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2023-10 October Playlist SunNeverSetsOnMusic

2023-10 October Playlist SunNeverSetsOnMusic

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Jamila Woods - Water Made Us

Water Made Us

by Jamila Woods

Released 13 October 2023

Jagjaguwar

*****

On her expansive new album Water Made Us, Chicago musician and poet Jamila Woods shines anew as she asks the question, what does it mean to fully surrender into love? Across Water Made Us, Jamila embraces new genres, playful melodies, and hypnotizing wordplay, as she wades through the exhilarating tumult of love’s wreckage and refuge.

While 2017’s HEAVN saw Jamila celebrating her community within a lineage of Black feminist movement organizing, and 2019’s Legacy! Legacy! reframed her life’s experiences through the storied personas of iconic Black and brown artists, Water Made Us is self-revelatory in an entirely new way. The album reveals a new side of Jamila never fully shared with her previous work, making this her most personal album yet.

Read more... Bandcamp

Allison Russell - The Returner

The Returner

by Allison Russell

Released 8 September 2023

Birds of Chicago

*****

Since the release of her debut solo LP two years ago Outside Child, Russell’s often devastating, deeply moving, cathartic celebration of survivor’s joy has become one of the most acclaimed albums of the past 10 years.

Now comes the second chapter in her story, The Returner, a body-shaking, mind-expanding, soulful expression of liberation, love, and self-respect that serves as a fierce declaration of joy for all survivors that have made it to the other side. The album was written and co-produced by Allison along with dim star (her partner JT Nero and Drew Lindsay) and was recorded over Solstice week in December 2022 at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA. It features Russell’s “Rainbow Coalition” band of all female musicians - along with special guest appearances from the legendary Wendy & Lisa, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, and Hozier - who built The Returner from the bottom up with a rhythm-first, genre-fluid approach.

The improvisational energy of great female artists sparked the album’s fierce joy, and provided a wider canvas for Allison’s immense, unlimited talent. In all, the new album doesn’t just deliver on the promise of the last two years, it exceeds all reasonable (and unreasonable) expectations and affirms Allison Russell’s place among music’s most vital artists and The Returner, as one of 2023’s most essential recordings.

Read more... Bandcamp

Kamaal Williams - Stings

Stings

by Kamaal Williams

Released 27 September 2023

Black Focus Records

*****

Informed by isolation, reflection, and profound spirituality, the third full-length album from South London keyboardist and producer Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu) is a cerebral instrumental journey through jazz, classical, dub, downtempo, bossa nova, and hip-hop styles. The front half features the record’s most immediate moments, peaking with the title track and its sweet flip of Soho’s 1995 track “Hot Music,” before diving into dreamy and downright beautiful classical arrangements on the back half. Tacked onto the album’s 10-track run as a digital bonus disc are Stings’ three early singles that includes the distinctive, menacing, vocal-laced “PKKNO.”

Read more... KEXP

John Scofield - Uncle John's Band

Uncle John's Band

by John Scofield

Released 13 October 2023

ECM

*****

Named for the Grateful Dead song that concludes this inspired double album, Uncle John’s Band features masterful guitarist John Scofield at his most freewheeling.

Wide ranging repertoire finds his trio with Vicente Archer and Bill Stewart tackling material from Dylan’s “Mr Tambourine Man” to Neil Young’s “Old Man”, from Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” to the Miles Davis Birth of the Cool classic “Budo”. And jazz standards including “Stairway to the Stars” and “Ray’s Idea” rub shoulders with seven Scofield originals that are variously swing, funk and folk-inflected.

The red thread through the programme is the trio’s tremendous improvisational verve.  “I feel like we can go anywhere,” says John Scofield of the group’s multi-directional versatility.

Uncle John’s Band was recorded at Clubhouse Studio in Rhinebeck, New York, in August 2022.

Read more... ECM

Rob Luft - Dahab Days

Dahab Days

by Rob Luft

Released 20 October 2023

Edition Records

*****

With "Dahab Days," Luft embarks on another significant stride in his artistic journey. This album represents a notable expansion of his sound, incorporating a string quartet and reinforcing the contributions of his talented band members, who have become an integral part of his musical identity. Luft's well-deserved reputation as a versatile guitarist shines through as he delivers uplifting improvisations that evolve in hypnotic and contemporary ways, captivating listeners with their compelling and immersive qualities.
The album derives its name from Dahab, a location in Egypt where much of the music was written. Over the past three years, Luft has spent considerable time there due to the Covid-19 pandemic's limitations. While not overtly drawing from the music of the region, "Dahab Days" subtly reflects the influence of his experiences in that unique setting.
Featuring an exceptional lineup, "Dahab Days" includes Rob Luft on electric and acoustic guitars, as well as the kalimba, alongside Joe Wright on tenor saxophone, Joe Webb on piano and Hammond organ, Tom McCredie on bass guitar, and Corrie Dick on drum kit and percussion. The album also boasts special guest performances by Alice Zawadzki on vocals and violin, Byron Wallen on trumpet, and Steve Buckley on alto saxophone and penny whistle.

