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2023-12 December Playlist | SunNeverSetsOnMusic

2023-12 December Playlist | SunNeverSetsOnMusic

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Ambrose Akinmusire - Owl Song

Owl Song

by Ambrose Akinmusire

Released 15 December 2023

Original Harvest / Nonesuch Records

****-

Described by NPR Music as “a trumpeter of deep expressive resources and a composer of kaleidoscopic vision,” Ambrose Akinmusire has made a home at the crossroads of different musical forms and languages, from post-bop and avant-garde jazz to contemporary chamber music and hip-hop to singer-songwriter aesthetics. He is a rigorous practitioner with an uncompromising dedication to creation.

Owl Song is Akinmusire's Nonesuch Records debut and features a trio with two musicians Akinmusire has long admired, guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Herlin Riley.
“This is my reaction to being assaulted by information,” Akinmusire says of Owl Song. “This record is me wanting to create a safe space. Part of the challenge was: Can I create something that’s oriented around open space, the way some of the records I love the most do?”
“... I wanted to put people together who didn’t seem like they would go together ... and it turns out they haven’t played a lot. So, it was cross generational, cross subgenre, cross whatever.”

Read more... Bandcamp

Ambrose Akinmusire - Beauty is Enough

Beauty is Enough

by Ambrose Akinmusire 

Released 23 June 2023

Origami Harvest

*****

Since his 2008 debut Prelude, Ambrose Akinmusire has been nothing if not adventurous; and this latest release consolidates his ambition in no small measure. Solo horn recordings are still relatively uncommon (certainly compared to those on piano) but the trumpeter proves himself more than adept on this set which has many of the qualities that drew audiences to Akinmusire in the first place. Richness of tone; precision of articulation; ingenuity of timbre that, when he pursues microtonal avenues, creates the sense that particular sounds are almost hermetically sealed before being slowly squeezed and pinched into the air. In other words there is a high degree of technical mastery, but, tellingly, it underpins a profound and often engrossing sense of narrative.

The 16 relatively short pieces (the longest ‘To:Taymoor‘ is just under five minutes) are akin to involving short stories or portraits that balance exploratory texture with fraught, concise melody to create a form of blues, which is not reduced to strategies such as the tried and tested ‘moan and groan.’ The late, great Ron Miles was a master in that sense, and Akinmusire is proving to be one of his key heirs. Courageous, creative work from an artist who continues to boldly grow in stature.

Read more... Jazzwise

Niecy Blues - Exit Simulation

Exit Simulation

by Niecy Blues

Released 10 November 2023

kranky

*****

South Carolina singer and producer Niecy Blues describes her songwriting process like an undertow: “I feel a strange pull, and let it carry me, following swirling leaves… whole days roll by, forgetting about the body.” Their full-length debut, Exit Simulation, captures this sense of deep-rooted
divination, cycling between simmering ballads, ghosted R&B, downtempo gospel, and looped vocal improvisations – often within the same track. The title is taken from a science fiction novel she read during the purgatory of the pandemic, alluding to a dimensional ideation of departure – “the permission to imagine leaving.”

Recorded in her current home of Charleston, she characterizes the album’s mood in terms both reflective and raw: an exploration of things suppressed, foundations beginning to crack, “talking myself off a ledge.”

Read more... Bandcamp

Mon Laferte - Autopoietica

Autopoietica

by Mon Laferte

Released 10 November 2023

Universal Music Group, Mexico

*****

Autopoietica is the consecration of the veteran Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte, in my opinion, the most powerful female release of 2023.
Before starting, a little context, autopoiesis is a word 'created' by two biologists from Chile in which the process of cell reproduction is explained. Perfect to explain this Mon Laferte project, if we look at her latest list of releases we can see her diversity of styles when it comes to playing different genres, a tropical and organic sound with projects like Norma (2018) or a notable interpretation of indigenous sounds from Mexico in SEIS (2021) and it seems that now, Autopoietica is the musical consecration of his career, the masterpiece of a distinguished career.

