Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin ‎– Idiom (2017)

Style: Future Jazz, House
Format: Vinyl
Label: YAM Recordings

Tracklist:
1.   SE Discotheque
2.   Idiom (Guitar – Oscar Jerome)
3.   Mind's Eye
4.   Tanner's Tango (Tenor Saxophone – Nubya Garcia)
5.   Easy Now
6.   Midnite Oil (Sparkzzz)

Credits:
Bass – Maxwell Owin
Drums – Jake Long
Keyboards – Joe Armon-Jones
Producer – Maxwell Owin

I’ve always thought that the music scene in London is the best in the world. The city is a melting pot of cultures, sounds and artistic creativity. Keyboard extraordinaire Joe Armon-Jones and the immensely gifted producer and overall nicest guy you’ll ever meet Maxwell Owin team up on what may be the project of the year. Incredibly crisp and groovy production from Maxwell is accompanied by incredible keys from Joe throughout, who plays the instrument so masterfully it’s often hard to keep up with his genius. Jake Long brings the drumming alive on this album, Oscar Jerome provides his talents on guitar, and South London’s jazz queen Nubya Garcia steals the show on ‘Tanners Tango’ with her mesmerising tenor saxophone performance. 
But for me it’s tracks like SE Discotheque and Easy Now which really hit my heart with infectious futuristic break-beat grooves, 2 Step rhythms and gorgeous melodies which will be the sounds of the dance floor in the near future. 
Idiom EP should and hopefully will be a landmark album for the London’s music scene as it embodies everything music should represent. Passion, groove, collaboration, unity and love. If only it were longer! 
So my hat goes of to the whole team behind this project. My admiration for what you do for music and art has never been higher and we’ll meet again. 
Please make sure you go support this project. Buy the digital album via Bandcamp, or if you live in London, make sure you head down to YAM Records and buy a physical copy if they haven’t sold out yet.
Martin Boev / In Search Of Media

VA ‎– Studio One Ironsides (Original Classic Recordings 1963-1979) (2013)

Style: Rocksteady, Ska, Roots Reggae, Dub
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Soul Jazz Records

Tracklist:
01.   Fabian Cooke - Mother And Child
02.   Marcia Griffiths - Mark My Word
03.   Freddie McGregor - I Man A Rasta
04.   Prince Jazzbo - Natty Ting A Ling
05.   The Paragons - Danger In Your Eyes
06.   Drum Bago & The Rebel Group - Reggae (Version)
07.   Don Drummond - Nanny's Corner
08.   The Stingers - Rasta Don't Stop No One
09.   Lone Ranger - Three Mile Skank
10.   The Soul Sister - Another Night
11.   Freddie McGregor - Come Now Sister
12.   Dennis Alcapone - Joe Frazier [Round Two]
13.   The Soul Brothers - Soho
14.   Alton Ellis - Can I Change My Mind
15.   Johnny Osbourne - Jealousy, Heartache And Pain
16.   The Gladiators - Bongo Red
17.   Pablove Black - Jamrec Dub
18.   Cornel Campbell0 - I'm Still Waiting

