Monthly Bangers: April

The UTM writers pick a handful of the most lit and intriguing tracks from the past 30(ish) days.

DJ Shadow – Nobody Speak feat. Run The Jewels

Killer Mike and El-P are experiencing the kind of rise to mainstream fame that would have younger, bolshie-without-the-brains rappers floundering. Difference is, they’ve had the confidence and belief in their ability since El’s Company Flow days, and Mike’s seemingly ancient collabs with OutKast. How just, how fateful is collaboration with another master of his trade, DJ Shadow.

‘Nobody Speak’ exudes sureness from the second El spits: “picture this: I’m a bag of dicks/put me to your lips/I am sick/I will punch a baby bear in his shit.” Vivacious trumpets fanfare all around as RTJ send out a warning: “nobody speak/nobody get choked.” This is the time to shut up and listen to the masters.

Nathan Butler


Following on from the monumental, pitch-shifted weirdness of November’s 0238 Scumbags mixtape, and in preparation for the impending release of the south coast weirdboy’s upcoming, but as yet unnamed release, MART¥RS have dropped ‘WORLDWIDE GHOULIN’.

The airy, dissonant beat from Terra is the perfect accompaniment to a flood of absurd lyrical filth from MART¥RS; The crew’s paeans to paranoia, being so loc’d out you throw up blood and putting car bombs inside man’s hearse, effortlessly flow alongside the cloudy, bass heavy beat.

‘Pray for the end of the Earth, Know I have zero self worth, CAR BOMB INSIDE OF THE HEARSE’ is just a sample of the dearth of morbidly original bars on the tune. In fact it’s this dark, artistically minded interpretation of hip hop that makes  ‘WORLDWIDE GHOULIN’ and MART¥RS, such an interesting proposition.

Richard Lowe

Blacks – Boss

Big up Blacks, himself and P Money saved a dry as fuck dubstep night at lightbox from being a total disappointment back in February. Amidst a sea of Anti War Dub being spammed tae absolute fuck, surprise headliners P and Blacks smashed it, as such we’ve been following Blacks very closely ever since.

“Them Man Can’t Chat to a Boss” says Blacks’ on latest tune ‘Boss’, taken from the upcoming Most Active mixtape, shows the South London MC not slowing down, or getting boring in any way, shape or form. Accompanied by pristine, garage tinted production from the man himself Spooky, Blacks says it how it is, holding nothing back in a 3 minute storm of energetic, righteously fuelled bars.

Richard Lowe

A$ton Matthews – Days Like This Feat. Izaq Roland

As people started pricking their ears up to hear Vince Staples’ debut album Summertime 06, many found their attention diverted to the other unique voice on ‘Hang n’ Bang’ – A$ton Matthews. His voice is so distinctive it’s like John Leguizamo picked up a mic and started spraying – and on ‘Days Like This’, A$ton goes even harder than Benny Blanco from the Bronx.

‘Days Like This’ is an ominous description of daily toil and hardship from A$ton – “mamas, daddies, sisters, cousins/all in the same house/but this ain’t a safe house” – but the feature from Izaq Roland bolsters the track’s resolve: “Straight out the pond, they call it pipe dream/But I am not Spike Lee, this ain’t do the right thing.”

If A$ton Matthews can harness the determination found in ‘Days Like This’, he may well be having his own Summertime 06 moment very soon.

Nathan Butler

bearface. – wanna be ur lover.

Only just managing to eclipse drab boy-girl folk covers of ‘Panda’ this month in volume are Prince tributes (rest in purple). However, few of these covers quite offer the magic that bearface’s cover of his early hit ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’.

As one part of definitely-a-boyband Brockhampton, bearface put his delightful voice on a rework that sounds as if Prince was a millennial who didn’t despise the internet. Slowing down the usually peppy riff and drowning it in effects for a vaporwave tinge leads to a cover that both stays true to the original and gives it a refreshing twist. Plus, that flashy guitar solo at the finale would make the purple one proud.

Connor Cass

Kllo – Bolide

Email spam filters are a godsend for averting your eyes from penis enlargement scams, but one thing is for certain: Outlook does not know good music. I found an email about Kllo’s new track ‘Bolide’ innocently sitting in my Junk folder, and in an act of defiance towards Outlook’s overzealous filters, I ignored the false spam warning and pressed play. I’m so glad I did, because the track absolutely blew me away.

‘Bolide’ floats above ground for just the right amount of time, before swelling and erupting into a glitchy dream. The controlled clatter of drums and the airy vocals come together, birthing a distinct bubblegum-Burial sound mixed with the magic of Little Dragon. Like Megan James and Corin Roddick of Purity Ring, Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam of Kllo seem destined to make beautiful music together.

Let this serve as a reminder to everyone: Spam filters can be wrong, penis enlargement kits are a scam, and Kllo’s Well Worn EP is available in August, so go cop it. It’s destiny.

Nathan Butler

Dusky – Buckets

This latest 17 Steps single is another bass-heavy house anthem from the North London duo. ‘Buckets’ has been smashing up clubs for the past couple of years, and achieved quite a reputation in the process.

The tune kicks off with an unmistakable Dusky rhythm, and gradually the bassline and reverbed vocals enter the frame, providing a brilliant example of the pair’s ability to walk the fine line between colourful, feel good vibes layered on top of deep, dancefloor driven house music.

‘Buckets’ is truly a masterclass in how to work the low range within house framework, and the output of their LFO work on the tune channels pure bliss coming out of a substantial system.

Charlie Garrett

Harrison – Vanilla (ft. Ryan Hemsworth)

El-P once said that a beat should sound like the combination of “cuddling and completely punching the hell out of somebody” (“the cuddle is not necessary”). In this case, Harrison forgoes the beating to produce a track that feels like a warm hug that sends you off to sleep.

Released as part of his consistently wonderful secret song series, Ryan Hemsworth’s stamp of approval is all over this, as well as his signature sound. The duo crafts a whole journey within short 142 second timespan, starting out as a swirling lullaby, moving into excitable chimes and bubbly synths before things get a bit NES in the conclusion. Sometimes, punching the hell out of somebody is not necessary.

Connor Cass

Syringe – If You See My Face, Good Luck. God Bless.

An enigmatic figure within the underground hip hop scene, Syringe has been bringing weird, off kilter, noisey hip hop to the underground for a long while now, and ‘If You See My Face’ is perhaps the culmination of Syringe’s dark, violent musical ethic.

Backed up by a hard as fuck wall of filthy, detuned noise, Syringe spits 3 minutes of cold fucking defiance in the face of his enemies. Syringe’s savage lyrical content gives the impression that, he is incredibly pissed off about something, screaming bloody vengeance upon his enemies throughout the songs 3 minutes.

If you felt suave, crack smoking motherfucker Viper was perhaps that too tame for you, Syringe is the answer.

Richard Lowe

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