This album is a musical revolution, it leaves behind that folk past and those northern sounds to embark on a futuristic and cathartic sound, we see everything from neoperreo, salsa, cumbia, electro, hyperpop, glitch pop, sonically it is a musical delight.

.

Read more... AOTY

GC OConnor - Soul Lament (EP)

Soul Lament

by GC OConnor

Released 24 November 2023

Low Key Source

****-

The arrival of Soul Lament, the debut EP from Sydney/Gadigal multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer GC OConnor, is a beautiful statement of intent.

Having spent the last decade perfecting her craft, solidifying her creative identity across years of performance experience in Australia and overseas, GC OConnor makes her mark with the release of Soul Lament, a striking fusion of soul, jazz and R&B influences that tie in with GC OConnor’s own unique take on the genre standards.

With her sound first teased in October with the release of her debut single, the standalone track ‘Love On High’ produced by The Goods, Soul Lament is packed with rich texture across its five-track runtime and is solely produced by Sydney’s Loraio, the first track off the EP ‘Stay’ highlighted GC OConnor’s talents as a writer and vocalist, setting a great foundation for the rest of the EP to follow.
 

Read more... Bandcamp

Kuzco - I Vibe, She Vibe

I Vibe, She Vibe

by Kuzco

Released 26 May 2023

CoOp Presents

****-

'I Vibe, She Vibes' is the debut EP from a brand new artist, Kuzco, following on from their contribution of the single "Immunity" on "They're Energised", a compilation of antipodean bruk curated by Allysha Joy (30/70 | First Word Records).

Kuzco [kuuz-co], is an Australian / Maori vocalist, keyboardist & producer living and creating in Naarm (Melbourne), after growing up in the sunshine state of Meanjin (Brisbane).

A heavyweight session keyboardist, Kuzco is a deeply revered figure on the Naarm and Meanjin scene, and is now ready to bring her own creations to the world.

Slowly forging her own sound, Kuzco's musical background spans countless genres and songs, embodying and reflecting on her musical heritage. In her own words "the intention is to write music that activates the sensuality of feeling music in the body, and reigniting the self with fluid movement."

Read more... Bandcamp

Barney McAll - Emerald Hands

Emerald Hands

by Barney McAll

Released 22 December 2023

Barney McAll

*****

Barney McAll’s 2022 album Precious Energy was a revelation, an upbeat funky vocally driven work of good vibes and killer grooves. It was audacious and ostentatious, featuring some incredible vocals fromLaneous, Rita Satch, Jace XL, and Belle Bangard as well as contributions from Julian Wilson and Gary Bartz, alongside numerous other Melbourne players.

McAll has performed with the likes of Sia, Gary Bartz, Dewey Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Billy Harper, Fred Wesley, Jimmy Cobb, and Maceo Parker and boasts appearances on over 100 albums as a sideman and a lazy 29 albums in his own name.

Emerald Hands feels thematically linked with Precious Energy, it offers an unrelenting feeling of positivity, and upbeat funky vibe with deep soulful vocals and some killer synth lines. So alongside stupidly high pitched autotuned vocals, we find heartfelt poems about McAll’s childhood chasing spider crabs, wigged out funky spiritual jazz and even a Radiohead cover (Scatterbrain).

Emerald Hands boasts guests of the calibre of Gary Bartz, Rita Satch, Natalie Slade, Belle Bangard, Greta Gertler, Gian Slater, Amethyst Jane and slam poet champion Melanie Mununggurr, who’s poetic musings about lockdown close out the album.

There’s so much going on.

Read more... Cyclic Defrost

The National - Laugh Track

Laugh Track

by The National

Released 18 September 2023

2AD

*****

The National are a Brooklyn-based five-piece hailing from Ohio. The group contains two pairs of brothers -- Bryce Dessner (guitars), Aaron Dessner (bass, guitars), Scott Devendorf (bass, guitars), and Bryan Devendorf (drums) -- and features Matt Berninger on vocals.  

