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WHOOOOOOOSH...back from the dead like Nick Cotton. Comin' at ya harder than Eminem trying to park a Dodge in a two-car garage with the windows up to the mid-eighties. Yes, it's the Weekly Review of Dance Music: version 2.0.1.5. Future proofed for generations to come.

But I don't know how...

...hey everybody, it's me, Tonka, glad to be back in the New Year with your super soaraway WRDM, and I'm here today to wish you a very happy 2015 because I'm YOUR friend and you've got a friend in ME. For life.

Here's some reviews to ease us all back into what is now the middle of January.



D'Angelo And The Vanguard - The Black Messiah


If there's been a more hyped album than The Black Messiah recently then I can't remember what it...hang on a minute, Syro was exactly the same. The Black Messiah is the latest "instant classic" album to pop up on my social media timelines in the last month. I couldn't bring myself to listen to it in December because all of the people I follow on Twitter were wanking over it - I didn't want to interrupt. I bought it off of Kick Ass Torrents last week for nothing pence and listened to the whole album on a long walk around Northolt. I started off on Carr Road and meandered along the dog shit strewn Fairway towards the hustle and bustle of Oldfield Circus. A new kebab shop has opened. Not sure how they'll compete with the established and friendly Turkish place directly opposite, not to mention The Codfather chip shop. I'm not sure if The Codfather sell kebabs though. They definitely sell chips and saveloys. We'll see how all of that develops this year.

The album finished just as I reached the Grand Union canal on the bank of The Black Horse pub in Greenford, so I treated myself to a piss, a pint of Stella and a bag of salt and vinegar crisps. On the walk back home I listened to 2001 by Dr. Dre and wondered if 2001 would have even been made if Biggie and Tupac had evaded their murderous assailants outside that posh casino and carried on making music. I often wonder what the gangsta rap landscape would look like today if them two hadn't passed away.



You can tell it's been about fifteen years since D'Angelo's last record because he's bottled doing the album cover on The Black Messiah. The artwork for every album and single he released previously has just been him with his top off. The Black Messiah is good but it's also an album Prince could have easily made if he wanted to in 2005, between Musicology and 3121. It's alright but it's not the best, sexiest, most soulful record I’ve ever heard. To be honest, D’Angelo sounds like Vic Reeves doing his pub singer bit in most of the songs, especially Sugah Daddy.

I suspect that a lot of people on the internet sometimes say that they love something and bang on about it without actually listening to it because they think it's the cool thing to be seen endorsing and are afraid of being honest. I might be wrong, but I rarely am.

D'Angelo And The Vanguard - The Black Messiah
6/10


Raica - Dose



Furtherrecords in Seattle have planned to give us all a dose of Dose by Raica at the end of this month. And by Dose, I mean an album called Dose. And by all that, I mean Furtherrecords are releasing an album by Raica called Dose on the 25 January. Fucking hell. I pestered Raica for a preview copy after I heard that she makes all of her music using Doepfer Energy + Dark Time, Waldorf Pulse+, Waldorf Q, samples and love. I didn't have a fucking clue what any of that means so I wanted to hear for myself. She sent me the WAVs and has promised to send me a proper record in the post. I was rubbing my hands together at the thought of listening to some fresh American beats...here's an indepth track-by-track review of Dose.

The first track on Dose is called Satmor and it's just the type of beatless, atmospheric scene-setter I know Ricky V will be opening a Fabric set with in a couple of months. The Only Way Is Essex fan, Raica, follows that up with another beatless banger called Tiwie, and if Marcus Worgull doesn't open his next Fabric gig with Tiwie, I'll be very fucking surprised. Confidently, Raica is now three tracks in without dropping a beat! Slep_Non sounds like about seven of those cheap ball bearing maze games you get in Christmas crackers being played at once, in a good way. Still no beats though. I wrote the following in the Notes app on my white iPad2: Watr Dragn evil fairground music, no beats. Couchfire Dron sounds like something I imagine being played at a Minimal Messages party where loads of Japanese normcore lads stand around nodding and jotting things down in little notepads in front of a projection display of mid-town 1950s Americana catalogue footage in a small, whitewashed Tokyo studio space. No beats yet.




Harchone is 4 minutes and 17 seconds of funny detuned pad tones and flittery fluttery noises. Beats? Fuck all. Skrt might be a song about skirts and is my favourite song on the album. Musically, Skrt is a breakdown from a late nineties Gatecrasher CHOON pitched right down so that it sounds scary. No beats. The only word I can reluctantly use to describe the last song on the album, Entrldam, is lush. I fucking hate the word lush because it reminds me of that thick Welsh bird on Big Brother 2 who kept banging on about how she loves blinking. She used to say lush all the time, I think. Not one beat in the whole album. Sounds disappointing, but it's not. I loved it and I reckon YOU will too.

In fact, Dose by Raica is fucking brilliant, despite her apparent hatred of all the kick drums in the world. Whack Dose on your stereo when you get back from the club because after an hour or so of melancholic, weird and loopy, intelligent Raica soundscapes, the impact the following CD's beats will have (FabricClive 09, Dave Clarke's World Service Volume 1 (the electro side), Miss Moneypenny's Too Glamourous, etc) on the after-party will be greater.

Raica - Dose
9/10



Radio Slave - Werk Remixes (DJ Richard/Dan Beaumont/s:vt)

What is it with DJ Dan Beaumont and the word, pumper? He did that song a while back called Trippy Pumper, the press release comments for Dan's remix of Radio Slave's Werk (on Work Them Records) describe his go as a 'strident pumper' and I'm sure I've seen him use the word, pumper, on various social media platforms for a variety of reasons, no examples I can think of right now. It really is a pumper of a remix though, it's the ONLY word to describe it. Dan Beaumont's use of the 909 kick drum is quite breathtaking, I've always said that.



Jay from Jay and Silent Bob lookalike, DJ Richard, or DJ Dick as I call him (and I would say that to his face because, by the look of his pictures on Google Images, I reckon I'd have him if he started), delivers a right fucking weird and mental eleven minute remix that'll make you question your universe, in a good way. I've not listened to the s:vt remix yet but I reckon I'd like it because Callum at Dispersion PR told me that it's "powerful" and "channels the original's tone perfectly." Sounds good to me, lads.

Radio Slave - Werk Remixes (DJ Richard/Dan Beaumont/s:vt)
10/10

That's it for this week's Weekly Review of Dance Music, Radio Slave's remixes win with a perfectly pumping ten out of ten. I'll be back next Tuesday with MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage, London's Musical Bingo Wars, Groundhog Day: The Musical, an indepth look at the murky goings on at Juno, MASSIVE QUESTIONS with GILLES PETERSON, Groundhog Day On Ice, Hilarious Lookalikes, WRDMerchandise and Groundhog Day 2: This Time It's Personal.

Somehow, Tonka's Week on Ran$om Note continues each Friday and all. It's weird being me, it's like I can't stop shitting words out of my brain every week.

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