The Universe Smiles Upon You (mix) - (39:44) 87 BPM
Review: Inspired by the slightly unlikely collision of the Thai music of the '70s and The Shadows, Khruangbin - the name means 'aeroplane' in Thailand - are purveyors of a deliriously mellow and beguiling form of jammed-out power-trio guitar music - far removed from standard notions of psych and dreampop, partly owing to its pan-global influences, its nonetheless both psychedelic and dreamy, not to mention possessed of an unhurried, reflective and spacious lilt that renders this Texan-London outfit a rare treat in an information-saturated age, taking on delicate soul and funk with exotic atmospheres and making the journey feel both blissful and effortless.
Review: Last year Leifur James won plenty of plaudits for his debut album "A Louder Silence", a set that was described by one reviewer as "subtly stunning soul-jazz". As the title suggests, this six-track follow-up sees some of the album's most potent tracks get the remix treatment. Falty DL kicks things off with a shuffling, soft-focus dancefloor take on the sumptuous "Mumma Don't Tell", before Hessle Audio regular Bruce re-imagines "Osho" as an atmospheric ambient-jazz soundscape. Auntie Flo does a bang-up job teasing out the sunrise-ready beauty inherent inside "Salaniham", Coby Sey opts for skittish IDM drum programming on a decidedly wonky version of "Suns of Gold" and Oliver Coates re-creates "Red Sea" as a paranoid, analogue-heavy electronica workout.
Review: Their first material in over 10 years, Mercury Prize nominated duo Rae & Christian need very little introduction. Adding to the UK beat movement with similar weight to that of Tricky or Massive Attack, their ability to forge big grooves into actual songs is near-on matchless. And it's clear they still haven't lost this touch between them. Ranging from swaggering b-boy guitar drama ("Check The Technique") to the heady, driving folk of the Beta Band/Gruff Rhys-esque "1975" via the soul-jazz breakbeat fusion of "Dancer", they leave no stone unturned. And, crucially, they do it with a strong sense of playfulness and consistency. Let's hope they don't leave it another decade for a follow-up.