Weekly Roundup: what we’ve had on repeat

Image courtesy Poppy

From UK underground fusions of afro dance beats to grunge alt-rock by a former internet star, we roundup our favourite releases of the week. In no particular order, here’s what we’ve had on repeat. 

Ross From Friends – The Daisy

British producer Felix Clary Weatherall, better known as Ross from Friends, returns with The Daisy, his latest release on Brainfeeder and first single off the forthcoming album Tread. Continuing his abstract brand of IDM leaning trip-hop, The Daisy is a glitchy and texturally rich cut that finds influence in garage patterns and motifs. A treasure trove of warping machine sounds accent the track, whose soul is held up by a simple three chord progression that adds a deft touch of longing and pathos to Weatherall’s syncopations. There’s a quiet sense of peripety that flows throughout, making The Daisy thrum with a melancholic triumph and sepia shades of romance. The music video peers into the world of competitive Rubik’s Cube puzzle solving (“The Daisy” being one of the first moves in solving the puzzle) and features a cameo from Weatherall himself. Watch below. 

Mina & Bryte – Abeka Bugatti 

The debut EP from unlikely musical duo Mina & Bryte is a celebration of the sounds of West Africa synthesised with the pulse of the UK urban underground, released on Mina’s label Earth Kicks. Abeka Bugatti places its focus on propulsive percussion and traditional rhythms while storming through a gamut of contemporary African dance influences from gqom, afrohouse and amapiano, fused by way of Mina’s UK club origins. Bryte spits bars across Mina’s eclectic beatscape in multiple languages, presenting honest anecdotes on life between Ghana and London and the strange liminality of diasporic identity. It’s a fusion between two artists from disparate backgrounds, but who come together in their influences and point of view to craft seriously banging club tracks with some deep roots. Download it here and watch them perform the EP live below.

John Digweed & Nick Muir, Joe T. Vanelli – Play With The Voice (Twisted Vocal Mix)

Joe T. Vanelli’s 90’s classic, the soulful and lascivious Play With The Voice gets a techno shakedown from British producers John Digweed and Nick Muir for Armada Music. For their Twisted Vocal Mix, Digweed and Muir shatter the jazzy scats and screeching vocalisations of Csilla into droplets of sound that they pitch up, down and contort around a deep and dark tech-house beat. One moment a snarling, low pitched growl and the next a squealing dolphin-like siren call, the layers of textural synths and machine funk sounds are likely all formulated from the original track’s vocal bits. This creates a unique and intriguing auditory palette for Digweed and Muir to formulate euphoric, progressive and transcendental leaning dance music. It’s a robotisation of the original’s improvisational vocal play that honours the spontaneity while throwing it from Harlem into cosmic overdrive. Download it here.

Solardo x Maur – Power 

The latest release from Manchester duo Solardo sees them join forces with fellow tech-house duo Maur on a supercharged and bass thumping cut with tinges of old school soul and house. Power lives up to its apt nomenclature by building itself around a relentless, massive vocal take and accents the energy with spirited ivory riffs and sparkling synth arpeggios. A simple yet propulsive 4/4 throb provides the foundations for the theatrics to explode to meteoric heights, making Power a perfectly formulated party monster to see out the final nights of summer. Power is released on Ultra Music, download it here.

Poppy – So Mean

Few have had a journey as fascinating as Poppy. From early internet meme to surreal pop artist, her pivot towards nu-metal and industrial electronica was something entirely unexpected and game changing for the expectations of a YouTube pop star. She’s mostly found her groove and voice, and her latest single So Mean continues her alt-rock trajectory while mixing in her early-days sugary hooks for a pop-punk confection that is an instant earworm. Following previous single Flux with both tracks taken from her upcoming album of the same name, it seems the new era of Poppy is taking its cue from angsty 90’s grunge and riot-girl punk rock. For a star who is largely at the forefront of the post-genre era, we’re here for every bite of whatever she’s serving next. Pre-order Flux here, and see the music video for So Mean directed by Poppy below.

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