Whether it’s playing out in a club or to family and friends, musicians have their ways of evaluating their new sounds. salute, meanwhile, has a simpler litmus test: Uber drivers. “I’ll play it amongst other tracks that I’m enjoying at the moment, just to see how the driver reacts,” he laughs. “Just recently, actually, I was in one and the driver turned round and was like, ‘What is this? This is so nice!’”
Twenty-year-old Felix Nyajo, AKA salute, is fairly new to these British streets. Just two years ago the producer moved from the global capital of classical music, Vienna, to another musical hub: Brighton. Growing up in Austria, his school gave him a thorough education via weekly orchestral concerts, but he learned the most from his older brother’s stacks of Notorious B.I.G and Tupac, as well as Dizzee and Wiley Sidewinder mixtapes from 2002. It was the drum ‘n’ bass scene that he first entered, though, as a producer, but left when he felt like he’d exhausted the limits of that frenetic percussion.
Now settled in the UK seaside town, he admits he doesn’t miss his homeland much. He got stabbed there when he was 14 – an experience that left him unable to leave his house for a month afterwards. “Two guys who must have been five years older pushed me against a wall and pulled a knife to my neck. It made me so aware of racism, which is why I’m vocal about it now.”
Brighton, with its enviable quantities of live music and, of course, The Great Escape – where he debuted his full band live set-up last month – seems a good home from home. Mini-album ‘My Heart’ (out in August) is salute’s mission statement: seven cuts of chopped and screwed electronica and R&B, with even a peek from Felix’s D&B past on surefire crossover anthem ‘Storm’.
“The reason it’s called ‘My Heart’ is because it’s showcasing all the influences I’ve had in the past 10 to 15 years. I wanted to start out with the music I listened to as a boy – gospel, R&B. Then the second half is what I got into when I was older – guitar music, indie.” And salute’s nailed the formula, too: “Songs work well because of contrast – that’s what makes people go, ‘Oh my God!’ It’s just contrast.”
WHERE: Brighton via Austria
WHAT: The lovechild of Kaytranada and HudMo: textural, bumping neo-soul
GET 3 SONGS: ‘One More Chance (ft. D.R.A.M.)’, ‘You Owe Me’, ‘Colourblind (ft. ABRA)’
FACT: He’s clearly wise beyond his years, as he was born with a bunch of grey hairs on his head.
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Words: Felicity Martin
Photography: Sophie Mayanne
Machinedrum is set to release new album 'Human Energy' on September 30th.
Travis Stewart is back, and his upcoming full length 'Human Energy' is set to take the producer in some fresh directions.
“It’s an exchange of energy through sound,” he says in the press note. “It’s a healing experience. We’re living in dark times and with so much negativity existing in the world I want to be a rare voice of positivity.”
New cut 'Do It 4 U' leads the way, and it continues Machinedrum's collaboration with abstract R&B chanteusse Dawn Richard.
Laced with day-glo energy, it's a stunning intro – tune in now…
Photo Credit: Tonje Thilesen
Billy Lockett's material is outwardly beautiful, but truly cuts deep.
Electronic bliss fused to fragrant emotion, each song feels like its pinned down by loss – a loss that is all too personal.
The songwriter's upcoming debut album "is love songs to my dad and about the loss of someone very dear to you. It took me two years to pen the material after he passed. It was his wish I play piano. It was an extremely real thing to write about, something I've never done before."
Set to be released later this year, Billy Lockett is set to trail his debut album with new cut 'Wide Eyed'. He explains: "'Wide Eyed' is the last song I wrote for the album. It's a song that is about putting the past behind you and trying to move on, knowing that you'll end up back where you started."
Clash is able to premiere the cut, and it's a refreshing piece of electronic melancholia, with a redemptive, almost euphoric edge.
Tune in now.
The Greasy Slicks have a raucous sound, one that isn't about to be tamed by some over-eager studio engineer.
As raw as they come, the three-piece simply unpacked their stuff in the studio and let rip – throwing down results on tape in a matter of seconds.
Debut album 'The Greasy Slicks' drops on September 30th, with new cut 'Hawks' leading the way.
It's quite a feisty intro, with that choppy riff leading into some pulsating vocals that refuse to let up.
Check out the video below.
The Greasy Slicks are set to play the following show:
29 London The Sebright Arms
Somewhere between definition and suggestion, that's where you'll find Scarlet Rascal.
The band swing between the taut, electric lead of Tom Verlaine and the glacial swathes of Kevin Shields, while mapping out their own vantage point.
Working with Invada on new material, the band's brutal poetry reaches back to the post-punk era while still retaining a very unique, and modern stance.
Clash is able to premiere new cut 'Strange' and it's exactly that: strange, left of centre, oddly difficult to define.
The band explain: "The video is a kind of stream of consciousness of police corruption and un-holy sex acts…"
Check it out now.
Scarlet Rascal's self-titled album will be released on September 30th.
X&Y are barely out of their teens, yet already the stylish trio have an incredible online following.
Beautifully succinct, incredibly catchy slices of electronic melody, the three-piece are currently building up material for a new EP.
Fresh from supporting Take That at Barclaycard presents British Summertime, X&Y are now ready to surge ahead.
