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YouTube | March 2023 SunNeverSetsOnMusic

YouTube | March 2023 SunNeverSetsOnMusic

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Cecile McLorin Salvant - Melusine

Melusine

by Cecile McLorin Salvant

Released 24 March 2023

Nonesuch Records

*****

A serpent woman haunts Cecile McLorin Salvant's dreams on her boldly realized seventh album, 2023's Mélusine. Inspired by the European folktale most famously detailed by 14th century French writer Jean d'Arras, Mélusine tells the tale of a shapeshifting maiden, half-serpent/half-woman, whose righteous anger takes on ever-more dualistic meanings under Salvant's dynamic musical sway. Having been lavished with accolades, including several Grammy Awards for her clarion, swinging jazz and French chanson-infused albums, Salvant has increasingly leaned into the more stylistically experimental and personal aspects of her artistry. It was an approach she took to new levels with 2022's Ghost Song, performing her poetic originals alongside unexpected covers of songs by Kate Bush and Sting. Centered on the title track, which she composed during the Ghost Song sessions, Mélusine is a gorgeously realized production. Although there are some English lyrics here, the album features the most French Salvant has sung on record. Thankfully, she offers translations of each song with a sentence that also highlights how each track illuminates the story.

Source/Read More... AllMusic

Altin Gun - A​ş​k

A​ş​k

by Altin Gün

Released 31 March 2023

Glitterbeat Records

*****

Portals to environments few could have ever envisaged.”
-- The Quietus

Their 5th album in as many years Aşk (deeper feeling of love), marks an exuberant return to the 70s Anatolian folk-rock sound that characterised Altın Gün’s first two albums.

It is a record that radiates the infectious energy found in the Amsterdam-based sextet’s celebrated live performances and next levels the group’s ground breaking sonic palette of Turkish psychedelic groove pop, sci-fi disco and dreamy acid folk.

------------------

The first thing that grabs you about Altın Gün’s new album is the energy.

With Aşk, the Amsterdam-based sextet turn away from the electronic, synth-drenched sound of their 2021 albums, Âlem and Yol. While those two, created at home during the pandemic, paid homage to the electronic pop of the 80s and early 90s, Aşk, marks an exuberant return to the 70s Anatolian folk-rock sound that characterised Altın Gün’s first two albums, On (2018) and Gece (2019).

But there’s development here too. Aşk is the closest the band have come so far to capturing the infectious energy of their live performances.

It’s this attention to detail in using vintage equipment and recording techniques that gives the album such a warm and welcoming sound. But, above all, this is the sound of friends and collaborators joyfully reconvening to make music together again in real time and space.

There’s also a deliberate return to the source in the material they’ve chosen for this album. All ten tracks are new readings of traditional Turkish folk tunes, revealing how these ancient songs remain eternally resonant and ripe for reinterpretation. “These songs have been covered so many times, always,” says Daşdemir “But not really in psychedelic pop versions,” Verhulst adds.
 

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Fatima Al Qadiri - Gumar (EP)

Gumar (EP)

by Fatima Al Qadiri

Released 10 March 2023

Hyperdub

*****

2021's 'Medieval Femme' felt like a carefully decorative interweaving of each strand of Al Qadiri's artistic practice. Using Medieval poetry as her inspiration, the veteran Hyperdub polymath was able to invoke "a simulated daydream through the metaphor of an Islamic garden", employing a sonic palette that blended her early vaporous post-club experimentation and her latter day work as an in-demand film composer.

'Gumar' expands the plot, letting it grow into new shapes with the assistance of the eponymous singer, whose name means "moon" in Arabic. The duo's touchstone for this fleeting set of lamentations is the traditional music both grew up with, and the music Gumar was formally trained in as a teenager. Piercing in ways that feel almost inhuman, it's a body of songs that considers the pain of unrequited love - a familiar topic for anyone who's spent time poring over Arabic music and poetry.

Source/Read More... Boomkat

Jen Cloher - I Am The River, the River Is Me

I Am The River, The River Is Me

by Jen Cloher

Released 3 March 2023

Milk! Records

*****

I Am The River, The River Is Me, Cloher’s fifth album, is verdant and rich; it luxuriates in stillness, and carries itself with cool, unfussy confidence. It suggests that home is not found in a place or a politic, but in the community you keep: Inspired by Cloher’s powerful matrilineal line of wāhine Māori, I Am The River, The River Is Me is not urgent, or hurried, but it is vital, made with the care and ease of someone who knows that their past began before birth, and will continue long after they’re gone. 
credits
Recorded between Aotearoa (NZ) and Naarm (Melbourne) with producers Tom Healy (Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams), Anika Ostendorf (Hachiku) and Cloher’s longtime drummer Jen Sholakis; the album brings in trailblazing artists including Emma Donovan (Gumbaynggirr, Yamatji), Kylie Auldist, Liz Stringer, Te Kaahu (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tīpā), Ruby Solly (Kai Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) and members of the Naarm-based Kapa Haka, Te Hononga o ngā Iwi. The entire record feels communal — a celebration not just of Cloher, but of the rich, life-filled communities that surround them. 

Source: Bandcamp

Yazmin Lacey - Voice Notes

Voice Notes

by Yazmin Lacey

Released 3 March 2023

Own Your Own Recoreds / Believe

*****

Yazmin Lacey is a singer-songwriter who knows something about coming into her own. She came to music late, she says – “It's never late, but late in the perspective of that I'm doing it now,” – almost as if by fate. And throughout her time in the music scene, the 33-year-old has used her music as an exercise in capturing those moments and putting them into song, as if a snapshot of the intimate parts of her own life.

Debut album Voice Notes is yet another record of those moments. It follows on from three stunning EP’s; Black Moon (2017), When The Sun Dips 90 Degrees (2018) and Morning Matters (2020), a trilogy of sorts, named in part by the settings in which they were written. Voice Notes is similarly inspired by something that helped the album spring to life. A long-held tool of her music-making and way of sharing melodies with collaborators, it’s a method of communication deeply special to her. “For me, a voice note represents an immediate reaction to something,” she says. “[It’s] unfiltered and raw in the way that you can hear it.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

U.S. Girls - Bless This Mess

Bless This Mess

by U.S. Girls

Released 24 February 2023

4AD

*****

The highly anticipated eighth album by U.S. Girls, the nom de plume of North American multi-disciplinary and experimental pop artist Meg Remy, will be released on 24 February entitled Bless This Mess. A dynamic suite of dexterous melodies and a nuanced artistic response to the complexities of motherhood, Bless This Mess was crafted in tandem with the conception and birth of Remy’s twin boys. It expands the sonic and thematic palette of U.S. Girls, fusing the muses of funk, mythology, and the radical disorientation of joy into an electric tapestry of anthems, aches, and awakenings.

