High Contrast – The Beat Don’t Feel The Same Ft Boy Matthews

Lincoln Barrett, AKA High Contrast, unveiled his new single ‘The Beat Don’t Feel The Same‘.

Known for championing drum ‘n’ bass over the years and delivering some epic anthems such as ‘Remind Me’ and ‘How Love Begins’, the British DJ & Producer has taken a different route with his new single, delivering an infectious disco-house banger instead. The single premiered with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record and serves up some smooth Daft Punk-esque vibes with its groovy bass lines, slick guitar licks and infectious vocals from Boy Matthews. 

Speaking with Annie Mac, High Contrast spoke about this sudden shift from drum ‘n’ bass.

“Anyone who knows my stuff over the years, it’s always been influenced by house, disco-house and the french house records (Daft Punk, Cassius), but I always did it at drum ‘n’ bass tempo. I wanted to pay proper homage to them and make a disco-house record.”

‘The Beat Don’t Feel The Same‘ is taken from his forthcoming 6th album Night Gallery, due October 6th. Judging by the direction of this single, it’s safe to safe High Contrast will be pushing boundaries sonically and delivering something fresh and exciting. In the meantime, be sure to catch High Contrast at SW4, Reading & Leeds and Creamfields before he heads out on tour this Autumn with a full live band.

iTunes: Night Gallery
Google Play: The Beat Don’t Feel The Same
Tour Dates

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Year In Review: Top 100 Tracks of 2015

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It’s that time of year again when I count down my favourites tracks of 2015. With so many incredible artists from Eric Prydz to Disclosure, Skepta to JME, Frances to Jack Garratt and Duke Dumont to Méle, it’s safe to say the future of music is in good hands. Check out my Top 100 tracks below, which I’ve combined into a handy Spotify Playlist.

Here’s to a bright 2016 and another exciting year in music!

Top 100 Tracks

  1. Eric Prydz – Opus
  2. Disclosure – Bang That
  3. Fono – Real Joy
  4. Melé – Ambience
  5. Jamie xx – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) Ft Young Thug & Popcaan
  6. The Chemical Brothers – Sometimes I Feel So Deserted
  7. Skepta – Shutdown
  8. Major Lazer – Lean On Ft MØ & DJ Snake
  9. Ápres – Chicago
  10. Disclosure – Holding On ft Gregory Porter
  11. Jack Ü – Where Are Ü Now ft Justin Bieber
  12. Enzo Siffredi – Sometimes
  13. Jamie XX – Loud Places ft Romy
  14. Julio Bashmore – Holding On ft Sam Dew
  15. The Chemical Brothers – Go Ft Q-Tip
  16. Format:B – Chunky
  17. Duke Dumont – The Giver (Reprise)
  18. Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker The Berry
  19. The Prodigy – The Day Is My Enemy
  20. Riton – Rinse and Repeat ft Kah-lo
  21. Missy Elliot – WTF (Where They From) Ft Pharrell
  22. Tame Impala – Cause I’m A Man
  23. Riva Starr – The Loft Ft Dajae
  24. Grum – Sunday Blue Sky
  25. Drake – Hotline Bling
  26. Netsky – Rio ft Digital Farm Animals
  27. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
  28. Kanye West ft Alan Kingdom, Theopilus London, Paul McCartney – All Day
  29. Boston Bun – Paris Groove
  30. Duke Dumont – Ocean Drive
  31. LA Priest – Oino
  32. Jimmy Napes – Give It Up
  33. Disciples – They Don’t Know
  34. Justin Bieber – Sorry
  35. Oh Wonder – Technicolour Beat
  36. Redlight – Lion Jungle Ft Prodigy of Mobb Deep
  37. Black Coffee – We Dance Again ft Nakhane Touré
  38. The Maccabees – Something Like Happiness
  39. Claude Von Stroke & Jessie Rose – Bare Mountain
  40. Loyle Carner – Ain’t Nothing Changed
  41. Florence + The Machine – What Kind Of Man
  42. Pep and Rash – Rumours
  43. Swindle – Mad Ting Ft JME
  44. Chase & Status – More Ratatin ft Giggs
  45. Mumbai Science – Black Hole
  46. Foals – What Went Down
  47. MJ Cole – Alcatraz
  48. Everything Everything – Distant Past
  49. Rudimental – I Will For Love ft Will Heard
  50. Shura – 2Shy
  51. Chase & Status – Bigger Man Sound ft Novelist
  52. Kolsch – Talbot ft Gregory Schwellenbach
  53. Lion Babe – Wonder Woman
  54. Hudson Mohawke – Very First Breath ft Irfane
  55. Shamir – Call It Off
  56. Lianne La Havas – Unstoppable
  57. Years and Years – King
  58. Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
  59. Ápres – This Ain’t Love Ft Andrea Martin
  60. Honne – Loves The Jobs You Hate
  61. Icarus – Ride This Train ft Aniff Akinola
  62. Para One & The South African Choir – Elevation
  63. The Prodigy – Wild Frontier
  64. Martin Solveig & GTA – Intoxicated
  65. Lana Del Rey – High By The Beach
  66. Kendrick Lamar – Alright
  67. Florence + The Machine – Delilah
  68. Formation – All The Rest Is Noise
  69. Petite Meller – Baby Love
  70. Digitaria – Little Girl
  71. Special Request – Amnesia
  72. Romare – Love Song
  73. Luke Sital-Singh – Still
  74. Lay Z – That’s What I’m On ft JME & Frisco
  75. Goldlink – Spectrum
  76. Jack Garratt – Breath Life
  77. The Maccabees – Spit It Out
  78. DJ Fresh & High Contrast – How Love Begins ft Dizzee Rascal
  79. Flux Pavilion – What You Gonna Do About It
  80. Raury – Friends ft Tom Morello
  81. Rationale – Fuel To The Fire
  82. George Fitzgerald – Full Circle Ft Boxed In
  83. AD – Get Out My Way ft OT Genasis
  84. Lady Leshurr – Queen’s Speech 4
  85. Slaves – The Hunter
  86. MNEK & Zara Larsson – Never Forget You
  87. Mura Masa – Love For That ft Shura
  88. NAO – Bad Blood
  89. Wilkinson & TC – Hit The Floor
  90. Redlight – Metronome ft Roses Gabor
  91. Bonzai – Doses
  92. Frances – Let It Out
  93. Gorgon City – Saving My Life ft Romans
  94. Sam Gellaitry – Long Distance
  95. ZHU x AlunaGeorge – Automatic
  96. Alex Metric – Drum Machine ft The New Sins
  97. Drones Club – Cold Hand
  98. Kevin Garrett – Refuse
  99. Frank Gamble – Myths
  100. Kiiara – Gold

November Selections

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We finally made it to the last month of 2015!!! But before we start the celebrations and review the top tracks & albums of the year, let’s take a look back at all the exciting music news & releases from the last 30 days.

Kicking off November, we had new music from Chase and Status with their epic London Bars Series ft Novelist, Giggs, Frisco and Bonkaz, while DJ Fresh and High Contrast teamed up with Dizzee for How Love Begins. Coldplay joined forces with Queen B for Hymn For The Weekend, and Missy Elliot made her triumphant return with the help of Pharrell with WTF.

