When it comes to Nas it's hard not to gaze back longingly to his stunning 1994 debut Illmatic; it can be hard to keep up the pace when you come out of the blocks so fast.
Regardless, the New York rapper is still making music and the latest is single "Nasty", said to be from upcoming new LP Life Is Good. The track is streaming at ind.pn/iKdulk. It finds Nas in aggressive mood and keeping it simple, spitting swiftly and incessantly over a sparse beat by producer Salaam Remi, that is slightly reminiscent of the beat on LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge". It's a fine return: let's hope he can maintain this early running over the whole record.
Desert bluesmen deliver
The Malian desert bluesmen Tinariwen release their album Tassili through Anti- on 29 August. The first flavour of the record arrived in the shape of "Tenere Taqqim Tossam", made with the help of TV on the Radio's Tunde Adibimpe and Kyp Malone, offering vocals and guitar respectively. The song is streaming at ind.pn/kpsdvG. It's sonically gorgeous, with each sound hitting home with aplomb. Put simply, it's bloody brilliant.I played it three times in a row straight out of the gate.
Memories are made of this
The ambient and electro-pop producer Dayve Hawk, better known as Memory Tapes, came to prominence during the burst of so-called Chillwave music a few years back. He's still going strong and in July releases his new album Player Piano. First single "Wait in the Dark" has been available since May, while you can see the Chris Cunningham-like video for another track, "Yes I Know" at vimeo.com/24637555. Memory Tapes has also put together a Spotify playlist of songs for The Independent – it finds him casting his eyes back towards the 1960s and 70s. It's at independent. co.uk/artsblog, together with a few words from the man himself on why he chose what he chose.
Psychedelia comes of age
The small label Three Lobed Recordings is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a mammoth four-LP vinyl collection charting "the various phases, shapes and sizes of the modern underground psychedelic scene," ind.pn/ m7Kodj. Though it all seems intriguing I'm not familiar with most of the artists included. There is, however, a tent-pole two-track contribution from Sonic Youth; one song "In and Out", recorded in 2010, the other, "Out and In", made in 2000. The latter, is a noisy, rolling, 14-minute jam made with the aid of master producer/musician Jim O'Rourke, during his jaunt as the fifth member of the band. The track was premiered on NPR.org's All Songs Considered blog at ind.pn/jREJY6, where they will showcase more from the records at a later stage.