Covering Tracks is a regular series where we ask producers and DJs to take it in turns to pick ten of their favorite recent releases. Love new music? Hate sorting through it? Let them do the heavy lifting. This week we turn to Bristol collective Young Echo, whose members generate a variety of audio sorcery—from big-room grime bangers to haunting industrial ambience. Weighing in with their selections: Vessel (pictured above), Rider Shafique, Jabu, El Kid, and Ossia.
Notis & Iba Mahr – “Diamond Sox” [Notice Productions]
Rider Shafique: It’s like a revival of a more roots kind of dancehall which is coming out of Jamaica at the moment. It’s more conscious, moving away from slackness and generic lyrics.
Michael O’Neill – Untitled [Tesla Tapes]
Vessel: I don’t listen to a lot of new music, so I’m going to say something about the last thing I bought. Michael O’Neill manages to achieve something increasingly difficult with this record, which is to make genuinely political and pissed-off music without inspiring the usual raised eyebrow and wry smile that has become de rigueur for anyone who knows anything about art these days. Proper underdog music with good tunes.
David Dunn – Music, Language, Environment [Innova Recordings]
Sam Kidel / El Kid: I’ve been listening to this CD a lot this year. It’s a collection of some of Dunn’s early pieces for particular places. Each piece is composed in some way according to its environment, and the final recordings are of the sounds played back in those places. It’s a really beautiful CD, well worth tracking down.
Mamelon – “Koumba Fri Fri / Gulls Version” (Boomarm Nation / Sahel Sounds) 7″
Ossia: This is a tough question, but this has to be my favorite release of the moment. It’s full of energy and rhythm. I’m really feeling the music coming out of Africa, it’s refreshing to hear straight-up dance music again. It’s a versatile disc too, with a great re-interpretation of the original track on the flipside, with Portland-based producer and Boomarm bossman Gulls on the buttons. Nicely packaged too—can’t beat the simplicity of a hand-stamped brown paper sleeve.
Jeremiah Jae – Good Times [Warp]
Alex Rendall / MC Jabu: “The tracks feature some inventive soul sampling, and the rhyme schemes mesh intellect and street slang without overpowering the listener with either. I feel that the whole thing gets back to what hip-hop was at first—a meeting between the old and new in music. Some sharp guest appearances from Oliver The 2nd, an undeniably talented MC.”
Lil Ugly Mane – Three Sided Tape vol. 2 [self-released]
Amos Childs / DJ Jabu: Like Vessel I don’t listen to very much new music. This is the last thing I bought after Manonmars recommended it to me. It reminds me of what first really drew me to hip-hop, which is people pulling samples from all of these disparate places and managing to create something which they felt represented themselves. The rhymes are great too. ~
For more editions of Covering Tracks, head here.
Published May 29, 2014.