Read more... Bandcamp

Javelin

by Sufjan Stevens

Released 6 October 2023

Asthmatic Kitty Records

*****

It's hard to say where pop music would be if it weren't for love songs -– love has been most songwriters' favorite subject for centuries, but beyond the fact that almost everyone wants to be in love and is sad when they're not, there are only so many things to be said about the subject. Sufjan Stevens' 2023 album, Javelin, is that rarity, a collection of songs about love that feels like something you haven't heard before, both in its depth and complexity, and in the way it explores love in both its human and divine forms.

Javelin is an album about the need to be loved, agape and philia, and Stevens shows that he can write about both without trivializing or minimizing the importance of either. That's a commendable achievement in any creative medium, and the fact that he's done so while creating some of the best music of his life makes this essential listening.

Read more... AllMusic

Hania Rani - Ghosts

Ghosts

by Hania Rani

Released 6 October 2023

Gondwana Records

*****

Hania Rani announces her new album, Ghosts, bringing her songwriting and beautiful vocals to the fore and featuring special guests Patrick Watson, Ólafur Arnalds and Duncan Bellamy (Portico Quartet).

Ghosts is the sound of an ever-evolving artist and, just as the album’s title suggests she passes repeatedly and gracefully between musical worlds: as composer, singer, songwriter, and producer. This album builds on Rani’s earlier successes Esja (2019) and Home (2020) with an expanded yet still minimal setup of piano, keyboards, synths (most importantly her Prophet) and features more of her mysterious, bewitching voice. Its spirit is warm, beckoning one into an ambitious double album that unfolds at an exquisite pace, informed by her revelatory, exploratory live performances.

A prolific composer and performer, Hani has also completed a number of soundtracks and extended works in recent years including: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (2023), On Giacometti (2023), Venice - Infinitely Avantgarde (2022), Biala Flaga (Remastered) (2021), Inner Symphonies (2021) and Music for Film and Theatre (2021)

Read more... Bandcamp

Elmiene - Marking My Time

Marking My Time (EP)

by Elmiene

Released 20 October 2023

Polydor / Def Jam

****-

Speaking on his new body of work Elmiene says, “The general theme of this project is trying to mark my time not in terms of history but just for me personally, so I don’t get lost. Almost making a checkpoint to anchor myself. Even sonically it’s like I’m marking my stamp that I put on things. Because I’m so deep in looking back behind me, I always found myself stumbling over what’s gonna happen next. So when my life started speeding up massively, I had to learn how to keep an eye on both sides – appreciating the past in order to do the future the right way and do it justice.”

Despite having only released a handful of songs, the 21-year-old, Oxford-based artist has already made waves in the music scene. His 2021 track “Golden” went viral after Benji B handpicked it to soundtrack Virgil Abloh’s final Louis Vuitton show. He was invited again by Benji to perform alongside Robert Glasper and Yasiin Bey for Louis Vuitton in Paris, Elmiene’s first live show ever. Since then, he has appeared on critically acclaimed albums by Stormzy and Lil Silva, performed at Glastonbury, along with making his TV debut performing “Marking My Time” for the first time on Later… With Jools Holland.

Read more... Discover Music

Elmiene - EL-MEAN (EP)

EL-MEAN (EP)

by Elmiene

Released 10 March 2023

R&R Digital

*****

Elmiene's voice is undeniable. Born Abdala Elamin and raised in Oxford since the age of 5, the now 21-year-old has been called on for his sweetly soulful croons. And yet, despite his love of performance and a knack for poetry and writing, it wasn't until he was discovered via his effortlessly silken cover videos on social media that he realised he could merge the worlds of his words and melodies and shape a future for himself. The next chapter of unearthing who he was as an artist was another fairly speedy one. Within the span of a week, he'd experimented with incorporating spoken word alongside singing on a track, then just spoken word over an instrumental. And then it hit him: "I realised that marrying the two doesn't have to mean them being separate things, like water and oil in a song. It could be the same thing. And the first song after that was 'Golden.' 

Read more... Wasserman

Robbie Robertson - Killers of the Flower Moon Soundtrack

Killers of the Flower Moon Soundtrack

by Robbie Robertson

Released 20 October 2023

Sony Masterworks

*****

Over 40 years, Robbie Robertson and Martin Scorsese collaborated on 11 projects. Today brings their final joint effort, as Sony Music Masterworks has released Robertson’s posthumous soundtrack for Scorsese’s new film, Killers of the Flower Moon.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon explores the murders of native Osage peoples in Oklahoma in the 1920s after oil deposits were discovered on their land, in a saga that came to be called the Reign of Terror.

