Manchester’s Aitch digs deep into his song stash for surprise drop Lost Files. Just when it seemed he would leave fans hanging for a project in 2023, this seven-track package follows 2022’s Close to Home with more star-studded, momentous rap. A further layer of intrigue is the unknown time span these “recovered” songs have been pulled from—they’re being released now, he’s said, because they might otherwise never see the light of day. More importantly, this mini bundle airs Aitch in ways we haven’t heard yet. He rises in resolute voice on the hazy trap-bounce of opener “Landslide”: “Been top five for like six years/Young OG, I’m still 23”. But elsewhere, he truly gets his shine on by targeting more explorative areas. In much loftier, far-reaching surroundings these days, Aitch’s best moments on the EP come as the flash feature on bilingual stepper “Heist” (with French-Polish rhymer PLK) or trading verses on Whyjay production (with Cordae on “Flame On”). Even after sailing internationally with a smoothly timed flow, North Manny’s favourite son proves he’s always repping, delivering yet another nod to home on drill linkup “Murdaside” (Remix) with buzzing newcomer Mazza_I20 and Potter Payper.