Lovebox ’17 – Saturday Picks

With Day 1 of Lovebox complete and day 2 just hours away, Chase & Status are set to headline the main stage tonight along with MC Rage, for what will no doubt be an epic live act. Known for their unique ‘UK sound’, rooted in various genres from Dub to Reggae and Garage to Grime, the production duo (Saul Milton & Will Kennard), continue to showcase their never ending versatility. Praised for their unique collaborations such as 2015’s London Bars EP (ft Novelist, Frisco, Giggs), followed by collaborations with the likes of Slaves on ‘Control’ and Blossoms with ‘This Moment’,  might we see some special guests joining them tonight? Maybe Emeli Sande for their new single ‘Love Me More’ taken from their forthcoming third album, Tribe. Either way, get ready to belt out some of their most loved anthems. With a whole host of acts set to close out Day 2 of Lovebox, here are some of my top picks for Saturday.

1) Kano (Main Stage: 6.20pm -7.20pm)

Grime MC Kano, is set to tear up the Main stage this evening after the success of his thrilling Glastonbury set, brought to the next level with the accompaniment of a live band. Having started out as an original member of Nasty crew back in 2000, Kano’s career has catapulted and 5 studio albums later, along with multiple EP’s and mixtapes, he’s still representing the fearless direction and determination of the UK Grime scene. Top that off with a string of impressive singles including ‘3 Wheel-ups’, featuring Grime heavyweights Wiley and Giggs, ‘Hail’, ‘New Banger’ and ‘Garage Skank Freestyle‘. With the release of his 2016 album Made In The Manor, produced by the likes of Fraser T Smith, Rustie and Mele, expect a set filled with raw energy, slick flows, infectious beats and some brass, strings and piano thrown in for good measure!

2) Anne-Marie (Main Stage: 2.30pm – 3.00pm)

Time for the first of my 3 A’s. (see below) Having kick-started her career touring the world with Rudimental as a backing singer, as well as contributing vocals for the likes of Magnetic Man & Gorgon City,  25-year-old singer/songwriter Anne Marie made her official solo debut in 2015 with the infectious Karate EP – an ode to her real life status as three-time world Shotokan-style karate champion.  This was later followed this up with hit singles ‘Do It Right’, ‘Alarm’, her most recent single ‘Ciao Adios‘ and lead vocalist on Clean Bandit’s Number One single ‘Rockabye’. To top things off, Anne Marie kicked off the year shortlisted for the coveted Brit Critics Choice Award, alongside Dua Lipa and overall winner Rag’n’Bone Man. Having worked with the likes of Two Inch Punch, Fraser T Smith and Rudimental, expect exciting things from this rising pop stars’ debut album, which will no doubt be filled with ballsy, dynamic vocals and infectious, synth-happy, pop gems.

3) Andy C (Noisey Stage: 7.45pm – 9.15pm)

Having headlined major festivals all over the world, there are few bigger names than that of dnb legend (and my second A pick) Andy C. As a leading figure in the world of electronic music, specifically the dnb evolution, Andy C has an impressive back catalogue to match, including infectious crossover anthems such as  ‘Heartbeat Loud’, ‘New Era’ and ‘Workout’, as well as his incredible remixes for the likes of Sigala, London Grammar and the smash hit 2012 remix of Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’ – still sounding as epic today as it ever did. As co-founder of Ram Records and sister imprints, Program & Frequency, Andy has nurtured and developed some of the biggest dnb headline acts including Wilkinson, Sub Focus and tonight’s headliner, Chase & Status. With his own specialist drum & bass show on Beats 1, Andy C there’s no better person to deliver the freshest new music and hottest dnb classics. Don’t miss out on what will no doubt be a stellar set.

4) Annie Mac (Main Stage: 7.50pm – 8.50pm)

My final A pick (see above) has to be the Queen of dance, Annie Mac. While Annie has had the pleasure of kick-starting the weekend off for many years now, tonight she has task of performing right before tonight’s headline act, Chase & Status. With the success of he headline Glastonbury performance on the John Peel Stage, complete with a live Gospel house choir,  Annie is sure to get the entire main stage crowd #raving with her infectious selection of tunes. With the success of her recent club culture documentary ‘Who Killed The Night’, her personally curated AMP Lost & Found Festival in Malta,  and her ever popular primetime weekday evening show on Radio 1, Annie is seen as the premiere tastemaker when it comes to the latest club bangers. Throw in a live gospel house choir and expect plenty of goosebumps, lots of dancing and all around feel-good vibes.

5) Kölsch (DJ Set) (Transistor Stage: 8pm – 9.30pm)

Danish tech-house DJ and producer, Kölsch (Rune Reilly Kölsch) is set to close out the Transistor Stage tonight with his stunning form of romantic techno.  The Transistor stage resembles a giant radio, complete with explosive flaming pyrotechnics throughout – so quite the spectacle and one not to be missed. Known for this ability to produce emotion-induced music, Kölsch perfectly combines both mainstream and underground styles, all the while producing luscious, sonic soundscapes. With the success of his critically acclaimed album 1977 followed by 1983, Kölsch consistently delivers with tracks such as ‘Grey’, ‘DerDieDas’, ‘Cassiopeia’, ‘Der Alte’ and recent single ’Speicher 97’ EP – not to mention producing some excellent remixes such as Eric Prydz ‘Generate’, Monkey Safari’s ‘Cranes’ and recent remix of London Grammar’s ‘Hell To The Liars – which is 12 and half minutes of pure bliss and definite contender for best remix of the year.  Currently signed to iconic German electronic label, Kompakt and set to take up residency in Hï Ibiza this Summer, expect an epic set from the Danish Don with his melodic and intimate form of electronica.

6) Raye (Main Stage: 1.40pm – 2.10pm)

19-year-old South London singer/songwriter Rachel Keen, AKA Raye, takes to the mainstage this afternoon for the final day of Lovebox 2017. Raye stormed into the spotlight when her self released 2014 EP, Welcome To Winter, racked up millions of Soundcloud streams, securing her a coveted deal with Polydor. Since then, the dynamic pop star has released two EP’s, a string of infectious singles such as ‘The Line’, Bet You Wish’, ‘I U Us’, co-writing credits on Charlie XCX’s ‘After The Afterparty’, and some quality collaborations with the likes of Stormzy, Stefflon Don, Jonas Blue, Jax jones and Nas. All this at just 19 years of age? Having recently placed third in the BBC’s Sound of 2017 poll, Raye is consistently raising the bar for pop music today, pushing down boundaries along the way and delivering a unique sound full of character and style.  

Like yesterday, with so many incredible acts closing Day 2 of Lovebox, it’s impossible to narrow down my top picks. Notable mentions have to go to AJ Tracey, Kurupt FM, Jamie Jones, Solardo, DJ EZ and Zdot.

