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December 2021 Highlights SunNeverSetsOnMusic

December 2021 Highlights SunNeverSetsOnMusic

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Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange - Payer For Peace

Prayer For Peace

by Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange

Released 3 December 2021

Get Together


After a steady rise to international recognition through 2 LPS and several EP’s already since 2018, Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange (from their base in Melbourne) joins the Get Together family for their first recording session in Europe.

“Prayer For Peace” - An 8 track journey through atmospheric scenes, broken to deep four on floor rhythms and colourful top lines. From the Jazz-funk inspired 'Prayer For Peace' to the infectious Boogie twilight of 'Cadillac’ this is a record that is equally well suited to dance floor applications as it is to an intimate night with the turntable spinning and the sensual herbs burning.

This Recording represents the Berlin chapter of the Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange. The curated jam band moniker of Ziggy Zeitgeist, the experiment having emerged from the murky depths of the Melbourne underground. Zeitgeist arrived in Berlin in summer 2019 wasting no time in assembling a talented and diverse group of assorted freaks from many corners of the world to bring their own languages, melodies, rhythms and swagger on this cross continental meeting point.

This session captures the raw energetic fusion of such diverse and innovative musicians scene co-existing in the Techno capital of the world. This city already has its own sound, its own attitude. It's no wonder artists gather from every corner of the world to discover themselves through the lens of the city. That is the sound of the ‘Zeitgeist Berlin era’ the group explores deeper, darker sounds of the club emerging from their signature hip slinging disco, funk fusion.

For such an occasion the recording was engineered and mixed by platinum producer / engineer Axel Reinemer in the esteemed Jazzanova studios. 3 days of steamy Berlin summer looking over the ring-bahn towards the swamps of the Tegel Forest to the north. Spiritual jazz interludes flirt delicately with bouncing Brazilian rhythms. Psychedelic dub-grooves meander before exploding into bursts of finessed energy, before locking into steady and deep-house rollers.... All live, All together in the room, all real human spirit imbued in every note, with the level of production to easily stand up on the club system This is the kind of record that is as diverse as it is essential in every serious collectors artillery.

"To the poets, free thinkers and anarchists of Berlin, always stay radical." - Ziggy Zeitgeist 

Source: Bandcamp

Julien Dyne - Modes


by Julien Dyne

Released 3 December 2021

Soundway Recordings


MODES continues the forward thinking percussive jazz and afro-inspired house music soundscapes explored on Auckland-based Dyne's 2018 album Teal, which garnered acclaim from peers and fans alike - including Late Night Tales, Toddla T, Ransom Note, and BBC6 Music presenters (Mary Anne Hobbs, Tom Ravenscroft, Huey Morgan, Jon Hillcock).

His trademark slick production can be relied upon once more, as well as the music's insistent rhythmic drive and intensity.

MODES employs some of New Zealand's most well known and iconic vocalists, in addition to many new rising stars.

Frequent collaborators Lord Echo, Ladi 6 and Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle) return, alongside soul legends Dallas Tamaira aka Joe Dukie (Fat Freddys Drop), Che Fu and Troy Kingi.

Source: Bandcamp

Milan Ring - I'm Feeling Hopeful

I'm Feeling Hopeful

by Milan Ring

Released 3 December 2021

Astral People Recordings


Letting your guard down is hard enough. But letting your guard down to encourage your own musical growth is beyond admirable, and I’m Feeling Hopeful is Milan Ring fighting past demons with colour and vibrance.
Honesty is the best policy, right? It’s something that’s assisted Sydney-based rising star Milan Ring in creating her authentic and enrapturing debut album I’m Feeling Hopeful. An admirable focal point, Ring explores themes varying from love to depression, hope to self-sabotage and even the brave vulnerability of desires to addiction.

Carrying a genre that’s hard to pigeon-hole, the album moves with fluidity through laid back neo-soul numbers down to darker R&B creations, and it’s this musical versatility which re-affirms Milan Ring’s rising star status. Captivating first track “Hide With You” showcases the wonder of love through chilled beats with occasional gospel chants, acquiring similar features to Aussie predecessor Tash Sultana. And the same warmth is pictured later on in “Keep Me Safe”, a constant sunny guitar riff featured within is anything but repetitive, as the chorus brings in angelic harmonies declaring “Just hold me in your arms / Keep me safe from harm”.

Coming from a place of trauma and self-destruction, sultry yet poignant “Pick Me Up Feat. Jean Deaux” is an open book into the devil that sits on Ring’s shoulders, telling her that her best friend lies in the bottle. One of the more sinister songs on the album, Milan Ring echoes “I didn’t come out to play / I just came out to get drunk”.