Source/Read More.. Bandcamp

boygenius, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus - the record

the record

by boygenius

Released 31 March 2023

boygenius / Innerscope

*****

The opening line of boygenius’ ‘the record’ doubles as a thesis statement for the album: “Give me everything you got / I’ll take what I can get / I want to hear your story and be a part of it”. On ‘Without You Without Them’ Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus harmonise a sincere request, their voices taking on complimentary choral tones to create the shape of a timeless Americana folk song: it is haunting, beautiful and piercingly vulnerable. You have to have radically honest to start an album with a song like this, an acknowledgement that you want to be known deeply and meet others at that depth as well, but as ‘the record’ proves, boldness is something boygenius have in droves.

The supergroup began working on ‘the record’ back in 2020, two years after the surprise release of their debut self-titled EP. Since then, the trio have been busy making and touring music of their own, positioning themselves as generation-defining songwriters, picking up Grammy nominations, high-profile collaborations and the respect of their peers along the way. Somehow however, just a week after Bridgers’ critically-acclaimed second album ‘Punisher’ dropped, they found time to flirt with the idea of getting the band together again, sharing demos, asking questions and collapsing their individual songwriting and musical propensities into something new. They are a supergroup worth their salt, and one that take on extra powers when working together.

This debut is a gorgeous testament to what can happen when you allow yourself to fully be seen. Though each of the album’s 12 tracks could have fit nicely on one of their personal records, their work together takes on a brighter bolder existence, enabling them to light up individually and together at the same time. Bridgers, Dacus and Baker did the tedious work of getting to know each other artistically and collaboratively and then poured what they found out into the world. Now, we as listeners, get to benefit.

Source/Read More... NME

Lonnie Holley - Oh Me Oh My

Oh Me Oh My

by Lonnie Holley

Released 10 March 2023

Jagjaguwar

*****

Holley’s music and visual art (for which he has shown at The Met, The Smithsonian and is represented by the illustrious Blum & Poe) is much more about our place in the cosmos than the cosmos itself. It’s about how we overcome adversity and tremendous pain; about how we develop and maintain an affection for our fellow travelers; about how we stop wishing for some “beyond” and start caring for the one rock we have. Holley has never delivered this message as clear, as concise and as exhilaratingly as he does on his new album ‘Oh Me Oh My.’

‘Oh Me Oh My’ is both elegant and ferocious, sharpening the work contained on his 2018 Jagjaguwar debut ‘MITH’. 

Acclaimed collaborators like Michael Stipe (“Oh Me, Oh My”), Sharon Van Etten (“None of Us Will Have But a Little While”), Moor Mother (“I Am Part of the Wonder,” “Earth Will Be There”), Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (“Kindness Will Follow Your Tears”) and Rokia Koné (“If We Get Lost They Will Find Us”) serve as choirs of angels and co-pilots, giving Lonnie’s message flight, and reaffirming him as a galvanizing, iconoclastic force across the music community.
 

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Eddie Chacon - Sundown

Sundown

by Eddie Chacon

Released 31 March 2023

Stones Throw Records

*****

In 2021, Eddie Chacon and John Carroll Kirby decamped to Ibiza for two weeks. There, they rented the island’s only Fender Rhodes from one of the local rave crews. John posted it against the plaster walls and concrete floors of their temporary home, which was set into a green hillside overlooking a beach called Siesta. As they worked on Sundown, Pharoah Sanders’s “Greeting to Saud” was a daily listen. Instead of emulating its sound, Eddie absorbed its deeper lesson – that simplicity wins out over virtuosity every time.

They wrote the first half of Sundown during that Ibiza stay and finished it at 64 Sound Studios in Los Angeles, where they both live. Joining Eddie on vocals and John on production and keys were Logan Hone (flutes and saxophones) Elizabeth Lea (trombone), Will Logan (drums) and David Leach (percussion). “It feels like we’re building our dream house,” says Eddie. “With Pleasure, Joy, and Happiness, we poured the foundation and now we’re expanding into new rooms.”

The two artists have worked together before, on Eddie Chacon’s 2020 album, Pleasure, Joy and Happiness. It was in 2019, when he met John Carroll Kirby – a prolific artist in his own right who’s collaborated with Steve Lacy, Frank Ocean, Solange, and many more – that Chacon considered a return to releasing music. Pleasure, Joy and Happiness was meant to bring closure to a music career that began when Eddie was a teenager playing in Bay Area garage bands, and peaked in the 1990s when, as one half of the duo Charles & Eddie, he topped charts internationally with “Would I Lie To You”, before deserting the business. Eddie didn’t expect much from Pleasure’s release, and was amazed to find it resonated widely, gaining him a whole new fanbase and reinvigorating his career.

Eddie says that only at his age – 59 – could he have the life experience and quiet confidence to make Sundown. That this new record exists at all is a surprise to its creator. As Eddie says, “Sundown is the follow-up I never thought I would get to make.”

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Billy Valentine & The Universal Truth

Billy Valentine & The Universal Truth

by Billy Valentine & The Universal Truth

Released 24 March 2023

Acid Jazz Acquisitions

*****

The album sees Billy alongside a stellar cast of musicians, including Larry Goldings, Jeff Parker, Pino Paladino, James Gadson, Linda May Oh, Alex Acuña, Amber Navram from Moonchild and Blue Note recording artists Joel Ross and Immanuel Wilkins. They re-cast a series of important songs from the African-American songbook in a unique and inimitable style, profoundly influenced by the events that were going on around them throughout 2020 to 2022, when the album was recorded at the historic EastWest Studios in LA. The works of Mayfield and Scott-Heron are joined by those of Pharaoh Sanders, Prince, Stevie Wonder, War and Eddie Kendricks. It is a sonically stunning and emotionally moving record.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Julian Lage - The Layers (EP)

The Layers (EP)

by Julian Lage

Released 17 March 2023

Blue Note Records

*****

When guitarist Julian Lage released View with a Room in 2022, he was seeking the answer to a question: "Can you have lush orchestration combined with organic improvisation and the agility of a small ensemble?" He discovered clues in studying the electric guitar's history on recordings. Lage felt the need for an additional musical voice and recruited guitar icon Bill Frisell, who appeared with Lage's rhythm section -- bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King -- on seven of the recording's ten pieces.