Check out my final Lovebox Playlist below and enjoy the final day of the festival.

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Lovebox ’17 – Friday Picks

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Lovebox Festival returns to East London’s Victoria Park tomorrow (14-15th July) with an eclectic line-up spanning across the two days. Friday’s headline act is the one and only Frank Ocean, performing one of his only two UK festivals this year. With the success of his debut album Channel Orange, followed by 2016’s Blonde featuring collaborations from the likes of Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean has wildly become one the most celebrated and critically acclaimed acts of this decade. With a whole host of amazing acts set to kick off Day 1 of Lovebox, celebrating the best of British and international musical talent, here are some of my top picks for Friday:

1) Jamie XX (Main Stage: 7.25pm – 8.40pm)

Jamie xx has the task this year of playing right before main stage headliner, Frank Ocean. However, when you have tracks such as ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times’, it pretty much speaks for itself. With the massive success of his 2015 debut album In Colour giving us transcendent singles such as ‘Loud Places’, ‘See Saw’ and ‘Gosh’, Jamie xx consistently delivers a wide range of textures & styles, firmly positioning himself as a unique & imaginative contributor to the British dance scene. Jamie xx pushes boundaries and offers up a new realm of possibility from that of his main project, The xx. Whatever you do, make sure you reserve your spot for Jamie’s main stage set.

2) Solange (Noisey Stage: 8pm – 9pm)

Over the past few years, Solange couldn’t be mentioned in an article without being referred to as as ‘Beyonce’s Sister’. However, after years of hard work proving herself as an established, forward-thinking and grammy-winning artist, Solange can finally lose the ‘Beyonce’ tag. Her most recent album,  A Seat at the Table, confidently dealt with the complexities of black womanhood. With stunning singles such as ‘Cranes in the Sky’, ‘Mad’ ft Lil Wayne and ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ ft Sampha, Solange has made a fearless stance with her empowering body of work.  Having recently performed on Glastonbury’s West Holt Stage to rave reviews (one of the few performances that wasn’t allowed to be filmed for the BBC coverage) make sure you don’t miss her Lovebox set.

3) Rex Orange County (Noisey Stage: 2.20pm – 2.50pm)

Rex Orange County (aka Alex O’Conner) first came to my attention last year with his single ‘UNO’, serving up a refreshing slice of charming lo-fi mixed with witty conversational style vocals. When your talents have been recognised by Tyler the Creator, you know you’re onto something pretty special and unique. With the release of his self-produced debut album  ‘bcos u will never b free’, featuring on Tyler’s recent track ‘Boredom’, to his most recent debut album proper, Apricot Princess, ROC’s material offers up a personable outlook on life, effortlessly blending various styles from pop and indie to jazz and hip-hop. Showcasing  a talent far beyond his years, O’Conner’s melodic hooks are infectious and unassuming as heard in tracks such as ‘Best Friend’, ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Sycamore Girls’.

4) Sälen (Main Stage: 2.45pm- 3.15pm)

Self described as ‘Straight-talking, slightly to the left pop music’’, Sälen is made up of Ellie Kamio, Paul Taylor Wade and Simon Milner. The London trio, whose name is inspired by a small Swedish village with 652 inhabitants, serve up some effortlessly cool vibes with a unique edge. From their infectious synth-pop vibes of ‘Diseasey’ and ‘Heartbreak Diet’ to the saccharine-induced tones of ‘So Rude’ and ‘Copper Kiss’, Sälen’s eclectic influences set them apart from their contemporaries serving up a delectable form of ‘explicit pop’. With their glossy productions, breezy melodies and sweet sugary vocals akin to the likes of AlunaGeorge, this is one act that certainly won’t disappoint.

5) Ray BLK (Noisey Stage:4.00pm – 4.30pm)

23-year-old Ray BLK kicked off the year as BBC’s Sound of 2017 winner and has since gone from strength to strength with her straight-talking, down to earth attitude.  With the success of previous tracks ‘My Hood’, ‘Chill Out, ‘2am’ and her most recent offering ‘Doing Me’, Ray perfectly balances her free style vocals and soulful R&B melodies, delivering a refreshing slice of UK R&B. Having recently featured on Gorillaz’s latest album Humanz alongside Zebra Katz and Rag‘n’Bone Man, as well as previous collaborations with Stormzy and Wretch 32,  Ray is currently working on her debut album, which will no doubt represent her core values from her stage name, BLK (Building, Living Knowing)

6) Joe Goddard  (Corona Sunsets Stage: 4.00pm – 5.30pm)

As one half of house-duo 2 Bears, member of electro band Hot Chip and co founder of the Greco-Roman imprint, Producer/DJ Joe Goddard has released over a decade worth of albums and remixes – even earning him a Grammy nomination for his edit of the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Wide Open’. While his many side projects keep him busy, Goddard finally unveiled his highly anticipated first official solo album, Electric Lines. The album skilfully pays homage to the history of dance music and retro electro. His infectious form of house, disco, techno, creativity and left-wing pop music, has given us gems such as ‘Gabriel’, ‘Taking Over’ and more recently ‘Home‘ and ‘Truth Is The Answer’.

With so many incredible acts kicking of Day 1 of Lovebox, it’s impossible to narrow down my top picks. Notable mentions have to go to Sampha, Eats Everything, Bicep, Seth Troxler, Kaytranada & DJ Jazzy Jeff – all of which I’ll definitely be checking out throughout the day. So to get you in the mood for some sun and music this weekend, check out my Lovebox Playlist below. Check back soon for Saturday’s picks!

Glastonbury ’17 – Sunday Picks

“Knowing there are people in the audience who  possibly don’t even like my music at all and are just there to sort of see – that excites me.”  Ed Sheeran

As Glastonbury 2017 draws to a close, we have one final day of music ahead of us – and what a day! The nicest man in music, Ed Sheeran, is set to headline the Pyramid Stage tonight as the curtain comes down on the illustrious music festival. Having broken records left, right and center with his latest album ÷ (Divide), and every single track making it into the Top 20, Ed has become the fastest selling male solo artist ever. From ‘Thinking Out Loud’ to ‘Shape Of You’, get ready for one man and his guitar to completely captivate the main stage. Speaking with Annie Mac ahead of his headliner set, Ed commented on his excitement of closing out Glastonbury. So, for one last time, check out my Glastonbury Top 5 Picks.

