jazz & instrumentals
ERIKA DE CASIER
Sensational is the second studio album by Danish R&B singer-songwriter Erika de Casier. Written largely during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, the album conceptually centers on dispelling the stereotypes surrounding single women and dating, with many of the songs based on de Casier's personal experiences with bad partners. Its production draws inspiration from music of the late nineties and early 2000s, particularly pop and R&B artists such as Destiny's Child, Craig David, TLC, and Aaliyah, as well as UK garage music.
[ file under: alt soul ]
GLENN FALLOWS & MARK TREFFEL
"Globeflower masters vol. 1"
The Globeflower Masters Vol. 1 takes its inspiration from classic soundtrack and cinematic composers such as Axelrod, Morricone, Gainsbourg, Jean-Claude Vannier and Piero Umiliani. Created during Summer 2020, this album is the product of a fruitful collaboration between Brighton-based musicians Glenn Fallows (The Impellers / Andres y Xavi) and Mark Treffel (Blue States / The Soul Steppers).
[ file under: cinematic ]
Other You is the sixth studio album by American singer Steve Gunn. Recorded during two visits to Los Angeles in late 2020 and early 2021, the album was made with veteran producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Cass McCombs, Kurt Vile) at his Mant Studios alongside musician and longtime friend and collaborator Justin Tripp.
[ file under: acoustic indie ]
Local valley, Gonzalez cheerfully acknowledges, is similar to my other solo albums in sound and spirit, a natural continuation of the styles I’ve been adding through the years both solo and with Junip. I set out to write songs in the same vein: short, melodic and rhythmical, a mixture of classic folk singer songwriting and songs with influences from Latin America and Africa.
[ file under: acoustica ]
JANE AND BARTON
Re-united for the first time in far too long, Jane and Barton present a beautifully crafted new studio album. Driven by Jane’s instantly recognisable voice, untouched by time, and Edward Barton’s unique brand of kitchen sink song-writing, Too follows on aesthetically where 1983’s self-titled debut left off, bringing that same sense of delicacy and subtlety into the 2020s, and subjecting it to suitably off-brand contemporary production values.
[ file under: pillows & prayers ]
"Instrumentals (a collection of outernational music)"
This is not a brand-new album, but rather a retrospective that charts the development of his now trademark sound, following a period spent focusing on challenging experimentalism. Featuring tracks previously released on labels including Disk, The Trilogy Tapes and Versatile, the varied instrumentals on show draw heavily on his love of African rhythms, ear-catching electronica and the sparse, subtly changing hypnotism of classic American minimalism.
[ file under: afro house ]
"Sinner get ready"
For her latest album as Lingua Ignota, Kristin Hayter burrowed deep into the landscape of rural Pennsylvania. Though the exact location of its genesis is not clear, Sinner Get Ready is crafted from Appalachian folk instruments and mired in the region’s traditional religious fervor. Interspersed with clips from televangelist sermons, this music examines the duality of blind devotion.
[ file under: experimental ]
The psychedelic garage duo The Liminanas and French techno pioneer DJ/producer Laurent Garnier have now produced together “De Pelicula”.
The result is neither a Limiñanas techno record nor a Laurent Garnier rock album. It is a record that feels like a walk on the wild side, one straight out of a film noir that was spawned from the need to write music that tells a story and rattles all traditional patterns in a (super)sonic trance.
[ file under: techno french meets garage pop ]
MORITZ VON OSWALD
Moritz von Oswald Trio returns with »Dissent«, a striking new album that explores the scope of jazz and dance music within abstracted electronic music. It follows the Sounding Lines LP from 2015 with a further explorative and daring sound, which dives through broad ambiences, uptempo dance and jazz sensibilities.
[ file under: electronica ]
The new album, a sonic shimmer of textures and pulses that switches between raw atmospheric edges and environments, arrives with a fascinating history. As Hannah Peel explains, “The specialist library label KPM, gave me permission to reinterpret the original music of the celebrated 1972 KPM 1000 series: Electrosonic, the music of Delia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop.”