The Layers is a direct companion; Lage considers it a "prequel," despite appearing afterward. The six tunes included here were cut during the recording sessions for View with a Room, and like its predecessor, the music was produced by singer/songwriter Margaret Glaspy and mixed by Mark Goodell.

Source/Read More... AllMusic

Katie Gately - Fawn/Brute

Fawn/Brute

by Katie Gately

Released 31 March 2023

Houndstooth

****-

American experimental musician and producer Katie Gately is up to mischief on her new album Fawn/Brute, 11 songs of innocence and experience exploring the light and dark of childhood energy following the birth of her first daughter. It is an album of two halves, that moves from the effervescence of early years to the defiance and turbulence of teenage angst.

Events in recent years gave her the space to acknowledge what she had been putting off: "For me, that was having a baby," she says. "I turned to my husband and said 'I think we should have a kid'. When I got pregnant I started to get creative again. I had a lot of energy at first, but later on, my pregnancy was stressful and worrying, so the music got darker and darker: I was making angry music while I was supposed to be feeling maternal." The album is dedicated to her young daughter Quinn, born in 2021 – the track 'Fawn' is a love letter to her.

Quinn is referenced in the artwork's harlequin, with two readings of the harlequin's mischief captured in the two sides of the record, being both cheeky and transgressive with disruptive intent.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Kali Uchis - Red Moon In Venus

Red Moon In Venus

by Kali Uchis

Released 3 March 2023

Geffen Records

****-

Few artists in the 2020s are as deserving of carte blanche as Kali Uchis. Before delivering Red Moon in Venus, the singer and songwriter had earned a Latin Grammy nomination, a Grammy win for Best Dance Recording, and other nominations in the R&B and Música Urbana fields, plus platinum certifications as headliner or co-star of five rather different singles. Isolation and Sin Miedo (Del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞ behind her, Uchis seemed primed for the difficult third album with every right to unload a carnivalesque triple LP presented as a fuzzy concept with enough stylistic whimsicality to offer something for everyone. Red Moon in Venus instead is highly concentrated in every respect. Flush with supple slow jams and celestial ballads, it's mostly about love, from possessiveness and blissful escape to vexation and bittersweet farewell. While it doesn't have the swagger or humor of Isolation, it's engaging from start to finish, consistently palatable. Uchis somehow displays as much charisma and vocal elasticity as ever, and her verses are often as instantly memorable as her hooks

Source/Read More... AllMusic

Tzusing - 绿帽 Green Hat

绿帽 Green Hat

by Tzusing

Released 31 March 2023

PAN

****-

During the Tang dynasty (around the 9th Century CE), traveling intellectual Li Yuanming would routinely leave home to write and debate poetry with like-minded scholars across China, isolating his wife Cifu for sometimes weeks on end. Frustrated, she found comfort in the arms of a widowed neighbor and to signal that it was safe to approach, she stitched a special green hat that she handed to her husband as he was about to leave town; but during one trip Li returned home early and caught Cifu and their neighbor together, and when the local community caught wind of the story, the green hat became an enduring symbol of infidelity.

On Tzusing's sophomore album the Malaysian-born artist, who grew up between Singapore, Taiwan, China, and the USA and now lives between Shanghai and Taipei, meditates on China's complicated history of patriarchal heteronormativity, and how these archaic double standards continue to dominate the culture in pervasive, often invisible ways. Even in progressive circles, internalized male inadequacy and its inevitable projection of possessiveness and aggression has been brushed underneath the rug, so by addressing it head-on, Tzusing attempts to question these structures using a level of aesthetic anxiety and thematic intensity that's hard to ignore.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

London Brew - London Brew

​London Brew

by London Brew

Released 31 March 2023

Downtown Music UK / Concord Jazz

****-

“London Brew” is a group of 12 London based artists: Benji B, Raven Bush, Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, Tom Herbert, Shabaka Hutchings, Nikolaj Torp Larsen, Dave Okumu, Nick Ramm, Dan See, Tom Skinner and Martin Terefe. The group came together for a three-day recording session at The Church Studios in London on December 7, 2020 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Bitches Brew

"It was a pleasure to record with such a talented group of UK musicians and friends, and to work with the producers on this amazing project. It was made more special by the iconic space we were in (Paul Epworth’s Church Studios). We were all so excited to make music together again during that time of lockdown. This session was special in so many ways and we poured all of it into the music.” - Nubya Garcia

"For me, that's what Bitches Brew is. It's a bunch of musicians making music because of the love of making music, as a social force and as a social construct. They are creating something that expresses unity and motion. That's what it is to be alive… you know, you have unity, you have motion, and you have vibration. You don't get any more alive than that. That's Bitches Brew." - Shabaka Hutchings

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Cruel Diagonals - Fractured Whole

Fractured Whole
by Cruel Diagonals

Released 24 March 2023

Cruel Diagonals/Beacon Sound

****-

Los Angeles musician Megan Mitchell returns with a new Cruel Diagonals album that resonates with maximum emotional impact. Constructed entirely with sounds generated by her own voice – chopped up, warped, rendered unrecognizable, ringing out in hymn-like incantations – Fractured Whole is a powerful and timeless exploration of vulnerability, resistance, and the freedom to be yourself.

"Megan Mitchell drops you straight into the chasm... beguiling" – NPR

"...an immersive, even holy experience" – A Closer Listen

"Ambient music that's both expressive and empathetic" – Pitchfork

Excerpted from the liner notes by Robert Ham:

Megan Mitchell opens her latest album Fractured Whole in much the same way she did with her previous full-length 2021’s A Dormant Vigor, with the sound of her voice intoning a series of notes. 

But listening to them side-by-side, the differences between the two are stark. Not simply in the notes that Mitchell chooses to sing but in the emotion and depth and power behind that crystal-clear mezzo-soprano. On “Penance,” the first track on Fractured Whole, she bears the weight of hundreds of years of music written for singers and her own complex history with ease, evoking everything from the sacred music of Hildegard von Bingen to the satanic masses of Diamanda Galas with each intertwining melody.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Depeche Mode - Memento Mori

Memento Mori

by Depeche Mode

Released 24 March 2023

Venusnote/Columbia

****-

Memento Mori is an anomaly. Album 15 of a 40-year career is supposed to be business as usual. It’s supposed to be slightly worse than the one that came before, which was slightly worse than the one that came before. It’s supposed to have a lead single that sort of sounds like a big hit from the back catalogue, plus a bunch of other songs that sound tired at best. It’s not supposed to be a time for firsts. And it’s really not supposed to be this good.

