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ADDITIONS |August 2020

Nubya Garcia - Source


by Nubya Garcia

Released 21 August 2020

Concord Jazz


It's hard to imagine that tjhis is Nubya Garcia's debut album as she is already such an influential presence in the London's contemporary jazz scene. From the first notes sounding out  of her tenor sax on her 2018 EP Nubya's 5ive, it was evident that this was another important artist to follow, alongside her fellow travellers including Cleo Sol, Shabaka Hutchings, Makaya McCraven, Moses Sumney and so many others.

Pitchfork said: "Switching from dub reggae to cumbia to classic balladry, Garcia meditates on her humble family heritage, the continuum of jazz history, and the power of collective action in our present moment.

“Pace” serves as an empathic mission statement. As she recently told Downbeat, it refers to the hectic lifestyle of a gigging Londoner, but “Pace” embodies a whole range of emotions. Propelled by keyboardist Joe Arman-Jones’ cascading chords, the group soars and then deftly lands back where they began. Garcia’s solo calmly navigates it all: fiery and supple, dizzying and lyrical. You can hear how she’s garnered comparisons to the greats: Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Gary Bartz".

Tenderlonius - Quarantena


by Tenderlonius

Released 21 August 2020



Tenderlonious returns to his own 22a imprint with a brand new collection of lo-fi beats and soundscapes courtesy of the lockdown studio sessions from his home in South London. Armed with an arsenal of hardware and inspired by sci-fi & fantasy movies, he has delivered an expansive opus of varying tempos that glide across imaginative synth sculptures and meditative soundscapes. The soundtrack to his quarantine - Quarantena.


When COVID-19 hit the UK back in March (2020) the music game changed almost overnight - no more gigs, no more studio sessions with the band, many music stores and outlets shutting up shop. This drastic change offered plenty of time for reflection, opening up a new portal of exploration for Tender - he purchased his first piece of studio equipment at the age of 16 and has since then amassed a serious arsenal of studio hardware.

Some people collect stamps, some of us collect records, Tender collects synths and drum machines.

The lockdown period offered up the opportunity of more time in his home studio, brimming with hardware, that due to his busy schedule, had yet to be exhausted.

Besides, isn't this one worth inclusion for the album artwork alone?

Baby Rose - To Myself

To Myself

by Baby Rose

Released 22 August 2019

Island Records


Still in her mid-twenties, Baby Rose poseses the voice of a woman twice her age, at times sounding like classic artists Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse, Joan Armatrading, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) and a repertoire of sorrowful love songs to suit. 

To Myself  , her debut album, showcases this glorious instrument with ten soulful, sultry songs.

The production places her voice front and centre, mostly acccompanied by acoustic guitars, pianos or small elctric combos throughout. 

Reviewing this album, The Guardian's Kate Hutchinson wrote: "She has said that To Myself is her internal struggle about whether “I’m going to evolve or whether I’m going to digress”, but there’s no going back now. By the sounds of it, Baby Rose is in full bloom".

Progressing at a leisurely pace, Baby Rose lays down a series of  bares-bones accounts of a previous relationship.

Zara McFarlane - Songs of an Unknown Tongue

Songs of an Unknown Tongue

by Zara McFarlane

Released 3 July 2020

Brownswood Recordings


Brownswood's release notes from Zara McFarlane's Bandcamp perfectly describe this wonderful new offering, as follows:

"Songs of an Unknown Tongue is a masterful work that underlines her continuous growth as an artist. Zara’s fourth studio album pushes the boundaries of jazz adjacent music via an exploration into the folk and spiritual traditions of her ancestral motherland, Jamaica. The album is a rumination on the piecing together of black heritage, where painful and proud histories are uncovered and connected to the present.

Partnering with cult South London based producers Kwake Bass and Wu-lu, Zara has created a futuristic sound palate, electronically recreating the pulsing, hypnotic rhythms Kumina and Nyabinghi – and the music played at African rooted rituals like the emancipation celebration Bruckins Party, and the lively death rites of Dinki Minki and Gerreh.

These richly patterned electronic rhythms are balanced throughout by McFarlane’s distinctive, clear vocal tones, and vivid song writing".

Oscar Jerome - Breathe Deep

Breathe Deep

by Oscar Jerome

Released 7 August 2020

Oscar Jerome


With yet another impressive studio debut from London comes a young  singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist with the very jazz-sounding name of Oscar Jerome. His influences are still very much in evidence but they are well balanced by his playful contemporary approach, resulting in a most enjoyable and refreshing recording,

Jerome was trained classical guitar and jazz at London’s Trinity Laban music school and lists George Benson, Wes Montgomery, John Scofield, Freddie Hubbard, John Coltrane as jazz influences but adds "Some of my favourite lyricists are Gil Scott-Heron, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and MF Doom. John Martyn has been a massive influence, especially the way he creates beautiful melancholy. I love a lot of west African music too like Ali Farka Touré, Ebo Taylor, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus. Goldie and Steel Pulse have also been influential, I could go on forever, to be honest!" Oscar is an artist that I hope will suprise us regularly for many years to come.

Bab L'Bluz - Nayda!


by Bab L'Bluz

Released 5 June 2019

Real World Records


Moroccan-French power quartet, Bab L’ Bluz, reclaim the blues for North Africa. Fronted by an African-Moroccan woman in a traditionally male role, Bab L’ Bluz are devoted to a revolution in attitude which dovetails with Morocco’s ‘nayda’ youth movement – a new wave of artists and musicians taking their cues from local heritage, singing words of freedom in the Moroccan-Arabic dialect of darija.

Comprising Yousra Mansour (lead vocals, awisha - a small version of guembri, percussion and guembri), Brice Bottin (guembri, guitar, percussion), Hafid Zouaoui (drums) and Jérôme Bartolome (flute, percussion). Formed in Marrakech in 2018, Bab L' Bluz describes itself as "born from the dream of propelling the Guembri on the international music scene of contemporary music. A true tribute to the inexhaustible roots of Gnawa culture, irresistibly psychadelic, undeniably blues, bottle-fed at funk, Bab L' Bluz is a true intercontinental meeting point".