Falar em 'poço sem fundo' já perde impacto e Faz-se lugar-comum. Que 'há sempre mais um disco made in Kingston por ouvir' também foi chão que deu uvas. Momento, por isso, de chamar os boys pelos nomes. Segundo fontes próximas de Lee Perry, a lei jamaicana prevê, desde os anos 60, que quem não entre em estúdio com o expresso fim de gravar um disco por trimestre, receberá, de imediato, voz de prisão, e, uma vez aí despojado dos seus pertences (sound system, microfone, caixote de acetatos de 7 polegadas, gira-discos e, por vezes, roupa), será privado de qualquer forma de comunicação e obrigado a consumir — sob apertada vigilância — um charuto cubano por dia. Isto explicaria a sonora tosse nos seus registos do fim dos anos 80 e o voluntário exílio do produtor na Suíça. Já elementos do antigo entourage de Clement Coxsone Dodd (que pediram anonimato) asseveram que um parágrafo secreto da mesma lei garante aos cumpridores daquele procedimento chorudo desconto no IRS. Na ausência (conhecida) de rituais masoquistas na ilha próxima do suspeito Haiti, isso explicaria que a Jamaica continue a rebentar pelas costuras, sem quebra visível de produção musical. Por exemplo, que história vem a ser esta, agora, de 'Ironsides'? Música produzida por fãs da série policial com Raymond Burr on wheels? Reggae de metais e de 'blindagem estética' (o cocktail de crueza e sofisticação) mais à vista? Ou a resposta ao repto patronal: 'quando fores almoçar, hás de pensar, aí, num conceito, que a gente, da parte da tarde, compõe, para ver se se consegue livrar do que ainda para aqui há'? 
Que se saiba, e tendo esta cena reeditorial lugar em Londres, pende para a última hipótese o novo projecto de island digging da (imbatível, nesta matéria) Soul Jazz. Só que se esconde algo de mais sério (historicamente, até) sob o singular título. Porque a música remete para o período de maior pujança criativa do mestre da Studio One. O qual ditou um quadro de sobreprodução, cujo efeito perverso residiu na incapacidade de absorção das rádios locais, do que Clement se defendeu com a criação de editoras fictícias como a Iron Side. Numa palavra, dir-se-á que esta dúzia e meia de pepitas de ouro reitera o desejo de querer ser outra coisa que, então, se apoderou do hegemónico roots reggae. Só ouvindo se ficará com a noção desta insigne série de giant leaps for mankind. Por incrível que pareça, é quando paira a suspeita de que 'chove no molhado' que surge aquela que talvez seja a mais fresca, empolgante e inventiva obra de 'amantes da causa'. Que comece em Fabian Cooke e termine em Condi Campbell, será o menos. O 'problema' está naquilo a que ambos servem de bookends: Marcia Griffiths e uma obra-prima de frescura melódica, rítmica e vocal em qualquer género de música; Freddie McGregor a agitar a 'bandeira da revolução a cavalo de um baixo substancial de pasmar; Prince Jazzbo a abrir o livro rockers e, também ele, dando largas à arte de bem jock em toda a sela; The Paragons em aula magistral sobre a longevidade do roots reggae, Drum Bago & The Rebel Group mostrando como um só exemplo de dub futurista pode levar alguém, do outro lado do oceano, a abrir uma casa como a On-U Sound; The Stingers em vertiginoso rock steady instrumental com forte aroma a jazz local; Lone Ranger plantando future roots; The Soul Sister extraindo toda a riqueza soul de um pós-lovers rock, e por aí fora. Como dizia Clapton, à saí-da dos Cream, 'let it rain'.
 Ricardo Saló / Expresso (2013)

Matthew Dear ‎– Backstroke (2004)

Style: Techno, Minimal
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Spectral Sound

Tracklist:

1.   Another
2.  Tide
3.  Takes On You
4.   Grut Wall
5.   I Know Howser
6.   Huggy's Parade
7.   Good Girl
8.   And In The Night



