Monday, 28 May 2018

Hiroshi Yoshimura ‎– Music For Nine Post Cards (1982)

Style: Experimental, Minimal, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl, Digital
Label: Sound Process ‎– WN 001

A1.   Water Copy
A2.   Clouds
A3.   Blink
A4.   Dance PM
B1.   Ice Copy
B2.   Soto Wa Ame
B3.   View From My Window
B4.   Urban Snow
B5.   Dream

Electric Organ – Hiroshi Yoshimura
Engineer – Michinori Yamazaki
Producer – Satoshi Ashikawa

Sometime in the middle of composing the songs that would become 1982’s Music for Nine Postcards, the late Japanese ambient pioneer Hiroshi Yoshimura visited the then-new Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in the Shinagawa ward of Tokyo. He was taken with its pristine architecture, with its view of the trees in its courtyard from the interior. Yoshimura imagined his nascent work in relationship to that space, and inquired about having the finished piece played there; the museum agreed. The titular nine postcards, nodding back to that view from the Hara Museum, refer to a series of window views. In the songs’ titles, and in the few translated texts surrounding the release, he links them to broadly-drawn images of the natural world: clouds, rain, a tree’s shade. 
Ambient music is often linked to a kind of psychic interiority, but Yoshimura—who overlapped with the post-Fluxus contemporary art scene of 1960s and 1970s Tokyo—made music responding to and designed to exist in physical places: for train stations, runway shows, and so on. In 1982, a version of Music for Nine Postcards was the first release in Satoshi Ashikawa’s Wave Notation series; Ashikawa and Yoshimura defined and advocated for what they termed “environmental music,” “music which by overlapping and shifting changes the character and the meaning of space, things, and people,” wrote Ashikawa. “Music,” he argues, “is not only meant to be something which exists alone.” Influenced by figures like Erik Satie and Brian Eno, this developing sound also progressed with a specificity and gentle sense of intent, responding to urban sonic overload (and, perhaps, to developing ideas about media: an awareness that culture doesn’t just reflect reality, but actively produces it). 
Music for Nine Postcards, then, is an intervention conducted through near-stillness. Composed with a minimal setup including a Fender Rhodes piano, the songs collected here are built around simple melodies that Yoshimura modulates in small, affecting ways. In a 1999 text reprinted in this reissue’s liner notes, he likens his process to planting a “seed” as a means of seeking “a prime number.” There’s little texture in them beyond the keyboard’s warm finish: a phrase will move alongside a complementary droning tone, and perhaps a harmony will wander in, but Yoshimura’s pieces rarely build. Despite this lack of sonic density, however, they have a disarming presence, cutting sweetly into the listener’s reality. 
The effect is multidimensional: melancholy, wistful, invigorating, consoling. In a sense, though these sounds are conversational in their way, Yoshimura leaves quite a bit of room for the listener’s mood and memories. The record’s effects are, like the nature iconography he invokes, delivered with broad, almost neutral strokes. But space—even, or especially, the crowded and overwhelming urban kind—is necessarily emotional. It is loaded with memory, or whatever abstract something floats in the air when humans have been feeling their way through a place—and he taps into this characteristic of our every-day beautifully. Yoshimura’s practice shines light onto corners of feeling that might otherwise go unnoticed. 
Yoshimura and Ashikawa’s ideas about sound and space remain relevant, especially as public space becomes ever-more fraught with anxiety and the infrastructural and social fractures that result from austerity. The mediations proposed on this album are intimate in scale but effective and timeless, unadorned such that they maintain a universality. Yoshimura’s output extends far beyond what’s captured on this release, and a resurgence of interest—and the promise of further reissues—hopefully means more documentation around his work will be available in English. But these Postcards alone have a solidity, the kind of sounds you want to carry throughout your life.
by Thea Ballard in Pitchfork

Midori Takada ‎– Through The Looking Glass (1983)

Style: Minimal, Contemporary, Experimental, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: RCA Red Seal ‎– RCL-8369

A1.   Mr. Henri Rousseau's Dream
A2.   Crossing
B1.   Trompe-LŒil
B2.   Catastrophe Σ

Composed By, Performer, Producer – Midori Takada
Cowbell, Marimba, Harmonium [Reed Organ] – Midori Takada (tracks: A2)
Design [Cover Design] – Mikio Kawasaki
Directed By – Masahiko Arao
Engineer [Assistant] – Akio Tanabe
Engineer [Mastering Engineer, JVC] – Kazuie Sugimoto
Engineer, Mixed By – Masaki Ohno
Executive-Producer – Masamitsu Kurokawa
Illustration – Yohko Ochida
Marimba, Gong, Cowbell, Recorder, Bells [Wood Bell], Ocarina, Tam-tam – Midori Takada (tracks: A1)
Other [Cola Bottle], Harmonium [Reed Organ], Bells [Clay Bell] – Midori Takada (tracks: B1)
Photography By – Riki Watanabe
Tom Tom, Bongos, Cowbell, Cymbal [Cymbale Antique], Vibraphone, Harmonium [Reed Organ], Piano – Midori Takada (tracks: B2)