But Depeche Mode are an anomaly too. Still trading on their outsider status, they’re the shiny synthpoppers from Basildon who lost their main songwriter after one album, but, within a decade, were selling out stadiums in the United States with dark, twisted songs about death, sex, and religion. Now, more than 30 years after the commercial peak of Violator, the “biggest underground band in the world” have just begun an ever-expanding 80-date global tour. Clearly, Memento Mori didn’t have to be a time for firsts. Except it did.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t just work its way into main songwriter Martin Gore’s lyrics (they’re even more focused on loss and isolation than ever before); lockdown opened him up to trying something new: writing with someone outside the band for the first time. And here’s the truth: those four collaborations with Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs are some of Depeche Mode’s best songs in years. The imperial Ghosts Again? That’s just one.

Memento Mori’s other first was even more dramatic and unexpected. The sudden death of founding member (and Gore’s best friend) Andy Fletcher just six weeks before recording started, didn’t just change the mood of the sessions. It changed the whole dynamic of the group. “Fletch” didn’t write or sing anything. But he was the tastemaker, the one who reigned in the more esoteric tendencies of Gore and frontman Dave Gahan. He was the cheerleader (“Depeche Mode’s biggest fan”), the one who kept the mood up during long days in the studio. He was the diplomat, the one who acted as a filter (and sometimes peacemaker) between the two creatives.

Without him, Gore and Gahan were forced to confront their differences and collaborate more intimately and honestly than ever before.

Source/Read More... Louder Than War

Fever Ray - Radical Romantics

Radical Romantics

by Fever Ray

Released 10 March 2023

Rabid Records

****-

"Wish me courage, strength, and a sense of humor," Karin Dreijer sings on Radical Romantics, but that's not necessary -- their third Fever Ray album shows they have these virtues in abundance as they love on their own terms and even dare to have fun with it. Musically, Radical Romantics may not be quite as revolutionary as its predecessor Plunge, but the way Dreijer strips away anything that gets in the way of expressing love, lust, and need still feels adventurous. Indeed, the album's joyous neon heart offers some of Dreijer's most radiant music since the Knife's "Heartbeats." It's no coincidence that they reunited with their brother and former bandmate, Olof Dreijer, who helped Karin build a studio in Stockholm to create this "love album" and co-produced several of its finest tracks. Dreijer often seems more relaxed and more forthcoming on Radical Romantics than on Fever Ray's previous albums. Fans may have anticipated another epic like Plunge, but the more approachable, more personal choices Dreijer makes here are often just as risky and just as rewarding.

Source/Read More... AllMusic

Ali Farka Toure - Voyageur

Voyageur

by Ali Farka Toure

Released 10 March 2023

World Circuit / BMG

****-

One of the most celebrated African musicians, Ali Farka Toure was a frequent collaborator with Ry Cooder, Toumani Diabaté, Taj Mahal and others, but always on his own terms; he invited people into his world rather than vice versa. World Circuit, his UK-based label for much of his career, has unearthed this cache of lost songs recorded between 1991 and 2004 in London and Bamako. They have been lightly touched up by label founder Nick Gold and Ali’s son, Vieux Farka Touré, but the essence remains the same: gentle but implacable guitar grooves, songs that move at the pace of the Sahara.
At its most stripped down, there is “Malahani”, with Ali accompanying his sensual lyrics on guitar, Hama Sankaré giving a steady beat on dry calabash and guitarist Badi Ag Agali adding an insistent Touareg rhythm. The three songs with Sangaré, including the leisurely “Chèrie”, rank among the strongest either of them have ever recorded.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is the maximalist “Kombo Galia”, Touré joined by Bassekou Kouyaté, Mama Sissoko and Dassy Sarré with a triple ngoni frontline and an army of backing vocalists. As the music buzzes and fizzes in multiple polyrhythms, Touré unreels tight electric guitar solos. “OK,” he cries at the end, delighted, as the musicians spontaneously applaud.
 

Source/Read More... Financial Times

Isabella Antena - En Cavale

En Cavale (Deluxe / Reissue)

by Isabelle Antena

Released 24 February 2023

Numero Group

****-

After an aborted demo deal with Island Records, Belgian electro-samba wunderkinds Antena split at the end of 1985. Singer Isabelle Antena wasted no time, immediately shedding her cold wave crown for a sophisticated pop princess tiara. On 1986’s En Cavale, echos of Madonna and city pop abound, with a lipstick stain of L80s Euro dance and spilled cosmopolitan’s worth of bossa nova stirred in for good measure. The elegant second chapter of a French pop treasure.

Source: Bandcamp

Neil Murray - The Telling

The Telling

by Neil Murray

Released 31 March 2023

Island Home Music

****-

After three albums with the Warumpi Band and one with Sammy Butcher, ‘The Telling’ will be Neil Murray's 10th original solo album and mark a recording career of four decades since the Warumpi Band released their debut single, “Jailanguru Pakarnu” (Out from Jail) in 1983.

‘The Telling’, recorded in Melbourne by Roger Bergodaz and mixed in Sydney by Ted Howard, contains some of his strongest songs ever.

Murray has never held back from the way he sees it and he’s not about to let up here, with a litany of injustice and loss, both historic and recent, explored on much of the album.

The opening tracks “Broken Land”, “No Justice” and “Tears of Wybalenna” present a powerful and moving reckoning.

“Rainbow Serpent and a Mine” (co- written with traditional owner Jack Green) brings graphic detail to the devastation wrought by the McArthur River mine near Borrooloola.

“The Murrumbidgee” is an affirmation of perseverance and hope despite environmental setbacks.

The troubled affairs of the heart gain clarity in “Heal my life”, and the honouring of the departed are heard in “For Evermore” and “The Manager”.

A positive reflection on an indigenous town, “My Yuendumu Song” and a sea shanty “If the Wind be Kind” round out the album.

‘The Telling’ sees instrumental contributions from Bill Heckenberg (drums), Craig Kelly (bass), Stephen “Stretch” Teakle (keys, accordion, clavietta), Damien Neil (mandolin, guitar), Jack Howard (trumpet), and Shane Reilly (pedal steel), with vocal harmonies from Grace Robinson and Damien Neil.

Source/Read More... Trad and Now

Sasha Orchestra - World of Friends

World of Friends

by Sashin Orchester, Sasha Shlain

Released 31 March 2023

Sashin Orchester

****-

From Lucerne, Switzerland, SaShin Orhester is an electro-acoustic chamber band (small classical orchestra and pop / jazz band ) founded by composer and music producer Sasha (Alexander) Shlain.

