All Bands On Deck: CROOX
We’re switching up the usual Top 5 formula with our new feature series, All Bands On Deck. Searching for an original, outside view on dance music, we’re asking bands (Remember those? They’re the ones with guitars, etc) to give us the who, where, when and whys of their favourite electronic records. Up first are hip hop rockers CROOX, so without further ado, welcome to the first edition of All Bands On Deck…
Mura Masa – Love For That (Ft. Shura)
Mura Masa first came to our attention when he dropped his last EP, Someday Somewhere. What was so inspiring to us was how varied this 7-track EP was in terms of genre. From the bouncy upbeat vibe of ‘Firefly’ to tracks like ‘Terrible Love’, which has a sort of lo-fi grime influence to it, and ‘Low’ which could easily be a Drake record. As a body of work it really showcases how talented he is as a songwriter and producer.
‘Love For That’ is the more recent release from Mura Masa. The song ticks so many boxes for us. It fits perfectly in a DJ set at a busy club night and sounds equally as great on a chilled out late night drive home from a show. Love the arrangement of the strings and think Shura’s voice add’s a beautiful eeriness. One of our favourite artists from 2015 and we have no doubt that 2016 will be an even bigger year for him.
BLANDA – Für Audri
We actually have BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova to thank for this one. We were driving back from a gig and at around 2am this track came on and completely blew us away. The song is just an epic mash up of so many incredible sounds and styles. We love the trap style high-hats and 808 bass line, something we do quite a lot with CROOX. After the first drop the track just takes you by surprise and changes direction, soulful synths and jazzy solos reminiscent of bands like Snarky Puppy leads perfectly into the hip-hop drum patterns and arpeggiated keys line.
BLANDA is still relatively new to us so really enjoying discovering what else he has to offer.
Swindle – London to L.A Ft. Ash Riser
Since Swindle released his last album Peace, Love & Music back in September 2015 we have not stopped listening to it and we have been hugely inspired by his production and use of sounds.
‘London to L.A’ was a stand out track for us on the album. The way the guitars have been used, almost like synths, combined with the electronic kits make a crazy modernized funk sound. The bassline is on point too. You can’t help but just get into this song once the bassline kicks in. The way the track flirts with elements of dubstep and drum and bass before dropping back into the groove is great. The track is a great doff of the cap to Swindle’s previous work with a lot of UK grime MC’s whilst also showing off the funk connections with more recent collabs. It’s a good example why Swindle is up there with the best producers in London.
ZHU – Faded (Lido Remix)
There have been too many occasions that Lido’s production has had us sitting in our studio with his tracks blaring out of our monitors and us just asking…’how?’
The man is a genius, an incredible musician and in our opinion one of the best producers around at the moment. It was really tough picking out our favourite Lido tracks however his remix of ZHU – ‘Faded’ is one that really sticks out. The drop in this is so big but somehow still has so much space.
All his material is clever and certainly challenges us to push the boundaries of what we do when we get in to the studio ourselves. He recently released an RnB EP which showcases a different side of Lido’s talents. It really reminds us of a lot of our favourite RnB records growing up and is something we definitely relate to. We also love the way he ‘tags’ his songs in the same way an artist would, and rightly so, why wouldn’t he?
FONO – Real Joy
We actually share a studio building with Fono so we have the absolute pleasure of hearing his masterpieces being constructed (albeit through the walls). ‘Real Joy’ was released earlier this year and was pretty much the soundtrack to our summer. Whatever festival or club we were at, that tune was playing… and we love it. We don’t know how he does it, but the way that synth changes and chops is incredible. The escalating synth at the end gives you that anxious feeling that all good build-ups should. If you get a chance to hear the first time ‘Real Joy’ was played on Zane Lowe‘s show, you should check it out. When he pulls a record back out of excitement, you know the track is killer.
So shout out to our boy Luke. A true gent and a great guy to work with *spoiler alert*!
Catch CROOX playing live at The Green Door Store, Brighton on March 15th and London’s Electrowerkz on March 16th, and check out their latest effort ‘Crying’ below: