Any new music from Dan Snaith is always welcome around here and a new Daphni album largely culled from his recent Fabriclive mix also serves that notion. Why? Because you get some grade A dancefloor bangers in their unedited form. So we get songs we have heard like ‘Face To Face’, ‘Hey Drum’, ‘Tin’, ‘Medellen’ and ‘Vikram’ (first heard in 2015) among others but given their own chance to shine away from a mix format.
LA singer Kelela took her time in constructing her debut album because she didn’t want to repeat the club-mix sounds of her EPs and mixtape. So her debut full-length is not as immediate for listeners but there’s much more to explore in these deftly-constructed modern R&B tracks. Kelela’s sultry honey voice and preoccupations around relationships, both sexual and sensual, are the big draw here while producers like Jam City, Arca, Al Shux, Kingdom and Bok Bok set out a celestial electronic backdrop that points the way forward for the future of the genre.
Kieran Hebden moves away from the dancefloor and limited releases for his ninth album which pares things back to a low-tempo and a comforting series of contemplative almost new-age sounding tracks that call back to his earlier work as opposed to his club-orientated output of recent years. Four Tet’s music has tightened up its arrangements largely due to those recent explorations but on New Energy , there is lots of room for melodic mellowness. The focus is on the mind and spirit as opposed to the feet.
Walking the line between playful electronic and avant garde, Aurelia Smith’s new album is less ambient than before which may turn off those looking for a suitable background release. While it’s also built on a narrative that follows the human lifespan in four stages, there’s enough here on its own to stand apart and grab your attention on its own and fans of modular synths will love the Buchla tones combined with the almost pop melodies at play here.
The soul singer with a penchant for featuring on upbeat dancefloor tracks and the UK’s closest artist to a new Sadé, Jessie Ware returns to her torch-bearing soul sound with more confident vocals than ever before and an Andre 300 Love Below-style production. It was co-written by Kiah Victoria, Jordan Thomas and Carrius Gold, three upcoming songwriters from London and co-produced by Carrius Gold and Pop Wansel (Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj).
The Clareman takes the original’s feature guests Rusangano Family and Senita (Lakerama, Shookrah) and brings some fresh energy to the original, adding new focus to Rusangano’s verses. This tune slayed at Body & Soul so catch Bantum and Another Love Story and Electric Picnic in the next month.
Kelela – ‘LMK’
One of my favourite new artists of the last few years, Kelela has returned with new music.’LMK’, which stands for “Let me Know” restablishes Kelela’s clubby R&B sound as heard on Cut 4 Me mixtape and Hallucinogen EP.
It’s taken from her album Take Me Apart out on October 6th on Warp Records.
King Henry feat. Rhye – ‘Moment’
I sometimes find Rhye’s music too soft or elegant to grasp when it doesn’t quite land but on this track from a one-time Bieber and Beyoncé collaborator its the mark. Mike Milosh’s beguiling effeminate voice is ably matched by a muted and buzzing arrangement.
Blue Hawaii – ‘No One Like You’
When not singing with her weightier band Braids, Raphaelle ‘Ra’ Standell has been playing with Alexander ‘Agor’ Kerby as Blue Hawaii since 2014 but they’ve just announced Tenderness, their first album in four years (October 6th via Arbutus Records).
Another beautiful dance track from the master. Last month it was ‘Two Thousand And Seventeen’ and ‘Planet’ falls somewhere between his soft and dancefloor sensibilities.
Bicep – ‘Glue’
Bicep, Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson are gearing up to release their debut album on Ninja Tune next month.
We’ve heard the excellent ‘Aura’ from the album and seen the tracklisting.
‘Glue’, the duo’s followup preview is a less dancefloor-focused but a shimmering slice of electronica.
Bicep is out on September 1st.
Tender – ‘Machine’
Songs about domination and control have traditionally been about relationships between humans but Tender addresses the very modern and young problem of a partner who spends too much time staring at their phone instead of spending time with the person in front of them. We are all guilty of it and should be aware of it actively. The London band uses the idea of cellular distraction as an example of an disintegrating connection in a relationship. Their album Modern Addiction is out Sept 1st.
Lone – ‘Mind’s Eye Melody’
Matt Cutler followed up his hip-hop-infused fifth album Reality Testing with Levitate last year which was more ravey and breakbeat-oriented (‘Backtail is Heavy’). Since then, there’s been an Ambivert Tools Vol 1 lead by the hard-edged ‘Crush Mood’ and this track which recalls his earlier melodic work.
Birthday – ‘Que Pasa’
Atmospheric electronic dreamy pop on Shlohmo’s LA- based Label WEDIDIT/ Tombstone Recordings from Birthday, who are a duo named after the venue in London Birthdays.
