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By Norm Quarrinton

Five new songs, one new columnist. Welcome to Aural Fixations.

Skepta “Top Boy”

UK grime sensation Skepta is working hard to make a name for himself in the US, and after receiving praise from the likes of Drake and Kanye West, it would appear that he’s succeeding. Lyrically, “Top Boy” is a track in which Skepta documents the difficulties he faced whilst attempting to adjust to the US music scene, as well as his initial struggle to build an American fanbase—but it’s by no means a depressing track. In fact, Skepta’s blatant optimism–fuelled by an unwavering loyalty to his genre–is what makes the track so endearing.

Kanye West “Say You Will (Ft. Caroline Shaw)”

Although technically not new, Kanye’s clearly been spurred on by the planet’s sudden realization that 808s & Heartbreak is actually a fucking great LP, because he’s decided to give this track a bit of a rework. Although not unheard of, it’s still somewhat bizarre for an artist to essentially remake a single track from an experimental album, but it’s Kanye, so who gives a shit?

Enter Shikari “There’s A Price On Your Head (Danny Byrd Remix)”

Enter Shikari are a post-hardcore/electro-rock band from England. They’re a very odd band, but that’s what makes them interesting. If you’re unfamiliar with them, you’ll love them, or you’ll hate them, but there’s definitely nothing “meh” about them. This track is remix of a song from their most recent album The Mindsweep. It was remixed by drum and bass legend Danny Byrd, and has no right to sound as magnificent as it does.

The Kondi Band “Poweŋde Bingade”

Contemporary electronic production methods combine with traditional Sierra Leonian music to produce what is easily one of the most flawless tunes I’ve heard all year. The members of The Kondi Band have been making music individually for several years, but have only recently started producing stuff as a team, which means they don’t have a lot of material for us to sink our ears into just yet, but with an EP dropping in December, and a full album expected sometime in May 2016, there’s plenty to look forward to.

Semma “Cut The Rope”

British singer/songwriter Semma’s rather funky love letter to an ex-flame contains all of the ingredients for a perfect dance track. It’s a potential floor-filler that has a retro vibe–but its deceptively sensual vocals and crisp production, (courtesy of the always reliable Star Slinger) root it firmly in the cannon of present-day electro-pop.