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.
Happy New Year! The old optimist I am, I waited until the very last day to pick my favourites of 2014. Like in the previous year, I mostly listened to new music through Spotify, since it allows me to listen to pretty much everything once it comes out. However, unlike 2013 I found it more difficult to single out the favourite of the year, so I decided not to rank the following selection.
Let’s start with some of the more soulful music of the year:
Taylor McFerrin – Early Riser
When Taylor’s debut album came out on Brainfeeder last June, I was pretty convinced the decision for record of the year has been made. Great production, not a single bad track, soulful music made a big comeback into my life.
…and then the Flying Lotus record came out and changed everything. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, but I wasn’t so sure anymore about my first pick. Predictable choice? I don’t even think so, but it’s an amazing record start to finish! I’m going as far to say that it’s up there with Cosmogramma!
I didn’t see King Britt’s LP anybody else’s list for 2014, but I think this is a record that deserves more spotlight. Try it out for yourself and listen to all of the records mentioned so far in a row, they go really well together. Seamless.
I said it before and I’ll say it again. If you missed new music from Tim Hecker this year, there’s probably no better surrogate than “Wilderness of Mirrors” by Lawrence English. And while this might read like a second choice, it’s definitely not!
There’s no doubt about my favourite compilation of the year, Hyperdub’s vision of RnB from the future won my all over. Killer tracks from Terror Danjah, Morgan Zarate, Jessy Lanza, Ikonika & Dam Funk, Scratcha DVA and more!
As the year comes to an end, there are plenty of albums worth considering the best of the year. Here’s one that snuck onto my list in the (almost) last minute. I first came across Hashman Deejay‘s music through one of the best Hessle Audio shows of the year: the Pender Street Steppers special aired last summer. That’s really when I first got aware of Vancouver’s Mood Hut label and its associates, one of them being Hashman. Among the tracks played on the show that stuck with me in particular was “184”, and as life sometimes goes, I only re-discovered it by pure chance when going through this week’s Bleep newsletter. And this is where I came full circle, as the track is taken from Hashman Deejay’s new album “Sandopolis”, which is out now on Max D’s Future Times label.
Life of a music blogger is nothing what you would imagine it. Unlike someone, let’s say, who writes about fashion, we don’t receive fancy dresses every other week. We get ugly emails advertising music we would never write about. Well, most of the time. To be honest, the moment when I started receiving promo emails was the moment when the fun in writing about music started fading away. Oh, the joy of discovery. It’s been a long time since music was only available on physical formats, and while it’s not all bad, I often feel that music lost some value in the process.
Anyway, it was only a couple of days ago that I received a package from the postman, my second in more than six years of blogging! Turns out it’s the new K15 2xEP that came out in late October on Kyle Hall’s Wild Oat imprint. I first met K15, or Kieron, in summer 2006 through a common friend, followed his music all over the years, eventually talked him into doing a podcast, and was mad proud when he was remixed by our musical hero Kaidi Tatham earlier this year. Next stop: Detroit!
I’m still listening to the second disc, but the first convinced me enough to write about it. Listening to the track above, techno producer Fabrice Lig was reminded of Titonton Duvanté, athe common friend of K15 and mine compared it to Mr Fingers. Well, both it’s true: the first record ventures into the past, references classic house music from the eighties, with one track sampling the early nineties anthem Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless); the second record is a deeper, more sincere look at what house music has to offer. There are a couple of more samples on the Wild Oats online shop, if you need more convincing. It’s also the only place I found that still has copies available.
Not as obvious as some of the bigger titles this year, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who anticipated the release Lord RAJA‘s debut album on Ghostly International. Following his seminal releases on the Astro Nautico, it was only a question of time when some bigger label would sign the 22 year old producer from New York. With label mates such as Dabrye, Com Truise or Shigeto, the Ann Arbor-based label looks like the right choice. So, finally, the wait is over: “A Constant Moth” is available as of today! If you haven’t had the chance to listen to any of the upfront leaks, like the tune featuring Jeremiah Jae, you can stream the album in full in the SoundCloud widget above.
I have said it before and I will say it again: I do understand all the criticism about Spotify, Rdio and other streaming services, the payments models are far from ideal. Always having been the person to actually buy records, to me streaming services are a great way to try-before-buy. The new album released under Dave Huisman’s 2562 alias was released about a month ago and —like his other records— has not been available on Spotify ever since. I’m glad he decided to share the stream on his SoundCloud page, otherwise it might have slipped off my radar altogether.
“The New Today” is available limited edition LP from all good record stores, including Clone, Rush Hour and Boomkat. For digital options, you can also buy the record from Bleep or iTunes.
Going through my early-week routine of listening to new music, I stumbled across Sad City and his EP just released on Phonica Special Editions. Known as Gary Caruth to his parents, the Glasgow-based producer utilized sounds recorded in the Portuguese capital Lisbon to put together six equally deep and warm sounding tracks, all sharing the same melancholic undertone. Hard to pick a favourite, but check out the tracks “Scyphozoa” and “Slow” for a start!
A limited edition vinyl release is available now from Phonica and Bleep, the latter also sells a digital release.
MATOM is the joint effort by Cagedbaby and Radio Slave‘s Matt Edwards. I discovered their album earlier this week and thought what bad luck it is have your record out the same week as You’re Dead, but in fact “Love Mistakes” was released in September already. There’s a lot to like about the record, most importantly it put me in the state of mind of the firsttwo Carl Craig albums or my all-time favourite compilation Soul in Motion, machine-made music with a soul. For me tracks like “Experiment One Variation Three”, “Hansa”, “Piano Two Variation Four” and the title track were enough to consider a purchase. My favourite record to come out on Planet E in a very long time!
You can buy your copy of “Love Mistakes” on BleepiTunes and all good record stores.