[ file under: radiophonic ]
The ineffable, familiar harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker break through the chaos like a life raft. Layers of distorted sound accrete with each new verse - building, breaking, colossal then restrained, a solemn vow only whispered. There will be time to unravel and attribute meaning to the music and art of these times, but the creative moment looks forward, with teeth.
[ file under: alternative ]
Manchester family Space Afrika's Dais debut is a sprawling, genre melted tapestry of charged diasporic innovation and unshakably Northern, British working class eccentricity >> Like Dean Blunt, DJ Spooky, Cocteau Twins, Klein, West Mineral, Tricky, Third Eye Foundation, Actress 'n Michael Nyman boiled into a waxy narrative epic, 'Honest Labour' is as smoky and mysterious as it is rewarding. Undoubtedly one of the most viscerally affecting records of 2021.
[ file under: experimental ]
Luggage’s jam econo principles applied to the recording process for Happiness as well. It was tracked in just one day at Electrical Audio in Chicago by Jeremy Lemos (Jim O’Rourke, Stereolab, Bill Callahan) and mixed the following day. Bob Weston mastered it at CMS. Together, the six tracks on Happiness create an immersive experience—an aural representation of cabin fever, of being an organic body in a rigidly geometric environment and a dynamic entity in a static world.
[ file under: experimental post rock ]
Written over the course of two years, the main bodies of the songs were recorded in a series of full-band studio sessions in late 2019 and early 2020. Over the course of the long, slow pandemic days, O’Brien refined them in his tiny home studio in Dublin, and the album was then mixed by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, FKA Twigs).
[ file under: electronica ]
Pioneering minimal techno institution Milles Plateaux reissues Porter Ricks’ Same, originally available on CD way back in 1997. A collaboration between ambient aficionado Thomas Ko¨ner and Andy Mellweg, Porter Ricks released a spate of records during this period, including a few on the legendary dub techno stable Chain Reaction.
[ file under: chain reaction ]
WEB WEB & MAX HERRE
The fourth album by Web Web “WEB MAX” is a great spiritual jazz work - sometimes floating, sometimes soulful, always intense, and a wonderful homage to early 70s Jazz. Web Web mastermind Roberto Di Gioia is accompanied for the first time by Max Herre as a composer, musician, and producer. Both came together with guest musicians such as Mulatu Astatke, Brandee Younger, Charles Tolliver (Strata East), and others to deliver a virtuoso masterpiece.
[ file under: spiritual jazz ]
"I've been trying to tell you"
Thirty years on from their groundbreaking debut Foxbase Alpha, the much-loved London trio Saint Etienne announce their 10th studio album I’ve Been Trying To Tell You slated for release on September 10th via Heavenly Recordings. For the first time, Saint Etienne didn't record together in a studio. The album was completed remotely, in Hove (Pete Wiggs), Oxford (Sarah Cracknell) and Bradford (Bob Stanley), in collaboration with film and TV composer Gus Bousfield, who contributes to a number of tracks).
[ file under: indie pop ]
"When I hit you - you'll feel it"
Light in the Attic is ecstatic to announce When I Hit You—You’ll Feel It: a 16-track anthology that celebrates the extraordinary work of musician, poet, and author, Leslie Winer. When I Hit You—You’ll Feel It spans Winer’s three-decade-long musical career: from her groundbreaking solo work in the early ‘90s to her latest inspired projects. Featuring musical contributions from Jon Hassell, Helen Terry, Jah Wobble, Renegade Soundwave’s Karl Bonnie, and others, the collection also spotlights Winer’s diverse collaborations, and unearths previously-unreleased recordings.
[ file under: experimental ]
Having earned her stripes on America's independent jazz scene, Brandee Younger has now made the step up to the big time. Somewhere Different marks the harpist and composer's first appearance on Impulse, a label long associated with jazz greats. She's delivered the goods too, opening with a string of sweet, spiritual jazz influenced soul numbers, most of which are introspective in tone and reflect her experience during the first pandemic lockdown, before delivering a swathe of more energetic and up-tempo numbers that draw more influence from rock and jazz-dance.
[ file under: fantastic jazza harp ]