1) BBK: Other Stage (22.15:23.15)

We’re in for something really special tonight! BBK, AKA the Grime collective, Boy Better Know, are set to close out The Other Stage Tonight. Made up of Producers, DJ’s and MC’s such as Skepta, JME, Jammer, Frisco, Shorty, Maximum and Godfather of Grime, Wiley, this is sure to be a momentous moment for the Grime scene. Formed in 2005 by brothers Jamie and Joseph Adenuga (Jme and Skepta), the Grime collective have gone from strength to strength, both as a unit and as solo breakout artists, with Skepta entering the charts at No 2 with his 2015 album Konnichiwa, followed by scooping the coveted Mercury prize and an Ivor Novello awards. The Grime collective will power their way through much-loved tracks such as Solo 45’s ‘Feed ’Em to the Lions’ and Skepta’s ‘Too Many Man’ and ‘Shutdown’ – the latter of which BBK is certainly going to do tonight! In the lead up to the General Election, JME encouraged his young fanbase to register and vote, and sat down with with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn for a Q&A, further promoting the social media campaign, #Grime4Corbyn. With support from the likes of Kanye West, who invited them to join his performances at the 2015 Brits, Canadian rapper Drake, who’s since signed to the BBK label, and a BBK takeover this August in the O2 London; the future of Grime looks pretty damn good!

2) HAIM: Other Stage (17.35-18.25)

Californian sister act, HAIM, made up of Danielle, Alana and Este, are set to bring their charmingly, nostalgic vibes to the Other Stage this evening. With the success of their 2013 debut album, Days Are Gone, bringing us much loved tracks such as ‘Falling’, ‘Forever’ and ‘The Wire’, the girls have since unveiled new material from their forthcoming sophomore album, Something To Tell You. With their trademark Fleetwood Mac influences, lush harmonies, breezy acoustic guitar licks and a perfect mix of soft-rock and 90’s r&b, expect a charming set spanning fan-favourites to new singles such as ‘Right Now’, and ‘I Want You Back’. With their new album produced by Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Madonna, Beyonce), the girls have a busy Summer of touring and promoting ahead. In the meantime, make sure you get down to the Other Stage for some ambient, soft rock, and more importantly, Este’s ‘bass face’!

3) Sampha: The Park Stage (19.30-20.30) and The Beat Hotel (22.30-23.30, DJ Set)

British Singer/songwriter and producer Sampha, (Sampha Sisay) is set to bring his achingly beautiful vocals to the Park Stage tonight. Having recently unveiled new material such as the breathtakingly beautiful ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ and his most recent collaboration with Richard Russell, (AKA Everything Is Recorded) on ‘Close But Not Quite’, Sampha knows how to immediately captivate an audience with his heartfelt vocals. The multi-talented producer and songwriter has lent his talents to a whole host of artists over the years such as SBTRKT (‘Hold On‘), Drake (‘Too Much‘), Jessie Ware (‘Valentine‘), and Kanye West (‘Saint Pablo‘); but now it’s Sampha’s turn to take center stage with the release of his debut album Process. If one performance isn’t enough, be sure to catch Sampha for his second performance of the day, when he joins Jamie xx & Friends at The Beat Hotel for a DJ set.

4) London Grammar: John Peel Stage (20.30 -21.30)

Fresh from the success of their number 1 sophomore album, Truth Is A Beautiful Thing, London Grammar are set to captivate audiences on the John Peel Stage tonight. With the release of recent singles ‘Big Picture’, ‘Rooting For You’, ‘Truth Is a Beautiful Thing’ and ‘Oh Woman Oh Man’, get ready to witness Hannah Reid’s lush vocals, Dan Rothman’s hazy guitars and Dot Major’s ethereal synth and percussive work. The new material marks the long awaited return for the Ivor Novello-winning band, whose 2013 debut album If You Wait brought us the mesmerising ‘Wasting My Young Years’, ‘Strong‘, ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ and ‘Sights‘. Having produced a string of cinematic videos of late, expect to see some impressive visuals and mesmerizing colours on display tonight. With a string of festival performances on the cards this Summer, including a headline performance at London’s Eventim Apollo (Oct 21) and O2 Academy Brixton (Oct 30), it’s going to be one busy year for the dynamic trio.

5) Barry Gibb: Pyramid Stage (16.00-17.15)

The Sunday afternoon set on The Pyramid stage is known as the ‘The Legend Slot’, where an established, well respected and much-loved artist, takes to the stage for a set filled with nostalgia and feel good vibes. The legends slot, has fast become one of the most coveted and popular acts of the weekend, with previous legends such as Tony Bennett, Shirley Bassey, Lionel Richie, Tom Jones and Dolly Parton, pulling in some of the biggest crowds of the weekend. This year, legendary Bee Gee, Barry Gibb, has the task of lifting spirits this afternoon. The 70-year-old music veteran, who not only defined the disco era along with his brothers Robin and Maurice, has sold over 220 million records worldwide, and released the most successful film soundtrack ever with Saturday Night Fever selling more than 40 million copies worldwide. With 2017 marking the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever, expect plenty of celebrations this afternoon and much loved classics including ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, ‘Night Fever’, Tragedy’ and this year’s official flashmob, ‘Stayin Alive‘.

As always, notable mentions have to go to a whole host of other incredible acts playing today, including Justice, Rex Orange County, Emeli Sande, Biffy Clyro, Slaves, Declan McKenna, GotSome, Blaenavon and Jamie XX & Friends. Also, there’s still a TBA for the John Peel Stage at 17.30. Might we see The Maccabees as part of their farewell tour? What better way to say goodbye than at Glastonbury. Update: The Killers have been confirmed as the 17.30 secret act on the John Peel Stage.

Check out the playlist below for all of today’s top picks. Don’t forget to catch all the live TV coverage across BBC 2, BBC 4 and the red button, as well as the BBC’s dedicated Glastonbury site for live streams across 6 stages. BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music will all be broadcasting live from the festival site all weekend too.

 

Glastonbury ’17 – Saturday Picks

“We get to headline Glastonbury and I get to do it on two legs. It means a lot to me personally. It’s part of my recovery” –  Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters.

Time for the mighty Foo Fighters to take their rightful place headlining the Pyramid Stage. Having last played Glastonbury in 1998, the US Rockers had to forfeit their 2015 headline slot, when frontman Dave Grohl fell off the stage in Sweden, breaking his leg. Now back stronger than ever, the rock icons are set to thrill audiences with an epic back catalogue of material, having just announced news of their forthcoming ninth album, Concrete and Gold, and lead single ‘Run’. Speaking with Annie Mac ahead of their high profile appearance, Dave commented on the cathartic nature of finally being able to take center stage at Glastonbury. Once again, I have the impossible task of picking my top 5 ‘must see acts’, but I hope you enjoy this eclectic selection:

1) Run The Jewels: Pyramid Stage (16.15-17.15)

I have to start with US hip-hop duo Run The Jewels (AKA Killer Mike & El-P), not only for their epic third studio album, Run The Jewels 3, but because they managed to get man of hour, and ‘of the many’ – Jeremy Corbyn –  to introduce them on stage. The politically outspoken duo are quite familiar with Jeremy, with Killer Mike recently throwing his support behind the Labour Leader at London’s Field Day Festival. This will be JC’s debut ‘performance’ at Glastonbury having postponed last year’s appearance in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Expect plenty of White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army‘ inspired ‘Oh, Jeremy Cordon’ chants. JC also received great backing from the Grime scene recently in the run up to the general election. Stormzy is on the Other Stage at 20.30 Jezza if you want to stick around? … just saying! Back to the dynamic duo, Run The Jewels are set to tear up the main stage with their infectious beats and fierce flows, as they power through tracks from ‘Legend Has It’ to ‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)’. We might even get a special appearance from Danny Brown, who’s been touring with them recently and features on ‘Hey Kids’.