The Japanese composer Midori Takada's newly reissued album is an assimilation of musical modes from around the world. It belongs in the pantheon alongside Steve Reich's most notable works. 
In a perfect world, Japanese composer Midori Takada and her works for percussion would be as revered and renowned as that of Steve Reich. Much like that world-renowned American composer, Takada drew influence from a study of African drumming and Asian music, and surmised how these sensibilities dovetailed with that of minimalism, serving as means to break with the Western classical tradition (she originally was a percussionist in the Berlin RIAS Symphonie Orchestra at the Berlin Philharmonic). But with only a handful of works to her name and all of it long out of print—be it with her groundbreaking percussion trio Mkwaju Ensemble, the group Ton-Klami or the three solo albums she released across nearly two decades—her music has been impossible to hear since the early 1990s. 
Only last year did two pieces from Takada’s Mkwaju Ensemble appear on last year’s crucial More Better Days compilation, revealing Takada’s singular approach to spartan yet euphoric percussion pieces. Touching on gamelan, kodo, and American minimalism (Takada founded the trio in part to perform the works of Reich, Terry Riley, and other 20th-century percussion pieces), each one built carefully to sublime effect. When Visible Cloaks’ member Spencer Doran released his influential mixes of Japanese music, selections from both Mkwaju and Takada’s solo percussion pieces appeared at crucial junctures. 
The rarest of all of Takada’s works though was her 1983 solo effort, Through the Looking Glass, never released on CD and fetching ludicrous sums online for an original vinyl copy. Unable to financially sustain Mkwaju, Takada disbanded the ensemble and entered the studio by herself to realize this music. Over the course of two days, she put to analog tape all four of the extended performances here as well as laying down the overdubs, producing and mixing (with help from an engineer) the album on her own. An astonishing feat in and of itself, Looking Glass is one of the most dazzling works of minimalism, be it from the East or West.

“Mr. Henri Rousseau's Dream” is an assured opening, one that moves at its own slow, hushed pace. Takada astutely layers marimba, gongs, rattles and other ambient bits of chimes, recorder, tam-tam and mimics bird calls with an ocarina. In its understated pulsing of marimba, it brings to mind Gavin Bryars’ work from the same era, most notably Hommages on the Les Disques Du Crépuscule imprint. There appears to be little in the way of linear development as Takada instead crafts and sustains an entire landscape of these small sounds, letting them all levitate in mid-air for twelve heavenly minutes. 
With “Crossing,” a bit of momentum builds up from a single struck cowbell. Takada goes back over the original clonk and starts to layer interweaving lines on marimba, each successive line increasing the complexity of the lines. More cowbell comes in and suddenly Takada begins to simulate the ornate polyrhythms of Reich’s Drumming all by herself in the studio. And with the introduction of a crossing marimba pattern and the drone of a harmonium some five-and-a-half minutes into the piece, it moves into its own rarefied space. 
“Trompe-L’oeil” moves at a more relaxed pace, with Takada’s harmonium lines swaying like an accordion and her use of a Coke bottle as both reed and percussion giving the piece a playful air about it. It’s a breather before the finale of the album, the fifteen-minute pressure cooker of percussion, “Catastrophe Σ.” Using the harmonium to create a darker mood, Takada focuses on tom-tom, bongos, cymbal and a bit of piano to ratchet up and sustain tension over the course of the piece. There’s a breathlessness to the piece as it gathers momentum that makes it one of the most thrilling percussion pieces of its kind. 
While her American influences always had an exploratory aspect to their most famous works, there’s never a moment on, say, “Music for 18 Musicians” where you feel like Reich lets loose his rein even a millimeter. There’s something about Takada and the joy of creating this album that fully emerges in this last quarter-hour, as she builds energy up with her drums, her harmonium and that ever-present cowbell. In the liner notes to this reissue, Takada explained just what she learned in her studies of African and Asian music that led her to abandoned Western classical music as a pursuit way back when. “As a performer, this music asked you to personally examine your own physical transformation and to confirm and share this transformation with your counterpart, group or tribe,” she said. “The music stops short of imposing sovereignty or nationality.” And even as the finale builds to a glorious climax, it too stops short. Takada pulls it all away at the last possible moment, a thrill that allows her listeners—nearly thirty-five years on—to soar to a space well within themselves. It’s a space well worth rediscovery.
by Andy Beta in Pitchfork

Quiet Village ‎– Silent Movie (2008)

Style: Leftfield, Downtempo, Disco
Format: CD, Digital
Label: Studio !K7 ‎– !K7225CD

01.   Victoria's Secret
02.   Circus Of Horror
03.   Free Rider
04.   Too High To Move
05.   Pacific Rhythm
06.   Broken Promises
07.   Pillow Talk
08.   Can't Be Beat
09.   Gold Rush
10.   Singing Sand
11.   Utopia
12.   Keep On Rolling

Design – Studio Oscar
Written-By, Producer – Joel Martin, Matt Edwards

Recorded at Studio 56 Brighton, 2004-2007.
All tracks published by !K7 Publishing.

