March staff picks by Steppin'
Updated: May 2
Every month, new music reaches us. And with the overload of music on all streaming services, we’re here for you with a monthly selection of fresh music and older records found in the crates by the Steppin’ crew and the Steppin' Community.
Marcos Tocae: Gangue do Sorriso - Banana Gold Records
Label: Banana Gold Records
Gaspar Muniz (New York), Beno (Rio de Janeiro) and PERPETTUO (Rio de Janeiro) are the minds behind the new label Banana Gold Records.
They came strong with their first compilation, “Gangue do Sorriso” (Smile Gang) featuring DJs and producers from different parts of the world + new talents from Brazil.
Particularly, I really enjoyed how each song is unique, and it complements the other, building up the heat and bringing different vibes.
From House to Baile Funk and with a big appeal to the dance floor, we’ll definitely hear those tunes played by different DJs across festivals and parties around the globe. Don’t sleep on it, you can download it for free via Bandcamp
DJ Tracksuit: Jelee - Soil
Label: Wicked Wax & Rucksack Records
Took me a couple of weeks to sit down and listen to this album in full, and it was quite the ride. Listened on my good speakers at home, via YouTube so the artwork was displayed on my TV screen, and it’s fascinating to see how every track brings out a different side of the artwork because the music makes you notice different things. It’s albums like this that deserve a proper listen-through from start to finish on a good sound system, where the music will fill up physical space and slows down your perspective of time.
DJ Tracksuit: Hieroglyphic Being - The Red Notes
Label: Soul Jazz Records
One of the track titles (“Video Jazz”) perfectly describes this Techno album. It truly sounds like techno and jazz had a baby. Recommend a full listen through if you need to go on a spiritual journey or process some emotions. Grab it here.
Boogie Mind: Raúl Monsalve y los Forajidos - Bocón ft. Luzmira Zerpa
Label: Olindo Records
Ancestral Afro-Venezuelan rhythms meet futuristic Latin jazz, raw funk and Afro beat on Raúl Monsalve y Los Forajidos’ exhilarating ‘Bichos’ album. Venezuelan bassist Raúl Monsalve has dedicated much of his life to understanding and learning traditional Afro-Venezuelan music, and studying under some of its greatest proponents among the percussionists of his home country, whilst at the same time taking as much interest in the sounds emanating from the fearless edges of jazz, rock, African and early electronic music.
Jelee: De La Soul - Stakes Is High
My pick for this month is Stakes Is High by De La Soul. It has been my favorite De La Soul album for years, and I'm my life is a lot easier now that it's available on streaming services.
I've been following De La Souls' battle to own the rights to their masters, I believe that was the main reason why their discography was never on streaming services. Even though that battle was won, it saddens me that Dave wasn't here with us to experience the day his music became finally more accessible to us.
Stijn: Franky93 - Instant Connection
Label: No label
A highly overlooked producer from Buenos Aires, Argentina, whose music is known to a little audience, but to me is one of the best producers I’ve discovered lately. Original decisions in the use of atmospheric sounds combined with interesting rhythmic patterns, truly someone who tries to give his compositions his own twist to get something new and surprising out there. In a way that good musicians can, in various tempos and genres. I applaud him. Check him out on Spotify (plus also check out the project Chinwezz he’s involved in).
Razzmic: Sam Gellaitry - Assumptions (Kaytranada Edit)
Label: Parlophone Records
I love it when producers have such a unique approach to sound that it brings forth something fluid, beyond genres or familiar reference points: Kaytranada’s new remix for Sam Gellaitry’s Assumptions is something so straightforward R&B and recognizable but also something completely in the outskirts of what is deemed to be soulful at once. The hollow reverb, distorted rhythm section and Kaytra’s distinctive synths turn an already funky track into something brand new.
Marcus: Zo! & Tall Black Guy - Hold my Hand (feat. Darien Brockington, Muhsinah & Phonte)
Label: The Foreign Exchange
Two cats from Detroit joined forces to create this masterpiece. I was longer a fan of both guys and listened to their music intensively. So I was astonished when I saw the album come out. It was hard to choose a song from the album because there are a lot of beautiful collaborations, like Omar, Josh Milan, Sy Smith and more. “Hold My Hand” takes me literally away. So well produced, and the beats sound very subtle, that they blend very well with the other instruments and vocals. A great choice deciding on Phonte, Darien Brockington and Musinah for vocals. Overall, these two guys raised the bar to another level.
Mo Wrights: Creeper Mane - Honden
Label: Luxe Flex
Sudanese-Dutch rapper Creeper Mane is a burst of artistry. Currently rolling out singles for an upcoming project, my pick of the month has to be ‘Honden’ (Dogs). This is such a creative and innovative narrative in rap. I heard him perform this song during last year’s ADE at QUANZA’s Cultra event and have been waiting for it ever since. Creeps reflects on toxic masculinity, stating that ‘all his homies are like dogs [when it comes to women and sexuality]’. He continues: ‘I know [this toxic view on women] is in me, but it is not how it should be, I know better now.’ This view, he argues, emanates from the culture. Essentially, Creeps tries to reflect on the effects/affects of patriarchy, something that is, especially in Hip Hop, quite unique. Invoking dogs as a metaphor allows him to talk more indirectly (yet vividly) to this pressing issue. The juxtaposition by the dark-tinged beat (S/O Sankoffa) makes this concept all the more convincing. Make sure to check out the second single ‘De Graaf’ as well!
Til Next Month!
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