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1.) Jordan Rakei
Jordan Rakei is a multi-instrumental musician, singer, songwriter and producer from Australia. He started his career playing keys in bands around Brisbane and New Zealand before self-releasing his debut EP, Franklin’s Room, in 2013.
Since then, Rakei has released more material and gone on to collaborate with artists such as Disclosure, FKJ and Tom Misch, pre-dominantly as a guest vocalist, before his debut album drop early this June.
‘Cloak’ is a wonderful body of work oozing with maturity and artistry, so much so that you’d think this was the Aussie’s 4th or 5th release. From the moment you hear the first couple of notes, Jordan’s unique blend of R&B and jazz begins to seduce you as you’re lead deeper into an album filled to the brim with soul.
Watch Jordan and his band perform the closing track from the album below:
Unlike MCs such as Skepta, JME and Stormzy, CASISDEAD hasn’t seen the same limelight brought by the recent surge in grime’s popularity; despite the fact that he is still hugely respected. This is most likely down to Cas’ lyrical content and delivery, which is more laid-back and typically utilizes less hooks/punch-lines than your average MC, and favours gritty imagery and twisted humour.
Cas’ beats also often reflect his lyrics, what with the use of slimy synths, hard hitting drums and eerie vibes that linger like a stranger following you home.
CASISDEAD’s latest offering, ‘Before This’, comes with more of the same only this time he’s ditched the grime/hip-hop tempo for a slow and sluggish house beat. Although this track is much more ‘radio friendly’ than usual, it’s still got the dark undertones the London MC has become renowned for.
The perfect track for driving through your nearest neon-lit city:
Next up is Bonobo, also known as Simon Green, who we should all know about by now! His remix of Henri Texier’s 1977 track,’Les La-Bas, is nothing of the high standards we have come to expect of the London-born producer.
Bonobo has an incredible knack for leaving his mark on a song whilst staying true to the original. For this remix, Green ups the tempo a little and turns the original song into an all-smiling, dancefloor filling house track. He subtly adds some more percussion to the already existing arrangement, as well as a kick on every beat and a clap, and cuts a few samples from the original for some added funk.
Bonobo turns playful jazz number into a banger:
4.) The Busy Twist
The Busy Twist are a duo from London, comprised of producers Gabriel Benn (aka Tuesday Born) and Ollie Williams (aka Ollie Twist). They’ve spent a lot of time jetting to and from Ghana to work with a variety of musicians, whilst emerging themselves in the surrounding culture, which has resulted in them releasing some extremely unique music.
One of my favourite tracks by the duo, ‘Floor Excitement’, seamlessly mixes elements of the UK’s underground bass music scene and African styles such as Kuduro – the end product is extremely satisfying. Infectious African rhythms, catchy hooks, toasting and baselines that make you grimace.
I want more, and I want it now:
This next one goes deep. Enjoy!
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