I spent a lot of time writing about SZA thisweek and this song keeps coming back to my ears.
Felix Pallas – ‘Similarities’
A Belgian band who are our blog friend Disco Naivete’s first release as a label, ‘Similarities’ is a sheenful dance-pop track rooted in full-band dynamics that reaches unexpected peaks.
The Academic – ‘Bear Claws’
The Mullingar band have re-recorded the song that turned everyone’s heads a few years back. This tighter version of the singalong indie-pop song is tighter and comes from the band’s debut album to come.
Shay Lia – What’s Your Problem?
Kaytranada on the beat and Shay Lia on the R&B low-end flow.
Skepta – ‘Hypocrisy’
“They try to disrespect me / When they’re online especially /But everything cool when they check me / Because I’m so cool and deadly / See, I had to realise slowly / That nobody actually knows me/ Yeah, man, I’ve got fifteen different iPhones / But I am so not phoney.” Skepta, true to form. He declined some amazing dinners and an MBE apparently.
Shabazz Palaces – ‘When Cats Claw’
Extraterrestial alt-rap group Shabazz Palaces will release two albums next Friday : Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs The Jealous Machines but until that overload arrives drink in ‘When Cats Claw’, a echo chambering track.
Four Tet – Two Thousand And Seventeen’
Kieran Hebden returns to the relative calm of his early work with this minimally-pitched track that lets a string instrument become the main focus.
Four Tet has been a regular collaborator, fellow DJ and producer with Jamie xx, with a ‘Seesaw’ production credit and club edit, VCR remix =, ‘Angel’ remix and b2b sets a regular occurence.
The xx released their newest and third album I See You in January and yesterday, Four Tet posted his remix of ‘A Violent Noise’ taking his cue from the song’s more boisterous second half.It follows a similar albeit less-intense dynamic to his epic Eric Prydz remix, also below.
Kieran Hebden has collated some music he’s released on once-off compilations dating from 1996 to 2013.
You may recognise ‘Moma’, ‘For These Times’, ‘Pockets’ and ‘Castles Made Of Sand among them.
Over the years there have been some pieces of music that I have made specially for compilation projects or have ended being released only as part of a compilation album. As time passes I look back at this music and find the context it was originally put in often feels a bit random now. So I have put together this new album called Randoms that brings together this music in a different way. The oldest track here is Field from 1996, the first Four Tet track ever released on Leaf Records Invisible Soundtracks compilation. The most recent is Gillie Amma I Love You which was made for a charity project called BOATS in 2013. All the tracks here have been released before and I am sure some internet searching will give you the full details if you are interested. Thank you to everyone who originally commissioned and released this music. The artwork for this was made by Jason Evans. credits
Update: It’s 2016, I found this post and enjoyed it. I’ve now added a Spotify playlist of all of the albums available.
Below is a list of my favourite records of the ten years between the turn of the millenium, the year 2000 and 2010. Ranking these albums was led by a) what the album means to me and b) how often I’d listen to it. Each and every one of these albums blew me away repeatedly at some time between the ages of 18 and 27. Each one has something special going for it, something magical that brings me back to it. For that I can only thank the creators of each.
Without further ado, here are my favourite 50 albums from the decade. And remember, you can’t be wrong if they are your favourites.
Four Tet dropped two new songs yesterday, an A-side and a B-side from two different 12″ releases on his own label Text.
Both tracks are collaborations, one with Designer and one with Champion. The latter is my favourite of the two, an exotic rhythm with what sounds like Grimes on vocals. The tracks are making their way to record shops soon.
Designer + Four Tet – Mothers/Dark TEXT038
Champion + Four Tet – Flip Side/Disparate TEXT039
I heard the new Text 12s are arriving this week… was supposed to be last year but things got long because vinyl is massive on amazons now
Bloc returns from 11 to 13 March 2016 in Butlins Resort Minehead near Bristol with an impressive lineup including:
Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes / Four Tet / Jeff Mills / Floating Points / Carl Craig – Modular Pursuits / Ben Klock / Nina Kraviz / Omar-S / Evian Christ / Holly Herndon / Motor City Drum Ensemble / Rødhåd / Trade ft. Surgeon & Blawan / Steve Davis ( the snooker player is a keen selector) / Tama Sumo b2b Lakuti / Andrew Weatherall b2b Optimo / Steffi / Ben UFO / Magic Mountain High ft. Move D, Juju & Jordash / Bicep / Daniel Avery / Helena Hauff / Ugandan Methods ft. Regis & Ancient Methods / Midland / Jimmy Edgar / Fast Eddie / Lone / Objekt / Daniel Miller / Demdike Stare / Powell / ItaloJohnson / James Ruskin / Laurel Halo / Lakker / Dasha Rush / Fatima Yamaha / Rrose / Dom & Roland / Sandrien / Kahn / d:Bridge / Shanti Celeste / Ø [Phase] / Aurora Halal / Jane Fitz / DJ Skirt / JoeFarr / Steevio & Suzybee
Early bird tickets are sold out but chalets are available from £179 + fees. More info.
