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Welcome to Dope or Nope, our brand new weekly feature where we will be reviewing a selection of the week’s singles. Dope or Nope takes place during the Circulation Magazine Radio Show – every Friday on URY from 9-11pm (listen online at http://ury.org.uk/listen)

This week I had the pleasure of being joined by my esteemed colleague and co-editor Jonjo Lowe. We gave 5 tunes a serious critique and kicked things off with Jon Hopkins’ Remix of Four Tet’s ‘Angel Echoes’.

JR: I love Jon Hopkins. Immunity is my album of the year so far, it’s incredible, he is so so talented. This is perfection. DOPE
JL: It’s really amazing, it doesn’t sound like the same vocal samples but it really works. DOPE
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Next up was Star Slinger’s ‘Free’. With a second album on the horizon and a new baby Star Slinger has plenty to be happy about – ‘Free’ is a cheerful tune.

JR: It’s an odd vocal sample, it’s a bit too cartoony for me. The drum sounds are quite weak too, he is a sampler so it’s a bit difficult but I know how good he has the potential to be. Not feeling this. NOPE
JL: The sample does sound a bit like a squeaky dog toy but it is nice and kind of feel good. I’d definitely listen to it again. DOPE.
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DJ Khaled and his inimitable brand of music returns. He doesn’t seem to rap or produce but his name is on the track here and it’s called ‘You Don’t Want These Problems’.

https://soundcloud.com/hotnewhiphop416/you-dont-want-these-problems

JR: Khaled is so corny, it makes me die every time he shouts ‘we the best’. 2 Chainz is very fun dad on this one. It’s not a patch on his previous multi-feature tracks. NOPE.
JL: It’s very generic and I really struggle to get a feel for the tune when their are so many people featuring on the track. NOPE.
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Sigur Ros got the remix treatment from the esteemed Cyril Hahn. The track was ‘Rastafarmour’

JR: I like it – I think it’s definitely a grower. In theory it shouldn’t work but after Sigur Ros frontman went pop for a bit their stuff tends to lend itself better to remixes like this. DOPE
JL: It’s a bit whiny, it’s not his normal calibre of work and he seems to struggle when he isn’t using a female r’n’b vocal sample. It just falls short for me. NOPE
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And we end this week on a funny one. It’s a track by Sweden’s Yung Lean, who are a hip-hop collective. It also features Kreayshawn of ‘Gucci Gucci’ fame. The track is called ‘Marble Phone’

JR: The beat is undeniably catchy and would make a great pop hook. It’s in the Swedish blood to write great pop songs but their rappers are godawful and their lyrics are awful. Kreayshawn’s verse is laugh out loud terrible. This is so bad it’s almost good. But crucially, it isn’t good. NOPE.
JL: It’s like The Lonely Island. I thought this was a joke. Good beat can’t save it. NOPE.

REVIEW
Four Tet – ‘Angel Echoes’ (Jon Hopkins Remix) = DOPE
Star Slinger – ‘Free’ = DOPE/NOPE
DJ Khaled – ‘You Don’t Want These Problems’ = NOPE
Sigur Ros – ‘Rafstraumur’ (Cyril Hahn Remix) = DOPE/NOPE
Yung Lean – ‘Marble Phone’ (ft. Kreayshawn) = NOPE

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