After only a few releases, the four producers who make up G.H.O.S.T have gained real respect from fans and peers. 'Syrup' is a deep and atmospheric roller with soft, floating pads and a mysterious air. The deadly bass is omnipresent throughout. Light waves lap in the background along with a dulled layer of smooth white noise, which make the clean crispness of the breaks and strings gleamingly obvious in comparison. A beautiful drop of dark liquid.
With a release on Jealous God under his belt, '80s producer Laurent Prot is being rehabilitated for a modern audience. The 14-minute long title track here will augment that comeback, with Prot delivering a droning, echo-heavy primal techno workout.
Now, if you've not picked up 'Pinata' cos the witterings of various hipster assholes about how it's the greatest hip-hop album of the year has put you off, well, I don't blame you. Beardy fucks ruin everything don't they? But don't let their overkill stop you hearing it, it really is a corker and this rerub of one of the highlights is another essential. Love the way the wah-wah and super-'70s slick beats roll around the stereoscape like they've been cut up by Teo Macero or Jimi, love the verses given up by Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Ransom as well. Don't leave 2014 without it.
Playaz' little sister label is rapidly gaining support, and with releases like this it is clear to see why. This is a gloriously dark roller with a silky, luxurious vibe. The gorgeous female vocal works with a cannily-placed layer of soft pads to lift the bassline from its depths, and mirror its nasty undertone. It feels weighty, full-bodied and decadent, and when it drops no-one will be able to resist a good old-fashioned skank.