Barclaycard Mercury Prize Recommends brings you some of the week's most interesting online music from around the world...


There's a bumper selection for your aural delight this week as Recommends brings you a brand new track from Gruff Rhys, a new collaboration from Kate Tempest, and Africa Express taking on Terry Riley's In C Major. There are albums streaming from Poppy Ackroyd and Mr Oizo, whilst videos feature from Jimi Goodwin, Angel Olsen and there's something special from Dizzee Rascal. Elsewhere there's news on forthcoming shows from Laetitia Sadier, Slow Club and Matthew Halsall and the Gondwana Orchestra.

Tracks: Gruff Rhys, Kate Tempest & Loyle Carner, Africa Express, 

Luca C & Brigande feat. Roisin Murphy


Videos: Dizzee Rascal, Jimi Goodwin, Nigel Standford, Angel Olsen,

Basilica SoundScape


Albums: Poppy Ackroyd, Mr Oizo, Thompson


Live: Laetitia Sadier, Slow Club, King Creosote, Matthew Halsall

  • 4590e9_news1.jpg

    Jamie xx & Wayne McGregor

    Every other year the Manchester International Festival presents its programme to an expectant audience, the standard of shows - the majority of them premieres - assuring the city's status on a worldwide scale. Next year's event has just been announced, with perhaps the most interesting of all the events being be a new ballet from choreographer Wayne McGregor inspired by author Jonathan Safran Foer and featuring music from Jamie xx. 

  • c2f946_news2.jpg

    Skream Covers The Smiths

    In other Mancunian news, Skream's appearance at the Warehouse Project has prompted a brilliant bootleg. Traditionally finishing his set at WHP with a big Manchester record, the producer's last appearance led to a remix of This Charming Man, which unsurprisngly courted controversy from the band's die-hard fans. This time round he's recruited the lead singer from tribute band The Smythes for a euphoric take on There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.

  • Gruff Rhys

    Set Fire To The Stars

    There's been much cause to celebrate the life and works of Dylan Thomas over the past few months, October marking what would have been the hellraising Welsh poet's 100th birthday. Timely, then, that the bard's biopic Set Fire To The Stars should now appear on general release after garnering rave reviews at its Edinburgh premier this summer. Starring co-writer Celywn Jones in the lead role the film also features a Jazz indebted score from another figure who looms large in the cultural life of Wales, Gruff Rhys. 

  • Kate Tempest & Loyle Carner


    Speedy Wunderground

    The ceaseless Kate Tempest must have had a rare day spare as she's found time to add a second instalment to Dan Carey's Speedy Wunderground 7" series, the record-in-a-day project that's previously welcomed the likes of Toy, Natasha Khan and Juce. For this latest joint Kate's joined by fellow South Londoner Loyle Carner, the pair trading lines with ease and painting typically unflinching tales of modern urban existence. The limited edition single arrives next month, coinciding with Loyle's run of dates supporting Joey Bada$$.

  • Africa Express

    Terry Riley's In C Mali

    (5 Minute Edit)

    The percussive charge that powers both contemporary Minimalism and traditional West African music has never sounded as pronounced as on this interpretation of Terry Riley's In C Major by intercontinental collective Africa Express. The seminal piece, which is built from individual pieces that can be played in any order or arrangement and was recently the performed by Adrian Utley's Guitar Orchestra, is given a fresh new feel by a group of musicians that include Express stalwarts Damon Albarn, Brian Eno and Nick Zimmer.

  • Luca C & Brigante feat. Róisín Murphy


    Hot Creations

    When it comes to club-ready vocals that strike in an instant there aren't many that can compare with Róisín Murphy. Having first made her mark with Moloko the singer has gone on to work with the likes of Matthew Herbert, Toddla T and most recently Jamie Jones's Hot Natured project, yet despite the wildly individual styles at play it's always been Róisín's distinctive delivery that's shone strongest. She turns to the Hot Natured head honcho once again, working with label mates Luca C and Brigande on Invisions.

  • Dizzee Rascal


    Directed by Emile Sornin

    Dizzee Rascal's recent output has hinted towards a stylistic return to his roots, with beats glowering around the 140bpm mark and lyrical flows which feel much more in-keeping with his classic underground material of old. Pagans is perhaps his hardest set of bars of recent times, and whilst musically the track sits happily at street level the incredible video - a tribute to the classic Kung Fu films of the early Seventies - takes production values to an all-new high.

  • Jimi Goodwin

    Lonely At The Drop

    Directed by Ceri Levy

    Live performance, striking visuals and a graphic aesthetic all collide in the new video from Jimi Goodwin. Lonely At The Drop, like so much of the material on his solo album Odludek, combines the stirring dynamics Jimi has always conjured up with his band Doves but also opens up entire new worlds of influence and interest, no doubt inspired by the creative freedom that comes when you work on your own for the the first time in decades.

