Gil Scott-Heron + Jamie XX – NY Is Killing Me (XL)
After a smash success with writing and producing last year’s XX album Jamie Smith set sights on the untouchable and has been a subject of criticism recently. Smith announced last fall that he was to undertake remixing (from start to finish) Gil Scott-Heron’s 2010 album, I’m New Here. This left many fans astonished (how can you top Gil Scott-Heron at his own game?) Now it should be noted that I’m New Here was curated and produced by Richard Russell, owner of XL Recordings – a label that has been pushing boundaries in electronic music for at least 2 decades now. So XL’s release of We’re New Here (February 21) this sort is no surprise. And the result is much better than most people anticipated. Smith received much acclaim for his treatment of the original material and Heron for his incredible voice. The above video for “NY is Killing Me” takes the original track to another new level of contemplation and groove and shows that Smith ifs a producer we shouldn’t have doubted on this forward-thinking project.
Move D – Sur un Bateau avec Eric (Uzuri)
Move D has this way of making luscious delayed chords swirl and build for minutes on end, begging for resolve.. but he makes you wait. At 9 minutes long the song does find resolution through slow pace of layers coming and going to a deep house grove – and it’s gorgeous. London’s Uzuri label releases number 14 this week and I can honestly say I’ve been waiting two years for this record to drop. It first appeared on Move D’s Resident Advisor mix in October 2008, a mix that didn’t leave my ears as a result of “Sur un Bateau avec Eric” and “Heidelberg Gals” (which is equally amazing.)
Ill Blu – Meltdown (Numbers)
North London production duo Ill Blu return with a new EP titled Meltdown on Glasgow-based Numbers imprint, after their well-received ‘Bellion/Dragon Pop’ 12″ on Hyperdub last Summer. Their official releases preceded original, unreleased/exclusive productions which appeared on DJ sets from dubstep and UK funky luminaries Kode9 and Marcus Nasty, not to mention countless remixes for everyone from grime/UK funky rapper Shystie to Jamaican dancehall superstar Mavado and the indie-pop band Hot Chip. Gleaming production values combined with a knack for relentless percussive elements and undeniably bouncy rhythms, the Meltdown EP is Ill Blu’s finest pieces of work to date.
The New York based Falty DL is an album guy. He pays a lot of attention to full lengths and long EPs. But he steadily releases singles in between, and a lot of them are worth their weight too – like this here remix of Take. This one finds him exploring the housier side of things, and it’s pretty basic in progression, but introduces new elements regularly and he rearranges them effectively throughout as well. Woody finger cymbals layered over a familiar kick snare pattern drive the cut. Quickly after it begins, a collaged snare sneaks in alongside some reverb drenched vocals just as an amelodic synth rises like steam from the heat of the floor and some subs add a bit of weight. Then a bass pad loop is interjected, matched with some shakers and sliding brushes. But they soon join the track as layers, becoming a part of the larger scheme of things while new synths seem to drip melodica in the opposite direction of gravity. A toaster ping alerts a new section, then claps and pops get added to the mix. Bright wobbly melodies meet some blocky rambles and the track continues on with a comfortable blend of numerous elements. [BUY IT]