Singles and downloads - August 2014
Featuring Nozinja, Franz Ferdinand, Rustie and Mark Lanegan
South African beat maker Nozinja (aka Richard Mthetwa) makes his debut on Warp Records, coming out the blocks like a demented circus theme tune before morphing into hyper-speed afrobeat. This amalgam of traditional rhythms and fast-paced chirruping beats, complete with chipmunk vocals, is a prime example of the Shangaan electro sound (think happy hardcore meets world music) coming out of Soweto and pioneered by Nozinja himself. 'The Vocal Mix' is vaguely calmer but no less invigorating.
Nozinja plays The Last Big Weekend,Glasgow, Sun 31 Aug.
The sixth single to be taken from 2013's Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action 'Stand on the Horizon' is a distillation of what influences Franz Ferdinand, mixing elements of Bowie, post punk and Roxy Music. Like a slowed down 'Take Me Out' with added emotion, it’s sharp and clever, underpinned by jangly guitars and incisive lyrics. Todd Terje adds a sheen of faded glamour on production duties, all ending in a beautifully mournful swooning vocal harmony.
Glasgow producer Rustie continues his assault on your senses with this slapshot of condensed future hip hop from forthcoming album Green Language. Machine gun beats soundtrack Detroit rapper Danny Brown's venomous assault. Despite the heavy BMPs and stuttering ravey synths there's a clean, crisp feel to the wailing sirens and drum claps. It’s a perfect symbiosis between writer and vocalist, Brown's lyrics adding another layer of percussive attack. Addictively offbeat, moreish and packed with power.
After stints with Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age and more, Mark Lanegan has earned his stripes. Back in his grungy solo guise, rock's king of the morose sounds surprisingly upbeat for a track called 'sad lover', his vocals in a far higher register than the usual gruff, haggard delivery. The driving guitar line is melodic, hypnotic and deceptively simple though we miss the depth and emotional howl of Lanegan’s more ragged rock’n’roll material.