Hey everyone, hope you’re all doing well! Excited for this new weekly roundup, some amazing releases from the past couple of weeks! Without further ado, let’s get into them!
Westside Gunn continues his streak of incredible albums with his Shady Records debut WHO MADE THE SUNSHINE
On his Shady Records debut WHO MADE THE SUNSHINE, The Buffalo, New York emcee and creative visionary uses the same formula that has worked for him for the last few years. With additional production from legends like Alchemist, Just Blaze and Conductor Williams, Westside Gunn is focused and still determined to prove why he is one of the most exciting artists today. Griselda have been going from strength to strength, and Westside Gunn has exceeded all expectations yet again, producing an album that is bold, soulful, cohesive and dense. Go listen to WHO MADE THE SUNSHINE, one of Westside Gunn’s best projects to date and one I will be listening to for a while. Read more
Before EP and James Blake’s legacy on modern music
James Blake has remained one of the most unique artists to grace the stage, remaining consistent and always finding a way to shock and impress. His unique sound has remained one of the most thrilling things to come out of music in the last 10 years and his ability to constantly push the boundaries of sound within music is something I’ll always be mesmerised by. Before EP is a confident body of work, embracing the same level of experimentation he attained in 2010 – 2011. His incredibly lavish sound is personified through a gorgeous vocal performance that levels with some of the modern icons in music. This project is incredible, and James Blake continues to exceed and excel as a musician. Read more
Machinedrum – A View of U
Machinedrum’s music has defied genre throughout his career. Electronic releases such as 2013’s Vapor City and 2016’s Human Energy have been among my favourite releases of his, and his brand new project A View of U is equally as captivating as everything he has released recently. With features like Mono/Poly, Freddie Gibbs, Jesse Boykins III and Father among others, it was clear to me from the start that this project would be an eclectic, musically varied and textured release. I was not wrong. From the jump, the fast-paced and twisted opener “The Relic” featuring Rochelle Jordan sets the tone and tempo for the rest of the album. Freddie’s verse on “Kane Train” is focused and concise. “1000 Miles” featuring Sub Focus is another amazing highlight, with a dynamic, driving, drum and bass beat and synth melodies that sound ethereal and atmospheric. The album as a whole contains purely euphoric moments, as well as a visceral energy that is just incredible throughout. One to listen to and support for sure!
Dougie Stu – Familiar Future
Oakland, California producer Dougie Stu has released a stellar new jazz release titled Familiar Future, and it is something I absolutely love upon first listen. Firstly, the drumming throughout is exquisite, giving the project this bass-heavy and groovy rhythm that is channeled through every track. The synth and horn sections throughout the project are incredibly composed, and examples include the stunning 8-minute thriller “Wind Chaser” and the guitar-led odyssey “Joyride”. It’s a joyful, upbeat and super engaging body of work that channels so much incredible and infectious energy that it is impossible not to at least bob your head back and forth. A great album for sure!
Fatboi Sharif & Roper Williams – Gandhi Loves Children
Roper Williams has become one of my favourite producers this year. His intricate, sometimes eerie and off-kilter production has remained one of my favourite discoveries recently, and his new collaborative project with talented emcee Fatboi Sharif is another excellent moment for both musicians. Ghandi Loves Children is an animated album, with 14 tracks of strange soundscapes but incredibly well written raps that sound incredible throughout. It’s an album that flows effortlessly throughout, and tracks like “Fly Pelican” featuring YL, “Arsenic” and “Nasty Man” being personal highlights for me. The way Fatboi Sharif is able to compose his verses is crazy to me. His verses witty, introspective and incredibly memorable, and with Roper Williams has released one of the best hip-hop albums so far this month. One to support for sure!
Small Professor – A Jawn Supreme (Vol. 3)
Philadelphia producer Small Professor has released the third installment in his A Jawn Supreme instrumental series, and it’s an incredible body of work. With crazy, thumping production, as well as piano and synth led compositions, the talented artist really exceeded all expectations with a project that is lively, funky and so soulful. Tracks like “unleash the guru” and “whatever’s clever” are beautifully textured, with intricate synth and drum-led compositions that are just crazy throughout. The project is fantastic and I definitely recommend you check it out!