Reflecting on other dark but defining moments, “Dreaming” recalls isolation in the darkest of times after seeking freedom in all the wrong places. Layered with a prominent guitar riff and bassy drums, it captures the crippling angst and fear that lives in the mind of someone facing addiction.

The creative pulse that runs through Ring’s body is captured fully in the music she creates, from her magic voice down to her epic guitar skills. Most people would think that’s enough to craft a great debut album, however, Milan Ring pushes her boundaries by incorporating various featured rappers to create admirable depths to certain tracks. Tropical and Cuban vibe “BS Feat. Che Lingo” is bouncy with funk driven bass, and duels perfectly between Che Lingo’s rants on egotistical maniacs, whilst Ring’s hypnotic voice hums an every day mantra “I gotta deal with the bullshit every day now”.

Entirely mastered by herself, capturing important themes and moving through different genres as if they’re going out of fashion, Milan Ring’s debut album is an enthralling listen.

Source: Line Of Best Fit

Enji - Ursgal


by Enji

Released 25 June 2021



On her second album Ursgal Mongolian singer Enji creates a unique blend of Jazz and Folk with the traditions of Mongolian song. Currently based in Munich, her lyrics tell personal stories about unbearable distances, the oddness of being on earth and the simple truths in life.
She’s accompanied by Paul Brändle on guitar and Munguntovch Tsolmonbayar on double bass.
Born in Ulaanbaatar, Enji grew up in a yurt to a working-class family. Having always been drawn to music, dance and literature, she initially wanted to become a music teacher with little ambitions to compose or be on stage. A program by the local Goethe Institute sparked her passion for Jazz and eventually led her to become a performing artist. Inspired by the music of Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson, Enji started writing songs of her own, cherishing this newfound means of expression. Ursgal is the first record featuring her original compositions.

Further details of Enji's path to prominence may be discovered in a Bandcamp Daily article.

Source: Bandcamp

Beverly Glen-Copelan - Keyboard-Fantasies

Keyboard Fantasies (1986)

by Beverly Glenn-Copeland

Released 1986 (Reissued 2021)

Transgressive Records


By the mid-'80s, Beverly Glenn-Copeland had been best known as a starring actor in the Canadian children's program Mr. Dressup, in addition to providing guest vocals on records by iconic singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn and other folk artists. He had also released two obscure albums of poetic folk-jazz at the beginning of the 1970s, then a slightly funk-tinged soft rock EP in 1983. He recorded Keyboard Fantasies solely using a Yamaha DX7 keyboard and a Roland TR-707 drum machine -- a very restricted set-up by current standards, but one which Glenn-Copeland felt had limitless possibilities at the time. Channeling the practicing Buddhist's feelings of peace and solitude in the surrounding woodlands of his home in Ontario, the music is relaxing and meditative, brimming with joy and comfort. "Ever New" starts the album with a trickling stream of gentle notes, before a distinctive melody forms, and Glenn-Copeland's warm, friendly, slightly warbly voice sings lyrics which praise nature and welcome people of all ages, viewing life as a period of eternal youthfulness and hope. "Winter Astral" is beatless and wordless, but its brassy melodies are bold and valiant, encouraging the listener to put aside fear and live a fulfilling life. "Let Us Dance" is the most playful and childlike selection, with a steadily paced waltz tempo, parping keyboards, and Christmas-like electronic bells accompanying Glenn-Copeland's double-tracked voice. Finding strength and motivation in the sunshine and the serenity of nature, he feels excited to travel the road ahead of him. Following two instrumentals, including the downright snuggly "Old Melody," the album ends with "Sunset Village," a truly soothing song with simple yet empowering lyrics ("Let it go, let it go now, it's okay"), tying with "Ever New" as the album's most blissful, touching moment. Self-released as a cassette in 1986, Keyboard Fantasies largely remained an unheard curiosity for decades until it was rediscovered by music collectors during the 2010s, leading to several reissues and prompting the septuagenarian artist to tour internationally for the first time and record new music. More than just a wholesome story about an artist who found success late in his career, Glenn-Copeland's music and life experience speaks to the power of maintaining a positive outlook and remaining true to one's unique vision

Source: Bandcamp

Jeff Parker - Forfolks


by Jeff Parker

Released 10 December 2021

International Anthem


The “folk” in the title of Forfolks, Jeff Parker’s album of solo electric guitar, is no accident. Parker is a part of Chicago’s jazz and improvised music community and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), yet his playing on Forfolks is rife with certain folk music patterns and often sounds like acoustic plucking.