The thin line between schmaltz and beauty is something musicians have had to grapple with for a while, especially during a generation of pop where recontextualization is something we tend to take for granted. Right now I'm listening to "Victoria's Secret," the first track from Quiet Village's Silent Movie, and I'm imagining other people in a similar situation squinching up their faces at how cheesily doe-eyed it must sound to them: beachside surf sounds and seagull keening, weepy strings, a sedate, molasses-flow rhythm section that consists of an almost inaudible feather-tapped drum and a snore-pace bass. It sounds like some long-forgotten slab of incidental music from a pay-for-use soundtrack library, composed in the hopes that some TV movie pulls it from the stacks to score a chaste falling-in-love scene. 
Except that most of this song's structure actually comes from a hauntingly lovelorn and classic Chi-Lites ballad, 1972's "The Coldest Days of My Life"-- and once you know that, it gets harder to hear "Victoria's Secret" as strictly cheese, especially once you recognize Eugene Record's voice echoing through the tides. Silent Movie has a field day with this tweaking of the margins between extravagant easy listening and the more "proper" strains of pop and r&b, the result being a record that betrays the frequently subjective notion of what "kitsch" consists of. Quiet Village is a project of Matt Edwards, best known as tech-house auteur Radio Slave, and collaborator Joel Martin, whose pre-Quiet Village activity consists most significantly of his hand in compiling Bite Hard, a cult-classic compilation of 1970s library music from Britain's De Wolfe Studio. What they've come up with has frequently been lumped in with the Balearic revival movement, which relies in part on a sort of sun-baked, slow-moving codeine-disco vibe that (despite my best efforts) largely defies easy classification. 
Most of the prime examples of this are found in the tracks that originated as 12" single sides back in 2005 and 2006, which also comprise most of Silent Movie's rhythmic pulse. The leisurely, palm-lined slow cruise of "Pillow Talk" lifts from select bits of the 1978 Alan Parsons Project album Pyramid and then blows out its guitar-driven downtempo AOR slickness into an even heavier, thicker sheen of ambient coke-prog. It leads cleanly into the single it was originally the 2005 B-side to, the coming-down funk of "Can't Be Beat", and by slowing Trade Mark's Franco-disco "Days of Pearly Spencer" (also from 1978) to a woozy crawl they create a particularly tense and bleary brand of late-nite post-club slow jam, an atmosphere shared by the electric piano-driven, Captain and Tenille-monologue-appropriating dope haze of second single "Too High to Move". The notable exception to all this blissful dancefloor torpor is a bit of bikers-versus-zombies drive-in-movie fare called "Circus of Horror", the most uncharacteristic (and maybe the best) song on the record: in the simplest terms, it's blatant Tarantino bait that sounds like Hendrix's Band of Gypsys after developing some kind of Italian soundtrack fetish, and it's the one moment on the record where the drums not only really come alive but threaten to tumble down directly on top of you.
The funny (and problematic) thing is, a lot of these songs, especially the newer tracks, aren't that heavily altered in comparison to its subjectively tacky source material. "Utopia" is essentially Andreas Vollenweider's "Steam Forest" with some bits switched here and there to disguise its new age origins; the tribal spaghetti Western rumble of "Gold Rush" draws liberally from late-60s psych band Writing on the Wall's "Buffalo"; "Pacific Rhythm" basically is Ryuichi Sakamoto's version of Sister Sledge's Chic-gone-reggae deep cut "You're A Friend to Me". Think of Silent Movie more as an edits and remixes record-- or even a reproduced DJ set-- than a sample pastiche, and maybe it'll feel less larcenous, though I can't imagine that the people left disillusioned by the revelation that Daft Punk didn't write the riff to "Digital Love" will be all that thrilled. Maybe there's a different divide to worry about here: it's not a matter of whether the music is cheesy, but whether the appropriation is. Strange how an album that invites scenesters to overcome their aversion to AOR slickness trips them up by playing against moral codes concerning authenticity and proper credit. At worst, this just makes Silent Movie a kind of stealth mix CD (see also Rub-n-Tug's 2006 Balearic progenitor mix Better With a Spoonful of Leather). At best, they've just compiled the soundtrack to the finest 3 a.m. trip home you'll have all year.
by Nate Patrin in Pitchfork 

Magic Drum Orchestra ‎– In The Studio (2011)

Style: Genre: Jazz, Latin, Samba
Format: CD
Label: Lion Head Recordings ‎– LHCD011

1.   Raggasamba
2.   Serengeti
3.   Dynamic Africana
4.   Smelebele
5   Sofa / Gidamba
6.   Mozambique
7.   Drop It (Like A Funky Muppet)
8.   Tumbaiao

Producer – Glyn Bush, Ralph Cree

The Magic Drum Orchestra began life over five years ago as a Brazilian-style bateria or street-percussion band led by Glyn Bush (Biggabush / Lightning Head) and Ralph Cree (, inspired by the carnival music of Rio, Salvadore and Pernambuco. Since then the group has gone through many changes of line up and has now settled on a steady membership of 12 people which has been together since 2007. The musical style has evolved during that time from strict samba and batucada rhythms to incorporate elements of afrobeat, traditional african and cuban rhythms, funk, hip hop and ragga beats. Every performance by the MDO is different, as the leaders use pre-set signals and cues to trigger different breaks, solos and arrangements from the other percussionists - also including elements of improvisation and freestyling - which are integrated with tightly-rehearsed grooves. A highlight of the band's live set is a medley of Snoop Dogg's Drop It Like It's Hot mixed with the theme from the Muppet Show and elements of James Brown's Funky Drummer. Other pieces are based on 70s afrobeat favourites such as Dr Victor Olaiya and Dynamic Africana from Strut's recent Nigeria 70 album as well as funk stalwarts the Whitefield Brothers. All are performed with verve and exuberance by the band on drums, percussion, shakers and bells at street parties, club venues and festivals. The Magic Drum Orchestra has been a regular fixture at the UK's Big Chill for the last three years and have proved hugely popular with every appearance.

Fertile Ground ‎– Perception (2011)

Style: Soul-Jazz, Fusion, Latin Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Counterpoint Records ‎– CRCD013

01.   Libations
02.   Spiritual War
03.   Broken Branches
04.   Be Natural
05.   Peace & Love
06.   Let The Wind Blow
07.   Colours Of The Night
08.   Soulmates
09.   Patches In The Shade (Stay Strong)
10.   Misguided Warrior
11.   Runaway Slave
12.   Homage (Yesterday)
13.   Sentimental Groove
14.   Black Sunshine
15.   Ghetto Butterflies
16.   My Friend The Moon

Backing Vocals – Sunny Fuller
Drums – Marcus Asante
Percussion – Devin Walker, Ekendra Das
Piano, Trumpet – James Collins
Saxophone – Albert Helter, Craig Alston
Trumpet – Freddie Dunn
Vocals – Navasha Daya

This compilation contains songs from previous albums "Field Songs" (1998) and "Spiritual War" (1999).

