4th annual…. I heart other genres too

When I was young I was pretty much an exclusive hip hop head (with an extended foray into jungle and occasional bursts of R’n’B thrown in along the way) however the beauty of hip hop is its ability to introduce you to a plethora of other genres. Funk, classic soul, reggae, drum & bass and more are now all staple choices on my musical smorgasbord. Therefore, rather than the usual annual eulogising of the best boom baps and jazz loops out there, this little ditty is a showcase for my favourite NON hip hop releases of 2012. Read on folks…..
The Impellers - This is Lot a Drill
Deep funk at its very best, this is not a drill is a feast of up tempo grooves. The dusty mixing of the album only adds to its 'come on lets jam' appeal. Admittedly that initially made me skip through this one quickly and come back to it later. But once I did.... superb.
Netsky - 2
Any drum and bass beatsmith that can expertly hark back to the best that jungle had to offer without sounding like a has been gets my vote. This is by no means all that Netsky is about & there were others who also managed this feat very well but in my view '2' gets the highest marks in the class.
Zinc - Only for Tonight EP
This guy is in my view one of thee most versatile dance music producers out there. Whether he’s putting a swing in your hips, having you jump up for dear life or moshing until your best threads are ruined, Zinc can cater for all. 6 tracks deep and ample proof is provided.
Cody ChesnuTT - Landing on a Hundred
It has been a really... really long time between this man's debut and sophomore (as you yanks call it) release. When RnB/Soul is done superbly and consistently well, this is what it sounds like. Understated without sounding lazy, uplifting in some parts while moody in others. With depth, with feeling, and without sounding like he's trying to overpower his own music, Cody gives a lesson to many so called "superstars" on how to put together a seminal piece of work.

The Slakadeliqs - The Other Side of Tomorrow
inventive, cheery, melodious, vibrant.... All words I can use to describe the debut showcase for Slakah the Beatchild’s alter ego. Elements of Funk, Dub, Electro Pop, Reggae and Hip Hop can all be heard weaving in between a slew of very affectionate guitars, flutes and strings. But its the way that it is all put together that pushes TOSOT to a higher plain than 99% of his peers. Brilliant stuff.
Tatham, Mensah, Lord & Ranks – Tatham, Mensah, Lord & Ranks
4hero are my heroes! I am talking ever since Journey To The Light and Golden Age. Well, being that I haven’t seen a proper release from them since Play With The Changes, this self titled release fills the void that existed. Which of course is helped by the fact that they count Dego Ranks among their.... ranks. Future Soul, Nu Jazz, Latin Jazz, Broken Beat. Do you want a masterclass of how to amalgamate these into near perfection? Look no further.
DJ Hazard - Never The Same EP
Pure unadulterated (should that word even apply?) Drum and Bass. I was a big Jungle fan back in the day (running man, jazz splits and all) and loved all things DJ Hype related. For reasons I cant quite fathom I became an MIA junglist. But my return to its clutches was complete when I happened upon the Real Playaz online alcove and made myself at home. DJ Hazard's short but soooo sweet EP is my favourite from the very rich pickings available. Be sure you’ve got your EQ set up just right before you press play!
C2C - Tetra
Anyone who knows their Turntablism, Jazz Hop, French (or all three) know who these guys are. They are in the top echelon of their art, they will surely be considered legendary in years to come (man I sound like Jeremy Clarkson introducing The Stig). Yet their album is in no way strictly Hip Hop. They have simply dipped their fingers into as many sonic pies as possible and used the ingredients to make one awesome, scratch and mix laden, pie. Instantly cool yet very accessible, Tetra is originality in music form.

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