Yussef Kamaal – Black Focus

There’s probably no need to tell anybody about Yussef Kamaal anymore, the hype machine has been running for weeks. I don’t care too much about a hype anymore, there’s been to much of that in my life and oftentimes it ended in nothing but disappointment. Hype has sort of become a standard tool in our already oversaturated tool. The good news is, that Yussef Kamaal’s debut is impeccable. The pair concisting of United Vibrations drummer Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams aka Henry Wu manages to attract the heads as well as the new generation of jazz listeners, and they do so with the versatility and their ability to groove. Both qualities that have been lacking on other fore-runners of this new jazz revival, say Kamasi Washington’s much hyped album.

Listening to “Strings of Light” and “Yo Chavez” has been enough for me to click on that shiny buy button, but with every listen there’s a new tune that grows on me, that I didn’t seem to pay attention to at all. My favourite album this week and available through Brownswood.

Sunergy

The 13th installment of Rvng Intl’s FRKWYS series brings together synthesists Suzanne Ciani, who has been recording and releasing since the early 1980s, and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, who released her third album on Western Vinyl earlier this year.

Fortuitously (as is the freaky way), Smith and Ciani were discovered to be neighbors in the small coastal community of Bolinas, California. The two had become close friends, bonding over their experience as woman musicians and, more unusually, their shared passion for the Buchla synthesizer. The music of Sunergy embraces this kinship, with Ciani and Smith respectively performing on the Buchla 200 E and the Buchla Music Easel, two modern configurations of the innovative instrument developed in the ‘60s by Don Buchla.

FRKWYS Vol. 13 will be out tomorrow (September 16, 2016) and can be bought directly from the label and all good record stores.

Also, take note of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith In The Studio, a FACT Magazine-produced video from earlier this year.

José Mauro – Obnóxious

For more than two decades, Joe Davis’ Far Out Recordings introduced the world to some of the most beautiful music to ever come out of Brazil. Among their early releases was the first CD release of José Mauro’s 1970 album “Obnóxious”, a record that’s rightfully been called “A holy grail” by Gilles Peterson. Unfortunately, little is know about Mauro’s life, it’s all rumours and speculation. What is known though, is that unlike many other rebellious musicians of his generation, he decided against fleeing the country during the military repression that lasted for two decades, a fact that serves as basis for more dramatic theories.

Despite all this sadness, there’s good news for fans of his music – and fans of Brazilian music in general. 22 years after the release of the CD version, Far Out announced the another reissue on vinyl and various digital formats (including CD) for September 23, 2016. If you need one reason to pre-order the album, listen to the touching “Exaltacão E Lamento Do Último Rei” below.

Dim Grimm – Perlissop EP

I don’t even remember the last talk about Dim Grimm’s “Cite” album, it has been way too long. The Swiss producer formerly known as Dimlite hasn’t updated the videos from that session in more than two years. I’m a patient guy, I can wait. If you’re not of the patient kind, I’ve got good news for you: Dim Grimm just uploaded a new EP to his Bandcamp page, his first official release in many years. That’s five tracks for only €4, do I need to say more? Go and buy this!

And if you missed it before, check out that Dim Grimm mixtape from earlier this year.

Wake Up You!

The first volume of Now-Again’s “Wake Up You! The Rise and Fall of Nigerian Rock, 1972-1977” was released on Record Store Day about two weeks ago, with a second volume set for a release in May.

Wake Up You! tells the story of this time, pays homage to these now-forgotten musicians and their struggle, and brings to light the funk and psychedelic fury they created as they wrested free of the ravages of the late 1960s and created thrilling, original Nigerian rock music throughout the 1970s.

Each volume is accompanied by a book by Nigerian writer, musicologist, researcher and disc-jockey Uchenna Ikonne, the man who put the name William Onyeabor on the musical map for a larger audience, and who also put together Luaka Bop’s compilation “Who Is William Onyeabor?

Wake Up You! The Rise and Fall of Nigerian Rock, 1972-1977

Vinyl heads take note that the first volume was a Record Store Day exclusive, so chances of getting remaining copies are highest at your local record store. The CD-version can be ordered from Rappcats, Boomkat, Sounds of the Universe or HHV.

Volume 2 is expected to be released on May 20th, 2016.

It’s All Happening! Live!


Not counting a limited Japan-only release (or bootleg?), it’s been long four years since we heard new music from Carlos Niño. A first teaser from the new album was posted only a couple of weeks ago, and this week “Flutes, Echoes, It’s All Happening!” finally became available through Leaving Records.

Watch an improvisation in the Stones Throw dungeon, featuring long-time collaborator Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on viola, Dexter Story on keys, and Jamire Williams on drums.

In related news, also check out Carlos’ latest radio show on Dublab.