Throughout the month, a number of exciting albums were announced such as The 1975’s I Like It It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It (Feb 26) – surely a shoo-in for longest album title right? Santigold announced her forthcoming album 99 Cents (Jan 22) while Coldplay unveiled A Head Full Of Dreams (Dec 4). Underworld confirmed their first new album in six years titled Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future. This will be album’s seventh album and is set for release March 18th. In light of the recent terror attacks in Paris, Foo Fighters released a free 5-track EP titled Saint Cecilia, which they dedicated to the victims who lost their lives. One Direction’s Made In The AM went head-to-head with Justin Bieber’s Purpose (an album which I refuse to like, yet find myself singing along to ‘Sorry’.. it’s ok to like one of his songs right?… right??) The head-to-head battle saw 1D come out on top (that’s what she said) with Bieber narrowly missing out by 3000 sales. While 1D may have claimed the number 1 album, Bieber managed to knock Adele off the singles top spot with ‘Sorry’, while simultaneously having 8 of his other tracks in the top 40; an achievement no other artist has accomplished. Speaking of record breaking achievements, Adele’s album 25, has become the fastest selling album EVER, selling one million copies in 10 days, breaking previous record holder Oasis, whose album Be Here Now reached 1 million in 17 days. Beat that Bieber!! Not only that, but the album topped 110 out of 119 iTunes charts. However users on Spotify and Apple Music are in for some bad news as Adele’s album is not available on streaming platforms. Elsewhere in the charts, Elvis Presley kept Little Mix’s Get Weird from the no 1 spot with his album If I can Dream, which saw the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra rework some of his classic hits. The Fight for the Official Chart’s Christmas no 1 is just a few weeks away? Could it be the X Factor winner’s single, The Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir or even John Williams’ Star Wars Theme? Tune in to Greg James on BBC Radio 1 (Dec 25) to find out. 

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With plenty of new tours announced next year, there’s something for everyone. The 1975 will tour their album in March, which includes four nights at Brixton Academy, London (June 5,7-9), while Lethal Bizzle is kicking off his headline tour in Koko (April 29) and closing in Birmingham’s O2 Institute (May 7). Underworld will support their new album with a series of live shows including London’s Roundhouse (Mar 24-25). American band The Neighbourhood, confirmed news of their tour (March 18-21), while Rihanna finally hits the road again with Big Sean and The Weeknd for her Anti World Tour. Last but not least, Coldplay kick off their highly anticipated tour March 31st, with 6 UK dates including 3 at London’s Wembley (June 16,18-19).

It’s that time of the year again, where Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball invades London’s O2 arena (Dec 6) with an all-star pop lineup including performances from Coldplay, Little Mix, Jason Derulo, Bieber, Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, David Guetta, Nick Jonas, Sigma and Charlie Puth. Keeping with this festive theme, Kylie is set to perform a one off special ‘A Kylie Christmas’ at London’s Royal Albert Hall (Dec 7).  If that’s not your scene, there’s plenty more gigs around the corner. Noel Gallagher is set to perform on BBC Radio 2’s In Concert Series (Dec 7), while BBC Radio 1 Presents Coldplay (Dec 3) with a special Live Lounge performance with Clara Amfo, followed by a special live Lounge with Annie Mac later that day. The intimate show took place in St John’s Church, Hackney and was streamed live online. Check out the full show here. As we head into new year, The NME Awards Tour kicks off in Cardiff (January 29) with headliners Bloc Party, Drenge, Rat Boy and Bugzy Malone completing the lineup. The first wave of acts to be announced for Live At Leeds include Jess Glynne, We Are Scientists, Circa Waves and Band Of Skulls. The event will take place April 30th to mark it’s 10 year anniversary. Who says you need sun to enjoy a festival? How about some snow instead? Snowbombing Festival hits the Austrian Alps (April 4-9), with performances from Craig David, Bastille, Mark Ronson and Jamie Jones. Is it too early to talk about Summer Festivals? Queen & Adam Lambert have already been confirmed for the Isle Of Wight Festival (June 9-12), while Florence + The Machinen, Mumford & Sons and Take that are set to headline 2016’s British Summer Time (July 8) at Hyde Park, with support from Wolf Alice and Alabama Shakes.

What do you ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, The Power Of Love’ and ‘Real Love’ have in common? The John Lewis Christmas ad of course! You know it’s really Christmas when the highly anticipated ad airs on TV and melts your heart with their touching story and unique cover song. This year was no exception, featuring rising Norwegian singer Aurora covering the 1998 Oasis classic ‘Half The World Away’, in aid of Age UK. As X-Factor draws to a close in the next few weeks, rumour has it Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ will be this year winners single. Speaking of Simon Cowell, his ‘Ultimate DJ’ show has been cancelled before it even started, while Mel B is set to host the UK version of Lip Sync Battle on Channel 5, made famous by Jimmy Fallon and the spin off version with LL Cool J.  Elsewhere in TV, Adele sat down with Graham Norton for a BBC special, featuring a hilarious skit of Adele and multiple Adele impersonators. With Christmas just around the corner, it can only mean the return of Top Of The Pops. Yes the classic show will return for a special this Christmas and New Year with hosts Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates, along with performances from Little Mix, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Jess Glynn, James Bay and Sigma. 

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November paved the way for some exciting collaborations. First up, Coldplay and Beyonce joined forces for their new single ‘Hymn For The Weekend’, while Noel Gallagher joined U2 on stage for ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ and a Beatles cover of  ‘All You Need Is Love’. Dizzee Rascal teamed up with DJ Fresh and High contrast for their new single ‘How Love Begins’, while Kylie Minogue and Late Late Show host James Corden, kicked off the festive period with their Christmas duet ‘Only You’. Corden also dueted with Alanis Morissette for a reworked version of her 1995 hit ‘Ironic’, which they updated with more culturally relevant lyrics.

In tech news this month, Ministry of Sound unveiled their latest music streaming service via their app Ministry of Sound LIVE. The app offers 24/7 stream across 8 channels: Chilled, Anthems, Running Trax, Anthem Hip-Hop, I Love House, Throwback, Throwback RnB and I am Raver. The app will also featured on demand remixes from Hardwell, Judge Jules, Mark Knight and Steve Aoki as well as a Live from the Club (Ministry Of Sound). Apple Music finally unveiled their app for Android users, however android users won’t be able to sign up for family membership or access Apple Connect’s music videos. (Short straw much?).  Facebook is set to introduce a new feature of sharing songs on their social network platform called The Music Stories, aimed at “enabling better music discovery and sharing”. This new feature will allow users to share 30-second snippets of their chosen song, with links to stream and buy the track from Spotify and Apple Music. (only on IOS, Android to follow). Also on Facebook, the first 360 degree music video was posted by Nescafe, who teamed up with Google Cardboard for the exciting project.

Who doesn’t love a bit of celebrity beef? This month’s contenders include Skrillex vs Deadmau5, where Skrillex branded Deadmau5 a bully and a terrible leader. “I dont care bout ur personal career but the fact that u own ur own record label is sad.I feel sorry the artists you’ve signed..youre great at finding talented people but ur leadership skills are atrocious.’. However Deadmau5 was quick to hit back at Skrillex’s recent collaboration with Bieber, yet also labelling himself as an EDM sellout in the process:  “Lemme borrow the lil popstar for a week, mash together a radio hit in 23 minutes.” Skrillex later added:

Skrillex Tweet

 

Deadmau5 tweet

Up next is Noel Gallagher vs One Direction, Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Alex Turner, Royal Blood…. well pretty much everyone. Speaking with Esquire magazine, the former Oasis star laid into his fellow music artists in a series of rants branding One Direction as “Cocksuckers, all of them in rehab by the time they’re 30”, Even Adele couldn’t escape his wrath: “Adele, what? Blows my f**king mind. It blows my f**king mind. Nobody cares!”. He also took a shot at his fellow “so called rock stars”: “This new generation of rock stars, they look great: Alex Turner, Miles Kane, the guys from Royal Blood. They’ve got the f**king skinny jeans and the boots, and all that eyeliner.  “I’ve got a cat that’s more rock’n’roll than all of them put together. Pigeons? Rips their f**king heads off.” Oooh the gloves are off!!

Who doesn’t love a good awards show? The MOBO awards took place at the First Forect Arena in Leeds (Nov 4), with Grime star Stormzy and hip-hop duo Krept and Konan taking home two prizes each. Other winners on the night included Wiley who received the Paving The Way Award, while Cee Lo Green, took home the Outstanding Achievement Award. Check out the full list of winners here.  One Direction and Ed Sheeran were big winners at the The BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards (Nov 8) while Taylor Swift, One Direction, The Weeknd, and Nicki Minaj dominated the AMA Awards (Nov 22). One of the most coveted awards in the UK is the Mercury Prize for best album. This year, Benjamin Clementine beat off competition from Jamie xx, Florence and Wolf Alice with his album At Least For Now.  Elsewhere, Jack Garratt, Frances and Izzy Bizu were nominated for the BRIT’s Critics Choice Awards, with Garratt taking home the top prize (Nov 20). He follows in the footsteps of previous winners such as Adele, James Bay and Sam Smith – not bad company! Still to be announced is BBC’s shortlist for the Sound of 2016. This years’ longlist include artists such as Alessia Cara, Loyle Carner, Francis, Jack Garratt and Mura Masa. Tune into the Radio 1 Breakfast show in January for the top 5 shortlist, with the winner being announced January 8th.

