Reviewed this week
Japan's Nautilus are a trio (Toshiyuki Sasaki on drums, Shigeki Umezawa on bass and Daisuke Takeuchi on keys), who formed in 2014, fuse jazz, funk, disco and soul. Inspired by Bob James' song Nautilus, and a real, old school submarine of the same name. These guys like to submerge into the deep and here over 12 tracks they really explore the seabed of retro funk. Highlights include the tense plinky-shuffle of "The Theme Of Nautilus" and expertly retro renditions of 70s classics like "I.G.Y" and 90s, including an Acid Jazz-style rework of "Tom's Diner". Nice work!
Glenn Astro may sound like a character from The Jetsons or Roger Ramjet, but he's not. He's actually and acclaimed producer from Berlin who released his debut album Throwback just two years ago. This new LP is a downtempo collaboration with his old high school pal, Ajnascent. They reconnected in Berlin having originally lost touch for years. The resulting album of work is as inspiring as it is surprising, a multi layered cake of sounds and textures. Highlights include the freaky retro electronica and scattershot drums of "My Father Was A Tree" and the loungey 90s-meets-60s mellow vibes of "Disko".
The solo project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Joe Acheson, Hidden Orchestra's third album "Dawn Chorus" is centred on a collection of birdsong and other field recordings made around the UK and further afield. These ten tracks not only feature recordings made from around the world, but various international instruments too, including harp, glockenspiel, Turkish mey, clarinet and cello. The album's release was recently teased with the remarkable "Still" and now we have nine more haunting and evocative cinematics fusions of sparse drones, rolling and loose drums and melancholic instrumentation and of course, those harmonious birds.
Pop soul hero Mike City first rose to prominence back in 2000 by being the man responsible for penning and producing Carl Thomas' #1 hit I Wish. From there he's gone on to create hits for Brandy, Rihanna, Angie Stone and Jamie Foxx and Sunshine Anderson. Here though he steps out into the limelight himself with a solo album, The Feel Good Agenda Vol 1, on Barely Breaking Even. As expected quality is the unifying theme here over the course of 12 star-studded tracks, with highlights including the choppy, cut-up future boogie of "Rock Wit U" (feat Dwele), the warm and soothing "When I Luv" (feat Faith Evans) and the deep electro-boogie of "Been Too Afraid" (feat Teedra Moses).
The Orchestra Soledad's only LP from 1971 has been going for sums nearing the $1000 mark on Ebay and Discogs, which makes this reissue move by Gilles Peterson something of a Godsend. The Brooklyn salsa legends have been near impossible to find on digital either, and we're no proud to have this incredible record on our charts. Trust us when we say that it's one of those LPs that'll have you hooked and bound to your speakers/headphones form the moment you put it on; it's also enedlessly pleasing to find an LP which maintains a quality momentum for its whole duration. The tunes are made of something special, a moody NYC sensibility that somehow permeates into a genre so upbeat as salsa. Similar to the gear that Honest Jon's has put out for decades, this is a special moment of history.
A self confessed 'imperfect' humble artist, Londoner Myles Sanko is spreading his wings and flying thanks to Legere Recordings who have proudly supported him from his debut album (Forever Dreaming) to this, his third outing Just Being Me. An album 'about love, hope and politics', there are 11 new compositions here that display a whole new broader sound from the man, including "Promises" soulful call to look beyond the surface, the vintage, brassy soul sounds of "Land Of Paradise" and of course the recent acclaimed single, "This Ain't Living".
FLOATING POINTS - Silurian Blue (Pluto)
MIKE CITY - The Feel Good Agenda Vol 1 (BBE)
RAE & CHRISTIAN - Nocturnal Activity
HIDDEN ORCHESTRA - Still (Tru Thoughts)
BAHAMA SOUL CLUB - The Havana (Remixes) (Buyu)
IZO FITZROY - Skyline (Jalapeno)
Craig Charles Funk And Soul DJ Chart
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Tru Thoughts
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Timewarp Greece