Robertson himself spent much of his childhood on the Six Nations Reserve as part of his mother’s Mohawk community. As he explained in a posthumous statement, he leaned on this personal history as he crafted the film’s accompanying soundtrack. “I was gathering pictures in my head of music I heard as a child at the Six Nations Indian Reserve. My relatives are all sitting around with their instruments, and one guy would start a rhythm, and then somebody would start singing a melody to that, and it was just haunting. The feeling of the music beside you like that, humming and droning – the groove and the feel of it got under my skin and it lives there forever.”

Read more... Consequence of Sound

The Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds

Hackney Diamonds

by The Rolling Stones

Released 20 October 2023

Polydor

****-

On their first album of originals since 2005, the Rolling Stones walk a tightrope between slick modernity and the quaint notion that their music still packs any grit. “Hackney diamonds” are the broken glass shards left after a smash and grab, but muscular US producer Andrew Watt ensures Hackney Diamonds is a far more polished-sounding record than its insalubrious title would suggest. Full of defiant brio and what you might charitably call unreconstructed Stonesiness – the Sydney Sweeney-starring video for Angry is a case in point; the LP’s Bill Wyman cameo is another – Hackney Diamonds is packed with convincing echoes of the band in its pomp. Two of its quieter moments steal the show however: a cover of Muddy Waters’ Rollin’ Stone – titled Rolling Stone Blues – featuring only Keith Richards and Mick Jagger; and Dreamy Skies, a bittersweet country turn whose Dylanesque weariness provides a welcome respite from all the precision-tooled vim.

Late drummer Charlie Watts plays on a handful of songs; Paul McCartney guests and Elton John tinkles a game-faced piano on the comically lairy Live By the Sword. More lovely keys come from Stevie Wonder, who joins the Stones and a turned-up-to-11 Lady Gaga for a climactic Sweet Sounds of Heaven.

Read more... The Guardian

The Blind Boys Of Alabama - Echoes of the South

Echoes of the South

by The Blind Boys Of Alabama - 

Released 8 September 2023

Single Lock Records

****-

In a 1940s brochure for the Alabama radio station WSGN, one page was given over to promote their ‘Negro Programs’. These ‘programs’ mainly consisted of one music show called Echoes of the South. 

Blind Boys Of Alabama’s new album Echoes of the South honours the radio show that offered their first break.

No original members survive, but the band’s gospel blueprint is intact despite numerous celebrity collaborations. The songs still offer a sense of chumminess with God rather than a fearful connection, ranging from butt-swinging rhythms to bone-deep weariness. Yes, there’s a suave elegance in the production, but gospel has long served for both entertainment and enlightenment.

Read more... Folk Radio UK

Energy Exchange Ensemble - Energy Exchange Vol. 1

Energy Exchange Records Vol. 1

by Energy Exchange Ensemble

Released 22 September 2023

Energy Exchange Records

****-

Bursting into the summer with a vibrant and dynamic debut album, Energy Exchange Ensemble (EX Ensemble), assume their position as innovators of contemporary organically engineered dance music inspired by collaboration and that “special sauce” born from improvised jam-style musicianship.

Energy Exchange Records Vol 1. pays homage to the transcultural projects curated by iconic label, ECM, capturing the impassioned spirit of spontaneity. Delivering a fully realised debut deeply rooted by a core house band that facilitates a flow of many ideas to take shape in an innovative form, where amorphous sound reigns supreme.

Recorded in three cities over 12 months, EX Ensemble spawned from numerous impromptu after hours sessions under the guidance of the Energy Exchange Records production team, united by a passion for transcendental experiences on the dancefloor, driven by a kind of retro-futurism, where analogue meets futuristic soundscapes, and instruments made of wood, steel and animal skins are fused with the elusive realm of electronic music.

Read more... Bandcamp

Sampha - Lahai

Sampha

by Sampha

Released 20 October 2023

Young

****-

It seems like whenever music's A-listers require a strikingly vulnerable male vocal, Sampha gets the call-up.

The London-based singer, songwriter and producer has been enlisted by Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé and Solange, Drake, Alicia Keys, Stormzy and more, making him one of the most in-demand collaborators in the business.

Lahai – titled after both Sampha's middle name and his grandfather's first name – is besotted with notions of family, spirituality, and self-acceptance. The result is music that thrives in complex emotions and compelling contrasts.

Intimate yet animated, sonically gorgeous yet lyrically anxious, steeped in familiar musical traditions – soul, hip hop, jazz, RnB, British electronic music – but with a forward-facing fusion that sound like little else in the contemporary landscape.

