Look Like - Monolith Cocktail

Welcome to October’s edition of our new  Singles, EPs, video tracks and odd curios round up. This month’s eclectic choices include Look Like, Bruse Wane, Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba, Flies + FliesMatt Finucane,  Death In The Afternoon, Pati Yang, and The Migrant.

Look Like   ‘B.a.b.e EP’   (Drumpoet Community)

Succinct information on the young Zurich artist behind this 80s and early 90s Chicago, Detroit and Berlin dance floor mined B.a.b.e EP. Look Like’s Luca (no surname is given) has had a field day cultivating and moulding the sounds of Lil Louis, Inner City, Frankie Knuckles and the UK’s own like-minded early advocate of house music, A Guy Called Gerald, to his contemporary bass sonic template.

Very astute, with each of the four tracks imbued with different qualities from the dawn of House music – with some excursions into the intelligent techno realms of the acid blueprint New York Synewave label – yet maintaining a real soulful yearn and dance floor tempo, the four-track collection will send you back to the best warehouse joints of ’88.

Bruse Wane   ‘Hercules’

Batman fixated hip hop artist Bruse Wane is back with an hypnotic head-banger of a tune, the rolling deep ‘Hercules’. Released ahead of a new album, Earl Manigault Of Rap (due out on November 23rd), and following his last team-up with Sean Price on ‘Beast Inside’, the self-anointed CEO of his very own Wane Enterprises brand has been busy working with Baltimore beat-creator Dollars Tha Producer on this bejewelled strut. Fourteen years in, the Bronx native continues to lay down those purposeful, sagacious lyrics to most languorous and sophisticated beats.

Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba   ‘Musow Fanga’
(Glitterbeat Records)

Regular readers of the Monolith Cocktail will be familiar with our praise for the Malian master of the ngoni – who makes that atavistic, handed down through generations, lute like instrument burn, rattle and squeal as though it was played by Jimi Hendrix – Bassekou Kouyaté and his equally prestigious Ngoni Ba band. We gave his recent album, Ba Power, a glowing review, highly recommending it and naming it one of our favourite albums of 2015.

His most accessible album – and most lively – yet, Ba Power expanded Kouyaté’s blues and Afro rock sound, with congruous inspirations found in jazz, rock and roll and beyond. A tapestry of delights, the main themes now universal, Ba Power also featured a myriad of talent including Songhai blues guitar legend Samba Touré, fourth world music pioneer Jon Hassell, and of course the evocative vocals of Kouyaté’s wife Amy Sacko. One of the livelier Malian jams ‘Muscow Funga’, the second track to be taken from the album, features those impassioned yearnings of Sacko in a tribute to the “power of women”.

You can catch Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba this autumn in the UK at the following locations:

19 October – LIVERPOOL Philharmonic Hall (Music Room)
20 October – BRISTOL The Lantern (Colston Hall)
22 October – SHEFFIELD University (Firth Hall)
23 October – LEEDS Howard Assembly Room

Flies + Flies   ‘Bury Your Young’

Having featured their recent ‘Later On’ in our ‘choice tracks of 2015’ playlist and before that their incredible cerebral debut ‘Bad Crab’ the year before, the heart aching electronic soulsters Flies + Flies follow up with another tempered and controlled moody affair, ‘Bury Your Young’. Still a word-of-mouth recommendation, the band has continued to hone their brand of art school electronica, largely undetected, though they have supported both Red Snapper and GoGo Penguin. Crafting a Depeche Mode-esque meets Kosmiche club land lament to our troubled times, Flies + Flies have once again produced another dystopian, hard won dreamscape.


Matt Finucane   ‘Lilith’
30th October 2015

The inimitable forlorn troubadour of resigned but heartfelt bent-out-of-shape new wave Matt Finucane is back once again with another despondent but marvellous Gothic rhapsody. Using the demonic temptress of ancient history, reshaped as the banished lady of Eden – whether for copulating with archangels or for sticking up for womanhood and bitch slapping Adam; this gal ain’t bowing down to no man – ‘Lilith’ as his muse, Finucane withers and croons over a Bowie era Scary Monsters and Super Creeps industrial backing and Lou Reed imbued dose of healthy morose as he battles on through these troubled times.

Death In The Afternoon  ‘We Don’t Have To Go Out Tonight’

Something to quench our sophisticated pop followers thirst now, the latest single from the soothing toned duo Death In The Afternoon. Effortlessly lingering between Bowie and Nil Rodger’s ‘Criminal World’ and the contemporary soundtrack electronic pop of M83, their new single ‘We Don’t Have To Go Out Tonight’ sounds like the perfect afterhours lament on the way home after quaffing cocktails at a 80s discotheque on Southern French coast. An exotic heat emanates from this subtle little pop duet, the falsetto of Christian languidly aching over the, almost eroded until ghostly, soothing lead vocals of Linda evoke an escape from the real world into a dream. Typically Swedish, with all the quality of the best meta pop perfectly sealed inside a time capsule marked 1983.

Pati Yang    ‘Anonymous Face’

We were beginning to worry about one of our favourite electro pop soul chanteuses Pati Yang. Appearing on both the Monolith Cocktail and God Is In The TV (my other favoured site from which to pontificate, over the years) with her previous albums, EPs and singles in 2012 and 2013, it has been quite a while since we last heard anything from the Polish songstress. Already basing herself in London, we hear her latest venture, a new album, is set for release in 2016. Working with Tricky’s idiosyncratic foil Martina-Topley Bird, Yang has pushed her sound even further, both sonically and vocally. A recently unveiled teaser ‘Anonymous Face’ even has some harsh revenge-is-a-dish-best-served-cold words to say, delivered with a poisonous sassiness over a glacial, warped backing of Chemical Brothers meets Massive Attack motorik beat. If I didn’t know better, this thriller bound dance track sounds like it could have been a contender for the upcoming new 007 movie soundtrack. The omens as they say, are good on this one.

The Migrant   ‘Silence’   (DevilDuck Records/Rockpie)
13th November 2015

Even though the Denmark – via the Austin, Texas panoramas of languorous folksy-roots and subtly layered psych – group The Migrant will be unveiling an album of wistfully but aspiring Americana they’ve chosen to lead with the more despondent, if lamentable ‘Silence’ ahead of the UK reissue of their last LP Flood – originally released and confined to Northern European territories at the beginning of the year, Flood is finally being given a wider re-release.

Choosing an album title that evokes the country rock mythology of Dylan and The Band, The Migrant, the moniker of songwriter Bjarke Bendtsen, liltingly sweeps across a well-toiled landscape and sound, yet finds a balance between resurrecting the progenitors of that genre with more recent incumbents such as Midlake and Fleet Foxes; with a hint of a rustic twanged Thom Yorke on vocals.

‘Silence’ is a grower as they say; a downbeat George Harrison-esque country lilting hypnotic downer that builds into a minor epic as it goes on; the vocal accompaniment of soaring choral “ahs” hinting at a crescendo that never arrives.

Catch The Migrant playing the following dates in the UK:

09.10. Manchester – Fuel

10.10. Ipswich – Cult

11.10. Cardiff – Gwdihw

12.10. London – The Harrison

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