Following their debut album "We Are To Answer", production duo Ancient Astronauts look like their getting even hotter if this new EP is anything to go by. Lead single "Put Em Up" is something that true-school hip-hop heads will go crazy for, thanks to the superior rhymes of rapper Raashan Ahmad and some phat and punchy live drums.
As Ahmad says "ain't nothing like hip-hop music" - fans of any classic 90s rap from The Pharcyde to Jurassic 5 would definitely get a buzz from "Put Em Up". The EP also sees some exclusive and rather ace remixes of "We Are To Answer" tracks as well. Tru Thoughts legend TM Juke takes "Everybody" and rolls it into a tasty funk and electro fusion with some expertly produced drums kicking throughout. Protassov takes the vocals supplied by the Phat Old Mamas on "A Hole To Swallow Us" and provides a fun piano-led downtempo mix, similar in spirit to the early Gorillaz releases. Lance Herbstrong and Gianma both give I Came Running their own unique stamp while BBC radio's DJ Pathaan rewires Lost In Marrakesh into a smooth and sharp drum and bass rhythm.
Boogie Children (Saturn Day Night) - (4:01) 131 BPM
Low Riders In Space - (3:55) 114 BPM
Lost In The Shuffle - (2:37) 147 BPM
Bossa Nova Seela - (3:56) 125 BPM
Jupiter's Jam - (2:56) 80 BPM
Tiger Style - (3:39) 126 BPM
We've lost count of the number of albums Shawn Lee's made to date, but it's well in to double figures. Here, the prodigious beatmaker and studio veteran delivers a concept album built around an outer space theme. Down on earth, that means pitching his loose, live drums and rubbery basslines against a variety of far-out synthesizer sounds, presumably created using a variety of vintage machines. For the most part, it's a combination that works well, as Lee switches between recreations of famous basslines and drum breaks (see "Galactica") and distinctly dubbed-out material bearing his famous sonic trademarks (see the Meters-on-acid-meet-Lee Scratch Perry vibes of "Low Riders In Space").
Thievery Corporation's long running Eighteenth Street Lounge imprint unveil a new signing in the shape of The Funk Arc, a global funk troupe fronted by long-term ESL session player and keyboard genius Will Rast. From The Rooftops straddles the funk spectrum effortlessly serving up a heady dose of afrobeat, vintage grit and Latin swing across the ten track set. It's a mark of The Funk Arc's musical pedigree that such luminaries as The JB's, Afrika 70 and Fania Allstars spring to mind as the vibes take over. Highlights include "Funky DC" which features a lyrical turn from backpacker icon Asheru and the more uptempo Latin jams like "Carretera Libre" and "Horchata".