Update: On Thursday, Killer Mike tweeted that he had to fly back to the US to be with his sick Mother, who later passed away that Friday. Sincere condolences to Michael Render and his family. Despite this incredibly sad news, the duo are still set to perform as planned.

2) Stormzy: Other Stage (20.30-21.30)

With success of his debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, there’s just no stopping the formidable force that is Stormzy. The Croydon MC, AKA Michael Omari, is set to dominate the Other Stage tonight, showcasing his impressive range and fiery riddims. With his debut album storming the charts at number one and released via his own independent label, MERKY, Stormzy has continued to push Grime in a more commercial light, having found the perfect balance between mainstream acceptance and underground integrity. Expect an explosive set with all the big hits including ‘Big for Your Boots’, fan favourites ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Know Me From’, and his recent remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’. Having collaborated with a host of artists recently including Kehlani, MNEK, Wretch 32, and Little Mix, hopefully we’ll get a few special guests for his Other Stage performance.

3) Sigrid: The Park Stage (15.00-15.50)

There must be something in the water, because we have yet another Scandinavian pop star absolutely killing it. Hailing from Norway, 20-year-old Sigrid is gearing up for her debut Glastonbury performance on the Park Stage this afternoon, armed with an electrifying voice that’s sure to captivate. Fresh off the success of her remarkable debut ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, the infectious track has been streamed over 16 million times on Spotify and hailed as the ‘ultimate millennial empowerment anthem’.  With a Summer of Festival performances on the cards for Sigrid such as Wilderness, Latitude and Roskilde, make sure you reserve your spot at The Park stage for an afternoon filled with rousing vocals, melodic vibes and an all around raw energy courtesy of this rising star.  

4) Liam Gallagher: Other Stage (17.45-18.45)

Former Oasis frontman, Liam Gallagher, triumphantly returned to the spotlight with his debut solo single ‘Wall Of Glass’. Having only recently been confirmed as a Glastonbury performer, the Manchester rocker will no doubt receive an overwhelmingly large crowd. His brother, Noel, appeared at the Festival yesterday to introduce the Oasis documentary, Supersonic, on the William’s Green Stage. Whether we get to witness an Oasis reunion or not, Liam will no doubt deliver a hefty, dose of blues-rock with plenty of his trademark swagger and attitude. Liam recently made a surprise appearance in Manchester for the ‘One Love Manchester’ benefit concert, where he performed ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’, ‘Wall Of Glass’ and then ‘Live Forever’ with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.  With his debut album, As You Were, set to drop October 6 and pre orders conveniently available from today, Liam has been hilariously signing off his tweets with said album name, some even going back as far as May last year!

5) Birdy: Avalon Stage (20.10-21.10)

So far we’ve had some hip-hop, grime, rock ‘n‘ roll and some delightful Scandinavian synth-pop. Now it’s time for the achingly beautiful vocals of Birdy! The 21-year-old singer/songwriter is set to captivate the Avalon Stage this evening, with her mesmerising vocals and enchanting piano skills. Having shot to fame six years ago with her stunning cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’, Birdy has gone on to sell over 15 million records worldwide and last year delivered her third studio album, Beautiful Lies – the perfect ‘coming of age’ album. From the fragility of ‘Shelter’ and ‘People Help The People’, Birdy still delivers heartbreak like no other, but with a sound that’s matured and grown organically over time, she’s also able to deliver the more uplifting and empowering tracks such as ‘Wings’, ‘Keep Your Head Up’ and ‘Wild Horses’.  Expect an emotion induced set, with plenty of unique covers too. Having recently collaborated with Sigma on ‘Find Me’, Birdy is currently working on new material. In the meantime, make sure your grab some down time at Glasto and enjoy the beauty that is Birdy.

As with yesterday’s top picks, notable mentions have to go to a few more acts such as Solange, The Amazons, Loyal Carner, Mykki Blanco, Bicep, Seth Troxler, Dusky, Benga, and pretty much the entire Lovebullets Stage lineup, with performances from Route 94, Infinity Ink & Patrick Topping! Last but not least, I’m sure Katy Perry will no doubt deliver an epic, pop extravaganza on the Pyramid Stage.

Check back soon for Sunday’s picks. In the meantime, check out the playlist below for all of today’s top picks. Don’t forget to catch all the live TV coverage across BBC 2, BBC 4 and the red button, as well as the BBC’s dedicated Glastonbury site for live streams across 6 stages. BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music will all be broadcasting live from the festival site all weekend too.

Glastonbury ’17 – Friday Picks

“You’ve got to leave your ego and your shades at the gate” – Ed O’Brien, Radiohead

Are you ready for the first Glastonbury headliner of 2017? With official TV coverage and online streaming starting today, the one and only Radiohead are set to headline The Pyramid Stage from 21.30-23.45. Having last headlined Glastonbury in 2003, Radiohead have an impressive nine studio albums under their belt, so expect an epic, career-spanning set. Over on Radio 1, Annie Mac caught up with Ed O’Brien ahead of their second headline performance, with Ed offering some sound advice to  his fellow artists. Ok, let’s see who’s made my Friday’s Picks:

1) The xx: Pyramid Stage (19.30-20.30)

With the release of their highly anticipated third studio album, I See You, back in January, The xx are set to captivate the Pyramid Stage with their typically affecting live show. Having recently sold out seven consecutive nights at London’s Brixton Academy in March, you just know The xx are going to deliver a mesmerising live performance. Sonically, the trio have evolved from the hauntingly sparse onset of 2009’s debut album, to a more expansive and colourful existence. With an impressive back catalogue of material such as ‘On Hold’, ‘Angels’ ‘A Violent Noise‘, to their most recent offering, ‘Seasons Run’, expect emotions to be running high as Jamie, Romy and Oliver light up the main stage with their saccharin induced melodies, illuminating light show, velvety vocals and rousing, festival-friendly refrains – perfect for the grandest stage of them all.

