So much good stuff around at the moment, more than I can reasonably post on Facebook.
First up Austra. Just got the album of this. Not quite as instantly smitten as I'd expected – not yet, anyway – but this is gorgeous. Here in its harder, longer form. All the work of Katie Stelmanis, a Latvian-American out of Toronto with a voice for the opera and beats for sex in club toilets.
Clipse's last album was pants, and I can't remember the last time Fiddy was any good. But this new single from Pusha T is a blast. Clipse never put a foot wrong with Neptunes, and if they're producing their solo albums, all will be right again.
Another lone woman working wonders. I was meant to spend the day writing up an interview with Tune Yards, but that's on hold. And this is the best way to spend my time without getting depressed hunting for work. The new album is the nuts and her live shows are meant to be even nutsier. This is something like how I'd hoped Vampire Weekend would sound until it turned out they were wimpy indie at heart.
J.Rocc's album is a massive surprise. Expected drab turntablism, got some spacey, bass-heavy carnival madness. For my money you can hear it best on Party, but this seems to be the first single – and J.Rocc Party isn't exactly chosen with SEO in mind – so cop this.
Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek about to release their first album as Africa Hitech. This is just immense.
Really recommend this new Instra:mental album, Resolution 653. Thought they were meant to be d'n'b, but don't much sound like it to me, which is why probably why I like it so much. Parts of it sound like a colder, harder Isolee. And others don't. Can't find any videos, so hopefully this album megamix will do.
The return of Raekwon in the last few years almost makes up for his old mucker Ghostface losing his way a little. Here he pays tribute to, um, Bon Jovi and lords of rawk. Possibly the first rap track to big up its rock credentials without using really shitty axe wankfluff.