Meerkuts’ Musical Musings – February 2013
Hello Music Lovers,
Well, another month has passed and guess what? It’s still fricking freezing! However in the world of chords and lyrics it’s been a scorcher of a month, seriously, some of this months tracks are so hot I’ve had to listen to them naked! We’ve got reggae, electronica, hip hop and more and I’m not lying when I say some of this month’s tracks could well be in the Top 10 of 2013 as a whole but let’s not get carried away too quickly, on to the music.
1. Freddie McGregor – Equal Rights (Taken from the album ‘Di Captain’ released Feb 1st 2013 on VP Music Group, Inc)
Ram Jam Rodigan, you truly are one of a kind. I love his show (props to Kid Karcinogenic for turning me onto him) because every week, without fail, it reminds you just how fresh, fun and alive reggae, dub, dancehall and Jamaican music in general are. This track released in February is no exception, it’s just got roots written all over it and who needs summer when you’ve got music like this! You know you’ve found a winning riff when it gets you bouncing, smiling and singing all at the same time and ever since first hearing this on Rodigan’s show it gets me doing all three everytime. Absolute tune and look forward to many more selections from Rodigan in the future. Legend.
2. Four Tet – The Track I’ve Been Playing That People Keep Asking About and That Joy Used in His RA Mix and Daphni Played on Boiler Room (12″ Single released Feb 4th 2013 on Text Records)
Have you ever heard a track and just thought, this is fucking it? As soon as I heard this track sometime in 2012 on the Daphni Boiler Room set I was blown away, I scoured the message boards, YouTube comments and Twitter to find out what this old classic was. I must have bounced around my living room countless times as that beat just grabbed me and the whole glorious medley of african inspiration hits your feet thinking what a lucky record store find this was for Daphni. But no, no this is actually a new track produced by KH – Kieran Hebdan (aka Four Tet) and when you listen to it properly you can tell with those beautiful bass drum beats and that infectious groove coursing through it. So turn up your speakers, this truly is fucking it!
3. Night Beds – Even If We Try (Taken from the album ‘Country Sleep’ released Feb 1st on Dead Oceans label)
Well this song is like being side swiped by a duvet, it completely knocks you down but then snuggles you so you can’t get up. I’ve always been a fan of music which builds and this track delivers that multiple times, from singer Winston Yellens’ cracking, emotional acapella intro to the rising strings in the middle then it drops down again to another acapella bridge, which sounds like Feist, plays out and then that end, oh that end! If the first two minutes has taken the feet from under you and then snuggled you deeply, the end of the track helps you up, dusts off your jacket and sends you out into the world feeling beautiful. In fact screw everything else I’ve said, that’s what this track is, beautiful.
4. Reverse Running – Atoms For Peace (Taken from the album ‘AMOK’ released 25th Feb 2013 on XL Recordings)
It’s not Radiohead, that’s the first thing I have to say. It’s also no longer a Thom Yorke side project which is how this group started a while back with ‘The Eraser’ album which was essentially a front man writing songs and being produced by the same two people from his band that usually produce his songs. AMOK the new album which now brings Flea and other high profile members along really sets this upbeat, dance music apart from recent Radiohead or Thom Yorke output. This track is the one that really grabbed me, it’s upbeat, funky and got that lovely 2-step feel which always coats me in waves of nostalgic bliss. The production is glitchy and the feel of the song just pops as you realise that although you recognise the voice, it’s not all about the crackle of pig skin!
5. Macklemore & Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – Same Love (Taken from the album ‘The Heist’ released October 2012 on Macklemore LLC)
OK this is an honorary February addition because I only heard it for the first time this month on the exact same day the House of Lords suprised us all by passing a new law on same sex marriage. It’s not often that you get those wonderful moments in politics and for the news to hit me as I walked through Brighton lanes with the lyrics to Same Love playing, well it was a pretty emotional moment. This track spoke to me quite a bit, as a young boy I also believed I might be gay because of media stereotypes and I’ve experienced a fraction of the horrific abuse people who are deemed to be “different” experience, it’s got to stop. Who knows what the new law will bring and who cares as long as people are treated equally, all I know is that as a huge fan of hip hop and reggae it’s nice to hear a tune which isn’t derogatory, homophobic or misogynistic, this track might not be a leap forward but if the sentiment in this song is picked up by more people then hopefully change will happen.
So that was February, obviously this is only a fraction of all the brilliant new music out there so don’t believe anyone who says music stopped with Nirvana or we’re in a musical crisis, there’s so many wonderful and original artists making music today. If you hate pop then steer clear of the charts, listen to mixtapes, podcasts and alternative radio shows and I guarantee you’ll find things you adore. Props to NPR: All Songs Considered, BBC 1Xtra, BBC 6 Music, Dizraeli & Downlow’s Small Godcasts & Smallimus’ Cloudcasts plus many more friends and online music sites, this music thing just keeps getting better!
Check out my mixtape ‘Tony Allen Got Me Dancing‘ which features tracks from both the Meerkuts’ Musical Musings so far and keep your eyes peeled for more on the way, it might just contain your new favourite song!