James Blake "Life Round Here (MANIK Ghost Pines Rework)"**
New York City-raised funky-house wizard MANIK has a not-so-subtle passion for hazy, doe-eyed hipster R&B. Having done edits in the past of tracks by Frank Ocean, Toro Y Moi, and another James Blake treatment prior to this, MANIK has dipped into the well again, this time delivering a smooth makeover of James Blake's slowburner "Life Round Here," taken from the recent Overgrown LP. MANIK's take fakes the listener out at the jump, starting off like a mid-'90s slow jam before introducing a silky, disco-tinged house groove which anchors James Blake's chopped vocal refrain. Really, MANIK could've called it quits right there, and it would've been worth a listen, but the producer keeps holding down the fort, slowly sweetening the groove with a funkier bassline, more percussion, and wormhole-channeled fuzz. This edit comes as MANIK is gearing up for an eventful 2013, with his sophomore album, a collaborative 12" with beat alchemist Burnski called Yellow Jacket Girl (out May 22 via Culprit), and more in the works.