Don Giovanni Records
700 Bliss is the Philly-based duo of DJ Haram and Moor Mother, both of whom should be familiar to anyone interested in hip-hop's future, and this debut EP has been years in the building. Where Haram's beats are more club friendly and Trappist than MM has been heard on before, the mix of Haram's Arabic-inflected beats and Moor's stunning Afro-futurist-feminist rhymes provides perhaps one of the most necessary and needed records of the year thus far. 'Ring The Alarm' is the kicking pivot here, a banger that makes lines like "That anti-black’s programmed in your head/Now you wanna steal my culture/Already killed my father/Now you wanna stop my bread" hit even harder. Magnificent.
Homeboy Sandman & Edan
Stones Throw Records
"Order a pizza like a fuckin' person/Match dot com like a online pimp/step to a girl in real life y' fuckin' wimp!" Oh man, this is absolutely fucking hysterical and totally accurate, and it's so fantastic to hear Edan back and putting together typically dazzling confections of psyche, funk and sheer wigged-out oddity. The album this single is from, the soon-dropping 'Humble Pi', is a brain-jangling delight throughout, and this is perhaps the only track on there that could qualify as a single (seeing as it doesn't disappear down a myriad of different sonic rabbit-holes). Particularly liked the line, "Internet journalism, here’s what you’re gonna find/ Everyone who can’t get paid for it does it online/Most of the ones online that’s getting paid suck too... fuck you!" TESTIFY BROTHER.
A self-avowed 'collection of songs for black and brown excellence', this is the first release-proper by 19-yr old Brooklynite Mike after some self-released 2017 projects like 'By The Water' and 'May God Bless Your Hustle' that alerted us to his startling, avant-garde voice. The sounds here, created in London and New York, are unerringly stunning, mixing lo-fi crepuscular loops and grainy dub with beats almost determined to deflect your expectations. Sometimes this music gets goddamned aquatic it's so diffuse and gaseous, but you're always firmly in Mike's stream-of-realisation, living his life, thinking his thoughts. This is what hip-hop can do. Seek this out.
The pre-release tweets from Pusha said that Kanye was back on the boards and mixing up his 'old magic': after West's recent car crash interviews and Trump endorsement, it's great to report that he is indeed back and focused on what he's best at, crafting stunning music for great rappers (and hats off to him for recommending T use a shot of Whitney Houston's ravaged final bathroom as a cover shot: tasteless yet compelling, just like the record). 'Daytona' is a delight throughout, West hitting the kind of pleasure centres Alchemist and Black Milk are hitting, but also giving things a sheen of instantaneous addictiveness, like M&Ms in a crack cocained shell. Pusha seemingly CAN'T sound anything other than imperiously great these days. Absolutely essential.The SoundCloud content at https://soundcloud.com/pusha_t_daytona_what_would_meek_do_kanye_west/sets/daytona is not available, or it is set to private.
Sonnyjim X Conway
'Death By Misadventure EP '
As you'd imagine from these two dissident talents, this is a compelling stroll from grimy streets to lurid clubs through velvet ropes to darkened dissolution: highlights such as 'Kevlar Tux' and 'Belugas' somehow manage to sound both brutally minimal but also populated with only those details (there's some fantastic nigh-on Turkish psyche vibes laced throughout this record) guaranteed to unhinge the listener, guaranteed to make Conway and Roc Marc's narratives sting with just that little bit of extra poison. Utterly superb.
Lee X Sniff X Nobodies Home
'Don't Talk To Me/Do Not Look At Me'
Two tracks, twinned, two sides of a similarly paranoid misanthropic coin, produced by the unknown-to-me Nobodies Home. 'Don't Talk To Me' is perhaps the most surprising production wise: the same kind of near beatlessness you'll hear from MIKE this month, weird hanging chords of Rhodes and creepy Hammond organ falling between the dark shadowy spaces of a minimalist Afro-beat. On the flip, 'Do Not Look At Me' allows some trap/drill details into the swell, but this is still uniquely placeless, spacey dub music for a new age of dread.
'Evidence Joint '
Yet more of that Buffalo, NY belligerence we've all developed serious addictions to in recent years, here backed by a fantastic beat from Evidence, following up his triumphant 'Weather Or Not' LP. Griselda look like they're limbering up for a busy rest-of-2018, and it was a toss up between this and the new EP from Benny The Butcher for inclusion on the page this month but goddamnit, Evidence has absolutely knocked this shit out of the park. Heavy fucking manners all round.
Ordinarily I'd chuckle, "I'll have a pint of whatever HE's on", but honestly, Rozewood's recent output has been so insanely great I'll actually just have a shot-glass of it. Actually, scratch that, a small spillage. Actually, just put a single drop on a piece of blotting paper and I'll carefully inhale it from a distance of several miles. The instrumentals themselves work like the best supra-phased pimp-rolling music you've ever heard — once Roze has slathered on his dreamy, blissed-out, broke-down vocals you get close to perfection. Superb.
'YungSwegLawd (Produced By Reklews) '
"I don't go to sleep, I just pass out... I don't dream anymore, it's just black-outs". After an absolute deluge of wonder from Blah already this year (stack them Bisk tapes up as quick as you can), here's a tasty shot from BJ's soon-dropping full-length of the same name, Reklews laying down a rock-solid thrum of funk over which spectral keys and lunging wubbly-wibbly bass help Josh's rhymes reach a lethal incisiveness and heart-rending reach. Simultaneously this track is both highly-energised and the kind of thing you want to bump out of your jeep window, and also horizontally miserable and the kind of thing you want to encase yourself in within your squalid room. As ever from Blah, unmissable.