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UK veteran, Verb T, released Medicated Dreams on High Focus records last year. As the title suggests, it’s an introspective affair and these tracks are not going to get the dancing started. Still, there’s something haunting about the production on “Dreaming of a Life”, and the subtle percussive hiss in the hook of “Powdered Dreams” will worm it’s way under your skin, for sure. He’s on twitter at

Verb-T: Powdered Dreams

Verb- T also has a spot in High Focus’s supergroup, The Four Owls, alongside Fliptrix, Leaf Dog and BVA. Catch them on tour promoting their second album, Natural Order, out on February 15th. From the sound of the single “Silent Flight”, it’s a more assured and confident outing than the first, and will feature some guest production by DJ Premier, apparently. Looking forward to it.

The Four Owls: Silent Flight

Last year’s “How to Tame Lion’s” collaboration between SonnyJim and producer Leafdog was one of the highlights of 2014, and 2015 is getting off to a flying start with an album of remixes – mostly from Ill-informed, who takes the reins on 5 out of the 7 tracks. The description on bandcamp is that these are “bangers”, which makes me wonder if there’s been a shift in the way that young folk use that term these days. I’d have said they were head-nodding, jazz-tinged joints better suited for Sunday afternoon than for Saturday night. I’d go so far as to say I prefer these to the originals, with the reworked tracks providing a better backdrop for SonnyJim’s vocals. And the best thing is that if you’re quick, this can be yours for zero pence – it’s currently a limited edition free download from Bandcamp. Follow Sonny Jim on Twitter at

Sonnyjim: Lions & Martyrs (ill-informed remix)

Guaranteed to put some bounce in your step, this free download from Too Many T’s is one to grab. “Butter Rug” is a personal favourite, probably because it puts me in mind of a track from the much missed Grand Central Records (Rob Smith, 24/7 – Funky Fresh Few mix). They’re on twitter:

Too Many T’s: Butter Rug

Aiming to teach, K’9’s ReEducation of King 9 doesn’t always escape the “earnest” label, but Escape from Babylon with the killer horn line was made for some bass-heavy speaker action. Follow him on twitter

K-9: Escape from Babylon

If you like your hip hop to come complete with thought-provoking lyrics, it’s also worth checking out Depth Perception, the self-produced EP from Parallax. Walking On, in particular, is proof that conscious hip hop can be still be catchy.

Parallax: Walking On

Shuqi the Rapper had a two part mix tape, Remedy, released at opposite ends of 2014. Sounds like the production was tightened up between the first, Heart, and the second, Opium. Both are yours with a pay as you feel price tag. Both are well worth some of your money. In contrast to a lot of the current crop of women MC’s in the UK, she keeps her flow laid back and the melody driven tracks are an effective foil to some razor sharp lyrics. She’s on twitter at

Shuqi the Rapper: Sensei

Essa, formerly known as Yung-un, has been a favourite for years. His collaboration with Aaron Jerome (now working as SBTRKT) “Late Night Mission” is one of the best examples of story-telling you could hope to hear. Last year’s The Middle Man showcases his thoughtful and funny lyrics. I could listen to his voice all day. He’s on twitter at

Essa: Harder