We’re constantly on the lookout for amazing music new and old, and each month we share our favourite discoveries with our readers.
The motto: “Broaden some horizons”.
3 songs of varying genres.
1 cover song that we love for some reason or another.
1 essential album to hear before you die.
Song #1 – ‘Back To Basics’ (The Shapeshifters)
This first track comes from English dance duo The Shapeshifters, most known for their 2004 No. 1 single ‘Lola’s Theme’. That tune is of course a staple banger in British culture, but it often overshadows their second hit ‘Back To Basics’, which was released the following year. ‘Back To Basics’ is a weirdly nostalgic house track for 2005, with soulful vocals and an airy melody. It feels like it’s been plucked from some random 1990s dance demo, yet it charted in the top 10. Bare this song in mind next time you want to get a room full of people dancing with a weirdly familiar yet fresh groove.
'Back To Basics' - The Shapeshifters
Song #2 – ‘Fire By The River’ (Harumi)
This whimsical number from Japanese artist Harumi is almost the stuff of legend. It was recorded as part of his self-titled album in 1967 or 1968 (no one even knows the exact date) and has since achieved a sort of cult status. Key supporting musicians from the release aren’t even credited on the record sleeve, and the album was followed by a tour across the United States… but no one is sure how much of the tour actually took place. We can’t know why these details were lost to history, but we do know that ‘Fire By The River’ is an essential track for any music lover.
'Fire By The River' - Harumi
Song #3 – ‘It Looks Like Love’ (Goody Goody)
‘It Looks Like Love’ is a lesser-known gem in disco history. Released in 1978, this quietly cheerful tune has some beautiful chord progressions, jazzy keys, and a lovely flute section. These are some pretty unique characteristics for a disco track, but don’t worry… there’s more than enough funk in the bassline to keep you on your feet. It was composed by “Godfather of Disco” Vincent Montana and as the song claims itself… “it’s outta sight”.
'It Looks Like Love' - Goody Goody
Cover of the Month – ‘Lust For Life – The Prodigy Remix’ (The Prodigy)
In 1996 Trainspotting exploded on to British screens, opening with Ewan McGregor’s escape from the police as he told us to “choose life”, all to the iconic beat of Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’. Fast forward 21 years and director Danny Boyle brought us the sequel to this cult classic of a film. T2 Trainspotting was just as hilarious, dark, and hideous as the original… but time moves on, and so too does the soundtrack. Liam Howlett from The Prodigy hashed up this noisy and chaotic remix of ‘Lust For Life’, and it plays a perfect homage to the relationship between these
two superb films that resonate with so many.
'Lust For Life - The Prodigy Remix'' - The Prodigy
Essential Album of the Month – Fair (Various Artists)
In 2017, French label STRCTR records put out their debut compilation, and we have absolutely no idea how this release hasn’t blown up to dominate the deep house scene. Although technically an EP, Fair is a very special. These four singles, melodic to their core, will take you wherever you want to go. Matthieu Faubourg’s ‘Please, Stay’ and Harrison BDP’s ‘Decompression’ are particularly evocative; they stand out in an already overly-saturated genre. Have a listen:
Fair EP - STRCTR records
Check out February’s music of the month HERE.