5. Throwing Snow – Seren
The third and most recent track from Throwing Snow’s eighth release on Houndstooth: ‘Axioms’; a compilation of his three 2015 EP’s ‘Lumen’, ‘Glower/Clasp’ and ‘Xema’. Elegant synths, hard hitting kicks and a riff reminiscent of Oxia’s ‘Domino’ form an endearing minimal journey from start to finish.
4. Coco – Big N Serious (Prod. Toddla T)
Following the success of ‘Target Practice’ and ‘Big Bou Yah’, Sheffield-born grime devotees Coco and Toddla T team up once again for Coco’s third release on Toddla & Raf Daddy’s Girls Music Recordings. With a distinct Sheffield twang that is complemented by an intelligent and precise flow, it’s not hard to see why Coco has been tipped as Grime’s ‘one to watch’, and continuing to work with Toddla T definitely won’t harm his chances.
3. Kanye West – Ultralight Beam (ft. The-Dream, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & Chance The Rapper)
The release of Kanye West’s seventh studio album has been confusing to say the least. After four name changes and a series of mental breakdowns, Yeezy finally premiered an 18-track album at Madison Square Gardens on February 11, along with a video game which features his late mother, Donda, flying to heaven on a Pegasus. Yes, really. Anyway, despite Kanye himself still being unsure of whether or not this is the final version of the album, the opening track, ‘Ultralight Beam’ is superb. A gospel-inspired masterpiece that is complemented by beautiful lyrics from the perfect features, Chance The Rapper’s verse in particular could make even the biggest atheist feel blessed by God. Unfortunately, I can’t even share the track due to the mans ego being so big that he only made it available via Tidal. So head there if you can be arsed paying $20 a month. (Just torrent it).
2. Monika – Secret In The Dark
Track four from Greek star Monika’s 2015 LP of the same name; her third studio album and first on Other Music Recording Co. Recorded in collaboration with the Dap-Kings, who previously worked on Amy Winehouse’s 2006 album ‘Back to Black’, this brilliant tune embodies the perfect mixture of disco, funk, and soul. With a beat not too dissimilar from Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ and vocal elements reminiscent of Swedish pop legends ‘ABBA’, I know my mum is going to love this one. You’re simply lying to yourself if this doesn’t make you want to have a dance. Groovy as fuck.
- Alix Perez & Ivy Lab – Stop It
The fifth collaborative track from Alix Perez and Ivy Lab’s Arkestra EP, forthcoming February 28 on Critical Music. Beautifully executed Drum & Bass here; experimentation gone so right. Perez & Ivy Lab take halftime D&B to a next level, incorporating distorted bass and hip-hop influences to produce a really unique record.