But of course we had to wait for the new year to actually begin choosing our favourites of 2015, we’re taking this seriously! So, I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are willing to go through yet another rundown for a year that’s already over. Surprisingly, my top 2 hasn’t change over the course of the year, and while my playlists for favourite tracks is longer than ever, the album list is comparably short this year. But let’s get to it, shall we?
A couple of years back, we did a feature called Jazz & Skateboards, in which we talked to painter Ian Johnson and showcased some of his work. What lead to this feature were his skateboard designs for Western Edition, in particular the Miles Davis Quintet series and the Marvin Gaye tribute. Only a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across his brilliant Out To Lunch series, a tribute to the Eric Dolphy album of the same name and very hard to find – especially if you’re after the whole series.
This time, the chances to cop one (or all) of his skateboards are better, as the new „Inversions” series was just announced on Ian’s Instagram account. As always, it’s a jazzy affair featuring musicians such as Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Sun Ra, and Bud Powell. All available from the Western Edition store and selected stores around the world. Be quick, as I’m sure these will soon be gone!
In a recent post, Oli Marlow of underground music blog Sonic Router announced his “retirement” from writing (uhm, or something like that), focusing on the label side of the brand. The label achieved to release an impressive body of work in last three years or so, and continues perform strong.
Their latest release “Outlines” is the work of designer-by-day Broshuda, 10 tracks of deep electronic music, featuring a collaboration with label mate B£AMS and Dimlite.01. Altar
04. Decoy Unit (Skit)
06. Champagne (Skit)
07. Celebrity Skin
08. I Never Had A Sega
10. Show Me The Way (Outro) ft. B£AMS & Dimlite
Available from Bandcamp on black tape and digital.
Apart from the music, the box-set contains a 36-page booklet, poster and download codes. You can buy it directly from the Grönland store, Amazon (UK / US), or HHV. However, unless you’re a huge fan or collector with the necessary budget, I recommend seeking out the individual records on record fairs or online.
There’s little to say about a record with collaborators of the quality of MED, Blu, and Madlib. Nope, Madlib’s skills haven’t worn off. Yes, it’s great record. The incredible line-up includes guests such as MF Doom, Dâm-Funk, Frank Nitt, Oh No, Anderson Paak, Hodgy Beats… Why do I feel like trying to sell something that’s already sold?
Just go on, get your copy. Don’t let that fugly sleeve spoil the whole thing, just think about what Bo Diddley sang. You can buy this everywhere: Rappcats, iTunes, your favourite record store. Everywhere!
All I can leave you with are these two fantastic tracks taken from “My Name is Doug Hream Blunt”, the LP now available directory from Luaka Bop, and at your favourite record store. Oh, and iTunes… for the lazy ones.
Another of those gifted Vancouver artists that have been popping up lately through the Mood Hut and 1080p labels, Journeymann Trax is a side project of the city’s own Bobby Draino. His album “Smoke Tape” was released in late July on tape and digital, sporting “47 minutes of meditative, floatational house and techno abstractions”. Not just a great album, but my favourite this week!1. Jade Tour (feat. D. Tiffany)
2. Arboreal Harp Jam (feat. Khotin)
4. Canopy (feat. D. Tiffany)
5. Black Forest
7. Ice Sheets
You can buy the release directly from 1080p and worldwide retailers such as Boomkat.
Ever since Dego turned his back on New York to return to the UK, the 4hero co-founder and 2000Black label-head has been as busy as in his early days. The last couple of months alone saw several new releases on Rush Hour, Sound Signature and, of course, his own label. As of this week, the second Dego & Kaidi on Eglo Records adds to his impressive discography. The track you can hear above was teased for months (months!!) by Eglo co-founder Alexander Nut, and now you finally pre-order the vinyl directly from the label’s Bandcamp store. One more word about the artwork, which is once again the work of Sassy J, who designs her own clothing line and is a magnificent DJ.
Pre-order your vinyl copy today and it will ship on June 17th today, the same date goes for the digital release. Don’t sleep!
Earlier this year, Harte Recordings successfully funded their 40th anniversary package of Space Is The Place, the Afrofuturist sci-fi film starring Sun Ra and his Arkestra. This limited edition release contains the restored versions of both the original and the uncut version on DVD, a book with never-seen-before photos, essays, interviews and comments, and the soundtrack on CD or vinyl, including previously unreleased music from the film.
It appears the vinyl bundle was only available for backers of the project, but you can buy the CD package from a variety of online stores including Rush Hour, Super Viaduct or Amazon.
I’m just through a first listen to Onra‘s latest album and as you probably expected, it’s a beauty. Like his 2010 album Long Distance, the new record takes you back to the sounds of the past, in my case that’s the time when I discovered my love for hip-hop of the late eighties and early nineties. Among the many collaborators are Black Milk, Olivier Day Soul, MC Melodee, Suzi Analogue. For a quick impression of what the record sounds, check out my favourite tracks 5, 6 and 8.
“Fundamentals” is out today and you can get your copy from All City, HHV, iTunes and all good record stores.
Five months into 2015 and I got my second contender for album of the year, following John T. Gast’s Excerpts on Planet Mu. Bill Kouligas’ PAN continues to be one of the most innovative labels in recent years and this debut album by Lifted is a prime example of their wonderful work. Lifted is an ongoing collaboration between Beautiful Swimmer’s Max D and Matt Papich aka Co La, and the record features guests such as Jordan GCZ (Juju & Jordash) and ambient producer Gigi Masin. The resulting music is as varied as its ingredients: jazz percussion, ambient synths, and the piano; “1” does not fit into genre definitions, it breaks them up and re-arranges them beautifully.
Over the years we featured several books celebrating the art of the record sleeve, including Jazz Covers and Jazz Covers 2. Art book publisher Taschen and editor Julius Wiedemann have teamed up once again to explore the age of rock music, starting with Little Richard, on to The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Sonic Youth. As with their previous books, each cover comes with a fact sheet listing art director, photographer or illustrator. The whole thing is rounded up by interviews and top-10 lists by record collectors.
The book is already available from the Taschen store, Amazon and hopefully from your local book shop.
Robbie Busch, Jonathan Kirby, Julius Wiedemann
Hardcover, 29,3 x 29,3 cm, 552 pages
It feels like since that Kirkis 7-inch came out on Eglo (and it was only a year ago!), but it was well worth the wait. This time, the Australian producer delivers a 4-track EP and it contains nothing but amazing tunes. I was about to highlight “Kirkis runs the Voodoo Town” and “Vovo”, but after a second listen I tell you to screw that — every single tune is worth buying. An EP to remember for those lists we all love to read at the end of every year!
How is this not available on vinyl, please tell me I’m wrong. Well, you can buy the digital release from the Eglo Bandcamp, Bleep and most digital stores.
Update According to Bandcamp page for the 7-inch, there will be an album of the same name and that will be available on vinyl as well. Keep your fingers crossed!
Four years have passed since these tracks were recorded at various Caribou live shows in Belgium and the UK, now Dan Snaith is selling them for a good cause. What makes this EP stand out is the line-up involved in the Caribou Vibration Ensemble: Four Tet and James Holden on synthesizers, Ahmed “Sinkane” Gallab on drums, a three piece brass section, flutist, and Dan Snaith himself on vocals, synth and electric guitar.