Laugh Track is the band's most freewheeling, all-hands-on-deck album in years, follows "First Two Pages of Frankenstein", released in April 2023. If Frankenstein represented a rebuilding of trust between group members after 20+ years together, the vibrant, exploratory Laugh Track is both the product of that faith and a new statement of intent. Revelling in the license to radically upend its creative process, The National honed most of this material in live performances on tour this year, and captured those invigorated versions in impromptu sessions at producer Tucker Martine’s Portland studio, Flora Recording & Playback.

Read more... Bandcamp

Bryce Dessner - L'Abbe Pierre - Une vie de combats (Bande originale du film)

L'Abbe Pierre - Une vie de combats (Bande originale du film)

by Bryce Dessner

Released 8 November 2023

Origami Harvest

****-

Abbé Pierre – A Century of Devotion (French: L'Abbé Pierre – Une vie de combats) is a 2023 French biographical drama film based on the life of Abbé Pierre, a Catholic priest and national hero in France who devoted his life to helping the poor, homeless people and refugees. Directed by Frédéric Tellier from a screenplay written by Tellier and Olivier Gorce, the film stars Benjamin Lavernhe as Abbé Pierre.

In support of the narrative, the music for the film is for the most part sombre, the tempo raised only in the final tracks / scenes. 

For those who know Dessner only for his output in The National, this album would come as a surprise, however it is one of many such projects for this prolific and endlessly creative artist, who will likely be remembered for his orchestral work long after The National has faded to be as obscure to a future generation as (say) Jefferson Airplane is to today's.

 

Read more... Jazzwise

Andrew Gurruwiwi Band - Gatjumak (EP)

Gatjumak (EP)

by Andrew Gurruwiwi Band

Released 23 June 2023

Austudy Records

****-

Just like King Stingray and Baker Boy before them, the Andrew Gurruwiwi Band are the next hot musical act to burst out of Arnhem Land, NT.
The band is led by the one and only Andrew Gurruwiwi - a shy-but-extravagant, blind, keytar-wielding Yolngu elder with a passion to make people dance while sharing his culture.
A high-energy, 8-piece funk band who have honed their chops on the beach at Birrtjimi and in the dirt of Yirrkala, the Andrew Gurruwiwi Band write real funk jams in their native tongue, Yolngu Matha. Their sound is truly fresh - Yolngu Funk - a style only hinted at previously on the impossible-to-find pair of 7-inches cut by George Rrurrambu & Birdwave, that now go for hundreds of dollars on Discogs.

Read more... SXSW Sydney

Soli - Daily Thoughts (EP)

Daily Thoughts (EP)

by Soli

Released 1 December 2023

Soli

****-

After years of being a staple in Australia's R&B scene, Soli's highly-anticipated EP Daily Thoughts has arrived.

The smooth and soulful six-track EP boasts production credits from Hamley (PANIA), Aldwin Cajili (RINI), 5am and Iconic Beats. Listeners can expect to be immersed into a world of rich vocals and sliky production, with the EP's lyrical themes ranging from self-love to mental health and gratitude.

Speaking of the EP Soli says, "I've really enjoyed tapping into my R&B and Afrobeat influences, as well as stripping things back with more acoustic vocal performances. I take listeners on quite an emotional rollercoaster with this EP".

Read more... Complex

Boddhi Satva - Ancestral Soul & Afro House

Ancestral Soul & Afro House

by Boddhi Satva

Released 29 December 2023

Offering Records

*****

Boddhi Satva was born & raised in Central African Republic. now based in Lisbon, Portugal, Boddhi-Satva is known affectionately as the founding father of "Ancestral Soul". 

Boddhi’s music has spirituality as the central hallmark and uses the thread of soul music to weave a seamless tapestry of African music styles, set to the pace of house music changing entirely the way the genre is perceived and experienced. 

Ancestral Soul & Afro House is a compilation of many of the numerous projects that Boddhi released during 2023, with a few additional tracks included for good measure (If I, Reach From The Heart, At Times, Mantra).