It represents a versatile modern formation capable of performing in any given genre and style.
The orchestra combines various classical and electronic instruments to fully express challenging instrumental music, of a theatrical nature.

Sasha (Alexander) Shlain is an award-winning composer, producer, pianist and keyboardist, whose varied work covers world music productions, music for the theater, concert, chamber, choral and Jazz music. He is also a versatile and experienced arranger / “orchestrator” in a variety of music genres and has been working in both live and digital settings. Sasha is best known for his musical projects with contemporary dance company “Dysoundbo”, chamber band project “Sashin Orchester” and numerous produced songs and instrumental pieces with different artists around the globe.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

and SaSha Shlain Music

Shana Cleveland - Manzanita

Manzanita

by Shana Cleveland

Released 10 March 2023

Hardly Art

****-

There’s a single track title on Shana Cleveland’s dazzlingly good third solo album that tells a thousand stories. The song is called Sheriff of the Salton Sea, and it captures the mood of the record perfectly: the Salton Sea is a saltwater lake in southern California, whose waters and shores have been despoiled by human exploitation, despite it being a short drive from Palm Springs, that Californian symbol of turning the desert into a playground.

Manzanita is an album about the contrast between beauty and desolation. The lyrics offer both. Mystic Mine Lane opens with Cleveland – by day, frontwoman of surf-rockers La Luz – hymning life outside the city in the most disconcerting way: “Mystic Mine Lane, cars rotting away / I feel so relieved to be / Back in the country.” Or try Ten Hour Drive Through West Coast Disaster: “Ten hour drive through West Coast disaster / Saw the flames and fire planes over Shasta / Cattle farms out of horror films / Will you find a way to love this world?”
The music, though, leans right into the beauty – it’s soft and ornate, a perfectly woven tapestry of delight. Cleveland’s soft, blank voice and acoustic guitar are supplemented by upright bass, Wurlitzer, glockenspiel and pedal steel to create something that’s at the Venn diagram intersection of the baroque psychedelia of the Left Banke, Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter pop, and a kind of gothic folk. It’s utterly transfixing – not just for the gorgeousness of the tone, but for the absolute wondrousness of the melodies.

Source/Read More... The Guardian

Philip Selway - Strange Dance

Strange Dance

by Philip Selway

Released 24 February 2023

Bella Union

****-

When Philip Selway approached some of his favourite musicians to play on his third solo record he said he imagined it as a Carole King record if she collaborated with the pioneering electronic composer Daphne Oram and invited him to drum on it. Unsurprisingly they were all sold, and so began the bringing together of an extraordinary number of gifted people, including Hannah Peel, Adrian Utley, Quinta, Marta Salogni, Valentina Magaletti and Laura Moody.

Foregrounding this remarkable union of musical voices was 10 songs written by Selway at home on piano and guitar that show him at the height of his songwriting powers. From the opening track, Little Things, we immediately hear a new sense of scale. Following the acoustic Familial, his first solo album, then Weatherhouse (slightly more fleshed-out, as he puts it, working with Adem Ilhan and Quinta), Strange Dance sees Selway using all the craft and learning he has gathered over the last decade of solo work outside of Radiohead.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Larry Goldings, Kaveh Rastegar, Abe Rounds - Better

Better

by Larry Goldings, Kaveh Rastegar, Abe Rounds

Released 10 March 2023

Ropeadope

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The experience of making this music carries quite a bit of meaning for these three musicians. “We quickly realized how much BETTER this experience made us all feel, amidst the uncertainty and darkness of Covid,” said Goldings, “and Abe, Kaveh and Pete were my musical, creative and psychological salvation during the early days. I’m really indebted to them.” “This record was special,” said Rounds, “because it was my first in-person human musical interaction for at least a year.” Rastegar added, “Again, not to be too dramatic, but getting together with Larry and Abe and playing music reminded me that I could still play the bass–music was still a thing I could do.” These sentiments mirrored those that were near-universal among all musicians, many of whom have professed to feeling profound relief and joy at the resumption of a social artistic life.

What we all realized was getting together to make music made us feel...well, better.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Weval - Remember

Remember

by Weval

Released 3 March 2023

Technicolour

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Amsterdam-based duo Weval (made up of Harm Coolen & Merijn Scholte Albers) announce their long awaited new album “Remember”, out 3rd March on Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour. With the announcement the duo share a new single “Don’t Lose Time”. The album embarks on a high energy journey of nostalgic memories and euphoric emotions, seeing the electronic duo reminisce on their own musical journey while reflecting on key influences and inspiration over the years. “We played and embraced this with unshameful nostalgic feelings around discovering music as young music fans” they commented.

‘Remember’ plays around with memory and its ability to distort. As Weval elaborate, “Time is constantly escaping you and when you look back, memories distort - sometimes negatively, sometimes fake, sometimes euphoric and romanticised.” This central theme is explored in sonic contrasts as Weval employ heavily contorted beats with the potential to destroy speakers, only to be salvaged from the brink of collapse by melodically hopeful chords. Their new bombastic sound came as a result of new songwriting methods that saw Weval mashing together seemingly disparate ideas that held completely different lives and energies. Elements of pop, dance and every genre in between are thrown in and whittled down to make their most intense, spontaneous and substantial work to date

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Wadada Leo Smith, Orange Wave Electric - Fire Illuminations

Fire Illuminations

by Wadada Leo Smith, Orange Wave Electric

Released 31 March 2023

Kabell Records

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Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith with Orange Wave Electric, an all-star electric band including guitarists Nels Cline, Brandon Ross and Lamar Smith; bassists Bill Laswell and Melvin Gibbs; electronic musician Hardedge; percussionist Mauro Refosco; and drummer Pheeroan akLaff.
Legendary trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith debuts his all-star ensemble Orange Wave Electric with the exhilarating Fire Illuminations. This scintillating album features Nels Cline, Brandon Ross, Lamar Smith, Bill Laswell, Melvin Gibbs, Hardedge, Pheeroan akLaff and Mauro Refosco.

“Wadada Leo Smith has played an outsize role in American experimental music for the last 50 years.” – Seth Colter Walls, New York Times

“In a half-century of recording, [Wadada Leo Smith] has never stopped exploring the parameters of the form and instrument.” – Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz

Throughout 2022, Wadada Leo Smith celebrated his 80th birthday with one of the most prolific and creative year’s worth of releases in his – and perhaps anybody’s – history to date. Lest anyone should imagine that this breathtaking run was in any way valedictory, the now 81-year-old Smith returns with his first of several planned releases for 2023.
 

