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Singles - Leftfield - Issue 563

Manu Delago

A Step feat. Pete Josef

Tru Thoughts

9.0
You know when a track just lifts you out of what you are doing — regardless mood, time, location etc. — and just takes you elsewhere? You know when you suddenly realise you've been gazing off into the middle distance just immersed in what you're listening too for the last five minutes? You know when a track just gets you right in the heart? Well this is one of those tracks. Beautiful in absolutely every way.

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve

'Black Crow '

Phantasy Sound

8.5
‘Black Crow’ could arguably be the best alternative Bond Theme never written. Soaring strings, beautiful orchestration, timeless arrangement, it’s the kind of classic British psychedelic pop that could easily pre-date its date of inception. Mind you, that holds true for much of 'Soft Bounce’ (Erol Alkan and Richard Norris’ first album proper), which feels like a real coming of age for this gifted duo.

Strobes

'Brokespeak sampler'

Blood & Biscuits

7.0
Giving The Comet Is Coming a run for their money in the weird and wonderful world of uneasy listening, this new sampler from Strobes — comprising of members of Three Trapped Tiger and Squarepusher’s band — may be all about off-kilter patterns, complex polyrhythms and weird electronics but at its heart it’s all about free-thinking, freewheeling intelligent music making. Diligent math rock for fans of Battles and the like.

BADBADNOTGOOD

'Chompy’s Paradise'

Innovative Leisure

7.0
There appears to be some confusion as to exactly where BBNG fit into the wider musical picture. They seem to have been typecast within the whole hip-hop/beats type ‘vibe’. Their most recent album ‘IV’ however, bears very little resemblance to that one-dimensional tag; encompassing the depth and breadth of jazz, soul, psych soundtracks and electronica. This soiree into soporific jazz serves to blur the lines even further. A class act.

William Tyler

'Highway Anxiety '

Merge Records

7.5
This song from William Tyler’s much lauded ‘Modern Country’ LP was apparently inspired by an attack of agoraphobia back in 2013 in which he drove off the interstate he was travelling on and onto small back roads in search of some respite. You may expect the song therefore to relay a certain sense of urgency, tension or discomfort. Instead this beautifully gentle, dreamy and emotive guitar speaks of calmness serenity and beauty. Americana of the highest order.

Arandel

'Hocus Bogus'

Infine Music

7.5
Born out of a full-length mixtape called ‘Bog Bog The Electronic Ladyland Mix’ — curated by Arandel over the course of a year and a half — the actual concept behind this release (focusing on women in electronic music) is arguably slightly stronger and more interesting than the release itself. Nonetheless anything that re-addresses the balance and celebrates the many pioneering, unsung heroes of electronic music gets a thumbs up from us.

Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band

'P.I.M.P '

Big Crown

7.5
There’s been a real slew of brass band/steel band-type cover bands springing up of late. Problem is, once you’ve heard one, you’ve pretty much heard them all, and unless they’re doing something different, it can get somewhat monotonous. Thankfully, The Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band are one such band. Yes, they’re a steel band who do covers, but they have that special something that elevates them above all competition.

Lets Eat Grandma

'Sax And The City '

Transgressive

8.5
If their name alone wasn’t enough to intrigue you, then one look at the creepy, nightmarish video for LEG’s latest track (which finds them crawling around London in pink Victorian baby costumes) most definitely will be. It’s easy to forget these two sisters are only 16 and 17 respectively, especially when you consider the bold and brave creative nature of their music, which is wise well beyond its years.

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations

'Tame In The Water '

Record Kicks

6.0
Despite enlisting the help of the mighty Malcolm Catto (Heliocentrics , DJ Shadow, QSO etc.) on production and surrounding herself with a new band, this single from Hannah Williams still doesn’t quite hit you in the soul or sternum in quite the way you’d hope. No question she has a great voice, but it always feels like it lacks a bit of emotion, a bit of grit, a bit of suffering, life experience, if you like.