I really must try and get up to speed with this whole blog thing but it’s the usual thing sorry just been busy but hey I would not have it any other way.
Last time I was talking about Quality Control and the up and coming show at Proud Camden. Well we had the event and it was hugely successful-check out the trailer from our last night which featured names like Tawiah-big.
Look out we have a year’s worth of dates coming: 18th July, 29 August, 19th September, 31st October, 21 st November and 26th December. Go check out the site for more information on Quality Control Music and of course if you want to perform at any of our live shows coming up then please send your music and details about you or your band to firstname.lastname@example.org
So with that done let’s go in with some stupendous Future Flavours all vying for your ears and your support from the tight production of Ragz, the brilliant Sampha, the Nordic soulfulness of Maria Dhalstrom and lastly the excellent Equals-let’s go in!
Ragz to riches?
Ok first up is the rapper and producer Ragz who actually featured in last month’s blog (in a small way) where I detailed his productive flair on the track Q’s from the rapper Oscar’s eclectic ep Cult. It was off the chain as the beat from Q’s banged like an innocent man in prison trying to get free-‘I’m innocent!’
For me the production was quite different and initially I was not sure but the more I listened to Q’s the more I liked what I heard. Incidentally the track features vocals from a singer called Richard Deux (a potential Future Flavour?).
So Ragz holla’d at me and it is safe to say that once I heard his debut fourteen track LP With You Now I was fully and undoubtedly satisfied as beat, after beat after truly ‘frustrated’ cantankerous sounding beats accosted me. From straight bars to really conscious bars that require you to listen very carefully to his word play, Ragz brings a tailored mish mash of hip-hop, rnb sounds, electronica and more held together by engaging verses. It was so good I went out and bought a box of Marlboro Lights had a long drag on a stick of that sweet nicotine to relax me after listening to such vigorous musical activity-‘phew that was AAAmazing!’ (can you imagine I do not even smoke).
Current material for your listening pleasure from the LP is the cut Anime Black and its accompanying video which is on point.
Ragz shows a creative eye for visuals with the video which is a surreal, slightly weird something backed by Ragz’s war like tribal production. The message in turn is unsettling as Ragz deliberates on subjects that revolve around mental slavery and indeed the need for us to step out of the matrix-me like it!
Like some of the tracks that he produced on Oscar’s ep, his debut might not initially get you but once it captures you, then enjoy the ride as fourteen tracks make you realise that a large portion of the musical out put right now is very same-ish. There’s an undoubted freshness dare I say slightly experimental nature about what Ragz is doing and it is brilliant. It’s no wonder then that people like Chipmunk and Skepta have already employed his services.
So what next-well I have been privy to some new beats from Ragz and the quality is maintained-a track tentatively called Won’t Be Long is ominous?
Sample the brilliant Sampha.
Up next is the Morden singer, songwriter and producer Sampha.
We cannot start off without of course bringing up the fact that Sampha had a feature on the cut Too Much off Drake’s album Nothing Was The Same (2013). The track in itself was absolutely brilliant but Sampha takes the track up a level with his cultured and distinctive serene falsetto providing a telling hook and chorus.
Of course the publicity off that Drake cut (now on a stupid amount of hits) is undoubted but let’s not forget that his quality and talent is obvious regardless of the monumental collaboration which has put him on the global music map.
The fact that he is signed to the Young Turks label is massive.
Young Turks have made it their business to sign only artists that are edgy, supremely talented and slightly left field of what the commercial world states is popular. Case in point they have the extraordinary FKA Twigs on their roster and they are also behind the Mercury winners XX. Sampha for sure is in the same league damn he’s so bad ‘he makes medicine sick’ (Muhammed Ali).
Work with names like the brilliant SBRKT on Never Never (2012),
Jessie Ware on the awesome cover What You Won’t Do For Love from her album Devotion (2012) where Sampha shows some productive flourishes
and Koreless on the thumping mellow vibes of Let It Go (2012)
All this music points to a name we need to watch carefully. Indeed the depth of music details a seasoned productive mind showing us something truly fresh in the midst of the occasionally mundane and formulaic musical output.
