Robopubez (Rust In Peace) – Manakinz

I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. I hadn’t come across these guys before – a Glaswegian duo called Manakinz (James ‘Harri’ Harrigan and Max Raskin) – but what they’ve created is an absolute monster. It’s a grotty kind of house track with a spine-tingling, industrial kind of vibe. I’ll say it again, it’s a monster.

Shout out to Ben Gomori for getting this out on his label Monologue Records. Check out the rest of the EP for some freshness from Paxton Fettell and Kristy Harper.

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.

i,i – Bon Iver

I feel pretty well qualified to write about this one. I’ve given it a few listens on the headphones, I’ve seen them play some of it live, and now I’ve listened to it in the Dolby Sound Studio with a blindfold on. So here’s what I think.

First up, if you love Bon Iver because of For Emma, Forever Ago or Bon Iver then you will continue to be disappointed. They have seemingly left that simple folky magic behind them forever. On the other hand, if 22, A Million is more your bag then you’re likely to be falling in love all over again.

The album mixes some experimental and hard-hitting set-pieces with your (slightly) more traditionally composed tracks that will inevitably be the main hits (including Hey, Ma and my favourite, Naeem). But, to be fair even these tracks are pretty amazing, and unique – they are unmistakably Bon Iver.

Fair to say that there are also some weaker tracks; U (Man Like) strikes an odd quasi-gospel tone and Salem could legitimately be a Coldplay track. It also goes on for one track too long – Sh’Dia is an awesome final track mash-up, but then it gets followed by RABi which sounds pretty pedestrian in comparison.

All in all, it’s pretty good. And on top of that, Bon Iver albums always grow on you. Listen to it enough and it’ll form a part of you.

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.