Review: Brighton's future soul duo Anushka recently dropped their debut album, Broken Circuit, to great acclaim. Now they're back with a new single and album highlight, "Atom Bomb". Deep sensual and jazzy, with scattershot beats and heavily harmonised vocals, the original is a beguiling slice of modern urban soul. There are some great mixes too including NameBrandSound's seductive slo-mo footwork rework, as well as their own VIP mix which adds a dubbier vibe to proceedings.
Mansions (Krust's Recalculation of Mansions) - (7:22) 116 BPM
Mansions (Ossie remix) - (5:44) 127 BPM
Review: Giles Peterson's Brownswood can never be pinned down to any particular genre, bar that of simply good music. Here we find the label at its most club-ready as Anushka unleashes her inner late '90s garage head with this house-shredding vocal bass cut. Dark, dangerous but sweeter than a candy floss farm, it's likely to see a lot of action at festivals and boat parties this summer. For added weight Bristol D&B don Krust reminds us of his stark, futuristic fusionist skills with droning bass and sheet metal beats and Ossie flips the broken beat message of the original with a jacking, chop-slapping 4/4 technique. Mansion-tearingly massive.
Review: Following on from the Distant Air EP, bright young things Anushka come back to Brownswood to deliver their debut album, showing off a distinctive twist on R&B that worms subtle flecks of minimal electronics, house music and more into a melancholic, richly melodic soulful whole. "Never Can Decide" is loaded with crossover appeal with its bombastic chorus sweeps while keeping a delicacy in the production that keeps the music on the right path. Really though it's Victoria Port's vocals that shape out the identity of Anushka, charged with just the right kind of energy to worm into many an ear as the Brighton-based duo spread their wings.
Review: Brighton-based duo Anushka are making their intentions clear as they emerge with the hooky R&B flavour of their modern bass concoction. Singer Victoria Port's vocals sit pretty on top of a heartfelt mixture of keys, house beats and cheeky sub bass produced to a world-beating standard. GoldFFinch comes in for a remix that turns the sweet pop of the original into a cheeky house version heavy on the square wave synth lines and plenty of chopped and re-pitched vocal snippets. As a contrast Ivy Lab's version heads for a sensitive drum & bass treatment as crisp and clean as it is energetic.
Review: For his latest signing, Gilles Peterson looks closer to home - Brighton to be precise - where he found the Anushka duo of Max Wheeler & Victoria Port. Not particularly exotic, but the music, which they describe as 'bass music from the future', covers that requirement. Theirs is a blend of deep bass, glistening synths and breaky urban beats flavoured with digital riddims ("Wired"), deep tropical ("Yes Guess") and soulful house ("I Have Love 4 You"). Definitely going places.
Review: The Broken Circuit album from Brighton's future soul duo is proving to be the gift that keeps on giving, as here we get two more LP tracks coupled with two new titles. The previously heard "Broken Circuit" and "Atom Bomb" are sugary lo-fi soul-pop and a seductive broken beat lament respectively. Of the fresh tracks, "World In Room" is garage-influenced fizz-house at its best and the prayer-like enchanting digi-soul of "Blessings" wraps things up nicely.
Review: A future-soul duo from Brighton, Anushka got a long run of singles out of their popular Broken Circuit album. However "Kendrick" is their second new recording since the LP and they've proved that they're no one hit wonder. The original is all gently tumbling breakbeats, fluffy bass and woolly effects - all laced with Sunday morning female vocals. The latter are pushed forward in mix for the harmonious laid-back hip-hop of the Too Hot Outside re-edit. Cool as a breeze.
Review: Auntie Flo really pushed the boat out during the making of this album, which brilliantly fuses studio-created sounds with field recordings of vocalists and musicians made during almost seven years of journeys to the four corners of the globe. The results are uniformly excellent, with the Glasgow-born musician distilling a myriad of global rhythms and musical styles - Afro-Cuban jazz, souk, highlife, juju, ambient, synth-wave, South African house, soul, electrofunk, jazz and much, much more - into a breathtaking collection of breezy, life-affirming tracks. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the luscious Cuban soul of the Andrew Ashong-voiced "Havana Rhythm Dance" and the percussion-and-synths bliss of "Lights In The Northern Sky", to the joyous release that is "Cape Town Jam". In a word: brilliant.
Review: Noisy, squelchy jump up. It's a thing right now, and it's a thing we whole heartedly love, it's energetic, fun and really gets the floor popping. Each track of the EP follows the tried and tested formula of complex simplicity, a tongue in cheek vocal with a loud, grimy, overbearing bassline providing melody. Although fitting perfectly in the new style jump up box, the tracks are different enough to have their own identity. Our favourite track on the release in 'Funk Phenomenon' which has a Taxman 07/08 vibe, Big!