At the same time, though, he casts himself in a sea of overdubs. Sometimes they’re just bass and comp lines (“Excess Success”); on the closing “La Jetée,” it’s all bass and comp lines, defying the listener to put one in the foreground. Other times, instead of competing ostinatos, Parker plays counterpoints that become tangled with each other (“Off Om”); at still others, he does long drones that sound uncannily like pedal point organ (“Four Folks,” “Flour of Fur”). It’s as mesmerizing as it sounds, and quite a bit more lyrical.

Parker uses just enough choice musical morsels—sometimes offsetting them with effects or contrasting picking techniques—for the ear to grab onto and chase through the jumbles of sounds and ideas. Even if he sometimes yanks them away like a bullfighter’s cape (like the melody line whose sound cuts in and out on “Suffolk”). Yet, lest it seem as though he’s severing himself entirely from the jazz tradition, there are also two standards (“My Ideal” and “Ugly Beauty”), played in fairly conventional jazz guitar style and serving as anchors for Parker, the listener, and any curious passersby.

Source: Bandcamp

Jonny Greenwood - The Power Of The Dog (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The Power Of The Dog (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

by Jonny Greenwood

Released 17 November 2021

Invada Records / Lakeshore Records


If you don’t know what Jane Campion’s film The Power of the Dog is about, here’s a fun experiment: Try to guess its genre based on the music by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, the chief classical aficionado in the world’s most respected rock band. Made using a chamber ensemble of piano, strings, winds, brass, and more, the soundtrack is quite grand, full of noble brooding and tormented ecstasy, all in a sternly beautiful modernist mode. These 16 brief yet substantial themes run over darkly lustrous slopes and ominous plains, with each landscape seeming to spill into the other. Their uneasy but graceful unity even accommodates the occasional starchy old avant-garde outburst. It’s all very 20th century and fine and European. Now, raise your hand if you guessed the film’s a Western. No one?

The clever thing is that once you know, you can hear it everywhere in Greenwood’s score: in the cantering acoustic guitar trail laid through sharp-peaked strings on “25 Years,” in the brass that evokes a harmonica’s call and fall on “Requiem for Phil,” and even in the chromatic enfilades of “Detuned Mechanical Piano,” which suddenly seems less like Conlon Nancarrow and more like a player piano running amok in a saloon. Throughout, Greenwood uses the steeliest points of the classical canon to carve canyons and buttes into the hard, treacherous shape of a psychological metaphor.

Of course, this is not his first rodeo, in several senses. Greenwood has scored many films, particularly for Paul Thomas Anderson. Like the latter’s There Will Be Blood, Campion’s movie is also set in the American West at the moment when its physical frontiers began blurring into legend. That score superficially resembles Greenwood’s music for The Power of the Dog, though it was more busily cinematic, grandiose—and, yes, stereotypically masculine.

The Power of the Dog marks Campion’s return to cinema after 12 years and a stint in prestige TV with Top of the Lake, a chilly crime drama set in her native New Zealand. Though her filmography is merrily idiosyncratic, she’s especially known for reviving the romance of Old Hollywood period dramas with incisive contemporary characterization, and with the perspectival benefits of not being some cigar-chomping man. She also seems drawn to the pungent tidepools of humanity that form on the borderlands of the social and the wild.

In The Piano, Campion’s 1993 breakthrough, a woman with a daughter marries a landowner in a remote part of mid-19th-century New Zealand. In The Power of the Dog, a woman with a son marries a rancher in a remote part of early-20th-century Montana, unleashing the havoc of feeling into the manful, stunted world he inhabits with his brother. Throughout, Greenwood’s music mirrors the counterintuitive sensuousness and sophistication of Campion’s casting (extra credit if you guessed Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead cowboy); he cultivates a consistent sense of disturbed introversion through the plosive box step of “Prelude,” the reaching brass tendrils of “The Ravine,” and other tinctures of wonder and dread.

In a way, Radiohead have always been a postmodern prog-rock band, with sleeker taste and different tech than their ’70s forebears, but with a similar interest in smuggling Stravinsky and Messiaen into popular music. Greenwood must be the only artist who has both headlined Coachella and collaborated with Krzysztof Penderecki, the Polish composer whose turbulent tone clusters he often evokes in The Power of the Dog. When those shivers course through the strings, it might be the cry of night-veiled coyotes or a wail at the edge where one world ends and another begins. That double image perfectly exemplifies Greenwood’s own synthesis of pulp-Western brawn and refined symphonic emotion.

Source: Pitchfork

Devonte Hynes - Passing (Music from and Inspired by the Original Motion Picture)

Passing (Music from and Inspired by the Original Motion Picture)

by Devonte Hynes

Released 10 November 2021

Lakeshore Records


Devonté Hynes, the man best known for his recordings under the moniker of Blood Orange, is a born collaborator, and he’s been on a real streak with that lately.

