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.

Piano Dream (Heaven & Earth Mix) – DJ Mountain Dad

I don’t know much (/anything) about DJ Mountain Dad, but he looks like a jolly fellow. Anyway, he (/she?) has a new release on Let’s Play House and it’s dreamy. Skip through the vacant 1 minute hard-house opening and tuck straight into the 100% good Gypsy Woman sample. Primo. Can imagine this going off at a festival somewhere.

The original for you sample-lovers:

Closing thought: this wave of electronic music producers with kind of ironic names is really fun. DJ Tennis, DJ Seinfeld, Ross From Friends, DJ Bus Replacement Service, DJ Boring… literally, what next?

Escape From Planet Monday – DJ Fresh

Today is a right old throwback to 2006 when DJ Fresh was a fresh-faced drum & bass producer. Some of the album has aged very very badly so I’m just picking out the top tracks.

First up, It’s All That Jazz. 3 minutes of beats, bass, rhythm, breaks, guitar strum etc. etc. playful jungle vibes.

X Project. Great name. Great tune (granted, in a very 2006 DJ-Clipz D&B scene way).

And last up, Funk Academy. I have no idea what he was thinking but it kind of works.

Bodily Functions – Herbert

When Matthew Herbert wants to do something weird, he becomes Herbert. And boy does he do it well.

Bodily Functions is his album from 2001. It’s all somewhere between jazz, electronica and house. It’s slinky. Highlights are It’s Only (made famous by DJ Koze) and my favourite, down at track 14, is The Audience.

And by the way, this guy does zero sampling and uses zero drum machines or synths. AND all of these tracks include samples of the human body. Crazy.

Bonus track: I Hadn’t Known (I Only Heard) and it’s only from 1998! It has just been re-issued and it sounds as fresh as you like.

Jeru The Damaja

A dollop of tuneful 90s Parental Advisory rap for you today. Plinky piano and tight bars from Jeru. He’s a Brooklynite, and his real name is Kendrick Jeru Davis – which is pretty cool. A master of the album artwork game and a decent rapper too. First some solo work.

But what really set me onto this guy is this absolute classic by none other than Groove Armada. A different style, a little sweeter, but no less impact. Let this one have its way with you – you won’t regret it.

What’s a Girl To Do – Fatima Yamaha

Originally released in 2004, (2004!) What’s a Girl To Do is a supreme slow-burning, night-ending track. It has Scarlett Johansson musing on her existence, a sample from Lost in Translation, and it’s really pretty great.

It makes all the sense in the world, and also no sense at all, that this track popped up out obscurity into the mainstream in 2015. Give it a spin, and pay attention to how it makes you feel. Lovely.