Review: Washington D.C. soul musician based in San Francisco has been snapped up by the ultimate tastemaker Gilles Peterson for his Brownswood imprint. Starting off with the wonderfully bittersweet ballad "He Wants To Live Like You" which shows off his silky smooth voice over some nifty piano playing: this guy's got talent. "Water For Sale" introduces a hip hop beat beneath a big band, soulful arrangement beneath more of Duke's breath taking vocals. A star in the making!
Review: Last year Gilles Peterson and documentary maker Charlie Inman embarked on a project to get 'deep into the heartbeat of Cuban rumba'. They explored the roots of rumba through interviews with key scene figures (MuNequitos de Matanzas, Clave y Guaguanco etc). Here is another part of the project, with a selection of global artists remixing recordings in rumba's three main styles. Highlights include the jazzy electro pulse of La Rumba Experimental (Motor City Drum Ensemble Mix), the emotional chill out (think Deep Forest) of Poirer's mix of "La Plaza" and the dark DJ Hell style rhythms of "Okay Cuba (Debruit)".
Review: Ahead of his upcoming full-lenghter on Giles Peterson's Brownswood emporium, Tom Skinner aka Hello Skinny gives us a taster of what's to come ahead, releasing the tune "Bluebells" as a stand-alone single for the quick download option! Much like the rest of the forthcoming LP, this is a deep and meandering synth exploration, dipping and diving into hip-hop, jazz, and the more Vangelis- side of the electronic framework. While the tune is made up of deep, surreal walls of sound, there is still something undeniably soulful an tranquil about
Review: The solo project of esteemed drummer Tom Skinner (whose other recent projects include Sons of Kemet and Owiny Sigoma Band), Watermelon Sun features influential trombone player and composer Peter Zummo - a friend and collaborator of the late great Arthur Russell. For Skinner, that open-minded attitude of the New York City no-wave scene in the late '70s/early '80s serves as inspiration for the album. Recorded in improvised single take sessions that merge said aesthetics with 'London's genre-blurring, jazz-influenced vanguard.' Funk bass mixes with neon-lit synths and sexy sax on "Mr. P.Z.", there's deeply chilled beats for sessions of stoned drifting on the emotive "Bluebells" and some live liquid drum & bass on "Rashad". At a time when hybridization of genres are increasingly being embraced in UK venues and clubs, this album embraces that open-minded attitude and reimagines that underground New York legacy for London in 2017.
Review: As the title suggestions, this tidy two-tracker offers up fresh dub-wise revisions of tracks from virtuoso keys player Joe Armon-Jones's superb solo debut album "Starting Today". It's a revision of the album's title track that pops up first, with the Ezra Collective member delivering a rolling, reverb and delay-laden version that layers his jammed-out keys and woozy horns over a sweaty, slipped jazz-house beat and warm, life-affirming bassline. Ashebar lends a hand on a new version of album favourite "Mollison Dub", toasting impressively over a heavy dub riddim, echoing horn blasts, delay-laden percussion hits and the kind of sub-heavy bassline that will sound spectacular coming out of a Jamaican style valve amp-powered soundsystem.
Review: Next up on Gilles Peterson's respected Brownswood imprint is New York City legend and purveyor of spiritual life music Joe Claussell, in collaboration with Cuban singer Dayme Arocena. Her second album Cubafonia was released last year on the label and was 'a tour through the deep-rooted rhythms permeating her native Cuba.' Her work encompasses the rich, diverse musical makeup of the country she grew up in and looks outward to the world that she's spent the past two years travelling. Claussell's Sacred Rhythm Mix of "Yambu" is a right scorcher that reaches near tribal moments, as those syncopated polyrhythms entrance you beneath Aracena's powerful and soaring vocals. Completely evocative and life affirming stuff right here!
Review: The second instalment of Brownswood's Worldwide Family series sees LA crate-digger Kutmah at the helm. A contemporary of The Gaslamp Killer, Gonjasufi and Flying Lotus (whose previously unreleased, Eastern-scaled "Samsfav" is included here), Kutmah mixes alt hip-hop like The Darkhorseman's "Taking Over Empires" with low-riding Dilla-esque funk such as Tehbis' excellent "Higher", and juke-tempoed haziness from Mono/Poly's "With Grace". Among these excellent 21 selections is also an unreleased Hudson Mohawke jam - "Are You Feeling Hot" - which fits in perfectly with the overall weird and warped slo-mo vibe.
