1. Karol Conka - Boa Noite

    In the past nine months, the Brazilian rapper, Karol Conka, has made noticeable movements in the underground hip hop scene. This new track, produced by Nave, is infused with heat and vibrancy that is reminiscent of Diplo back when he was throwing Hollertronix nights in Philly. It is baile funk at it’s best - music that is an authentic externalisation of culture within Brazilian communities. This is the good stuff.

    Conka shows, unlike other contemporary female MCs like Angel Haze or Azealia Banks, that one needn’t court controversy to command respect. The musical artistry here is enough.

    The driving rhythms and careful sampling (right to the lit cigarette at the end of the track) give a feeling of presence and location that is so difficult to imitate within a stereo field. The skilfully manipulated sample that plays throughout the track provides the perfect counterpoint to Karol’s insistent flow and skilled oration. It grants an undeniable authenticity that speaks of an artist confident in their skills and at the precipice of real self-actualisation as a performer. 

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    Almost ten years after 17-year-old Conka took to her school stage to sample her new sound, we have been invited into her fully grown brand of Brazilian Pop Music. Influenced by artists such as Lauryn Hill, Boa Noite is a mature Conka. It’s execution shows an artist ready to lead the new posse of female rappers.

    File next to: MIA, Diplo, Rye Rye

    The details: Released 14th October; Mr Bongo Records; @karolconka

     

  2. Analogue Wave - Crawl

    Shares a playlist with: Spring Offensive, The Other Tribe, Daughter

    The details: Sept 2013; Electronic, Indie, Synths

     

  3. Brrd - Blood Oath 2

    Shares a playlist with: J Dilla, King Krule, Cannonball Adderley

    The details: Blueberry Records (BBR001); Sept 2013; Hip Hop, Downtempo, Samples

     

  4. Jessy Lanza - Kathy Lee

    Around a month ago, the Ontario-based singer Jessy Lanza debuted for Hyperdub Records providing vocals for Ikonika’s track “Beach Mode (Keep It Simple)”. Lest this was bare beginnings of Lanza’s work with the increasingly progressive UK dance label. “Kathy Lee” is the first single from Jessy’s debut LP, is co-produced by Jeremy Greenspan (of the Junior Boys). The LP is forthcoming on Hyperdub too.

    From the tracks outset, rolling quavers and demi’s syncopated against Jessy’s porcelain, carefree vocals punctuate the melodic development and simple harmonies. The ascending springy bass ostinato has just enough lean not to compromise the works slight unpredictability. It also harks to Lanza’s affiliation to the UK bass-led culture, indicative of the pervasive influence the style is having on a myriad of artists as far as the US/Canada.

    In a way, Lanza’s composition seems to be an evocative dialectic between harmonic perfection and raw feeling. Listening to this track multiple times forms a personal, visceral response; one the artist seemingly desires to create. The, perhaps unintentional, hero of the video ‘Jed the Dancing Guy’ plugged into his earphones and jamming through the charming streets of Hamilton, ON shows this.

    The track exudes and procreates Jed’s confidence in the listener, encouraging enjoyment of the piece in its moment (indeed as Jessy reaches out on Twitter to say – ‘big ups to Jed’).

    Lanza’s colourful timbres and tone are reminiscent of the breathy, controlled ability of vocalists like Conya Doss. Her vocal style will, naturally, draw comparison to Jessie Ware and upcoming ‘art-R&B’ artist Twigs. “Kathy Lee”, nonetheless, marks a clear differential pathway for Lanza inasmuch as the track does not smack of confessional motivation or abject need (just think of Ware’s lyrics: ‘I need your devotion’ / ‘You’ll be my night light’). Furthermore, the visuals do not crave to mesmerize by aesthetically and technically complex design as Twigs is often praised for.

    ‘Fell in love with you boy, whatcha gonna do’: Lanza’s message is simple, uncomplicated. This rough-readiness gives an edge and realism to this simple message and mood Lanza seeks to depict through the music.

    Towards its close, the track develops into arpeggiated synth work, leaping through octaves  - a sound doubtlessly well housed on a Delilah track like “Go”.  Initially, this seems incongruous to the overall frame and subtle moodiness that Lanza so successfully depicts. Returning, however, to the familiarity of the swaying organ, the work re-acquaints itself with its underlying artifice – to perpetually challenge the listener’s ear and their physical response to rhythm.

    Pop-electronica, Rhythm & Bass or mood groove, whichever; none-ever – it’s very promising. Get Pull My Hair Back, Lanza’s first full-length Hyperdub LP release on September 10th.

    Hear Jessy’s track with Ikonika here: 

     

  5. Whilk & Misky - Wing Clipper

     
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  7. Kry Wolf - Concrete / BBC 1Extra Mix

    We posted about some tracks last weekend but we’re at it again. Kry Wolf has been on repeat. 

    Get a DL of the BBC 1Extra mix here, some real crackers on it.

    vbo

     

  8. Ben Jamin - New Day (ft Peace)

    Ben Jamin has a new EP out - ‘Radio Waves’. 

    Have a listen to one of the tracks, ‘New Day’, here.

     

  9. The Streets - Has It Come To This (Kry Wolf Edit)

    Here’s a nice edit of a Streets track we’ve had on repeat recently.

    Listen to Kry Wolf’s original productions here.

     

  10. Sam Smith - The Lonely Hour

    Sam Smith. This London-based singer will have, doubtlessly, graced your eardrums on the unexpected  chart smash ‘Latch’. 

    In his own right though,  Sam’s talent is enormous. His voice carries with sensitivity only a well-accomplished musician pulls off

    Here’s an acoustic version of his track ‘The Lonely Hour’. Let the legato glides of the cello and Sam’s powerful vocals serenade you.

    His initial dates sold out in a flash but there’s a few tickets about for 24th April @ St Pancras Old Church.

    Go on, you know you have / want to. 

    vbo