Any guesses who’s topped Forbes magazine’s Highest Earning Woman in Music? Taylor Swift? Lady Gaga? Beyonce? Nope! Katy Perry topped the list, thanks to her Prismatic World Tour, which raked in $135million. Don’t worry though, I’m sure Taylor Swift can sleep easy with her $80 million in earnings. Anyone have a spare $2.4 million lying around? You could have been the lucky owner of John Lennon’s guitar which recently sold at an auction in California. While the buyer has chosen to remain anonymous, half the proceeds will go to the Spirit Foundation, originally set up by Lennon and Yoko Ono.  Ok, another question for you. Any guesses on the longest reign in the charts by a British artist? Ed Sheeran of course. His album X spends its 73rd week in the top 10 and his since gone on to sell 10 million copies and gone platinum a record breaking 59 times. However, in terms of streaming, Bieber currently holds the records for most-streamed first-week release with his album Purpose raking up 205 million streams on Spotify in a week.

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So that’s it for another year. Stay tuned for my yearly round up in December which will include my Top Albums, Top Tracks, Top remixes and Ones to watch for 2016. Now, onto the music. Check out November’s selections below:

1) Disclosure – Magnets Ft Lorde (Disclosure VIP and Jon Hopkins Remix)

First up this month, are Disclosure with their very own VIP remix of Magnets. Guy and Howard infuse the already infectious single with bags of energy, giving it that classic club vibe. While the single has since been remixed by the likes of Tiga, A-Trak, SG Lewis and Loco Dice, one that stands above the rest, is the unique reworking from Jon Hopkins, whose remix prompted Disclosure to call him a ‘legend’. Hopkins’ reworking of Magnets adds such depth and creativity, creating a truly textural and transcendent experience. Sit back and enjoy the 6.15 experience, as Hopkins elevates Magnets to a whole new level.  Upcoming for dates for Disclosure include The Sydney Opera House (Jan 5)  while Jon Hopkins is also in Australia for Let Them Eat Cake on New Years Day

 

 

2) Major Lazer – Powerful (D.R.A.M Remix)

Having released their album Peace Is The Mission back in June, featuring the record breaking single Lean On ft MØ, Major Lazer have followed up with Powerful ft Ellie Goulding and Tarrus Riley. While the single has since been remixed by various artists, Virginia rapper D.R.A.M puts his own spin on it, even adding his own vocals throughout. With more defined beats and a bouncy new energy throughout, dare I say D.R.A.M’s remix eclipses the original! Download your free copy here!  Check out D.R.A.M’s latest EP Gahdamn, which was released end of October. 

 

3) Aprés – This Ain’t Love ft Andrea Martin

22 year old Producer/DJ Aprés, unveiled his latest single This Aint’ Love ft Andrea Martin.  The single serves as the follow up to the highly-received single ‘Chicago’, with great support across Radio 1’s Dance Dj’s. Aprés serves up some stylish synths, mixed with driving basslines and Andrea Martin’s captivating vocals at the helm.  The remix package features Sick Elektrik, Pete Graham, Worthy, Sinprint and a 4AM remix from Aprés himself, due December 11th. having recently performed at Warehouse Project with Annie Mac, upcoming dates for Aprés include Snowboxx Festival in April. 

 

4)  MJ Cole – Alcatraz

This is one track sure to get you going on a Friday night – Oooof! MJ Cole premiered his new single Alcatraz with Annie Mac on Radio 1. With its infectious rolling tribal beats throughout, Alcatraz serves up some infectious beats and rhythms. The single is set for release via Redlight’s Lobser Boy Records (Date TBC). Upcoming dates for MJ Cole include Ministry of Sound (Dec 19) and The Warehouse Project on New Year’s Eve. 

 

5) Frances – Borrowed Time

Frances featured in my September Selections with ‘Let It Out’ and now she’s back with her latest offering ‘Borrowed Time’. There’s something different about her latest single and it might have something to do with a certain Disclosure brother. Frances veers away from her trusty piano, delivering a more electronic vibe courtesy of none other than Howard Lawrence. Howard’s glossy electronic influences are so distinct throughout, with Francis’ effortless vocals effectively accentuated throughout. Upcoming dates for Frances include Notting Hill Arts Club (Dec 6) and Union Chapel (Feb 18)

 

6) Timbaland ft Migos – Them Jeans

Timbaland unveiled his new single ‘Them Jean’s’ ft Migos and serves as the follow up to Timbalands collaboration with Tink and Future on ‘UFO’. ‘Them Jeans’ serves up some serious beats, with hip hop trio Migos (Quavo, Takeoff and Offset) delivering slick flows throughout. Them Jeans’ is taken from TImbaland’s forthcoming album Textbook Timbo, due later this year via Interscope Records, and features collaborations from Justin Timberlake, Drake and Missy Elliot.

 

7) Kill Them With Colour – Get High (VIP)

Canadian producer Wesley Marsh (AKA Kill Them With Colour) , unveiled a VIP remix of his single ‘Get High’. With it’s wobbling synth-drenched effects, glitchy vocal loops and all around chill-hop vibes, Get High packs a serious punch, bringing Flume’s remix of Disclosure’s ‘You and Me‘ to mind. Get High and remixes are available now via Chase & Status’ MTA label. Upcoming dates for the producer include Pier 36 in New York (Dec 27).

 

8) Honne – Gone Are The Days

London based duo Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatch, aka Honne, featured in my monthly selections twice before with ‘Loves The Jobs You Hate’ and a reworking of SG Lewis’ single ‘Shiver’. Their latest single ‘Gone Are The Days’, premiered as Annie Macs Hottest Record, and delivers their trademark ambience and groove with their chilled synths, mellow piano lines and Andy’s gritty vocals throughout. Gone Are The Days is taken from their forthcoming EP of the same name, due Jan 22. Upcoming dates for Home include a headline show at London’s Electric Brixton (Mar 3)


Check out November’s playlist below with over 50 minutes for your listening pleasure!

 

DJ Fresh & High Contrast – How Love Begins ft Dizzee Rascal

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Having previously teamed up in 2012 for ‘The Power’, DJ Fresh has once again enlisted Dizzee Rascal for their latest single ‘How Love Begins’.

Joining them is fellow drum n bass producer High Contrast, who together deliver an eclectic club banger, filled with soulful synths and anthemic rave-style vocals. The single premiered with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record and delivers a truly anthemic reinvention of 90’s house and rave. Mix that with Dizzee’s slick flow, and Clare Maguire’s power-house vocals, and you’re in for yet another smash hit. Speaking with Annie, DJ Fresh commented:

“I’m a massive jungle head obviously and Lincoln (High Contrast) loves that acid, rave revival sound. We wanted to make something that sounded like an old sampled record like Alan Lomax recording. We tried to keep things interesting and not get stuck on a formulaic path.”

How Love Begins’ is set for release on February 5th 2016 via Ministry of Sound. Upcoming dates for DJ Fresh include Ultra, South Africa , while High Contrast is set to perform with Fred V & Grafix at Hospitality, Southampton Engine Room (Feb 12).