A host of live dates have been confirmed, with Clash now able to reveal new cut 'Secrets'.
Wonderfully taut and full of drama, there's a seductive quality to 'Secret' that will make fans swoon.
Tune in now.
Catch X&Y at the Camden Assembly on September 26th.
The Wedding Present face one major problem when recording new material: themselves.
After all, with such a lengthy, esteemed, and varied back catalogue, how do you begin to attempt to add something new?
New album 'Going, Going…' certainly manages to locate new ground – in the United States, to be precise.
A song cycle containing 20 tracks – each with an accompanying short film – the album builds into a road trip across North America.
Out on September 2nd, Clash is able to tease The Wedding Present's latest endeavour with a brand new track.
'Birdsnest' is a fantastic, enthralling return, one that deftly segues between the band's different eras while continually looking to the future.
It rocks, in that innately Wedding Present way. So if, like us, you're feeling that post-Bank Holiday lull then you're definitely in the right place.
David Gedge explains: "We had a really great time recording ‘Birdsnest' at La Fabrique studios in France. It’s kind of typical of the whole album, in a way, in that it’s a song that’s full of weird ideas that often spin off on odd tangents. The main body is quite rocky, with a massive bass sound, but it kind of strangely changes key into a poppy chorus! And then the outro section harks back to the ‘jangly' Wedding Present sound of the 80s before the final bit, which is much more subdued and gives me the chance to get my old guitar slide out! There’s enough ideas on it for a whole E.P.! I think the recording has quite a ‘positive' sound, to match the optimism of the lyrics."
Check it out now.
The NHS is a uniquely British institution, one of the central facets of our welfare state.
It's also under attack. The current Conservative government have not shied away from the slashing cuts branded 'austerity', and these are currently aimed square at the NHS.
Which is where IDLES come in. The Bristol punx aren't about to take this lying down, and new cut 'Divide And Conquer' is a short and extremely sharp riposte to those in power.
The band explain: "'Divide and Conquer' it was written at a time where I watched my mother deteriorate in a hospital that was itself dying. The song was an observation on how simple financial cuts and the mere action of writing a cross in a box can cut someone's life short. Last week the Tories started a campaign to sell whatever is left of our#NHS or the Sustainability and Transformation Plan as they've put it. Fuck off."
Clash is able to premiere the visuals – check it out now…
Catch IDLES at London's Black Heart venue on September 7th.
A Made Up Sound is set to conclude his self-titled label with a new compilation.
Dutch producer Dave Huismans kicked off the project back in 2009, intending to reach back to the techno cuts that first inspired him.
Since then, A Made Up Sound – both the moniker and label – have shifted through enormously different climes, with the full run stretching across ten 12 inch releases.
New compilation 'A Made Up Sound (2009 – 2016)' brings it all together, alongside three newly commissioned tracks. Dave Huismans explains:
"Even though this compilation only represents what I've released on my own label and as such is a specific subsection of my work, I hope it will present a bigger picture of what I've been aiming for through the years. The upcoming final 12" in particular feels like a significant piece of the puzzle to me, I've been wanting to make that one for a long time and it's like coming full circle in a way. I've now done what I wanted to do with the label and it's a good moment to wrap it up and leave it behind."
Check out some clips HERE.
'A Made Up Sound (2009 – 2016)' will be released on October 21st.
Du Tonc is a project born from Parisian nightclubs, from the fetid underground scene that lies just beyond the French capital's glamorous surface.
A production duo who like to take things a little deeper, the pair enjoyed almost immediate success, releasing a flurry of cuts on some vital imprints.
Of course, Kitsune were one of their first ports of call. The ever-chic Parisian imprint has developed a close partnership with Du Tonc, and the duo will head up a superb London party this weekend.
Taking hold of Old Street roundabout for a day-time session, Kitsune will then turn its attention to the nearby Ace Hotel in the fashionable Shoreditch area for a twilight rave.
Ahead of this, Du Tonc have pieced together a new mix for Clash, and it's laden with goodies – expect tropical flavours, disco edits, and the odd piece of out-there electronics, all delivered with a dancefloor twist.
Check it out now.
Wall Badarou – Mambo
Herb Alpert – Rotation
Helen – Zanzibar (Afro Side by R.Lodola)
The Pool – Jamaica Running
Ron Basejam – The Carrington Spirituals
Deelicious – Lovely Town, Lonely Street (Original Mix)
The Actress – Bartapas
Lapsley – Operator (DJ Koze’s 12 Inch Extended Disco Edit)
Joel Alter – Got it (Original Mix)
Red Rack’em – Wonky Bassline Disco Banger (Original Mix)
DJ Fett Burger & Janda G – NYC Party Track
Adesse Versions – After Hours
Todd Terje – Snooze For Love (Luke Abbot Remix)
Lindstrom – Closing Shot (Original Mix)
Sneaker – Haunted Samba (Original Mix)
Emmanuelle – Italove
Isaac Tiphauer – Higher Level (Bicep Remix)
Holy Ghost – Crime Cutz (Eli Escobar Remix)
Dele Sosimi & F Elias – Too Much Information (Laolu Remix – Edit)
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Du Tonc are set to play the Kitsune summer party this Saturday (September 3rd) – ticket LINK.