Manifest Bliss – United Freedom Collective

With the sun out as it is today, there’s a lot to like about this record.

Manifest Bliss is the debut single from United Freedom Collective, a new project from Mathieu Seynaeve, WaiFung Tsang and producer Robbie Redway. They say their music draws on the clinical work of Seynaeve and Tsang while also taking influence from worlds of Zen Taoism, Chinese plant medicines, and worldwide healing traditions. Lofty goals, but it really does come through, in a Bonobo and Maribou State kind of style. Enjoy!

Never The Same – Loods

I’m highly aware that this is skating just on the ride side of cheese (kind of Loods’ MO) but sometimes you’ve just got to let go. If you do that, you will be rewarded, because this feels real good. Definitely a track to be enjoyed in the sunshine after a drink or two. There’s not much subtlety about it, just strings and horns working to full effect. Summer 2022 baby!

The track is out now on Steel City Records. He’s not from Sheffield, he’s from Newcastle. But not that one, the one in Oz. Which is actually known as Steel City. Who knew?

Gunk – Overmono

I’ve been sitting on this for way too long. Please forgive me.

It’s UK duo Overmono with Gunk. They stood out at Wide Awake festival and this track was the one with the biggest impact. It has a ravey Jacques Greene kind of vibe that hits right.

They are getting well stuck into the European festival circuit with a UK tour to follow in the Autumn (including Koko in September) – don’t miss out.

Bonus track: this was my first exposure to the duo – an incredibly powerful remix of an incredibly powerful track. Full write-up here.

Crosswalk – Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

This is my go-to track right now.

I’ve been a TEED fan for a long time, and it makes me really happy that he is back on the solo production train after some well-publicised time away and ups and downs. His two latest singles tell me that his second album is one to be excited about. Where the Lights Go will be released in July and has a mammoth 17 tracks. A lot more TEED to look forward to.

Bonus album: 8th June 2022 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the release of Trouble. And here it is.

Fade (Feat. SHELLS) – Bondax

If you are a fan of Flight Facilities’ Down to Earth then this will be right up your street. We all know that Bondax can deliver a catchy electronica track; in Fade, SHELLS channels every ounce of her inner Christine Hoberg to deliver vocals that pair urgency with a soft wistfulness and take it to the next level. I get the feeling the new album is going to be a goodie.

And here is that classic album from Flight Facilities themselves:

Sail We Must: A Sea Story of Andrew Weatherall & An Irish Fisherman

I’m going to let this one speak for itself. Enjoy.

*update it looks like they may have disabled embedding, you watch the video here.

In rural county Cork, a lone fisherman met a weary traveller who was on his way to a gig. They soon began to exchange stories, namely tales of the sea. During their conversation, the seafarer shared a sentiment that would stay with his passenger forever: “fail we may, sail we must.” The Tenth Man presents Sail We Must directed by Grizzly, a short film telling the beautiful story of the chance meeting between iconic artist Andrew Weatherall and fisherman Gerard Sheehy. The 10-minute film explores how the words of wisdom Sheehy shared with Weatherall changed his path and went on to influence another generation of musicians and creatives. The film also features Cian Ó Cíobháin who was instrumental in finding Gerard, as well as Andrew’s close friend and collaborator Sean Johnston. All proceeds from this film and any screenings will go to Andrew’s family and the charities that meant the most to him. thetenthman.com

Tiraquon Recordings vol. 1 – Space Dimension Controller

Ain’t no two ways about it, I’m a big fan of Space Dimension Controller. He has released a really tasty 6-tracker on his own Tiraquon Recordings.

The release is a slight departure in tone from his usual work; it is less ‘high-concept’ in the sense that there is no space-traveller voiceover, and the tempo is raised a little. Both changes make the tracks just that little bit more danceable. Even so, the release feels very much of the Space Dimension Controller universe. Maybe this is the stuff playing in the clubs of Mikrosektor-50 when Mr. 8040 walks in. Anyway, none of the originality or charm of the persona is lost. Listen up.

If you didn’t understand any of what you just read, where have you been? Do your homework.

Be My Husband (Hot Chip Remix Edit) – Nina Simone

I have a really special treat for you today readers.

There have been quite a few Nina Simone remixes coming out recently as part of a Greatest Hits re-issue, and I have been pretty unimpressed. To be fair it is a hard job to take recognisable and established tracks and reimagine them in a way that is an enhancement, without killing what was special about them to begin with. That challenge is amplified when it comes to Nina – her vocals tread a fine line between power and fragility. That tension is why she is such an iconic singer, and why she is able to convey so much emotion through her voice. It is also why most remixes of her tracks seem to miss the mark.

And so how does Hot Chip get this one so right?

I get the sense they are real fans of her work. They treat the vocal with a huge amount of respect and still let it lead the energy and the tone of the track. And then behind it they build up an incredible soundscape with piano, electric guitars and a bassline so thick you can almost touch it. It gets full marks from me.