M.I.A Paper Planes, XL, Single, October 13 ****
DANCEHALL princess M.I.A's anthemic punk sampling is finally given a full UK release after floating around the underground for most of the year.
Previously a limited-edition, vinyl only release, Paper Planes sees her tapping into the Clash's ethics and dragging them kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The band's Straight To Hell is the backing track for her sneering look at capitalism and the treatment of immigrants. She throws in thudding gun shots and the ringing of cash registers in the place of bass - a great update of the reggae cross-over that became a trademark of the Clash.
Bizarrely, given its complex subject matter and influences, it's her most accessible single to date and cements her position as one of the most interesting, genre-hopping artists of the moment.
Giles Smith and James Priestly Secretsundaze Volume 2, Secretsundaze Music, Album, October 13 ****
LONDON-based house and techno trend-setters Giles Smith and James Priestly release the second volume in their series based on club Secretsundaze.
Smith takes the first disc, kicking off with deep, hazy tracks from the likes of Mike Huckaby and Claro Intelecto, before moving on to more bass-heavy grooves from Mr G and Lawson, Finlow and Cappello.
Finishing off his mix, he squeezes in what is apparently his favourite track of all time, The Morning Factory by Ron Trent and Chez Damier.
Priestly then takes over the wheels of steel for the final leg of the tour through the daytime, outdoor Sunday club.
Relying more heavily on vocal-led tracks, he opens with Holy Ghost Inc's 1990 track Walk On Air, before delving into acid-house with a mix of I Need Your Love by The Rapture.
A glimpse into the underground that will sound equally at home in the comfort of your living room.
The Saturdays Up, Fascination Records, Single, October 13 *
MORE sugary pop from the latest girl band on the block, and further proof that you need more than a neon mini skirt and glossy production to shift records these days.
Girl bands seem to move in herds Ð where one leads, others follow. From Bananarama and The Bangles, to the Spice Girls and the countless wannabes they spawned, their sounds tend to morph into each other. Which may explain why this sounds like a watered-down Pussycat Dolls B-side.
Former members of S Club 7 mini mes S Club Juniors' latest effort is Euro disco by numbers Ð electro-tinged, helium vocals, with the obligatory key changes and an attempt at a catchy chorus.
It might make six year olds jump around for three minutes, but beyond that it's forgettable