October Selections

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As we edge closer to the end of the year, October provided us with 31 days of great new music and plenty of entertainment. I feel I have to kick off monthly favourites with Adele, seeing as she sent the whole world into meltdown with her new single Hello; the first new material since 2102’s Skyfall. The single is currently on course to becoming the fastest-selling single of 2015 in the UK, after only three days on sale. The video of course sparked multiple memes and videos such as Lionel vs Adele, Attenborough narrates video, Ellen DeGeneres’ funny skit – the list goes on. The video received an average of 1 million views per hour in the first 48 hours on Youtube and hit the 100 million mark within 5 days, only beaten by Psy’s ‘Gentleman’, who still holds the record with 100m views in four days. Elsewhere for Adele, the singer is set to perform a TV special ‘Adele At The BBC’ with host Graham Norton (Nov 20), followed by a special performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York (Dec 14). So while it felt like October belonged solely to Adele, there were in fact other great new releases and highly anticipated returns such as Miike Snow’s Heart Is Full, his first single in 3 years, Adele’s Hello (more on that later) and Loyle Carner’s standout track Ain’t Nothing Changed. Before we look at my top songs for October – and believe me there’s quite a few this month, let’s have a look at what’s been happening in terms of albums, tours, awards and everything else in between.

In album news, Adele finally confirmed her third album 25, while Rihanna teased fans with her new album art ‘Anti’, but no news on a release date yet. After the success of their recent Live Lounge month, Radio 1 unveiled their 2015 double disc Live Lounge album, featuring artists such as Muse, Sam Smith and Florence + The Machine. Elton John announced details of his 33rd studio album ‘Wonderful Crazy Night’ set for release in February, while The Corrs announced details for their forthcoming album White Light, (Nov 27) before they embark on a headline tour of the UK and Ireland. In the charts this month, Brotherly duo Disclosure claimed their second number one album with Caracal, fighting off strong competition from New Order’s Music Complete. Rudimental also scored their second UK no1 album with We The Generation, while Faithless achieved their third UK number one album with Faithless 2.0, featuring remixes of their biggest hits by the likes of Avicii and Eric Prydz. KDA ft Katy B and Tinie Tempah beat off strong competition from 1D to score a number one with the infectious ‘Rumble’, while Sam Smith’s Writing’s on the Wall was the first Bond theme to ever reach no 1 in the charts. Oh and don’t forget to check out Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling‘, which includes some seriously questionable dad-dancing! Queue the funny memesSo while Adele’s Hello video may have broken every record imaginable, include dethroning Swift’s Bad Blood record for most viewed video in 24 hours, there are still a few video records that have yet to be broken. Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s ‘See You Again‘ reached a record breaking 1 billion views on YouTube, which now places them 10th in most viewed videos of all time. Any guesses who’s top? “Op, Op, Op, Op, Oppa Gangnam Style. Yes, Psy still remains on top with 2.4 billions views since July 2012.

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The highly anticipated Mercury Prize Nominations were unveiled by Lauren Laverne, with Aphex Twin, Florence + the Machine and Wolf Alice among the nominees. Check out the full list here and listen to the playlist of nominated artists here. The Awards show will take place in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House (Nov 20) , and screened on BBC 4 later that evening. Continuing with awards, Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ has been awarded song of the year at the BMI Awards in London, ahead of Hozier and Ed Sheeran. But fear not, Ed will still sleep soundly as his song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ has made him the first artist to reach 500 million streams on Spotify for one song. The AMA nominations were also unveiled with Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and The Weekend leading the pack. Tune in on Nov 22 with host J-Lo. The Grammy’s are set to pay tribute to Frank Sinatra to honour what would have been his 100th birthday, with performances from Alicia Keys, John Legend, Usher, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Adam Levine, and Carrie Underwood. Sinatra 100 – An All-Star Grammy Concert will air on CBS Dec 6th. Biber won big at this year’s EMA Awards, taking home 5 awards, while Swifty won Best song for Bad Blood. Dj Mag’s annual Top 100 DJ’s poll has been announced, with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike topping the poll for the first time. The duo dethroned Hardwell who placed 2nd this year, followed by Martin Garrix, Armin Van Buuren and Tiesto completing the top 5. However, they all better watch out, as 3 year old DJ Arch Jr showcased his skills on South Africa’s Got Talent. Check out the little superstar DJ here

With 2016 just around the corner, what better way than to kick off new year with a tour. Everything Everything are set to support Foals on their 2016 tour, while Rudimental kicked off their We The Generation Tour in Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange and are set play their biggest headline show to date at London’s O2 Arena (March 3).  Years & Years embark upon their first ever arena tour. Check out the full dates here.  Noel Gallagher‘s tour kicks of in April with support from Super Furry Animals, while long time rivals Blur, are set to release their new documentary New World Towers, documenting the story behind their first album in 16 years. Welsh favourite, Sir Tom Jones, announced details of his forthcoming tour ‘In Conversation with Sir Tom Jones’. The 4-date intimate tour will see Jones delve into his successful career with BBC6 Music presenter Matt Everitt, while they discuss his forthcoming autobiography Over the Top and sing classics both old and new. Mercury prize nominees Wolf Alice are hitting the road again in 2016 for a UK tour. The London band will call at cities including Belfast, Manchester, Cardiff and London in March.  Were you one of the lucky one’s to get their hands on a Glastonbury ticket? With 120,000 tickets selling out in 28 minutes, Glastonbury continues to dominate Festival sales. Now for the big question – Who do you think will headline? In other festival news, what do you get when you combine The Prodigy, Groove Armada, Jungle and Snow sports? Snowbombing 2016! Yes the snow sports and music festival returns in 2016 (April 4-9) for it’s 12th year in Mayrhofen Ski Resort, Austria. Other acts announced so far include Andy C, Oliver Heldens, Netsky, Wilkinson (DJ set), Hannah Wants, Bondax, Hot Since 82, T Williams, Ben Pearce and Bicep.  And Just when you think Miley Cyrus has done it all, she’s only gone and announced details of her forthcoming naked gig with the Flaming Lips. Yes, NAKED! Not only the artists, but the audience too.

How about a bit of a walk down memory lane? Oasis’s era-defining album (What’s The Story Morning Glory) turned 20 in October. Relieve the album on Spotify. Continuing with this 90’s flashback, a Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys joint tour may be on the cards, while U2 and Take that kicked off the return of TFI Friday with Chris Evans. The 10 part series continues on Channel 4 at 8pm, after it’s successful comeback special earlier in the year.

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In technology news, Siri seems to be rebelling against non apple music subscribers. When asked a question such as, ‘what’s the most popular song in the charts today?’, Siri responds with “I can’t look that up for you. You don’t seem to be subscribed to Apple Music!” Sassy! Spotify on the other hand are set to challenge Beats 1 with a selection of ‘In Residence’ shows from the likes of Big Narstie, Tonga, MixMag and Jungle. Beats Pill+ unveiled their latest bluetooth speakers since being taken over by Apple. The speakers are set to retail at  £189. HP on the other hand, are rivalling Apple Music and Spotify with its own streaming service called HP Lounge. The service will be free for HP device users and offers unlimited streaming, curated playlists, bonus footage, recommendations and the ability to purchase concert tickets. Only snag is, their library only contains acts signed to Universal. Bose unveiled their new SoundTouch 10 multiroom speaker  (£165.95) with Bluetooth, Wireless and integration with Spotify. 

Last but not least, face-palm moment of the month has to go to Chris Evans, after his mistook Adele for Beyonce during an interview. Referring to her as Sasha Fierce, to which Adele replied “That’s Beyoncé! Sasha Fierce is Beyoncé’s alter ego, and she’s now Mrs Carter. I wish I was Sasha Fierce.” At least she took it well. Listen to the cringe worth moment here!

Ok, on with the music, check out my favourite tracks below!

