Singles of the year: 51-60
Yes, still they come, thick and fast, like snowflakes in the olden days (you know, before ExxonMobil).
51. Meghan Trainor “NØ” (Epic)
Not overly impressed by the video, nor could you cop this one on vinyl, but it’s still in our top three tunes of all time called “No”, behind the Chuck D solo single and the Wedding Present’s “Bizarro” cut. Also, this may well be Epic’s first ever single in our year ends, to which trebles all round at their A&R HQ no doubt.
52. Pinch featuring Riko Dan “Screamer” (Tectonic)
Sixty seconds too long at either end thanks to bolt-on instrumentals, this latest Bristo-Londinium collaboration between Pinch and Riko Dan would have made a magnificent 3 minutes of pure mic fire, but ends up as a merely marvellous five minutes of a dancefloor-ready 12".
53. Jeff Rushin “Assist Aim By Guiding The Eye” (Arts Collective)
Four-song ocular-themed EP on the twelves from surely the Netherlands’ finest producer right now. The busily-bubbling title track just shimmies past opener “Field Of Vision” to secure pole position.
54. Downpour “Do You Remember When It Was All About The Drums? (pt.2)” (bandcamp)
Aight. Yes, killa Yorkshire retro D&B makes everything nice.
55. Foreign Beggars ft. Asa & Sorrow "The Bits" (Par Excellence)
It’s hard to credit now that the Foreign Beggars were once lining up with the cream of the UKHH underground: and that “Asylum Speakers”, which saw them hooking up with peeps like Taskforce, Skinnyman and Supar Novar was all the way back in 2003. Anyway, “The Bits” saw the ever-versatile FBs in full-on grime mode as they continue to run through a gamut of producers (this time landing in Bristol to nab Asa and Sorrow). The single’s puissance was seriously bolstered by a blistering Mystry remix which throws in a Birmingham flavour and bare rips the rafters in the verse.
56. Measure Divide "Burn Through Me" (Local Sound Network)
57. Björn Torwellen “Uranium” (Sick Weird Rough)
58. Sandro Galli "Sensorial" (Klinik Room)
Let’s take a detour to another dancefloor, to line-up a clinical percusso-fest from Canada’s Measure Divide, courtesy of Ryuji Takeuchi’s LSN imprint; a brittle, radioactive little all-Deutsche gem from Mr Torwellen on Sven Wittekind’s house label; and, from his hometown of Rome via Crotia’s Klinik Room, what turned out to be the best of our Alessandro’s 15+ singles this year.
59. Sir Spyro “Side By Side (YGG Remix)” (Amy Becker RMX EP) (Amy Becker)
A second entry for the three young guns of YGG as they take on Spyro’s “Side By Side” and give it a less, er, Midlands vibe than last year’s Pres T-laced version. Thanks to Dalston resident DJ Amy Becker, this ended up on vinyl (an eclectic 12” also populated by Deamonds, Logos and Scratcha DVA, at least one of whom we plan to mention again before the year is out).
60. The Bug ft. D Double E and Riko Dan “Box” / “Iceman” (Ninja Tune)
The Bug, Kevin Martin, surely provides more ‘assists’ than any other producer: with his litany of varied songscapes he incessantly creates gilt-edged chances for vocalists to slam into the back of the net. Here, he supplies a glorious canvas for two MCs who should by now need no introduction: Newham Generals’ D Double E has been battering our speakers ever since the days when their records contained exhortations to check their MySpace, and here he rocks up with the menacing “Box” (NB I think we may be talking coffins rather than Christmas boxes here) before Riko drops in from on high to pump blood through the veins of the Bug’s achingly heavy “Iceman” instrumental. The 12” comes dressed in a very fetching Simon Fowler-drawn picture sleeve, if you were still struggling at this (too) late stage to think of something to get your Grandma.