Clash Reviews The Singles (Of March 10)

Cheer up Dave, it might never happen. Oh...
haze.jpg

It’s not like anyone queues for these things outside Our Price anymore, but still…

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Angel Haze – ‘Battle Cry’

“An inevitable single-to-be” is how we called the Sia-featuring ‘Battle Cry’ when we heard it on rapper Haze’s (pictured) debut album proper ‘Dirty Gold’ (review) at the end of 2013 – and sure enough, here it is. So why not simply refer to that review for this one: “a Greg Kurstin-produced affair that mixes saccharine soppiness in its verses with soar-away choruses that just don’t sound right without X Factor-style fireworks erupting behind them”. Still stands, and if ever Haze was going to score a significant hit single on this campaign, it’s with this track. There are no fireworks in the video, though, just lots of pain – and in a clip that the label published on Valentine’s Day, no less. Happy Monday!

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Supersister – ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ (DJ Shadow remix)

Possibly the unlikeliest remix to appear on Clash for the foreseeable, ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ finds Californian producer DJ Shadow chopping and stitching elements of 1970s Dutch prog outfit Supersister into an eerie end product somewhere between Machinedrum and the creeped-out concoctions of The Third Eye Foundation. But there is a connection between these divided-by-generations (not to mention significant stylistic distance) artists: it’s the keyboard of Supersister’s Robert Jan Stips that you hear on both Shadow’s ‘Organ Donor’ and UNKLE’s ‘Rabbit In Your Headlights’. Respect to the DJ here for reflecting some of the attention he still receives so many years after 1996’s breakthrough set ‘Endtroducing…’ back onto an influential act from his own past. Download this track for free here

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Childish Gambino – ‘Sweatpants’

I’ve never truly understood the shit that Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, gets in some quarters of the music press. A 5.8 and a 1.6 (!) for his past two albums on Pitchfork suggests that site in particular needs to pulls its out-dated appreciation of what represents ‘real’ in rap out of its tightly clenched indie arse. Throw a Gambino track, just like this one, into a DJ set beside your J Coles (6.0 on P4K for ‘Born Sinner’) and Kendrick Lamars (9.5 for ‘good kid…’) and it flows just fine, the MC in question far from sounding like a pretender beside princes. So the guy was an actor before he rapped? And his rhymes are somewhat self-referential? Oh, so we’ll just assume the 8.6 for Drake’s ‘Nothing Was The Same’ is a misprint, then. Because he is straight street. Why so serious, music press? Just shake it loose out for some and bump against a stranger.

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Tensnake – ‘Love Sublime’

On his debut album ‘Glow’, German producer Tensnake, aka Marco Niermerski, has unashamedly worn his pop ambitions on his sleeve. ‘Love Sublime’ leads the charge, updating the ‘Axel F’ theme from Beverly Hills Cop (listen at a minute-20… there it is) for the club-comedown crowd. Nile Rodgers’ trademark licks do their trademark licks think, pleasant but ultimately interchangeable atop whatever track they’re guesting on. Interesting pub-quiz-connection fact: Rodgers worked on the music to 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop III, covering Harold Faltermeyer’s enduring signature instrumental – check it out here

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Kylie Minogue – ‘Into The Blue’

She played a pub in London! She’s so cool! Because it’s not like bands don’t do that all the time. So yeah, Kylie’s a pretty legitimate megastar. But you wonder how much longer she’ll maintain a chart presence with immediately forgettable fluff like this, without the support of a position on a popular Saturday night TV show. “This is all I know,” she freely admits. But just imagine if she came back with anything as close to the dark majesty of ‘Confide In Me’. Someone get Dave Seaman on the phone. No, not that one. Or that one. This one.

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