Aaron Levitt

Artist Spotlight: DJ iZem

Co-founder of internet world-music radio station Groovalizacion, DJ iZem has now turned his hand to producing his own. Turns out he’s rather good. Exposed to so many different musical cultures at Groovilicion, it’s no surprise that Debaixo D’Agua, his debut EP released this month, is an eclectic affair. Full of energy, it effortlessly blends dub, soul, hip-hop, Brazilian, post-dubstep…

New Artist: Juk Juk

If you want to get your beats noticed, there aren’t many better people to turn to than Four Tet’s Keiran Hebden. And there are few better ways than to hand-deliver it to him after a set. That’s what Caleb Waterman did at London’s Plastic People and now he’s signed to Hebden’s label Text. Winter Turn Spring is a prime cut of 2-step, brought alive with some great vocal sampling and scratchy bass. Sit back and let it take you away.

New Artist: Keaton Henson

It’s hard to believe after listening to his gentle voice and delicate finger plucking, but Keaton Henson didn’t intend to be a musician. The shy and retiring Londoner first got noticed as an artist (he designed t-shirts for Urban Outfitters don’t you know), whilst writing songs on the sly. But once this creative cauldron of the arts was discovered there was no going back, and since releasing his debut album ‘Dear…’ last November, Keaton has been simmering gently under the surface, attracting a dedicated following. With songs this heart-warming you kind of want to keep him to yourself. But that’s not we’re here for, so enjoy.

New Artist: Paul Thomas Saunders

Paul Thomas Saunders is not your regular singer-songwriter. The 20 year-old Leeds College of Music graduate left his previous two bands because their music didn’t represent his style truly enough. Now playing solo, the result is his alarmingly high, reverbing voice fronting an eery sound that falls somewhere between minimal electronic, ambient and good old…

New Artist: Psychologist

It takes a brave man to make music through minimal sound effects and the raw power of his own voice. Before James Blake took such a leap of faith at the end of last year, there was Iain Woods, the man behind Psychologist. And whilst the former basks in his critical acclaim, the latter carries on creating less recognised, yet equally magnificent music. His sound falls somewhere in between two ends of the minimalist spectrum – the bass-driven Blake and the piano-led melodies of Oupa and Perfume Genius.Recorded in a church, Waves Of OK is the first of two EPs released by Psychologist this year and, as a result, each of its five unnerving songs have a real hymnal quality. The standout is Come In Waves, which sees Woods’ voice take centre stage, so distinguishable that the piano and bassy sound effects are just an afterthought. Be sure to explore some other highlights on Psychologist’s Hype Machine page, and watch out for the second EP release later this year, which contains further electronic explorations.

New Release: Nu Brand Flexxx – Spellbound

“Nu brand flexxx is not just a group, it’s a lifestyle”. So reads the about-box on the group’s Facebook page – an elaborate claim, but one that is justified in the video of their latest release, Spellbound. In a world where rappers have a lot to say for themselves, the message of this drug and Haribo fuelled affair is simple: sit back, relax and take time to enjoy life. With a chilled, hypnotic beat and lyrical flow to match, Spellbound creates the perfect soundtrack for such an occasion. Given their approach to music, Nu Brand have drawn comparisons to Wiz Khalifa, but these guys have been doing their thing for much longer. If any connection is to be made, it should be to Outkast, simply for the variety of material they produce. With a Conservative Party anthem, a poppier ode to London Fashion Week, and more traditional grime tracks backing up Spellbound, all are produced with a touch of style and humour that makes Nu Brand a very interesting prospect.