Making the first return to her regular stomping ground in Kode9′s Hyperdub label since 2010, Ikonika has unveiled that her next release will feature this track, entitled ‘Mr Cake’. Unlike the rave-inspired tracks she’s been releasing lately, it shares some similarities with ‘Plaza’, a track off of Girl Unit’s excellent Club Rez EP (released on Night Slugz last year). Ikonika has been using this one to open her sets recently and one things for sure, there isn’t much better than some synth-powered funk to get a party going.
Norse Projects get spring moving with their Shibori Series of caps…
It’s fairly clear by now that the streetwear scene is oversaturated - in fact, it’s more than clear – so I won’t bore you with another article that opens up with some bollocks on how it’s refreshing to know that there is still brands our there that aren’t afraid to step into the left field a little.
Actually, it’s difficult to kick-start this without doing exactly that. Norse Projects have really stepped into the left field with this one (I failed), dropping three caps that each look like they’ve been dyed in a tub of psilocybin. Adopting Japanese dyeing practices from the 8th century (you knew that just by looking at the pictures though right? Good, thought so), the Shibori dyeing technique is centred around a process of tightly binding and twisting fabrics together, resulting in distinctively complex or vivid patterns.
The caps will drop in three individual colourways of blue, green and navy. The navy cap, in particular, adheres to the distinctive and commonly recognisable Shibori patterning of closely knit, repetitional shapes.
Unfortunately, they’re still adopting the standard nylon strap, which seems a little anticlimactic given the striking aesthetics of the fabrics they’re constructed from. I kind of wish they had left the Norse Projects branding out from the front too, but that wouldn’t hold me back from laying out the €60 they’re asking for.
These caps are available from the Norse Projects store now and, as far as I can tell, they’ll remain an exclusive item. There is also a video below by Lacoste LIVE on Shibori dyeing.
-Click to Launch Gallery-
Words by Lloyd.
Kry Wolf return to their first home…
Opening with the title track, where you can hear hints to the duo’s dub/UK funky past throughout, the EP starts with a bang. Every now and again slight nuances of the production style employed in some of their earlier tracks chime in, whether it be through the oscillating bass lines, wobbling like something out of a old dubstep track, or the percussion that has kick-snare arrangements reminiscent of the UK funky that was prevalent a couple of years ago.
Like ‘Concrete’, ‘Bluffing’ seems like a bit of a nod back to times of old in the world of Kry Wolf. On the other hand though, it’s a fine example of the way the Kry Wolf sound has evolved, infusing desirable elements of other genres they enjoy into a house framework. Now although it’s a little more restrained than ‘Concrete’, once in full-swing ‘Bluffing’ becomes a relentless, booty-shaking roller, with plenty of deep chord stabs and glitchy vocal samples to give it some emotion.
On the remix duties for ‘Concrete’ is Woz, a producer who has been making quite a stir in the bass community with his high-octane, genre-bending tracks. Deciding to go in a ghetto-tech direction with the edit, Woz has given it quite a drastic makeover, but the track doesn’t loose any of its potency.
Last up is a remix of ‘Bluffing’ from Benton, another heavyweight in the British bass scene, who gives us a taste of what it might sound like if the Kry Wolf lads were still making UK funky. Although this remix isn’t exactly the most inspiring, I reckon you would be hard pressed to find someone that wouldn’t get down to it if it was dropped in the rave.
Not content with launching two of of the UK’s leading labels when it comes to releasing underground, imaginative dance music, Darvill and Francis want to utilise both as platforms to put out their own hard-hitting constructions. Like the Flood EP that was put out on Food Music earlier this year, Concrete is another indication that alongside the likes of Shadow Child, Kry Wolf are leading the way in the world of bass-fuelled house. These guys are definitely flying the flag for the UK when it comes to pushing fun and forward-thinking dance music.
The EP is out already and you can purchase it as a digital release from Juno.
Words by Matt
There’s nothing like some summertime vibes and we should thank the Birmingham-by-Cornwall duo that is Diverse for puting this bit of tropical house up for a free download. That brief taste of summer us Brits just experienced has really kick-started the anticipation for the real thing and upon hearing the playful chord-progessions of ‘I Was A Fool’, I was left longing for it even more. Some intense July/August sun would make for the perfect setting to hear this one and until the warm times return I’ll continue listening to it, eyes closed, pretending I’m already at a festival (well I won’t, but you get the picture).
You can keep up to date with any fresh material from these guys via their Soundcloud page (there’s a Tupac bootleg also available for a free D/L).
Words by Matt
After a week off it’s back…
Yes, another Destiny’s Child bootleg, but this one is really good. Versatile producer Real gives the R&B classic that is ‘Say My Name’ a disco interpretation and we’ve had it on repeat. Word is the download link won’t be up for long though so don’t sleep on it!
Killer Mike and El P were responsible for releasing two of the most interesting solo hip hop albums of 2012 and they’re now joining forces to produce a free album through A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold imprint. Fool’s Gold aren’t making us wait until June though, and have put this track up for a free download to whet our appetites.
Carl Craig’s excellent re-imaging of the track from the drummer out of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and Egypt 80 projects is given yet another reworking from up-and-coming house producer Detroit Swindle, and the lad has only gone and put it up for a free d/l.
To promote his forthcoming album, soulful songwriter and Ninja Tune graduate Jono McCleery is giving away ‘Painted Blue’, one of the tracks off of his new Fire In My Hands single. We recommend keeping an eye on this guy.
Bondax’s rise has been meteoric, but they haven’t gotten too big to give away a track every now and again. This time it’s a light and airy remix of California-based duo Rhye’s track ‘Open’.
