We've Never Going To Be The Same Again - (4:06) 120 BPM
Review: Bristol's Chaouche touches down on our digi charts with her third instalment of LateNightTales, providing you with 12 beautiful segments of electronic delight, blurring the lines between electronica and modern UK r&b. This is a mood album from start to finish, with the artist's prophetic voice reigning supreme on every single one of these tracks, making it a special treat for anyone who's in the mood to vibe and chill out. It can be nostalgic in places, and ever so euphoric in others. In short, it is an album that both strikes a chord with the romantics out there, and which fits supremely well into the label's existing emporium of sounds.
Review: Inspired by a trip to the remote Olympic peninsula in America's Pacific North West, Eric Philips began work on "Departure", his debut album as Kennebec, way back in 2017. While it took over two years to complete, the resultant set is impressive in its scope, vision and imaginative approach to intoxicating musical fusion. Rich in live instrumentation - folksy fiddles, acoustic guitars, bittersweet pianos, fluttering flutes and languid jazz horns - but rooted in broken beat, nu-jazz and downtempo grooves, the album is so assured and well produced that you'd expect it to come from a far more experienced producer. It has the feel of a future downtempo classic to rank alongside the best sets of the nineties and noughties, and we can think of no higher praise than that.
Review: "Friday Morning" is the first single taken from Texan trio Khurangbin's second album entitled 'Con Todo El Mundo'. The track is equal parts nostalgic soul and low slung funk with an exotic ambience. Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald "DJ" Johnson on drums, their sound is 'rooted in the deepest waters of world music infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia.' Their 2015 debut album 'The Universe Smiles Upon You' was heavily influenced by 60's and 70's Thai cassettes and the new album takes inspiration not just from South East Asia, but similarly undiscovered funk and soul of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly Iran.
The Universe Smiles Upon You (mix) - (39:44) 87 BPM
Review: Inspired by the slightly unlikely collision of the Thai music of the '70s and The Shadows, Khruangbin - the name means 'aeroplane' in Thailand - are purveyors of a deliriously mellow and beguiling form of jammed-out power-trio guitar music - far removed from standard notions of psych and dreampop, partly owing to its pan-global influences, its nonetheless both psychedelic and dreamy, not to mention possessed of an unhurried, reflective and spacious lilt that renders this Texan-London outfit a rare treat in an information-saturated age, taking on delicate soul and funk with exotic atmospheres and making the journey feel both blissful and effortless.
Review: On their two previous albums, Texan trio Khruangbin have explored a wide range of stylistic pastures, from funk and soul, to indie and psychedelia, to Middle and Far Eastern music. Long player #3, however, finds them largely in reggae/dub mode. There's definitely still an eclectic slant - 'How I Love', for instance, has an Afro-French feel, while 'A La Sala' sounds like ESG jamming with Talking Heads - but it's the sounds of Jamaica that are by far the overwhelming influence here, with the inclusion of a couple of dubs by the legendary Scientist underlining the point. A sofa-based delight.
Review: Last year Leifur James won plenty of plaudits for his debut album "A Louder Silence", a set that was described by one reviewer as "subtly stunning soul-jazz". As the title suggests, this six-track follow-up sees some of the album's most potent tracks get the remix treatment. Falty DL kicks things off with a shuffling, soft-focus dancefloor take on the sumptuous "Mumma Don't Tell", before Hessle Audio regular Bruce re-imagines "Osho" as an atmospheric ambient-jazz soundscape. Auntie Flo does a bang-up job teasing out the sunrise-ready beauty inherent inside "Salaniham", Coby Sey opts for skittish IDM drum programming on a decidedly wonky version of "Suns of Gold" and Oliver Coates re-creates "Red Sea" as a paranoid, analogue-heavy electronica workout.
Review: Minimal, techy, percussive, melodic and vocal - that's the music of Leifur James. Emerging through Night Time Stories, James combines UK pop and vocal elements to a recipe of deeper and progressive house mixed with a harmony of post-dubstep influences and ambient inspirations. The London-based experimental producer and composer presents his second album Angel In Disguise that dives head first into fields of melodic rave that connects the dots between James Blake, Nils Frahm and Nicolas Jaar to Moderat, Mount Kimbie and Max Cooper. Find some slo-mo, piano-laden dub techno in "Black Lens" to edgier rhythm tracks in "Ritual". Deeper still is the sub-aquatic blip and underwater percussion of "Strange With You" harking back to the sounds of Pantha Du Prince's Black Noise LP or John Roberts' Glass Eights album. If it's not Dial or Erased Tapes it's Night Time Stories and Leifur James, enjoy!
Review: Their first material in over 10 years, Mercury Prize nominated duo Rae & Christian need very little introduction. Adding to the UK beat movement with similar weight to that of Tricky or Massive Attack, their ability to forge big grooves into actual songs is near-on matchless. And it's clear they still haven't lost this touch between them. Ranging from swaggering b-boy guitar drama ("Check The Technique") to the heady, driving folk of the Beta Band/Gruff Rhys-esque "1975" via the soul-jazz breakbeat fusion of "Dancer", they leave no stone unturned. And, crucially, they do it with a strong sense of playfulness and consistency. Let's hope they don't leave it another decade for a follow-up.
Review: Given that Rae & Christian's collaboration with London mic man Jake Emlyn first surfaced on their Mercury Rising album back in 2013, it seems a little curious that Late Night Tales has decided to release it as a single. This is not a criticism, though, as the quality of the remixes is impressively high. Ray Mang weighs in with three excellent disco versions - an expansive, soaring, festival-friendly vocal mix, an accompanying instrumental, and a superb 'Beats' version, which turns the track into a Konk style, Latin influenced drum workout - while former Silver City man Fernando drops two bubbly nu-disco interpretations full of his usual colourful synths and rubbery bass. Best of all, though, is the Reflex Remix, a fuzzy disco-funk stomper that's nothing less than an invitation to drop all inhibitions and lose your self in the dance.
Review: It's been three years since Session Victim's last album, the rather fine "Listen To Your Heart" on Delusions of Grandeur, so this fourth full-length excursion is definitely well overdue. As you'd expect, the music contained in it is as warm, musically rich and intricately detailed as ever, though there are fewer nods to disco, boogie and Balearica than we've come to expect. Instead, they've delivered a smoky, atmospheric and intoxicating collection of cuts that attractively shimmies between drowsy late night house, dreamy electronica, jazz-fired downtempo jams, dusty breakbeat shufflers and the kind of stoned, ultra-deep fare that used to get showcased on F Communications' ace "Mega Soft Office" compilations back in the 2000s.