Saturday, 9 November 2019

Scrimshire ‎– Listeners (2019)

Style: Afrobeat, House, Nu-Disco, Downtempo, Trip Hop, Soul
Format: Vinyl
Label: Albert's Favourites

A1 Theme For Us (Feat. Joshua Idehen & Chip Wickham)
A2 The Socials (Feat. Soothsayers)
A3 Life Is Valuable (Feat. James Alexander Bright)
A4 Before
A5 After (Feat. And Is Phi)
B1 I Never (Feat. Madison McFerrin)
B2 Won’t Get Better (Feat. Emma-Jean Thackray)
B3 Don’t Stop Here (Feat. Ego Ella May)
B4 Thru You (Feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow)

Drums, Recorded By – Chris boot
Electric Piano, Piano, Synthesizer, Percussion, Drum Programming, Guitar, Bass – Adam Scrimshire

Scrimshire has become one of the more influential voices of the London scene for quite a while now. Knowing him primarily from his label Wah Wah 45s, as well as his fantastic DJing, this new album is actually my first proper introduction to the talented musical polymath. His new album Listeners is a sublime project, combining his influences of jazz, soul and electronic music in a cohesive, intricately composed and beautifully textured album. 
9 tracks in length, the project features an array of producers that bring their own personalities to the table. “Theme For Us” features instrumentalist Chip Wickham and poet Joshua Idehen, who both provide such stellar moments through incredible flute compositions and a spoken word piece that just works brilliantly together. Soothsayers feature on the upbeat “The Socials,” as they bring their wild afro beat and dub sounds to an eclectic and beautiful piece. Scrimshire’s synth leads and electronic compositions throughout are brilliant. The track “Before,” for instance has this profoundly moving piano piece that bridges two incredibly soulful tracks together. We’ve already spoken about “Life Is Valuable” with James Alexander Bright, a beautifully soulful track, while “After” is an angelic, spiritual track featuring And Is Phi, who provides mesmeric vocals to this rhythmic masterpiece.The soul of “I Never” with Madison McFerrin is gorgeous, as the percussion, keys and synths add a soft, soulful touch to this track. “Won’t Get Better” featuring Emma-Jean Thackray is one of my favourite tracks of the year, as I’ve played it countlessly on radio and with my headphones in, walking around South London. The rhythms and pulsating energy of this track is incredible, as Emma-Jean really excels vocally throughout. “Don’t Stop Here” features another incredible vocalist, Ego Ella May, who’s soothing voice is perfect for the subdued, beautiful composition. The legend Georgia Anne Muldrow features on “Thru You,” as she provides powerful vocals over heavy percussion and drums that bring infectious energy. A perfect way to close this album. 
As I mentioned before, this is a sublime, exciting body of work and Scrimshire has exceeded all expectations for me. Listen to his brand new album Listeners below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support! Released via Albert’s Favourites. 
Martin Boev / In Search of Media

Africa Express ‎– EGOLI (2019)

Style: African, Electro
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Africa Express

01.   Welcome
02.   City In Lights
03.   The River
04.   Bittersweet Escape
05.   Johannesburg
06.   Become The Tiger
07.   Africa To The World
08.   Absolutely Everything Is Pointing Towards The Light
09.   Mama
10.   Where Will This Lead Us To?
11.   Morals
12.   Taranau
13.   No Games
14.   The Return Of Bacardi
15.   Sizi Freaks
16.   I Can't Move
17.   See The World

Mastered By – Frank Merritt
Mixed By – Blue May, Scott Knapper
Recorded By – Africa Express, Steve Sedgewick

Five albums in, and Africa Express – Damon Albarn’s cross-cultural collaboration engine – has pitched up in Johannesburg, known as Egoli in Xhosa. It could be the best iteration yet of this speed-dating pop writer’s camp, in which a handful of UK and US artists (Nick Zinner, a returnee, plus Super Furry Gruff Rhys and grime MC Ghetts, to name three) and a 20-stong cast of local producers, musicians, singers and groove-bringers pull an album together in a week. 
Thanks to South Africa’s vast natural resources of dance music, both traditional and bleeding-edge, Egoli is a party album almost end to end, an update on Buraka Som Sistema’s Angolan-Portuguese rave dynamics and more like a Gorillaz record than anything you might normally file under “world music”. The frisky, blue-wigged Moonchild Sanelly locks horns with Infamous Boiz, innovators in South Africa’s gqom genre. Together they lead the charge for body-moving pop. 
Of the few lower-key tracks, the incessantly lovely Absolutely Everything Is Pointing Towards the Light is sung alternately in Welsh and Xhosa by Rhys and Zolani Mahola. 
Kitty Empire / The Guardian