Virginia born Kid A’s ‘BB Blue’ is given a reworking by one of If-Only’s favourites in Eliphino. The British producer turns the atmospheric original into a really nice rolling house track that’s free to download.
We loved the album LV made alongside Okmalumkoolkat and he’s gone back to the drawing board to give one of their collaborative tracks (‘Boomslang’) a re-imagining.
The original came out on the 6th and it’s caused quite a stir in the deep house community, getting plenty of playtime from a variety of DJs. With remixes from the likes of Shadow Child and Deetron already doing the rounds, this time Benoit and Sergio are on the remix duties and it’s free to download.
Words by Matt.
Synkro’s Acceptance EP was released on R&S sub-label Apollo Records in January and it blew us all away. Sounding a bit like an amalgamation of the stripped-back 2-step production style of Burial and the tech-inspired inflections of DnB innovator Rockwell, it was an excellent collection of beautiful dulcet melodies, ambient textures and syncopated garage rhythms that we can’t wait to hear when he plays out at Echo Festival in June. Now to prevent us from going mad in anticipation the Echo guys have been running a great mix series and Synkro has served up a brilliant blend of tracks for the latest instalment.
Echo Festival will be taking place in Croatia from the 6th-9th of June and you can still purchase tickets for a very reasonable £65+BF (you can also check out the heavyweight lineup here).
Words by Matt.
Hemlock and Hessle Audio stalwart Pangaea has always impressed with his releases, so it’s great new to hear that he’s launching Hadal, a label that will feature a three track EP from himself for its debut outing. It seems the Londoner likes to be associated with projects beginning with “H”, but according to Pangaea himself, Hadal isn’t so much a serious label and more “a series of self-released records, with no plans or timescales or anything like that”. One thing’s for sure, Pangaea’s HADAL1 EP seems to fit in with his previous releases, finely tuning his tracks into weird and wonderful percussion-driven techno hybrids that don’t dispoint.
The EP is set for a release on the 3rd of June, but in the meantime check out Pangaea’s Soundcloud page for more of his tracks.
Words by Matt.
When you listen to Jimmy Edgar’s music you’re taken through a cosmic soundscape of jagged, oscillating synths and ingenious sampling. Now, alongside frequent partner-in-crime Machinedrum he’s launched Ultramajic, a label that provides them with a platform to put out more synth-driven constructions and Edgar’s own Hot Inside EP will be the first release. A little more stripped-back than what we’ve come to expect from the Detroit native, altogether the EP is a three-track helping of forward-thinking, esoteric dance music, with a hint of nostalgia.
Hot Inside will be released on the 10th of June so make sure to keep a note of the date if you want to grab yourself a copy.
Words by Matt.
We get an insight into the world of Vanishing Elephant…
Marking their five year anniversary and the launch of their women’s range, we couldn’t have asked for more from the ‘A Continuous New Beginning’ collection that was showcased during the show. A departure from the warmer colours of their previous collection, the designer trio have employed some vibrant colour schemes in certain pieces, with a lot of it seemingly taking some inspiration from California styling. Buttoned down shirts, items assembled from cuts of patterned fabric and conservative styles with a contemporary twist, ‘A Continuous New Beginning’ is just more of what Vanishing Elephant do best.
Alongside one of the shows partners in Red Bull, Vanishing Elephant created this short film showcasing what went on at the show. With exclusive interviews from Russell, Bennett and Chan, the video provides an exclusive insight into the world of Vanishing Elephant and an insight into the inner-workings of the show itself.
Words by Matt.
Grind London continue to hone their sewing skills for Summer…
It’s difficult to find an independent brand that doesn’t stop at being an ephemeral screen print outfit. Granted, this does appear to be the route taken by most streetwear labels, but when a brand suddenly starts sourcing fabrics and cutting and sewing their own garb, it’s usually a sign they’re in it for the long-haul. Grind London are proving themselves to be one such streetwear label.
Grind London started down this path with an impressive few drops of shirting, varying from your typical tartan shirts to your more staple items, like their Japanese light-weight denim shirt. They’ve continued with their penchant for sourcing quality and unique fabrics since and their Summer ’13 collection is no different in this respect, dropping four short sleeve shirts that come in an array of patterning, which ranges from your archetypal Hawaiian materials to scenes straight out of the English countryside. These loud pieces are however balanced out by the inclusion of two Brushed Japanese cotton Oxford shirts, coming in blue and grey.
I’m always going to warm to a brand that don’t take themselves too seriously and aren’t afraid to inject a little humour into their designs, something Grind are seasoned veterans at now, thinking back to their ‘Politics as Usual’ and ‘Refined Thuggery’ tees. Their summer ’13 t-shirts thankfully don’t deviate from these aesthetics, taking a welcomed shot at the British summer with an assortment of pineapples, surfboards and, a personal favourite, the Merry Summer t-shirt, which features a jovial Middle-Eastern gent, sporting a pair of 99p ice creams. The Enlightened tee takes the crown though, looking like something you would expect to have found Terrence McKenna wandering about in, lecturing people on the finer points of DMT.
Accompanying all of this are a pair of Reversible Basketball Jerseys, featuring a typical Grind London Hip-Hop reference. It’s their shorts, however, that perhaps show Grind excelling themselves in terms of fabrics. This is particularly apparent with the Brown Tropical Leaf Shorts, a fabric that has also been put to use on a jacket, and a definite highlight of their clothing right now.
You can check out the full collection on their store now.
-Click Images to Launch Gallery-
Words by Lloyd.