Dope or Nope: Singles Review 4/10/2013 – 11/10/2013

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

This week I was joined by Live Editor Alex Beazley-Long and we kicked things off with an icon remixed. David Bowie’s Mercury nominated album The Next Day was released to critical acclaim and legendary record label boss and LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy is the man behind this remix, cheekily titled ‘Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy). An homage to minimalist producer Steve Reich.

Joni: I like this, it’s incredibly long but that’s what you expect from James Murphy. Very textured and a soothing listen, James Murphy is brilliant at what he does. DOPE.

Alex: I love it, Bowie is an idol of mine and this is just great. Very long but definitely worth every second. DOPE

Next we checked out ‘Nosetalgia’ from Pusha T’s new album My Name Is My Name. A big change in direction from Bowie and with Kendrick Lamar featuring the song was always going to get attention.

Joni: The album is great. This tune is fantastic, the beat is so minimal but it works amazingly. Kendrick is insane on this too – he gets darker and more intense with each verse since ‘Control’ and he is on top form again here. DOPE

Alex: This is very good, I really enjoyed it – the sample is so good and the lyrics are sharp. DOPE

Another big change now, Diplo was next up before the board with ‘Revolution’ featuring Faustix and Imanos and Kai) from his brand new EP entitled Revolution.

Joni: It’s so close to being a banger, it’s not as intense as ‘Express Yourself’ and the quiet bits are too pop and not ‘Diplo’ enough. It’s not bad but it’s not dope. NOPE

Alex: It’s strange to think that this is the same Diplo behind Major Lazer and Usher’s ‘Climax’ which is one of my favourite songs ever. This isn’t ‘Climax’ or even close. NOPE

Spank Rock is Naaem Juwan from Baltimore. He raps and produces frenetic and sexually charged club music. We checked out his latest release called ‘We Can Go All Night Long’ featuring Amanda Blank.

Joni: I’ve heard some stuff from Spank Rock before, they’re quite explicit and sometimes a bit hard to listen to with any degree of seriousness. ‘Nasty’ by him was great because it was an all out intense track, this one is a bit lacking – it has good bits and I think it might grow but it lacks substance and a real hook in my books. NOPE

Alex: I’m not familiar with Spank Rock but I like this, the breakdown is great. DOPE

Last up was ‘Dip’ by the unmistakable Danny Brown from his acclaimed new album ‘Old’ it’s produced by SKYWLKR.

Joni: The beat is perfect for Danny Brown, he needs the insane, over the top instrumentals to match his rap persona. It’s a good contrast between verse and chorus too – such a unique character. DOPE.

Alex: I’m a huge Danny Brown fan and this is perfect. I remember seeing him in London and then seeing Rustie a few weeks later and thinking that Rustie was making hip-hop beats but they weren’t being utilised in that way. Then this album comes out and Rustie has produced three tracks. SKYWLKR is the perfect foil for Danny Brown. DOPE

David Bowie – Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy) = DOPE
Pusha T – Nosetalgia (ft. Kendrick Lamar) = DOPE
Diplo – Revolution (ft. Faustix, Imanos and Kai) = NOPE
Spank Rock – We Can Go All Night Long = NOPE/DOPE
Danny Brown – Dip = DOPE

Joni Roome