Jun 17

Halfway House 2017

FT8 comments • 813 views

Wiley shot for the NME MagazineWe’re almost halfway through 2017 and the world hasn’t blown up yet! Well done us. Let’s make the most of our remaining time and have a nice chat about music: this year my personal favourites seem to be mostly house/techno rather than pop – the exact opposite to last year. This is despite (because of?) the fact that I’ve listened to quite a lot of pop this year, thanks to being seated much nearer the office radio for the last 6 months – Ed Sheeran-ocalypse and all. Grime has thankfully taken up the slack a bit and provided us with several out-and-out bangers.

Anyway, here are some selected tunes of 2017 that I have enjoyed:

5th Dimensions – The Orb and Jörg Burger

An old Kompakt favourite teams up with Alex P for some soothing ambient schaffle. I recommend this for quelling commuter rage, especially if someone’s umbrella is dripping onto your foot but there is literally nowhere on the packed Overground train to move even an inch without losing your balance.

Friksjon – Rave-enka

Like all good house tunes, this takes a while to build, but the pay off is worth it. One might be compelled to put one’s hands in the air on at least three different occasions.

Be The One – Dua Lipa

Technically a 2-year-old re-release but I don’t care, it’s been all over the place and I am delighted every time I hear it. It’s a beautiful melody and the arrangement hooks me every time. Difficult to sing at karaoke, but I have been practicing whenever it comes on the car radio.

Stick Out – iO

9-minute long summery techno with a bassline that sounds like a duck quacking and a synth line like a butterfly fluttering over the top.

Swalla – Jason DeRulo, Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign

Ridiculous robo-dancehall with a Men At Work piccolo hook and the stupidest drum pattern I’ve heard in ages. It certainly stands out when played in the middle of a swamp of Ed Sheeran.

S.O. – Kelly Lee Owens

Dreamy electro which has similar soothing properties to Jörg & co. I wonder if Kelly Lee has a floatation tank and if so could I borrow it?

Should Have Been Me – Naughty Boy ft Kyla, Popcaan

Many reasons why this shouldn’t work: tired tropical house beat, petulant lyrics, the worry that Popcaan is going to shout ‘daily struggle’ at any given point. But I still like it!

Bring Them All / Holy Grime – Wiley & Devlin

Probably my favourite track from the (genuinely all killer no filler!) Wiley album, this is a tremendous thundering bulldozer of a tune, Wiley at the levers of the JCB, clearing a path for his crew, concrete walls tumbling down everywhere. This song gives me the same feeling of superhuman strength that The Fall’s New Puritan does. Also I’m always happy to hear a shout out for North West London (an often overlooked area where grime is concerned). If I was writing a top 10 I would include Joe Bloggs and Speakerbox in it as well, but I have to go and hang the washing up now so a Top 8 will have to do.

What have you enjoyed so far this year?


  1. 1
    Steve Mannion on 26 Jun 2017 #

    Will be checking those out – most I don’t yet know!

    Some 2017 faves of mine:
    The Black Madonna – He Is The Voice I Hear
    Wiley ft. Manga – Laptop
    O’Flynn – Glow Worm
    Fatima Yamaha – Piayes Beach Bar And Grill
    NAO – Get To Know YA (Kaytranada Remix)
    Todd Terje – Jungelknuge (Four Tet Remix)
    Ronika – All Comes Back 2 U
    Tensnake – Machines
    Grace Lightman – Repair Repair
    Nite Jewel – 2 Good 2 Be True
    Buscaballa – Tartaro
    Kim Ann Foxman – UR Magnetic
    Joe Goddard – Children
    Atelje – 50/50
    The-Dream – Walls
    Buckingham McVie – In My World
    Saint Etienne – Heather
    Algiers – The Underside Of Power

    Those plus some 2016 runoff at https://open.spotify.com/user/stevem78/playlist/3JtZQ7pRCXwpUE20rOslvi

  2. 2
    katstevens on 26 Jun 2017 #

    Ooo that Terje/Four Tet track is a find, ta Steve!

  3. 3
    swanstep on 27 Jun 2017 #

    Very little new music seems to pierce my bubble these days… I’ve enjoyed very solid albums from Father John Misty and Cigarettes After Sex. Definitely worth checking out.

