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Five on it: Cartel Madras are spitting quick-fire gold

11 Oct 2019

Photography by Asim Overstands

It feels difficult to write about music that’s not Kano this week. The Royal Albert Hall show has honestly blown my mind, bringing so much happiness to a relatively bleak time, and I remain fully in awe.

But I appreciate that other things are happening in the world, beyond my having Made in the Manor back on a loop. Only, I am trying to avoid negative things for a bit – so that’s swerving away from politics and the climate crisis; avoiding voicing my strong opinions on all these “end of decade” album lists which do not cater very specifically to my subjective taste. 

And I haven’t watched that Cardi rap show yet, and basically I can’t think of anything else topical to put here. So failing that, here’s this week’s five on it.

Cartel Madras – ‘Goonda Gold’

With bars like “Bitch I’m bad, I’m brown, I’m gold”, Cartel Madras – the rap duo from Canada channelling their South Indian roots – are making tracks to get you gassed about yourself. Full of raw, powerful, nonchalant energy (“goonda” means “thug” across much of South Asia), and intricate beats as they root for the underdogs out there, we are very ready for these two to drop the EP next month.

MorMor – ‘Won’t Let You’

That voice! One of Toronto’s most exciting newcomers has put out his latest, and it’s every bit as lush and dreamlike as we hoped. Spacious, expansive pop topped with a gorgeous falsetto, this is beautiful.

Nilüfer Yanya – ‘H34T RISES’

If you’re not already familiar you should get to know. Nilüfer Yanya (a Londoner who is of Turkish, Irish and Bajan descent) makes music that melds genres, toying with rock, soul, R&B and pop. Her excellent debut album, Miss Universe, arrived earlier this year, and this track is a reworking of a song from that – replete with a video filmed in Istanbul.

Summer Walker ft. Bryson Tiller – ‘Playing Games’

So not realising the Summer Walker album dropped last week was a huge oversight, but thankfully the Atlanta singer dropped a video this week so we can still shout her out. All velvety vibes with her honey-smooth vocals and the soft complement of Bryson Tiller’s feature, this is a delicious slow jam. 

NEO 10Y – ‘Stan Yourself’

Artist NEO 10Y’s latest is an ominous, crepuscular slice of dance-pop that compels us to celebrate ourselves – “cos you could save the world”. With lithe, breathy falsettos, dissonant melodies and glitchy crescendos, there’s something seductive and glimmering about this one.

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