If you're attempting to keep tabs on Matthew Dear, Backstroke arrives eight months after Leave Luck to Heaven; during the time between these releases, he produced two more singles for Spectral Sound (including one as the relatively hostile Audion) and another for Richie Hawtin's Minus label (as False), in addition to remixes for Monobox, Lusine, and Håkan Lidbo. By today's silly standard, Backstroke is being classified as a mini-LP, even though it's 40 minutes in length. (The LP version has one less track and is still longer than your AC/DC or early Prince records.) Whatever its designation, Backstroke is a marked turn away from Leave Luck to Heaven, if scarcely a stylistic changeup. Several cuts will indeed serve adequately in the clubs, but the album as a whole is tailored for a more personal setting. "Grut Wall" is an instant standout, one of the handful of instances where Dear continues to tweak the traditional pop-song format. Backward-sounding basslines, cascades of battered keyboard melodies, and multi-tracked vocals make it askew enough to make you feel as if you've just spent too much time on a sit 'n' spin, but the hooks are equally important -- it's the strangest and catchiest song he has made yet. On "Tide," everything is tangled up with great intricacy and is nearly as insidious and addictive when balled together, assisted by another refrain that could double as a playground taunt. The closing "And in the Night" is the greatest diversion, a chaotic Afro-German hybrid that crosscuts Dear's natural rigid bounce with a muffled disco rhythm section and shards of horns. The chances he takes pay off almost without exception, but the album doesn't have the easy-fit cohesion of Leave Luck to Heaven, and the dispassionate vocals that surface here and there won't be for everyone. (During "I Know Howser"'s verses, he sounds like he'd rather be folding laundry or sorting recyclables.) Some will see this as the Amnesiac to Leave Luck to Heaven's Kid A. There really isn't anything wrong with that.
Andy Kellman  / AllMusic

Matthew Dear ‎– Leave Luck To Heaven (2003)

Style: Techno, Minimal
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Spectral Sound

Tracklist:
01.   Nervous Laughter (Intro)
02.   Fex
03.   Just Us Now
04.   The Crush
05.   But For You
06.   In Unbending
07.   Dog Days
08.   Huffing Stuff
09.   Reason And Responsibility
10.   You're Fucking Crazy
11.   It's Over Now
12.   Machete (Outro)

Credits:
Lacquer Cut By – r
Mastered By – Rashad
Producer, Written-By – Matthew Dear

Najma ‎– Pukar ~ Calling You (1992)

Style: Fusion, Indian Classical
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label:  Last Minute Productions CBS/Sony, Mondo Melodia

Tracklist:
1.   Jheel Mai Chand
2.   Mousum Suhana
3.   Dil Mai
4.   Jhoomo Gao
5.   Pukar
6.   Dil Jala Ne
7.   Improvisation (Semi-Classical)
8.   Baabul
9.   Pukar (Without Tabla)

Credits:
Bass Guitar – John Deemer
Keyboards – Paul Honey
Oud – Bahman Nowroozi
Percussion – Arun Shendurnikar
Shanai – Kadir Durvesh
Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Ray Carless
Tabla, Dhol – Sirish Kumar
Violin – Nawazish Ali Kahn
Voice – Salma Akhtar

Najma ‎– Atish (1989)

Style: Fusion, Indian Classical
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Triple Earth, Polydor, Shanachie, CBS/Sony

Tracklist:
1.   Atish Fishan
2.   Naina
3.   Apne Hathon
4.   Parvanon
5.   Nikala
6.   Ghoom Charakhana
7.   Faithless Love

Credits:
Bass – John Deemer
Guitar – Clem Clempson
Keyboards – John Smith, Roland Perrin
Saxophone – Ray Carless
Tabla, Percussion – Talvin Singh
Violin – Kamal Bir Nandra
Vocals – Najma
Producer – Iain Scott
Mixed By, Producer – Bunt Stafford-Clark
Recorded By, Mixed By – Hugo Nicolson

Najma ‎– Qareeb (1987)

Style: Fusion, Indian Classical
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Triple Earth, Shanachie

Tracklist:
1.   Neend Koyi
2.   Jane Kis Tarha
3.   Dil Laga Ya Tha
4.   Apne Hathon
5.   Zikar Hal Apna
6.   Karoon Na Yad Magar
7.   Har Sitam Aap Ka

Credits:
Bass – Lazar Der Gregorian
Keyboards – Ian Terry
Santoor – Kiran Pal Singh
Saxophone – Ray Carless
Tabla, Dholak, Percussion – Naushad Sheikh
Violin – Navazish Ali Khan
Vocals – Najma Akhtar

Monday, 19 November 2018

Conjunto Corona ‎– Santa Rita Lifestyle (2018)