    Two enjoyable singles:
    Client Liaison’s ‘Off-White Limousine’
    Paramore’s ‘Hard Times’

  4. 4
    Cumbrian on 27 Jun 2017 #

    Thanks to Spotify’s New Release Radar playlist, I’ve heard more new stuff than I have in some time this year. Not a lot of it has really stood out, but I have listened to a lot more new stuff. Things I did like, in no particular order:

    “Mirage” by Josefin Ohrn
    “Drunk” by Thundercat
    The Glok remix of “All I Want” by Ride
    “Internet” by All Them Witches
    “Dreaming In The Non-Dream” by Chris Forsyth and The Solar Motel Band
    “Mother” by IDLES (though following the election, the line “the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich” appears to already by dated – apparently, the best way to scare the leader of the Tories is approach her with a microphone and a member of the public).

    Also would second Steve’s shout out to “In My World” from the Buckingham/McVie album.

  5. 5
    jeff w on 27 Jun 2017 #

    2017 so far has been all about the EPs, for me. Great ones by ANONHI, Pye Corner Audio (in various guises), Fatima Yamaha, Mr Tophat & Robyn, Modern Cosmology, The Comet Is Coming, GIRLI, Vanishing Twin, Robot Koch and No Joy among others. Decent albums too from Saint Etienne, ToiToiToi, Vic Mars, Devon Sproule and Juana Molina. Outside of those records, here’s 30 highlights from my extensive tracks list:

    Goldfrapp – Anymore
    MUNA – Crying On The Bathroom Floor
    Louis The Child ft. Elohim – Love Is Alive
    Nadia Rose – Puddycat
    Kehlani – Undercover
    Jens Lekman – What’s That Perfume That You Wear?
    Anna Wise – Coconuts
    Stormzy – Big For Your Boots
    C Duncan – Sibling
    Ondatrópica – Bogotá
    Nubian Mindz – Somebody Else (Cavern of Anti-Matter remix)
    SiR ft. Anderson .Paak & King Mez – New LA
    Thundercat – Friend Zone
    Todd Terje – Jungelknugen (Prins Thomas remix)
    Bugzy Malone – Aggy Wid It
    Dawn Richard – Van Gogh
    Pye Corner Audio / Faten Kanaan – The Darkest Wave
    ZHU – Nightcrawler
    Clean Bandit ft. Zara Larsson – Symphony
    Nicki Minaj – Regret In Your Tears
    Sarah Angliss – A Wren in the Cathedral
    Betty Who – Blue Heaven Midnight Crush
    Machinedrum – U Betta
    Charli XCX ft. cupcakKe – Lipgloss
    Tove Styrke – Say My Name
    Slowdive – Sugar For The Pill (Avalon Emerson’s Gilded Escalation)
    This Is The Kit – Moonshine Freeze
    Little Mix ft. Stormzy – Power
    Todd Terje ft. Det Gylne Triangel – Maskindans (Erol Alkan rework)
    Cornelius – Sometime / Someplace

  6. 6
    cryptopian on 28 Jun 2017 #

    Much as I haven’t been much into the mainstream scene this year, it’s shaping up to be one of my favourite years for music in general. My top 20 for the year looks like it’s going to have a few tracks from Temples’s album, Volano which is a fabulous burst of colour. Have been enjoying albums from MUNA, Ron Gallo, Fleet Foxes, Mai Lan (basically just Vampire and Technique <3) and Sampha. I'm also enjoying Calvin Harris's recent approach of "put some random big names over a funk beat," which is turning out some unusual but very welcome tracks.

    Now just to wait for new Susanne Sundfør, Todd Terje and Taylor Swift

  7. 7
    katstevens on 29 Jun 2017 #

    I’d forgotten about the Nadia Rose album, thanks Jeff! I was a bit disappointed in the Little Mix/Stormzy collab though – obv the combo sounds great on paper but the track’s nowhere near as good as ‘Move’ (or ‘Cold’ off the Stormzy album).

  8. 8
    koganbot on 4 Jul 2017 #

    So far, Nadia Rose is the only overlap with any of you, so you’ve given me much to listen to. Here are my top ten so far:

    1. Lil Debbie “F That
    2. NCT 127 “Limitless
    3. MC G15 “Deu Onda
    4. Jovi “Ou Même
    5. CLC “Hobgoblin
    6. Miso “KKPP
    7. Juan LaFonta ft. Big Freedia “Bounce TV
    8. Pristin “Wee Woo
    9. Omar Souleyman “Ya Bnayya
    10. Steps “Scared Of The Dark

    A YouTube commenter says about the Juan LaFonta track, “I like the part where she says ‘Juan LaFonta.'”

    Tracks five and six are HyunA imitations, one of which is co-written by HyunA.

    Here’s the full list, with commentary. I hope Cameroon makes the next Pop World Cup, ’cause its hip-hop scene is very creative.

    A Punk Votes For A Punk Again (Mid-Year Singles 2017)

    Here’s the ongoing playlist.

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