2) Áine Cahill: Avalon Stage (14.20-15.15)
    The Bread and Roses Stage (18.00-19.00)

Áine Cahill first came to my attention during last year’s Glastonbury festival, when BBC 2 hosted a series of acoustic-style performances throughout their live TV coverage. The 21-year-old performed her single ‘Black Dahlia’, which immediately prompted a surge of viewers eager to know more about this mysterious talent, even causing her to trend on Twitter. Inspired by classic 1950’s jazz with a contemporary twist, the Irish singer from Co. Cavan continues to captivate audiences with her commanding vocals full of depth, akin to the likes of Amy Winehouse or Adele. With the success of singles ‘The 27 Club’ and more recently ‘Plastic’, be sure to catch Áine as she takes to the Avalon Stage this afternoon and then again on the Bread and Roses Stage later this evening. With a string of Summer festivals on the horizon including Sea Sessions, Latitude, Longitude, Secret Garden Party and Festival no 6 –  the future is bright for this rising Irish star.

3) Annie Mac: John Peel Stage (22.30-23.45)

I know I already mentioned Annie Mac in my top picks for Thursday, but that was for her special Glasto broadcast of her weekday show, with special performances from the likes of George Ezra and Nadia Rose. Now, it’s time for her solo gig! As the Queen of dance on Radio 1, Annie has had the pleasure of kick-starting the weekend off for a number of years now, and what better way than on the John Peel Stage. With the success of her recent club culture documentary ‘Who Killed The Night’ and her personally curated AMP Lost & Found Festival in Malta, Annie is seen as the premiere tastemaker when it comes to the latest club bangers. While her weekly Friday night show is still being broadcast live from Glastonbury tonight, with special guests The xx, Goldie, Jackmaster, Joe Goddard and Little Dragon; her John Peel set will see Annie take center stage for a night of #raving. Having recently given birth to her second child and made her highly anticipated return to their airwaves last week, expect a large crowd for this set.

4) Toddla T’s Glastonbury Carnival: Stonebridge Bar (22.00-05.00)

I couldn’t leave out Toddla T’s Glastonbury Carnival from my top picks. The producer/DJ, label owner and new Dad is set to bring his Carnival vibes to the Stonebridge Bar. While the annual Notting Hill Carnival is still 9 weeks away, Toddla T is starting the celebrations early and bringing the whole Soca crew along. Joining him for the 7 hour Glasto special include: Joe Goddard, Mist, Donae’o, Dj Target, DJ Q, Cadet, Jamz, Supernova, Kojo Funds, Lisa Mercedes and Jeremiah Asiamah, serving up an eclectic mix of dub & reggae, jungle, hip hop, grime and dancehall. With the every-growing popularity of Carnival, including Toddla’s Spring, Summer and Ibiza Carnivals, the Toddla T Sound has grown from strength to strength celebrating the best of Caribbean music. Airhorns and whistles at the ready – and watch out for the Soca Police!

5) Royal Blood: Pyramid Stage (17.45-18.45)

Royal Blood have been a firm staple on my blog since their 2014 eponymous debut album. The Brighton duo are set to tear up the Pyramid Stage with a string of explosive singles, such as ‘Figure It Out’, ‘Come On Over’,‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and more recent singles ‘Lights Out’ and ‘I Only Lie When I Love You’. With their turbocharged, riff-laden hard rock, The Brighton duo have garnered quite the support from rock-royalty over the years, including Foo Fighters, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and even Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. With the release of their sophomore album, Why Did We Get So Dark, earlier this month, bassist & vocalist Mike Kerr along with drummer Ben Thatcher, have successfully delivered a follow up album that’s evolved organically, all the while maintaining their undeniable raw energy. Word of warning – watch out for the mosh pits!

It’s impossible to narrow down my top 5, so notable mentions have to go to festival favourite’s Major Lazer – who on any other day would have been top of this list – and of course the incredible Lorde making her Glasto debut. Other acts that caught my eye include Melé, Gorgon City, Blossoms, Diplo x Jillionaire’s DJ setEats Everything’s fourth performance of the weekend and the Radio 1 Essential Mix (with Patrick Topping and Richie Ahmed B2B). There’s also still a few ‘secret acts‘ yet to be announced, such as the 19.30 slot on the Park Stage. Could it be Elbow? Away from the live music acts, another highlight bound to get a big crowd is the William’s Green Stage (21.00-23.10) for a special screening of the Oasis documentary Supersonic, which a special introduction from Noel Gallagher. While, The Cineramageddon (15.45-17.50) is set to screen two documentaries about the life and times of David Bowie; ‘Five Years’ and ‘The Last Five Years’. See, something for everyone.

Don’t forget to catch all the live TV coverage across BBC 2, BBC 4 and the red button, as well as the BBC’s dedicated Glastonbury site for live streams across 6 stages. BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music will all be broadcasting live from the festival site all weekend too. Check back soon for Saturday’s picks!

Glastonbury ’17 – Thursday Picks

Glastonbury Festival returns to Worthy Farm in Somerset today (June 21-25), with an eclectic line-up spanning across 80 stages. With thousands of acts performing, it’s nearly impossible to select my top picks, however, I’m going to try a select a few ‘must-see’ acts each day from Thursday-Sunday. I’m not going to do my top picks for Wednesday, as the first day is all about settling in, getting your tent pitched and preparing yourself for the fun-filled days ahead – unless you’re one of the early birds who went yesterday and already have your tent pitched with a drink in hand! However, if you’re looking for the perfect way to kick off Glastonbury tonight, check out the Shangri-La warm up session at the Clash stage (19.00-3.00). Ok, let’s crack on with Thursday’s Picks shall we?

1) SHY FX: WOW! Stage (02.00-03.00) 

First up is jungle and bass producer Andre Williams, aka SHY FX, who takes to the WOW! Stage along with Stamina MC. The UK Producer, fresh off the success of his latest single We Just Don’t Care featuring the incredible vocals of Shingai Shoniwa (Noisettes), will showcase his eclectic style and Reggae summertime vibes. The innovative producer has always championed new sounds, having previously joined forces with Chase & Status, David Rodigan and MC Rage in 2014 to form sound system Rebel Sound, and ultimately winning the Red Bull Culture Clash. Get ready for SHY FX to kick off this years festival in style. 

2) The Residency Live on Radio 1 – Kölsch: BBC Introducing (23.00-00.00) 

Danish tech-house DJ and producer, Kölsch (Rune Reilly Kölsch) is set to light up the BBC Introducing Stage with his live Radio 1 Residency show. Known for this ability to produce emotion-induced music, Kölsch perfectly combines both mainstream and underground styles, all the while producing luscious, sonic soundscapes. With the success of his critically acclaimed album 1977 followed by 1983, Kölsch consistently delivers with tracks such as ‘Grey’, ‘DerDieDas’, ‘Cassiopeia’, ‘Der Alte’ and recent single ’Speicher 97’ EP – not to mention producing some excellent remixes such as Eric Prydz ‘Generate’ and personal favourite, Monkey Safari’s ‘Cranes’. Currently signed to iconic German electronic label, Kompakt and set to take up residency in Hï Ibiza this Summer, expect an epic set from the Danish Don with his melodic and intimate form of electronica.