1) MØ – Kamikaze

While MO and Major lazer had arguably one of the biggest songs of the summer with ‘Lean On’, Danish singer MO has once again teamed up with Diplo for her latest single ‘Kamikaze’. This will be MO’s third collaboration with Diplo, having previously collaborated with the producer on her 2013 single XXX 88 Kamikaze premiered with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record and serves up a laidback pop gem, with its middle-eastern sounding strings and brass. There’s a playful groove to Kamikaze, with MO’s flitting vocals bouncing effortlessly throughout. Upcoming dates for MO include XOYO in London (Nov 25)


2) Bloc Party – The Love Within

Bloc Party (Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack and new members Louise Bartle on drums and Justin Harris on bass), unveiled their new single The Love Within. Presenting a more synth driven vibe with it’s pulsing synths and electronic flourishes, their new musical direction seems to have divided fans. Nevertheless, Bloc Party know to to blend soul and groove with their infectious melodies and feel good rhythms. The Love Within is taken from the band’s forthcoming LP, HYMNS, due January 29th via Infectious Music/BMG/Vagrant Records. Upcoming UK dates include Albert Hall in Manchester (Dec 3) and St John’s in Hackney, London (Dec 4). Further dates across EU, Asia and Australia can be found here


3) Eric Prydz – Opus (Four Tet remix)

Get ready for 10 minutes of pure perfection. While Prydz created an absolute masterpiece with his latest single Opus, taken from his Pryda 10 series, London based producer Four Tet has taken it to the next level with a stunning new remix. Back in July, Four Tet sent out a tweet hoping to take on remix duties for the Swedish DJ, and luckily for Four Tet, Prydz was only too happy to oblige. Fourtet delivers on all fronts, elevating the single to all new heights, while paying homage to the classic original and Prydz’s signature arpeggios. Upcoming dates for Four Tet include Alexandra Palace in London (Nov 27th), while Prydz is gearing up for his EPIC 4.0 tour.

4) Mura Masa – Love For That Ft Shura

19-year-old producer Mura Masa, unveiled his latest single Love For That, which premiered as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record. Joining him on this unique and exciting collaboration is singer/producer Shura (2Shy, White Light) Shura’s etherial vocals glide effortless above Mura’s crisp, eclectic production of bells and strings to flutes and distorted vocals. Shura’s vocals are hypnotising, while Mura Masa’s beats are irresistible. Love for that serves as the follow up to Mura Masa’s Someday, Somewhere EP. Upcoming dates include his Spring EU tour in 2016, and you can catch Shura at Sheffield City Centre (Feb 27)  and O2 Shepherds Bush (May 26)


5) Skepta – Top Boy

Joseph Adenuga, aka Skepta, is back with his new single ‘Top Boy’. The banger serves as the follow up to the massive ‘Shutdown’, which is still making waves today. The accompanying video serves as a trailer for this forthcoming Noisey Documentary, highlighting Skepta & BBK on their US and Canadian leg of their tour. Top Boy showcases Skepta’s slick flow over some infectious beats and glitchy electronic production.  Skepta is currently working on his long awaited album Konnichiwa, which was originally scheduled for a March 2015 release. Until then, you can catch Skepta and JME on their joint headline show in London’s Brixton Academyu (Dec 18)


6) Jonas Rathsman – New Generation/Conium

Swedish Producer Jonas Rathsman, unveiled his latest single New Generation/Conium. Having previously been named as Pete Tong’s ‘Future Star’, previous releases for the producer include singles via French Express, DFTD and more recently, Wolfsbane via Disclosures’ Method Label White label.  New Generation/Conium serves up a weighty, driving bass line, murky synths and some eclectic percussion to deliver a truly sculptured soundscape. New Generation is taken from Rathsman’s latest EP, which is set for release via Kompakt Records this month (Nov 6). Upcoming dates for Rathsman include NY eve in Electric Brixton and Bugged Out Weekender (Jan 15-17).


7) Mumbai Science – Black Hole

Mumbai Science, aka Belgian producer duo Jonas Kiesekoms and Maarten Elen, featured in my April’s selections with their infectious single King Of The Top Floor. Now the producer duo are back with their latest infectious offering – Black Hole. Taken from their Black Hole EP, the single serves up some deep baselines, playful vocal loops, quirky production and some infectious beats. The Black Hole EP features a remix from Floorplan (aka Robert Hood, Underground Resistance) and is set for release Nov 6. Upcoming dates for Mumbai Science include Electroblog Festival (Dec 5) in Italy


8) Jacob Plant – Reflections ft Example

Jacob Plant previously featured in my April selections with his bass heavy single Louder This time around, Plant has teamed up with Example for his latest stomper of a track, Reflections. Plant first captured our attention with the hard hitting Fire and Shakedown, along with his high profile remixes. His latest single Reflections packs a punch with it’s powerful electro vibes and signature bass heavy drops. The addition of Examples vocals delivers an infectious melodic hook. Reflections is available via Skint Records (Nov 27) and you can catch Plant at Brixton Academy with Dyro and Shift K3Y (Oct 31)


) Jack Garratt – Breathe Life

Ahh the soothing vocals of Jack Garratt. The 24-year-old singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist unveiled his new single Breathe Life. The single serves as the follow up to The Love You’re Given and Weathered, and once again delivers a breath of fresh air with his vibrant vocals, multi-layered instrumentation, fuzzy synths and a sweeping chorus. 2016 is going to be a big year for Garratt. Upcoming tour dates include headline show at Brixton Academy (April 15). Expect his debut album Phase to be released February 19 via Island Records.


10) Tiesto and Oliver Heldens – Wombass

What do you get when you cross dance heavyweight Tiesto with the infectious melodies from Oliver Heldens? Wombass!! Yes, the two producers have joined forces for their latest collaboration. While Helden’s trademarks are clearly evident throughout, from his infectious hooks and signature breakbeats, Tiesto’s influences are harder to pinpoint. Maybe he come up with the title 😉 Regardless, the infectious track is one you’re bound to hear across the clubs over the coming months. Upcoming dates for the duo include Delhi, India (Dec 19).


11) NAO – Bad Blood

London based Neo-soul singer NAO, premiered her new single ‘Bad Blood’ with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record.  Produced by Grades, the single serves as the follow up her second EP February 15 (II MMXV) released earlier this year, and Disclosure’s Superego, which she featured as vocalist. With vocals similar in style to Aluna from AlunaGeorge, NAO’s range is so diverse and she weaves in and out of sensual R&B textures and elongated synths. Bad Blood is taken from NAO’s forthcoming debut album, due later in 2016. Bad Blood is available now via Little Tokyo Recordings. In the meantime, you can cath NAO at London’s Heaven (Dec 3), The Warehouse Project (Dec 18) as well as multiple dates in 2016


12) Kevin Garrett – Refuse

Brooklyn-based Kevin Garrett unveiled his latest RB flavoured single, Refuse. The Roc nation signee serves up raw emotion at its finest, as his soulful, falsetto-style vocals glide effortlessly over the delicate piano driven ballad and electronic flourishes. Refuse serves as the follow up to his debut EP Mellow Drama, which included tracks such as ‘Coloring’ and ‘Control’. Expect a debut album later next year. Currently on tour with X Ambassadors, check out his 2016 US dates here


13) Bonkaz – You Don’t Know

London based MC Bonkaz unveiled his new single You Don’t Know, which serves as the follow up to his debut single ‘We Run The Block’. Produced by The Splurgeboys and Sonny Reeves, You Don’t Know samples Dizzee Rascals 2009 hit ‘Bonkers’. Having recently been nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards, the grime single perfectly captures his raw flow, mixed with gritty, bass-heavy production. You Don’t Know is available now.

14) Zhu x Skrillex x They – Working For It

ZHU featured in my September Selections with Automatic ft AlunaGeorge. Now, Producer Stephen Zhu has unveiled his latest single ‘Working For It’, featuring Skrillex and R&B duo THEY.  Premiering as Zane Lowe’s World Record on Beats 1, Working For It delivers an industrial sounding vibe, with silky vocals, Skrillex’s trademark production and THEY’s hard-hardhitting R&B influences. Taken from Zhu’s forthcoming Genesis Series Project, due November 6th via Mind Of A Genius, the EP features collaborations from the likes of Gallant, AlunaGeorge and Bone Thugs & Harmony and A-Trak.


