’t make a bit of difference to the impending success of their debut album Settle - get ready for the Disclosure takeover, it official begins June 3rd.
As The xx continue their worldwide ‘Night + Day’ tour (soon to be hitting London, we cannot wait!), they surprised their German fans in Berlin by bringing out fellow London girl Jessie Ware to perform A unique cover of Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’. Just take a listen to Miss Ware’s powerhouse vocals and how they work so wonderfully with The xx’s nocturne production.. Need an official version of this ASAP.
Yo, Ciara looks like Ciara means business this time round. Her latest single ‘I’m Out’ features Nicki Minaj, who in all actuality is arguably the best thing on the record. But that said for the most part the track is pretty decent. Unfortunately a few cheesy lyrics and ad-libs throughout spoil it from being an all out banger and while it’s not as strong as her ‘Body Party’ single (one of her strongest to date) ‘I’m Out’ still has enough fire to keep people engaged. Expect Ci-Ci’s new self titled album in July.
Canadian producer Jacques Greene follows up his collaboration with Tinashe by teaming up with another compelling vocalist – How To Dress Well. Tom Krell’s fragile voice bounces confidently around Greene’s R&B infused house production. Both seem to instinctively bring out the best in each other. ‘On Your Side’ is title track taken off Jacques Greene’s forthcoming EP released June 3rd.