Review: This Juno exclusive is a hip hop beat from Australia that has had props from Public Enemy's DJ Lord, no less. A heartfelt eight-minute medley from Brisbane's DJ Bacon whose title is a mash up of Run-DMC and Beastie Boys, it is said that more than 150 samples feature on the two tracks and the resulting collages are real bangers. "RUN-BST Megamix (Part 1)" skews iconic vocals, cow bells, stabs and punctured kick drums through a streetwise lens, and part 2 on the flip offers a more tender groove with soulful vocals over crisp hits.
Review: Having spent much of the recent portion of his career crafting high quality mash-ups and sneaky Jackson family re-edits, former hip-hop beat-maker Jorun Bombay has flipped the script a little of late. Like his previous release, "The Space Jazz-Funk Experience", "The Planets Edit" sees the Canadian producer getting busy with an all time intergalactic jazz-funk classic. A-side "Planet Edit 1" sets the tone, rearranging a space funk workout that's light on drums but heavy on Moog solos, drowsy electric piano chords, warm bass and hazy guitar riffs. You'll find a more floor-friendly outing on the flip, where "Planet Edit 2" underpins deep space synth solos with crunchy, head-nodding hip-hop style funk beats.
The Big Throwdown (Muro vocal edit version) (4:36)
The Big Throwdown (Muro instrumental edit version) (4:32)
Review: Japanese digger doyen Muro returns to one of the most important OG rap records of all time; South Bronx's ultra-funky, politically-sharpened block party jam "The Big Throwdown". The edit titles say it all; Muro's vocal edit really flexes Mike Serrette's vocals right down to the iconic gutsy 'huh!' chant and the big backing vocal rhythm while his instrumental version lets that groove run loose as the plucked bass walks cut through with charm and the keys spiral out of control in the best way possible. An stone cold classic.
Review: With their Mercury-winning 2014 debut 'Dead', Edinburgh trio Young Fathers set the bar high for themselves, which they met with 2015's follow-up 'White Men Are Black Men Too', and continue to do so with new album 'Cocoa Sugar'. Their third record isn't as brash and in-your-face as their previous two, but that's not to say that this any less impactful, instead 'Cocoa Sugar' is a stripped back, concentrated The group have a unique ability in that they can draw elements from a range of genres, with an outcome sounding in a class of its own and tantalisingly hard to define. Also, in their use off-kilter loops, gospel-esque vocals, haunting samples and breakneck speed verses, Young Fathers create dualities and contrasts that playfully subvert. Tracks like 'See How', 'In My View' and 'Lord' appear to tread into joyous and cathartic pop territory, before being pinned down by unnerving scraping samples and dissonant synthesis. It's these intelligently executed sonics and structures that make 'Cocoa Sugar' an addictive, thrilling and beguiling listen.
The Return (feat Thando, Jace XL, Alien & Whosane) (9:17)
Don't Give Up (feat Mandarin Dreams) (4:51)
Made Us Better (feat Blue Lab beats, Boadi & Lori) (8:33)
Review: After Sampa's magic debut album it makes sense she's been signed by Ninja Tune for a follow up. Once again here the Zambian-born Australian singer-songwriter and rapper is in excellent form, delivering slick, complex verses that she says are "the most me to date". Exploring notions of race and relationships, amongst other things, her voice is couched in gorgeous broken beat, hip hop and r&b production. Highlights are plentiful throughout - "OMG" is a funky afro beat, "Any Day" is neo soul in the mould of Erykah Badu and "Final Form" is a trumpet lead, warrior queen anthem to get your chest pumping. Essential.