In just the past few months, Hynes has worked with artists like Turnstile, Mykki Blanco and Wet and has also been scoring films - an inherently collaborative act.

In previous months Hynes had completed the music for two movies (Queen & Slim and Mainstream) and two HBO Series (In Treatment and We Are Who We Are). Now he presents the music for the excellent Netflix film Passing, the directorial debut from the actor Rebecca Hall that stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga as two mixed-race women in New York in the 1920s. Thompson’s character identifies as Black, while Negga’s character lives as a white woman. The movie is adapted from Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel of the same name, published during the "Harlem Renaissance", an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater and politics, in which the author was deeply entrenched.

Haynes soundtrack unobtrusively enlivens an essentially quiet story that emerges in a series of conversations between two light-skinned African American women, childhood friends, as they recount and discover their experiences as black women able to pass as white, in a racially-charged society.

Passing, though short in duration (only 21 minutes) is a sweet listen.

Source: Stereogum

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Les Cerfs (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

La Panthere Des Neiges (The Snow Panther)

by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Released 17 December 2021

AWAL Recordings


The film (by Marie Amiguet and Vincent Munier) that this soundtrack accompanies is essentially about hidden, mysterious and shape-shifting nature. Munier, one of the world’s most renowned wildlife photographers, takes novelist Sylvain Tesson with him to the Tibetan highlands, a terrain they explore over several weeks.

The film moved Ellis so much that he felt he “wanted to do whatever it took” to compose an original score, asking Cave if he might come in for a day – “he saw the film and stayed for four”. The result is an elegant, layered and affecting collaboration, a piece of work that allows for both space and nuance to create something quite philosophical and spiritual, as searching in impulse as the documentary itself.

A haunting atmosphere hangs over every piece, conjuring something alchemical that perhaps only the natural world can inspire, with Ellis and Cave clearly exploring tension – the conflicts present between the human and the natural world, and the watched and the watcher. L’attaque des Loups frames everything – with Ellis’s violin so emblematic of the ever-moving mystery of nature, dipping and dropping before soaring skywards. The gorgeous We Are Not Alone hears Cave’s crumpled baritone extoll “I was observed and unaware” – perhaps placing himself alongside some of the wildlife Munier seeks to find. That sentiment comes up again in the glitchy, minimalist Les Cerfs, amid radiant, elegant piano, and there are meditative whispers of “Where are you? Where are you?” that permeate the prayerful antelope.
There are many playful moments amid the prayerful, as on the transporting La Bête, and there is a tender delicacy to something like Des Affûts Elliptiques or Les Nomades. The measured piano melody on La Grotte marries beautifully with the violin’s, wrapping itself around it before drifting out, complementing something like Les Princes, and its lilting grace.

Les Yaks’ strings take on a menacing, but mesmerising quality, and La Neige Tombe glows in beauty, where the violin is simply its own voice, searching through the wilderness. Les Ours hears Cave in hushed tones – suggesting a tentativeness, of not wanting to displace what has been there for so long. This suggestion weaves throughout the record, morphing into a kind of sonic sparseness, an acknowledgement that we are, in fact, interlopers on this planet of ours. The interplay between permanence and impermanence is deftly drawn, culminating in the final two pieces, Un Être Vous Obsède and L’apparition: We Are Not Alone – wistful but optimistic – bringing to mind all that we have lost, and all that will remain, with nature as our greatest teacher.

Source: Irish Times

Gabriels - Bloodline (EP)

Bloodline (EP)

by Gabriels

Released 3 December 2021

Altas Artists


Following breakout success in late 2020 with debut EP ‘Love and Hate in a Different Time’ - a record that’s garnered acclaim from Elton John, and landed the LA outfit appearances on Jimmy Kimmel and Jools Holland - Gabriels return this winter with four tracks of brooding nu-gospel on the ‘Bloodline’ EP.

It’s also the band’s first release since their sensational performances in London this autumn, and finds them in the kind of expansive form those dynamic debut shows had signposted.

Gloomy brass, smooth double bass and a swooping string section carve out a vivid atmosphere on lead single ‘Blame’ – a track that wouldn’t sound out of place playing over the closing credits of Succession, so squirrelling are its tightrope-walking melodies and sharp, shrieking string crescendos. Powerful vocalist and noted choir master Jacob Lusk - who recalls both Anohni and Sam Smith in equal measure here - is in mercurial form as he navigates a tonal shift with the lyrics “Not a slave if I’m already free, not a captive if it’s where I want to be.”

