Hustle Unlimited/When You Were Mine
From Bruce Springsteen to Sufjan Stevens and Mumford and Sons to D’Angelo, the list of artists who’ve had a pop at covering Prince tracks is as long as it is wide — not to mention as good as it is bad. Adding their name to that mercurial list Lambchop add their typically brilliant and idiosyncratic take on ‘When You Were Mine’ here. The disco-inspired lead track ‘Hustle Unlimited’ is champion too.
Si & Saberhagen
Still knocking out the goods on release 157, the ever faithful Lo — purveyors of all things kinked and skewed — come through again with an EP of intrigue and surprise. ‘Force Bolte’ cuts the Balearic disco rug literally into pieces and then reassembles in meticulous fashion. Acoustic guitar, hints of Prins Thomas, you get the picture. ‘Redacted’ finds form in some interesting tonal loops at hip-hop tempo. Varied other material awaits. We like.
This LA-based trio’s first couple of albums seemingly passed me by somehow, as I am not familiar with them at all. Judging by the intriguing nature of this track alone it appears I have some homework to do in the form of some back catalogue research. Needless to say, their forthcoming LP looks set to be an interesting, engaging affair as this is a cracker! Proper emotive, hair-tingling, piano-driven folk-inspired wonderfulness.
'Digging Beyond The Crates'
Inviting yet another well-respected tastemaker to have a little dig, BBE open the doors to DJ, record label boss (and former Swedish B-Boy champion!) Mad Mats. Via the various imprints he is involved in — GAMM, Raw Fusion and more recently Local Talk — he has always been a bastion of quality, open-minded music, and this EP follows suit as he digs deep for this diverse selection which takes in everything from broken beats and boogie to gospel soul and deep synth-house.
As the title suggests, definitely a track with AM appeal. But what is the music that awakens and inspires the soul everyday? Maybe uplifting strings, some mellow flute, a loose back beat? Add the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise, coffee, doughnuts and Cagney & Lacey after a dawn raid and you may be getting there. Assisted by Quantic it has all the usual quality hallmarks.
Another piece of subtle, sonic mastery from Dan Snaith who unleashes the third and final track from his recent (Daphni) Fabric mix. Starting with nothing more than a stripped back kick drum and hi-hat the aptly titled ‘Hey Drum’ is a lesson in repetitive, sub-bass fuelled minimalism and precision. Add a smattering of oversized, '90s-inspired, synthy, rave stabs you have yourself another ruthlessly unique Daphni special.
Kraak & Smaak's imprint can be a little hit and miss at times, but Dutch producer and virtuoso drummer Feiertag has been knocking out some good music of late. This whole is EP is definitely worthy of attention and there is certainly something here for all moods, as he shifts through synth pop, cinematic electronica and atmospheric house. Standout though is lead track 'Introspective'; a lovely piece of woozy Bon Iver-esque electronic folk.
Aurora Borealis Recordings
Jury may be out on this. There’s quite a few references that shine through — Krautrock, Philip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack, Hawkwind etc — but it all seems to be delivered in a heavy-handed manner. Certain sections tick the box, the back end of ‘Daughter Of The Cosmos’ for example has a sinister ambient undertone; but the rest lacks finesse and ultimately it comes across a tad mechanical.
'Some Love (Scrimshire Edit) '
Lifted from her 1978 ‘Chaka’ LP, this track, like the album it was lifted from is busting with talent. The Brecker brothers, Dave Sanborn, the mighty Airto Moreira, and Richard Tee all feature with Chaka tearing up this mid-tempo disco opus. And the edit? A cool rendition with a couple of clunky loops, but it certainly does the business.