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Polobi & The Gwo Ka Masters - Abri Cyclonique

Abri Cyclonique

by Polobi & the Gwo Ka Masters

Released 17 February 2023

Real World Records

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In the Lesser Antilles—the span of small Caribbean islands that curl back towards the continent of South America—the threat of hurricanes is an existential one, capable of wiping life, civilization, and memory away in one fell swoop. Guadeloupean native Polobi, now 70, has seen plenty of such storms in his lifetime and is aware of that natural power, and the frailty of human life in the face of such storms. So it’s fitting that he names his debut album Abri Cyclonique, making music that embraces and emulates both the gentlest splendors of the natural world around him and cognizance of its true brutal force.

From a young age, Polobi fell under the sway of gwoka, the creolized music originating from the island, a rhythmic sound that can be traced back to the 1600s, as born from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the Caribbean. As a child, he witnessed gwoka master Guy Conquète in performance and took to the music, rhythms, and ritualistic dance. But it was only in late 2020 that Polobi’s own songs were finally heard beyond the ​​confines of the lush forest surrounding his home. It was still the high tide of the pandemic, but Polobi left isolation to join a jam session at his neighbor’s house. That neighbor, percussionist (and noted collaborator for the likes of David Murray, Taj Mahal, Pharoah Sanders) Klod Kiavué was struck by Polobi’s singular, rough-hewn songs, determined to bring them to a wider audience.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Chris Potter - Got The Keys to the Kingdom: Live at the Village Vanguard

Got The Keys To The Kingdom: LIve at the Village Vanguard

by Chris Potter

Released 17 February 2023

Edition Records

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One of the finest saxophonists on the planet teams up with an all-star heavy-weight band at the storied New York venue in a set of covers. This is some of the most classic and exciting live music from a modern, small band ensemble that you’ll hear today.

‘Got the Keys to the Kingdom’ is the new album from world-renowned saxophonist Chris Potter, recorded live at the Village Vanguard in February 2022. Since joining Edition Records in 2019, he has released two albums with his Circuits Trio (featuring James Francies and Eric Harland), as well as the multi-tracked solo record: ‘There Is A Tide’. Chris’ latest album features an all-star band comprising Craig Taborn, Scott Colley and Marcus Gilmore, recorded live in arguably the most famous and revered Jazz club in the world.

 

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Cisser Maehl - Innemuseum

Innemuseum

by Cisser Maehl

Released 3 March 2023

Sonic Pieces

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Innemuseum is the debut album by Danish composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Cisser Mæhl. The 10 fragile compositions for vocals, sparse electronics and a myriad of instrumentation illuminate a hushed charm unlike few other Sonic Pieces releases to date.

The album sparked off while Cisser was working in a mountain lodge in mid Norway during summer 2019. On her spare time she would find herself recording mountains, rivers, stones, plants and animals in the beautiful scenery. After moving to Oslo shortly after, she rented a studio to further work on her own music, songs and sound processing. Through some friends she met Norwegian artist Jenny Hval who became an inspiration as she started taking solo classes with her. Jenny then pushed to contact producer Lasse Marhaug to work together. This became the last piece of the puzzle for Innemuseum to come to fruition as Lasse ended up putting the final touches on the album. When Cisser returned to Copenhagen after 7 months in Oslo, the album was finished. The title “Innemuseum” refers to both the dark months in Oslo and the retraction towards the inner self. An inner museum - music from within, both as a person and as in physical places.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Elaine Howley - The Distance Between Heart and Mouth

The Distance Between Heart And Mouth

by Elaine Howley

Released 12 August 2022

Touch Sensitive

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Touch Sensitive Records proudly presents the Cork-based musician Elaine Howley’s debut solo album 'The Distance Between Heart and Mouth'. The product of an audio diary kept on a 4 track cassette machine throughout 2019 and 2020, the album recreates the intimacy of a radio show filled with Howley’s favourite sounds, pallets, and textures; effortlessly joining the dots between pop and experimentation, summoning the kaleidoscopic world of Trish Keenan & Broadcast, the bruised lo-fi soul of Tirzah and the dubbed-out blues of Leslie Winer. Over nine patient, spontaneous self-recorded and produced tracks, Elaine Howley traces the outline of a small space that could be considered one of the longest journeys to be taken - 'The Distance Between Heart And Mouth'.

As a member of Crevice, Howlbux and, perhaps most notably, psychedelic rock group The Altered Hours, Elaine Howley is renowned as a singular voice in the Irish underground. 'The Distance Between Heart and Mouth' is her most personal statement to date.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Ane Brun - Portrayals

Portrayals

by Ane Brun

Released 10 March 2023

Balloon Ranger Recordings

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Conceived as a way of honouring her most loved versions of other people’s songs, Portrayals is a new compilation from Norwegian–Swedish singer-songwriter Ane Brun featuring thirteen classic covers, each remade in her own distinctive emotional language.

Over the past two decades, Brun has quietly established herself as one of the great northern interpreters of song. Just as her own songwriting has grown more ambitious, so has her approach to taking on a cover. “It’s still a creative process, to record a version of someone else’s song,” she says. “The whole concept of doing a cover that’s just like the original is not interesting to me.”

Inspired by artists like Cat Power and especially Nina Simone, who had an almost supernatural ability to wear any song as if it was her own, Brun fashions her covers at first through intuition. 

The title Portrayals implies a more holistic process of artistic representation, as opposed to portraits, which are often only head-and-shoulders deep.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Yo La Tengo - This Stupid World

This Stupid World

by Yo La Tengo

Released 10 February 2023

Matador Records

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It's encouraging that nearly four decades into one of the most impressive careers in indie rock, Yo La Tengo are still finding new ways of doing things. On 2018's There's A Riot Going On, the band upended their usual process of writing material and then re-creating it in the studio by setting up recording gear in their rehearsal space and capturing their music in a freer and more spontaneous manner. For that album, YLT handed the tracks over to John McEntire (of Tortoise and the Sea and Cake) for mixing, but 2023's This Stupid World sees them cutting out the last middleman in their process -- this time, the band mixed the tracks themselves, and for the first time they've made an album with essentially no outside input. Yo La Tengo have been doing what they do long enough that they know and trust their process, and This Stupid World doesn't seem radically different from their work of the last 10 or 15 years. That said, this music feels warmer and more emotionally satisfying than anything YLT have given us since 2009's Popular Songs.