15) HÆLOS – Pray

London trio HÆLOS (Arthur Delaney, Dom Goldsmith, and Lotti Benardout), unveiled their new single Pray. The single concludes the trio of releases and accompanying videos directed by Jesse Jenkins for previous singles ‘Earth Not Above’ and ‘Dust’. HÆLOS delivers a bittersweet, euphoric single, filled with rousing echoed vocals and moody beats throughout.  Pray is set for release on December 4 via Matador Records. Upcoming dates for HÆLOS include The Lexington, London (January 11) and Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe (March 5)


16) Boston Bun – Paris Groove feat. Mayer Hawthorne

French producer Thibaud Noyer, AKA Boston Bun, unveiled his ridiculously infectious new single Paris Groove ft Mayer Hawthorne. which premiered with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record. While the funky single pays homage to Paris, the single has a distinctly retro feel to it with plenty of throwback to classic Chicago house, mixed with Hawthornes soulful lyrics and upbeat house vibes. Paris Groove follows Boston Bun’s three-part EP series titled Just for Freaks. Upcoming UK dates for Boston Bun include XOYO (Dec 19). Paris Groove is available now via Ed Banger Records.


17) Tiga – Don’t Break My Heart

With the success of his previous two singles ‘Bugatti’ and ‘Let’s Go Dancing’, Canadian producer Tiga unveiled his latest single ‘Don’t Break My Heart’. Tiga’s latest offering serves up some acid house, mixed with growling, murky baselines and his signature repetitive vocal hooks. While it’s been 7 years since Tiga’s last album, expect his third studio album early 2016. In the meantime catch him at London’s Koko (Nov 21) and New Year’s eve at the Hollywood Palladium, CA.


18) Fono – Everybody Knows ft Anna Straker

With the release of his debut single ‘Real Joy’ making quite the impact and propelling FONO into the spotlight, the Brighton producer unveiled his new single Everybody Knows. Fono’s talents lie in his ability to create music that’s both creative, engaging and unique and Everybody Knows is no exception. While taking a more subtle approach to his debut release, Everybody Knows delivers soulful future house, with infectious vocals from rising London singer Anna Straker. Upcoming dates for FONO include Button Factory in Dublin (Nov 6) and EDC Mexico (Feb 27-28) Everybody knows is available now via Youthemic 


19) Redlight – Metronome ft Roses Gabor

Bristol producer Redlight is a regular entry to my Monthly Selections. The Bristol producer unveiled another new single ahead of his debut album X Colour (Nov 19)  and features the captivating vocals of Roses Gabor. Metronome serves as the follow up to Threshold and Gold Teeth and delivers a bass heavy house track with hypnotic vocals from Gabor.  X Colour is availble Nov 19th via Lobster Boy Records. In the meantime, be sure to catch Redlight at Warehouse Project (Nov 26) as well as Annie Mac Presents (Dec 4-5) at Brixton Academy.


20) Goldlink – Spectrum

DC rapper GoldLink unveiled his new single Spectrum, taken from his forthcoming debut album ‘And After That We Didn’t Talk. The Black Butter signee displays his rapid rap skills, amidst the trippy dance-beats and infectious vocal hooks. Goldlink delivers with such percussion and flow making him one exciting rapper for 2016. Check out Goldlink at one of his many upcoming US dates. And After That, We Didn’t Talk is available Nov 6.


21) Cameron AG – Lost Direction

Time for the sweet, retro style vocals of Oxford based singer/songwriter Cameron A G. Cameron’s new single Lost Direction is a beautiful ballad filled with stirring strings and delicate piano accompaniment, while Cameron’s vocals are heartfelt and melodic, bringing artists like Lennon to mind with the slap-back echo style vocals. Cameron manages to conjure up memories of times past with his unique sounding vocals.  Upcoming dates for Cameron A G include  Huw Stephen Presents at The Social (Nov 10), Mutations Festival (Nov 28) and Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) on Feb 4.


22) Friend Within – Run

Liverpool house producer ‘Friend Within’ is back with his latest single ‘The Run’. With a string of impressive tracks in his back catalogue including The Renegade, his infectious remix of Gotsome’s Bassline, and collaboration with Disclosure on The Mechanism, his latest single Run once again delivers with its punchy bass lines, rousing vocal samples and classic house vibes.  The Run is taken from his forthcoming Run EP which is set for release Nov 20 via his own label He Loves You. Upcoming dates for Friend Within include The Button Factory, DUblin (Dec 30 and Jan 30) and Stealth, Nottingham on New Year’s eve.


23) Formation – All The Rest Is Noise

South London duo Formation, made up of Matt and Will Ritson, unveiled their latest single All The Rest Is Noise. The single premiered with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 and is taken from their forthcoming 4-track EP Under The Tracks. Produced by Brighton producer Leon Vynehall, All The Rest Is Noise serves up a quirky slice of futuristic funk and dance-pop. With it’s infectious pop hooks, rousing vocals and bouncy melodic keys, Formation know how to delivery groove-pop at it’s finest. All The Rest Is Noise is available Nov 20 via Meno Records. Fresh from supporting Foals in Europe, upcoming dates for the group include Iceland Airwaves Festival (Nov 5) Dublin’s Metropolis Festival (Nov 7&8) and Lost Village Festival (May 27-30)


24) The 1975 – Love Me

The 1975 premiered their new single Love Me with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record. The retro sounding single is taken from their forthcoming second album ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’ and serves up a more pop-infused sound, and a standout guitar riff that just oozes funk, bringing David Bowies ‘Fame’ guitar hook to mind. I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It  is set or release Feb 26 via Dirty Hit. Upcoming London dates include O2 Academy Brixton (March 5-9) Full Tour dates can be found here


25) iSHi – We Run ft French Montana & Raekwon

Swedish Producer Eshraque Mughal, aka iSHi, the creative mind behind Tinie Tempah’s Written in The Stars and Emeli Sandé & Professor Green’s smash hit Read All About It, is back with his latest single We Run. This time, the producer has teamed up with hip hop legend Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan) and US rapper French Montana to serve up a hard-hitting hip-hop record, with some slick production to match. The high pitched vocal sample used throughout works well against the raw NYC vibes. Having previously worked with artists such as Pusha T, Usher and Avicii, We Run is available via PRMD Music.


26) Dua Lipa – Be The One

19-year-old rising singer Dua Lipa, unveiled her new single ‘Be The One‘. Co-written with Pawws, Be The One serves up a fresh slice of effortless pop, with plenty of colour and life. Dua’s vocals are captivating and soar throughout. Upcoming dates for the London singer include dates in Bristol, Brighton, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and London as part of her UK tour, kicking off Jan 16th.  Be The One is available now .


27) Drake – Hotline Bling (Erykah Badu Remix)

After Disclosure and Sam Smith performed an exceptional cover of Drake’s Hotline Bling on Radio 1’s Live Lounge, Erykah Badu has stepped up and delivered her incredible remix.  The seven and a half minute track, starts off with a spoken interlude, with Badhu’s version highlighting the woman’s perspective of the call. Badhu effortlessly moves between the original, while adding her own sense of new-soul to the mix. The cover was co-written by Seven Benhamin, Badhu’s son, and is available on her forthcoming mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone and renamed as ‘Cell U Lar Device’. Check out the sweet sounds below.


Check out the full playlist below with over 90 minutes for your listening pleasure!

 

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!

 

 

August Selections

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Woah, who’s exhausted after August? Such a busy month crammed full of festivals and exciting new music.  We had great new music from Format:B with their infectious single ‘Chunky‘, Justin Jay’s stomper of a track ‘Hit It‘ and Lana Del Ray’s smooth stylings in ‘High By The Beach. There’s plenty of new albums to keep you busy this month too such as The Weeknd’s ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’ (Aug 28) to Foals withWhat Went Down’ (Aug 28). Dr Dre‘s comeback album ‘Compton’ peaked at no 1 (his first record in 16 years), while The Maccabees scored their first number one album with ‘Marks To Prove It’, beating out Lianne La Havas’ album ‘Blood‘. For those looking to build or just start their vinyl collection, Tesco have become the first UK supermarket to stock vinyls. From Sept 4, Tesco will kick off this new venture with the release of Iron Maiden’s album ‘The Book Of Souls’.