Further reading (Financial Times 11 July 2020):

Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad - Jazz Is Dead 3 Marcos Vale

Jazz Is Dead 003

by Marcus Valle / Ali Shaheed Muhammed / Adrian Younge

Released 28 August 2020

Jazz Is Dead


This third volume is a collab with legendary Brazilian composer, singer, and producer Marcos Valle. He lived in L.A. during the 1970s, working as an engineer, producer, sideman, and songwriter, composing with Chicago's Robert Lamm and R&B maestro Leon Ware, but he never recorded his own music. (Valle's last American recording was Samba '68, arranged by Eumir Deodato.) Muhammad and Younge did a deep dive into Valle's catalog for musical guidance and creative inspiration, then invited him to Linear Labs Studio.

Known for intense focus, Valle listened intently to his collaborator's ideas and embellished them, often in the moment. The musicians cut eight sparkling, airy new songs in less than a week. While the spontaneity in these sessions references various musical projects Valle has engaged over the decades, the approach is modern, organic, and warmly visceral. Check out the lithe opener "Queira Bem." Valle's signature vocal phrasing caresses the lyric just above a shimmering Rhodes piano, jazzy guitar, and slightly funky bass lines. A flute slips around the sung lines as percussion and snare breaks fill out the mix. Valle's spouse, vocalist Patricia Alvi, adds harmony vocals to several tracks, but her featured duet on "Viajando Por Aí" is the set's finest entry. Samba rhythms and syncopated jazz horn charts, which meet in-the-cut funky bass and electric piano and organ, introduce a sexy soul bossa delivered flawlessly by the singers. The set's final two tracks, "Our Train" and "A Gente Volta Amanhã," directly reference Fly Cruzeiro, a 1972 electric jazz-samba session Valle cut with Azymuth, which was recently reissued by Far Out. (Interestingly, the fusion trio are the subjects of the upcoming JID004.) The former track is an instrumental samba. Its stacked organs, vamping guitars, and simmering percussion are filtered through a syncopated, percussive Rhodes piano, zigzagging synths, and punchy, if gently restrained, brass extensions in the coda. The latter is a vocal tune that juxtaposes swirling psychedelic pop, jazz, and bossa. The breezy instrumental arrangement centers on a flute, framed by reeds and brass. Underneath are a heavily reverbed wah-wah guitar, bumping synths, a Hammond B-3, and an electric piano that dart around abundant polyrhythms. Valle's slightly weathered voice shows faint traces of age but rises to his accompaniment; though it almost gets swallowed, the sultry flute rescues him with a restatement of the theme. The only nick against Marcos Valle JID003 is, at less than 30 minutes, its brevity. That said, what these musicians accomplished in less than a week is remarkable, so much so that it leaves the listener wanting much more. Here's hoping for a sequel

Source: AllMusic

Sevdaliza - Shabrang


by Sevdaliza

Released 28 August 2020

Twisted Elegance


From the beginning, Sevdaliza's emotive singing and songwriting and cutting-edge productions were fully realized. Nevertheless, she's found room for artistic growth with every release. On her debut album, Ison, she expressed its concept of past and present incarnations with tracks that layered upon each other into a transcendent whole. With Shabrang, she expresses the themes of pain, loss, healing, and renewal in ways that are more varied, but just as striking. The album's title means "night-colored" in Persian, a motif that's echoed in Sevdaliza's bruised eye on its artwork and the way she leans into her music's ache. She uses more organic sounds and rougher textures to dig deeper and pull listeners in closer on the haunting "Joanna," where her songwriting takes on a mythical, almost folkloric quality to tell a story of all-consuming love. Similarly, on the title track she traces the almost imperceptible shifts and seismic changes of the heart with the intensity of a classic torch song, even as an ominous dubstep bass looms behind her. This embrace of long-standing song forms -- which recalls Ison's exploration of how the past shapes the future -- stretches to the prominence of Sevdaliza's Iranian roots on the album. The title Shabrang alludes to the name of a loyal steed in an 11th century epic poem from her birthplace, while her somber, string-laden reimagining of Googoosh's 1974 song "Gole Bi Goldoon" pays tribute to her heritage as well as Sevdaliza's own flair for drama. Throughout Shabrang, she uses traditional melisma and vibrato as well as futuristic pitch-shifting skillfully to transform her voice into new shapes and emotions. On "Human Nature," she lets it melt and flow like water before lifting it into impossibly, achingly high notes; on "Oh My God," she morphs into different personae as she questions the politicization of her heritage. In its natural state, her voice is so rich that it fits perfectly into every setting she puts it in on Shabrang. Working once again with co-producer Mucky and string arranger Mihai Puscoiu, Sevdaliza uses a wider and more adventurous musical palette than ever before. On the tumbling, hypnotic "All Rivers at Once," she juxtaposes electric guitar, synth, and violin in ways that make them all sound fresh. As always, her use of textures is stunningly expressive, particularly on "Darkest Hour," which transforms from piano-driven heartbreak into dark, propulsive, dancefloor-ready grooves that distill the album's mission to turn pain into strength. At once dazzling and heartfelt, Shabrang is an epic journey, and Sevdaliza is brilliantly in control throughout it.

Source: AllMusic

Hejira - Thread of Gold (2019)

Thread of Gold

by Hejira

Released 22 February 2019

Limo Limo Records


Named partly for Joni Mitchell's iconic 1976 album and after the Arabic word for "flight or journey to a more desirable place", Hejira is an extraordinary trio fom South London comprising Sam Beste (vocals, guitar), Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne (vocals, bass), Alex Reeve (lead guitar), Alexis Nunez (drums), who produce joyous eclectic music - which is perhaps not surprising as collectively they share Ethiopian, part-Chilean, part-German and part-Hungarian heritage and working as session musicians before forming the band with artists as diverse as Amy Winehouse, Nitin Sawnhey, Floating Points and Tom Jones.In interview with Rhythm Passport Lead Guitarist Alex Reve said "Thread of Gold grew out of a trip we all took to Ethiopia together a few years ago. The record reflects our shared experiences of trying to make sense of our place in the world and the impact changing surroundings can have on our identity". In particular the band shared  vocal;ist Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne's search to piece together her own father's life, assisted by her uncle, whoo died some onths later,. "This album is a reflection of all of that and a reminder that life is beautifully finite", she says.