Read more... Bandcamp

GODTET, Novak Manojovic - +STRINGS

+STRINGS

by GODTET, Novak Manojovic

Released 22 November 2023

La Sape

****-

Fans of the experimental/electronic/ambient jazz of Sydney artist GODTET (and indeed La Sape Records) know that they are partial to a bit of a '+' experiment but this is the first time it's been recorded as a live album and with the addition of Australian pianist Novak Manojlovic and a string quartet.

It's was apparently Novak's idea of the 'classical' strings and it really work as an experimental - lets hope Godriguez / they are all best buds now as we definitely want more of this.  

Love the faint 'Love Supreme' vs shoegaze vs. heavy percussion of 'Lilt' and you can't blame 'em if sometimes it slips in the 70s prog sphere of say a Camel ('Nautical') but not a Gentle Giant.  

Jazz funkers, it's  'broadening'.

Read more... Bandcamp

Akusmi - LInes

LInes

by Akusmi

Released 6 October 2023

Total Union

****_

 

Akusmi is the new project moniker of French-born, London based composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Pascal Bideau, who signed to the new Tonal Union imprint for the release of his album ‘Fleeting Future.’

With its hallucinatory, genre-defying blend of minimalism, cosmic jazz and Fourth World influences, and in its quest for optimism in the face of unknown and limitless possibility.

‘Lines’ (is) an exhilarating new collection of works born from the desire to take where the acclaimed debut 2022 album ‘Fleeting Future’ left off — in search of a new forms.

Formed with a sense of urgency and a reductive approach ‘Lines’ is almost entirely comprised of alto saxophone, clarinet and piano with embellishments of ambience and minimal percussive elements. Recorded in full at his home studio in London, Pascal Bideau speaks about the process:

“I wanted to go a bit more a bit more horizontal and ambient, work with layers of lines, might they be dotted or straight, and leave them to unfold and see where they would take me.”

Read more... Bandcamp

Boddhi Satva, Raheem DeVaughn - Finesse Me (EP)

Finesse Me (EP)

by Boddhi Satva, Raheem DeVaughn

Released 8 September 2023

Batakari

****-

Triple Grammy nominee and US vocalist Raheem DeVaughan joins Boddhi Satva for this Afrobeats tinged slice of RnB in a track that pulls in influences as diverse as DeVaughan's New Jersey and Washington DC upbringings and Boddhi Satva's pan-African, Ancestral Soul cultural sensibilities.

Taken from Boddhi Satva's collaborative Manifestation album, Finesse Me is a track that will grace the radio airwaves and the dancefloor with its wonderful vocal performance and lilting melody laid over tuff beats.

Raheem DeVaughan's own musical history comes from an impressive lineage as the son of Jazz and Classical cellist Abdul Wadud and cousin of Grammy winning Soul vocalist Chrisette Michele. His own successes can be heard via his prolific output of eight studio albums plus two more collaborative album releases with Apollo Soul and Bee Boy$oul respectively, his BET Awards and Grammy nominations.

 

Read more... Bandcamp

Peter Gabriel - i/o

i/o

by Peter Gabriel

Released 1 December 2023

Peter Gabriel

****-

The concept behind Peter Gabriel’s first album of original material in 21 years, i/o, feels strikingly contemporary. Over the last year, the veteran singer-songwriter has dropped a new song each month, touring arenas leading up to the album’s release. With each song being made available in a “Bright-Side” mix, “Dark-Side” mix, and a third Dolby Atmos “In-Side” mix, i/o effectively allows listeners to pick their favorites among the different versions and create their own playlist.

While the bones of the songs are taken from the exact same performances, the mixes feature major differences in their musical emphasis.

While the “Bright Side” mixes bring out the album’s more dynamic range, the lyrics lack the edge of Gabriel’s early music.

i/o is heartfelt and meticulously crafted, but its impact is muted by its splintered presentation.

