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Music

Don Lifted – Light Figure

I shared a track from Don Lifted earlier this month which I really liked, but I wasn’t quite prepared for how much I would enjoy his album, 325i, which landed last week. Releases like this are pretty much the entire reason I started this blog – to support music from insanely talented artists that might otherwise go unnoticed. Don Lifted definitely falls into that category – aside from a very positive Fader feature I’ve seen very little promo for the album, but it’s fucking brilliant – a hazy, understated, atmospheric delight that incorporates elements of soul, hip-hop, indie rock and plenty more besides. Light Figure stands out for me due its heavy melancholic, yearning vibe, but it’s absolutely worth giving the entire album your attention.

https://donlifted.bandcamp.com

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Music

serpentwithfeet – Down Nuh River

I’m not sure serpentwithfeet can really be classed an ‘underrated’ given all the plaudits he regularly attracts, but I still don’t think he’s quite given as much due as perhaps he deserves. His output this year has been truly remarkable – DEACON is unquestionably one of the best albums of the year – and he seems to have fully found his groove, nailing the emotions without losing sight of the subtlety of production that makes him stand out. Down Nuh River is moody, understated and – yet again – outrageously good.

https://serpentwithfeet.bandcamp.com

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Music

Don Lifted – Brain Fluid

The latest from rising Memphis artist Don Lifted is a moody rap cut based around themes of sexual and gender multiplicity, desire and vulnerability, and according to the artist written from “a moment of extreme longing for something that didn’t exist and I feared never would and what it would be like if the moment was presented to me.” That’s a whole lot of double (triple?) negatives that I haven’t quite got my head around, but suffice to say it’s a very fine, evocative piece of work.

https://www.instagram.com/donlifted

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Music

Golden Rules – Never Die feat. Freddie Gibbs & Yasiin Bey (Prefuse 73 Remix)

Brilliantly woozy retro-leaning hip-hop for you today from a heavyweight lineup of exceptionally talented dudes, but I’m having a bit of a hectic day and can’t go on about it too much so just listen to it, it’s a vibe.

https://www.instagram.com/lexrecords

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Music

Platnume – Romans

Produced by Platnume and DJ Jaden, the intention behind Romans was to make a fun but still impactful rap cut without the use of profanity: an admirable aim, and one that pays off. The Queens duo have cited artists like Kid N Play and Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, the influence of whom aren’t immediately obvious as Romans is significantly moodier than the vast majority of these 90s icons’ output. However, there is A LOT of autotune rap out there and this definitely cuts through the crowd, so they must be doing something right.

https://www.instagram.com/iamplatnume/

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Music

D’sinatra – Virgil Abloh

I can find out absolutely no information whatsoever about D’sinatra online except that’s he’s from Toronto, but this is a fucking brilliant, moody, atmospheric hip-hop track that more people should be listening to, so here you go.

https://www.instagram.com/deesinatramusic

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Music

Flying Lotus – Mind Flight

Flying Lotus occupies one of my many blind spots for artists I should really know about and be listening to a lot, but never seem to get around to. My thought process goes something like: Flying Lotus is really good / everyone seems to love him / I expect I’d really enjoy it if I dedicated a bit of time to exploring his catalogue / that seems like hard work / I’ll just listen to Nation of Language again. So it’s odd that what’s essentially a soundtrack album is the one that’s caught my attention, but here we are. Mind Flight is taken from Yasuke – which is a six-part Anime series for Netflix – and the entire thing is brilliant. But I guess you already knew that, didn’t you?

https://flying-lotus.com

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Music

FairRose – The Feels (feat. Snt Harper, Apollo Naps, Joe Nora & Frankie Jax No Mad)

Considering the amount of featured artists appearing on it, The Feels is both understated and concise: a lazy, hazy hip-hop jam that never tries too hard, or at all really. This came out back in February as part of FairRose’s album The Antics which is a laidback delight from start to finish, conjuring a tone and atmosphere distinct from anything else I’ve heard this year. It’s probably a little bit of a lazy comparison, but I can hear definite echos of The Fugees, both in the collaborative approach and the specific style of production, which pays homage to the dusty sampling techniques of the 90s without ever feeling like it’s ripping anyone off.

https://soundcloud.com/fairroseave

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Music

The Egyptian Lover – Cinnamon Oil Massage

Pioneering electro pioneer The Egyptian Lover has doubled down on his 2015 album 1985 with new LP 1986. Like its predecessor it focusses entirely on the kind of sounds and techniques he was using back in the mid-1980s, and aside from it perhaps sounding a little more polished that some of the electro and proto-hip-hop being produced then, its otherwise sounds completely indistinguishable. Cinnamon Oil Massage is a definite highlights, complete with the omnipresent crisp, punchy 808 beats and an outrageously over the top electric guitar solo which is absolutely joyous.

https://thegyptianlover.bandcamp.com/album/1986

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Music

Cam Be – Summer In September

Aside from being an accomplished musician, Cam Be is also an Emmy award-winning produced for TV, director, artist and photographer, and Summer In September taken from his 2020 album of the same name. Now accompanied by a dream-like video from director Briana Clearly, there’s more than a hint of Frank Ocean in its tender, drifting melodies and hazy vocals: a pure, innocent snapshot of a burgeoning love frozen in time, looping for eternity.

https://3arts.org/artist/cam-be