“Ain’t love a hypocrite?” Lusk bellows, in ear-catching fashion, on the death-crawling opener ‘Innocence’ – a menacing fusion of droning piano chords and rumbling orchestral drum hits. ‘Stranger’ then marries electronic whirrs and throbbing sub-bass with traditional instrumentation such as horns, gliding violins and bright pianos, in a manner that recalls the experimental works of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – before a dynamic shift is roused off the back of Lusk’s harmonised vocal projections. Closing track ‘Bloodline’, meanwhile, is a smoky odyssey that conjures an image of whisky-stained jazz bars in old Hollywood movies. The track offers a brassy lurch as Lusk howls: “Your ancestors blood fed the soil and the sand.”

While it flaunts a distinct sound that feels at once contemporary and steeped in American musical history, this second EP lacks a rousing anthem to the effect of breakout track ‘Love and Hate in a Different Time’. But that’s more to the band’s power. ‘Bloodline’ is an EP that offers a greater insight into the master craftsmanship of a project that is proving increasingly captivating.

Source: NME

Louis Hayes - Crisis


by Louis Hayes

Released 12 November 2021



Detroit-born jazz drummer Louis Hayes arrived in New York when he was 19 to join the Horace Silver ensemble, making his recording debut with the pianist on Six Pieces of Silver, the following year. Over the next 60 years Hayes amassed a staggeringly great body of work, playing and recording with Cannonball Adderley, Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Cedar Walton, Sonny Rollins, Woody Shaw and many more of the giants of modern music. Continuing this legacy of excellence with his new Savant recording, Hayes pays tribute to some of his jazz colleagues past and present with a set-list featuring works by Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Farrell, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and bassist Dezron Douglas along with one of his own original compositions. With David Hazeltine at the piano rounding out the all-star rhythm section and the acclaimed saxophonist Abraham Burton leading the charge out in front, the band alternately caress and careen through their material with tasteful arrangements and memorable solos. Also on hand is the multi-instrumentalist and composer Camille Thurman displaying her vocal prowess on two tracks.

Source: Jazz Depot


The Big & Easy Jazz Band

by The Big & Easy Jazz Band

Released 25 November 2021

The Big & Easy Jazz Band


What began with a series of informal late-night jazz jam sessions on Melbourne's North Side has quickly become one of the most eclectic jazz groups on the Melbourne scene.

This group of well-established musicians draws inspiration from turn-of-the-century New Orleans jazz and blues and the French 'jazz manouche' tradition, all blended with the sounds of contemporary Australian jazz.

Trumpet: Nic Ryan-Glenie
Double Bass: Tom Flenady
Guitars: Sam O'Halloran, Jon Delaney
Alto Sax: Lachlan McLean
Trombone: Nick Pietsch

Source: Soundcloud

Sam Anning - Oaatchapai


by Sam Anning

Released 3 December 2021

Sam Anning


Melbourne bassist-composer Sam Anning’s fourth album as bandleader ‘Oaatchapai’ showcases his compositional flair with references to indie rock, echoes of Charles Mingus and spoken word soundscapes. The lineup of pianist Andrea Keller, trumpeter Mat Jodrell, saxophonists Carl Mackey and Julien Wilson from the award-winning Across a Field as Vast as One is augmented by guitarist Theo Carbo and drummer Rajiv Jayaweera. 

The septet went into the studio in September 2019 and recorded the entirety of the album over two days in Nunawading, VIC. After some experiments with different methods of expressing shade and light through harmonic progression, Sam developed a way of categorising the major modes from light to dark, with the invention of 5 new modes that would complete the cycle by graduating dark to light. The title piece Oaatchapai uses this harmonic method as its underpinning concept. With this suite as the centrepiece, compositions that had made their way into the group’s repertoire over the years were adapted to complement and balance the album’s program.

After touring across a field as vast as one with sold-out performances at the Melbourne, Sydney Conservatorium and Brisbane International Jazz Festivals, the sextet began to take on its own identity as a fixture on the Australian jazz scene. The addition of Theo Carbo on guitar brings a layer of harmonic density and youthful energy to the new material. Having performed with Rajiv Jayaweera (currently based in Spain) in varying configurations over the past 11 years, Anning capitalised on Jayaweera’s visit to Melbourne, building the rhythm section around their vast experience and deeply personal rhythmic sense.