Read more... Slant Magazine

Le Cri du Caire, Abdullah Miniawy, Peter Corser - Le Cri du Caire

Le Cri du Caire

by Le Cri du Caire, Abdullah Miniawy, Peter Corser

27 January 2023

Les Disque du Festival Permanent / Airfono / L'Onde & Cybele

*****

Cairo, late 2013. In a city in turmoil, where the curfew had just been lifted after a second coup d'état, where the walls were still covered in dreams and revolt, where even the clubs of the city-centre echoed with anti-Islamist and anti-army slogans, I was deeply touched by the voice of Abdullah Miniawy at the 100Copies music studio, a stone's throw from Tahrir Square. A singer, writer, poet, poetry-slammer and student from the El-Fayoum oasis, this spokesman for Egyptian youth was shaking up the music scene and social networks with his hypnotic voice and unique blend of electro, sufism and jazz music, both punk and psychedelic, secular and avant-garde. Three months later, Abdullah's first on-stage revelations took place at the La Voix est Libre festival in Cairo with the "Jimi Hendrix of oud", Mehdi Haddab, followed by his first meeting with composer and saxophonist Peter Corser at the D-CAF festival (Downtown Contemporary Art Festival), created in the aftermath of the revolution by leading figure in theater Ahmed El-Attar. After three years of administrative battles, while censorship was making a comeback in Egyptian artistic circles, Abdullah finally arrived in Paris where he recorded an initial version of Purple Feathers with Peter Corser, which was broadcast on Soundcloud.

In 2017, gripped from the very first seconds by these soaring vocal and instrumental performances, Erik Truffaz accepted our invitation to become involved with Peter's hypnotic loops and Abdullah's electric vocals, and was soon joined by the visceral strings of cellist Karsten Hochapfel.

Five years later, Le Cri du Caire is still turning heads, and often moving audiences to tears. Both free and spiritual, sensitive and elusive, their music elevates the soul to giddy heights and flies towards what may well be one of the shortest paths from zero to infinity.

Read more... Bandcamp

Peace Flag Ensemble - Astral Plains

Astral Plains

by Peace Flag Ensemble

Released 14 July 2023

Peace Flag Ensemble / We Are Busy Bodies

****-

Peace Flag Ensemble are a free jazz collective from Saskatchewan. Astral Plains is their sophomore album.

The group’s 2021 debut Noteland was described as “akin to getting stuck in a sensory deprivation tank with Keith Jarrett.” By contrast Astral Plains opens up, offering spacious and blue-sky arrangements and production. Perhaps it’s closer to laying in a prairie field looking for animals in the clouds with Mark Hollis.

Peace Flag Ensemble brings together a curious range of artistic backgrounds from studied players to left-field experimentalists. Their recordings are a pastiche of improvisation, composition, and collage. Centered around Jon Neher’s piano improvisations and Travis Packer’s electric bass, Astral Plains sees the collective expanded in both size and sound with the addition of percussionist Michael Thievin and contributions from guests including Patrick Shiroishi and Nick Walters.

Read more... Bandcamp

Lakecia Benjamin - Phoenix

Phoenix

by Lakecia Benjamin

Released 27 January 2023

Whirlwind Recordings

*****

'Phoenix' is the highly-anticipated, expansive new album in the musical evolution of alto saxophonist and composer Lakecia Benjamin. The album was produced by the multi-Grammy-award winning Terri Lyne Carrington and features a star-studded line up of specially curated guests Dianne Reeves, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Patrice Rushen, Sonia Sanchez, Angela Davis and Wayne Shorter. The band is composed of trumpeter Josh Evans, Victor Gould on keys, Orange Rodriguez on synths, drummer Enoch (EJ) Strickland, percussionist Nêgah Santos and bassist Ivan Taylor. Trumpeter Wallace Roney Jr, Rhodes organist Anastassiya Petrova and bassist Jahmal Nichols all join for one track each.