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Max Roach ‎– We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (1960)

Style: Hard Bop, Free Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Candid ‎– CCD 79002

A1.   Driva'man
A2.   Freedom Day
A3.   Triptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace
B1.   All Africa
B2.   Tears For Johannesburg

Artwork – Frank Gauna
Congas – Michael Olatunji
Double Bass – James Schenck
Engineer – Bob D'Orleans
Leader, Drums – Max Roach
Percussion – Ray Mantilla, Tomas DuVall*
Producer [Supervision] – Nat Hentoff
Tenor Saxophone – Coleman Hawkins, Walter Benton
Trombone – Julian Priester
Trumpet – Booker Little
Vocals – Abbey Lincoln

"A revolution is unfurling - America's unfinished revolution. It is unfirling in lunch counters, buses, libraries and schools - wherever the dignity and potential of men are denied. Youth and idealism are unfurling. Masses of Negroes are marching onto the stage of history and demanding their freedom now!" -A Philip Randolph
What this album is saying is that FREEDOM DAY is coming in many places, and those working for it mean to make it stick. In 1937, a Negro who still remembered slavery spoke of what it was like in 1865. "Hallelujah broke out... Everyboby went wild. We all felt like heroes, and nobody had make us that way but ourselves." It's happening again.

Recorded: Nola Penthouse Sound Studio, New York, August 31rd and September 6, 1960

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Ruby Rushton ‎– Trudi's Songbook: Volume Two (2017)

Style: Contemporary Jazz, Funk, Latin Jazz
Format: CD, VinylDigital
Label: 22a ‎– 22a 019

1.   Tisbury Truckin
2.   Song For Christopher
3.   Trudi's Mood (Part II)
4.   Charlotte Emma Victoria
5.   Together At Last
6.   Butterfly

Bass – Fergus Ireland
Design [Cover] – Sey Art, Theo Ackroyd
Drums – Eddie Hick
Engineer, Mixed By – Rhys Downing
Flute, Saxophone – Edward Cawthorne
Keyboards – Aidan Shepherd
Mixed By – Dennis Ayler
Percussion – Joseph Deenmamode
Trumpet – Nick Walters
After the success of ‘Trudi’s Songbook: Volume One,’ Ruby Rushton are back with their highly anticipated follow up, ‘Trudi’s Songbook: Volume Two.’ Comprised of a further six cuts, ‘Trudi’s Songbook: Volume Two’ is a welcome succession to its predecessor. Stand out tracks include ‘Tisbury Truckin,’ which is a stunning opener! Starting with an atmospheric soundscape it unexpectedly drops into a neck-snapping hip-hop groove with a punchy melodic line before effortlessly sliding into an up-tempo, afro-beat inspired rhythm with strong solos from trumpet and keys in tow. ‘Song For Christopher’ is a heartfelt ballad, which begins with a touching flute solo and continues to take the listener on a journey through the emotions, ending in a crescendo of optimism – a fitting tribute to the late Christopher Rushton. ‘Charlotte Emma Victoria’ is another strong track and includes some tasteful sousaphone and trombone parts to add extra oomph to its bounce, accompanied by a soaring saxophone solo by band leader Edward Cawthorne (aka Tenderlonious). The album ends with a classic Herbie Hancock jazz-fusion standard, ‘Butterfly,’ which the band handle with finesse. A fitting cover that I have no doubt would impress its original writers.  
‘Trudi’s Songbook: Volume Two’ is a fantastic album, which further solidifies Ruby Rushton’s place on the modern jazz scene. This is a must have album that would hold its own in any jazz enthusiasts record collection - make sure you check it out!  
Words by Rodriguez Guido 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Ruby Rushton ‎– Trudi's Songbook: Volume One (2017)

Style: Contemporary Jazz, Funk, Latin Jazz
Format: CD. Vinyl. Digital
Label: 22a ?– 22a015

1.   Moonlight Woman
2.   Elephant & Castle
3.   Trudi's Mood
4.   Prayer For Yusef
5.   Where Are You Now?
6.   The Camel's Back

Bass – Fergus Ireland
Design [Cover] – Sey Art, Theo Ackroyd
Drums – Eddie Hick
Engineer, Mixed By – Rhys Downing
Flute, Saxophone, Songwriter, Arranged By – Ed Cawthorne
Mixed By – Dennis Ayler
Percussion – Joseph Deenmamode
Synth – Aidan Shepherd
Trumpet – Nick Walters
I first came across Ruby Rushton in 2011 when I saw them play live at a pub in south London. I was mesmerised by their performance that night. The music they were playing was fresh and exciting; it was unlike anything I had heard before! Soon after that night I happened to pass the sax player in the street, I stopped and asked what plans he had for the band, to which he replied "album soon come..." 

It was four years before I heard that album. Recorded in 2011, 'Two For Joy' finally got its much-anticipated release via the 22a imprint in 2015 and it did not disappoint! Since then the band have had a number of gigs around London and Europe, including their celebrated Boiler Room appearance and a number of headline shows at London's Jazz Cafe. 

Now into 2017 the band are preparing to release their second studio album, 'Trudi's Songbook.' Compromising of two parts, volume one will be released in May and volume two later in the year. I was given an exclusive preview of volume one and I can say with certainty that it is their finest work to date and one of the greatest recordings I have heard in a long while. 

