Mixtape: February 2014 - By Volume

What is this life, why do we strive? Fast on a wheel, too fast to feel. One day, my love, this life will slow. Sam Brookes - One Day

Kid Ink - Murda ft. Pusha T
Future superstar Kid Ink's flow is tightly-wound around intelligent, well-produced beats, without losing sight of the relaxed bravado that makes criminal rap fun. Supported by a refreshing array of up-and-coming artists, he's a producer's rapper, having quietly been cooking heat for a few years now. His new album, "My Own Lane", dropped January 7. 'Murda', featuring Pusha T, features alternately-pitched kick drums and an arresting bass synth with subtly-driven West Coast glide. It sounds like Clique, but with more outlaw energy and a bass music soul. The chopped vocal samples underneath are hit-or-miss, but it's a welcome effort to blend underground dance elements into chest-puffed largesse. - Nick Mann
Girl Band - Lawman
With a name like Girl Band and a rise in renown down to an unexpectedly great take on Blawan’s techno-tremor freight-train “Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage”, a little wariness towards the all-male noise outfit was perhaps justified. Having said that, “Lawman” blew me away, refreshing as much as it is punishing. It spirals out closer and closer to the edge before tumbling off completely, tearing itself apart at the seams as riffs saw through each other. Yes, it’s messy, it’s unkempt, but it explodes in a glorious cacophonic climax. And “Everything about it was contagious.” - Tayyab Amin
Foster The People - Coming of Age
Sleeper hit, slow burner, call it what you want; Foster the People's 2011 debut 'Torches' changed me. I held out against the 'happy', 'summer-y' side of indie pop/rock vehemently (and for years), so when I found myself seriously enjoying the youthful Californian ebullience of Foster and his People, I pulled that ripcord like my sheer existence depended on it - like comfort-eating, I let sun-drenched power-pop back into my life, and Torches was the perfect place to start. After a record label delay due to the (obviously bullshit) reason that the record was apparently 'too beautiful' to waste in the pre-Christmas rush, we've been treated to our first glimpse of Foster's next move - "Coming of Age" - and in the last three years, only two thing appears to have changed. Firstly, they now need no invitation to get into your head. I'm not kidding, this is the catchiest, most frighteningly charismatic tune you'll hear for the next 6 months, and second, there's an unprecedented air of somewhat modest melancholy about it all. Tinged with regret and laced with a sense of wistful daydreaming, it's a more refined - one could even say classier - Foster the People, and this sudden burst of sophistication indicates a hell of a lot more than just a little promise for the still-young band. Foster, you've got our attention, now make the next move. - Gabriel Power
Kyla La Grange - Cut Your Teeth
Listening to "Cut Your Teeth", there's a feeling the track was heavily over-produced, until someone simply said, “nah, let's cut it all out” and stripped it back to it's most essential form. It's as if La Grange managed to outline the entirety of Tolkien's middle-earth in a paragraph. It sounds like there's a whole lot more to the song's catchy, cutting melody than there actually is, and the bass swells tap you on the shoulder before running away and leaving you, more full of wonder than frustration. This track is too short. - Christian Harrop
Alcest - Délivrance
Few metal-leaning acts other than Alcest have endured such persistent friction with the expectations of their audience. The suggestions of black metal within the band’s shoegaze have left the fans unsatisfied, craving harshness that founder Neige is reluctant to commit to. “I will not bring back the screams to make the people happy,” he laments in a recent interview with Spin. This devotion to the true forces stimulating his art – child-like wonder, spiritual curiosity, inner peace – has lead to his most honest work. The record’s meditative closer “Delivrance” evokes these themes with arresting clarity. Neige sings in a Zen-like state of being, his sighing vocals falling like waves over an ocean of shimmering guitars and strings. For ten engrossing minutes, you are with him in his peace of mind, forgetting any notion of struggle or pain; you can sense the cries of the metal fans fading into the distance, muted by the calm of self-acceptance. - Ali Ashoor
Herbert - It's Only (DJ Koze Mix)
This surfaced towards the end of 2012, and while gathering appreciation in its own right, interest in it was galvanized as Resident Advisor hailed it as their track of 2013 in a somewhat unexpected move. I'm sure I'm not alone in falling in love with it all over again; The reputably eccentric DJ Koze showcases astounding subtlety and finesse, particularly in the way he meshes wind melodies with some of the most delightfully infectious bass. The scattering of Dani Siciliano's vocal inflections and oddball Koze moments that can't help but seep through transform Herbert's creation into a whole new phenomenon that somehow maintains a personal relationship with each listener. I like to think that if there was a movie version of this record, every audience would fall in love with 3D cinema. Music so real you can almost reach out and touch it. - Tayyab Amin
St. Vincent - Prince Johnny
Damn, that bass line. Sure, a thick groove isn’t anything alien for Annie Clark but the backbone to “Prince Johnny” feels deeper than she’s ever dug. So cavernous that once she reaches the first chorus, wailing about praying to be made into a real boy, you’re lost, it’s too late. Don’t bother looking up because you won’t see the sky – St. Vincent has enveloped you and you mustn’t fall behind – keep digging further and further with her until you reach the planet’s core. This furnace is where St. Vincent flourishes but there’s nothing like the journey there. And “Prince Johnny” is its soundtrack rumbling from the depths as your tunnel caves-in behind you. There’s no turning back now. - Dylan Siniscalchi
The Moth Lantern - Fall In
Stutter, stutter, spark. "Fall In" is a grooving, ultra-British cut of alt-rock. Its folk tinges and strut belie any number of Britpop touchstones from foreboding Pulp-like touches of darkness, through vocals reminiscent of Editors' dramatism and right through to the Strokes' spiky energy. "Tell my people I've had enough" turns sharply round to a chorus that comes back three days later in raw form; there's something unassumingly potent about "Fall In". - Adam Knott

Shuffle

Lust-For-Youth-Epoetin-Alfa
Lust For Youth - International
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nwst
Drake - Too Much
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notkings
Candy Says - Not Kings
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artworks-000063193417-vi0ut4-t500x500
ScHoolboy Q - Man Of THe Year
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friedber
Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record
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ld.11183
Lightning Dust - Fantasy
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The-National-Trouble-Will-Find-Me-608x608
The National - Graceless
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tall ships - everything touching
Tall Ships - Everything Touching
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