“When we came out from the pandemic we weren't allowed to be broken,” Lakecia shares while describing the deeply personal outing Phoenix became for her. The record presents mostly original compositions written throughout the seasons: “we had to be these beautiful absorbent birds and get to work. I wanted to highlight each month of that.” By design, the compositions on 'Phoenix' are written around the skillsets of her triumphant guests, a handful of women in jazz who have had prominent influences on Lakecia.

Read more... Bandcamp

Ukandanz - Kemekem ከ​መ​ከ​ም

Kemekem ከ​መ​ከ​ም

by Ukandanz

Released 27 January 2023

Compagnie 4000

****-
Combining Ethiopian musical tradition with a contemporary and libertarian
reinterpretation, Ukandanz continues its work of public utility with this new opus. With
as much subtlety as savagery, the band offers a new version of the Ethiopian crunch
whose it is an inestimable pioneer. The fundamental polyrhythms explode on contact
with progressive rock, punk music and sound experiments of this pack tightened by
years of live music. New instrumental textures stay printed from the last album
recorded without Asnake Gebreyes. His come-back raises the temperature a bit
more… He is an incandescent prophet of a powerful and unbridled celebration!

Read more... Bandcamp

Rodolphe Burger, Sofiane Saidi, Mehdi Haddab - Mademoiselle

Mademoiselle

by Rodolphe Burger, Sofiane Saidi, Mehdi Haddab

Released 3 March 2023

Deniere Bande

****-

The ghost of Rachid Taha (the late great Algerian singer. songwriter 1958 - 2018) so haunted some of his former musical collaborators - Rodolphe Burger (vocals, guitar), Mehdi Haddab (electric oud) and Sofiane Saidi (vocals, keyboards, machines, bass) - that they formed themselves into a supergroup in tribute, and released the album Mademoiselle.

The trio booked a residency at a Paris club (Dynamo de Banlieues Bleues) and honed a set of new songs in French and Arabic, with credits shared by Rodolphe Burger and Sofiane Saidi, as well as covers of songs by George Thorogood (I Drink Alone) and Jimi Hendrix (Hey Baby).

Under her title of civility, Mademoiselle hides three biting personalities whose association produces a poetry that would greatly please the beloved ghost.

Read more... Bandcamp (via Google Translate)

Waak Waak Djungi - Waak Waak Ga Min Min

Waak Waak ga Min Min

by Waak Waak Djungi

Released 1997

Wak Wak Djungi

*****

Waak Waak ga Min Min is an collection of the little-heard recordings of three Yolngu songmen from Northeast Arnhem Land - Bobby Bunnungurr, Jimmy Djamunba and Peter Milaynga (d. 2007) - working in collaboration with Victorian musician Peter Mumme.

Yolngu are the indigenous peoples of Arnhem Land in Northern Territory, Australia; their clans are the Marangu and Malabirr, the languages Djinang and Gannalbingu. Their songs are of instruction, story and ceremony.

A connection first initiated by Yolngu actor David Gulpilil, Waak Waak Djungi’s mid-90s recordings were preceded by years of respectful sharing of culture.

Mumme explains that “the aim was to produce something that is new, not in the sense of a breakthrough, but what emerges from the combining of existing ideas”.

What developed was sonically unique - sprawling vocal/electronic soundscapes and field recordings that reimagine the traditional songs of black crows and white cockatoos, sharing, creation spirits and of leaving and returning home to country. Spacious and patiently durational, the songs resound in a big land with a big story to tell.

Read more... Bandcamp

Peter Somuah - Letter To The Universe

Letter To The Universe

by Peter Somuah

Released 28 April 2023

ACT Music

*****

For many centuries, Ghana has been regarded as a land of storytellers. However, this rich tradition doesn't necessarily have to continue through words or voice alone. Peter Somuah continues the storytelling tradition through his instrument: as a young trumpeter, he embarks on a fascinating quest for identity, weaving together the highlife music of his homeland, the influence of his idol Miles Davis, and the cosmopolitan musical language of his new home in Holland. This journey is his "Letter To The Universe."