Read more... ABC

JD Allen - THIS

THIS

by JD Allen

Released 20 October 2023

Savant Records

****-

In 2021, Kenya-born, New Orleans-based multimedia artist Phoebe Boswell collaborated with tenor saxophonist JD Allen for her acclaimed installation Do We Muse on the Sky or Remember the Sea? Problem was, when Allen heard the finished mix, he was perturbed to hear his horn placed in an electronic soundscape he never authorized. but his initial anger was replaced by curiosity and then appreciation. He dug it.

So when it came time to follow up his brilliant 2022 album, Americana II, Allen decided he would zag, rather than produce more of the same - because he’s an artist. The result is the stark, terrifying THIS, Allen’s seventeenth leader date, and his twelfth on the Savant/ HighNote imprint.

Allen said that his conscious influences for THIS were the rather improbable pairing of death metal and Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE, with early Cecil Taylor and late Arnold Schoenberg thrown in for spice.

 While a left turn, THIS is not completely out of left field. the bare distillation of horror and beauty was foreshadowed by the “mini-suite” of “Jackie and Johnny”, “Mickey and Mallory” and “A Mouthful of Forevers” from Americana II. There’s also plenty of swing here too. This is highly recommended work from one of our foremost artists.

Read more... The New York Jazz Record

Menagerie - The Shores Of Infinity

The Shores Of Infinity

by Menagerie

Released 1 September 2023

Freestyle Records

****-

Australian 9-piece Spiritual Jazz group Menagerie announce their highly anticipated fourth album 'The Shores Of Infinity' - the 3rd LP to be released by Freestyle Records the Melbourne-based Jazz ensemble, founded by producer, songwriter, guitarist, DJ and recording artist Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos, Lanu, Rare Groove Spectrum, Machines Always Win).

Menagerie released their debut album They Shall Inherit in 2012, The Arrow Of Time in 2018 and the critically acclaimed Many Worlds in 2021.

Inspired by both the post-Coltrane generation of the 70's and the current "New Wave Of Jazz", Menagerie have made serious waves internationally, being championed on Worldwide FM, Jazz FM and Jazzwise. They were nominated in the Best Jazz Act category of the 2021 Music Victoria Awards, and in 2022 performed as part of the esteemed Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

The Shores Of Infinity, further expands their sound out into the music universe - a forward-looking, rhythm-heavy expression of contemporary Jazz that is steeped in the tradition but somehow also defies genre pigeonholing.

Read more... Bandcamp

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - Selections from Les Jardins Mystiques Vol. 1 (EP)

Selections from Les Jardins Mystiques Vol. 1 (EP)

by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson

Released 13 September 2023

Brainfeeder

****-

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson is a LA-based producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, music director, and educator. Recording on over 600 albums, films and TV shows, Miguel has recorded and performed with some of the greatest artists of our time, spanning multiple genres.

14 years in the making, “Les Jardins Mystiques Vol.1” comprises 52 tracks / 3.5 hours of music composed, arranged and produced by Miguel with contributions from 50+ friends including Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, DOMi & JD Beck, Jeff Parker, Carlos Niño, Austin Peralta, Bennie Maupin, Gabe Noel, Jamael Dean, Jamire Williams, Burniss Travis II, Deantoni Parks, Josh Johnson, Marcus Gilmore and many more.

“Les Jardins Mystiques” is a project that throws open and shares Miguel’s musical universe. It took shape over a dozen years, largely self-funded by Miguel, and showcasing his distinctly elegant musicianship (on violin, viola, cello and keyboards among other instruments) alongside his free-spirited dialogues with more than 50 instrumentalists. Volume 1 is the first in a planned triptych, which will collectively comprise ten-and-a-half-hours of original, refreshingly expansive music.

Read more... Bandcamp

Maciej Obara Quartet - Frozen Silence

Frozen Silence

by Maciej Obara Quartet

Released 5 September 2023

ECM

****-

Frozen Silence is the third ECM release from alto saxophonist Maciej Obara’s Polish-Norwegian quartet bringing the story forward from Unloved and Three Crowns – and perhaps its strongest musical statement to date. Alert interactivity is the hallmark of the group’s approach in a programme of new Obara compositions inspired by the starkly dramatic landscapes of the mountainous Karkonosze region in south-west Poland. All four players make decisive contributions to the music.

The pieces optimally highlight Maciej’s intuitive musical relationship with pianist Dominik Wania, while bassist Ole Morten Vågan and drummer Gard Nilssen continually transcend rhythm section roles to inject powerful ideas of their own.

The album was recorded in Oslo in June 2022, and produced by Manfred Eicher.

