Take 5 Friday: Billie Black + Theophilus London + Daryn Alexus + Dornik + Katie Rush

Friday, September 5, 2014

Reheating leftovers of the week...

Simple Pleasure 
Awhile back, London native, Billie Black made a splash with a really delectable single that I never got around to shouting some words about. So here I am today rectifying that by turning my undivided attention to her latest release, "This Simple Pleasure" which joins her with Mura Masa for some good ol' funked up House that feels '90s, but truly has got the Millennial seed in there. Actually the song is better than just 'good', its infectious with razor sharp precision on rhythms, and it just packs some life-giving heat. Billie Black may only be 19, but she's got the tone of a seasoned lounged-out songstress, and that's a true rarity these days. [Listen]

Feel The Vibes!
Theophilus London is one of the few working rappers today that hasn't gotten on my nerves in some shape or form. I guess one of these days he'll ruin that for me by spewing something awful on Twitter, the PC brigade will get after him, and then he'll issue a non-apology, to where I can't listen to "Why Even Try" or his I Want You mixtape anymore because it just hurts too much. Well, here I go putting cart before horse again, since that hasn't happened at all (London seems like a nice chap) thus I can freely dive into "Tribe", London's latest from his upcoming VIBES! project (out later this Fall). Pulsating on meaty percussion, "Tribe" is a heavy-duty sweat slinging trance that is briskly fresh, and all-around fun as London's fireball rhymes just spit out all kinds of fierce. London's BFF, Jesse Boykins III joins him on the harmonizing front to smooth out a lot of the edge that is here. [Listen]

Partying Like Its 1990
When I first lent ears to Chi-Town chanteuse, Daryn Alexus it was through her song, "Go Wild", and well, it screamed "Janelle Monae!ArchAndroid!Electric Lady!" and it was just way too much for my taste. I mean, listen to it and try to tell me you don't hear "Tightrope" in there. Instead of writing her off, I wanted to see what else she could do without clutching onto Monae's blueprints, and her debut EP, Green, proves that Miss Alexus does have her own little spark of  individuality. I was quite drawn to one of the EP's tracks, a synth-drenched block party called "1990" that has Daryn dabbling in some early Destiny's Child harmonies that yes, are obvious, but don't distract you from her personal vision. What's really impressive is a slick interpolation of DeBarge's 1982 hit, "I Like It" in the chorus, and its my kind of sample, as you don't even notice it while you're caught up in the moment. [Listen]

Mind Games
Jessie Ware's sometime drummer, and labelmate, Dornik floored me with his last two cuts, "Something About You" and "Rebound", and he's back to future soul charm us once again with the newness that is, "On My Mind".You'll marvel at how he's doing all kinds of Michael Jackson-y things, but he truly backs a few steps away from it (just few steps, mind you), to let his vocals weave in and out of the layers of burbling synths that recall the days where disco was turning into synth funk. This one is on repeat. [Listen]

Mall Rat
Katie Rush's "Laws Of Attraction" is severely and unabashedly '80s --- I mean, if the dripping in day-glo cover art didn't lend you a clue....It's as if Dev Hynes grabbed Tiffany by the hand and they all met up with the cast of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun to sign autographs at the mall. Its that kind of '80s right down to its rubberband snapping drum machines. The only info I could scope out about Katie Rush is that her debut EP is out right now via Bandcamp, but other than that her identity is shrouded in mystery (ooh, the intrigue...). Well, who ever she is, Ms. Rush needs to own up to the throwbackin' goodness of this frothy synth fluff, because it's a last gasp of summer that is worth the spin. [Listen]

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