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Compilations - Issue 593

HEFORSHE Vol. 2

Various

HEFORSHE Vol. 2

femme culture
9.0
The UN’s HeForShe is a solidarity campaign that looks to advance gender equality. femme culture is a fledgling record label and London-based DIY collective that, since 2016, has been doing the same in music. Once again here they come together for a compilation that raises money for the HeForShe x UN Women charity which aims to bring educational programs to various female populations around the world and create safe online spaces for women. It’s an important cause and a fittingly essential selection of music that spans club, ambient and techno and exudes quality and invention from start to finish. Big names bookend the 14-track offering, with Lone serving up his trademark glistening melodic house, but Nick Hoppner switches things up with eight minutes of beatless, springtime field recordings and blissful synth contours to close things out. In between is a vital and varied mix of rhythms, from the zoned out and deep electro of Klein Zage to churning mechanical beatdown of Rupert Clervaux. Hyperdriven drums and shimmering pads from Nightwave and cavernous 140bpm explorations from owwwls keeps things constantly on the move and one of the real standouts is femme culture’s own Elkka with ‘D Flaw’, a bumping gqom-tinged house track that’s worth your cash alone.
Kristan J Caryl
Taxi Sampler 01: Rhythms & Vibes From The Spirit Of Young Africa

Various

Taxi Sampler 01: Rhythms & Vibes From The Spirit Of Young Africa

Python Syndicate

Cross-cultural document
8.0
Attempting to document youth and music cultures from across three different African cities – Lagos, Maputo and Addis Abbaba – the new documentary miniseries ‘Taxi Waves’ by visual collective Crudo Volta follows similar docs they’ve made that focused on gqom in Durban and afrobass in Accra. This double-LP box on a fresh imprint launched by CV aims to showcase and nurture Africa’s underground scene and ranges wide across afrobeats, Afro hip-hop, afrobass, gqom, Ethiopian electronica and Kuduro – the result is a fascinatingly diverse snapshot of a vibrant and fast-moving array of musical cultures, all of them as informed by cultural roots as new global realities. That wide-remit and range keeps things engrossing throughout, whether it’s the already-acclaimed likes of Nigerian producer Young John or Mozambique’s maverick Ellputo or the afro-futurism of Ethiopian Records, TLC Fam, or Citizen Boy’s addictive gqom bustle-and-grind. A ton of fun for the head, heart and soul. Arm yourself.
Neil Kulkarni
Young Art Sound II

Various

Young Art Sound II

Young Art Records

More hooks than a fisherman
7.0
The first edition of the ‘Young Art Sound’ compilation was an exciting platform offered to rising talent, as well as featuring established figures such as Anderson .Paak and Mono/Poly. Volume two is inspired by a similar thinking and once again helmed by label boss TOKiMONSTA but perhaps casts a wider net in terms of genre, and it’s all the better for it. Robotaki’s ‘Systems’ is a scratchy, agitated groover of a track, its hook lurking beneath feedback and distorted synths whereas the Brook Bailli-featuring ‘Caught Up’ is more upfront about its pop sensibilities and Two Fresh’s ‘She Don’t Smoke’ channels offbeat trap beats. It’s TOKiMONSTA own contributions, ‘Strange Froot’ and ‘Dream Chorus’, that rank as the most memorable highlights, her first releases since recovering from the potentially fatal brain disease Moyamoya. ‘Young Art Sound II’ is a fitting comeback.
Lee Wakefield