Genre: Hip Hop
Format: Digital
Label: Meifumado

Tracklist:
01.   Jesus é Uma Merda
02.   187 No Bloco
03.   Perdido Na Variante
04.   Eu Não Bebo Coca Cola, Eu Snifo
05.   As Profecias
06.   Santa Rita Lifestyle
07.   Street Ganza Do Jardim
08.   Funk & Dopamina
09.   Dalí Somali
10.   Delírios Místicos
11.   Splash Bang Boom
12.   Isto Não Pagas Com Part-times Só

Credits:
Guitar, Arranged By – Frederico Ferreira, Marco Duarte
Lyrics By – Edgar Correia
Music By, Mixed By, Mastered By – David Bruno

É possível gostar do Conjunto Corona sem nunca ter fumado um charro? No limite, a resposta afirmativa será óbvia. A legitimidade é a mesma com que se apreciam os momentos mais bairristas de YG sem nunca ter pisado Compton ou as referências gastronómicas de Action Bronson sem nunca ter comido uma refeição gourmet (mas, pese a banalidade, talvez não seja a mesma coisa). Só que há, em Corona e em Santa Rita Lifestyle, outros universos de que é impossível fugir. Em primeiro lugar, todo o imaginário do Grande Porto, claro está.

Não que esse entendimento seja essencial para que o ouvinte se identifique e relacione com os artistas, como acontece com YG ou Bronsolino, mas sobretudo por uma questão de discurso. A começar pela finíssima escrita de Logos, mesmo que o tom raramente denuncie o conteúdo — ao bom estilo do Porto, onde a poker face é mais antiga que o popular jogo de cartas. Se as personagens de Corona são, ao quarto disco, mais reais do que nunca, isso começa na força de expressões aparentemente tão inócuas como “refustedo” ou “levas duas putas”. As letras de Edgar Correia não caricaturam quem fuma um “charro”, mas sim quem “mata um berloque” ou um “pavão”.

O quadro só fica completo com as “ninas” que vão polvilhando o vídeo que acompanha o álbum, com o 13-05-JC que os conduz ou com os interlúdios samplados das míticas rádios locais do “norte”. E é exactamente aí que se encontra o segundo grande ponto deste disco: a religião. Aqui, como representativa da “portugalidade” — ou mesmo da humanidade — no seu todo, mesmo que a pronúncia nunca se perca. A intenção e o destaque são óbvios (só os skits é que têm direito a legendas), e talvez não seja coincidência que a viagem comece em Santa Rita.

É na união desses pontos que se torna quase impossível definir, mais do que a forma, o conteúdo de Corona, e é nesses interlúdios que se percebe de uma vez por todas que as caricaturas de Logos e dB são, mais do que uma crítica jocosa, uma homenagem. O povo que retratam, e que fuma “berloques” no seu Honda Civic, é o mesmo povo que acredita em “profecias”, mas é exactamente o mesmo povo que responde a esse tipo de declarações dizendo “nós, os homens, é que temos que resolver o problema”.

O que o Conjunto Corona faz pelo hip hop, a partir do Porto, é bonito. E recomenda-se com entusiasmo redobrado: é bom que haja mais homenagens destas, às pessoas, ao país (e noutras zonas do país) e à música. A mestria de dB, no pensamento e na execução, não é novidade, e está, tal como a escrita e a entrega de Logos, cada vez mais perto do ideal — e de irónica também não tem nada. O Conjunto está mais rico, a música continua a crescer e ganha mais camadas. A mensagem, com ou sem legendas, já passou.
Moisés / Rimas e Batidas

Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes ‎– Expansions (1975)

Style: Jazz-Funk
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: RCA Victor, Flying Dutchman

Tracklist:
A1.   Expansions
A2.   Desert Nights
A3.   Summer Days
B1.   Voodoo Woman
B2.   Peace
B3.   Shadows
B4.   My Love

Credits:
Engineer – Dave Wittman
Mixed By – Bob Thiele, Dave Wittman, Lonnie Liston Smith
Producer – Bob Thiele, Lonnie Liston Smith

