1. Wookie – “Battle” (MP3, forthcoming single)
Underground soulful 2-step ex-Soul II Soul man UK Garage. Would be big except for the fact that I’ve not heard it on the radio yet. Perhaps the Dreem Team are playing it? Large sections of the track repeat the most repetitive two-note melody EVER and then the singer breaks into a more chart-friendly melodic vocal section leading into that staple of crossovers: the singalong chorus. Every day is like a battle but we’ll overcome / When we get back in the saddle faith will bring us home. Hardly the most profound of lyrics but when the track sounds this nice who cares? Tim might be interested to take a listen.
2. Craig David – “Seven Days” (MP3, forthcoming single)
“I work with a stylist. I can trust him to go out and buy stuff for me. It’s not like when your mum buys you clothes.” Poor lad. Despite a Select magazine interview’s best efforts to trip him up along the way he still follows up “Fill Me In” with style. This isn’t as immediate as his solo debut but it’s equally as strong in a very different way. Rather than the 2-step beats he’s become associated with this has a very straight R&B beat, with hardly any groove. It’s a technique I like; it reminds me of Otis Redding tracks the way it has a totally straight beat and the soul coming from the vocals rather than a more obvious groove.
3. Black Star – “Re-Definition” (MP3)
One two three / Mos Def and Talib Kweli / We came to rock it on to the tip top / Best alliance in hip hop. The claims are arguable but this is still a good track, if let down by those weak Rawkus production techniques. Mos Def and Talib Kweli are undoubtedly two of the hottest rappers in the underground at the moment and they work well together on this one, as they do on the other Black Star material I’ve heard. The one reason I often feel like listening to this particular track is that for some reason I really enjoy this lyric: “Re-Definition”, turning your play into a tragedy!