Monday Must Haves Pt.2
Again, I'm late to pressing publish on the site.....however, here you go....better late than never:
Lack Of Afro - Back In Business EP
Never knowingly downbeat, multi-instrumentalist Adam Gibbons is one of those prolific producers that you just can't fathom why they aren't huger than huge. Blending familiar elements of Funk, Soul and Jazz and snapping them on to spray on tight breaks and fills, this EP is top quality from start to finish. Lead single Take It Up A Notch has been a mainstay on The Show With No Name, whilst the title track features impressively dexterous wordplay from long time collaborators Wax and Herbal T. It's likely you've heard LoA, you just didn't know you needed him in your life.
For fans of: Kraak and Smaak, Kid Koala, David Holmes, DJ Format
Rae Morris - Someone Out There
It may be slightly too idiosyncratic for some, but as far as beatific pop goes this stands shoulder to shoulder with what's out there. Traditional pop harmonies get whizzed up in the blender, the fat trimmed and some nu-pop smarts stirred in, until only the hook filled goodness remains. Recent cut Atletico typifies Rae's strengths. If Unguarded, Morris' 2014 acclaimed but solemn debut concerned itself with love and longing, Someone Out There focusses on rebirth, a la Reborn (natch), whereas Lower The Tone recalls Bon Ivor's icy electronica. This confident straddling of genres is but another indication to the strength of Rae's writing chops.
For fans of: Fryars, Billie Eillish, Sigrid, Grimes, Lorde, Jamie Woon
No Age - Snares Like A Haircut
This fiery proto-punk from the LA based duo is all snarling urgency and latent energy. Randy Randall and Dean Spunt's 5th longer-player sees them move from Sub Pop to Drag City but while the studios may have changed, the gnarly, ripping squall of noise remains throughout. Spent has gone on record to say that this cut is no frills and back to basics, telling Spin Magazine that this is a straight up rock n roll record. If that's slightly disingenuous the commitment to total abandon is not. Check out the likes of Stuck In The Changer, Secret Swamp and Cruise Control if you require further proof that the boys have knocked it out of the park.
For fans of: Fugazi, White Lung, Quicksand, Black Lips
Otherwise known as 'the one where DDL* is gonna quit', Paul Thomas Anderson's latest is pure award-snaffling fare. That it co-stars some homegrown talent in Vicky Krieps make it all the sweeter. It's the 50's and Day-Lewis' dressmaker, Reynolds Woodstock, is quite happy in his high social standing, that is until the strong willed Alma (Krieps) brings home some truth and perspective. Lavish set design and a typically scene chewing turn from Day-Lewis means that critics are falling over themselves to dish out the praise. Is it warranted? Well, like all PTA films, it depends on how obtuse you like your movie going experience to be. Well crafted, visually glorious but also oddly chilly and detached, Phantom Thread is a filmic embodiment of both filmmaker and its star.
Cinema times here
Proving to be a touch Marmitey (Vegimite for the Antipodes amongst us) Netflix's latest 'original' borrows liberally from Asimov and Dick and a smattering of the Wachowski's Matrix saga. Adapted from Richard Morgan's cyberpunk novel, Altered Carbon centres on a dystopian near future where human minds are stored in stacks and the bodies (of the recently incarcerated and/or deceased), herein known as sleeves, are used to cheat death. Joel Kinnamen's Takeshi Kovacs is a fearsome assassin, who wakes up 300 years after his sleeve perishes. With authorities keen to shut him down, he's given an option, jail or the solving of the case concerning the murder of the world's wealthiest man. Sure, the writers have gotten bogged down in their own clever-cleverness but this is near perfect sci-fi noir. Excellent world building, design and soundtrack make for an interesting proposition, should a second season be greenlit.
Available to stream on Netflix now.
Shadow Of The Colossus
Another in the spate of HD remakes, this PS2 classic gets a digital buffering and is still just as jaw-dropping as it was back in the day. Roam vast landscapes and take down giant beasts in glorious rendering. Pretty much as you'd expect, only better.
Available on PS4 (Pro) and other formats now.