Crucial Material – Best Releases Of The Week (November 4th, 2019)

From modern funk to rude bwoy techno. You know we don’t follow or obey categories here. We just follow our ears and hearts and present you strictly with the crucial picks!

As always we hope you make some nice discoveries and feel free to encourage these artists/labels if you do! Enjoy and have a great week.

Hemlock Ernst & Kenny Segal “Back at the House”

Label: Ruby Yacht
Buy: Vinyl & Digital

Astonishingly good album from indie-band-singer-turned-indie-rapper, Hemlock Ernst. Complex content-heavy rhymes that occasionally evoke Buck 65 and even Latryx. Fresh off another great album earlier this year with Billy Woods, Kenny Segal provides a beautiful bluesy boom bap foundation, weaving in special musical moments throughout – Latin & string samples, touches of sub-bass… Blink & you miss it vinyl, but easily streamed or downloaded, so no excuses.
– Selected by Oli Brunetti

Zatua “Sin Existencia”

Label: Second Circle
Buy: Vinyl & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Music From Memory sub-label Second Circle present their second release, this one coming newly formed band known as Zatua all the way from Indonesia. “Sin Existencia” is a spellbinding little record that showcases a ton of different musical influences and perspectives. Simple yet hypnotic melodies meet live instrumentation and drum machine jams. Even though its hella gray and sad outside, this one brings an instant “warmest day of the summer” feel with each play. Tip!
– Selected by Lexis

Gang Starr “One of the Best Yet”

Label: Gangstarr Entreprises
Buy: Vinyl (via Amazon)
Stream Links: Spotify / Apple

Close to a decade after the passing of the legendary Bald Head Slick, DJ Premier blesses us with a complete album with post0-humous vocals, solidified features and majestic beats. The album delivers exactly what one could expect from a Gangstarr project but by its inceptive nature blows expectations out of the water. Getting the best out of every 90s era NYC collaborator and with the trademark primo chops being effortlessly blended into the divine vocal the album lives up to its name in every way possible.
– Selected by: ASMA

Daniel Maunick “Macumba Quebrada”

Label: Far Out Recordings
Buy: Vinyl & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Whilst this is his first ever full length under his own name, veteran producer Maunick, aka Dokta Venom & Viper Squad, has a serious discography, releasing drum & bass, broken beat and house, and producing legendary artists such as Azymuth, Marcos Valle, Terry Callier and Incognito. This wide & deep experience comes to bare on this cracking LP. Melodic, dark and rhythmic, Afro-Brazilian inspired electronic music, joining-the-dots from London to Rio to Chicago and beyond. Could be my favourite house/techno/dancefloor album this year.
– Selected by Oli Brunetti

Da Lata “Birds”

Label: Kartel Music Group
Buy: Vinyl & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Brilliant new album from Da Lata. Building on their London-soul sound, encompassing the Brazilian, African and club influences the city offers. Led by Chris Franck and Patrick Forge, and featuring both long-term and fresh collaborators, such as Vanessa Freeman, Bembe Segue, Syren Rivers, Adriana Vasques, Jason Yarde and Finn Peters, to name a few. Genre distinctions are by-passed but the groove remains consistent, strong and uplifting throughout.
– Selected by Oli Brunetti

Space Ghost “Aquarium Nightclub”

Label : Tartelet Records
Buy: Vinyl & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Perfect blend of Tropical Boogie vibes and House music, along the way of Larry Heard, Mndsgn, DâM-Funk’s Architecture projects and Henry Wu. One of my favourite release of the year, few notable jams like the title track, Lavender Oil, Strange Sequence and Emerald Pools.
– Selected by Walla P

Altered Natives “NINE: Alpha” and “NINE: Omega”

Label: Eye 4 Eye Recordings
Buy: Vinyl & Digital (via Bandcamp)

No producer navigates the Techno, Broken Beat and UK Funky nexus quite like London’s Altered Natives. Every release the man puts out goes so far beyond the same old linear-techno template. This is full on rude bwoy techno with swinging drums and that Broken Beat, UK Funky feel. With “Alpha” and “Omega” he keeps showing he is as prolific as he is idiosyncratic. Also have to big him up for bringing back the glory days of the simultaneous double album drop. This is the techno equivalent of 2pac’s “All Eyez on Me”… No but seriously, it’s dope. Just get it.
– Selected by Lexis

E.Live “I’ll Have You Tonight feat. Chesta Blake/Funktown Nights”

Label: Star Creature Universal Vibrations
Buy: Vinyl & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Another solid release from the Chicago based label Star Creature Universal Vibrations, with label superstar E.Live. Great Italo-Disco vibes on “I’ll Have You Tonight”, while “Funktown Nights” delivers a dancefloor boogie banger.
– Selected by Walla P

Agua Negra ‘Aguacero”

Label: Soltec
Stream Links: SpotifyApple

Rapper cantante P-Noize and producer extraordinaire Cotola make up latin rap group Agua Negra and their latest opus is simply a bomba. With bolero sampled boom bap, cumbia backed anthems and a clean definitive sound this record brings las calles de Chile y Mexico to the ears in an unorthodox fashion. In this era of latin trap domination it refreshing to hear cunning verses delivered over grimey beats conveying some hope it what can often seem like a rather grim dispositions.
– Selected by ASMA

** Coming in next week’s edition: we’ll cover the fantastic records by Michael Kiwanuka, 30/70 and Teebs which we just didn’t have time for this week!