PS: The memorable album artwork is by Mexican-born artist Victoria Villasana 

Christian Sands - Be Water

Be Water

by Christian Sands

Released 17 July 2020

Mack Avenue Records


Empty your mind, Be formless, shapeless, like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle … Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” 

Christian Sands introduces "Be Water I", the third track from his fourth album, with the above quote from Bruce Lee from his 1971 breakthrough appearance on the TV drama Longstreet. This provides the narrative that frames this elegantly-formed, piano-based suite of music. Sands develops the idea throughout the recording, balancing his lyrical compositions with elegant imnprovisations and energetic ensemble playing.

The Last Dinosaur - Wholeness and the Im

Wholeness and the Implicate Order (Single)

by The Last Dinosaur

Released 17 July 2020

2020 Phases


Wholeness and the Implicate Order is a book by theoretical physicist David Bohm. It was originally published in 1980 by Routledge, Great Britain. It is also the title of The Last Dinosaur's latest release and the title of their next album due in October.

The theory of the Implicate Order contains an ultraholistic cosmic view; it connects everything with everything else. In principle, any individual element could reveal "detailed information about every other element in the universe." The central underlying theme of Bohm's theory is the "unbroken wholeness of the totality of existence as an undivided flowing movement without borders."

The Last Dinosaur is the project of artist Jamie Cameron, who stated “This piece began it’s life in 2012 and was finally finished this year. A collaboration between me, Luke Hayden (piano), Rachel Lanskey (viola) and Lewis Daniel (brass and wind). A mess of memories. The magic to the mundane to the malevolent. Eventually the music is overwhelmed by the elements. Instruments continue playing until they’re lost to the wind, static, footsteps, electricity. Transitory bullshit ultimately designated insignificant by the relentless and overwhelming order of nature.”

Sorcha Richardson - First Prize Bravery

First Prize Bravery

by Sorcha Richardson

Released 8 November 2019

R&R Digital


Written during a transitional time between her New York residency and consequent move back to Dublin, "First Prize Bravery" captures a coming-of-age story like no other. Between the stark imagery and dynamic characters, the piano-struck soliloquies and twinkling pop melodies, every thought and emotion is painted in an indie revival masterpiece.

"It's a collection of stories about the people who came in and out of my life during that time, when everything felt like it was about to change pretty drastically," she confides. "I think subconsciously I was trying to capture the moments that felt important; my way of writing them down so I wouldn't forget them."  

While the album opens up with a starkly poignant slow ballad, it quickly evolves into a multi-dimensional, colourful novel. The irresistibly alluring "Don't Talk About It" heralds in a Richardson that sounds defiant, comfortable, and certain of the sound she wishes to create. All throughout the album, she dances with a multitude of instrumental inspirations. Whether it be hazy synths, jagged guitars, or even a tambourine in "Oh Oscillator". But despite the changes in sound, her rich voice keeps it all grounded, lighting the way through the fog of memory as her stories unfold. 

"I guess this is an album about beginnings and endings, about friendship and confusing relationships," she adds, "and the quiet, intimate moments I shared with those people amidst all of the chaos." The most prominent theme in Richardson's debut album is the power of small moments. Caressing an eloquent production of gentle guitar strums and vocal hums on "Red Lion", she recounts a simpler time spent with a friend along Silverlake: "Just come over whenever | Oh I like this life".

Conversely, tracks like "False Alarm" and "Twisting the Knife" reflect on the darker moments without ever losing grace or her diverse outlook.

Because that's where Richardson's talent nestles, in her songwriting: every lyric outfitted for a line in a poem, every chorus striking and vivid, and every emotion sunk deep within, subconsciously filling you up, until what you are left with is a stream of continuous admiration for Richardson, for First Prize Bravery and for the simple but all-consuming power of stellar songwriting. 


Jess Cornelius - Distance


by Jess Cornelius

Released 24 July 2020

Part Time Records


Jess Cornelius is the New Zealand-born singer, songwriter and instrumentalist behind Teeth & Tongue, an Australian indie rock band she formed in 2007.

Over four critically-acclaimed albums, Teeth & Tongue gradually morphed from a solo project into a band, culminating in the 2016 album "Give Up On Your Health", released through Dot Dash/Remote Control/Captured Tracks.
Now working from LA, but still releasing her work out of Melbourne, her new solo project is more stripped back, personal and lyrically direct than Teeth and Tongue, resulting a most impressive singer-songwriter "debut" album.


In awarding Album of The Week in July, Melbourne's radio station 3RRR said "As we travel through the tracklist we encounter the artist's singular songwriting skill, hearing tones and textures from country, soul, Americana, rock and roll and electronic pop. The album title may hint at physical separations, but these songs also address deeper divides: between the expectations of others and those of the individual on their own journey. In her lyrics Cornelius considers all forms of disconnection, and the ways we navigate the need for solitude and surrender in our closest relationships".



Teeth and Tongue - Give Up On Your Healt

Give Up On Your Health

by Teeth and Tongue

Released 2 September 2016

Dot Dash Recordings


In a day and age of short attention spans, Teeth & Tongue‘s new LP is a reminder why investing the time and energy in a record can be immensely rewarding. Give Up On Your Health is more than just another, unsubstantial album imitating the synth-pop and new wave of the ’80s. On the contrary, the Melbourne-based band’s fourth studio effort is one of the most poignant and emotive albums of 2016.

