Review: Given the critical reception rightly afforded to Tahliah Barnett's superb debut album as FKA Twigs, it makes perfect sense for Young Turks to rustle up a swift reissue of FKA Twigs, the four track 12" that announced her to the pop music world last year. This EP was the first instance of Barnett's ethereal vocals weaved in amidst production work from Arca that was at times floating, others crushingly pressurised. Naturally the effects of the music are heightened when combined with Jesse Kanda's mind bending videos ("Water Me" especially) but late comers to the magic of Twigs will be all over this. Do check "Papi Pacify" as Arca is on some "Cry Me A River" era Timbalaand tip.
Dr Dre - "Deep Cover" (Introducing Snoop Doggy Dogg) (4:00)
Too Short - "Bad Ways" (4:04)
Review: The "West Coast Classics" series has a simple premise. It offers up light-touch re-edits of essential West Coast hip-hop hits from the style's glory years in the 1990s. The latest salvo boasts two must-have cuts. On the A-side you'll find Dr Dre's "Deep Cover", the cut that introduced the world to future star (and now iconic artist) Snoop Dogg. His flows work perfectly over Dre's low-slung beat, which makes great use of smoky instrumental samples from what sounds like the soundtrack of a 1970s spy thriller. Over on the flip you'll find Too Short's lesser-celebrated "Bad Ways", which first surfaced on the long-serving Los Angeles mic man's 1996 album "Gettin' It (Album Number Ten)" and makes use of elements from Parliament/Funkadelic classic "Flashlight".
Review: Earl Sweatshirt's Feet of Clay album from late in 2019 was tantalisingly short in length, but not short in quality. The raw, woozy record found him exploring ambiguous wordplay that will keep you entertained trying to unpack it all for many hours. He himself described the 15 minute work as "a collection of observations and feelings recorded during the death throes of a crumbling empire" and it makes for a physical yet abstract record with emotion to spare. From gloomy and introverted r&b styles to more distorted jazz and loop beats, his silky tones always unify each track with great allure.
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: This is a first EP from a mysterious artist on a brand new label, and it's essential. The style is impressively lo-fi and carefree, and the moods perfectly alluring. "South Side Sample" is a superbly slow motion, heavyweight beat that draws you in deep and "SS" continues the loose, ramshackle vibes with off-grid hits and keys all embellishing the groove. "Mc Banger" is a rough edged house jam a la Moodymann and the perfectly scuffed up vibes continue on side 2. What a way to announce your arrival.
Review: Canadian beat maker Citizen Kane mixes up the golden era sounds of his production heyday with elements of soul and funk from years gone by. "Soul Survivor" here first came in 1995 on a full length, then got pressed to 7" in 2018 and now gets erupted by Treehouse. It's a laidback joint with bottomless kicks, swirling pads and free flowing vocals that sink you in nicely. "Scartown Beats" is a little more upright, with horn stabs and xylophone melodies colouring in the airwaves nicely. Both tracks are the sort of timeless tunes any hip hop head needs in their collection.