Review: 'Mordechai is another blissed-out record from Texan party-chill-psyche trio Khruangbin. It's also among the outfit's most defined and driven, a smooth, sticky hot funk odyssey made for hazy afternoon soirees. Leader Laura Lee is, as ever, unfathomably siren-like on vocals, her bass grooves aiding the process of seduction no end. Even at the most upbeat and anthemic, 'Time (You and I)', it's hard not to feel woozy and intoxicated by the pared-back breaks and guitar lick combination. Dance floor ammo for sure, as is Pelota. Overall, though, it's an album best savoured slowly, allowing you to fully appreciate every lackadaisical moment of opiate goodness, with tracks such as 'Father Bird, Mother Bird', 'One To Remember' and 'Shida' summoning stunning sticky, heavy, deep atmospheres.
Review: Now as a label; we have been absolutely loving what the Moonshine team have been putting forward recently, constantly expanding the realms of modern dub music with some incredible results. This latest masterclass from Tubby Isiah is a testament to that as he rolls out 10 new dubwise scorchers, overspilling with system-ready subs and delicious spacey drum arrangements. There really is something for everyone on this one, from the hypnotic delays and brushing drums of 'Silverback' alongside Versa, to the traditional horn reverbs of 'Only Me' and almost dubstep style rhythmic approach of 'Do It Jah'. We also think the collaboration with Bukkha entitled 'Hold On Driver' is nothing short of outstanding, combining long spacy breakdowns with glistening instrumentation to create something truly special.
Review: There are quite a few reggae labels doing fantastic things at the moment, but the high quality levels of Nice Up! are near enough unrivalled at the moment, with this latest album release from the wonderful Escape Roots being a perfect example of that. The project as a whole is a perfect fusion of the old and new, the traditional and experimental, welcoming in a ridiculously strong list of collaborators including Tenor Youthman, Galak Spiritual, Parly B, Cian Fnin, George Palmer, Tom Spirals and more. The full track listing sees so many styles of reggae and dub music fused into one fabulous selection, with our favourites being the sneaky horn structures and colourful harmonies of 'Feel Good' alongside Skari, with the other being 'One Step At A Time', a masterclass in new school digi-dancehall featuring a top quality vocal assist from Black Warrior.
Review: With Kingston Express declaring its existence back in 2016 with a run of cream 45s, the label stomps down some more authority with a Kingston Express LP. Roots reggae and dub supremacy all the way here with brass and percussion sections splayed in all manner of directions; rhodes, horns and big band notes all whittled down to their essential elements. A collection of quality instrumental, vocal dubs that shine in their arrangements, ragga, swagger and riddim. Birmingham sound.
Review: Jah Wobble's biography is a long and winding one, and he's achieved a lot both in collaboration with others and of his own accord. Emotional Rescue know a talented auteur when they hear one, and in the case of Wobble they've chosen to shed light on one of his less well documented phases, when he started his own label called Lago. Drawing on recordings made between 1981 and 1985, The Lago Years is a captivating listen that touches on post punk and no wave all the way through to dreamy psychedelia and the kind of world music Wobble would become so well known for later on in his career. An essential collection for any lovers of leftfield music and mysticism.
Review: From Cuba, Mala heads south for another mystic adventure in international cross-pollination on Mirrors, the Deep Medi man's latest LP-length bubbler for Brownswood. Fusing inspirations, energies, talents and techniques from Peru - and working with some of the country's most respected musicians - it's another immersive body of work that genuinely sounds like no other. From the pensive tribal march of "Cusco Street Scene" to the shimmering twangs and dusty, languid claps of "Zapateo" by way of demented insistency of "Looney" and the muddy cosmic textures of "The Calling", Mala has once again immersed himself so deeply into a culture and musical discourse that he not only speaks it fluently but has added to its rich vernacular. Vinyl was invented for albums like this.