Most will immediately gravitate to the tantalizing waves of synths and rhythms that resonate throughout Give Up On Your Health. The songwriting of Teeth & Tongue’s creative genius Jess Cornelius, however, is what makes the album a wonderful listen. Throughout the album, the New Zealand-born artist weaves stories regarding the ending of a relationship and seeking solace far away from the chaos (in Cornelius’ case it was Iceland). But instead of being stationary, there are message of moving on from past devastation to seek new challenges. In many ways, Give Up On Your Health feels like a set of journal entries, where Cornelius is sharing her most intimate thoughts and experiences.


Vanessa Worm - 77

Vanessa 77

by Vanessa Worm

Released 10 July 2020

Optimo Music


“Vanessa 77” the debut album from another Melbourne-based, New Zealand-born Vanessa Worm. Musically free and anarchic, Vanessa conforms to nobody’s dogma. Vanessa says “Vanessa 77, like many creative endeavours is a journey of self discovery. Worm says "mentally, emotionally and creatively. I spent most of my time alone in winter 2019 focused solely on personal development and self realisation via the creation of this album. I hope this album can provide some form of healing, soothing, celebration and act as a sub-conscious guide for us as we enter into this New Earth. Thank you to all who listens, enjoy!” The album opens with two short, dischordant and numericaly-named tracks, "144" and "123" and it's not until more than a minute into the third, "Bones and Blood" that a powerful dance beat is introduced, breaking away from the David Lynch-like opening. The kick-drum dance beat is maintained throughout the following songs "Heaven and Hell", "Cold Hard Blues" propelling songs delivered in Worms tremulous vocals and the backing of tape loops (often reversed) and electronica so that it sounds as if ithe wjhold thing has been somehow conjured from a bank of arcade game machines. The album is filled with fearless experimentalism, from the the punk-funk fusion of "In Heaven We Are" and "Tiny Revolutions"to the driving rhythms and bonkers sound effects  of "0000" and "Satisfaction".

Worm closes out the album enigmatically, with a Patti-Smith-like (but practically indecipherasble) poetry of "Cave of Creation", set to the backing of detuned guitars.

This album, although imperfect, is the first work of an adventurous, but not yet fully formed artist, who is one to be watched.

Gordon Koang - Unity


by Gordon Koang

Released 14 August 2020

Music in Exile


Originating from the Nile Valley in what is now South Sudan, Koang was born blind and began playing music from an early age, busking on the streets of Juba and producing his own self-released CD-R’s and cassettes, before becoming a crowd favourite and recording a series of singles and music videos celebrating South Sudan’s cultural wealth. His music went viral, spreading throughout the country, and Koang was invited to perform at everything from weddings and political rallies to church meetings and parties alike. His reputation quickly grew as the poet and homegrown hero of the Nuer people, sometimes called the ‘Michael Jackson of South Sudan’.
In 2013, while Koang was performing to expatriate Nuer communities in Australia, renewed conflict broke out at home. He made a difficult and heartbreaking decision to not return to Sudan, applying to the Australian government for humanitarian protection. After six long years of waiting, living in a foreign country far away from his family, he now proudly calls himself an ‘Australian’, and eagerly awaits the day he will rejoin his wife and children in safety.
Unity is, remarkably, Gordon’s eleventh full-length album, and his first since coming to Australia. It is his only recorded output in a painstakingly long six years of living as an asylum seeker, mostly recorded in the last winter months of 2019, when Gordon began performing with local musicians through the Music in Exile label. The album was completed just weeks before Gordon was awarded his permanent residency. He could have had no way of knowing, and yet there is no frustration in the songs, not a shred of impatience or anger - only Gordon’s unending positivity, his love of all people and of the world he has never seen.

Bananagun - The True Story of Bananagun.

The True Story of Bananagun

by Bananagun

Released 26 June 2020

Zenith Records


Hailing from Melbourne, but with a sound stretching from 60s and 70s afrobeat and exotica to Fela Kuti-esque repetition, the proto-garage rhythmic fury of The Monks and the grooves of Os Mutantes, there’s an enticing lost world exoticism to the music of Bananagun.

It’s the sort of stuff that could’ve come from a dusty record crate of hidden gems; yet as the punchy, colourfully vibrant pair of singles "Do Yeah" and "Out of Reach" have proven over the past 12 months, the band are no revivalists.

On debut album "The True Story of Bananagun", they make a giant leap forward with their outward-looking blend of global tropicalia.


Ziggy Ramo - Black Thoughts

Black Thoughts

by Ziggy Ramo Burrmuruk Fatnowna

Released 26 June 2020

Ramo Records


Ziggy Ramo has been described as an artist whose political lines and personal life blur into an iconoclastic voice reminiscent of Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Clash and Archie Roach. The Sydney-based artist released his new album, ‘Black Thoughts’, by surprise to coincide with the #BlackLivesMatter marches. He revealed the album on Instagram, detailing the point of life he was in when he wrote it in a lengthy statement:

“Australia, before we march today, I ask you to reflect on why you are marching. I wrote this album 5 years ago while I was hospitalized. I was in a dark space and on suicide watch. It was my obituary. I wanted to document my thoughts so that our stories could be heard after I was gone. With the love and support of family and friends I was able to rediscover hope. The album was very healing for me, but I never put it out because I knew as a country we weren’t ready to listen. I wish it was dated. I wish there was no need for it. But unfortunately, it's more relevant now than ever and I refuse to wait any longer. Racism isn’t an American issue. It is everywhere. Australia is built on it. Before we can strategize and come together as a country to make real change, we need to learn our true history. This album is not the answer to the question. It’s a starting point of continued conversation. A lot of you have been asking what you can do to support change during this time. You can start by listening.


Following a live streaming of the album from the Sydney Opera House on 29 August 2020, he wrote:
"I felt isolated with my trauma. I went from being hospitalised with these thoughts to being supported by an entire team at the @sydneyoperahouse. Dealing with it takes time. It’s due to my privilege that I didn’t fall through the cracks and take my own life. Unfortunately so many of us don’t have the support to make it back. When I perform I feel safe to revisit those dark places because of the love and support of those around me. I perform completely live with no backing tracks because I have to surrender myself to the trauma. I don’t know how it will manifest. I am no longer in control. It’s surreal to feel so deeply supported in those moments. Thank you all for allowing me to go there. I think we as Indigenous people have to have safe spaces to show the effects of this trauma. I need you to see me. I need you to feel me. I need you to love me for all that I am. I am human."

