10/10 Would Listen: ICSSC
10 selections from the hip hop, rap and electronic world from the bossman of ICSSC.
The I Can't Stand Still Collective AKA ICSSC has been throwing parties with some of the world's raddest underground electronic/hip hop/rap acts around Perth (and Australia) for years now, and head honcho Daniel Dalton (who also runs Pilerats Records) probably spends more time listening to music in one week than you do all year. So along with Cloudwaves, Bad Noose and ourselves, will each month provide a list of 10 tunes he's been vibing on the most of late:
Rich Gang - I Know
Consisting of two of the hottest rappers in the world right now (Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan) and flanked by Cash Money head honcho and father figure to more than just a couple of dudes (Birdman), not even Gucci’s news tape can attract the attention away from this long overdue collaboration. It’s total fire. We can take or leave Birdman, but together Thugga and Rich Homie push each other even further down the ‘weirdo rap’ hole, and come up with a record that contains not only some of the best club-rap tracks to ever come from the pair, but also some excellent (see, down right miserable) tales of drug war and excess. If you’ve been hearing about these rappers for a minute and are wondering where to jump in, you could do a lot worse than this track from Rich Gangs debut tape The Tour.
She’s Drunk - Mariah Believes
Right. You know, when you’re a DJ (and that’s everybody now) you’d have a preferred tempo, for some of us it’s the house-leaning 125bpm, others stick rigidly to 140. Then there’s those times you’ll get a new track that makes you want to completely smash down the tempo barriers you’ve created for yourself. And that’s exactly what we’ve got here. Sitting on a tidy 80bpm dancehall flavoured beat, it’s one of the best experiments in R&B vocal sampling I’ve heard in a long while. Mariah sounds truly out-of, and inna-place, all at once. Watch peoples’ feet start too move when that breakdown happens. 160bpm is where it’s at for 2015.
Vessel - Red Sex
It works as an album so well, that it’s pretty difficult to highlight just one track from the incredible new Vessel album Punish, Honey. A tour-de-force of scratchy paranoid techno, first single Red Sex seems as good of a choice as any to start to wrap your ears around the man. This album was almost legendary before it even dropped, and while travelling in NY recently, it was a ‘staff pick’ almost everywhere, and I was a bit gutted the wax had sold out (shout out Manhattans ‘Other Records’). Vessel has always been good, but he’s stepped it up here, and further cements Triangle Records return to the fray i(n terms of release schedules) and sees them climb - for my money - right back to the top of the pile, to reclaim the throne when it comes to insular club music. Vessel, and whatever he’s got coming next, definitely deserve to be sitting up there with them.
Beyonce - Irreplaceable (Linsday Lowend Remix)
If you’re not lucky enough to be in Australia right now, you wouldn’t know that summer is definitely coming, the office is heating up, we’re filming music videos on the beach. Good times. This track, a new remix by the fast rising chip-tune guru Lindsay Lowend, is an impossible-to-hate flip of one of girl-power anthem, Beyonce’s Irreplaceable. The last couple of weeks have been an exciting time for Lindsay Lowend fans, there’s been a sense of reinvention in the tirade of tunes (after a quiet spell too!) that he’s been uploading to his SoundCloud, including some seriously reinvented ideas, from Arca-type murky club beats, to bleep bloopy electronica and all the way to the left soundscapes. The final tune to be posted was this one, the Beyonce remix, so dude is obviously still really keen to keep people guessing about his next moves. The Pilerats are on board.
Paul White - All We Know
Paul White is one of those hip hop producers that you’ve definitely heard before, but wouldn’t know it. He produced a whole bunch of Danny Brown’s stuff, the more straight up hip hop leaning side of the tongue poking rapper's discography, as well as producing Homebody Sandman and Charli XCX. Paul is, in a true sense of the word, a veteran of the game – and already has a bunch of albums out on labels like Now Again, One Handed Music, and more recently the mighty (dude, they found James Blake) R&S Records. All We Know is the second track from the new album, and bounces happily along on a glittery house tip, but none of that modern ultra compressed grid-work bullshit, there’s shaking drums, splashy symbols, and human emotion galore.