The VMA Awards took place in LA with Taylor Swift winning big throughout the night – although slightly overshadowed by Miley’s unique hosting, Bieber crying onstage, Nicki Minaj’s beef with Miley and the small matter of Kanye West announcing he’s running for President in 2020…. Award shows are rarely about music these days, but least they’re entertaining 😉 In other awards news, FKA Twigs and Alt-J are leading the nominations for this year’s AIM Independent Music Awards . There’s been plenty of tours announced recently, with Chvrches touring in November with Four Tet, and Sigma announcing news of their UK and Ireland tour in Oct/Nov. BBC Radio 1Xtra announced details for 1Xtra Live. This year sees them heading up North to Leeds on October 17th. The lineup is yet to be announced, but last year featured Mary J Blige, Lethal Bizzle, and Sigma. Lenny Kravitz suffered a bit of a wardrobe malfunction onstage in Stockholm recently, with #penisgate quickly trending worldwide…. Oh Lenny! Speaking of such x-rated material,  music videos being made in the UK will now receive age certificates … hear that Miley, Minaj, Rihanna?…. Get ready to be hit with an 18’s certificate.

Hold the phone… 1D to split in March? Yes, you could almost hear the sound of a million girls’ hearts break all over the world. But fear not, it’s just for a ‘temporary’ creative break. Reunion tickets are probably already on sale! Unsurprisingly, Ed Sheeran has topped Spotify’s list of most influential artists under 25, beating artists such as Miley, Sam Smith and Bieber. Not only that, but the artist has also launched his own record label ‘Gingerbread Man Records’, a subsidiary of Warner Music Ltd. His new label will showcase emerging talents, with Jamie Lawson being his first signee. Taylor Swift’s #SquadGoals continues to gain momentum, with Swift inviting Lisa Kurdow onstage during her concert at Staples Center. The two delighted audiences with a rendition of that old Friends classic ‘Smelly Cat’. Check out the video here. Purse strings a bit tight at the moment? This will cheer you right up! Calvin Harris has been named the world’s highest paid DJ, earning a staggering £41.8 million, almost double what Guetta earned. Tiesto, Skrillex and Steve Aoiki were also top earners. With the sad passing of Cilla Black, Kasabian paid tribute to the singer/actress/presenter at V Festival and dedicated ‘Goodbye Kiss’ to the late entertainer.

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The August Bank Holiday proved the busiest weekends in music, with Creamfields, Reading & Leeds and SW4 all happening the same weekend. Check out my SW4 highlight on Instagram. Rounding off the Bank Holiday was Notting Hill Carnival or (Nottingham Carnival as Azealia Banks likes to call it… ) The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe, celebrating Afro-Caribbean cultures. Toddla T Sound took up his usual place at Alderson St and Kensal Rd, with performances from Julio Bashmore, Redlight, Lady Leshurr and special guest Sean  Paul, while Shy FX curated his ‘Party On The Moon Stage’ and had artists from Rudimental, Ms Dynamite and Melé perform. Rinse FM’s Birthday weekend lineup included Disclosure, Skream, Katy B and Shadow Child, creating one hell of a party. But now, as Festival Season draws to a close, Bestival will officially close out the summer in style. Fear not, plenty of other good music events happening. Radio 1 September Live Lounge returns, while The Apple Music Festival (formerly iTunes Festival) returns to London’s Roundhouse this September for 10 nights. Check out the line up here

Last but not least, there’s a Ned Flanders-themed heavy metal band from Arizona called ‘Okilly Dokilly’, who refer to themselves as ‘the world’s only Nedal band’… and yes, they even have the signature green jumper, pink shirt and moustache. Well, that’s it Neighbour-eeno’s, have an Okilly-dokilly day and see you next month-ereeno. Ok after that rather lengthy round up, on with the music!

1) Calvin and Disciples – How Deep Is Your Love (Calvin Harris & R3hab Remix)

Calvin Harris has teamed up with R3hab for a remix of his own single ‘How Deep Is Your Love’. The original, which proved to be a massive summer house anthem, has been given the rework treatment, filled with snare builds and rousing moombahton style drops – Expect to hear this a lot as we bow out of the summer festival season. Having previously collaborated on ‘Burnin’ together, R3hab has also remixed previous singles for Harris including ‘Pray To God’, ‘Blame’ and ‘I Need Your Love’. ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ Remixes EP is available now via Sony Music  Upcoming dates for Calvin include various dates in Vegas while R3hab is set to play Pacha in ibiza this September.

2) Luke Sital-Singh – Still

Singer/songwriter Luke Sital Singh, unveiled his new single ‘Still’, taken from his forthcoming EP ‘The Breakneck Speed Of Tomorrow’. The single premiered with Huw Stephens as his Hottest Record on Radio 1, and serves as the follow up to last years debut LP ‘The Fire Inside’. ‘Still’ delivers a heartfelt ballad with simple guitar and drums and subtle production. Luke’s’ effortless vocals are captivating throughout and create a sense of ‘Stillness’ as the title suggests. ‘The Breakneck Speed of Tomorrow’ EP is set for release September 25th, while lead single ‘Still’ is available nowUpcoming dates for Sital-Singh include ‘Together The People’ in Brighton.

3) Julio Bashmore – She Aint ft Julie Mendoza

Bashmore has done it again! The UK producer revealed his latest single She Ain’t’; just one of the many infectious tracks taken from his debut album ‘Knocking Boots’. ‘She Ain’t’ serves up a thoroughly infectious single with plenty of ‘Bashmore Bass’ and disco-infused funk, before the soulful melody and retro style synths take over. Bashmore moves away from his usual deep house vibe and has a bit of fun with this record. Upcoming dates for Bashmore include Arts Club in Liverpool (Oct 3), and The Academy in Dublin (Nov 19th)

 

4) Rhodes and Birdy – Let It All Go

**Dream Team saxon alert** Yes, Rhodes and Birdy have joined forces on their latest single ‘Let It All Go’. The beautiful single showcases their dreamy vocals and soothing harmonies; the perfect collab. ‘Let It All Go’ will feature on both artists albums, with Rhodes’ debut album ‘Wishes’ set to drop first on September 18th, while the single is available September 11thBe sure to check out the magical video directed by Sing J lee, which highlights the Northern Lights in Scotland. Such a perfect setting for this duet. Upcoming dates for Rhodes include Rough Trade East (Sept 21)

5) Gorgon City – Saving My Life ft Romans

London based producers Kye Gibbon and Matt Ronson-Scott (AKA Gorgon City) premiered their new single ‘Saving My life’ ft Romans. The pulsing single serves up their usual house style, mixed with an infectious vocal hook from Romans and high energy throughout. With the release of their debut album ‘Sirens’ last year, here’s hoping for more new material from the duo soon. Full dates for their North American headline tour can be found here.

 

6) Oh Wonder – Drive

Oh Wonder have managed to build up quite the fanbase throughout the last year and racked up 13.5 millions plays on Soundcloud, all without setting foot on a stage. The London duo, made up of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West decided to upload one song a month to Soundcloud, before releasing their debut album this September. Their latest single ‘Drive’ perfectly captures their balance of harmonies, stirring string accompaniment and their R&B infused groove, mixed with electronic flourishes. Check out their full tour dates here while their debut album ‘Oh Wonder’ is set for release Sept 4

7) Honne – Loves The Jobs You Hate

London based duo Honne, made up of Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatch, unveiled their latest single ‘Loves The Jobs You Hate’. The single premiered with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record and serves up a slice of futuristic soul, with it’s sensual electronic flavours of R&B mixed with some funky groove.  Recorded in London and Tokyo, ‘Loves The Jobs You Hate’ is taken from their forthcoming EP ‘The Over Lover’ and is set for release September 2nd via Atlantic Records. The Over Lover EP is set for release on September 2ndUpcoming dates for their Autumn tour in the UK include Patterns in Brighton and Deaf Institute in Manchester, with a headline performance at London’s Oval Space.