The performance is available on the Opera House's YouTube Channel:

Ex-Olympian - Voices In My Head

Lilac Youth / Voices In My Head

by Ex-Olympian (Liam McGorry)

Released 31 July 2020

Dot Dash Recordings


What comes next? What’s over the horizon? Ex-Olympian is the new musical vessel for Liam McGorry, songwriter & musician for bands such as Saskwatch and Dorsal Fins.

Named after the neon sign that adorns "Borsari’s Corner" in Melbourne’s Lygon St, Ex-Olympian also reflects those times we all need to shift things forward into a new phase. Musically, things are shifting gears too.

Voices In My Head is a cinematic, skittish song about scrambling to reconcile the many voices of today’s world in your head… about trying to find yourself amongst a mess of self doubt, social media envy and climate anxiety.

It’s disco-tinged ‘B Side’ Lilac Youth is a meditation on the dangers of losing yourself to nostalgia and ego, on focusing on past glories. The song (co-written and sung by former Saskwatch bandmate Nkechi Anele) is a nice soulful moment, where past and present align together.
‘Dream Funk’ is the official moniker for Liam’s music (as coined by Northside Records’ head-honcho Chris Gill). With a focus on soaring melodies and lush arrangements, it takes cues from the music of heroes Reneé Geyer, The Avalanches, Arthur Verocai and Badbadnotgood.

Recorded with a raft of pals back in 2017 with Cal Barter at the wheel, it was then handed to fellow friend and confidant Haima Marriott, who mixed and co-produced the songs with Liam.

Voices in My Head is the A side of a new 7” record out Friday July 31st, in a partnership between two Melbourne icons: Northside Records & Remote Control Records. It’s also Liam’s vocal debut.


FDVM, Kylie Auldist - The Truth

The Truth

by FDVM (feat. Kylie Auldist)

Released 12 June 2020

Big Top Records


FDVM, aka Florent Denecker, is a French dj and producer from North of France. Kylie Auldist is an Australian singer, best known as the singer of The Bamboos and Cookin' on 3 Burners. She has also released four solo albums, the most recent Family Tree, in 2016

This single is sure to energise any dance floor., but it's too short - I want to hear the extended mix!

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks - Dawn (2014)


by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks

Released 7 October 2014

Hope Street Recordings


Acclaimed indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan and Melbourne rhythm combo The PutBacks come together  for "Dawn", an album of hard hitting and heartfelt soul songs telling stories of grief, struggle and redemption.

Dawn is a gritty, uniquely Australian record, simultaneously classic and contemporary. The songwriting is in turns optimistic, angry and melancholic, and on occasions bruisingly honest. The music is fluid, live and raw, recorded in one room on eight channels of analog tape and the electric connection between Emma and the band comes through in every beat.
Dawn takes some cues from the burgeoning soul revival, but it’s a far looser interpretation than many releases in the style. This is no attempt at reviving a bygone era. There’s no horn section. There’s more rock in there. There’s more country in there. There’s more, in Emma’s words, “blackfella music” in there.

The songwriting is more akin to classic Aboriginal bands like Coloured Stone than it is to Sharon Jones. The sentiment is personal, for both Emma and the band, and forward looking, rather than revivalist.

 Dawn is indigenous Australian soul. but above all a journey through Emma’s life, written in song.


The Putbacks - The Putbacks (2018)

The Putbacks

by The Putbacks

Released 9 November 2018

Hope Street Recordings


Known for their instrumental 7inch funk cuts and their collaboration with Emma Donovan, this self-titled LP is the first full-length release to the band’s name and is well worth the wait. This record is produced by Paul Bender (Hiatus Kaiyote) and featuring collaborations with luminaries such as Bilal and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson

The Putbacks take their cues from the great house bands of the 60s and 70s soul studios - The MGs, The Meters and The Wrecking Crew, as well as film composers from David Axelrod and Lalo Schifrin to Adrian Younge and contemporary instrumental groups like BADBADNOTGOOD and Khruangbin.

The Putbacks slide from dance floor fire to cinematic interlude and back, from densely composed music to free improvisation, blurring all the lines in between.

From the screaming guitar of the Bilal feature The Ways to the oily funk groove of Hold On and the soaring strings on No Man No, The Putbacks is an Australian soul classic.

Kev Carmody - Cannot Buy My Soul

Cannnot Buy My Soul

by Various Artists cover Kev Carmody

Released 21 August 2020

Big Top Records


Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kewv Carmody (2020 Edition) is an expanded version of a compilation of Carmody's songs first issued in 2007. It includes origanl versions of many of Carnmody's best songs, alongside interpretations by many of Australia's most famous and talented artists. Spanning contemporary, country, folk, rock and singer-songwriter genres, Carmody's writes of Australian life  from the indigenous perspective and ranks alongside his long-time friendPaul Kelly as one of this country's great contemporary storeytellers. Their 1991 collaboration "From Little Things (Big Things Grow)", although dealing with land rights, over five minitues in duration and never a chart success is now one of Australia's best known.

The album is also a unque showcase of Australian talent including Kasey Chambers, Jimmy Barnes, Kate-Miller Heidke, Courtney Barnett, Archie Roach, Missy Higgins, Bernard Fanning, Clare Bowditch, Troy Cassar-Daley and many more.

Tiana Khasi - Meghalaya (EP)

Meghalaya (EP)

by Tiana Khasi

29 March 2020

Soul Has No Tempo


Brisbane-based artist Tiana Khasi (Kah-see) shares her debut EP, ‘MEGHALAYA’, out now via Soul Has No Tempo.
The Sampology-produced debut is a rich tapestry of styles and influence, with inspiration drawing from themes of self-empowerment, family and heritage, collaborating with contemporary musicians while studying jazz.