Source/Read More... AllMusic

Rarelyalways - WORK

WORK

by Rarelyalways

Released 10 March 2023

Innovative Leisure

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“Music is soft power, it’s a form of diplomacy, it’s a way to unite.” For RarelyAlways a sense of purpose is rarely far from the surface. That’s been true in everything he’s done, as a musician across a huge range of scenes and sounds, as a writer, as an entrepreneur and youth worker – but now, with his debut solo album Work on the horizon, it’s really coming into focus. He may have “always been a shapeshifter” as he puts it, and Work be full of a dazzling array of sounds, but at the same time he has always retained a creative and ethical core to all he does. And as he steps up to take the microphone, on stage as much as in the studio, that is coming to the fore. With his already deep and broad musical and life experience, he’s in a unique position to offer something entirely new to UK music – and you’d better believe he has something to say.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Thee Sacred Souls - Thee Sacred Souls

Thee Sacred Souls

by Thee Sacred Souls

Released 26 August 2022

Daptone Records

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For Thee Sacred Souls, the first time is often the charm. The band’s first club dates led to a record deal with the revered Daptone label; their first singles racked up more than ten million streams in a year and garnered attention from Billboard, Rolling Stone, and KCRW; and their first fans included the likes of Gary Clark Jr., The Black Pumas, Princess Nokia, and Timbaland. Now, the breakout San Diego trio is ready to deliver yet another landmark first with the release of their self-titled debut. 

“Every step of the way has just been so organic,” says drummer Alex Garcia. “Things just seem to happen naturally when the three of us get together.”

Indeed, there’s something inevitable about the sound of Thee Sacred Souls, as if Garcia and his bandmates—bassist Sal Samano and singer Josh Lane—have been playing together for a lifetime already. Produced by Bosco Mann (aka Daptone co-founder Gabriel Roth), Thee Sacred Souls is a warm and textured record, mixing the easygoing grace of sweet ’60s soul with the grit and groove of early ’70s R&B, and the performances are utterly intoxicating, with Lane’s weightless vocals anchored by the rhythm section’s deep pocket and infectious chemistry. Hints of Chicano, Philly, Chicago, Memphis, and even Panama soul turn up here, and while it’s tempting to toss around labels like “retro” with a deliberately analog collection like this, there’s also something distinctly modern about the band that defies easy categorization, a rawness and a sincerity that transcends time and place.

Source: Thee Sacred Souls

STR4TA - The Demus Dubs

The Demus Dubs (EP)

by STR4TA

Released 17 March 2023

Brownswood Recordings

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Legendary London producer Demus follows up his remix of STR4TA’s first single and selects four tracks to reimagine from the band’s sophomore album STR4TASFEAR, turning in a lean, mean dance floor-ready remix EP. Demus dials up the bass and kicks and dubs out the vocals to transform the source material into funk-inflected, club thumpers designed to shake up a sound system.

Demus AKA Dilip Harris is a veteran producer and mix engineer with an outrageously varied discography that includes everyone from Little Dragon and King Krule to Kamasi Washington and Mount Kimbie - but his background in London soundsystem culture runs like a thread through all his work. His relationship with Gilles Peterson, began all the way back in 1990 when he co-produced UK Soul classic Road to Freedom by Young Disciples for Peterson’s seminal Talkin’ Loud label. It was only right then that Gilles decided to tap his talents again to remix his new project STR4TA’s first single.

Source/Read More... Bandcamp

Rodolphe Burger, Sofiane Saidi, Mehdi Haddab - Mademoiselle

Mademoiselle

by Rodolphe Burger, Sofiane Saidi, Mehdi Haddab

Released 3 March 2023

Derniere Bande

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At the turn of a song, a conversation or a memory, the ghost of Rachid Taha haunts us. His shadow now lights up the super-group Mademoiselle, a three-headed hydra – strongheads, hotheads – who all have a history with the greatest French rocker (Johnny who?). Rodolphe Burger (voice, guitar), Mehdi Haddab (electric oud) and Sofiane Saidi (voice, keyboards, machines, bass) have often crossed paths in recent years. In the company of Rachid Taha, but also in various projects on the rock-electro-oriental register cleared by him. The constitution of a trio, in 2020, thanks to a residency at the Dynamo de Banlieues Bleues, was therefore obvious. Contrary to fusions assembled with apparent strings, Mademoiselle forms a block, an alloy of her egos melted under the fire of ardent music. Fevered by the tension of the strings and the trance of the machines, the trio travels from stage to stage, at breakneck speed in a 504 whose mileage attests to the round trips between the raï of Sidi Bel Abbès, the blues of the Delta and Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Alsace, where the album was recorded. It will be released on March 3, 2023, consisting of joint compositions, on texts in French and Arabic shared by Rodolphe Burger and Sofiane Saidi, in addition to covers of George Thorogood (I Drink Alone) and Jimi Hendrix (Hey Baby) to which Mehdi Haddab is often compared. Under her title of civility, Mademoiselle hides three biting personalities whose association produces a poetry that would very much please the beloved ghost.

Source / Read More... Bandcamp (via Google Translate)

Rival Consoles- Now Is

Now Is

by Rival Consoles

Released 14 October 2022

Erased Tapes

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Rival Consoles' eighth album follows two of the most ambitious, conceptual releases the producer has made so far, Articulation and Overflow. On Now Is, he seems to be deliberately stepping back from the headiness of his previous two albums and creating something lighter and more easygoing, with a natural flow to it. The record incorporates acoustic instruments along with modular synthesizers, though usually in a subtle manner, with woodwinds momentarily drifting in the mix near the beginning of "Frontiers," for example. The tracks tend to focus on glowing, breathing melodies rather than complex rhythms. "World Turns" features staggered patterns and dusty feedback over a steady midtempo thump, while the particularly stirring "Eventually" has icy notes rippling from a post-dubstep beat. The simmering title track is closer to the ambient side of trance, with a bridge featuring distant tones blurring the lines between strings and synths. "Echoes" has a simple, standout melody that is explored in great detail, with chiming percussion folded in during the breakdown, and "Running" similarly contains crafty drum editing. While the album is never quite intense, it definitely slows down and decreases its energy during the final stretch. "The Fade" is a blurry, snowy interlude, and "A Warning" is closer to ambient jazz, with slow, gentle drums steadily framing a gleaming melody that is slightly twisted and smudged through effects. Lastly, "Quiet Home" is a glacial piano piece that feels like bundling up by the fire in a cabin during a blizzard.

