To Be Young Is Very Heaven

Today on Fassbook, Ill Blu posted up the latest daytime playlist for 1xtra. They were celebrating their entry onto the C List – which I was happy to see, too, given that they were some of the most outrageously talented producers in the outrageously great genre of UK Funky, and therefore deserve all the success that absolute nonentities like Calvin Harris enjoy. Judging by their entry on the playlist, Ill Blu are nowadays making highly polished, if disappointingly generic, ‘deep house’, of the type enjoyed by people too young to put inverted commas around ‘deep house’ – you know, good-looking, clean-shaven people with their whole lives in front of them. Bastards, basically.

Anyway, being no snob when it comes to music for the yoofz, I decided to check out the complete 1xtra A-List playlist to see if it would help me remember what fun was like. I didn’t hate most of the tracks on it, but I wasn’t crazy for most of them, either. A lot of them are in major key, and obviously aimed at people who can smile without irony. I was going to do a complete run down of all the songs but I quickly realised that there wasn’t much point, given how vague my feelings are towards the majority. I guess it’s nice to see Wiley and Skepta on the playlist, albeit with fairly forgettable tracks (“Shut Down” and “Chasing The Art”). Natalie Le Rose’s ”Somebody” is a Mustard/Mustard-a-like track which loses points for Jeremih doing one of those reprisals of a famous and better song. I couldn’t tell if Shift K3Y’s ”Name and Number” was actually good neo-2-step or not, because the video – of absurdly good-looking teenagers having amazing fun at a house party of the sort I would have been invited to last about ten years ago if I had ever been invited – gave me a severe case of sour grandpa grapes. OMI’s ”Cheerleader” (Felix Jahen RMX) sounds like Crazy Frog. ”Peaches N Cream” by Snoop Dogg is decent, but will – I think – not go down in history as anything close to the top tier of Snoop/Neptunes tunes.

Which leaves us with the two of 17 daytime A-List tracks that I actually enjoyed. One is “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap, which has grown on me more than any rap-club anthem since ”Tuesday”, and is officially fifty times better than ”King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar. The second is ”Preach” by M.O., a three-girl group who I’ve never heard of before and who have done a couple of pretty forgettable tracks before this one.

M.O. – Preach (2015)

From the start the production is a cut above most of this daytime fare; weird noises and a humming refrain that recalls Timbo the king. A big 808 kicks in for the first half of the hook. Yeah, yeah, it’s alright. But 1.09 minutes in it totally suckered me with part two of the hook which is backed by these lush SWV esque chords and makes me want to cry with melancholy joy. WELL DONE.

I might look at the B and C list later if I can be bothered, but when you’re as old as I am, watching ‘Wolf Hall’ in its entirety is a more appealing prospect than listening to young people enjoying their lives, so don’t hold your breath.

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