Sam Anning is one of his generation’s most talented and sought-after double bassists and composers. He has released four critically acclaimed albums, toured extensively throughout the world, and collaborated with many of Australia’s top jazz artists. His most recent sextet album, across a field as vast as one, won the Age Music Victoria Award for Jazz Album of the Year, a Bell Award for Best Australian Instrumental Jazz Album of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. Anning also won 1st  place at the 2015 National Jazz Awards. Anning is a regular member of a range of ensembles including the Australian National Jazz Orchestra, Vanessa Perica Orchestra, Miho Hazama’s ‘M-Unit’, and groups led by Barney McAll, Andrea Keller, and his co-leads projects Speedball, Trio Kleine Ahnung, and U.nlock. Anning has recently been a featured soloist with the MSO and is working with the legendary Indigenous singer-songwriter Archie Roach.

Source: Earshift Music

Hui. - Hui


by Hui.

Released 25 November 2021



Hui. has delivered a sonically stunning story about the adversities of mental health. 
Surging with atmospheric indie-pop acoustic guitars and delicately entwined vocal melodies, Melbourne (Naarm)-based singer-songwriter Hui., the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Hugh William Davies, has just unveiled his self-titled debut EP.

Commonly known for his role within The Hugh William Davies Band, Davies has been thriving with the eclectic, electronic sound that is Hui. since its inception in 2018, delivering a visceral, multi-layered EP comprising of four super lush tracks.

Using the pandemic and lockdown periods to focus on making his latest release, the EP is deeply personal and experimental.

Taking inspiration from The Paper Kites, The National and singer-songwriters like Nick Drake, Thom Yorke and Brandon Wolfe Scott, the EP epitomises Davies as both an expert songwriter and proficient musician, providing a lush, dark soundtrack straight from the deeper confines of his lyrical provisions. Raw and relatable, Davies has presented his most intimate feelings and emotions for the world to see in this cohesive set of tracks focused on mental health and the adversities that it can bring to friendships and relationships.

With deep roots in electronica-soul evident in previously released singles ‘Skylines’, ‘Low’ and ‘Ghost’, the EP marks a pivotal change in sound, melding indie-rock elements, and intricately beautiful thoughtfulness and cinematic style of songwriting, blurred with electronic and modern production.

Source: Forte Mag

The Teskey Brothers with Orchestra Victoria - Live At Hamer Hall

Live At Hamer Hall

by The Teskey Brothers with  Orchestra Victoria

Released 3 December 2021

Ivy League Records


In the two years since releasing their magical debut album, Run Home Slow, The Teskey Brothers have been incredibly busy and become overwhelmingly accomplished. Playing numerous completely sold out tours (despite the live music landscape being in complete disarray), winning awards and accolades left, right and centre, the Melbourne band has still managed to find time to spice things up a little by teaming up with Orchestra Victoria and rework some of their best tracks, while throwing in a couple of seasonal treats.

The nature of The Teskey Brothers’ music lends itself well to being reimagined by an orchestra, there’s no doubt about it. A strong blues and roots sub-base and the husky vocals from frontman Josh Teskey means there’s no surprise at all that their music has blended so seamlessly with Orchestra Victoria. With this in mind, there isn’t too many unexpected turns and overly outlandish change-ups to their back catalogue that the orchestra permits here on Live at Hamer Hall.

Live at Hamer Hall isn’t a traditional live album in the way you’d normally expect a ‘live’ album to be recorded, and it’s for this reason the album doesn’t quite reach the heights you’d hope it would. Sure it’s polished and sounds outstanding, but lacks the body and vibe you’d want and hope for from a live album. This isn’t to say the album sounds bad; it’s far from it, however Live at Hamer Hall falls just short of where it needs to be. With a string of live shows to follow the release of the album, I’m 100% sure Live at Hamer Hall will sound much better in a completely natural and firsthand setting

Source: The AU Review

Nils Frahm - Old Friends New Friends

Old Friends New Friends

by Nils Frahm

Released 3 December 2021

Leiter Verlag GmbH & Co


Nils Frahm’s double album ‘Old Friends New Friends’ gathers together 23 solo piano tracks recorded between 2009 and 2021, almost all hitherto unreleased but, for one reason or another, omitted from previous projects. The album offers “an anatomy of all my ways of thinking musically and playing,” Frahm says, adding with a smile, “Maybe I could say it’s an album I worked on for twelve years, and finally I have enough material?”

Old Friends New Friends was pieced together during the pandemic as Frahm used the time to arrange his archives, conscious of the sheer number of recordings he’d accumulated. Having selected his favourites, he realised how, when he listened to them together, they offered “a different spectrum of freedom for me. I forgot that some tracks are ten years old, some two, and they’re all played on different pianos. Instead I remembered how, as a fan, I love albums like this. With a lot of my records there’s a point where you feel, ‘This is the centrepiece,’ but here I wasn’t really worrying about that. It still feels like my universe, though, and I’m proud that all these things which I never found a way to unite before now work together. It’s like I tossed flowers indiscriminately into a vase and then realised it looked exactly right.”