8) Jamie Woon – Sharpness

Time for the smooth stylings and very welcome return of Jamie Woon. His new single ‘Sharpness’ premiered with Pharrell on Beats 1, and is the first new solo material to surface from Woon in 4 years. ‘Sharpness’ serves up a smooth neo-soul single with some funky rhythms and electronic undertones.  The singer-songwriter is set to follow 2011’s debut album ‘Mirrorwriting’ with a new ‘D’Angelo’ inspired album, due later this year. ‘Sharpness’ is available now via Polydor Records

 

9)Redlight ft Melisa Whiskey – Threshold

Bristol producer Redlight, unveiled his latest single ‘Threshold’ , which received its premiere with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1. The single serves as the followup to previous single ‘Lion Jungle’ and delivers another infectious hit from Redlight, with Melisa Whiskey’s commanding vocals on point amidst the stirring string instrumentation and slick production. ‘Threshold’ is taken from Redlights highly anticipated debut album ‘X Colour’, set for release October 30th via Redlight’s own Lobster Boy label. The album is set to feature artists such as Roses Gabor and The Prodigy. Pre-order your copy here. In the meantime, catch Redlight at Bestival this weekend.

 

10) Rosie Lowe – Worry ‘Bout Us (Edit) (Produced by MachineDrum)

Rosie Lowe has unveiled her new single ‘Worry ‘Bout Us’; produced by US producer Machinedrum. Known for his more uptempo tracks, Machinedrum puts on the breaks and serves up a mellow, R&B slow burner. Rosie Lowe delivers smooth and silky vocals, perfectly complementing  the percussive instrumentation and varying tempos throughout. While the single is more of a ‘dance-floor’ friendly edit, expect an album version later this year. Upcoming dates for Lowe include Broadcast in Glasgow (Feb 18) and Oslo Hackney (Feb 25)

11) Sigma & Diztortion ft Jacob Banks – Redemption

Drum and Bass duo Sigma (AKA Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie) announced their latest single ‘Redemption’, as a follow up to ‘Glitterball’ ft Ella Henderson and ‘Higher’ ft Labrinth. This time, the duo have enlisted the creative talents of Dutch producer Diztortion, known for his work with Stylo G, Major Lazer and Stormzy.  Featuring the uplifting vocals of Jacob Banks (Chase & Status: Alive, Paradox EP) ‘Redemption’ serves up a thrilling drum n bass banger with it’s vibing house piano chords and catchy vocals. Having just announced their forthcoming UK and Ireland live tour opening at The Warehouse Project in Manchester (Oct 22), other dates include The Academy in Dublin (Oct 25) and London’s Roundhouse (Nov 1) ‘Redemption’ is set for release October 23 via 3Beat 

12) Zak Abel – Flow

19-year-old Zak Abel has released his new EP ’One Hand On The Future’; a suitably apt title for an artist who is has an exciting future ahead. The EP features 6 tracks, perfectly blends elements of electronic, soul, R&B and pop, fusing genres and pushing boundaries with the greatest of ease. ‘‘Flow’, delivers an electro-tinged, contemporary R&B track, with his raspy, soulful vocals  being the main focal point throughout. With production throughout the EP from Karma Kid, Joker and Kaytranda, you know he’s in safe hands. Having supported Kwabs at Somerset House this Summer, upcoming dates for Abel include Oslo, Hackney with Liam Bailey (Spt 7).  ‘One Hand On The Future’ EP is available now via Atlantic Records. 

13) Diplo and Sleepy Tom – Be Right There

Yes, one of the hardest working men in music has released yet another smash single. With the success of the infectious ‘Lean On’ ft MO with Major Lazer, and ‘Where Are You Now’ ft Justin Bieber with his Jack Ü counterpart Skrillex, Diplo has joined forces with Canadian producer Sleepy Tom for his latest single ‘Be Right There’.  The single premiered with Annie Mac, who commented ‘It’s a rare and beautiful thing to see Diplo make music at 125BPM’. Diplo and Sleepy Tom deliver a future house banger with it’s bouncing bass lines, wavy synths and almost industrial sounding vibes throughout. With an infectious vocal sample from Jade’s 1992 song ‘Don’t Walk Away’, this is sure to be another hit for the two producers. Upcoming dates for Diplo include iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas (Sept 18-19), with Major Lazer performing at Alexandra Palace (Oct 17th) while Sleep Tom is set to perform at Fool’s Gold ‘Day Off’ (Sept 13) in Miami.

14) Tame Impala – Cause I’m a Man (HAIM Remix)

While HAIM have left us craving new music from them of late, they’ve delivered a little slice of goodness in their latest remix of Tame Impala’s ‘Cause I’m a Man’. The remix sees Kevin Parker’s vocals stripped out and the tempo slowed way down, while Danielle Haim’s vocal take center stage as they float effortlessly above. ‘Cause I’m a Man’ is a real psychedelic slow burner, with quirky electronic production, and smooth hip hop vibes. The perfect chill out track.  Upcoming dates for HAIM include various US dates with Taylor Swift.

 

15) Drones Club – Cold Hand

Introducing Drones Club; a post-pop band & art project from London, whose aim is to reconnect us to the physical universe. Check out their introductory video here which gives a bit more info to their musical concept.   Comprising of Rory Cottam, Charlie Dobney and Louis Morlet, the trio have recently unveiled their new Rise EP, and offered one free track a week, culminating in the EP’s release. ‘Cold Hand’ is a truly hypnotic track, with its industrial yet melodic vocals, shimmering synth lines, and a murmuring bass line drawing you deeper and deeper into the track. Can definitely imagine this being played at some smoky ,underground rave. Drones Club are proving to be one exciting project on the rise. I’ve heard their live performances are quite effective, so keep an eye out for any upcoming gigs. Don’t forget to download your free copy of the Rise EP on Soundcloud

16) Romare – Love Song

London based producer, Romare, unveiled his new track “Love Song’, taken from his forthcoming ‘Rainbow’ EP, due later this month. Rainbow was produced in tribute to the American 70’s disco scene, with both a Club version and Bedroom version set for release. With that comes ‘Love Song’, with its funky, soulful instrumentation, eclectic beats and a looped synth that’s strangely hypnotic. Upcoming dates for Romare include a new live AV performance at London’s Oval Space (Oct 8). The ‘Rainbow’ EP is set for release Sept 4 via Ninja Tune.

 

17) Chvrches – Leave A Trace (Four Tet Remix)

With Chvrche’s ‘Leave A Trace’ making July’s favourites, it’s back again this month, but this time with an incredible remix from UK producer Kieran Hebden (AKA Four Tet). Four Tet eases us into his remix, gradually building tension and momentum, teasing us with looped snippets of Lauren Mayberry’s vocals, before delivering a rather sensual slice of low-key techno. His remix is mesmerising, with a mellow groove and bass heavy pulse throughout.  Upcoming dates for Four Tet include Bestival, O2 Academy Brixton (Oct ) and Metropolis Festival in Dublin. Four Tet’s remix is available now.

18) MK – Bring Me To Life ft Milly Pye

With the success of his incredible remix of Wankelmut’s ‘My Head Is A Jungle’, Detroit producer MK (AKA Mark Kinchen) is back with his new single ‘Bring Me To Life’. Featuring the powerhouse vocals from newcomer Milly Pye, ‘Bring Me To Life’ serves up a thrilling house anthem, with MK’s signature drums and infectious house piano. Upcoming dates for MK include The Warehouse Project (Sept 25) followed by Holy Ship in the new year. ‘Bring Me To Life’ is available now via Big On Blue

 

19) Nothing But Thieves – Wake Up Call

Southend indie rockers, Nothing But Thieves premiered their new single ‘Wake Up Call’ as Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record’. The single serves as the follow up to the successful ‘Trip Switch’ and delivers an instantly melodic and catchy chorus, with Conor’s impressive falsetto vocals taking lead throughout. Mix that with some infectious guitar riffs and crashing drums and you have one exciting indie rock group on the rise. Having previously played the Radio1/NME Stage at Reading & Leeds, upcoming dates for the band include a 13 UK tour including Electric Ballroom (Oct 30) and Vevo Halloween at Victoria Warehouse (Oct 31). Their Debut Album ‘Nothing But Thieves’ is set for release October 16th via Sony.

Check out this month’s selections below with over 1 hour 20 mins for your listening pleasure.