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Music of the Month: April 2020

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: The Western- PFM (1995)

Released in 1995 on LTJ Bukem's label Good Looking Records, 'The Western' is an absolute masterpiece. This track showcases some of the best of 'intelligent drum and bass'; a sub-category of the genre from the mid 90s that incorporated complex, soulful sounds with high-energy breakbeats of drum and bass and jungle. PFM is a producer who is renowned for his moody atmospherics and punchy breaks, and this track is perfect example of his mastery over the genre. With a perfect accompanying video, prepare for this introspective anthem to take you on a voyage. (Get ready for the best use of a guitar sample in drum and bass history at the 5:00 mark!)

Song #2: Brain- The Jungle Brothers (1997)

Next up, we have 'Brain'; an undeniable hip hop head-bopper from 1997. With a smooth, lounge-y instrumental produced and performed by The Roots, this track really showcases what hip hop trio The Jungle Brothers are all about. Consisting of Michael Small (Mike Gee), Nathaniel Hall (Afrika Baby Bam), and Sammy Burwell (DJ Sammy B), the group are renowned for their pioneering fusions of house, jazz and hip-hop. You can read our interview with The Jungle Brothers HERE, where we discuss 'I'll House You'; the first ever hip-hop house track.

Song #3: Blame it on the State- Josh B (2018)

For our third track, we have 'Blame it on the State'. Taking samples from 808 State's 'Pacific State' and Blame's 'Piano Takes You', Josh B creates a meticulously crafted piano house classic, despite being released as recent as 2018. Strangely, Josh B seems to be somewhat of an elusive figure, and we struggled to find any further information on him outside of the YouTube comments. As far as we can make out, his releases have been appearing on YouTube over the last couple of years, producing banger after banger. His sound immaculately recreates the rave vibe of the early 90s, and is definitely worth checking out. If you're reading this, and you have more information on Josh B, we would love to hear it!

Cover: Changes- Black Sabbath (Charles Bradley Cover)

Whether you recognise this track from the opening sequence of Netflix show 'Big Mouth', or are simply familiar with the Black Sabbath original, this cover by Charles Bradley deserves to be heard in its heartfelt and sincere entirety. The funk and soul legend delivers a truly beautiful rendition of the song after explaining the emotional significance the lyrics have in relation to his late mother. Charles tragically passed away soon after this session was recorded.

Album: Cold Water Music- Aim

One album that we have been really enjoying this month is Aim's 'Cold Water Music'. Released in 1999, this album consists of an eclectic selection of beats and instrumentals that span from dreamy cinematic interludes to funky driving bops. Featuring vocals from the likes of Kate Rogers, Qnc and YZ, this album makes for perfect lockdown listening. This is certainly one to absorb in one continuous listen, so sit back and relax as British producer Aim's diverse pallet meanders between jazzy 90s hip hop and smooth ambient electronica.

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