JPEG – Digitalism

Remember when Digitalism were just so on it? The year was 2007, and the album was Idealism. Pogo, proper stuff. Anyway now it’s 2020 and they’ve lost a bit of their lustre, but it still ain’t bad. Their 4th album is called JPEG and it came out a few months ago.

In particular, check out Panavision for some uplifting electronic fun.

Bonus album: yeah I’m not going to leave you hanging like that.

New Shit Has Come to Light – Lovebirds

A cheeky little 3-tracker from Lovebirds. If I had to sum it up in three words I would say: happy dancefloor grooves.

But I don’t have to sum it up in three words. I have as many as I want. It’s my blog. Here are some more words.

It kicks off with Glove, a pleasing little house number with the kind of bassline that sort of went out of fashion in 2012, kicking in around 3 minutes in. Next we have Da Sixty – smooth where Glove is funk, but still with the time to incorporate a little Hugh Masakela sample. I don’t hate it. Finally, the stand-out track is Disco Train – as you would expect from the title it lifts heavily from Kiki Gyan’s song of the same name, but gives it a little bassy re-rub.

Not an EP that is ever going to blow your mind, but its nice, its tidy and it’ll give you some nice toe-tapping moments.

Bonus track: I’ve had to go to Youtube to find a full-length version of this beauty from 2011. Lovebirds’ all time #1 smasher, Want You in My Soul.

Radical (Feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs) – Amtrac

Radical combines Amtrac’s characteristically picturesque electronica grooves with the yearning vocals of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ Orlando. It’s a soft, sweeping number that really grows on each listen. Enjoy.

Amtrac is due to release his second album titled Oddyssey later this year, a full 9 years since his last album, Came Along. Keep your eyes open, the other singles have been on point.

More Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs here.

Where Did The Night Go (A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven) – Gil Scott-Heron

Icon. Probably an overused word. But fully deserved in this case. Gil Scott-Heron’s instantly recognisable street poetry comes to the fore in this Makaya McCraven remix. It takes the brooding, sinister energy of the original and raises it onto a vaguely beautiful plain. Extra points for flute.

The original:

Bonus album: impossible to post about Gil and not get this out there. Jamie xx made a full remix album based on I’m New Here. The sound of 2011. Full taste.

 

Rain Dance – Roberto Rodriguez

I’ve been waiting for this for ages. It’s one of them where the physical release is a few months ago before the digital – but it finally dropped in December.

Finnish producer Roberto Rodriguez skates between the organic pulses of Harrison BDP and the sultry house samples of James Welsh and comes up with a very nice groove indeed.

Shout out to Ben Gomori for the tip. You can find more of Ben on his excellent Turned On podcast – he just did a really tasty wrap of 2019 featuring Rain Dance and whole host of other bangers. Find it here.

Kuar (Henrik Schwarz Remix) – Emmanuel Jal

Happy New Year crew.

Boy do I have a treat for you today. I actually cannot believe I haven’t posted this one before. It’s Henrik Schwarz remixing Emmanuel Jal’s Kuar and it’s a stonker. It was the first track I heard this decade, and I couldn’t have been happier about it. Shout out to Philou Louzolo for a big New Year’s set at De Marktkantine.

So this track is massive in its own right, but I just read a bit of the back story of Emmanuel Jal and it is nuts. He was a child soldier in Sudan before he was rescued and smuggled out into Kenya. He then went on to forge a successful career across music, film and social causes. Read about him here.

Finally, as an extra special New Year’s treat, here is a playlist I put together on a similar vibe.

Big love for the new decade.