Taken Away – Moodymann

Moodymann has two modes: lusty and haunting. His new album Taken Away retains some of his signature erotic funk, but ache come to the fore.

At the start of 2019 Moodymann (Kenny Dixon Jr.) was involved in a pretty terrifying incident with the police – a reality that people of colour face in America on a shockingly frequent basis. Famously enigmatic, he does his talking through his sampling, and his message comes across loud and clear, especially in the title track. It’s house music, it’s foot-stomping, but it is filled with pain and anger.

My take on some more upbeat Moodymann here and here, or you can read an excellent review of the album on Pitchfork here. Shout out to Ben Gomori’s Turned On for the tip.

Modern Soul (Disclosure Remix) – James Blake

I’ve got a corker of an unreleased number from Disclosure for you right here. I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me that a James Blake / Disclosure combo would work. But it brings James’ haunting vocals together with this blissed out electronic energy and jeez. Just trust me, it works.

Sadly it looks like this track will never see the light of day in a full release so you’ll have to make do with a youtube rip.

This clip is from a full set by Disclosure, as a part of Boiler Room’s Streaming From Isolation series.

Superego – Harvey Sutherland

Harvey Sutherland makes music like a man who lives in perma-Summer. It must be the Aussie in him. Anyway, a couple of months ago he foretold our weather by releasing a typically upbeat funky single, Superego. It’ll tick a lot of boxes.

Bonus track: Superego is nice, but nothing on his classics. Know this one?

Bonus playlist: if you like your tracks house-y and and your instruments piano-y then I have the perfect playlist for you. Bloody hell I want to go out.

Voyage

I think we could all do with a bit of playful house in our lives right now couldn’t we. It’s Voyage Records first compilation from 2015 and I would describe it as spot-hitting.

My pick is Kackwursthouse by CTEPEO ’57 aka Max Graef and Muff Deep. But then again, I also love Gravy, so what you gonna do?

The Slow Rush – Tame Impala

The Slow Rush is without a doubt my album of the quarantine session so far. It’s Tame Impala’s 4th and it’s a cracker.

Kevin Parker recorded this between native Australia and LA – and that provides a really nice window through which to understand the sound. It’s this awesome struggle between a lazy, beachy indie sound, and the more intense, highly produced electronic LA vibe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

Bonus track: Ben Gomori’s remix of Breathe Deeper gently lifts it up one notch. Lovely.

Photo credit: Neil Krug

Mall Grab – Boiler Room

Right, so obviously one half of what makes Boiler Room videos great is the randos losing their nut next to the DJ. I get that. But obviously that setup ain’t the most socially responsible right now. So we have to make do with the other half – stonking sets delivered to your screen.

Boiler Room have lined up some of their favourite producers for quarantine sets. My favourite so far is from Mall Grab. Worth it just for that track 8 minutes in. If anyone can ID it I’ll be eternally grateful.

More Mall Grab picks here.

Melt Away – Jadu Heart

*NEW SOUNDS FOR YOUR BORED QUARANTINED EARS*

Jadu Heart’s first full length album is excellent. The masked duo are growing with every release – tightening their grip on their screwed-up electro-pop style, and casting a spell over the listener. The interplay between their voices (his rough and raw, hers sweet and tender) is perfectly measured; and the switches between moody and playful are perfectly executed. Even the album’s more straightforward rougher edges serve to increase its charm.

You can probably tell I like it. And it I like it more each time I put it on. Oh and boy you should see them live.

Most of the tracks have already been released so it might feel quite familiar. My star picks are Wanderlife and Harry Brompton’s Ice Tea, but in truth I could list half of the tracks on there.

More of my thoughts on Jadu Heart here.