Space Afrika - B£E (feat. Blackhaine)
Grien Chatten meets Mike Skinner in this collaborative project that represents the dirty underbelly of Manchester's fashionista culture.
"Trying to get rich at the top of the map". This single opens up with these simple words and after following Blackhaine for the last year I believe him. His work has taken him from releasing his debut album last year featuring Iceboy Violet to visual work with the Manchester Collective, just to name a few. This man is everywhere. Add that to the atmospheric heights of Space Afrika and you have a certified release representing the true culture of Manchester and the UK.
Space Afrika's classic atmospheric stripped down dub techno style works so well with the strings supplied by Rainy Miller, together with Blackhaine's vocal they paint the picture of the gloomy, rain washed city that we all know and love, a picture of uncertainty, love and loss.
For me this project is what represents Manchester right now because the collaboration is so huge. From the musicians themselves, to the cinematography to styling. Direction and editing of the video is by Rory A Wood, cinematography by Elliot Holbrow and Jessy Busgeeth, make-up by the living legend Alex Ogden Clark, styling by the one and only Cal Mac and photography by Timon Benson.
The styling is especially important in this video because of the juxtaposition that it represents. This 'dull' city Manchester is presumed to be is changing, money is coming in and fashion is at the forefront of representation more than ever. Brands such as MCQ and MAINS are representing the homeland with modern essentials like Nike, Valentino and Balenciaga highlighting the resurgence and necessity for luxury fashion in the city. Nobody besides Cal Mac could do it better.
Put all these people together and out comes this beauty of a single.
The duo of Joshua Inyang and Joshua Reid (Space Afrika) have released word of the album 'Honest Labour' which is planned for release in August and said "Ultimately this is a homage to the UK energy." We are very excited to see the whole finished project.
Crimewave - Expendable
The new single from Crimewave leaves me wanting more. I think that because I literally want to hear more from musician. The early single Ultraviolent Crime sounded like a fully fledged band with a distinct direction. Their following single Barcode sounded like a revisiting of the influences from earlier releases and it has to be said that Expendable sounds like a remix of Barcode...
The pulsating synth that careers into a Sleigh Bells style guitar lick feels like it follows a very similar pattern to the earlier single Barcode. However the glitchy production and treatment of the layered instruments shows a new knowledge from Crimewave. A new direction is coming? Especially with the bridge of this song that goes back to genuine My Bloody Valentine sensualities.
The greatest thing about this single is that the STEMS were given out for others to remix and what a remix we got from DO YOUR BEST label mate Another; Country $$$$. Sam Shorter has turned this tune into an atmospheric, abstract view of a child playing a toy instrument as the world comes to an end. The tonal layering of the instruments paint such a vivid image in my mind with genuine storytelling and hope. However, this is testament to the technological prowess of Crimewave to create these original STEMS and offer such a fantastic basis for other musicians to work with.
Visuals by Joshua Roland that go with this single are to die for and fit the angular, glitchy audio in a wonderful way. Go watch the video of an 8 bit guitar travelling through the sketchy cosmos of what looks a like an emptied swimming pool?
KJ Topp - Now I Feel Blue
KJ brings his new single "Now I Feel Blue' which genuinely sounds like a song of despair and regret with triple tracked vocals giving you a melancholic feeling in your gut.
With this new electronic, bright jazz guitar style that Tom Misch and Easy Life have brought to the fore font of British pop music, 'Now I Feel Blue' slips straight into a playlist of brand new 'nice' music that the BBC would put together. However for me it never reaches a crescendo that makes me punch my fist in the air but does bob along nicely.
JT Kobie X Ten 23 (One6Wave) - Mines
JT is a well versed poet, part of Young Identity and Contact and also part of One6Wave collective based up in Northenden. This dirty, low down sludgy hip hop track gets my arms in the air.
The fantastic production from Ten 23 keeps your head nodding with a fuzzy guitar lick deep in the background of the heavy headed bass that keeps this track stomping forward. Then JT Kobie's raspy vocals just cut me up every time, akin to DaBaby and Tyga, he gets me going.
Paige Kennedy - Crush
Crush comes straight at you like a Thundercat B-side with an angelic voice that wouldn't be out of place of Metronomy's 'English Riviera' . The fat bass line weaves in and out of all the other layers of this track, from scratchy chorus laden guitar to harp style keys.
Maybe their time with Donna and Bunny Hoova has brought about a new funky version of Paige and we are here for it.
The video, directed by Eggy B gives this kinda alien view of Paige, with the duality of the smart individual and Annie Lenox style off beat stranger. Check out the video below and then have a look through their recent chat with Fred Perry Subculture about everything them and their chosen playlist.
Alfie Sky - fosn
Crystal Castles + Sophie + Oneohtrix Point Never = Alfie Sky
An eccentric combination of dizzying electronic instrumentation and Alfie's nightmarish lyrics combine to bring you a track pulled straight from the golden era of British alternative synth pop, 2008. I don't think any of us stopped loving Alice Glass did we?
However, on 'fosn', you can see the influence of game soundtracks throughout from the pulsating guitar and glistening, crystallised synths. The upbeat tempo of the track keeps you wondering where you will go next from stripped back bridges to the bright sparkly chorus. The more you listen the more you want from Alfie.
Legs On Wheels - Milktop Mandy
Legs on Wheels on paper hit everything bang on for a fuzz laden psychadelic tune that weaves throughout early 70's California but this track doesn't cut it for me. It lacks power and anger and that punch in the face that they may well have in a live setting. With other locals bands like The Fruit Tones and Mister Strange churning out exactly that new San Fransisco sound that Ty Segall and John Dwyer have sculpted over the last 15 years.
Legs on Wheels earlier single Move Closer hits the mark really strong with that summer psych folk feel of The Lemon Drops 'Crystal Pure' however that's not where we are at.
A thing to note from the Milktop Mandy release is the wonderfully inventive video, with a keyboard and speaker monster playing keys and a variety of shots of the Geddy Lee/Frank Zappa looking frontman in the bath and covered in cream.
PS_Smiles - Old'n'Dayz
Another offering from the BTMKR Cult, "a Manchester based beat collective" as they call themselves. Antonio Barnes AKA PS_Smiles comes with this suave, lo-fi offering that sounds like something that came out of East Harlem in the late 80's and was a massive influence on Mr Scruff's 'Keep It Unreal'.
The sultry jazz piano and glass work rolls along on top of this track with such ease that I could listen to it for hours. Then the hypnotic and ghostly vocals slide straight in to give you that goosebump moment. I feel that this track would do great with some harsh Nas style vocals over the top to rip up this perfect hip hop backing track.
I urge you to keep looking at the BTMKR Cult and what all their members do because it might be some of the best beats in Manchester right now.
New music is coming out each and every day and we want to hear it. If you make something then send it over and we will review and promote.