Following on from our previous post, let part two of the run down commence.
6. Finnebassen – If You Only Knew
The appearance of Aaliyah in any form is usually a reasonable cause for celebration, something that talented Norwegian producer Finnebassen evidently took into account when sampling her sultry tones on the stellar ‘If You Only Knew’. Lifting a vocal hook from the chorus of 1996’s sublimely sexy ‘If Your Girl Only Knew’ (Jesus was that really 16 years ago), Finn has introduced it to some groovy, melodic and semi-deep house. Not dissimilar to the Adana Twins track we featured in part one, ‘If You Only Knew’ is given an extra edge by both its slightly bassier lower end and it’s distintcly R&B vibe. Whatever this genre comes to be known as, we adore it and challenge you not to play this at least three times in a row – we’re on our sixth spin currently…
7. Profisee – Where O’ Where (Produced by, and featuring Dems)
We’ve seen surprisingly little written about Edinburgh based MC Profisee‘s debut album ‘From All Angles’ – surprising as it contains excellent and varied production from the likes of S-Type, Dam Mantle and one of our favourite new bands Dems, alongside some very solid vocals from Profisee himself. We’ve made no secret about our love for Dems (‘Inner O’ is probably our favourite song of the year so far), so we were delighted to notice their distinctive work on ‘Where O’ Where’. Providing a backdrop of glitchy, soulful electronica, Profisee’s gritty rhymes then create an interesting contrast. Although UK hip hop has always been a difficult genre to market commercially, tracks like this prove there’s a definite place for it in everybody’s musical collections.
8. Zebra Katz – Ima Read (Feat. Njena Reddd Foxxx)
Now to a track that’s been bubbling quietly under several radars for the last few months and seems to be getting ready to “do a 212” – by which we mean it looks like this very uncommercial hip-hop track may go global and become the grimey cut of choice for the musically aware. Released on Mad Decent spin off label Jeffrees, which focuses on upcoming and slightly more leftfield producers than it’s big brother, Zebra Katz’s ‘Ima Read’ is a dark, dirty and borderline disturbing track that consists of an 808 thump and little else. Already having made an impact at Paris Fashion Week, Zebra is riding a new wave of openly gay NYC rappers who are both creative and bold in their rhymes and production (another excellent example being LE1F). Also featuring the vocal talents of female MC Njena Reddd Foxx, we fully expect this to induce spontaneous slut dropping in all who hear it.
9. iamamwhoami – Idle Talk
The iamamwhoami saga has been long, complicated and exciting. We would also proffer it has been too long, over-complicated and was getting a little boring (see what we made of the situation way back in November 2010 here). Seemingly aware that the entire world was collectively about to lose interest, the project/group suddenly started to spew out a plethora of new material, much of which has been excellent. Our pick of the bunch is ‘Idle Talk’, which is possibly the closest thing iamamwhoami have yet come to a fully formed pop song. Showcasing both the very current electronica and otherworldly vocals of Joanna Lee that define their sound, and wrapped up in under five minutes this could be a breakthrough for the group. How long they will continue to maintain their ridiculous name for however is another matter entirely.
10. Moullinex – Maniac (Feat. Peaches – Mercury Remix)
Our final pick takes us to a place that has been reimagined, covered, reworked and then remixed, so here is some necessary context to explain things: Casablanca Records is an American label responsible for many disco classics, a selection of which earlier this year were reworked by Gomma All Stars (various artists from the German Gomma label), with every rework then receiving a vocal treatment from Peaches. Still with us? These songs included, amongst others, Moullinex’s version of Michael Sembello‘s ‘Maniac’, famous for its key role on the Flashdance soundtrack. Just to confuse things further, Gomma has now released a series of remixes of the reworks and it is Mercury‘s remix of the Moullinex track which has been getting us very hot under the collar (now reward yourself with an alcoholic beverage if you have followed all of this). We know we’re guilty of certain instruments instantly snaring us hard, and the marimba, when handling a good melody, is one such culprit. This remix is all about the marimba, and that is all we feel we need to say on the subject.