Meltybrains? // The Vine

This slice of glitchy, auto-tuned, avant-garde pop hit me right between the eyes the first time I heard it, lodging itself right in my brain and refusing to get out. So now I pass it on to you, dear readers, so that it might worm its way into your head and refuse to leave. Relax as the deliciously garbled vocals of ‘The Vine’ give way to a relentlessly polite soca snare and sparkling synths that remind me of some of my favourite moment of John Wizards. I hear Afrobeats influences all wrapped up in sweeping cinematic sound design and pop hooks. A combination you didn’t know you needed until now.

This track is produced by Kwes whose name you might recognise from a lovely track called ‘Florence’ by Loyle Carner ft. Kwes that is doing the rounds at the moment. Incidentally that’s a track that I considered posting up here but hesitated because I wanted to stay away from artists connected to Tom Misch given that he is all you’re going to hear about come Friday when Beat Tape 2 hits the internet. In case you’re wondering Loyle Carner is featured on the latest Misch single ‘Nightgowns’. Both tracks are excellent and you should listen to them. But not before you check out ‘The Vine’.



Kaytranada // Return Of The Mack (Jay Dee blend)


Nothing particularly fancy with this track from the ever prolific Kaytranada. He’s blended together one hit wonder ‘Return Of The Mack’ with a beat from wonder producer and firm favourite J Dilla. Nice bit of downtempo mash to start the day full of lazy chords and slinky guitar. Solid as a rock and catchy as hell.


Omar Souleyman // Enssa El Aatab

Omar Souleyman’s Wenu Wenu album was one of my favourite releases of 2013 with its confusingly named standout tracks ‘Wenu Wenu’ and ‘Warsi Warsi’ getting serious plays along with the Crackboy remix released as part of Acid Arab’s cracking curated compilation. Its fair to say that Omar Souleyman is my favourite wedding singer going.

So whats new? Only a new album with production from the likes of Four Tet, Modeselektor and arbiter of all good music Gilles Peterson. Thats a tasty combination.

The first track from the album is Enssa El Aatab and its everything you’d expect. Nimble picked lines punctuating Omar’s vocal whilst the ferocious beat pounds on stopping and starting in the most unpredictable places. Keeping you on your toes and keeping you moving. Chainsaw synths never sounded this beautiful.

Take a listen whilst you enjoy a photo of the man himself posing for a holiday snap in front of a green screened Eiffel Tower.


Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 09.18.00

J Dilla // So Far To Go (featuring Common & D’Angelo)

Got another old favourite on the go. I was trying to work out what my favourite Dilla beat was and, although its a bit of a cheat, it has to be ‘So Far To Go’. Bit of a cheat because I’ve picked the re-released version which had added vocals and verses from D’Angelo and Common. Nothing wrong with that at all.

The basis for this beat is a sample from “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love)” by The Isley Brothers and its so interesting to hear the way that Dilla transformed and re-imagined it for his purposes. Its much slower and more ponderous in the original but in Dilla’s hands it drives forward and holds back at the same time. Masterful. (check the sample here)

The main reason I picked this track was because of D’Angelo’s piano improv over the end of the track. Although he has started to play more guitar in recent years I have always been a huge fan of his keyboard playing. Sounds slightly lazy and held back but is absolutely on point. Just like the beat.