“‘Meghalaya' is both geographic and spiritual. It's a place I creatively resort to seeking affirmation of my identity and for true holistic inspiration. I wanted to create a body of work that honestly showed where I was at musically and personally. I felt the growing pains of being a young woman, mixed race/Australian born and studying jazz. I was neither here nor there.”
Her debut single 'Nuketown' received praise from Complex UK, BBC 1Xtra, Worldwide FM and Gilles Peterson, who handpicked the track to feature on his most recent compilation, Brownswood Bubblers Thirteen, via Brownswood Recordings.

The second single 'They Call Me' is a syncopated, stomping refusal to yield to shame, a reclamation of her own narrative, and an ode to the women who made both possible.

"'They Call Me' was written to challenge the problematic depictions of women in history and literature. It’s also a tribute to the fierce women whose rebellion, fire and strength inspires me, especially my Tinā ole Tinā (Nana). I wanted this song to to become an anthem for myself and other women to abandon shame, reclaim and redefine the names they have been given and be the authors of their own story" 


Greg August - Dialogues On Race

Dialogues on Race

by Gregg August

Released 21 August 2020

Iacuessa Records


The following notes are taken from

Bassist Gregg August has released an important new work that’s been a decade in the making. Dialogues on Race, Vol. 1 is an album of music originally commissioned by The Jazz Gallery in 2009 that combines a wide instrumental palette a la Mingus and spoken word in the vein of Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou.

August’s ensemble includes artists like JD Allen, John Ellis, Luis Perdomo, ‘Kuumba’ Frank Lacy, and more as well as strings and vocalists. Together they explore the issues of race relations with general topics as well as singular events as the murder of Emmitt Till. One track, “Mother Mamie’s Reflections,” features audio of Till’s mother reflecting on the horrendous event.

“We just never seem to get past our tragic issues with race,” August says of the album’s inspiration. “I spent years living and working in Europe, and the problem of race relations in America especially hit me from a distance. Playing in an orchestra in Barcelona around the time of the L.A. riots, I had to explain to my colleagues there what was going on, how race enflamed things. Seeing The Untold Story of Emmett Till documentary in the early 2000s also really affected me. These things built up, and then observing Bang on a Can closely, I realized how composers like Julia Wolfe think big and tackle important themes in their music – it’s inspiring. We haven’t done this in jazz enough, really, although Jason Moran is someone admirable in this regard.

“I realize that it’s a serious, sensitive thing for a white musician, such as myself, to compose a work about a figure like Emmett Till – I felt the weight of the subject,” August adds. “I discussed it with many of my African-American friends and colleagues, and I took my time with the recording so that I could meet the challenge. Now I can’t imagine writing music today without a greater narrative purpose. If you have any kind of a platform, it’s imperative to address the world as it is, particularly with the urgency of our political moment. All the tribalism in our country makes plain that a lot of things that we might’ve thought we had gotten past, well, we haven’t. And it’s about time.”


Jarvis Cocker - Beyond The Pale

Beyond The Pale

by JARV IS..., Jarvis Cocker

Released 17 July 2020

Rough Trade Records


Beyond the Pale is the debut studio album by British rock band Jarv Is, led by former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker. 

Jarv Is... were formed in late 2017, to perform at Sigur Ros' Norður og Niður festival in Iceland. The group was "conceived as a way of writing songs in collaboration with an audience". They began recording their performances to assist their songwriting, until Geoff Barrow suggested the recordings could be used as the foundations of an album.

Jarvis Cocker returns with his debut solo album and the opening cuto "Save The Whale" sets the standard for the abum with Lenoard Cohen-like vocals .

The album often deals with social and global issues and it's lyrical scope and subject matter is matched by the cinematic-like sophistication of the music.

The pace and messaging increases to fenzy with "Must I Evolve" but is relieved by "Am I Missing Something" and "House Music All Night Long" gently sways to a danceable synthesiser riff. "Sometrimes I Am Pharoah" is the album's high point in which Cocker's menacing vocals and the musical backing recall the intensity of Nick Cave and Krautrock respectively. "Swanky Modes" follows, with softer Bowie-like vocal delivery and the funky "Children of the Echo" completes the set, reminiscent of Kinks or Pulp of yore.

With "Beyond The Pale" Cocker has produced a thoroughly enjoyable concept album in the classic mode that feels fresh and alive despite (perhaps because of?) drawing upon many familiar musical styles. 

Ambient Jazz Ensemble - Break The Night With Silence

Break The Light With Silence

by Ambient Jazz Ensemble

Released 21 August 2020

Here and Now Recordings


The AJE ethos is one of storytelling, a cinematic journey. Tracks begin from a simple idea, a texture, an ambient soundscape that has room to grow, often blossoming into euphoric suites.

At the heart of every track is a jazz ensemble, but the music owes much to electronica or orchestral influences rather than jazz, it is merely the palette of sounds & collaborative musicianship that carve the AJE musical landscape.

Break The Light With Silence is a joyous musical explosion of harmonics, vibes and soaring vocals that would seem to have little resemblence to the song's title.

It is however a delightful and intelligent ambient piece that Iwill surely find its way onto many ambient and easy listening playlists.

Ezra Collective - Dark Side Riddim, Samuel L.Riddim (Single)

Dark Side Riddim / Samuel L.Riddim

by Ezra Collective

Released 29 August 2020

Rough Trade Records


In conjunction with Record Store Day on August 29, Ezra Collective released a limited-edition double A-side with two new instrumentals: “Dark Side Riddim” and “Samuel L.Riddim.” Only 1,000 pressings songs were made on 12-inch color-splattered vinyl.

The brass-heavy “Dark Side Riddim” jumps aboard a syncopated beat whilst keys fluctuate between jaunty jabs and bright upward runs.

On the other hand, “Samuel L.Riddim”, a play on actor Samuel L Jackson’s name, inverts its counterpart’s composition by focusing on the keys and percussion. The latter song was originally titled “Mace Windu Riddim” after Jackson’s Star Wars character.

“Releasing music is always a special feeling,” Ezra Collective band member Femi Koleoso shared in a statement. “A documentation of where we are at. Like a photo of a snapshot. That feeling is made so much more special when there’s a vinyl that can accompany that snapshot.” 