Read more... ECM

Emma Rawicz - Chroma

Chroma

by Emma Rawicz

Released 25 August 2023

ACT Music

****-

Emma Rawicz is a multi-award winning young saxophonist and composer, already making waves on the UK music scene and beyond. She has been described as "An astonishing new talent" (Jamie Cullum – BBC Radio 2), 'a force to be reckoned with' (Jazzwise) and 'a fast-rising star' (London Jazz News).   At the age of 21 she has already recorded and released an eagerly awaited debut album ‘Incantation’ featuring Ant Law, made up entirely of her original compositions.  Emma’s second album 'Chroma' recorded in summer 2022 and features an all-star band of Ivo Neame, Ant Law, Conor Chaplin and Asaf Sirkis

Growing up in rural North Devon, Emma didn't discover jazz until the age of 15, and didn't pick up a tenor saxophone until a year later, but had spent her childhood otherwise immersed in largely folk and classical music.

Emma is a natural performer. Her music has a unique sound, fusing all her many influences, and her compositions range from lilting Afro Cuban inspired grooves to hard hitting modern jazz and funk numbers.

Read more... Emma Rawicz

Tenderlonious - You Know I Care

You Know I Care

by Tenderlonious

Released 25 August 2023

22a Music

****-

Tenderlonious enters fresh album territory with his latest offering entitled, ‘You Know I Care’. Having released several solo projects, numerous collaborations and a series of LP’s, EP’s and singles with his band Ruby Rushton that centred on original compositions, he wanted to take a moment to focus his energy on exploring the classic jazz material that has inspired him over the years.

Players like Jackie McLean, Duke Pearson, Clifford Jordan and Wayne Shorter have all played significant roles in Tenderlonious’ life and provide a constant source of inspiration for his development as a musician and composer. This latest release is a tribute to those musicians and for this reason is a landmark album; ensuring that a new generation of jazz listeners are reminded of some of the most significant contributors, and in some cases unsung heroes, to this ever-evolving genre

Read more... Bandcamp

Lorenzo Morresi, Tenderlonious - Cosmica Italiana

Cosmica Italiana

by Lorenzo Morresi, Tenderlonious

Released 29 July 2022

22a Music

****-

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Italian soundtrack and library music went through its most experimental, prolific and dazzling period having a strong radio presence in both Europe and the US. Musicians and composers such as Piero Umiliani, Amleto Armando Roelens and even Ennio Morricone - with his side project Gruppo Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza lead by Franco Evangelisti - were regularly experimenting with idiosyncratic combinations of jazz, electronic, progressive, disco, funk and psych genres. Some of their output from this period was wonderfully joyful, atmospheric, ironic and erotic, with it’s treasures only now being discovered by the most dedicated of diggers and enthusiasts.

It was their mutual love of these 60s and 70s soundtracks that brought Lorenzo Morresi and Tenderlonious together. After performing alongside each other at a festival in Italy back in 2017 they quickly bonded over a shared love of Jay Richford and Gary Steven’s album ‘Feelings’ - which, in reality, is the Italian duo Brugnolini and Torossi - as they both owned the Schema repressed vinyl version. The idea was quickly conceived to put together a fresh take starting with that early 1970s Italian style, using contemporary analogue inspired arrangements combined with experimental and joyful 'tongue-in-cheek' sounds that could work on the dance floor as well as at home.

Read more... Bandcamp

Laura Misch - Sample The Sky

Sample The Sky

by Laura Misch

Released 1 September 2023

One Little Independent Records

****-

An enchanting journey through London’s wild edgelands, the LP is an ode care, connection and listening to the natural world. ‘Sample The Sky’ responds to nature's patterns through organic electronic productions, embodied lyrics, wind inspired saxophone, singing and synthesis all woven into intricately crafted left-field pop songs.

A departure from her previous, more isolated bedroom-produced work (critically acclaimed EPs ‘Playground’ and ‘Lonely City’ released in 2017 and 2019 respectively), Laura opened up every aspect of the process to her South London creative community. This ranges from guest musicians and field recordists to painters, florists, dancers and tapestry makers. Though some songs had been years in the making, the catalyst for the record's crystallisation was a year-long collaboration with composer and producer William Arcane, whose “synth wizardry” caught Laura’s ears. Every sound on the record has been played, synthesised or recorded from scratch, shaping it into its near final form before weaving in performances from Laura’s recently formed live band; Marysia Osu on harp and Tomáš Kašpar on guitar

Read more... Bandcamp

Sophia Kourtesis - Madres

Madres

by Sophia Kourtesis

Released 27 October 2023

Ninja Tune

****-

Sophia Kourtesis' debut album, Madres is, unsurprisingly, dedicated to Kourtesis' mother. More surprising though it is also dedicated to world-renowned neurosurgeon Peter Vajkoczy. The story of how a world-renowned neurosurgeon came to appear in the liner notes of this record is one of tenacity, miracles, all-consuming love and ultimately, of hope.