3) Annie Mac Live on Radio 1: BBC Introducing Stage (19.00.21.00)

Radio 1 DJ and premiere tastemaker Annie Mac, is set to host her weekday show live from the BBC Introducing Stage. Having made her highly anticipated return to the airwaves last week after giving birth to her second child, Annie returns with a bang, bringing along a few special guests with her. Known for impeccable music curation talents, this year’s eclectic lineup includes performances from George Ezra, Charli XCX, Donae’o, Shy FX and Nadia Rose – all championed throughout her weekday show. Following the success and antics of last year’s live show from Glastonbury, with performances from Mura Masa, Shy FX and Mele and Monki’s NRG Flash, we’re no doubt in for yet another exciting live show from the Queen of Radio 1. Welcome back Annie!

4) The Residency Live on Radio 1 – Eats Everything: BBC Introducing (22.00-23.00) 

Bristolian producer Daniel Pearce, AKA Eats Everything, also brings his Radio 1 Residency show live from the BBC Introducing Stage – his first of four performances throughout the festival. Having kicked off the year joining the Radio 1 Residency series alongside the likes of Kölsch and Deadmau5, Eats Everything is set to take up residency at Amnesia in Ibiza this Summer with his infectious, party stylings. With a string of impressive releases under his belt, including ‘Big Discs’ EP,  ‘The Duster’ ft Green Velvet, his most recent ‘Clash Of The Tight-Uns’ EP and a personal favourite, Tiga vs Audion’s ‘Dancing (Again!)’ – Eats Everything continually proves why he’s one of the UK’s finest dance music exports.

5) Skream: Love Bullets Stage (22.00-01.30)

Oliver Jones, AKA Skream, is set to take to the Love Bullets Stage for a solo set and B2B Special. The former member of pioneering dubstep duo Skream & Benga, has helped shaped the direction of dance music over the last decade, and now showcases more of a tech-house vibe as seen in his recent reworking of Leftfield’s ‘Open Up’. With the success of his imprint Of Unsound Mind, Skream has pioneered both rising and established artists, with releases from the likes of Eli Brown, Motions, Billy Turner, Waifs & Strays and Solardo. While Skream is set to go B2B with tech-house duo Solardo on the Friday night, the identify of the special guest for Thursday remains a mystery. Could it be Patrick Topping, who he went B2B with in Barcelona recently? One thing’s for sure, we’re in for one electrifying set.

Check out my Glastonbury Playlist below with all of Thursday’s picks. Check back soon for Friday’s selections.

 

September Selections

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September heralds the end of summer, whether you’re going back to school or getting back into a routine at work after a summer filled with holidays, festivals and general merriment. While you reminisce of sunnier days gone by, fear not, there’s plenty of great new music to get you through these Autumn blues, such as Disclosure’s ‘Jaded‘ and KDA’s infectious single ‘Rumble‘ with Katy B and Tinie Tempah jumping on the vocals. But first up, let’s have a look at all that’s been happening in the music world this September! 

BBC Radio 1 kicked off September in style with Live Lounge Month! Yes, a whole month dedicated to 30 live performances from the likes of Hozier, James Bay, Muse, Slaves, Florence + The Machine, Disclosure & Sam Smith, and 24 other incredible acts; something for everyone. As with tradition, the acts perform a cover song of their choice. Highlights include Demi Lovato’s version of Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’, James Bay covering Flo’s ‘Shake It Out’, Rhode’s stunning take of Ellie Goulding’s ‘Love Me Like You Do’, Disclosure & Sam Smith’s incredible version of Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’, Jack Garratt’s mellow cover of Disclosure & Sam Smith’s ‘Latch’, Florence & The Machine’s exceptional take of Jack U & Bieber’s ‘Where Are You Now’… I  could go on. Best to check out all the highlights here and decide your favourite. The iTunes Festival, usually runs in conjunction with this, with 30 live performances at London’s Round House. However this year, the newly named ‘Apple Music Festival’ performed just 10 dates, with performances from One Direction, The Chemical Brothers, Disclosure and The Weeknd… I feel a bit cheated this year! Come one Apple, you launch a brand new music streaming platform, yet cut down the amount of performances? Radio 1Xtra announced Flo Rida and Lethal Bizzle as the first acts joining them at 1Xtra live in Leeds next month, while fellow Radio 1/1Xtra Dj Toddla T, announced details of his Winter Carnival featuring Jus Now, The Heatwave, Wookie and more. Watch out for the Soca Police!!

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There were some pretty big album and EP releases this month, including Disclosure’s highly anticipated ‘Caracal’, Ryan Adam’s complete cover album of Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’, Eric Prydz’s Pryda 10, Vol III series, and Drake x Future’s surprise album ‘What A Time To Be Alive’. Queen of Dance, Annie Mac, unveiled details of her latest AMP compilation album; a two track CD with the very best of #Raving and #Behaving hits, while Ricky Gervais’ David Brent, is set to release an album for this upcoming film ‘Life On The Road’. And last but not least, (get ready for this one) Bieber and Taylor better watch out, cause Pope Francis has released his new single ‘Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward’ available now via iTunes, with a full album to follow November 27th. Christmas no 1 contender perhaps? With the latest Bond film ‘Spectre’ set for release Oct 26th, Sam Smith finally unveiled his Bond theme ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, co-written by Smith and Jimmy Napes. While the single divided opinions online, ‘Writings On The Wall’ went on to claim no 1 in the charts, and to this day, is the only bond theme to do so!  Nope, not even Adele or Shirley Bassey have achieved this. Queen B unveiled her first new material in almost a year, jumping on Naughty Boy’s new single ‘Runnin’ (Lose It All) along with Arrow Benjamin. Other collaborations happening this month include Janet Jackson and Missy Elliott with their new single ‘Burn It Up’ from Jackson’s forthcoming album ‘Unbreakable’.

I always have a few stats for you each month, and this month is no different. ‘Uptown Funk’ has been named as the 5th biggest single in UK history, with Elton John’s ‘Candle In The Wind’, Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and Pharrell’s Happy, completing the top 5. Any guesses for who topped the most first-week streams on Spotify? Begrudgingly, it’s Justin Bieber, with ‘What Do You Mean’. 21 Million streams in 5 days ain’t too shabby! Bieber also managed to score his first number 1 single in the UK. Elsewhere in the charts, Stereophonics claimed their sixth number one album ‘Keep the Village Alive’ , while Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour secured his second-ever solo chart-topper, with ‘Rattle That Lock’.