One can only guess how difficult it may initially have been to narrow down candidates for public consumption from the wealth of choices, because even selecting highlights from Old Friends New Friends is a challenge. Nonetheless, among its almost 80 minutes of music are the fluid ‘Rain Take’, in which his instrument’s glistening ripples are married with the distant sound of a deluge outside; ‘Wedding Walzer’, a Satie-esque piece so intimate Frahm’s pedal-work threatens to overshadow its delicate melody; the unexpectedly touching ‘Then Patterns’, the exquisitely graceful ‘Acting’, and the redemptive, radiant ‘The Chords Broken Down’. Clearly, these are much more than outtakes, something Frahm has no trouble explaining. “Often tracks that don’t make it onto an album are the ones with the most boldness and bravery.”

Frahm has other reasons to release this record, too, among them a craving to protect his legacy in an era where ‘bonus material’ is in constant demand. “The nature of the mind – and a hard drive – is that you forget a lot of stuff,” he says, “and I hate the idea that somebody might browse through my things trying to find something I’d forgotten. I’ll probably burn everything before I go, but these are pieces I wanted to put out. So this is an original ‘Nils Frahm’, so to speak, not somebody curating a leftover meal.”

Furthermore, Frahm felt an urge to clean the slate before making his next move. His debut, Streichelfisch, was released 16 years ago, and not only has his solo output since then been prolific but he’s also engaged in large amounts of collaborative work with friends like Ólafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick, F.S. Blumm, Library Tapes and Anne Müller. “My intuition,” he says, “is that it’s easier for me to start over if the body of work from the last ten years or so is organised enough that I never need worry about it again. It’s time to forget about the past, but in order to never think about it again I have to address it first.”

Whether or not it’s prudent to add to the significant amount of music he’s released in recent years, Frahm’s unconcerned. “History tells us people sometimes pick up on records years later and still like them, so hopefully my music isn’t bound to any specific date. If people hear this for the first time in, say, 20 years, they won’t worry about when it came out, or whether something else also came out the same year. And anyway: who knows? Maybe at some point down the line I won’t release any albums for five years!”

As for how he feels letting the music loose into the world, Frahm simply chuckles. “It’s like if your kids finally move out when they’re 23, and you realise, ‘Shit, this could have happened years ago!’” 

Source: Bandcamp

Nick Murphy and The Program - Take In The Roses

Take In The Roses

by Nick Murphy & The Program

Released 7 December 2021

Details Records


Nick Murphy (formerly releasing albums as Chet Faker) has joined forces with a new band featuring Nick Kinsey (Waxahatchee, Kevin Morby), Jake Falby (Chet Faker, Julie Byrne), Tim Lappin and Tim Mislock to create an album as Nick Murphy & The Program titled Take In The Roses.

The album was written and recorded pre-pandemic at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX. The impact of that small town South West of El Paso along the Mexican border is evident. Take In The Roses is a bit different from Murphy has done before, using more guitars to accentuate soft percussion and vocal harmonies. His own voice anchors the project that feels designed for long, flat, dusty roads and glowing, sandy sunsets. There are moments of long instrumental bliss like “Things,” while also gentle introspection like on the title track or “Feels Like Coming Home.”

Produced by Dave Harrington, this project brings something new to the table for all of the artists involved. It is quiet and soothing, but also fun.

Source: Magnetic Mag

Ill Considered - Liminal Space

Liminal Space

by Ill Considered

Released 12 November 2021

New Soil


Ill Considered are a band comprising of musicians interacting with each other to create freely improvised music, based loosely around simple pre-written themes or composed on the spot.

Deploying deep grooves and plaintive melodies, ranging from whispered chants to monstrous climaxes, the group react to the mood of the audience and the sonics of the room to create music that is unique to the moment

Having exploded onto the scene with 9 self-released albums between 2017 and 2019, this UK-based outfit are breaking new ground with this, their first fully produced studio album and an interactive audio/visual performance residency at Southbank Centre's Purcell Room, this autumn.

Capturing a moment of transformation for the group, The core trio of Liminal Space now features:

Idris Rahman (saxophone),

Liran Donin (bass)

and Emre Ramazanoglu (drums).

They bounce their live-wire style off a range of collaborators including, saxophonist, com[poser and wind-instrumentalist Tamar Osborn (Collocutor),  saxophonists Ahnanse (Steam Down) and Kaidi Akinnibi, tuba player Theon Cross (Sons Of Kemet), trumpeter Robin Hopcraft and percussionist Sarathy Korwar.

