It’s a mix of soul and breakbeat this week. Artists featured include Anderson Paak, Jungle, Amy Steele, Mall Grab, Partiboi69 and Bring Me The Horizon.
‘Take A Chance’ – Anderson Paak ft. DOMi & JD Beck
Paak is sounding smooth as ever here. I’m not familiar with DOMi & JD Beck, but consider me a new fan after hearing this track. The jazz duo are signed to Paak’s label and play keys and drums on this track, as well as offering some harmonised vocals that compliment the track well. The frantic uptempo drums at the end slap.
‘Problemz’ – Jungle
This is arguably the best song Jungle have released to date. Like a lot of their tracks, it’s inspired by 70s Motown, but the high-pitched Stylistics-style vocals sound particularly good here (and I thought I hated The Stylistics. What’s going on?) and those vocal samples along with the house beat give it a modern edge. The chord sequence in the second half is also gorgeous, particularly when those strings enter the mix. In fact, the whole track ends too soon – I could have listened to those chords for at least another minute.
‘Smoke Castles’ – Amy Steele
‘Smoke Castles’ features some suitably smoky vocals from London nu-soul artist Amy Steele. The breathy tone and minimal production create a lot of suspense (when the drums come in at the very end, it makes for a satisfying release). I love all the subtle effects peppered throughout the track. It gives it an FKA Twigs vibe (albeit not quite as challengingly weird).
‘Love Reigns VIP’ – Mall Grab
I don’t usually feature VIP remixes, but this track from Australian producer Mall Grab is really creative stuff. Breakbeat percussion, house piano stabs and trap 808 kicks are all combined together. The result is cool hybrid of EDM styles that doesn’t sound like anything else out there.
‘No Place Like Home’ – Partiboi69
I’ve been on an Australian breakbeat binge this week and I stumbled across this banger from wonky-sunglasses-wearing DJ Partiboi69. The video is a rollercoaster and one of the best videos I’ve seen all year (you won’t know whether to laugh or cry).
‘sTraNgeRs’ – Bring Me The Horizon
Sykes’ whiny scream-singing is still intolerable and the guitars are as generic as ever. I knew it would be the case. WHY LISTEN TO THEM IF YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO HATE THEIR MUSIC? Well, I needed something to put in this ‘worst’ section, didn’t I?