Robert Glasper - Better Than I Imagined (feat. H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello)

Better Than I Imagined

by Robert Glasper, H.E.R. ^ Meshell Ndegeocello)

Released 28 August 2020

Loma Vista Recordings


Describing Better Than I Imagined" as "an ardent dedication to the value and virtue of Black love", Robert Glasper explains the meaning behind the song, "No one wants a life without love, but we have generations of people in our community who haven't had the tools to actually be in healthy relationships. It seems like people are finally ready to open their eyes to systemic racism in this country, and if we're going to talk about it, we have to also talk about how it affects our relationships.

Black lives matter and so does black love; no one wants a life without love, but we have generations of people in our community who haven’t had the tools to actually be in healthy relationships. It seems like people are finally ready to open their eyes to systemic racism in this country, and if we’re going to talk about it, we have to also talk about how it affects our relationships — how we communicate, how we see ourselves, how we treat each other. It’s not always good, even though maybe it could be"


(Dinner Party (Kamasai Washington, Phoelix, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, 9th Wonder)

Dinner Party

by Dinner Party (feat. Kamasai Washington, Phoelix, Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder)

Released 10 July 2020

Label Records


When supergroups form there can often be a lot of hype with smoke and mirrors with little substance, but when some of the most talented modern musicians and producers come together on a single project, you know it will be good.

Dinner Party is the collection of Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington and 9th Wonder - some of jazz, soul and hip-hop’s great producers and artists.

They have been friends for years, but now they have recorded an album to tie everything together.
The (seven track, 23 minutes long) album is a swirling blend of cosmic funk, free jazz that arrives at a time when the impact of black artists on the greater music industry is being examined again and this combination of jazz, soul, hip-hop and funk (all things they created) serves as an important reminder of their vital black musical legacy.
Dinner Party is supposed to feel as fun and joyous as a dinner party with friends. It actually feels like the perfect music for your next dinner party, so turn this up and let the good times roll.


Bill Frisell - Valentine


by Bill Frisell, Rudy Royston, Thomas Morgan

Released 10 August 2020

Blue Note Records


Bill Frisell is one of the most prolific musicians, having released 50 albums in his own right or as named collaborator in a 37 year career, but surprisingly this is his first as a trio. 

Thom Jurek of AllMusic stated "Valentine is a portrait of this trio at a creative peak. While not the liveliest record in Frisell's catalog, it is one of his most inquiring, rhythmically inventive, and lyrical. Given his voluminous discography, that's saying plenty".

Ian Patterson of All About Jazz noted, "With Valentine, Frisell, Royston and Morgan revel in the tight but loose interplay that is a hallmark of the best groups, plying a course as deeply lyrical as it is adventurous. Feels like the beginning of a great adventure."

Jazz Journal review by Elliot Marlow-Stevens commented, "Valentine represents the more reserved, gentle approach to music that he demonstrated on albums like 1992’s Have A Little Faith. Nonetheless, it is still a highly original album, delivered with the ability and skill of a veteran jazz guitarist."

Jake Cole in his review for Spectrum Culture stated, "A breezy combination of blues, folk and jazz, Frisell’s latest is the sound of a maestro gently flexing his immense skills."

Chris Pearson of The Times wrote, "Bill Frisell has been exploring the fringes of jazz guitar so much lately that a trio album arrives as a bold departure. Yet the familiar elements remain: nostalgia, solitude and contemplation cloaked in an atmosphere of dead-of-night tranquillity."


Universal Beings E&F Sides - Makaya McCraven

Universal Beings E&F Sides

by Makaya McCraven

Released 31 July 2020

Label Records


The predecessor to this album "Universal Beings" features in my October 2018 playlist. It was a double album (vinyl sides A, B, C and D), this release is distinguished by the addition of "E&F Sides" to the title - a stroke of artistic and commercial genius.

Most, but not all, of the tracks on E&F Sides were recorded at the same sessions as the first album, in London, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Featured musicians include young London lions tenor saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia, keyboard player Kamaal Williams and bassist Daniel Casimir, along with US fellow travellers including harpist Brandee Younger, cellist Tomeka Reid, vibraphonist Joel Ross and guitarist Jeff Parker. Two tracks feature saxophonist Soweto Kinch, one of the pathfinders for the new London jazz scene and its engagement with issues of identity and cultural inclusiveness.

These musicians and their peers comprise an informal international alliance which is shaping a new jazz aesthetic, rooted in the tradition but reaching out beyond it. It is the sound of jazz renewing itself, staying relevant and avoiding becoming a repertoire-based museum piece. The grooves are deep and the improvisations fly high and the spirit of trailblazing labels such as Impulse! and Strata-East live on within it. It is not to be missed. Actually, it cannot be missed—it is coming down the road regardless. It is a total blast.


Elite Beat - Selected Rhythms

Selected Rhythms

by Elite Beat

Released 8 November 2019

Research Records


Elite Beat is a musical collective from Portland, Oregon with a history spanning back to 2006 and "Selected Rhythms" captures the finest moments from all three of their ultra limited cassette series 'Casual Rhythms'.
Packed full of DIY dub mixing, cosmic orchestration and raw, percussion driven polyrhythms, the recordings have been remastered for the first time with sections from Casual Rhythms Vol. 1 being re-shaped into previously unavailable single tracks.
Recording plays a big role in the Elite Beat creative process. The studio as an instrument. Much of the Elite Beat music is mixed in an all-hands-on-deck dub style approach - live with an analog mixer and loads of FX being thrown and dubbed in real time. The sound is genre-less rhythm music with an emphasis on live playing, free form expression and technique that borrows from soundsystem culture. Inspiration can be heard from all parts of time and place.