This time out, Ill Considered laid the basic tracks down live, as is its standard practice, but then added complementary arrangements and invited fellow luminaries of the London scene (Osborn, Akinnibi, Ahnanse, Theon Cross, Hopcraft and Korwar).to perform on them.

Several of the tracks on the sixty-minute Liminal Space have pronounced Maghrebi trance-music vibes, and all of them inhabit the same ecstatic world as the Sufi brotherhoods such as the Gnawa who still thrive in southern Morocco and Algeria.

It is raw shamanistic music designed to take you higher, and live it is the coyote's cojones. It hits the spot on disc, too, though a sprinkling of more nuanced moments would be welcome when you are strapped to a headset in your front room, doing your bit for global warming.

Source: All About Jazz

Portico Quintet - Monument


by Portico Quintet

Released 12 November 2021

Gondwana Records


Portico Quartet announce Monument, the electronic driven follow-up to their acclaimed ambient-minimalist suite Terrain, presenting the band at their most direct.

It's rare that a band releases two albums within six months of each other, rarer too that while both are so different, they are both as epochal in terms of the band's output as Terrain and Monument are to Portico Quartet.

The irony is that Monument, a stripped-back, intentionally direct album, was the album that the band set out to write in May 2020, before the dream like long-form Terrain came into focus. Briefly they were two halves of the same record, but the band ended up developing these two distinct bodies of work concurrently. And although they were written side-by-side and recorded at the same sessions, they are records best understood as distinct from each other, each with opposing ideas and forms.

Monument is one of Portico Quartet's most accessible, direct records to date. If Terrain addressed the darker side of how Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie made sense of the pandemic, then Monument resonates as an ode to better times. If not quite a dance record, it nonetheless pulses with an energy, radiance and a scalpel sharp focus. Jack Wyllie explains: "It's possibly our most direct album to date. It's melodic, structured and there's an economy to it that is very efficient. There's not much searching or wastage within the music itself, it is all finalised ideas, precisely sculpted and presented as a polished artefact."

Bellamy expands "Monument sits somewhere between our albums Portico Quartet and Art in the Age of Automation. It has perhaps a more overtly electronic edge to its sound – there are more synthesisers and electronic elements than we have used before and the music is often streamlined and rhythmic".

After the ethereal, stage-setting of Opening, the album kicks into overdrive with Impressions, a short energetic track that pairs a club influenced groove with hang drum and close, delicate saxophone. It's the balance between these elements that push and pull the track through a selection of melodic and rhythmic re-configurations, contrasting human touch with a machine-like focus. Ultraviolet is a kaleidoscopic, krautrock inspired track with a haunting introduction and an insistent pulse. The wistful Ever Present builds from a simple piano refrain; a nostalgic melody line floats over the top as drums and bass groove insistently underneath, before reaching a euphoric peak. The title track Monument builds around a looping vocal sample, drums and an enigmatic melody, the ending giving way to a gauzy, weaving synth line. The power here is in its economy and luminosity. AOE flips back and forth, like a dial that's been switched. Mining the tension between a pastoral inflected cello and saxophone melody, with an abrupt shift to jilted live drums, wailing delayed saxophone and a flickering synth line. Warm Data comes straight from the same Portico Quartet tradition as older tracks like Current History and Laker-Boo. It's a marriage of instrumental minimalism with drum machines and synths. Finally, the album closes with On The Light, a track that transmits a sense of suspense and freedom, driven by the twitching drums of Bellamy and evocative sax of Wyllie. It offers the perfect bitter-sweet and evocative ending to Portico Quartet's latest Monument.

Source: Bandcamp

STR4TA - The Invicta Remixes

The Invicta Remixes


Released 12 November 2021



Brownswood bring you a brand new project, STR4TA, born from a recorded improvised session recorded from a shed in London just before lockdown with the finishing touches made remotely.

Inspired by the gritty DIY sounds of the cult 80s Brit Funk era, STR4TA is about drawing out the imperfections to reveal the raw soul of the music, spurring listeners on to bear their heart and soul on the dancefloor.

The album features remixes by various producers and DJ's including

  • Steve Conry (Ten Lovers Music) & Cuban-inspired Japanese percussionist Takashi Nakazato,

  • North Street West Space Funk,

  • production duo Nuovi Fratelli,

  • Dave Lee,

  • Berlin-based producer Delfonic (aka Marcus Lindner),

  • Liverpool's Melé,

  • San Fransisco electronic artist Dave Aju,

  • Demus

  • and veteran Manchester DJ Greg Wilson.

Source: Bandcamp

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