Top Five Releases || November
Duke Hugh - Canvas [Rhythm Section]
Rhythm Section is a South London record label run by Bradley Zero and has been going from strength to strength with each release since its birth in 2014. Never have we ever seen a label’s rise to fame solidify so quickly. This is partly due to their ability to uncover complete unknowns and nurture unique talent. Not to mention their devoted fan base that salivates over house, jazz and beats. Rhythm Section has helped the careers of artists such as Al Dobson Jr, Chaos in the CBD, Henry Wu and Hidden Spheres.
This month the Peckham based label released Duke Hugh’s debut LP, Canvas. The Dutch producer is the latest member of the Rhythm Section family. The back-story to his new found relationship with this label is somewhat of a fairy tale. In short, Duke with no established music background to his name, attended a show and simply handed over a green USB stick that instantly caught Bradley’s attention. The record consists of nine tracks that masterfully manoeuvre in and out of jazz, house, beats and even some folk. His style is a rare kind, the sounds he incorporates shows us that his creative thirst for dynamism isn’t quenched by just one sound. The three tracks of the LP that encapsulate Duke in the purest form are, ‘Butterflies’, ‘Green Leaf’ and ‘Believe’. The opener to the album, ‘Butterflies’, is a graceful ambient track with unpredictable cuts of funk - something you would expect to hear in a Bonobo record. ‘Believe’ is one of the most intriguing songs on Canvas. The break beat drums and the sharp echoing vocals gives the LP a stimulating feel. The guitar chords on ‘Green Leaf’ have almost an Andrés Segovia esque feel which is accompanied by an upbeat bassline that warms you.
These tracks only touch the surface of the art that is on offer here. Make it a priority of yours to purchase a copy so that you can experience the entirety of this enthralling release.
Kiwi - Orca [Futureboogie]
Bristols Futureboogie Recordings latest and final offering of the year comes from debutante Alex Warren AKA Kiwi. Alex has previously released on the likes of Optimo Music, Blasé Boys Club, Sneaky Music and has been supported by the likes Andrew Weatherall, Daniel Avery & Erol Alkan.
The EP is a collection of club focused tracks that feature all sorts of head turning components from the energetic Italo in our pick of the four tracks ‘Orca’, to the deep acid flavoured baseline on ‘Pygmy’ - certainly both weapons that you could expect the names above to spin.
Hi & Saberhägen - Kel [Yumé Records]
It’s been a patient wait since their alluring ‘Qyzland’ EP back in the Spring, but one well rewarded with Hi & Saberhägen’s latest release, ‘Kel’, arriving on the meticulously curated London-based Yumé Records. Both artist and label are fast becoming firm favourites.
Following previous goodness on the esteemed Huntleys + Palmers label as well as Proibito, the Scottish duos’ latest offering is pervaded with their unique blend of minimal but rich pad work, eclectic synth and warming melodies that produce four floating, wistful tracks. Left-field electro synth and craggy drums drive the A-side whilst the reverse occupies a more minimal and soothing ground; ‘Everything is Good’ standing out particularly with the sound of its wonky and uplifting tuned-down piano. From the warehouse to the sun lounger this record is at home – a highlight of 2016.
DJ Dog & Double Dancer [Rebound Lounge]
DJ Dog (DJ Fett Burger ) & Double Dancer open up the catalogue for Rebound Lounge with a decent five-track EP. The bouncing bassline of the A2, 'Rip A C', is complimented by simple percussive patterns and distant vocal samples. Ethereal melodies slide in and out of the song. The entire EP has basketball-related sounds strewn throughout. The track’s bound to be heard out if it hasn’t been already but watch out for the B-side of this record too.
Youandewan - Pinger [Eclipser Chaser]
For those that don't know, Youandewan AKA Ewan Smith is a Yorkshireman residing in Berlin who has had a very good 2016 with the release of his debut album There Is No Right Time on Aus Music which is arguably his best work to date.
'Pinger', also released on Will Saul’s and Fink’s Aus Music is an embodiment of the label that is proud to call Bicep, Midland, Huxley, Deetron and Paul Woolford family. This release doesn't disappoint - it’s a chuggin’, minimal, deep track, yet also ridiculously groovy. A delightfully simple synth and some classic drums make it so easy on the ear you could groove all night to it. The song has that gentle vinyl crackle that sounds excellent too.
Whether you’re reading the news, at a house party, or on the dancefloor in Panorama Bar, this song is an all-season, all-weather, and all-occasion gem – get around it.
Listen to the other two tracks from the release here.
Words by Max, Ben C, Marcus, Matt B & Nick D