When Lonnie Liston Smith left the Miles Davis band in 1974 for a solo career, he was, like so many of his fellow alumni, embarking on a musical odyssey. For a committed fusioneer, he had no idea at the time that he was about to enter an abyss that it would take him the better part of two decades to return from. Looking back upon his catalog from the period, this is the only record that stands out -- not only from his own work, but also from every sense of the word: It is fully a jazz album, and a completely funky soul-jazz disc as well. Of the seven compositions here, six are by Smith, and the lone cover is of the Horace Silver classic, "Peace." The lineup includes bassist Cecil McBee, soprano saxophonist David Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Donald Smith (who doubles on flute), drummer Art Gore, and percussionists Lawrence Killian, Michael Carvin, and Leopoldo. Smith plays both piano and electric keyboards and keeps his compositions on the jazzy side -- breezy, open, and full of groove playing that occasionally falls over to the funk side of the fence. It's obvious, on this album at least, that Smith was not completely comfortable with Miles' reliance on hard rock in his own mix. Summery and loose in feel, airy and free with its in-the-cut beats and stellar piano fills, Expansions prefigures a number of the "smooth jazz" greats here, without the studio slickness and turgid lack of imagination. The disc opens with the title track, with one of two vocals on the LP by Donald Smith (the other is the Silver tune). It's typical "peace and love and we've got to work together" stuff from the mid-'70s, but it's rendered soulfully and deeply without artifice. "Desert Nights" takes a loose Detroit jazz piano groove and layers flute and percussion over the top, making it irresistibly sensual and silky. It's fleshed out to the bursting point with Smith's piano; he plays a lush solo for the bridge and fills it to the brim with luxuriant tones from the middle register. "Summer Days" and "Voodoo Woman" are where the electric keyboards make their first appearance, but only as instruments capable of carrying the groove to the melody quickly, unobtrusively, and with a slinky grace that is infectious. The mixed bag/light-handed approach suits Smith so well here that it's a wonder he tried to hammer home the funk and disco on later releases so relentlessly. The music on Expansions is timeless soul-jazz, perfect in every era. Of all the fusion records of this type released in the mid-'70s, Expansions provided smoother jazzers and electronica's sampling wizards with more material that Smith could ever have anticipated.
Thom Jurek / AllMusic

Kid Creole And The Coconuts ‎– Private Waters In The Great Divide (1990)

Style: Synth-pop, Funk, Reggae-Pop
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label. CBS

Tracklist:
01.   I Love Girls
02.   (No More) Casual Sex
03.   The Sex Of It
04.   Cory's Song
05.   Dr. Paradise
06.   Takin' A Holiday
07.   Lambada
08.   Funky Audrey And The Coconut Rag
09.   When Lucy Does The Boomerang
10.   He's Takin' The Rap
11.   Pardon My Appearance
12.   Laughing With Our Backs Against The Wall
12.   My Love

Credits:
Producer – August Darnell
Bass – August Darnell, Carol Colman
Drums – Davey Boy Span
Guitar – August Darnell, Danny Blume, Eugene Father Grey, Jimmi Ripp
Percussion – Bongo Eddie
Saxophone, Clarinet – Charlie Lagond (tracks: 1, 2, 10)
Synthesizer – Brian Walker, Peter Schott, Ronnie Rogers
Trumpet – Ken Fradley
Lead Vocals – August Darnell
Vocals – Adriana Kaegi, Bongo Eddie, Cheryl Poirier, Cory Daye, Dutch Robinson, Gichy Dan , Janique Svedberg, Taryn Hagey

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Wagon Christ ‎– Throbbing Pouch (1995)

Style: Trip Hop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Rising High Records

Tracklist:
01.   Intro
02.   Reedin
03.   Down Under
04.   Phase Everyday
05.   Throbbing Pouch
06.   Rexcist
07.   Floot
08.   Intermission
09.   Pull My Strings
10.   Spotlight
11.   Scrapes
12.   Night Owls
13.   E-Z Listener
14.   Vibes
15.   Underground Level
16.   Ring Piece
17.   All My Fingers