Read more... ACT Music

Kiefer - It's OK, B U

t's OK, B U

by Kiefer 

Released 22 September 2023

Stones Throw Records

*****

It's OK B U is the fourth long-player from L.A.-based keyboardist, composer, and producer Kiefer. While 2021's When There's Love Around showcased him along with a jazz band for the first time, this 16-track set is a return to solo playing, beatmaking, and production. The album's selections range from just under five seconds to five-and-a-half minutes. The music is tenderly introspective, lushly melodic, and clean with inventive rhythm tracks framing stellar piano skills. While his last outing registered firmly on the modern side of contemporary jazz (in spiritual and aesthetic kinship with John Carroll Kirby), this one claims a space on its bleeding edge. Kiefer is a key part of the current generation of L.A.-area musicians erasing boundaries between jazz, hip-hop, neo-soul, funk, electronic, and pop, calling into question more traditional notions of composition, production, and performance.

Read more... AllMusic

Special Feelings - Special Feelings

Special Feelings

by Special Feelings

Released 10 November 2023

Rhythm Section International

*****

Under the guise of Special Feelings, multi-instrumentalists Naomi Robinson and Poli-Pearl unveil their debut full-length record courtesy of the hallowed walls of Rhythm Section International.

With both Robinson and Pearl hailing from Perth and having collaborated together for four years now, their music is very indicative of the litany of progressive soul and jazz music collectives emanating from the proverbial hot bed of innovation, Australia.

Along with bands and artists like Kyoshi, Mildlife, The JK Group, Leisure Centre and of course Rhythm Section label mates, the 30/70 Collective, Special Feelings continue to wave the flag for an indelible lineage of music-making with an album that introduces their name(s) as essential inclusions to the conversation.

Read more... UKVibe

Joshua Moshe - Inner Search

Inner Search

by Joshua Moshe

Released 6 October 2023

La Sape

****-

Formerly known as Josh Kelly and as the main men behind the JK Group project, Joshua Moshe unveils his debut album under his own name . Released via La Sape Records, Inner Search is the result of a very challenging recovery period in late 2021, when Moshe was under chemotherapy, exploring his artistic self and solo identity in a transformative musical journey.

Comprised by 10 magnificent tracks, the record assembles rejuvenated lineup of incredible collaborators: Felix Bloxsom, Erica Tucceri, Angus Radley, Cazeuax O.S.L.O., Phil Noy, Niran Dasika, James Bowers, Javier Fredes, and Matthew Hayes, whilst maintaining a strong partnership with long-standing producer, Lewis Moody.
Inner Search showcases an eclectic blend of influences drawing inspiration from late modal jazz, indebted to the works of Pharaoh Sanders, Joe Henderson or John Coltrane, Afro-Cuban music, Jewish music, garage, broken beat, nu-jazz, and modern outputs of the main genre here explored. Such breadth of influence signifies a departure from the traditional dancey-crossover style, evolving the JK Group sound into something truly distinctive and extraordinary - expanding the creative parameters beyond the work done under JK Group into a new territory spanning the breadth of his heritage, jazz, and electronica.  A beautiful and essential piece in 2023

Read more... o sotao

Thandi Ntuli, Carlos Nino - Rainbow Revisited

Rainbow Revisited

by Thandi Ntuli, Carlos Nino 

Released 17 November 2023

International Anthem

****-

On her Bandcamp entry for this album, South African artist Thandi Ntuli writes:

I travelled to Los Angeles and the USA for the first time in 2019. Although I had not met Carlos in person, we connected via Instagram where he saw a video of me playing a piano motif (titled ‘The One’ in this sequence) that he really liked and expressed a wish to record. This was around 2017. We tried a few times to get me over to Los Angeles, but the timing was always off. Through a performance organised by a creative collective called The Nonsemble at The Ford Theatre we finally got the opportunity to meet, play together and subsequently go into studio to record some improvisations as he guided the recording process.

