Playlist Picks: Damon Albarn, De La Soul and Labrinth

Songs to ponder to, celebrate to and break stuff to

Damon Albarn – Apple Carts
‘Apple Carts’ is a sedate high taken from Damon Albarn’s exquisite new studio album, Dr Dee – based on the stage show of the same name about the life and times of the 16th century scientist cum court wizard. Visions of a pastoral, slower pace of life are caught in Damon’s delicate vocal amid the gentle, effervescent twanging of a lute.

De La Soul presents First Serve – We Made It
Live and wired like the fanfare of a stadium half-time show, this tune is about livin’ it up – hip hop style. De La Soul’s Plug 1 and Plug 2 return after collaborating with Damon Albarn’s cartoon crew. They are clearly having tremendous fun too, lampooning the lifestyle of hip hop rapstars as First Serves’ Dean Witter and Pop Life. Bursting with energy and attitude, this sure gets the party started. Now, let’s go “shopping like there’s no tomorrow!”

Labrinth – Earthquake feat Tinie Tempah
Let’s get one thing straight: Labrinth is no Tinie Tempah and he’s certainly no Charles Wright. And that’s not a bad thing. The Hackney-born producer and MC knows how to combine sounds from completely different ends of the spectrum to make something outrageous. That reggae/grime mash-up that everybody loves so much on Tinie’s song ‘Pass Out’; that was Labrinth’s idea. And there’s more of that sort of thing on his debut album, Electronic Earth. The synth-heavy ‘Earthquake’ (wub-wub meets choir in Futurville) and speedy percussion of ‘Climb on Board’ (great for when you’re rushing to work) will get you bopping.

Last, but not least…
The four-piece soul band from Essex, the Milk, continue to rattle off the hits in the run-up to their debut album with a rock ‘n’ roll vaudeville stonker in ‘Broke Up the Family’. Perfect for when you knock a pint glass out of some bruiser’s hand, causing fists to fly and people to flee.

Image: Parlophone/EMI Music