L-Vis 1990 & Sinjin Hawke – Flash Alert
This tune is huge. Like, ridiculously huge. It switches between being a club banger, to explosions of ear shattering noise to the peaceful sound of flowing water (with accompanying alarm sound!) so quickly that I’m desperate to see how it would go down on a dance floor. A sea of confused faces is what I imagine, though all I hear is pure joy and imagination. The accompanying video works so well with the tune also. This is club music for a fucked up generation.
Future Brown – Wanna Party Ft. Tink
Another absolutely massive tune. Future Brown brings together the considerable production talents of Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri and J-Cush. Having only released two tunes to date (the other is a grime banger featuring one of my favourite grime MC’s, Roachee), I couldn’t be more excited for what is to come. Wanna Party is a master class in trap, all 808 bass booms and glitchy, hi-hat triplet patterns and hand claps with ominous bell sounds rounding it out. Chicago newcomer Tink provides the vocal and is a potential star in the making.
Kanye West – New Slaves
This is Kanye in furious mode. This is the best song from what is absolutely, hands down, no question about it, go fuck yourself, you’re wrong if you don’t like it, the best record of the year, Yeezus. A lot of shit has been said about Kanye this year (much of it self-inflicted, dude is a Michael Jackson level nutter), but Yeezus and this track in particular just sit there and speak for themselves very loudly indeed. No one else in hip-hop would dare release a tune like this as a single, nor have the imagination to even conceive of something as weird as this. The song is essentially just the same 16-bar loop, repeated ad infinitum, with the occasional boost from a synthesizer or a bass drum and Kanye shrieking over the top of it. Then it ends in an explosion of psychedelia, with auto-tuned vocals peaking like crazy. Where is that last sample taken from? Just this obscure Hungarian psych band from the late 1960s called Omega. Who else in hip-hop is doing this kind of shit? No-one.
Sophie – BIPP
Imagine being a child. You then grab a packet of Hubba Bubba and chew it all at once and experience a massive sugar rush and lose your mind momentarily in a daze of excitement and happiness. That is basically what this tune is. I don’t even really know? This is a weird song for sure (are those vocals male or female even?!?!), but it is undeniably infectious and brilliant.
Chance the Rapper – Chain Smoker
It took me until last week to finally listen to Chance the Rapper. I was always hearing about him throughout the year (and on that James Blake track) but didn’t bother to investigate. His mixtape, Acid Rap, kept appearing on end of year lists so I thought it was about time I did. Good thing too, because his mixtape is great and this is probably my favourite track from it. The hook is so on point, and Chance has a really nice flow, switching between singing and rapping effortlessly.
Grumbling Fur – The Ballad of Roy Batty
A beautiful piece of modern, British psychedelia to round out the list. Dense and lush, this song appears as a sort of paean to Here Come The Warm Jets, those guitar swells and doubled up vocals so reminiscent of the 1970s output of Brian Eno.
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