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There’s always space for more festivals and that’s exactly what Reading and Leeds Festival organisers have done. Their new festival ‘Community’ will take place in Shoreditch and Hoxton this November (3-5), showcasing emerging talent across 11 East London Venues. Acts include The Japanese House, Petite Meller and Blonde. Red Bull presented Future Underground this month, with headline performances from Hudson Mohawke, Charlie XCX and Skepta. With the headline acts only announced 24 hours in advance, the underground event was supposed coincide with the launch of TFL’s 24 hour tubes (Damn you strikes!) Thankfully Future Underground went ahead, featuring guest performances from Action Bronson, Lionbabe, Giggs and more. The event raised money for charity ‘Wings For Life’ and took place in the incredible underground venue at Collins Music Hall in North London. Check out my Instagram for some highlights of the night.  The United Nations launched an exciting Campaign this month called ‘Global Goals’. World Leaders have committed to 17 Global Goals, with the aim of ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and fixing climate change by 2030. To launch the Global Goals Campaign, The Global Citizens Festival took place in Central Park, NY, with headline performances from Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, Coldplay and Pearl Jam. Check out some of the highlights, include Ed joining beyonce for an acoustic version of ‘Drunk in Love’, while Coldplay collaborated with Ed on ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and ‘Yellow’. The EMA nominations were unveiled and unsurprisingly, Swifty leads the pack with 9 nominations. Ed Sheeran is set to take on hosting duties with Orange Is The New Black’s Ruby Rose at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan on October 25th. Get voting here! Here in the UK, the MOBO awards nominations were announced with top nominations for FKA Twigs, The Weeknd and Mark Ronson, while Lethal Bizzle and Skepta are up for Best Grime Act. The 20th MOBO Awards ceremony is set to take place in The First Direct Arena in Leeds. (Nov 4) Cast your votes here.

In music streaming news, Jay Z’s Tidal has hit 1 million subscribers. To mark the occasion, Jay Z is set to perform at Tidal X in Brooklyn (Oct 20) with Beyonce, Usher and a host of other acts. Google Play Music hit back at Spotify and Apple with their very own family plan set for release later this year. (6 people for $14.99 pm, £TBC) Chromecast unveiled plans to rival Sonos, with Chromecast Audio; turning any speaker into a connected device. Chromecast are working on further app integration including Spotify and iPlayer Radio. At £30, it’s a bit of a steal! Former Radio 1 DJ, Chris Moyles, kicked off his new breakfast show on Radio X (formerly XFM) this month. He joins the new lineup of DJ’s including former Radio 1 DJ Vernon Kay, Dan O’Connell, and Kaiser Chief’s very own Ricky Wilson. Comedy Dave won’t be joining Moyles, but newsreader Dominic Bryne will be part of the Breakfast show. Anyone still missing ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks? Sky 1 has announced details of their very own comedy-music-panel show titled ‘Bring The Noise’, featuring Ricky Wilson, Nicole Scherzinger, Tinie Tempah and comedian Katherine Ryan. Elsewhere on TV, comedy duo Ant & Dec, are set to host the Brit Awards for a second year running. What will PJ & Duncan have in store for us Feb 24, 2016. In more serious news, Dubstep pioneering producer & DJ Benga, took to Twitter to open up about his mental health issues, which resulted in his early retirement from Djing in 2014. He explained how his bipolar was ‘Brought on by drugs’, while his schizophrenia was ’A result of excessive touring’. While Mental Health issues are still met with prejudice, ignorance and fear, it’s great to see Benga being so open about it and raising much needed awareness for others.

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Booking crew assembled – check. Laptops ready – check. Multiple tabs and browsers open – check. Refreshing finger primed and ready to click for your life – check. Yes, it can only mean one thing … Glasto!! Legendary Festival ‘Glastonbury’ announced it’s ticket sale for 2016. Tickets go on sale October 1 (Coach package) and October 4 (Standard weekend tickets) and will cost £228 + bf. Don’t forget to check out the usual banter on twitter and watch your timeline fill with mutual hatred for the ticket provider and those lucky ticket holders. Anyone planning a trip to Vegas soon? Then you’re in luck! Lionel Richie has announced plans for a residency at Planet Hollywood in April/May and September/Oct 2016. Be sure to pop in and say ‘Hello’. After the success of his Glastonbury performance, you’ll be ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ ‘All Night Long’… what a ‘Truly’ perfect venue for Lionel.. ok I’ll stop with puns now. I just have such ‘Endless Love’ for him.  Muse announced details for their Drones World Tour, which will see the band perform in the round from the centre of the arena. The Maccabees have added further London dates to their tour, which sees them play 3 nights at Brixton Academy. The group are also preparing for their feature-length documentary ‘Elephant Days’, focusing on the writing and recording of their latest album.

With Halloween just around the corner, you can look forward to some Halloween themed events, such as Vevo’s Halloween in Manchester, featuring James Bay, Little Simz, Wolf Alice and Years & Years. Knife Party are set to take to take over Brixton 02 Academy on Oct 31st with Sleepy Tom, Jacob Plant and Shift K3y, only to return Nov 2nd for the Haunted House extravaganza with Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus and Monsta.

Ok, after that rather lengthy roundup, let’s get on with the music. Check out my September Selections below:

1) Flux Pavilion – What You Gonna Do About It’

Pioneering Dubstep producer/DJ Flux Pavilion (AKA Josh Steele), unveiled his debut album ‘Telsa. The 13-track LP is co-written by Isa the Machine (Florence + the Machine) and Arthur Baker, and features collaborations from artists such as Riff Raff, JakkCity, and Soulsonic Force. ‘What You Gonna Do About It’, serves up a nasty, bassy-heavy thumper of a track, with its eerie synth motifs and chiptune style elements. Telsa serves as the follow up to his previous 3 EP’s in 2013, followed by various remixes in 14/15, including Skrillex’s ‘Recess’.  The UK producer is kicking off his US tour in NY in October, before heading to the UK for 4 dates. Flux makes a welcome return and progresses his sound with such force and style. Telsa is availble now on iTunes.

2) SG Lewis – Shiver (Honne Remix)

Yes, Honne featured in last month’s favourites too with ‘Loves The Jobs you Hate’, but they seem to be on a roll at the moment, so just go with it and enjoy their impeccable production work. The London based duo (Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatch) unveiled their latest reworking of SG Lewis’ single ‘Shivers’, which sees Honne infuse such ambience and groove into the already mellow track. Keeping JP Cooper’s effortless vocals intertwined throughout, Honne’s production creates an ethereal state of mind with their smooth synths and chilled house vibes; futuristic soul at it’s finest. Their latest EP ‘The Over Lover’ is available now , while upcoming dates include Patterns in Brighton and Deaf Institute in Manchester, with a headline performance at London’s Oval Space. 

