Here’s the second instalment of ‘Artists of the Week’ where I’ll be talking about some of the tunes that I’ve been listening to over the past couple of days, both old and new! Let’s get stuck in…
1.) Azealia Banks
First up is Azealia Banks who’s just released her new album, ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’, which includes the standout track ‘Desperado’; produced by M.J. Cole. The reason this track stood out so much for me is that Banks is an American artist/rapper and, quite frankly, it’s rare to see a UK Garage tune make it’s way into the hands of an American artist (a popular one at that) where the music scene is dominated by Hip Hop/Rap, Pop and RnB. There has been a resurgence of sorts for Garage, with artists such as Disclosure bringing the genre a lot of limelight in recent years (even in America), but that’s another story.
Anyway, back to ‘Desperado’! M.J. Cole originally released this track back in 2000 featuring Danny Vicious on vocals. The song starts off with some jazzy piano, seemingly sampled off some vinyl, before that iconic two-step beat comes in accompanied by a moody trumpet solo.
When Banks lays down her seductive vocals you cat help but feel like she sat right next to you. It’s as if she’s whispering in your ear, as you can even hear her lips part to utter the next word (if you listen closely).
Azalea Banks complimented an amazing track sentimental to the U.K. Garage scene.
2.) The Isley Brothers
Next up are The Isley Brothers; suave, panty dropping, smooth operating, sex tape extraordinaires.
Their song ‘Between The Sheets’, released in 1983, may be better known as the instrumental behind Notorious B.I.G.’s Hip-Hop classic ‘Big Poppa’. This slow and soulful funk tune will have you gyrating your hips in no time as Ronald Isley’s silky smooth vocals fall over an equally as smooth Rhodes piano. A simple drum pattern and some cowbell percussion glue the track together, whilst a plucky “bowm” bass (you’ll know what I mean when you hear it) gives the track some extra funk.
I’d bet big money that quite a few babies were made to this song in it’s day:
Lone, a.k.a. Matt Cutler, is an electronic producer from Nottingham. He has a way of seamlessly blending together a variety of influences such as Garage, House, Hip Hop, and a handful of other genres with the use of bright and lively synth sounds and 90’s style Hip Hop beats/drums.
In his track ‘Airglow Fires’, from the album ‘Reality Testing’, Lone seems to draw influence from Jazz and swing before morphing those ideas into a mystical, glittery rave tune.
The track starts off with some crackling vinyl noise and a muffled kick drum before some swung ride cymbal comes in, which is eventually accompanied by a brushed snare drum and a thick, pad like vocal choir. Despite not playing any instruments himself, Lone’s music is still extremely melodic/musical.
Here’s a link to the tune, but that whole album is definitely worth checking out:
This guy is ridiculous. Will Keen is 20 years old, signed to prestigious labels Med School/Hospital Records and has already released an incredible album, ‘Life Cycle’, on which each song could be a great single in its own right. It’s not often you come across an album where you would listen all the way through, without skipping a single song to get to a favourite, each time you press play.
Keene has a penchant for blending together his two favourite genres, classical and drum & bass, as if they were never meant to be apart. The opening track on the album, ‘As One’, is an emotive track accompanied by powerful vocals. The song starts off as many other drum & bass tunes do – with a fast paced hi hat, some filtered break beats and vocals. Once you dive a little deeper into the album is when you realize that this is something a bit different.
Here’s a link to my favourite track on the album, ‘Nocturne’:
5.) ? ? ?
This next guy is here partly because I’m finding his work really interesting and partly because I think I’d have quite a hard fucking time effectively describing the music. So, without further ado, a man who’s music is similar to Marmite, in the sense that you either love it or you hate it.