Madres contains everything that has made Kourtesis so beloved already. The dual sounds of her Peruvian home and her adopted home in Berlin are present ("my heart is very Latin American, but my motor is German"), as is the activism surrounding gender equality, protection of queer people and access to safe abortions in Peru that is so close to her heart. Having left Peru herself due to being ostracised, and ultimately forced into conversion therapy for her queerness, Kourtesis hadn’t spoken about the real reason she left Peru before but now she hopes her music and words will resonate with others, her experience sadly, infuriatingly, still commonplace. 

Read more... Bandcamp

Blonde Redhead - Sit Down For Dinner

Sit Down For Dinner

by Blonde Redhead

Released 29 September 2023

section1

****-

Blonde Redhead are a veteran NYC-based trio of  singer Kazu Makino while her twin-brother accomplices Amedeo and Simone Pace. They return with ‘Sit Down for Dinner,’ their first album in nine years and debut for the section1 label.

The album's title is a nod to the often-sacred communal ritual of sharing a meal with those you love, this immersive, meticulously crafted album appropriately serves an expression of persistent togetherness, a testament to the unique internal logic Blonde Redhead have refined over their three-decade existence.

Understated yet visceral melodies charge each song, creating a foil to lyrics about the inescapable struggles of adulthood: communication breakdown in enduring relationships, wondering which way to turn, holding onto your dreams. Ultimately, ‘Sit Down for Dinner’ lands as perhaps the strongest record in catalog that’s already as illustrious as it is varied.

Read more... PBS FM

Butcher Brown - Solar Music

Solar Music

by Butcher Brown

Released 6 October 2023

Concord Jazz

****-

A year after the delightfully maximal Butcher Brown Presents Triple Trey in 2022, the Richmond, Virginia-based Butcher Brown return with the 17-track Solar Music, a spacious, warm exploration of grooves in jazz, funk, hip-hop, dance music, neo-soul, and various combinations therein assisted by a bevy of guests.

Groove is the central focus of everything here.

Despite its considerable musical achievement -- or perhaps because of it -- Solar Music is easily the most well-rounded offering from Butcher Brown yet. The band offers an aesthetically pleasing collection of songs with exceptional atmospheric vibes in a wide variety of sophisticated musical settings that showcase growth in composition and arrangement with an inspired performance.

Read more... AllMusic

Butcher Brown Presents Triple Trey

Butcher Brown Presents Triple Trey

by Butcher Brown

Released 16 September 2022

Concord Jazz

****-

MC Butcher Brown Presents Triple Trey featuring Tennishu and R4ND4ZZO BIGB4ND takes the notion of collaboration to an entirely new level in modern popular music. The set's roots lie in the band's rapper/multi-instrumentalist/producer Marcus Tenney (aka Tennishu) creating beats for both this band and other artists during 2020's quarantine. Bassist/composer Andrew Randazzo (also director of the Randazzo Big Band) began writing and arranging music for them as a deconstructive meditation on the big band. Employing the premise that this tradition is historically a vehicle for dancing, he crafted an expansive harmonic palette that relied on rhythm tracks first. The end result doesn't remotely recall the Dorsey Brothers, Benny Goodman, or Glenn Miller. If anything, this has more in common with Nils Landgren's Funk Unit or the WDR Big Band, but above all, this is a party album.

Read more... PBS FM

KONG - The Yellow King's Revenge

The Yellow King's Revenge

by KONG

Released 6 October 2022

Holiday Maker Records

****-

KONG is the instrumental dub reggae moniker of Melbourne multi-instrumentalist and producer Jack Kong.

KONG immersed himself in the music of the classic period of dub reggae on long walks along the Moonee Ponds Creek during the 2021 lockdowns. The resulting record 'The Yellow King’s Revenge' is an immersive, instrumental journey inspired by dub pioneers such as King Tubby, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & Scientist.

The record traces the forgotten landscape of the West Melbourne Swamp, incorporating real and fictional places and characters into the track titles including Dudley Flats, Blue Lake, and of course... the Yellow King.

“It felt natural to use the creek and its stories as the backdrop for the dub reggae inspired music I’d been recording.” Jack Kong
 

Read more... Bandcamp

Munya - Jardin

Jardin

by Munya

Released 13 October 2022

Luminelle Recordings

****-

MUNYA’s new album Jardin follows 2021’s Voyage to Mars. She produced Jardin alongside multi-instrumentalist Kainalu, and together, they grew the album from the ground up, the simplest seed of an idea blooming into a lush garden of sound. “This album is about the people who raised me, the people who inspire me, those who made me the artist I am today,” Boivin says. Jardin pays homage to Boivin’s mother and grandparents, but also household names like Shania Twain, Maria Callas, and Marvin Gaye. Single “Un Deux Trois” was written in reverence of Giorgio Moroder and the music he’s inspired, particularly Daft Punk’s catalog, whose influence can be heard on Boivin’s impossibly groovy song sung entirely in French.