3) Florence and the Machine – Queen of Peace (Hot Chip Remix)

UK electronic band, Hot Chip, have remixed Florence + The Machine’s ‘Queen Of Peace’, taken from her recent album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’. Premiering as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record, the reworking gives the single a funky, house-driven electro vibe with striking synths, while still retaining Flo’s commanding vocals. Hot Chip’s remix is available now while upcoming dates for the group include 02 Academy Bristol (Oct 13) and 02 Academy Brixton (Oct 22-23) 

4) Icarus – Ride This Train ft Aniff Akinola

Bristol brotherly duo Icarus (Tom and Ian Griffiths), unveiled their latest single ‘Ride This Train, which premiered with Pete Tong on Radio 1. ‘Ride This Train’ serves as the follow up to previous singles ‘Gold’ and ‘Cassia’ and delivers a thoroughly rousing single with infectious horns, driving bass lines and smooth, captivating vocals from Aniff Akinola. ‘Ride This Train’ is available now, via their own Fly Boy label.

4) Alex Metric – Drum Machine ft The New Sins

Alex Metric unveiled his new single ‘Drum Machine’, taken from his forthcoming EP, Ammunition Pt 4. Featuring the vocals of Lou Hayter from The New Sins, ‘Drum Machine’ serves up a wonderfully minimalist approach, filled with infectious vocals and beats, or as Metric refers to it when speaking to Noisey  –  ‘An experiment in limitations’, considering he only used 1 drum machine throughout. The 4-track Ammunition EP, features collaborations from AMTRAC and The Knocks and is available via iTunes October 9. Metric is currently on tour in the US with Zedd and Dillon Francis.

5) ZHU x AlunaGeorge – Automatic

Producer Stephen Zhu, (AKA ZHU) who brought us that infectious single ‘Faded’ in 2014, has teamed with AlunaGeorge for his new single ‘Automatic’. Automatic delivers a hypnotizing single, with Alunas vocals as enthralling as ever, and slick production throughout from Zhu. Taken from Zhu’s forthcoming and cryptic Genesis Series Project, other artists set to feature include Skrillex, A-Trak, Gallant and more. Upcoming dates for ZHU include Voodoo Music & Arts Experience in New Orleans, while AlunaGeorge are touring North America.

6) Bonzai – KBG (Knicker Bocker Glory)

Introducing 19 year old artist Bonzai, who has released her debut single KBG via Mura Masa’s label Anchor Point. While not much is known about Bonzai, except for the fact she’s half Irish/half American and was raised in Dublin, she certainly makes an impact with the unique sounding KBG; a playful track, with distorted vocals and quirky, edgy production. Upcomings dates for Bonzai included support Mura Massa at Patterns in Brighton (Oct 19) and Village Undergound in London. (Oct 20) ‘KBG‘ is set for release October 2nd via Anchor Point.

7) Frances – Let It Out

Berkshire-born Frances , made a strong impact with her debut single ‘Grow’ back in July. Now, the talented singer/songwriter has unveiled her latest single ‘Let It Out’, serving up a wonderfully personal and fragile song, showcasing Frances’ melodic ability and tender vocals. Having recently appeared in Radio 1’s September Live Lounge Month, the 21 year old shares management with Disclosure and Sam Smith, firmly positioning herself as a rising star with plenty of promise. The ‘Let It Out’ EP is available Oct 16  via iTunes, while upcoming dates for Frances can be found here

8) Tame Impala – Let It Happen (Soulwax remix)

What.A.Remix!! Yes Belgian groove gurus Soulwax have superbly remixed Tame Impala’s ‘Let It Happen’, propelling it to even greater heights than the already captivating original. The stirring synths add to the rousing atmosphere, while frontman Kevin Parker’s echoed vocals are kept intact above some funky bassline and uptempo grooves throughout. Be prepared to get thoroughly lost in the beauty of this 9-minute track, available now on iTunes. Upcoming dates for Tame Impala, include Manchester Arena (Feb11), while their London date will take place at Alexandra Palace (Feb 12). No dates announced as of yet for Soulwax, but a remix like this one will keep us going for a while!

9) Swindle – Mad Ting ft JME

Major Oof Alert! Yes xx Swindle has collaborated with JME on his latest single ‘Swindle’ and serves up an absolute monster of a track, mixed with a bit of strings, brass, jazz and Grime… what’s not to love? Swindles beats are gritty and infectious, while JME’s flow is as skillful as ever.Swindles use of instrumentation, pitted against some heavy-weight Grime, makes ‘Mad Ting’ an absolute stand out track. Taken from Swindles album ‘Peace, Love and Music’ and released via Butterz, the album also features collaborations from Flowdan, JME and TC. Upcoming dates for Swindle include Band On The Wall in Manchester (Nov 6) and Rich Mix in London  (Nov 26), while JME has just announced plans for his headline gig with Skepta in O2 Academy Brixton (Dec 18)

10) The Fog vs Chus & Ceballos – Been A Long Time (Mark Knight Remix)

Mark Knight has reworked ‘The Fog vs Chus & Ceballos ‘Been A Long Time’. While the original vocal from The Fog dropped way back in ‘93, it’s safe to say Knight has breathed new life into the track, infusing a pulsating and infectious bassline, with plenty of groove throughout.  The single serves as the follow up to ‘Second Story’; a previous Essential Tune for Pete Tong, and certainly lives up to that caliber as he blazes through with this fist pumping smash. ‘Been A Long Time’ is available now via Stereo Productions.

11) Special Request – Amnesia

Paul Woolford returns under his moniker Special Request, with his new Jungle inspired body of work, titled ‘Modern Warfare’. Single ‘Amnesia’ premiered with Annie Mac as her hottest record and delivers a throwback to dance music, as it dips in and out of ‘ravy’ dance breaks, eerie undertones and mesmerising bass heavy vibes, mixed with some lighter vocal hooks and infectious house piano. Upcoming dates for Special Request include The Warehouse Project in Manchester (Oct 16, Nov 7), Village Underground in London (Nov 6) and In:Motion, Bristol (Dec 4).‘Modern Warfare’ is set for release Oct 30 via XL Recordings in a series of 3 EP’s.

12) Jimmy Edgar – Let Me Tell You

Berlin-based Detroit producer Jimmy Edgar, unveiled his new single ‘Let Me Tell You’, taken from his forthcoming 5-track ‘Shine’ EP. With his pulsing house-style chords, infectious vocal loops and industrial, futuristic vibes throughout, ‘Let Me Tell You’ delivers on all fronts with such creativity and skill. Check out his FB page for a Q&A on his production techniques. The ‘Shine’ EP is available now via his own Ultramajic label and gives us a taste of what’s to come for Edgar in 2016. Upcoming dates include Tribal Sessions at Fire, London (Dec 11)

Check out the full playlist below with over 70 minutes for your listening pleasure!