Top ten albums of the month

As October rounds off, we recap the best releases including Kelela, 0PN and Cass McCombs

Music Dazed & Approved
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Kelela – Cut 4 Me

Members of the Fade To Mind and Nightslugs collectives – Jam City, Nguzunguzu, Kingdown, Bok Bok, Girl Unit – provide the blistering backdrop against which Kelela shows off finely attuned songwriting skills. The heavyweight production is both matched and transformed by her commanding voice and force of artistic personality. This meaty, striking mixtape heralds the crowning of a new queen for fans of discerning, dark pop.

Kwes – Ilp

Kwes has taken a few years to complete his debut record out now on Warp. The production on ilp is astoundingly intricate and compelling, but it’s the beautifully-distilled power of the lyrics that really grips you. The rich colours of his feelings bleed into your vision on listening, perhaps mirroring the effect his chromesthesia has on his own. ilp demands the very best headphones you can muster. Read our recent interview with Kwes here, where he discusses ilp and reflects on his collaborations with The xx, Micachu and others.

Anna Calvi – One Breathe 

The emotional intensity is still at gothic heights on Anna Calvi’s seductive second record, but its expression is more diligently metered out. Eloquent, dynamic compositions explore pain and loss, leaving Calvi totally exposed, but so very much in control. Orchestral and choral elements are brought in to emphasize fragility and strength by turn. “Piece By Piece”, a quietly devastating ode to forgetting, is the stand out track. Read our recent interview with Calvi here.

Daniel Avery – Drone Logic 

This joyfully deviant record never belies its creator as a man who has spent years perfecting the art of ramming dancefloors around the world. Drone Logic is a techno-based trip that ropes in variations of house along with splashes of vocals and instrumental FX to dazzlingly entertaining effect. It's a ride that would easily withstand playing start to finish in any club, or one you can relish repeatedly all on your own. Stream Drone Logic in full on Phantasy Sound.

DJ Rashad – Double Cup

Another album that lays down the very best of night music on record, except this time you are definitely partying in Chicago. Double Cup is Rashad’s first proper album for Hyperdub and serves as the best introduction to the footwork maestro’s skill anyone could hope for. Techno, jungle, acid, hip hop and house are all melded into this visceral, fluid LP - full stream available on Pitchfork.

Cass McCombs – Big Wheel and Others 

Cass McCombs has long been fêted as an uncompromising songwriting marvel, and this behemoth of a fifth record instantly has the feel of another heavyweight classic. Big Wheel and Others contains fragments of a slew of occasionally-maligned genres (country, blues, rock and roll), but the sheer beauty and genius of McCombs’ writing and delivery make this terrain resound with depth anew.

Yumi And The Weather – All We Can EP

All We Can, the debut EP from Yumi (aka Brighton-based Ruby Taylor), is an enticement to daydream. A whirl of shimmering melodies and delicate guitar lines alluringly bound with sparkling synths in this evocative debut EP with genuine charm. The release also comes with sterling remix work from Vondelpark, Earlybird and Kiwi.

Glasser – Interiors

Glasser’s second record is an astonishing creative feat. Interiors is a testament to staring down inherent fears and overcoming the aspects of your own nature that conspire to trip you up. Cameron Mesirow revels in her humanity throughout this profound, effervescent work, and the audible freedom woven into expertly-constructed pop music makes for an especially consuming listen. Read our interview with Glasser taken from the October Issue here.

Darkside – Psychic 

Wunderkind producer Nicolas Jaar and guitarist Dave Harrington’s collaborative full length is a dizzying, hypnotic body of music. Heady rhythms and mesmerising samples provoke delightfully within dense, brooding songs structured acutely enough to still allow air to circulate within. Fittingly the pair were astrologically destined to make music together, as Dazed found out when they had their charts read with us for our Dark Arts issue, out now. Psychic is released through Other People, Jaar’s new serial, subscription-based label. Worth heading over to their site now to hear the spellbinding debut EP by High Water, The Beautiful Moon.

Oneohtrix Point Never - R PLus 7

Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never) set himself technological limitations for the creation of his first record for Warp, but at no point does this expansive, intoxicating album sound in anyway restricted. R Plus 7 beseeches you to bound across a gravity-less new land. It pops, as a breathing, vivid 3D incarnation of the latest inspirations of this insanely prolific musical craftsman and label boss. Read our interview with Lopatin about R Plus 7 here.

Bonus: Digital Farm Animals - Bugged Out

This came to our attention a little late in the day, and even though it’s technically number 11, we couldn’t not include it after listening. It’s just too much fun. Digital Farm Animals is London producer Nick Gale’s project and here he’s pulled in vocals from Tyson, Ofei, Holly Partridge and MNEK to bring this Ed Banger and Kitsuné-aligned, disco and funk-infused collection of songs to life. Bugged Out is also being given away totally free over on the band’s Facebook page.

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