Source: AllMusic

Matthew Herbert - The Wonder (Soundtrack from the Netflix Film)

The Wonder (Soundtrack from the Netflix Film)

by Matthew Herbert

Released 16 November 2022

Netflix Music

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Director Sebastián Lelio’s (A Fantastic Woman) long-time collaborator Matthew Herbert – the two have now worked together on Lelio’s four most recent features – delivers the best work of his career with the spellbinding, downright eerie original score for The Wonder. A Netflix gem of a film led by Florence Pugh (Little Women), The Wonder is one of the most unique releases this year; the same can be said of Herbert’s original score.

Herbert’s score is an eclectic concoction of ethereal voices, chiming bells, melancholic strings, and droning synths. The opening track, “Calling”, couples perfectly with The Wonder’s own intriguing start, which places us in a warehouse sound stage, slowly zooming into the set of The Irish Midlands in 1862, thus beginning this fascinating fable. The utilisation of more modern instruments and vocals are a constant reminder that this is, very knowingly, a story from the 1800s being told to an audience in the 21st Century.

As Pugh’s English nurse Lib Wright struggles to adapt to the religious ways of this new world that she finds herself in, Herbert’s original score becomes increasingly shrouded in mystery – and yet he still finds time for hopeful tangents, most notably in the climactic “Reunion”. Utilising similar instrumentals from earlier in the film but in a marginally different way, Herbert builds to a tremendous finale and also introduces a new tune which mirrors Lib Wright’s positive fresh direction. The same choral work takes on renewed meaning.

The culmination to Herbert’s original score provides an optimistic and touching tangent to the beguilement that has preceded it, reinforcing it as the best score of 2022.

Source: Loud and Clear

Lambert - All This Time

All This Time

by Lambert

Released 10 March 2023

Verve Records

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The man in the mask returns with his eighth album; but this time he reveals his true musical self. German composer/musician Lambert goes back to his earliest influences and, with All This Time, delivers his sublime jazz album.

All the best thrillers start with an intriguing hook. Take those opening scenes of Christopher Nolan’s epic, The Dark Knight, as the bank heist unfolds. The villains reference the crime’s mastermind, the mysterious Joker, referencing that none of them have actually seen him. As the scene closes, we realise that Batman’s arch enemy has been in the frame the entire time. We are hooked.

Before the needle hits the record, Lambert intrigues us by virtue of the fact that, just like the Joker and Batman, our star of the show chooses to hide his true identity behind a mask. We are captivated before a note on that grand piano is struck. Of course, this enigmatic artist doesn’t rely on that Sardinian mask to hold us rapt for the next thirty-nine minutes. No, the thing that keeps us engaged throughout is the quality of the music.

There’s something else intriguing about All This Time, which is Lambert’s eighth album, and that is the new direction taken by this German musician/composer. Since his eponymous debut in 2014, he has become renowned as a neo-classical artist, continually bracketed with his contemporaries, Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds (with whom he has previously performed). Whilst his subsequent releases saw him dip his toe into other waters, it is fair to say that modern classical has remained his primary genre. Until now. In the lead up to this release, Lambert has effectively promised us something different with All This Time; a return to his first love.

Source/Read More... Louder Than War

Chris Bangs - Firebird

Firebird

by Chris Banges

Released 27 January 2022

Acid Jazz Acquisitions

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In 2022, producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Bangs ended a 14-year recording hiatus when he teamed with keyboard ace Mick Talbot for the stellar Back to Business, an instrumental collection of groovers. Bangs returned to the studio with top-shelf session players for Firebird, a jazz-dance scorcher that ranges across his musical influences -- Afro-Latin and Brazilian rhythms, '70s salsa and uptempo jazz-funk, and fusion -- sequenced like a DJ set. Bangs' cast includes guitarist Nigel Price, pianist Janette Mason, trumpeter Dave Priseman, saxophonist Simon Bates, vibraphonist Roger Beaujolais, and bassist Ernie McKone, among others.

Firebird reveals Bangs' desire to create a clutch of classic-sounding jazz-dance tracks he might have spun during DJ sets. He applied the use of modern production techniques to retro sounds and rhythms to propel the music above nostalgic tropes. 

Source/Read More... AllMusic

Ralph Towner - At First Light

At First Light

by Ralph Towner

Released 17 March 2023

ECM Records

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An ECM artist for his entire musical career, US guitarist Ralph Towner has built up a unique body of work in his recordings for the label. Central to his oeuvre are his solo albums, the first of which, Diary, was issued 50 years ago. At First Light extends this great tradition, drawing inspiration from a broad palette of music. “My solo recordings have always included my own compositions in which there are trace elements of the many composers and musicians that have attracted me,” writes Towner in a liner note, citing the influence of, among others, George Gershwin, John Coltrane, John Dowland and Bill Evans: “I feel that At First Light is a good example of shaping this expanse of influences into my personal music.” In addition to his own pieces, Towner also plays Hoagy Carmichael’s “Little Old Lady”, Jule Styne’s “Make Someone Happy” and the traditional tune “Danny Boy.” Recorded at Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI, Lugano, in February 2022, At First Light was produced by Manfred Eicher.

Source/Read More... ECM

Andras Schiff - J.S. Bach Clavichord

J.S. Bach Clavichord

by Andras Schiff

Released 27 January 2023

ECM Records

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After his landmark recording of some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s most important keyboard music, one of the great Bach interpreters of our time turns his attention to the composer’s preferred instrument. The sound of the clavichord is, says András Schiff, an invitation into “a new world, a quiet oasis in our noisy, troubled times. Thanks to the clavichord I now play and hear Bach differently.” An intimate and personal instrument – “a most gentle creature, ideal for playing alone” – it can also be, as Schiff notes, a demanding and unforgiving teacher. “On the clavichord we have only our fingers at our disposal, they must create the music with the finest gradations of touch.”  The early keyboard works are emphasized here, bringing us closer to the sounds of Bach’s day, and the “cantabile art” of the clavichord. The album opens with the Capriccio sopra la lontananza del fratro dilettissmo, journeys through Inventions and Sinfonias, and concludes with an extraordinary account of the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue.  On this recording, Schiff’s first on the clavichord, he plays a replica of a 1743 Specken instrument, built by Belgian craftsman Joris Potvlieghe.  The album was recorded in the Kammermusik Saal of Bonn’s Beethoven-Haus and produced by Manfred Eicher.

Source/Read More... ECM