So off the back of all these crazy collaborations Sampha dropped his second solo project Dual. From that project I have to go to the gorgeous Indecision which is an exercise in minalism.
Aurally it’s Sampha going through the ranges on a modern day ballad accompanied by the ivories played by the man himself-it’s tidy. In fact it was so good I sparked up a Marlbora Light-‘ahhhhh, I have never experienced something like that it was AAAmazing!’ What about this number Without?
I have to say that I am contemplating stalking Sampha in a very nice way-you know maybe his coolness will rub off on me-be my friend Sampha- my name is Semper by the way so we like brothers right?!
A storm is coming-it’s Maria Dhalstrom
So we get all Nordic with the RnB/soul vibes of the Danish singer, songwriter and producer Maria Dhalastrom.
Facts are I have known about this brilliant vocalist for a while but I must admit I kind of forgot about her and as is the case in this day and age a plethora of other new music inundated my email. Thankfully Maria came with a banger of immense proportions to put her squarely on my musical radar-thank goodness.
Since our sexy Scandinavian moved from Denmark to London in 2009 to study music she has brought her soft vocals to banging musical numbers -go and check out her ep Feelings. In truth I still can’t believe I nearly forgot about the striking blond haired beauty.
2014 however and her cover of the 80’s classic Forget Me Nots (1982) originally by Patrice Rushen and famously sampled for the film Men In Black theme is tidy!
Maria’s cover features collaborative vocals from the US vocalist Jeremy Passion creating a smooth rendition which joins the pantheon of covers of this track as a great contemporary addition.
Further than that this cover (on a personal level for Maria) makes a statement that confirms her musical credentials for now and the future. From her on point delivery to the care free feel of the video complete with Maria (or someone who looks similar to her) in those white jean shorts, on a roof top (woof) –it’s simplicity to the core. The music is so good in fact that I had to spark up another Marlboro Light –‘you are so sexy that was AAAmazing!’
While the cover is her latest project Maria has a gorgeous back catalogue that stands out like a fog horn in a Buddhist temple-‘what the f**k was that?’. Numbers to indulge in; What’s It Gonna Be off her Ep Gloom–
Or how about the heart rending My Everything I defy you not to feel your heart to skip a beat?
Stop This Train off The Rendition (2013) project has further cuts that are dangerously sweet like a Yorkie to a diabetic.
Maria has really pushed her brand of contemporary RnB soul and I have been told there is more to come-can’t wait.
First among Equals
Last up we go to Dalston London and the musical brilliance of the duo James Lowe (producer) and Ade Omotayo (singer/songwriter) who make up The Equalsi .
On my forays through internet space where in truth a lot of medocrity resides the occasional gem pops up case in point The Equals I like them like warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream (yum).
Hearing their auralgasmic and interestingly named track Pyre for the first time I was so emotionally satisfied that I had to spark up a Marlboro Light “ahhh that was the best track I have ever heard”. Smoky, crisp synths, slow and insidiously building intensity while Ade’s vocals engulf. Ade is able to transmit his emotional spectrum in such a way that you feel like you are vicariously re-living his emotions.
Ade’s cv is rich with collaborations and work with some well know names; the timeless and brilliant vibes of Amy Winehouse (where he dropped bv’s for her), work with the productive nuances of Mark Ronson and one of the biggest name in music the one and only Quincy Jones not frigin bad hey?!
So of course let’s get to the music.
Well of course like I said there is the brilliant Pyre (with that hypnotic dance interpretation) which comes off their debut EP Single Soul. The EP brings the adage ‘quality not quantity’ to mind since it is only essentially three tracks with Pyre having two storming remixes as additions on this brilliant project.
From Single Soul to my personal favourite Trap (and of course Pyre).
These are tracks that sizzle with Lowe’s intoxicating and all encompassing production-it’s a stand out bit of music that caused me to finish the box of Marlboro Lights-‘that was A-A-A-Amazing-can I get a massage as well!’