Credits:
Producer – Wagon Christ
Written-By – Luke Vibert

Wagon Christ ‎– Phat Lab. Nightmare (1994)

Style: Abstract, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label:  Rising High Records

Tracklist:
1.   Mahadelic
2.   Glass World
3.   Phat Lab. Nightmare
4.   Aerhaart; From Within
5.   Aerhaart; Ahead
6.   Aerhaart; Barrier
7.   Panorak
8.   Dances With Francis

Credits:
Producer – Wagon Christ
Written-By – Luke Vibert

Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Balanescu Quartet ‎– Possessed (1992)

Style: Contemporary
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mute

Tracklist:
1.   Robots
2.   Model
3.   Autobahn
4.   Computer Love
5.   Pocket Calculator
6.   Possessed
7.   Want Me
8.   No Time After Time
9.   Hanging Upside-Down

Credits:
Cello – Caroline Dale
Viola – Bill Hawkes
Violin – Alexander Balanescu, Clare Connors
Performer – The Balanescu Quartet
Arranged By, Producer – Clare Connors
Written-By – Alexander Balanescu, David Byrne, Schultz, Schneider, Bartoff, Hutter

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Digital Underground ‎– Sex Packets (1990)

Genre: Hip Hop, Rap
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Sony, Tommy Boy, TNT Records

Tracklist:
01.   The Humpty Dance
02.   The Way We Swing
03.   Rhymin' On The Funk
04.   The New Jazz (One)
05.   Underwater Rimes (Remix)
06.   Gutfest '89 (Edit)
07.   The Danger Zone
08.   Freaks Of The Industry
09.   Doowutchyalike
10.   Packet Prelude
11.   Sex Packets
12.   Street Scene
13.   Packet Man
14.   Packet Reprise

Credits:
Bass – Randy Brooks
Keyboards – The Piano Man
Piano, Synthesizer – The Piano Mar
Sampler (Sampling), Sequenced By – Shock-G
Turntables – DJ Fuze, Goldfingers
Vocals (Guest) – Maverick
Vocals – C.M.J., Humpty Hump, M.C. Blowfish, Money B, Schmoovy Schmoov, Shock-G, The Computer Woman

Sex Packets is a vibrant, wildly funny record that transcends any attempt to dismiss it as mere novelty. Novelty records are throwaways -- cheap gags that are funny once, but never pay off with repeat plays, something that Sex Packets certainly does. Sex Packets is layered like any good story. Corny jokes, gross-out tales, flights of fancy, and sheer absurdist humor co-exist comfortably, usually within the course of one song. Take "The Humpty Dance," their breakthrough single and timeless party anthem. Within that one song, Humpty Hump spills out countless jokes, spinning between inspired allusions and thuddingly obvious cut-ups, which are equally funny because of the irrepressible, infectious nature of his rap. And he's so confident in his skills, he's sexy, which is kind of what the album is about -- it knows that sex is funny, and sexier because of it. But the very name of the album should be a clear indication that Digital Underground doesn't take any of this stuff all that seriously while creating elaborate, fantastical settings that reveal boundless imagination. The showiest number, of course, is the "Sex Packets" suite that concludes the album, built around their idea for a drug that creates full-blown sexual fantasies (virtual reality before it was in vogue), but their skill at creating distinctive worlds is just as apparent on the endless party of "Doowutchyalike." These are the things that are buried beneath the band's jokes and an enormous amount of George Clinton samples. Much of the music on Sex Packets uses the P-Funk canon as their foundation (a notable exception being a swinging interpolation of a Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys cut on "The New Jazz (One)," a cracking showcase for their team vocal skills). It's so strong an influence, it may seem easy to reduce Digital Underground to the status of mere Clinton imitators, but they take his blueprint, expand it, and personalize it, creating a record that is as loose and funny as anything in the P-Funk empire, and in some ways, easier to access, since the party feels wide open. Few hip-hop albums sound as much like a constant party as this, and years later, it's still impossible to resist.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine / AllMusic

The Fatback Band ‎– Yum Yum (1975)

Style: Soul, Funk, Disco
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Southbound, Polydor, Event Records Inc.