Ritornell – If Nine Was Eight

A couple of years ago, Austrian duo Ritornell graced our podcast with wonderful, moody guestmix, which combined all the qualities I appreciate about their own music: depth, warmth and a certain fragility. For those who don’t know, Ritornell consists of Roman Gerold and Richard Eigner, the latter who already collaborated with Nutriot-favourites Dimlite, Flying Lotus, Jameszoo, or Flako. Together, they just completed their third album, “If Nine Was Eight”, due for a release in the last week of April on German label Karaoke Kalk.

While I have a tendency towards instrumental pieces, or at least try to pick one or two favourites to share, I found it difficult in this case. Yes, the instrumentals “Silence of the Sirens” and “A Memory of Athens” are nothing short of beauty, but they only capture one aspect of the album. The vocals by Mira Lu Kovacs or longtime-collaborator Mimu Merz are something else though. So, in the player above you can stream all four tracks that are currently available, possibly increasing in numbers before the release date on April 29th, 2016. Pre-order the full album on Ritornell’s Bandcamp shop.

My Picks 2015

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?

IMG_0673Albums:
01. Lifted – 1 (PAN)
02. John T. Gast – Excerpts (Planet Mu)
03. Hunee – Hunch Music (Rush Hour)
04. The Internet – Ego Death (Odd Future)
05. Best Available Technology – Excavated Tapes 1992-1999 Vol. 2 (Astro:Dynamics)
06. Helena Hauff – Discreet Desires (Werkdiscs)
07. Helm – Olympic Mess (PAN)
08. Floating Points – Elaenia (Pluto)
09. Laurel Halo – In Situ (Honest Jon’s)
10. Mocky – Key Change (Heavy Sheet)
Compilation:
VA – Musik for Autobahns 2 (Rush Hour)
Reissue:
Doug Hream Blunt – My name is Doug Hream Blunt (Luaka Bop)
Rodinia – Rodinia (Now-Again)
EPs:
1. Henry Wu – Negotiate (Ho_Tep)
2. Thundercat – The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam (Brainfeeder)
3. Kelela – Hallucinogen (Warp)
Tracks:
01. Hunee – The World
02. Leon Vynehall – Midnight on Rainbow Road
03. Micachu & The Shapes – Oh Boy
04. NxWorries – Suede
05. Model 500 – Encounter
06. Pender Street Steppers – The Glass City
07. Thundercat – Them Changes
08. The Internet – Girl
09. Kelpe – Chirpsichord
10. Beat Spacek – Compact n Sleep
Label:
PAN (wait… again?)
Radio Show:
Hessle Audio w/ Ben UFO + Gerd Janson

Don’t forget, you can also listen to 365 favourite tracks for 2015 or our favourite albums of 2015 on Spotify. Enjoy!

Ian Johnson’s Inversions Skateboards

Ian Johnson's Inversions Skateboards

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!

Broshuda – Outlines

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
02. Incense
03. Heatmap
04. Decoy Unit (Skit)
05. Outlines
06. Champagne (Skit)
07. Celebrity Skin
08. I Never Had A Sega
09. NKS
10. Show Me The Way (Outro) ft. B£AMS & Dimlite

Available from Bandcamp on black tape and digital.

Harmonia – Complete Works

Harmonia - Complete Works

News about a Harmonia box-set spread soon after the passing of Dieter Moebius. The short-lived German band, has often been called a “krautrock supergroup”, with it’s members borrowed from Cluster (Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and Neu! (Michael Rother), and admirers from the ranks of Brian Eno and David Bowie. The box-set consisting of 5 LPs, one of them unreleased, is now available from Grönland Records, the same label that put out the Neu! Vinyl Box years ago.Harmonia – Musik von Harmonia
Harmonia – Deluxe
Harmonia -Live 1974
Harmonia & Eno ’76 – Tracks And Traces
Harmonia – Documents 1975

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.

MED BLU MADLIB – Bad Neighbor

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!

Wandl – Rap Remixes Vol. 1

The latest addition to Affine Records‘ impressive roster has been a young man going by the name of Wandl. You might already be familiar with his digital release on the label, or the remix for Okmalumkoolkat. A couple of days ago, he put out a bunch of unofficial remixes of rappers such as Danny Brown, Slum Village, Percee P, or Frank-N-Dank.

Get those 14 tracks from his Bandcamp while they’re still available!

My Name is Doug Hream Blunt

I had no idea who Doug Hream Blunt is, his music entered my life out of nowhere, just like William Onyeabor compilation did two years earlier. And so it’s once again Luaka Bop doing the introduction, the label founded by former Talking Heads lead figure David Byrne.

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.

Album of the week!

Journeymann Trax – Smoke Tape

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)
3. Inside
4. Canopy (feat. D. Tiffany)
5. Black Forest
6. Dengue
7. Ice Sheets

You can buy the release directly from 1080p and worldwide retailers such as Boomkat.