Review: Veteran grime star and rap giant Kano uses the hoodie as a symbolic crux throughout his sixth album. It's an item of clothing often associated with criminality and errant youths, but here he re-casts it as a form of protection for young black men who have a wide range of racial and societal pressures to deal with. It makes for a politically charged album with shiny electronica next to stark and prickly beats, melancholic pianos and minimal garage rhythms. A musically expansive work that crosses many styles and scenes, but remains united by Kano's ever impassioned deliveries.
Review: Never an artist that anyone could accuse of doing anything by halves, nor one to resist wearing her heart on her sleeve, Natasha Khan here delivers a song-cycle based on a story of a couple wrent asunder by a car crash on the way to the wedding. Few could carry off such a concern with quite the required emotional impact and performative gusto, yet luckily Khan is one of those few, and 'The Bride' - helped along by her mellifluous voice, tasteful flair for melodrama and captivatingly baroque art pop stylings - delivers a tearjerking piece de resistance that may be her finest work to date.
Review: Ludovic Navarre aka St Germain requires no introduction, and the French house legend has literally seen and done it all ever since his first productions began to surface and influence other house artists back in the early 1990's golden era. The majority of his music has been released on F Communications, but his latest studio album drops on EMI's Parlophone sublabel. The self-titled St Germain is a proper LP, not a mere collection of house tracks put together helter-skelter. Inside, you'll hear many of Navarre's influences and inspirations, from Afro tribal melodies, to jazzy influences and even Middle-Eastern chimes. It's a house album in structure, but much more than that beneath the surface...as it always was from the legend of French dance music.