THE BEGINNING

The latest 7-inches by Egyptian Hip Hop, Blue on Blue, The One, Dam Mantle and Kashmir Kid.

EHHsingle

Egyptian Hip Hop
Some Reptiles Developed Wings
(Moshi Moshi)

At the tail end of 2009 we claimed that ‘Radd Pit’ – then a Myspace obsession of ours thanks to its quaking, Cure-like vocals and raining, ‘80s guitar lick – was the best song of the year. Manchester schoolboys Egyptian Hip Hop were certain to be the chief romancers of 2010 and we were very excited. Thankfully, we still are. And ‘Radd Pit’ – awarded a proper release on this four-track EP – has never seemed better. It could very well be the best song of this year too.

Re-recorded and more fluid than before, it’s not been overhauled but buffed and re-mastered, the sweet organ breaks as intact as Alex Hewett’s trembling voice that warbles and continually threatens to crack under the weight of the song’s adolescent emotion.

Opener ‘Moon Crooner’ explores a camper side of ‘80s synth pop, making a far better job of sprightly, chiming disco than Golden Silvers ever did, helped along by the kind of excitable baseline that always made Metronomy so appealing.

The pop out of the way, ‘Some Reptiles…’ then makes way for electro instrumental ‘Middle Name Period’ (a spidery track that goes through more breakdowns than Kerry Katona does in an average week) and ‘Native’ – six minutes of juggling oriental sounds and avoiding choruses as it lurches on. After all that initial excitement Egyptian Hip Hop are taking their time, but they’re still worthy of the hype.

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Blue On Blue
Summer Daze EP
(BlueOnBlue Records)

This self-released debut EP by London trio Blue On Blue couldn’t be more suitably titled. Channelling such sensory manipulators as Joy Division (the ‘Atmosphere’-a-like ‘Fallen’) and Jesus Mary Chain (‘Summer Daze’) one minute, and the dizzy, exuberance of early Boo Radleys and Young Marble Giants the next (‘Cherry Acid Drop’) it’s hypnotic stuff that also feels giddy and washed out like a Polaroid taken in the evening sun. What will really keep you warm this coming season though is ‘Cinnamon Swirl’ – the shortest and best track here, which features a beautifully simple guitar hook from 1991.

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Dam Mantle
Purple Arrow EP
(Wichita)

‘Purple Arrow’ only follows on from Dam Mantle’s ‘Grey’ EP in part – the part that sees Tom Marshall still hunched over a desk of wires making weird, glitchy music that you can’t quite dance to or fully enjoy while “entertaining guests”. That’s not to say that this latest collection of sonic nonsense is completely redundant though. It is, as the squealing title track attests thanks to its vague sense of uniformality, a leap toward listenable greatness for the young musician obsessed with noise – a notable stride away from the plain nutty ‘Grey’ and closer to Mantle’s awesome live show.

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The One
Double Life
(24th Century)

Having called his side project The One, perhaps Fair Ohs drummer Joe Ryan is trying to tell his fellow tropical punks something. Along with Emeson Nwolie – a man with a voice so soulful it makes Cee Lo sound like Axl Rose gargling glass – Ryan has been experimenting with electronics for some time now and ‘Double Life’ spearheads the duo’s debut EP of the same name. Set to electronic drums, synthesiser flourishes and various swathes of dub production, it’s a little Womack & Womack and a lot Gnarls Barkley in late-night session mode. Smooth and sultry, The One could become Ryan’s primary concern.

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Kashmir Kid
Return To Bombay City
(Gut Instinct)

For his debut release – and the first on Goldielocks’ Gut Instinct imprint – Kashmir Kid (aka Jahan Nazeer) squeezes into ‘Return To Bombay City’’s two minutes sixteen seconds the sound of Alex Kid raving his way through Miracle World, classic, squelching dubstep drops and deep dancehall bass bumps. It’s what’s got London’s urban radio station Rinse FM so worked up and you’d have to have very little interest in UK garage and dubstep to not be suitably impressed too. A punk approach to its particular brand of inner-city dance music, it’s playful where many others are unjustly self-indulgent.

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Originally published in issue 21 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. September 2010

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