Mickey Pearce - All We Know
Unless you’ve got the initials L.V. in your mouth when chatting to me about the most ‘under-rated’ producers in the UK right now, you need to answer with Mickey Pearce, because save for L.V., there’s really nobody doing it in quite a singular way as our man Mickey. Pushing the dance forward for the best part of five years, his Summer Of Shortstuff EPs on Ramp Records were a million miles ahead of their time, and were so rhythmically interesting that it gave weight to the ‘What-U-Call-It?’ genre tag, too gummy and loose to be termed UK Funky, or the dreaded ‘Wonky’ tag. This new release of his comes on 81, a sub-label, a .. sorry Loefah, but totally pointless sub-label of Swamp 81. Mickey fit the new direction of the Swamp gang anyway so I’m not sure why this happened. Anyway. Four tracks, all fire. Check Experiment if you really want to hear how far Mickey can take it. It’s 0:47 seconds long and should be way longer.
Randomer - Freak Dub
Quick disclosure here, this song is only even on my radar this week because it popped up in my ‘suggested’ section on Boomkat (yeah we’re still buying music over here, what’s up) and I had a heavier-than-my-usual-gigs gig to play that weekend and needed something to get a big ‘woi’ from the mandem in the crowd. In fact, this isn’t new, it’s almost two years old, but for sure the best thing Randomer has ever done. This UK producer has a tendency to overdo things a little, with each phrase having so many different fucking drums in it it’s hard to decide which one you want to dance to the most. This track is a perfect example of Randomer reigning in the multiple layers a little bit and just delivering a perfectly produced 10 out of 10 banger. This one is for the dudes!
Suicideyear – I Don’t Smoke Because I Care About Death
Not sure if Sqadda B from Main Attrakionz was the originator of the ‘I Smoke Because I Don’t Care About Death’ phrase, but if he was, I suppose this is Suicideyear's flip on it. Suicideyear is a Baton Rouge producer we’ve interviewed in the magazine before. Turning in astounding productions for Yung Lean's first record before going onto (apparently) work with Lil Wayne, and pushing out some really quality refix packages (mostly of Southern hip hop) for free over on his Bandcamp. This is his second proper album and his first on a label other than his own. Oneohtrixpointnever’s label Software handles the release this time, and fits nicely into the surprisingly broad sonic-scope being curated by Dan Lopatin for the label. If you like the Sab Boy production of Yung Lean, and like when your trap music gets a little bit more bummed out, then you should check this.
Yung Lean - Sandman
Still one of the most divisive rappers doing it right now, Yung Lean and his Sad Boys just released the follow-up to their first record Unknown Death 2002, with a similarly depressingly titled album, Unknown Memory. We’re still undecided as to whether the new record stacks up to the (like it or not) truly space-age departure from regular hip hop tropes, and catapulted the young Swedish dude onto a worldwide scale. Picking a highlight from a new record is never easy, but on Unknown Death 2002, Solarflare was one of the most interesting tracks, and this time, Sandman fills that role. The sonic palette of Yung Lean’s producers are what’s the interesting part, not necessarily the drum rhythms, and that’s what makes it even more of an achievement when Lean's unique flow manages to turn a tried and tested ‘trap’ template into something entirely new. Still right behind the young Swede over here.
Babe Rainbow - Car Ambient #3
I’ve only known about Babe Rainbow a little while, and to be fair, I’ve spent far too much time pondering on whether the gentlemen on the front of the album cover is him or somebody else. He actually had a bunch of EPs out on Warp Records in 2010 and 2011, around the time witch house was a big thing, and back then his releases weren’t a million miles away from that general ilk. This record however, titled Music For 1 Piano, 2 Pianos, & More Pianos is a complete departure from his previous work. Perfect sleepy time music. So sleep. Because you probably didn’t do anything this weekend, you absolute liabilities. Thanks a bunch for reading all the way through.
Check Cloudwaves latest Top 10 HERE
Check Pilerats' latest Top 10 HERE
Check Bad Noose's latest Top 10 HERE