J’Von – THUNDERBOY
Seattle-based musician J’Von has released a brand new project titled THUNDERBOY and it is truly a phenomenal body of work. All self-produced and self-written, this hip-hop project features some incredibly soulful and head-nod heavy production, with lyrics that are personal and inspiring. His flow and the beat on tracks like “baby mama” are crazy, while the soul sample on “sincerely” featuring Zack Villere is another incredible moment on the album. It’s the flow and sequencing on the project, as well as the raw and inspiring energy throughout that makes it one of the more exciting releases this week.
Bradford Thomas – Bradventure III
Yeah Ohbliv is an established great. The Richmond, Virginia producer has been making some of the craziest beats for the last decade or so, and through his Bradford Thomas alias has continued excelling and exceeding expectations as one of the most innovative and influential producers of this generation. Bradventure III is no different, with incredibly lush and soulful production that is just so smooth and soulful. “Para Minha Senhora” and “Always” are examples of his lavish, smooth and incredibly soulful production. I’ll just let the music do the talking, but I’ll tell you lot – prepare for a lot of head-nodding and stank face reactions. This is one to support!
KARU – [BMR025] Kuru
Italian multi-instrumentalist Alberto Brutti aka KARU has released a dynamic and percussion-heavy jazzy/hip-hop project titled [BMR025] Kuru. It’s a pretty dense release, with incredible horn and synth melodies that are complemented by heavy percussion and drumming that carry the thick groove of his music. Tracks like “A1. Selva” are examples of this eclectic, heavy sound, with fierce horn melodies and wailing, angst-driven moments that make it a fascinating listen. The eclectic and electronic “B2. Root” is another heavy moment on the project, as its overpowering melody is just crazy throughout. The unapologetic sound he is able to make is truly mesmeric, and the more I listen to this project, the more I’m drawn in by its pure energy. Go support!
Mariana Zwarg Sexteto Universal – Nascentes
Something a little lighter to end this roundup off, Rio De Janeiro-based sextet Mariana Zwarg Sexteto Universal have released a playful and incredibly rhythmic new project titled Nascentes. Mariana Zwarg, who is in the centre of this group, is a talented flutist, composer and arranger who’s career has spanned 18 years or so. Her new musical endeavour is a few years in the making, and with a talented group of musicians behind her, she is able to show exactly why she is a musician we should be all paying attention to. The sweet grooves and rhythms of tracks like “Viva Hermeto” and “Entre os Girassóis” are examples of her skills as a producer and her ability to create lavish and beautifully composed music. The smooth jazz and funk throughout makes this an inspiring a beautiful release.
Westside Gunn – The Butcher and The Blade ft Benny The Butcher & Conway The Machine (WHO MADE THIS SUNSHINE)
Westside Gunn – All Praises ft Boldy James & Jadakiss (WHO MADE THIS SUNSHINE)
Westside Gunn – Good Night ft Slick Rick (WHO MADE THIS SUNSHINE)
James Blake – Before (Before EP)
James Blake – Do You Ever (Before EP)
Machinedrum – 1000 Miles ft Sub Focus (A View of U)
Dougie Stu – Wind Chaser (Familiar Future)
Small Professor – unleash the guru (A Jawn Supreme (Vol.3))
J’von – baby mama (THUNDERBOY)
Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin – Mind Right ft Liv.e (Single)
Goya Gumbani & Oliver Palfreyman – Fight for Love ft George Riley (Single)
Teebs – WLTA (Ardour (10th Anniversary Edition))
Bbymutha – Dream Sequence (Muthaland)
Mariana Zwarg Sexteto Universal – Viva Hermento! (Nascentes)
Sun Ra – The Sunny Side of the Street (The Other Side of the Sun)