Sunday, 22 September 2013

This Week's New Music feat. Beck, Four Tet, Janelle Monae and more...

Looking at this week's selection, I seem to have an electronica bias. It wasn't intentional but I think I've just about managed to even things out with noisey dream pop and some hip hop thrown into the mix alongside a new track from genre blender Beck. I'll try and get some music with distorted guitars for next week to even things out but in the meantime, Enjoy.

Beck – Gimme

Beck had gone rather quiet these last few years. His last full length release was 2008's Modern Guilt, but he came out with a songbook of new material a few months ago alongside two new singles over the summer. This here track is another standalone single, featuring vocals pitch shifted about over a beat that doesn't quite come together till the end, harking back at the playful experiments of Beck's earlier career. This track is from a one off 12” though apparently a new Beck album, without this track, will see the light of day before the end of the year.

Four Tet – Parallel Jalebi

Four Tet has always seemed to cut his own musical path but with an ear listening out to current trends, from his first post-rock and folktronica releases to his more recent dancefloor experiments. Last years collection Pink was his most beat focus release yet and that trend seems to be ongoing with his upcoming album Beautiful Rewind. This latest track from the forthcoming album, Parallel Jalebi, follows a stretched out beat over a glitchy rhythm that propels everything forward as dreamy R&B vocals wash up and around it. His album Beautiful Rewind out on his own Text Records sometime quite soon apparently.

Helen - Felt This Way

“I have been playing pop music with some friends and we made a 7″. We’re playing under the name Helen.” That's what Liz Harris, best known for her ambient songwriting under the name Grouper, has said about her latest project in which she works alongside Scott Simmons and Jed Bindeman. The track features little of the acoustic darkness of Grouper's best known work, instead opting for lush and hazy dream pop. This debut single, backed with the b-side "Dying All the Time”, is available now on itunes.

James Blake - Life Round Here feat. Chance the Rapper

James Blake re-fixes his own track with up and comer Chance the Rapper. Chance's mixtape Acid Rap, released earlier this year, has won him a lot of acclaim and on this track from Blake's last recent LP Overgrown he provides an effective contrast to Blake’s soft vocals. This isn't James' first hip hop collaboration, following RZA's spot on Overgrown, but the workload here is much more equal, with Blake and Chance getting equal footing and improving the original turning it into a more lively affair.


SBTRKT made quite an impact with his debut album in 2011 following that with his live show. This track, teased from his recording session for his second album, after a stretched out introduction, morphs into video game synths and a hip-hop beat. At two and a half minutes the track doesn't quite feel finished, it sounds more like SBTRKT is still trying things out. Its more of a peak of what's to come.

Janelle MonĂ¡e and Solange - Electric Lady feat. Big Boi and Cee-Lo

This remix of 'Electric Lady' cut from Janelle Monae's rather brilliant new album of the same name features the now household name Cee-Lo Green and Big Boi, who lent a verse Tightrope, a highlight from Monae's last album ArchAndroid. It takes away some of the funk (though not all of it) for a harder beat allowing for rap veterans Cee-Lo and Big Boi to make themselves right at home.

The Field - Cupid's Head
I haven't got a stream of this one, just click the above link to head over the the Kompakt soundcloud page to listen. Cupid's Head is the first single from the ambient techno master The Field's fourth album. The album sees Axel Willner AKA The Field follow up 2011's Looping State of Mind by eschewing computers altogether, using only hardware. Still, it doesn't seem to be a big departure sonically, as all the familiar elements, spaced-out vocals and repetition, seem to be intact. The Field's new album, also titled Cupid's Head, will be released September 30th on Kompakt.

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