The album starts with 'Moonlight Woman,' a song that harks back to the Headhunters era, but with a contemporary twist - close your eyes and your transported to 70s Harlem, walking shoulder to shoulder with Richard Roundtree! 'Elephant & Castle' follows, a clear reference to south Londons Latin quarter, the tune has a distinct hustle and bustle quality. With a strong flute solo and upbeat rhythm section this tune is sure to have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet. The first side draws to a close with a tasteful Dilla inspired skit, 'Trudi's Mood,' which demonstrates the bands wealth of influences and leaves the listener eager to continue their sonic voyage, with Ruby Rushton at the helm. 

Side two opens with a haunting ballad, 'Prayer For Yusef,' a song written in memory of the late Yusef Lateef. It starts softly with a bowed double bass and bamboo flute, accompanied by ghostly percussive noises and slowly rises to a large crescendo, with drums and piano in tow. It's a strong tune and a fitting dedication to the late, great Yusef Lateef. No sooner has Lateef's ballad gently faded away then 'Where Are You Now?' kicks in. Starting with a cool, neck-popping 3/4 beat, and utilising a four-piece horn section, the rhythm section struts its stuff whilst flute and trumpet carve out a playful melodic line. Just as you settle into its hypnotic bounce the tune falls through a Monk inspired chromatic bridge and without warning reappears as a solid Latin groove, leading to strong solos from both sax and keys. The rhythm section charges through to the end, never lagging, and are rejoined by the four-piece horn section, which stabs its way to a tight finish. The album comes to a close as 'The Camel's Back' fades in with an eerie sax solo and free form drums, before settling into a catchy bass motif and quickly fading away, leaving listeners on the edge of their seats and wanting more. It’s a great ending to an intoxicating joy ride through a multitude of genre defying styles! 

Simply put, this album is a must have for any listener yearning for exciting and fresh contemporary music. Essential listening for fans of Kamasi Washington, Yussef Kamaal and GoGo Penguin. 
Words by Rodriguez Guido 

Two Banks Of Four ‎– Junkyard Gods (2008)

Style: Future Jazz, Downtempo
Format: CD, mp3
Label: Sonar Kollektiv ‎– SK182CD/ JAZZ

01.   Junkyard Gods
02.   Queen Of Crows
03.   Go
04.   Shadowlands
05.   Summertime
06.   Flags & Words
07.   Wake Me
08.   Paper Planes
09.   Lights On A Satellite
10.   Ballad Of Oliver Law

Bass – Robin Mullarkey
Design – Swifty
Drums – Tom Skinner
Harmonium [Rural Harmonium], Synthesizer [Polymoog], Performer [Cosmosoon], Zither [Space Zither], Tin Whistle, Marimba, Finger Cymbals, Instruments [All Other] – 2 Banks Of 4
Mastered By – Mandy Parnell
Mixed By – Demons
Photography By – Peter Williams
Piano, Keyboards – Ski Oakenfull
Producer – 2 Banks Of 4
Saxophone, Flute, Flute [Fife] – Finn Peters
Sleeve Notes – Jez Nelson
Trombone – Trevor Mires
Trumpet – Byron Wallen
Voice – Bembe Segue, Valerie Etienne, Zinger

Recorded at Dub Basket East, Feolas Fishmarket & Shabang Studios.
Mixed at Dub Basket East.

This recording (P) 2008 and (C) 2008 Sonar Kollektiv.
Made in the EC.

Gallagher published by R. Gallagher Music
Demus published by Dub Basket/Westbury Music
D. Oakenfull published by Chrysalis Music
B. Seque published by Westbury Music
W. Shorter published by Miyako Music
Sun Ra published by Enterplanetary Koncepts/Dejamus UK Ltd

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Passions ‎– Thirty Thousand Feet Over China (1981)

Style: New Wave
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass. mp3
Label: Polydor ‎– POLS 1041, Polydor ‎– 2383 616Tracklist:

A1.   I'm In Love With A German Film Star
A2.   Something Special
A3.   The Swimmer
A4.   Strange Affair
A5.   Small Stones
B1.   Runaway
B2.   The Square
B3.   Alice's Song
B4.   Bachelor Girls
B5.   Skin Deep

Bass, Vocals – David Agar
Design, Art Direction – Rob O'Connor
Engineer – Martin Moss, Pete Buhlmann
Guitar, Vocals – Clive Timperley
Management – Bob Black
Percussion – Richard Williams
Photography By – Jeff Veitch
Producer – Nigel Gray (tracks: A2, A4 to B5)
Vocals, Guitar – Barbara Gogan
Written-By, Performer – The Passions

Monday, 21 May 2018

Root 70 ‎– Heaps Dub (2006)

Style: Dub, Future Jazz, Downtempo
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Nonplace ‎– NON20

01.   Get Things Straight
02.   Designer Groove
03.   Five Star Group Travel
04.   Destination Unknown
05.   Revivitator (Tongs Of Love)
06.   Escape The Night
07.   Life Is Worth...
08.   It Ain't Rocket Science
09.   Bosco's Disposable Driver
10.   Nightbeat

Double Bass – Matt Penman
Drums – Jochen Rückert
Keyboards, Synthesizer [Korg Ms20], Edited By, Producer, Arranged By – Burnt Friedman
Recorded By – Wolfgang Stach
Saxophone, Clarinet, Clarinet [Bass], Melodica, Producer, Arranged By – Hayden Chisholm
Trombone – Nils Wogram

Back states: "Root 70 plays the music of Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players and Flanger".