Having been aware of some of his work – in particular his collaborative projects as Carlos Niño & Friends, as well as with his friend and long-time collaborator, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson – I knew that, with Carlos as producer, the artistic direction of the album would likely take me to a place I’d never considered going. A fact that had me both curious and terrified (as one tends to be when stepping into the unknown) Lol!

Read more... Bandcamp

WAAN - Echo Echo

Echo Echo

by WAAN

Released 24 February 2023

Sonar Kollektiv

****-

WAAN represents the musical marriage of seasoned saxophonist Bart Wirtz and keyboard wiz Emiel van Rijthoven. As a pair of self-confessed tech nerds hailing from The Netherlands, their bromance was a slow burning one, but nevertheless their eventual collaboration fulfilled a dream that they’d both held close since first working together back in 2010.
The symphonic soul mates formed WAAN - a Dutch word literally meaning “delusion” but in the more positive sense of “living in the moment” - originally as a collaborative live band but eventually came to the conclusion that the creative process was best kept between the two of them. Any other instrumentalists were used as guest session musicians and the pair found themselves running the project in a way more akin to dance music producers. This of course had an influence on the music itself, which the duo wanted to be more crossover and have a more experimental edge to its sound.

Read more... Bandcamp

OK EG - Rivulets

Rivulets

by OK EG

Released 8 January 2023

Bathtub Music

*****

Naarm|Melbourne's OK EG, AKA Lauren Squire and Matthew Wilson, take intrepid recce’s on a Kalahari debut of fathoms-deep techno minimalism and opiated braindance styles. (NB - these are their words, not ours).

With release titles like ‘Intertidal zone', 'Anther' and 'Prismatic Spring’, their ambition to evoke natural worlds is evident. But these tracks aren’t of this planet. Navigating truly alien terrain, ‘Rivulets’ finds the duo imagining uncharted environments into existence through the medium of analogue hardware.

This is very much an album of two halves; the first on heads-down tip aimed straight at the dancefloor, with a second plate that veers further into abstraction. That said, they’re all the kind of far-reaching explorations where close listening yields great rewards.

Read more... Bandcamp

Squid Nebula - From Here To You

From Here To You

by Squid Nebula 

Released 20 October 2023

Squid Nebula

*****

Naarm's groove-jammers Squid Nebula have taken their time with their debut album, From Here to You, but with a little help from Northside Records, it's finally here for everyone to enjoy.

“We’ve been predominately live and do have two EPs, but after the big Covid hit, we just wanted to bunker down, get our debut album ready and really come out with a bang,” explains Bumpy (the band’s vocalist Bumpy, an established solo artist and Triple R presenter). (Guitarist Mick Power) adds, “Being in the room together with each other, or an audience, that’s what it’s all about for us, and we strive to capture that (on the record)."

From Here to You is a very good time. The record is funky, groovy and beautifully driven by Bumpy’s strong, smooth vocals.

The record is (also) a concept album about the emotional response to a world ending and how people react to one another and maintain relationships through it all. 

So we have a record about a (not the) world ending set to a vibe that will make you want to party. 

Read more... Beat

MODHA - Through The Cycle

Through The Cycle

by MODHA

Released 31 March 2023

Modha

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‘Through The Cycle’ is the expansive debut album from Berlin-based Production duo Modha ( AKA Dhanya Langer and Max Scholl) Following 2019’s EP ‘Getting By’, this highly anticipated 10-track project aims to open up a considered and personal dialogue on mental health.

Journeying through a collaborative medley of Jazz & Soul laced cuts, and stand-out guest collaborators including LA’s Phabo, Berlin’s Noah Slee, Manchester’s Jermaine Peterson and newcomer, okcandice. Each artist brings about a unique take on the album’s arrangements, exploring personal musings on grief, love, loss and emotional violence.

With this album Modha has created a truly immersive and irresistible piece of work. Pondering the complexities of life, and tapping into the mysteries of the human condition,