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)
Dope or Nope has been on holiday for a couple of weeks but we return! Jonjo Lowe keeps me (Joni Roome) company in the studio as we discuss this week’s best releases.
First up was recent Warp signing patten with ‘Aviary’ the first release from his forthcoming EOLIAN INSTATE EP. His self-released, insanely titled GLAQJO XACCSSO earned him the phone call from Warp, we found out if he has done enough to justify putting pen to paper.
JR: It’s chaotic but has just enough structure to tie it all together. It reminds me of a less vinyl, more electronic Gold Panda. DOPE
JL: It’s very busy, there is lots to grab onto, I’ll say it’s just about DOPE.
Death Grips returned without announcement this week with free-to-download Government Plates. We checked out ‘Whatever I Want (Fuck Who’s Watching)’
JR: I love this. It’s utterly insane, it shouldn’t work. There are so many different parts which all work separately and somehow tie together to make, I feel, a haunting and coherent tune. I’ve listened to this a few times before falling asleep, I don’t know what that says about me or Death Grips but either way this track is DOPE.
JL: I wasn’t sure with the first quarter, it’s very intense and drill-like. I do like the arpeggiated synth and the white noise effects, it improves a lot as it progresses. DOPE.
XXYYXX is a precocious young lad. ‘About You’ was a Circulation favourite on its release and he has popped up with releases here and there since. This week he gave us this remix of Fortune Howl’s ‘Echo The Sun’.
JR: To me it sounds tonally off. The drums are a bit off. It’s off. NOPE
JL: I feel like he might have intended it to seem a little off key, I like it. DOPE
Lord of the xx Jamie reared his sulky head this week with a new track which is outrageously titled ‘Untitled’. Mental.
JR: It’s not got anything to grab 0nto! Where is the meat? Where are the steel drums, catchy vocals, Gil Scot-Heron? I don’t think this has anything particularly special or ‘Jamie xx’ about it. NOPE
JL: I’ll have to disagree again, I like this a lot. I think the vocals really work. I am a big Jamie xx fan though. DOPE.
New signing to Top Dawg Entertainment, SZA is our final Dope or Nope-ee this week with her track ‘Ice Moon Revisited’ featuring fellow TDE star and Black Hippy member Ab-Soul.
JR: Nice! The trap drums with the soft keys unexpectedly works really well. Considering this is a TDE artist, it’s a really different direction and one that works big time. I’m not sure Ab-Soul’s verse really adds anything other than a male voice. It adds to the sonic differences of the text but lyrically he could have been stronger. Don’t get me wr0ng, this is still a top track and I’m excited to hear more from SZA. DOPE.
JL: Vocals are really nice, I didn’t expect this. At the moment we have a lot of generic r’n’b but this is really refreshing and different. DOPE
patten – ‘Aviary’ = DOPE
Death Grips – ‘Whatever I Want (Fuck Who’s Watching) = DOPE
Fortune Howl – ‘Echo The Sun’ (XXYYXX Remix) = NOPE/DOPE
Jamie xx – ‘Untitled’ = NOPE/DOPE
SZA – ‘Ice Moon Revisited’ (ft. Ab-Soul) = DOPE/DOPE
By Joni Roome