Read more... Fat Possum

Ta-ku - Songs To Come Home To

Songs To Come Home To

by Ta-ku

Released 24 August 2023

Future Classic

****-

Of all the trends to define music in recent decades, none claimed such a hold on listeners as the soulection era, with its passionate collection of artists and producers contributing selflessly to the movement that lives on today. One of the most formative innovators of this niche genre is Ta-ku, who boasts production credits for Justin Timberlake, Childish Gambino, Masego and more, and continues to give soulection a pulse today.

With his illustrious catalog in tow, Ta-ku has shared his debut album, Songs To Come Home To, completing a trilogy that has been in the works since 2013 that includes past projects Songs To Break Up To and Song To Make Up To. His most recent and conclusive offering is a shining reflection on where soulection currently stands, according to one of its chief contributors. As nostalgic as he is forward-thinking, STCHT follows the narrative of Ta-ku’s stepping away from the spotlight, told through serenading and easy-going tracks that makes his return all the more triumphant. 

For the revolutionary producer, STCHT is best explained as “a celebration” and “a full circle moment.” In a press release, he continues, describing the album as “an opportunity for me to express myself in the most complete way as an artist. A culmination of my musical & visual journey over the last decade. A homecoming and arrival to a place of calm and contentment.

Read more... SheeshMusic

Struggler

by Genesis Owusu

Released 18 August 2023

OURNESS / AWOL

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A funny thing happened on Australia's music scene a couple of years ago. Genesis Owusu was a brand new artist dropping his debut album, Smiling With No Teeth. The album, his first full-length LP, started winning awards. And not just one or two. Owusu eventually won practically ALL the music awards Australia had available: The Aria, the Australian Music Prize, the Rolling Stone Australia Award, the Air Awards...you get the idea.

But Genesis Owusu wasn't about to rest on his laurels.

With his second LP — Struggler — Owusu takes an ambitious step forward. It's a concept album revolving around the tortured life of a cockroach — but Owusu treats this roach's existence as a sort of epic narrative, the kind that would naturally include a dialogue with the almighty.
"It's an album that was definitely framed by the last few years of this chaotic and absurd world that we've all lived in," Owusu told Morning Edition's A Martinez. "Being in Australia, we suffered extremely crazy bushfires and then hailstorms, and then we all went through COVID together. Every day through that, we all still got up and put on our ties and kept on trucking."

For Owusu, the roach metaphor captures the sometimes helpless feeling of persevering against overwhelming forces. On the song "The Roach," his protagonist exclaims, "I'm a roach, don't knock me on my back/ Legs in the air, hope God don't attack."

Read more... NPR

Genesis Owusu - Struggler
EABS, Jaubi - In Search of a Better Tomorrow

In Search of a Better Tomorrow

by EABS, Jaubi

Released 12 May 2023

EABS, Jaubi, Astigmatid Records

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The EABS quintet met in a musical fusion with the band named Jaubi. The result is a combination of futuristic jazz from Poland with traditional music from Pakistan. Three years ago, a unique concert took place in the Norwegian Melahauset in Oslo, bringing together musicians from all over the world.

Jaubi, a Lahore-band, together with a pianist from Wrocław, Marek "Latarnik" Pędziwiatr, and a saxophonist from London, Tenderlonious, played their first concert with material from the album "Nafs at Peace", which was not released yet back then, and a year later in 2020 it became one of the highest rated jazz albums according to The Guardian, Bandcamp, Downbeat, Pitchfork and many others.

When the plan of the trip to Lahore was made real to record music together and combine different musical traditions, it was certain that it would be necessary to do the opposite way and meet in Poland as well. This way, musicians would be able to record new music with an even larger line-up

This time, Astigmatic Records have joined forces with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to present the outcomes of a joint recording session. The combination of piano, synthesizers, a powerful brass section, and the bold bass and drums characteristic of EABS will be coming together with the masters of tabla and sarangi, as well as the subtle touches of electric guitar. A real crowd on stage: 8 musicians. You simply cannot miss this international orchestra!

Read more... Bandcamp

The Seven Ups - A Free Blowing Wind

A Free Blowing Wind

by The Seven Ups

Released 22 September 2022

Northside Records

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When it comes to the Melbourne music scene, they get some love no doubt, but considering the level of musicality that the local heavy-groove stalwarts showcase time and time again on their albums, they should really be adorning crowds at festivals worldwide.

It’s hard to picture anyone that wouldn’t enjoy their music. They possess a universally enjoyable sound that’s just so hard to resist. As soon as you put on one of their records, the band’s lush instrumental soundscapes and groove-laden arrangements transform the room around you. 

