You want to know what’s been going in our minds this week, reverberating our synapses and sending broader vibrations throughout our bodies and by extension our souls? Today’s choice picks come from EB junior editor Louise Brailey.
Since the beginning of this young year, the musical gods have lavished upon us such a wealth of gifts that I daren’t click away from my Twitter feed—instead of shitty Instagrams and Zomby RTs, it’s all ground shaking announcements and epoch-defining teaser videos. Still, away from the marquee names there’s been a wealth of releases that didn’t earn thinkpieces on The Guardian—and all the better for it. First up is the new Le1f mixtape Fly Zone released this week via Greedhead and his own Camp & Street. I know we keep going on about Le1f here at EBHQ, but we have the whole early adopter thing going on and we can’t let it drop. It you couldn’t get past the soupy production of Dark York, you’ll be pleased to hear the rapper’s insinuating, gargled vocals sitting a little higher in the mix. The weirdness levels have been left just the same however, and Le1f’s trope of using his queerness to confront, provoke and threaten (ie. to play into mainstream, heteronormative rap’s deeply held anxieties) remains subversive and funny as hell. It’s also nice to hear a Wiley sample on “Airbending” too—more credence to the theory that it’s not just UK grime who’s jacking hip-hop’s swagger.
The Present Tense by Berlin resident Call Super (aka JR Seaton) inuagurates Fabric’s brand new Houndstooth imprint. The A-Side is my “Threshing Floor” is my pick: a quietly oppressive track in which the forward trajectory ploughed by the blunt 4×4 kick and cycling synth pads is convulsed by shocks of transmission sferic and strays of alien signal. As the momentum builds the charged atmosphere draws in, becoming increasingly localised before dissipating into glassy synth aftershocks.
Everything Everything are one of my favourite bands producing music right now; art-informed and garrulous, their songs are feats of verbal and sonic dexterity matched with carefully corralled prog influences. Oh, and the bassist is also from my hometown, the terminally uncool Tunbridge Wells. Arc is just pipping Foals‘ soon-to-be-released Holy Fire as my go-to artrock album of January. January. Keep ’em coming.
Finally, if you missed it, this video for Giggs and Wretch 32‘s North/South London love-in is ace. The song itself is by the same producer responsible for “Look What the Cat Dragged In”—Bayoz Muzik—and it has traces of the same string-laden and loping gait.
Other stuff I’ve been feeling: Channel 4’s Utopia, this Odd Future button-down shirt and, weirdly, The Vaccines’ first album.
Published January 30, 2013. Words by Louise Brailey.