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Top 10 releases: July 2014

Tunes, glorious tunes! Here are ten standouts from this month...

Tokyo Prose & Riya 'Waiting On' / Samurai / 7th July

This is the first taste of Tokyo Prose's forthcoming debut album 'Presence' and it's soothing drum'n'bass at its best. Vocalist Riya takes on a different tone to her usual, letting her silky but clear vocals sail over the tumbling d'n'b percussion. Tokyo Prose is a New Zealand born, UK based producer who swims in the liquid end of his genre - look out for our review of his album next week.

Oliver Huntemann 'Blitz' / Senso Sounds / 21st July

Good to hear Oliver Huntemann back in the producing game, providing the first release on his new label Senso Sounds. It's textbook Huntemann, with a bajillion minutes of slow build, which kind of feels like intro, kind of feels like song, then just when you think that's it, dropping like a dead weight into a delicious, dark and heavy onslaught. Like all Huntemann tracks, good speakers are essential - and feel free to play volume DJ just before the drop for extra effect.

Luca Cazal 'Mariri' / Crosstown Rebels / 21st July

This is the first time Cazal has released his studio toils as a solo artist, usually involved with Infinity Ink, Luca C & Brigante, Invisible Cities or Hot Natured. The cyclical vocals started life as a field recording in Peru, to be finally woven in and out of this tech house track with expert skill. This might not be the monster track on the dance floor, but there's something playful and appealing that has stuck in my head for weeks.

Groove Brothers 'Everyday' / On A Mission Records / July

[Second track on soundcloud player] The Groove Brothers music - does exactly what it says on the tin. Smooth, grooving tunes for the hours on the outskirts - both the start of the night and final hours of the morning afters. The Groove Brothers is a collaboration between Jef K and Rhythm&Soul, and provides the perfect avenue for label On A Mission to push the relaxing house sounds they're all about.

Georgia 'Digits' / Kaya Kaya Records / 21st July

A tip-off from the glorious Leftfield, of 90s electronica fame, led me to Georgia. A london girl, she writes music with attitude, her feminine vocals skipping over heaving, chunky bass lines. The retro synth in Digits trips over itself like a suped up 80s computer game - something a similar Scottish producer Rustie would froth over big time - they should totally collaborate.

H.O.S.H. & Andhim 'Captain' / Diynamic / 21st July

As H.O.S.H. puts it, Captain is the final piece of his Forever Young puzzle, a project which saw him release several EPs of varying style with some personal thematic connections. For this final offering H.O.S.H. has teamed up with the lovable German fruitcakes Andhim, who feature often in this Spotlight series and seem to bring out the best in all their collaborators. The sense of the sea voyage is strong in Captain, with melancholy, searching synths roving slowly throughout the track, creating an epic, sombre mood.

Four Tet 'Crush' (Photomachine remix) / Text / 14th July

Earlier this month Four Tet released a remix package of several tracks from his most recent album Beautiful Rewind. My favourite is Photomachine's take on Crush which, like Huntemann's Blitz, leaves a surprise for listeners towards the end. Soft, felty xylophone chimes lull you into a false sense of security for most of the track, built upon with harmless swirling synths before the floor is suddenly yanked from under you and you're thrown into a hollow, sparse but enticing rave session.

Syd Arthur 'Hometown Blues' (Psychemagik remix) / free download / 29th July

Psychemagik deserve some sort of medal in the remixing/unearthing department, consistently finding gems from forgotten corners of the world's music collection and turning them into new classics with some well placed edits and synths. That description perhaps isn't quite fair to Syd Arthur in this case, a young band by no means residing in a dusty forgotten corner, but nevertheless expertly grooved by our heroes of the remix. Free download folks, get involved!

Ripperton 'Unfold' / Innervisions / 14th July

This one comes from the latest Innervisions release, Secret Weapons EP. One of six tracks, Unfold struck a chord in particular with moody, sweeping tones that set a dark mood. It's slightly unsatisfying, never quite reaching a peak and yet I can't get my head out of this slow moving, eerie audio landscape.

Nehruvian Doom 'Om' / Lex Records / 25th July

I discovered Bishop Nehru at Ibiza Rocks when he supported Nas, who was making a memorable Balearic stop-off on his Illmatic anniversary tour. Nehru was confident, charasmatic, talented and seventeen years old - what a creep, I'm overwhlemed by inadequacy. This cruising single is a taste of an upcoming album where Nehru collaborates with the more established hip hop head, MF Doom. And there's helium-balloon-voice action at the end, bonus!

WORDS | Jordan Smith

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