Fat City’s 5 for ’15

By December 11, 2015Blog

As our longest running promoters at Gwdihw (by around a not insignificant 3 or so years!), we tend to trust Fat City‘s 6-year-earned stripes when it comes to looking for the finest in live-spun, big band Afrobeat, Reggae, Jazz, Hip Hop and more.
So, seen as it’s the time of year when we all start comparing a barrage of ‘Best of’ Lists to your requests to Saint Nick, we thought we’d get FC’s Gareth and Jonny to give you something a little more funky to stick in your stockings from ’15s finest. You can catch the latest in brilliant eclectic live bookings from Fat City, 2nd Saturday of every month at Gwdihw, starting with Zion Road on Dec 12th, followed by Jacob’s Heep on Jan 8th.

Universal Togetherness Band – Universal Togetherness Band
Favourite track: ‘Real Thrill’
Favourite find for the year without question. Numero Group keep unearthing ridiculously rare soul music and lost tapes from the dusty shelves. A previously unfinished project from a college recording engineer in Chicago, this album is the only recorded evidence of the band’s short-lived but undoubted talent. The band would play regularly for college engineer looking to practise and they’d played out a few times, too but sadly they were never picked up until Numero found the recording engineer and got these great tape off him. Soulful, catchy, groove-laden and bags of fun, this album is a treat and an education all rolled into one!

Ephemerals – Chasin Ghosts
Favourite track: ‘You’ll Never See Me Cry’
 We love Ephemerals! They’ve played Fat City several times now and each time they really show us what a class act they are. They’re great guys and really passionate about what they do. Live and on record they pack in some deliciously tight, soulful licks, and the playing from James Graham on keys is a definite a continued highlight on this record from the last. I didn’t think it would get much better than the brilliant Things Part 1 & 2 from their debut record Nothin’ is Easy, but you’ll Never See Me Cry has been on repeat so many times I’m starting to wear the record out (38.4k plays on Soundcloud already!!!). With additional orchestration Chasin’ Ghosts seems to be a fuller sound than they’ve achieved before and it’s so good to see their new stuff getting so much attention! Top work boys!

Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
Favourite track: ‘Breathing Underwater’
These guys are seriously talented! Nai Palm’s vocals are totally unique and bewitching and the jams they come up with are so darn good I can’t get them out of my head. Their songs are conscious, rooted in the world around them and endlessly enjoyable. Ever since their breakthrough Nakamarra track was released they’ve been killing it all over the place. Live these guys are something else!

St Germain – St Germain
Favourite track: ‘Sittin’ Here’
St Germain’s new one is a definite treat. We’ve been waiting a while, but the addition of African instrumentation and vocals are a welcome hook on this record and a real change in approach from earlier records. It’s a definite grower if it doesn’t grab you first time, but you’ll have it on loop for a few weeks for sure. Great for those Sunday mornings or Monday evenings when you want to get in deep with a few records and go on a little journey.

Floating Points – Elaenia
Favourite track: ‘Silhouettes (I, II & III)
Would probably whack this record on after St Germain. What’s not to love about Floating Points? He’s been bubbling for years and always producing great tracks and production. He’s a serious music head and it shows in this record. Loving the full band sound and the orchestration mixed with his typically clever electronic soundscapes. Moody and ethereal, if I was into drugs I’d be cranking this one up all the way to 10! Lucky drugs ain’t my thing but it’s still an absolute belter of a record. Neuroscientist, kick-arse DJ, classically trained musician and super talented music producer… Everything I want to be a more!

(+1 for luck)

Adam and Cuth – Formwork
Favourite track: ‘Happy Up’
 Love these guys! Adam the Rapper and Cuth team up once more for some seriously fun UK hip-hop that’s been on my stereo since they killed it at Gwdihw earlier this year at Fat City. Adam’s energy is seriously infectious on stage and his vocal gymnastics beautifully flow through thoughtful, fun and pointed lyrics. There’s a real soulful groove running through this album and that definitely comes from Cuth’s awesome selection of breaks and bass-heavy beats. Top guys, too, but never ask them to open a bottle of wine with a shoe; you’ll be waiting a while.