Drop – Mistabishi

Okay, so quite the controversial character is Mistabishi. If you cast yourself back to 2009 you’ll see one of the most exciting drum & bass producers on the scene. James Pullen has left his job in the city, and been signed by Hospital – the biggest label going – and released his first album, the critically acclaimed Drop.

Fast forward another 10 years and he has disgraced himself by fucking off just about everyone possible. Firstly the music-heads, by playing a pre-recorded mix at a gig and trying to pass it off (badly) as mixing live. Secondly (and repeatedly) anyone who isn’t a full-blown racist by claiming that ‘real’ Londoners are white – and blaming rising crime levels on immigrants and ethnic minorities. He then apologised for causing offence in about the least convincing way possible (and partially blaming some residual PTSD…). All in all, the guy is not a good egg.

So, if you want to enjoy this album you have to go through a real case of separating the art from the artist. If you are able to do that (and you want to) then Drop is a real gem. It mixes heavy and light, ecstasy and fear, all with a sharp dark sense of humour.

Drop contains three of my all-time favourite drum & bass tracks: No Matter What, a euphoric belter; The Light’s Really Bad, a cinematic roller full of hope and longing; and Falling in Love, another big’un with the emotional vocals of Danman.

There’s a lot to get your teeth into. Printer Jam will certainly not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to admit that the guy has talent. Greed is a rolling dark monster with some hard right wing free-market philosophy thrown in to boot.

If you are listening for the first time, or the first time in a decade, let me know what you think.

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?

Talkin’ All That Jazz (Dim’s Radio Edit) – Stetsasonic

Today I have short story for you.

The year is 2013. I’m at Secret Garden Party. It’s about 4am. The night is beginning to wind down. But as we wander past a nondescript stretch tent, some music drifts over to us. Intrigued, we wander in. The DJ is playing a massive hip-hop set. The tent is packed. The crowd is locked in. The energy is huge. One track in particular brings it to a peak. Shazam? Useless. And so begins the search for “The Flute Based Hip-hop Banger”.

Message

Alas, I faced dead end after dead end in the hunt. Until last week when I came across this:

Full disclaimer, I’m not actually sure this is the one, but I’m going to act like it is because it’s been 7 years now.

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.