Some Ethio Jazz, Black Ark psychedelia, Exotica, Malian blues, even Haight-Ashbury in the summer of love. Each member an accomplished musician in their own right, Elite Beat thrive on collaboration. 2018 saw the release of their astral-Saharan jams with celebrated Taureg guitarist Mdou Moctar.
The players get together every Wednesday evening, sometimes to chat, sometimes to play. The 'record' button gets pressed when they find what they are searching for. For this crew it's all about 'Casual Rhythms / Harmonious Lifestyles' - if things don't fall under that mantra, then it's got to go. 'Less is more' for Elite Beat and their cosmic sounds. 

Nate Mercereau - Joy Techniques

Joy Techniques

by Nate Mercereau

Released 15 July 2019

How So Records


Nate Mercereau is a multi-instrumentalist who has worked on albums as varied as Jay-Z’s 4:44, Rhye’s Blood and Leon Bridges’ Good Thing, Mercereau makes a solo statement on this new record. He eschewed keys entirely for Joy Techniques, relying instead on guitar, drums and rare vintage guitar synths. There is only one featured guest: saxophonist/producer Terrace Martin, who contributes to the title track.

According to Mercereau, the album’s title was meant literally. “It’s about intentionally creating a space for the experience of joy to happen,” he said in a brief statement on Bandcamp. “This is the overarching theme of the album: creating purposeful space to consider and improvise within the context of what each song title means. I find joy in the discovery of new ideas, which is why there’s a lot of first takes on this album.”


Three Of A Kind |Computer Game Soundtracks

Computer games are generally driven by an underlying score that is rarely listened to ourtside the context of the game itself, but is frequently as enjoyable and listenable as a good movie soundtrack. I have comnpiled a playlist of some of the best soundtracks here, but feature three examnples below, as an ndication to their scope. My collection includes:

Streets Of Rage 4 (2020), A Plague Tale (2019), Fez (2013), Minecraft - Volume Alpha (2011), Minecraft - Volume Beta (2013), Assassin's Creed Origins (2017), So Let Us Melt (2017), The Last Of Us (2013), Batman: Arkham Knight, Vol. 1 (2015), Batman: Arkham Knight, Vol. 2 (2015), Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (2002), Get Even (2017), Outer Wilds (2019), Myst (1998), God Of War (2018), Monument Valley 2 (2017), Everybody's Gone To The Rapture (2015), Final Fantasy I (1987), Super Mario Redux (2015), Halo (2002)

Chick Corea - Plays


by Chick Corea

Released 28 August 2020

Concord Jazz 


The latest addition to Chick Corea’s remarkable discography is "Plays", a captivating and intimate double album of solo performances.

While he claims that “Solo piano is lonely,” Chick finds himself in good company throughout these stellar performances, engaging with several of his favorite composers. The list of icons represents a wide swath of musical history, from the classical repertoire of Mozart and Chopin to formative jazz influences like Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans, on to the Great American Songbook classics, the bossa nova beauty of Jobim, and the modern pop sensibility of Stevie Wonder.

With countless classics having become standards over the last half century, Corea himself deserves to take his place in that pantheon, and "Plays" includes a number of pieces, reprised from past albums or spontaneously improvised, from his own estimable songbook.

The album also showcases his charming rapport with enthusiastic audiences in concert halls across Europe and the U.S., who become integral collaborators in these spirited renditions.



Olivier Deriviere, Yuzo Koshiro - Streets of Rgae 4 (Original Game Soundtrack)

Streets Of Rage 4 Original Computer Game Soundtrack

by Olivier Deriviere

Released 30 April 2020

SEGA, Brave Wave Productions


Streets of Rage 4 is a beat 'em up game developed by Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games. It is a continuation of Sega's Streets of Rage series and released for Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 30, 2020.

The game's score was primarily composed by Olivier Deriviere (who may well be the Ennio Morricone of Game Soundtracks) , with additional compositions from Yuzo Koshiro, Motohiro Kawashima, Yoko Shimomura, Keiji Yamagishi, Harumi Fujita, Das Mörtal, and Groundislava. 

The soundtrack is structured so that Deriviere wrote the primary themes, while each boss fight's theme was written by one of the guest composers. 


Disasterpeace - Fez (Original Game Soundtrack)

Fez Original Computer Game Soundtrack

by (Richard Vreeland) Disasterpeace

Released 2012

Polytron, Trapdoor


Fez is an indie puzzle-platform video game developed by Polytron Corporation and published by Trapdoor. The player-character Gomez receives a fez that reveals his two-dimensional (2D) world to be one of four sides of a three-dimensional (3D) world. The player rotates between these four 2D views to realign platforms and solve the game's puzzles. The object of the game is to collect cubes and cube fragments to restore order to the universe.

Rich Vreeland, also known as Disasterpeace, composed the game's chiptune-esque electronic soundtrack. Despite his background in chiptune, Vreeland limited his use of that genre's mannerisms in the score. He worked with soft synth pads and reverb to push the score closer to a 1980s synthesizer sound. He also reduced reliance on percussion and incorporated distortion techniques like bitcrushing and wow. Vreeland opted for slower passages with varying tempos that could "ebb, flow, and breathe with the player". He left some portions of Fez without music. Vreeland worked on its soundtrack at night for about 14 months while scoring Shoot Many Robots,[35] and Brandon McCartin of Aquaria contributed the game's sound effects.


Journey - Original Game Soundtrack

Journey Original Computer Game Soundtrack 

by Austin Wintory

Released date

Label Records


Austin Wintory (born Denver, Colorado, 1984) is particularly known for composing the scores to the acclaimed video game titles Flow and Journey, the latter of which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (the first for a video game). His film efforts include the scores to the 2009 Sundance hit Grace, as well as the 2008 Sundance Audience Award winner Captain Abu Raed. Wintory has composed 300 scores since 2003.

Most of the soundtrack revolves around a group of soloists (cello, bass/alto flute, harp, viola and serpent), plus a string orchestra (the Macedonia Radio Symphonic Orchestra) and various sound effects.

Wintory approached the soundtrack as "essentially a cello concerto.

After its release, the soundtrack reached the top 10 of the iTunes Soundtrack charts in more than 20 countries.[10] It also reached position 116 on the Billboard sales charts with over 4,000 sales in its first week after release, the second-highest of any video game music album to date.


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