I was feeling slightly daunted by the number of individual reviews I need to write, so I narrowed it down to my favourite releases and went for the 140 character(ish) approach in no particular order. *I realise it looks like a lot but if you read this blog I would really recommend any of them, especially... no, I really would recommend them all.
Windy City - Let Me Ride [1977, Discogs link]
Awesome 70s Chicago funk/ soul favourite of a friend, so positive at times it might have been written for Sesame Street, but with a healthy dose of heartache.
Yult ft Tanya Auclair - The Animal Inside EP [21st Feb 2011, Video link]
Cinematic and strange electronic lushness, equal parts unnerving and erotic, exotic and beautiful like a disinterested Amazonian warrior.
Money Making Jam Boys - The Prestige Mixtape [Feb 3rd 2011, Free Download link]
Sounding more like a good album than a mixtape, Black Thought leads an all star Philly team down a delightfully grimy path.
Bill Withers - 'Justments remastered [1974/ 2010, iTunes link]
I found this when ?uestlove tweeted about the re-release, it's such a beautiful forgotten gem you should add to your collection of classics.
Ghostpoet - Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam [Feb 7th 2011, iTunes link]
Most excitingly distinctive British lyricist I've heard since Ty & Roots Manuva, melancholic & introspective but bashy & beautiful - MUST have album. Full stream here. *Disclaimer: real speakers/headphones only, no laptop, doesn't work at all.
Toro y Moi - Underneath the Pine [21st Feb 2011, iTunes preoder link]
This guy gets so in touch with his inner child on this album, you can't help but leave your cool at the door and act the total fool - the ultimate in happy music.
James Blake - James Blake [7th Feb 2011 iTunes link]
Believe the hype.
Stateless - Matilda [21st Feb 2011 iTunes pre-order link]
Kidkanevil's oriental joy running full pelt at Damian Taylors bursting heart = a brilliant album apparently. *Hits repeat.
Gil Scott Heron & Jamie XX - Were New Here [21st Feb 2011 website link]
Very cleverly, Jamie has managed not to ruin it! The remixes sound both respectful yet unafraid.
Kutmah - The New Error [19th Jan 2011, Big Cartel Link]
Rammed full of exclusives, a hilarious Mobb Deep remix, and the kind of beats that will fully replenish your attitude should you ever lose it.
KUTMAH "The New Error" Vol. 1 (sampler) by HIT+RUN
Eric Lau - Quadrivium [25th Feb 2011, Bandcamp Link]
Eric told me to listen before going to sleep. Eric was wrong, you can listen to this anywhere. Lushness with heavy drums that will make rappers mad they didn't buy the beat.
Homebase Presents Live At The Clubhouse Vol 1 EP
Heavy features list (Blu, Homeboy Sandman, Freddie Gibbs, Coco, Recess, F.Stokes) and yet it's the production that really shines. Love it so much, listen below.