We're unsure who Walter is, but we do know that this EP is the end result of Swindle looking after his grandparents' house for a summer between international shows, and how he turned their living room into a studio fit for a horn section. The end result features some of the funkiest, jazz-jacked, unique instrumentals he's ever recorded (which is saying something). Muted trumpets, big piano slaps, heavyweight beats, infectious hooks and an overall sense of fun, Swindle remains the funk champion of dubstep-related music. For something a little more chill switch for the dreamlike "Summer Fruits". In terms of an appropriate seasonal release, the timing is terrible. In terms of everything else about the track, it's perfect. Essential Swindle.
Here we have Timewarp Inc, the in-house production team at Athenian funk/nu-disco label Timewarp, and they've decided to delve into their mighty back catalogue and well, remix it. Hence, "The Remix Session Vol 1" - a collection boasting 14 prime cuts including the moodily hypnotic funk loops of "Anti Pop Song" by Ancient Astronauts, the forlorn Two Tone vibes of "Smile On Your Face" and the machine-like breaky funk goes synthy disco sizzler "Da Gypsy Groove" by Leon.
Black Butter know a thing or two about uncovering new talent and with Wayward they've struck gold again. Ugestu is their debut EP, but this London duo already reveal a maturity beyond their years through its six tracks. There is a hazy Balearic vibe throughout, but standouts include the sunkissed wash splashes and distant bass of "Reverie", the sleek and low electro-funk of "Hurricane" and the brittle future-soul-step of the title track.
It would be fair to called Joined Ends, Oliver Thomas Johnson's second album under his familiar Dorian Concept alias, "long-promised". It was being touted for release back in 2011, soon after he signed with Ninja Tune. Interestingly, it's a very different beast to his 2009 debut album, When Planets Explode, and the club-friendly singles that followed. A veritable technicolour blast of warm chords, shimmering synthesizer melodies, dream-pop vocals and skittering low-end rhythms, Joined Ends ripples with unfussy positivity. It's far from a straightforward set - Johnson is too imaginative a producer for that - but it certainly has a singular vision. It may not be the album we were expecting, but it's an impressive set nonetheless.
A 21-year old nu-soul belter from Nottingham, Harleighblu made a big splash with her debut album Forgot Me Not. This is the latest track to be lifted from the acclaimed album and it's a jaw-dropping, almost unrecognisable, cover of The Eurythmics's 1983 electro-pop hit "Who's That Girl?". Coming across like Amy Winehouse tackling Lennox in a 60s downtown soul joint, and does a classic song justice. There's a bunch of album track remixes too including a bonkers DNB/jazz hybrid mix by Peeshay and a totally enchanting haunted tropical rework of "Love Like This" by Corsair.
We're not quite sure what exactly the title of this fine collection means (gentle music rendered slightly less so through amplification?), but the tagline "selected cuts red-edited and remastered" reveals all. Basically this compilation see Greek producer Mister T take a break from his work with singer Jean Honeymoon to deliver 11 of his favourite rare funk cuts in retweaked form. Highlights include the break-heavy brass jam "Hip Soul", the 70s wah-porn of "Everything Is Wah" and the hyperactive 60s organ wig out "The Surprise".
The artfully titled Ninja Tune Traktion EP finds the storied label dip into their vast archives to offer Traktor DJs exclusive stems to help convolute their sets with a range of obscure sounds and classics. For some basslines and synths to throw over drums or percussion the Bogus Order Reorder of Falty DL's "Atlantis" is an obvious choice, as can be said about the snares and hyperactive synths of the Spacelab remix to Starkey's "Blood Roses". The manner in which Seiji messed with that classic synth riff to Coldcut & Hexstatic's "Timber" ensures his remix can always be left as is, and for something more melodic and liquid funky there's the chiming and remixed sounds of DJ Food's "Dark Lady".
With a pedigree for great covers (see: "Seven Nation Army"), Alice Russell has smashed this cover of Connan Mockasin with James Blake-esque spaciousness and sombre sobriety. Further on she returns to a style that's instantly hers with "Citizens" - jaunty, precision jazz beats that leave heaps of room for Alice's signature emphatics to really smoulder. Finally we hit a jacking D Felic remix of "Breakdown". Featuring absolute soul legend Darondo, we can't wait to hear the original when the album drops later this year. Stunning.
Live swing troupe Jojo Effect deliver "Sweet Heart" from last month's album Smarter, and they do so with scented paper and a pretty pink bow. Sugar-sweet and twice and as pretty, everything about this R&B-arranged jam has a laid back, slipper-wearing jazz vibe that's undeniably infectious: Blossom-lip lyrics, dreamy signatures on the fills and super-tight instrumentation. Looking for something more floor optimised? The Heartbeat mix has been made with you in mind.