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So it's mid summer, the sun is out, the books are locked away in their summer holiday cupboard and there's more fresh music to explore than there are pale Brits fighting for a tan in Hyde Park. I've been trawling Gumtree for a job like there is no tomorrow so in this installment of RemiX I'll be sharing fresh summer tunes to uplift you all and keep off those job search blues.
Before we get on to the best tunes this summer has to offer I'd just like to mention the tragedy that is Amy Winehouse's death. An attempt at a tribute seems futile as no words could fully embody the power of her voice and music: let's just say she will be dearly missed. Since her death, many a tribute/remix/mashup have been released. Some are good, some are garbage, but this one hits the spot so check it out.
OK, lets hit the road running with a track I've been playing non stop since June. SBTRKT's ‘Something goes right’ may not be for everyone as Sampha's vocals veer in and out of idiosyncrasy and tunelessness, the beat however is enough to reduce those moments of doubt to minute spots in your consciousness. The skitty electronic beat coupled with the soft sound of synth lulling in the background will quickly get you dancing around your room like a fool- with the curtains open might I add. The album dropped in late June and each and every song provides a perfect anthem for the sunny summer we're having: if you don't wanna buy it, be sure to exhaust your five plays per song limit on Spotify!
Next up is Gold Panda's ‘MPB’. Sure it’s been around for a few months now but the fluttering electronic harpy thing going nuts on this track makes it more than worthy of a spot here.This track is best enjoyed in a car with the windows down, your sunnies on and a Pimm's in hand (obviously not if you're at the wheel). This is a purely instrumental track and true to Gold Panda form its full of enchanting layers which mean you'll discover something new every time you listen to it. Don't deprive yourself of this auditory bonanza! Download it (for free and legally) right here, right now.
Moving away from the electronic colonisation which seems to be taking over the British music scene, here's Beyonce's ‘I Care’ (and yes this is an attempt at redemption on my part as my previous rant about her ‘Run The World’ video was a little over the top). Fresh off her latest album 4, which is a mixed bag, this song offers tonnes of punch and a sack-load of finger wagging opportunities (listen to the track and you'll understand me). If you have an addictive personality then maybe hold off on checking this song out as the vocal riff will have you begging for more like a caffeine deprived stock broker. The best moment comes at 2:54 (just after the obligatory slow jamz section of any RnB track) where B's vocals blend seamlessly with a Queen-esque guitar solo. Difficult to imagine, I know, but it's definitely worth a gander. There's no video yet but I can't wait to see what intricate dance moves Beyonce will come up with for this track. Wouldn't it be fun if you could choreograph your own and send it in to Cherwell as some kind of wannabe T4 competition!? No such luck, but hey, who knows what Michaelmas 2011 will bring...
Following the borderline cheesy RnB route, here's a song which I'll admit is my guilty pleasure but actually pretty damn good - with lyrics that actually make sense... Frank Ocean ( probably the most metrosexual member of OFWGKTA) will have you singing the chorus of 'Swim Good' quicker than you can say the words 'Tyler the what?' The smooth quality of his voice might alienate you at first as the likes of Chris Brown and Ne-Yo are quickly evoked. Luckily the dark undertones of the staccato keys and the sparse bassline make this track a welcome alternative to the boring RnB formula. Oh yeah and the beat is killer: pretty simple, but it really hits the spot.The tweeting birds and the sound of the waves lapping at the shore at the end of the song will take your mind to a sunny holiday destination, so let the music work its magic.
Finally. because I love Flying Lotus and he seems to have a musical Midas Touch, here's ‘Heave(n) Mix 2’ which will no doubt get your blood pumping. Its got the signature introductory bass drum which insistently flits about until the sweeping harp that we're all so fond of comes is to settle the whole thing down. At its peak the song sounds a little like a musical jumble sale but the beautiful incorporation of vocal snippets brings it down a notch and allows you to appreciate the sheer brilliance of FlyLo's work. You may have to re-listen to this one a few times but trust me, the initial struggle is well worth it.
If those five tracks weren't enough then check out the play list here: Summer Choons