- From Pitchfork and Pigeons and Planes, to Rolling Stone and Billboard, there was barely a ‘Best of the Year’ list that To Pimp A Butterfly didn’t top in 2015. If Kendrick Lamar was concerned about following what FACT Magazine have termed his “magnum opus”, he deliberately chose not to dwell on it, first releasing the acclaimed demos collection Untitled Unmastered in 2016, and now a fourth LP in which he switches gears entirely. Gone are the abrasive jazz influences that underscored the protest songs of TPAB, and in their place is a succession of loose and playful, predominantly sample-led grooves, rooted in 70s soul and psych. Damn might be more musically accessible, but it’s no less rewarding, and lyrically Compton’s finest sounds more unapologetically self-assured than ever. Indeed, as he explains on ‘Pride’, “I can’t fake humble just ‘cause yo’ ass is insecure.”
- Whether working in his capacities as a key member of Hot Chip, one half of The 2 Bears, or co-founder of Greco-Roman Records, Joe Goddard has been conspiring to make indie kids dance since the turn of the 21st century. Now the Grammy-approved remixer is temporarily dropping the aliases and resuming the solo work, albeit with a smattering of guest vocalists, ranging from Hot Chip-frontman Alexis Taylor to the smooth tones of rising star Daniel Wilson. As per Jamie xx’s debut, Electric Lines isn’t for dance purists; rather, it’s synth-pop made by someone with genuine affection for electronic music. But whether he’s dabbling in disco, deep house, techno or UK Garage, it's difficult to resist Goddard’s enthusiasm.