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Reviewed this week
Here we have a real meeting of minds with the esteemed re-edit label Gamm recruiting Glasgow's very own nu-disco veteran Al Kent to serve up some more of his fine work for our listening pleasure. There are just two cuts featured here, but who needs quantity when you can have quality, eh? "So Good" sees a sultry seductress heavily breathe her words over a smouldering Love Hangover-style twanging groove. "Victorious" meanwhile incorporates 70s disco rock, over-excited clavinets and bongos galore. Heavy-duty boogie vibes!
Fresh from the runaway success of his Yussef Kamaal project with Yussef Dayes, Henry Wu returns to Eglo Records for the first time since 2015. While it's jazzy broken beat opener "Deep In The Mudd" - co-produced by Hardhouse Banton - that's naturally getting most attention, there's plenty to get excited about elsewhere on the EP. Check, for example, the hissing jazz of "Boards & Skins", Kaidi Tatham's deep, sparkling and effortlessly soulful re-make of "Just Negotiate", and the ultra-deep, Rhodes-laden bliss of "Reflections", a beat-less treat. Also worth checking is the EP's other Hardhouse Banton hook-up, "Century", which charges off on a high-tempo, mutant P-funk tip.
Electro-swing. Done to death right? Wrong! Bristol's Extra Medium almost uniquely takes samples of similar 1920s and '30s jazz age ditties that everybody does but fuses them with a very British bass sound. Here we get served five sizzling jams to loose or s**t to. Highlights include the antique Mediterranean grooves of "Beatnik Boogie", brought up to date with some killer UK bass attitude, the thumping staccato wobble of "Stop The Moon" and the accelerated sing-along garagey break-step of "Troublesome".
The second version instalment that explores Kuti student Sosimi's 2015 album You No Fit Touch Am, Wah Wah have recruited more innovators to take fresh perspectives on Dele's crisp Afrobeat. DJ Khalab mirrors the guitars with rising synth textures that sit subtly in the background adding more tension that's released with a brilliant blunt bass hook. O Flynn adds just a little dubby disco charm to "E Go Betta" while Books gives "I Don't Care" a serious twist as it intros with swooshing Hidden Orchestra style breaks before dipping into a chugging house stomp. Bopperson closes on a slow smouldering note, creating more space around the Dele's beautiful instrumentation. Refixes fit to touch.
Greece's Quincy Jointz selects the sixth volume of his concept Lime Sorbet compilation. Lime Sorbet was always the compilation series for open minded music fans and so is also volume six. From sunshine vibes, funky grooves and breakbeat through to house or downbeat. Once again Quincy selects a special mixture of unreleased music by well-known and upcoming artists. Block rockin' beats courtesy of Valique with "Long Journey" (Quincy Jointz remix) will sort you for deep funk, cheeky crooner Louie Austen is back since the electroclash days with the sleazy soul of of "Make You Move" (Quincy Jointz remix) and Stuttgart's Tobe Tronic serves up the deep, breaks driven nu-disco of "Night Drums".
When music fanatic Deano Sounds found himself coming of age during the 'post record industry era', he decided to go ahead and form a label anyway. That was in 2010 and now seven years later he is still going strong, with an equally strong roster to boot. Following on from Tropical Hustle Disco and Brazilian Boogie comps, we now have something even more special - the return of Nigerian disco-funk band SJOB Movement's 1977 album Friendship Train. Reissued with help from Uchenna Ikonne, the album features six original tracks that fuse Afro-beat with analogue synths. There's also a cool remix of "Love Affair" too!
From the moment the trembling keys and swirling breaks of opener "Let's Stay" hit you, you know Hector is onto something special here. A subtle hurricane of atmospheres and emotions, it's the perfect introduction to his hazy, lefthanded cosmic soul (if you haven't already become acquainted from his previous Albert's Favourites dispatches) The languid smoky blues and soothing spoken charms of And Is Phi of the title track, the alien dancehall and fizzy keys of "Bossa B", the broken steeple soul and pitched vocal warps of "Lonely Man", Hector is carving a genuinely singular sound that complements everything that's currently going on musically while pushing in a completely new way. This really does shine.
The Incognito Traveller is a project that explores the anonymity of travelling, originally founded by Canadian hip-hop producer Enrico Gianfranchi and now also featuring Mexican composer/producer Cesar Juarez-Joyner. Last year their Movements Of Migration album caused a stir when it 'proposed a view of humans in their spiritual, urban, and rural facets, with no distinctions'. Now they're back on Barely Breaking Even with two more cool tracks, "Vestibule" and "A Mere Subjective Experience", that continue to explore their unique fusion of world sounds from Afrobeat to jazz and broken beat. Have you got your boarding pass? It's time to check-in!
Way back in 2010, Tom Jenkinson decided he'd had enough of working on his own as Squarepusher, and formed a band. The result was the Shobaleader One, an outfit seemingly inspired - in part, at least - by mask-wearing dance-pop robots Daft Punk. The album that followed, d'Demonstrator, took some of Jenkinson's influences - electro, IDM, jazz - and fused them with art-rock, synth-pop, jazz-funk and a dash of '70s psychedelia. On this belated follow-up, Jenkinson has decided to flip the script, eschewing new compositions in favour of recording 11 covers of vintage Squarepusher material. Given his involvement in both projects it's no surprise that these full-band interpretations work well. It's a smart move financially, too, as the band will be touring Europe later in the spring.
For their latest full-length exploration of the world of spiritual jazz - the label's seventh, in total - Jazzman has decided to focus on artists and performers whose Islamic faith influenced their work. Given that many jazz greats were early converts to the spiritually charged Ahmadiya school of Islam - Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Ahmad Jamal and Yusuf Lateef included - there's plenty of fine material for Jazzman to explore. Highlights naturally come thick and fast, with standouts including the Persian jazz-fusion of Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim's "Kalamari Suite", the haunting flutes and intoxicating bongo rhythms of Sabu and Sihab Shahib's "Nus", and The Lightmen's celebratory epic, "All Praises To Allah (Part 1 & 2)".
Hailing from Colorado, this 3-piece 'electronic hydro-funk experience,' are all about the chilled funk vibes. They have a highly anticipated EP, Deluxe, due soon on GRiZ's All Good Records, but in the meantime they've offered us "Dexter" as a teaser. Featuring 'jam scene staple' Nick Gerlach on sax, this wah-wah laden organ funk joint will get you boppin in no time at all. 2017 is gonna be big for these guys, get onto this asap!
Manu Delago is an Austrian 'Hang' (like a steelpan) player, percussionist and composer based in London. The single "Freeze" was released on Tru Thoughts back in 2016 and taken from his great Metromonk LP. The sublime metallic and textural melodies of his chosen instrument are pure bliss on the track, perfect for drifting to. Swiss DJ and filmmaker Pablo Nouvelle gets on the remix, giving it a deep and emotive nu-jazz overhaul which we truly adored. Then finally London's Poppy Ackroyd; who presented the great Feathers LP on Denovali in 2014, also lends a helping hand. Her version infusing the track with some avant garde classical undertones to work that sombre sense of mystery into something truly next level.