Liu Sola ‎– Blues In The East (1994)

Genre: Blues, Classical, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD
Label: Axiom

The Broken Zither
01.   Introduction
02.   Boya's Adventures
03.   Meeting With The Woodcutter Ziqi
04.   A Discourse On The Zither
05.   The Appointment With Ziqi
06.   Boya's Lament
07.   Breaking The Zither
Married To Exile (A Story Of Wang Zhaojun)
08.   Beyond The Great Wall
09.   The Goose
10.   Looking Back
11.   The Nation's Boundaries
12.   Oh Mother

Artwork By [Costume Design] – Carol Chow
Artwork By [Layout, Design] – Aldo Sampieri
Bass – Fernando Saunders
Biwa [Pipa] – Wu Man
Drums – Jerome Brailey
Engineer – Oz Fritz, Robert Musso
Guitar – James Blood Ulmer
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Liu Sola
Liner Notes – Liu Sola
Lyrics By – Liu Sola, Umar Bin Hassan (tracks: 2 to 4, 6, 7)
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Mixed By – Robert Musso
Mixed By [Assistant] – Imad Mansour, Layng Martine
Music By – Liu Sola
Narrator [Storyteller] – Umar Bin Hassan (tracks: 2 to 4, 6, 7)
Organ [Hammond B-3], Piano, Vocals – Amina Claudine Myers
Percussion [African] – Aiyb Dieng
Percussion [Japanese] – Yukio Tsuji
Photography – Ira Cohen
Producer – Bill Laswell
Saxophone – Henry Threadgill
Shakuhachi – Ralph Samuelson
Shakuhachi, Woodwind – Ned Rothenberg
Violin – Jason Hwang

Sunday, 20 May 2018

VA ‎– Best Of Acid Jazz Volume 2 (1997)

Style: House, Acid Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Garage House
Format: CD, Cass.
Label: Global Television ‎– RADCD 52, Global Television ‎– RADCD52

Disc one
01. Jamiroquai - Virtual insanuty
02. The brand new heavies – Dream on dreamer
03. The blue boy – Remember me
04. Omar – There’s nothing like this
05. Martine Girault – Revival
06. The James Taylor quartet – Love the life
07. Corduroy – High havoc
08. Mica Paris – My one temptation
09. Incognito – Don’t you worry about a thing
10. Drizabone – Brighter star
11. Urbam species – Brother
12. Working week – Inner city blues
13. Raw stylus – Pushing against the flow
14. Galliano – Long time gone
15. Ronny Jordan – The jakcal
16. Dream warriors – My definition of a boombastic jazz style
17. Definition of sound – Pass the vibe
18. A tribe called quest – Can ‘ kick it?
19. Jason Rebello – Summertime
20. The aposties – Mercy mercy me

Disc two
01. Carleen Anderson – Apparently nothin’
02. Count basic – Jazz in the house
03. Des’ree – You gotta be
04. Omar – Outside
05. The brand new heavies – Stay this way
06. The New-jersey kings – Dream waves
07. Jhelisa – Friendly pressure
08. D’note – The garden of eathly delights
09. Mother earth – Bad ass weed
10. The James Taylor quartet – Love will keep us together
11. Greenfinger – Dr bong
12. Milk – Beached
13. High steppers – Got to be
14. Outside – Big city
15. Night train – A bad trip
16. the beaujolais band – Ain’t no sunshine
17. Corduroy – The corduroy orgasm club
18. Society of soul – It only get better
19. Will Downing – A love supreme

Compiled By – Nic Moran

20. Tuck & Patty – Time after time

VA ‎– Best Of Acid Jazz (1996)

Style: House, Acid Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Garage House
Format: CD
Label: Global Television ‎– RADCD 35

1.01.   Us3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)
1.02.   Jamiroquai - Space Cowboy
1.03.   The Brand New Heavies -Midnight At The Oasis (Radio Version)
1.04.   Incognito - Everyday (Bluey's 7" Mix)
1.05.   Freak Power - Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out (Radio Mix)
1.06.   Spearhead - People In Tha Middle
1.07.   Des'ree - Feel So High
1.08.   Digable Planets - Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)
1.09.   Guru - Feel The Music
1.10.   Martine Girault - Been Thinking About You (Original Opaz Mix)
1.11.   Ronny Jordan - So What!
1.12.   Drizabone - Real Love (Nush Glamour Mix)
1.13.   The Brand New Heavies - Never Stop (Radio Edit)
1.14.   Urban Species - Spiritual Love (Natural 7")
1.15.   New Jersey Kings - Green Screen
1.16.   The James Taylor Quartet - Mission Impossible
1.17.   Omar - Keep Steppin'
1.18.   Vibraphonic - Heavy Vibes
1.19.   Leena Conquest & Hip Hop Finger - Boundaries (Radio Edit)
1.20.   Brooklyn Funk Essentials - Take The L Train (To 8th Avenue)
2.01.   Goldbug - Whole Lotta Love
2.02.   Young Disciples - Apparently Nothin' (Edit)
2.03.   Diana Brown & Barrie K Sharpe - Masterplan
2.04.   Corduroy - Something In My Eye
2.05.   Working Week - Venceremos
2.06.   Jhelisa - Whirl Keeps Turning (Radio Edit)
2.07.   The Brand New Heavies - Dream Come True
2.08.   D'Influence - Good Lover (Wow Original) (Dance Energy Edit)
2.09.   Repercussions - Promise Me Nothing (Album Version)
2.10.   Brooklyn Funk Essentials - The Creator Has A Masterplan
2.11.   D Note - Now Is The Time (Original Version)
2.12.   City Lix - Find Our Love
2.13.   Snowboy - 24 For Betty Page
2.14.   Corduroy - Follow That Arab
2.15.   This I Dig - Turn It All Around
2.16.   Xan - Watcha Gonna Do
2.17.   Groove Collective - Whatchugot
2.18.   TC 1992 - Funky Guitar (Sure Shot Deep Mix)
2.19.   Mother Earth - Jesse
2.20.   Carleen Anderson - Let It Last

