ROME FORTUNE FEAT. FOUR TET – “LEADERS”
From Burial to Omar Souleyman, the capricious Four Tet has always collaborated with whomever he pleases. And in case you hadn’t already realised, Kieran Hebden also has a soft spot for hip-hop. Rome Fortune is the aquamarine-bearded ambassador of Hebden’s pro-rap tendencies, taking charge with poise-flowing passages about clinching one’s destiny. “Dollars burn, dreams don’t / I done learnt, dreams won’t hurt ya / Why you turn green, bro? / True beliefs make you soldiers,” the Atlanta emcee preaches with sangfroid, as Hebden has his back with a smooth production of organic break-beats and pecking synth-arpeggios.
JESSIE JONES – “LADY LA DE DA”
Folk enchanters often conjure tales of broken hearts, solitude, the gift of Gaia, and other lyrical ‘la de da’ that intends to jerk tears or wanderlust outta us. The ex-frontwoman of California’s Feeding People, Jones relies on much more than the mere gravitas of a gripping vocalist – not that Jones isn’t. On this Woodstock-friendly lullaby, Jones sails through wafts of psychedelia – sitar twangs, discordant violins, reverse-delayed guitars and meditative tribal percussions – like a forest nymph taking the form of a blues-y Joanna Newsom. This is a story told through a psych-folk voyage; one that gets hippies’ “Namaste” of approval.
KIDNAP KID – “FALL”
Kidnap Kid nabbed our attentions last year with his remixes for Jessie Ware and Submotion Orchestra, and we’ve been struggling with a crippling case of Stockholm Syndrome ever since. Back with a dark deep house earworm as shadowy and smooth as Black Butter – aptly, the imprint he shares with Gorgon City and Wayward – this kid hooks us yet again with smoky vocal spurts, sweeping filtered synths and sonorous pianos with reverb set on ‘forever’. It’s also the London beatmaker’s first production in over a year, proving to us all that he’s not fallen in his absence.
NIILAS – “OCELOTE”
Hopping aboard the Norwegian wonky-wagon – currently being tugged by the likes of Lido – Peder Niilas is one producer who’s swiftly gaining traction, at the tender age of 18. Like many kids who grew up in that region of Scandinavia, Niilas was first roped into music by electronica-experimenting natives like Röyksopp and Erlend Øye, but eventually stumbled into the wonky deep end with trailblazers like Cashmere Cat. Now unleashing a ‘cat’ of his own, Niilas’ “Ocelote” prowls with rapid percussive splutters and syrupy synth scoops, with subtle hints of vocoder action that cyborgs can croon along to.
3LAU FEAT. EMMA HEWITT – “ALIVE AGAIN”
Say “3lah, 3lah, 3lah” all you want about trance (3LAU is pronounced “blau”, BTW), it’s a dance genre that’s never going away. Blasting into DJ Mag’s Top 100 in the last poll, this Vegas fan favourite tones down from his prog-/electro-house proclivities; focusing more on resplendent, heaven-sent melodies instead of dirty, hulk-y drops. Teaming up with trance’s go-to songbird, Emma Hewitt (Dash Berlin, Cosmic Gate, Armin Van Buuren), 3LAU blesses dancefloors with this feel-good hymn about being close to ones with the “same heart, same mind, same souls”. It’s fairy dust for the cheesy, raving romanticist. But hey, trance can get away with it.