Their newest effort, A Free Blowing Wind, is no exception to this. As always, it’s part jazz, psych, and funk all in one; but this time around there are a few welcomed change-ups that further expand the group’s already all-encapsulating palette.

Read more... Forte Magazine

The Meltdown - LIVE at the Nightcat

The Meltdown - LIVE at the Nightcat

by The Meltdown

Released 13 July 2022

Elwood Records

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Recorded at The Night Cat in Melbourne on April fools day 2021, this record encapsulates what makes Melbourne great. You can hear and feel the room heaving and sweating through an awesome night of music.

At the time, we’d all been locked down for several months and the excitement of being out in the world again jumps out of the speakers.

Featuring Simon Burke on Vocals and Wurlitzer, Hugh Harvey on Drums, Ryan Monro on Bass, Tom Martin on Guitar, Eamon McNelis on Trumpet, and Lachlan McLean on Saxophone, this record showcases the laid back and tasty musicianship of these fine players at the top of their game, and the interaction between each other and the crowd.

Featuring live versions of ‘Better Days’ , ‘Sweet Water’, many songs from the first record and some new previously unreleased material

Read more... Bandcamp

Avantdale Bowling Club - Trees

Trees

by Avantdale Bowling Club

Released 29 September 2023

Years Gone By / DMZ NZ

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Tom Scott is a rapper from New Zealand's underground hip-hop scene. He's one the most important figures in New Zealand hip hop, but, financially, that doesn't mean a ton.

He's been rapping for over a decade now. He grew up in Auckland – the biggest city in a very small country. In 2018, Tom released an amazing, beautiful album under the name Avantdale Bowling Club. He named it after the place where he grew up.

On the record, he reflects on his roots. His childhood. The friendships he's lost. The places he's been. His family. He kicks things off with an autobiography on Years Gone By. It's an intimate hip hop record with jazz instrumentation. The sound is lush. Maybe less Low End Theory, more to Pimp a Butterfly. It's pretty remarkable.

Avantdale Bowling Club recently released Trees, a follow up to the self-titled debut album. It's a little more stripped down than the self-titled debut, but it's just as captivating.

Read more... NPR

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Lucas

by Cody Currie

Released 28 October 2022

Toy Tonics

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The roots of Cody’s artistry runs deep, hailing from Leytonstone in East London by his father a fashion designer and his Spanish mother a music writer, it was inevitable that Cody would follow suit in the world of creativity. Currie’s keen ear and penchant for retro disco licks, chopped keys, and broken beats have landed him also with 1 off releases on other notable labels like Razor-N-Tape, Dan Shake’s Shake Records.

This debut album, like his EPs, represents the new essence of jazz burgeoning out of London’s youth scene of today. Cody doesn't use any samples, only live instruments, vocals and great chord combinations, a nod towards his music school studies in London before moving over to Berlin.
On Lucas, Cody defines his work by enjoying the collaborative process with other talented artists such as Eliza Rose and Ziggy (Freedom Zeitgeist Energy Exchange), as well as some of Cody’s close personal friends like Jitwam, Ally McMahon.

Read more... Bandcamp

Charlie Hill - Yore

Yore

by Charlie Hill

Released 15 September 2022

Middle Name Records / Ditto Music

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After May 2023’s collaborative Galaxy EP with Sam Poggioli, aka Sampology, Australian drummer-producer Charlie Hill returns to Poggioli’s Middle Name Records for Yore, his debut solo EP and the first release on the label that is not a solo or collaborative Sampology record.

Recorded between 2019 and 2022, Yore lives and breathes in the slipstreams between the vibrancy of jazz-funk, neo-soul and downbeat and the machine beats of house, techno and broken beat. Across its six tracks, Hill combines recordings of himself drumming with programmed rhythms, synthesisers, and a painstakingly curated personal library of samples of friends and family playing instruments and singing. From the modern trip-hop dreamscapes of ‘A Space For A Space’ to the syncopated rhythms and rubbery bassline bounce of ‘Yemlaad’, the EP is an embarrassment of riches from a bold and intuitive new talent.

Read more... Bandcamp

Chouk Bwa & the Ångströmers - Somanti

Somanti

by Chouk Bwa & the Ångströmers

Released 6 October 2023

Edition Records

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After the acclaimed Vodou Alé released in 2020 and two 12’’ in 2022, Chouk Bwa & The Ångströmers strike back with Somanti, a brand-new album that digs again into Haïtian vodou and electronic experimentations. Brutally separated by the COVID crisis, the band went back on stage in 2022 and performed about thirty concerts in Europe. Between two concert series, they took the opportunity to record their live set. The connection between the well-preserved vodou tradition on one hand, and analog electronics on the other hand, gets deeper and deeper, with also a kind of rage due to the incredible difficulty of the world. The musical result is wild and full of twists and blasts. It’s in-your-face.

Read more... Bandcamp