Tracklist:
1.   Yum Yum (Gimme Some)
2.   Trompin'
3.   Let The Drums Speak
4.   Put The Funk On You
5.   Feed Me Your Love
6.   (When You Wanna Boogie) Boogie With The Fatback
7.   Got To Learn How To Dance
8.   If You Could Turn Into Me
9.   (Hey) I Feel Real Good

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Elaine Clark
Keyboards – Gerry Thomas
Engineer – Eddie Karvin, Jim Rothbun
Producer – The Fatback Band

Bugz In The Attic ‎– Back In The Doghouse (2006)

Style: Broken Beat
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: V2

Tracklist:
01.   Intro
02.   Move Aside
03.   I'm Gonna Letcha
04.   No More
05.   Once Twice
06.   Redhanded
07.   Doghouse (Interlude)
08.   Knocks Me Off My Feet
09.   Consequences
10.   It Don't Work Like That
11.   Sounds Like
12.   Happy Days
13.   Don't Stop The Music
14.   Inna Row
15.   Worla Hurt
16.   Booty La La

Credits:
Mixed By – Toni Economides
Producer – Bugz In The Attic

For their long-awaited debut album, London collective Bugz In The Attic have replaced the wildly syncopated excesses of yesteryear with a collection of cuts that compound their many influences into a tight, bright signature sound. 
Recent single "Move Aside" and "Knocks Me Off My Feet" highlight a compliance with the sassier side of US r & b, featuring vocal hooks that wouldn't be out of place on a Missy LP, though the wide variety of (live and programmed) rhythms, buzzing synths and punchy bass sounds stem directly from the deeper side of the UK underground. 
Those who heard Bugz recent Life:Styles compilation wont be surprised to hear elements of 80s soul here, notably on their floor-stomping revamp of Yarbrough & Peoples' "Dont Stop the Music" and "Consequences", which features long-standing collaborator Bembe Segue. 
Phusionistic tracks such as "Once Twice" and "Redhanded" (also featuring Segue) hark back to the posse's more classic broken beat sound, though for the most part the team have successfully crystallised their love of funk, dub, hip hop, Afro-sounds, soul, house and jazz into an immaculate - and highly accessible - tapestry of catchy grooves without losing any artistic integrity.
Jack Smith / BBC Review

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Koichi Matsukaze ‎– Good Nature (1981)

Style: Modal, Free Improvisation, Free Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Trio Records

Tracklist:
1.   What Masa Is... She Is Out To Lunch
2.   Under Construction
3.   Good Nature
4.   Yellow Sands
5.   Warm Pack
6.   Easy Going

Credits:
Composed By – Koichi Matsukaze
Bass – Hideaki Mochizuki
Drums – Takeo Moriyama
Vibraphone – Hiroshi Hatsuyama
Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Composed By – Koichi Matsukaze

Kamaal Williams ‎– The Return (2018)

Style: Jazz-Funk, Contemporary Jazz, Broken Beat
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Black Focus Records

Tracklist
01.   Salaam
02.   Broken Theme
03.   The Return
04.   High Roller
05.   Situations (Live In Milan)
06.   Catch The Loop
07.   Rhythm Commission
08.   Medina
09.   LDN Shuffle
10.   Aisha

Credits:
Bass – Pete Martin
Drums – Joshua McKenzie
Electric Piano , Synth – Kamaal Williams
Lacquer Cut By – Guy