  • Nigel Standford

    Cymatics: Science vs. Music

    Directed by Shahir Daud

    New Zealand based musician Nigel Standford and director Shahir Daud offer up what might be one of the the most visually arresting videos of the year with Cymatics, a beautifully shot piece based around a series of eye-defying sound-visualisation experiments. Using all manner of apparatus, including a life threatening Tesla coil capable of emitting 16,000 volts of electricity, the pair illustrate the effect invisible sound waves have on the physical world.

  • Angel Olsen


    Directed by Rick Alverson

    This year's brilliant Burn Your Fire For No Witness saw Angel Olsen make a move towards a much bigger sound, with more of everything added to the back-to-basics approach of her beguiling debut album proper Half Way Home. Rather than overpower her delicate delivery the added dynamism has instead heightened Angel's allure, the Country chiaroscuro no more evident on the album's closer Windows. The track now benefits from a cryptic new clip.

  • Basilica SoundScape

    Directed by Jim Larson & William Colby

    For three years Basilica SoundScape has taken place in a 19th Century factory on the banks of the Hudson River in upstate New York and secured a reputation through its small scale and careful curation. Pitchfork were on hand to document this year's event and now run with an interactive documentary that lets the viewer choose between performances from Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry, No Wave heroes Swans and ambient adventurer Tim Hecker.

  • Poppy Ackroyd


    Denovali Records

    Whilst some contemporary Classical can carry itself with a cool, considered poise, there's something very human and unashamedly emotional about the music of Brighton-based composer Poppy Ackroyd, who this week releases a sophomore set of piano-led pieces. Interestingly this inherent sentimentality is maybe more informed by Poppy's involvement with electronic music that her classical training, her longstanding involvement with Edinburgh's Hidden Orchestra no doubt an influence on the brilliantly uplifting Feathers.

  • Mr Oizo

    The Church


    Mr Oizo may have forever been associated with a humorous hand puppet and a clever marketing campaign were it not for the prolific nature in which Quentin Dupieux has continued to operate since his early days on the Parisian Electro scene. His relocation to LA has inspired a blossoming friendship with Flying Lotus and subsequently helped the producer immerse himself in the city's world-leading scene, all of it pushing his love for beserk bass and bone-shaking beats in ever more adventurous directions.

  • Thompson


    Fantasy Records

    The Thompsons family have long-reaching links to British Folk, with Richard and Linda having helped kickstart the Folk Rock revival of the Seventies and their son Teddy plying the family trade over his own fifteen year long career. The three now record together for the first time, joined by scores of other musical clan members of varying ages - the youngest being 17 year old Zac. As a result the record feels jumbled in the best possible sense, its mix of styles a real reflection of a family brought together through music.

  • 99b16c_live_laetitia.jpg

    Laetitia Sadier

    The Lantern, Bristol

    Wednesday 10th December

    Whilst Laetitia Sadier's previous solo albums felt to be at odds with her own unique legacy - as a founding member of Stereolab she foresaw a crossover of Indie and Electronica that would dominate for the subsequent decade - this year's Something Shines embraced all that had gone before whilst also gifting the singer with a sound that she can confidently call her own. She hits the UK for a short run of dates next month including this show in Bristol.

  • df84a8_live_slowclub.jpg

    Slow Club

    Tom Thumb Theatre, Canterbury

    Saturday 13th December

    It's hard to compare the Slow Club of old - a charmingly lo-fi girl-boy Indie Folk duo - with the sleek and sophisticated purveyors of soulful Pop they've become over the past few years. Looking and sounding entirely comfortable with this musical maturation Charles and Rebecca have enjoyed a stirling twelve months, issuing their impassioned third album Complete Surrender and playing a jubilant run of shows which now come to a close in Canterbury.

  • 9b9902_live_creosote.jpg

    King Creosote

    St Mary's Church, Ashford

    Friday 30th January

    Calling on a back catalogue that counts more than forty albums, the most recent being his collaboration with video artist Virginia Heath From Scotland With Love, Kenny Anderson travels from his homestead on Fife to the southerly reaches of Kent for this show in St Mary's Church. The tour, which runs through January and ends in early February, will also take in two nights in the similarly sacred environs of the illustrious Union Chapel in Islington.

  • f1c864_live_halsall.jpg

    Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

    Kings Place, London

    Saturday 24th January

    Having spent 2014 concentrating on his Gondwana label and the meteoric rise of GoGo Penguin, Matthew Halsall will start the New Year with the emphasis placed very much on his own music. The celebrated trumpeter performs with the all-star Gondwana Orchestra and vocalist Josephine Oniyama, whose addition signals a move towards more soulful, song-based sound for Matthew's beautiful brand of "rain streaked" Spiritual Jazz.