Review: Hyperdub mainstays LV - Si Williams and Will Horrock - step on Gilles Peterson's Browswood consortium for the first time, bringing through their sophomore album, a mesmerising journey through deep electronic jungles coated in a jazzy atmospheres. Out of the 14 tracks, this leviathan of a release explores pretty much everything there is to explore within the nu jazz circuit, and we particularly love when the duo blend soulful piano keys together with slow-burning electronic beats, such as on "Ruiselede", or "Quick Return". There's also plenty of stepping sci-fi beat science in the form of tunes like "Transition", "Broken Movement", and "Balance Spring". The LP can be enjoyed both as a mood piece, and as a deep listening experience; whichever suits you best.
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.
Review: Mala's album project comes to light with a healthy amount of expectation. The DMZ / Deep Medi Musik main man has always carried a reverence amongst the dubstep scene for his unfussy approach, staying true to the sound he helped forge in the nascent days of the genre while avoiding over-exposure or buckling to hype and trend where so many of his peers succumbed to change. As such this project sees the man well outside of his comfort zone as he tackles a specific album project whilst sticking his head more clearly overground to work with Gilles Peterson on an adventure in Cuba working with local musicians. This is most definitely Mala's music, and the spiritual, tribal nature of his productions to date only gets enhanced by the influx of Cuban folk sounds. This is no simple case of ripping samples and dropping them for token effect though; the percussive patterns and licks of piano, guitar, horns and voice are completely interwoven into the South London pressure as if they were always meant to be. It's testament to the pure approach Mala takes in the studio that he manages to balance these unlikely bedfellows to such fluid effect. Undoubtedly there will be naysayers who will argue that in doing an album of this nature Mala is diluting his purist vision for dubstep, but in truth the approach and end results he has managed to conjure up bring a revitalising, fresh angle to the genre, which is what it needs in abundance. There's maybe a lack of the "shock of the new" factor as Cubano music is not exactly a stranger to UK dance music forms, and Mala isn't exactly switching his own stance too drastically, but ultimately that doesn't matter. The whole album is direct and immensely satisfying to listen to, capturing the alluring spirit of South American folk tradition and empowering it with the transcendental nature of dubstep in its finest form.
Review: Unlike Mark Lawrence's previous releases, which are primarily expressive of the UK urban environment, Cuba Electronic relies on Latin American influences to delve deeper into the artist's own personal take on dub music. The title track on Side A sees Mala bring out his trademark percussion but this time it's more grounded in tribal roots, where skipping bongos and heavy hi-hats collide with his well-known love for subbass levels. Up next, "Calle" is further based around Cuban musical heritage, where a fast, progressive percussion makes way for stunning trumpet samples and shiny melodies. Another fine instalment of UK-flavoured electronic music from the gifted Mala!
Review: While Miss McFarlane is off slaying 'em in the States, we, on the other side of the Atlantic are treated to "Move", the latest single from her acclaimed "If You Knew Her" album. The song is both a faultless and seamless fusion of vintage jazz and soulful harmonies; rendered positively hypnotic by Atjazz is his sizzling, spaced out electro-funk rework. Another album track - the acoustic lament "You'll Get Me In Trouble" - is thrown for good measure, and further reveals the talent that convinced label boss Gilles Peterson at the very beginning.
(Nairobi) Too Hot (DJ Khalab remix) - (6:03) 128 BPM
Review: Nigeria's Owiny Sigoma Band have come through over the years thanks to Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label, and you really gotta give it to these guys - they know how to rock up the place with their country's rich funk and dance heritage. "(Nairobi) Too Hot" is a little stroke of genius amid our charts, a drum-centric groove that flows to perfection thanks to the help of the band's cautious vocal injections, and although this sounds vintage on the whole, there's plenty of fresh and contemporary sounds in there. DJ Khalab rewires the original into a house hybrid, a gnarly dance joint with a spiky bass and wicked Roland percussion bleeps.
Review: Welcome to Brownswood Airlines. Destination: Nairobi via London. Your pilots will be the Owiny Sigoma Band, a crew who anyone with a passion for contemporary Afrobeat will be more than familiar with. "Yukimwi" explores traditional Kenyan folk formula by way of rich heartfelt chants and a sturdy, floor pounding beat. For added fusion Bludd Relations activate the cosmic switch with lush synth flourishes and twinkling highlife guitar shimmers. Stunning on both sides. Have a good flight.
Review: Nairobi's Owiny Sigoma Band have always been an intriguing proposition, offering as they do a thoroughly unique blend of traditional Kenyan rhythms, indigenous vocals and woozy, Western-influenced electronics. "Changaa Attack", their first outing on Brownswood for a year, continues this trend, doffing a cap to Bureka Son Sistema style cross-cultural fusion whilst retaining their usual Kenyan sounds and loose, laidback dancefloor demeanour. While the deeper remix from The Invisible - complete with sparkling piano flourishes - is rather tasty, it's the heavier, tropical-influenced dancefloor take from Glasgow's General Ludd that really impresses. Bonus cut Luo Land, a suitably frenetic, high tempo workout, is also rather good.