Cross-pollination of jazz and hip hop has spread fast during the 2010s. In-the-moment creativity and giving-the-drummer-some are powerful synergies. In the US, key players include Kamasi Washington, Thundercat and Christian Scott. In Britain, they include the extended family of musicians associated with reed player Shabaka Hutchings and the Brownswood Recordings label. Some of the British players are featured on the previously reviewed We Out Here (Brownswood, 2018), which is a great snapshot of the scene as it exists in London in spring 2018.  
Among Brownswood's alumni are keyboard player Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu) and drummer Yussef Dayes. As Yussef Kamaal, the pair debuted with Black Focus (Brownswood, 2016), a thrilling blend of hip hop-derived British musics and the jazz-funk legacies of Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Lonnie Liston Smith and Roy Ayers. In 2017, the duo were booked to perform at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, but at the last moment US homeland security refused to give visas to members of the party. Yussef Kamaal broke up shortly after this.  
Happily, Williams and Dayes both remain active, albeit separately. Dayes is prominently featured on Toshio Matsuura Group's previously reviewed Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor (Brownswood, 2018) and on Tenderlonious's soon-to-be-released The Shakedown (22a). Williams has resurfaced with the appropriately titled The Return on his fledgling Black Focus label, made with the ferocious rhythm section of drummer MckNasty and bassist Pete Martin. The fourth member of the group is engineer Richard Samuels, whose studio expertise is crucial to the music. Brownswood regular, guitarist Mansur Brown, guests on "LDN Shuffle," tearing off a solo which gives more than a nod to John McLaughlin's work with Mahavishnu Orchestra.  
The Return takes up where Black Focus left off, harnessing classic jazz-funk and fusion with hip hop and its British offspring grime, broken beat and drum & bass. Beats are key, and so are great melodies and trippy ambiances. It is jazz, Jim, but only as we have recently got to know it, and it all hangs together beautifully.
Chris May / All About Jazz

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Minimal Compact ‎– Deadly Weapons / Next One Is Real (1988)

Style: New Wave,
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs

Tracking List:
01.   Next One Is Real
02.   Losing Tracks (In Time)
03.   The Well
04.   There's Always Now
05.   Nada
06.   Not Knowing
07.   Deadly Weapons
08.   Burnt-Out Hotel
09.   The Howling Hole
10.   Next One Is Real (Radio Remix)
11.   Not Knowing (Remix)
12.   Babylonian Tower (Remix)
13.   Hole Version (Accidental Remix)
14.   Next One Is Real (Extended Remix)
15.   Introspection

Credits:
Vocals – Samy Birnbach
Bass, Vocals, Keyboards – Malka Spigel
Drums – Max Franken
Guitar, Keyboards, Cello – Berry Sakharof
Guitar, Vocals – Rami Fortis
Producer – Gilles Martin, Peter Principle
Remix – Disc O'Dell

Minimal Compact ‎– The Figure One Cuts (1987)

Style: New Wave, Darkwave
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs

Tracklist:
A1.   Nil-Nil
A2.   Everything Is Wonder
A3.   Inner Station
A4.   Fading Light
A5.   This Scent Of Love
B1.   Piece Of Green
B2.   Is It So?
B3.   New Clear Twist
B4.   Childhood's End
B5.   Night Light

Credits:
Drums – Max Franken
Drums – Marc Hollander
Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Berry Sakharof
Keyboards, Programmed By – John Fryer
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Luc Van Lieshout
Vocals – Samy Birnbach
Vocals, Bass, Percussion – Malka Spigel
Vocals, Guitar – Rami Fortis
Producer – John Fryer

Minimal Compact ‎– Raging Souls (1985)

Style: New Wave
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs, Polygram

Tracklist:
A1.   The Traitor
A2.   My Will
A3.   This World
A4.   When I Go
A5.   Autumn Leaves
B1.   Raging Souls
B2.   Returning Wheel
B3.   Sananat
B4.   Shouts & Kisses

Credits:
Brass, Melodica, Glockenspiel – Luc Van Lieshout
Drums – Max Franken
Guitar, Keyboards, Cello – Berry Sakharof
Guitar, Keyboards, Producer – Colin Newman
Percussion – Marc Hollander
Vocals – Samy Birnbach
Vocals, Bass, Keyboards – Malka Spigel
Vocals, Guitar – Rami Fortis