Concept By, Compiled By – Nic Moran

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul With The Honeymoon Killers ‎– Ex-Futur Album (2014)

Style: Avantgarde, Europop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs ‎– CRAM 014

01.   Chez Les Aborigènes
02.   Afflux De Luxe
03.   Je Pleure Tout Le Temps
04.   Veronika Winken
05.   Réveillons-Nous
06.   I'm Always Crying
07.   My Kind Of Doll
08.   Luxurious Dub
09.   Le Troisième Personnage
10.   The Aboriginal Variations

Bonus Tracks
11.   Réveillons-Nous (Live)
12.   Mit Den Eingeborenen (Live)
13.   I'm Always Remixing

How unique, Véronique 
Over and above the rose tint imparted by cyclical fads, whereby the formerly derided music and moustaches of a given decade briefly become perceived as cool again, there’s a particular strain of early 80s pop which would appear to have weathered the years very robustly indeed. For a shining moment, anarchic avant-gardoids walked arm-in-arm with Smash Hits readers, and neither side found anything remotely remarkable about it. 
In just such a manner, Ex-Futur Album represents the time-capsule of a project that could – and should – have brought home plenty of bananas in 1983, but which instead was destined to languish, incomplete, on a studio shelf – until now. After making two coolly uncompromising, come-with- Zappa-to-the-casbah albums with his band Aksak Maboul, Crammed Discs founder Marc Hollander entered into fecund collaboration with coltish chanteuse Véronique Vincent and her band The Honeymoon Killers. The too-few results constitute electro-pop ambrosia, combining the scampering drum-machine textures and gamine charm of Young Marble Giants with sexy, supple, “ethnological forgery” rhythms. Afflux De Luxe and Veronika Winken are lighter than helium, Réveillons-Nous has a whirling groove you could draw out snake venom with – particularly the percussive live version – and the facetious English lyrics of My Kind Of Doll (“We make love in the back of his pram”) are adorably abstruse. 


Jon Hendricks ‎– Evolution Of The Blues Song (1959)

A1.   Introduction
A2.   Amo
A3.   Some Stopped On De Way
A4.   Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
A5.   New Orleans
A6.   I Had My Share
A7.   Please Send Me Someone To Love
B1.   Sufferin' Blues
B2.   That's Enough
B3.   Aw, Gal
B4.   See See Rider
B5.   Jumpin' With Symphony Sid
B6.   Sun Gonna Shine In My Door
B7.   W.P.A. Blues
B8.   Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

Jon Hendricks ‎– A Good Git-Together (1969)

A1.   Everything Started In The House Of The Lord
A2.   Music In The Air
A3.   Feed Me
A4.   I'll Die Happy
A5.   Pretty Strange
A6.   The Shouter
B1.   Minor Catastrophe
B2.   Social Call
B3.   Out Of The Past
B4.   A Good Git-Together & Everything Started In The House Of The Lord

System Planning Korporation ‎– Information Overload Unit (1981)

A1.   Emanation Machine R. Gie 1916
A2.   Suture Obsession
A3.   Macht Schrecken
A4.   Berufsverbot
B1.   Ground Zero: Infinity Dose
B2.   Stammheim Torturkammer
B3.   Retard
B4.   Epilept: Convulse
B5.   Kaltbruchig Acideath

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Africa Express ‎– Terry Riley's In C Mali (2015)

1.   In C Mali

Format: CD, Vinyl
Style: Contemporary, Minimal, African
Label: Transgressive Records 

Co-producer, Mixed By – Andi Toma
Composed By [Uncredited] – Terry Riley
Executive-Producer [Executive Producers] – Ian Birrell, Marc Antoine Moreau, Robin Aitken, Stephen Budd
Featuring, Balafon – Kalifa Koné, Mémé Koné
Featuring, Calabash – Alou Coulibaly
Featuring, Djembe, Percussion – Badou Mbaye
Featuring, Flute [Flutes] – Cheick Diallo
Featuring, Guitar – Jeff Wootton, Nick Zinner
Featuring, Kora – Djelifily Sako, Modibo Diawara
Featuring, Melodica – Damon Albarn
Featuring, Percussion [Additional], Kalimba – Andi Toma
Featuring, Strings [Imzad] – Guindo Sala
Featuring, Vocals – Bijou, Brian Eno, Olugbenga
Featuring, Xalam [Kamel N'Goni] – Adama Koita
Leader [Lead By], Violin, Baritone Guitar [Baritone-Guitar], Kalimba – André de Ridder
Mastered By – Guy Davie
Photography By [Back-cover Photo] – Ian Birrell
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Roland Hamilton
Producer, Recorded By – André de Ridder
Recorded By [Additional Mali Recordings] – Stephen Sedgwick
Recorded By [Mali Recordings], Edited By [Mali Recordings] – Jeff Wootton

Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project, which over the years has fostered collaborations between a huge number of Western and West African musicians, puts a decidedly unique spin on Terry Riley’s minimalist landmark In C. 
Terry Riley’s minimalist landmark In C turned 50 years old in 2014. In that time, it’s become one of the most well-known and oft-performed minimalist compositions, and the reasons for this seem clear enough: The piece’s heterophonic structure is harmonically unusual, but uniformly consonant, and the piece’s insistent rhythm and devotion to melody, however fragmentary, give it a sense of unstoppable motion. It is friendly music, and a lot of music that challenges compositional traditions is not. 
The basic structure of In C is simple: Someone plays a simple, droning pulse on the note C, usually on a piano or marimba, and the other performers, whose number and instrumentation Riley did not specify, have 53 melodic phrases from which to choose. The musicians select the phrases they want to play and decide how long to play them. The effect is that the phrases overlap in unpredictable ways, creating shifts in harmony, evolving polyrhythms, tonal and timbral changes and the sense that nothing is constant, even though the same note repeats insistently under the whole performance at the exact same tempo. 
There are dozens of recordings, starting with Riley’s own from 1968. Some are kinetic and exciting, others never seem to come together, but the piece is so dramatically different from performance to performance that it never grows old. Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project, which over the years has fostered collaborations between a huge number of Western and West African musicians puts a decidedly unique spin on In C. With an ensemble of 17 musicians—including Albarn on melodica, Brian Eno, Bijou and Olugbenga on vocals, Jeff Wootton and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner on guitar, Cheick Diallo on flute, Badou Mbaye, Alou Coulibaly and Mouse on Mars’ Andi Toma on percussion, Modibo Diawara and Defily Sako on kora, Guindo Sala on imzad, Kalifa Koné and Mémé Koné on balafon, Adama Koita on kamel n’goni, and André de Ridder on several instruments and conducting—they have an earthy collective sound, and their dynamic interplay is quite distinct from any other version of In C I’ve heard. 
For one thing, the non-tonal percussion included in the ensemble layers a dance vibe under the piece’s usual trance vibe. Diallo’s flute in particular is so dissimilar from every other sound on the recording that he stands out and shifts the emphasis briefly to melody, while the three voices lend it an ethereal quality. The mellow tone of the koras, kalimbas, and balafons, meanwhile, have a strange effect during the period cooldowns over the course of the piece; they lend it an odd, cool darkness that I usually don’t hear in In C. These passages lend it a suite-like feel where the piece most often is structured as a giant crescendo followed by a long diminuendo. The most bold decision here comes just past the halfway mark, though, when the ensemble goes nearly silent, including the pulse, leaving just guitars and koras playing the slowest melodic phrases in a strange kind of canon, and then we’re treated to a brief spoken word passage (not in English) before the larger ensemble dives back in with even more rhythmic insistence than before. 
This willingness to play with the form and shape of an iconic piece of music is one of the things that most fully sets this recording of In C apart from most others. It’s unexpected and enlivens the music just as much as the djembe that lends the evolving beat its weight. The overall form of the piece may be more premeditated than Riley originally intended, rather than the independently reached and unforeshadowed consensus of a large group of musicians, but this mostly serves to make it an engaging performance and worthy interpretation of a piece of music that’s so eternal it could literally be played eternally if someone was able to get musicians to keep showing up to play it. Africa Express keeps it to a bite-sized 41 minutes, and every one of them includes something to savor.
Source: Pitchfork 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Steve Reich ‎– Works: 1965-1995 (1997)

Disc One:

01.   Come Out
02.   Piano Phase
03.   It's Gonna Rain - Part I
04.   It's Gonna Rain - Part II
05.   Four Organs

Disc Two:

01.   Part I
02.   Part II
03.   Part III
04.   Part IV

Disc Three:

01.   Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ
02.   Clapping Music
03.   Six Marimba

Disc Four:

Music for 18 Musicians 
01.   Pulses
02.   Section I
03.   Section II
04.   Section IIIA
05.   Section NIB
06.   Section IV
07.   Section V
08.   Section VI
09.   Section VII
10.   Section VIII
11.   Section IX
12.   Section X
13.   Section XI
14.   Pulses

Disc Five:

01. Eight Lines (Octet)
Tehillim for Voices and Ensemble 
02.   Part I: Fast n:46
03.   Part II: Fast
04.   Part III: SlOW
05.   Part IV: Fast

Disc Six:

The Desert Music
01.   First Movement (Fast)
02.   Second Movement (Moderate) 6
03.   Third Movement, Part One (Slow)
04.   Third Movement, Part Two (Moderate)
05.   Third Movement, Part Three (Slow)
06.   Fourth Movement (Moderate)
07.   Fifth Movement (Fast)

Disc Seven:

New York Counterpoint
01.   Fast
02.   SlOW
03.   Fast
04.   1st Movement
05.   2nd Movement
06.   3rd Movement
07.   4th Movement
08.   5th Movement
The Four Sections
09.   I. Strings (with Winds and Brass) J=80
10.   II. Percussionion J=80
11.   III. Winds and Brass (with Strings) J=120
12.   IV. Full Orchestra J=180

Disc Eight:

Different Trains 
01.   America - Before the war
02.   Europe - During the war
03.   After the war
Electric Counterpoint 
04.   Fast
05.   SlOW
06.   Fast
Three Movements 
07.   Movement I: J=176
08.   Movement II: J=88
09.   Movement III: J=176

Disc Nine:

Excerpts from The Cave 
01.   Typing Music (Genesis XVI)
02.   Who Is Abraham?
03.   Who Is Ishmael?
04.   Genesis XVIII
05.   Genesis XXI
06.   The Casting Out of Ishmael and Hagar
07.   Machpelah Commentary
08.   Genesis XXV
09.   Interior of the Cave
10.   Surah 3
11.   El Khalil Commentary
12.   Who Is Abraham?
13.   Who Is Sarah?
14.   Who Is Hagar?
15.   Who iS Ishmael?
16.   The Binding of Isaac
17.   The Cave of Machpelah

Disc Ten:

01.   Proverb
02.   Nagoya Marimbas
City Life 
03.   I. "Check it OUt"
04.   II. Pile driver / alarms
05.   III. "It's been a honeymoon - Can't take no mo'"
06.   IV. Heartbeats / boats & buoys
7.0   V. "Heavy smoke"