A nice bit of light and dark for you this week, as a man-flu-riddled Joe Muggs picks some heavyweight club bangers and some wafty spiritual niceness for your delectation. UK funky, Manchester ghetto house with a bit of Dusty, Portuguese crate-digging, synthesiser space-voyaging, a bassbin flashback, vinyl records, streams, mixes, Soundcloud rabbitholes and more – every one a winner.
Various Artists – 9 Years of Roska Kicks & Snares
Southeast London’s finest, Roska, was one of the few to come out of the “UK funky” explosion of the late 00s / early 10s with a solid international DJ career intact. He’s also run a fantastic label along with that, that’s kept the flag flying for rough and rugged, dancehall-inflected window-rattlers that take you right back to the couple of years when you couldn’t walk through London without hearing his and others’ UK funky tracks whomping out of every other car. This compilation is jam packed with bangers and you should get it.
Mafalda – RA.597
The number of DJ mixes available online is so overwhelming that it takes something very very special to stand out. I’ve had the man-flu this week, and been desperate for soothing sounds, so it was a blissful relief when a friend tweeted out the link to this yesterday. Portuguese DJ / crate digger Mafalda Gil Meireles co-runs a label with Floating Points and says this mix is about “peace, light, love, unity and hope”, and it’s certainly possible to get a spiritual vibe from the amazing synth jazz, Steve Reich and Brazilian soul therein – but it’s also good as an analgesic top-up on top of cocodamol and whisky.
Finn – Sometimes the Going gets a Little Tough
Proving that less can definitely be more, young Manchester producer Finn McCorry here pays tribute to the US’s more rough and ready club styles, and goes about seeing how much can be done with one loop, a kickdrum and a filter. And lets face it, who doesn’t want to hear a gutsy (Dusty!) vocal about life being hard and men being dirt sped up and turbocharged with a walloping four-to-the-floor kick? Sometimes tough times call for tough tunes, and this one is just what the doctor ordered.
Leonidas + Kay Suzuki – Synqlock vol II
If that Mafalda mix left you in the mood for some further spiritually well-aligned cosmic voyaging, don’t worry, there’s plenty more for you here. Across four tracks and a remix, these two London synthesiser-whisperers have got some bubbling acid house, a bit of Italo-disco suaveness, lots and lots of swooshes and wooshes that wash over you like the proverbial analogue bubblebath, and a beatless lead track, “Interstellar Meditation” that does exactly what it says on the tin for 11 and a half minutes.
Rossi B & Luca – Ghost Town
I went down a rabbit hole this morning of tunes from the days when dubstep and grime weren’t fully differentiated – things like Mark One and DJ Tubby – and ended up at this, one of the last truly great mid-point tracks. Such scenes when this dropped in the rave, god was it really that long ago, more innocent times, hoodies for goalposts, isn’t it, wasn’t it, mm? Erm, anyway, I need to search the loft for my copy of this – I reckon it’d still go down a treat.