Metropolis Festival in the RDS in Dublin on 7th and 8th of November has just added a load of acts to its lineup:
Hot Chip, Vic Mensa, Le Galaxie, Formation, Booka Brass Band, Flight Facilities, Omar Souleyman, Vince Staples, Trinity Orchestra (performing LCD Soundsystem), Floating Points, Four Tet, White Collar Boy, Gemma Dunleavy, CLU, Benji B and Forrests.
As well as that, they’ve announced the day-by-day breakdown:
The Roots Hot Chip Flight Facilities Vic Mensa Todd Terje [LIVE] Tiga [Live] Le Galaxie Vince Staples Omar Souleyman Dorian Concept [LIVE] Matthew Herbert [LIVE] Cloud Castle Lake Formation Booka Brass Band CLU White Collar Boy Gemma Dunleavy
CHIC feat Nile Rodgers Mark Ronson Jamie xx Giorgio Moroder Kaytranada Four Tet [LIVE] Jeff Mills Kerri Chandler KiNK [LIVE] Floating Points Nosaj Thing [LIVE] Maribou State [LIVE] Benji B Trinity Orchestra Perform LCD Soundystem Kormac’s Big Band Forrests
Four Tet has turned his remix brain to Chvrches‘ recent single from second album Every Open Eye,, out on September 25th.
Hebden’s 7-minute remix of the track has some of his signature unfurling melodic and effects to it. The first three minutes is spent building the track before the vocals are heard for the first time in refrain form.
Kieran Hebden and jazz drummer Steve Reid had a fortuitous partnership across the generations that allowed the pair to explore new forms in jazz and improvised electronic, not to mention make four albums, three recorded live in a short time period and another Tongues, more of a traditional studio record but not by much.
After last week’s surprise album release of Morning/Evening, Hebden announced a new release on his TEXT label that marks a return to the collaboration, the first since Reid passed away in 2006. Their cover of Derrick May’s ‘Strings Of life’ was recorded at the Green Man Festival in August 2006 and proceeds from the vinyl release coming in the next few weeks go to The Steve Reid Foundation.
Derp, let’s put it down to a post-festival week but I’ve only just got around to hearing Four Tet’s new record which he posted on Bandcamp a few days ago for €6 and for streaming. Which is a pity, as Morning/Evening would serve as a fine post-festival comedown album.
There are two 20-minute tracks and they were recorded between August 2014 and February 2015, using a laptop computer with the Ableton Live “to control and mix VST synthesizers and manipulations of found audio recordings.”
‘Morning’ starts with an insistent dance beat in which a dreamy Indian singer unfurls across, joined by gentle strings and bells which melds and meshes together across the 20 minute running time. It feels live (which it is) and it also feels like a DJ mix. Kieran Hebden’s ability to create a pleasing palette of sounds and then bend them into a series of beautiful configurations within those rhthymic and tonal parameters is a strength as the song never meanders but wanders in a exploratory manner.
‘Evening’ has similar tones in its female vocal samples, but while taking on a similar palette, the generated bells and twinkles are tempered by synth bassline that pulses around the arrangement, as opposed to strings. It’s reminiscent of The Orb’s ambient elongated styles. About two/thirds into this collision course of collage sounds, a beat emerges among the pings and the song gives way to a recognisable jazzy early Four Tet drum pattern.
It’s an interesting stopgap-style release, one that demands little but offers much if you give it your full attention.
Physical versions of the albums are released on TEXT in July.
Bodytonic and Hidden Agenda just threw a spanner in the works for your August bank holiday plans with the reveal of The BeatYard happening in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on August 1st and 2nd.
Music guests include:
Sister Sledge, Lindstrom, Four Tet, Neneh Cherry, Madlib, I Am The Cosmos, Public Service Broadcasting, Barrington Levy, Horse Meat Disco, Midnight Magic, Embrz, RiZA, Craig Charles, DJ Marky, Telephones, Optimo vs. Eamon Harkin (Mister Saturday Night), Sim Simma and more.
There are also a whole lot of food and drink options like 3FE Barista Jam, Big Blue Bus, Teddy’s ice Cream (naturally), Angel Churros, Staple Foods, Suhas Falafel, Brewtonic Beer Hall and Wine-yl Ville.
There’s also Graffiti, The Gamesyard with The Back R.A.G.E and Pinball Parlour; Dub City Sneaks (Dublin’s first sneaker fair), vinyl records, crazy golf and more.