Monday, 16 December 2013

Albums of the Year 2013

Review of the Year 2013

What a year for great music, both new and old, via labels that love to spot talent, crate dig, travel all over the world and who jump through many hoops to secure the licenses and fund artists and albums. Thankyou.

::New albums::

Laura Veirs- Warp & Weft (Bella Union)
Want to talk about America's gun control issue? Laura Veirs does and on this startling 9th album she pulls no punches. America is the stand out lyrically but musically there are so many highlights. At Londons Islington Assembly Hall in November, she cited Alice Coltranes modal 'Journey In Satchidananda' as an influence to album closer White Cherry. As a live band her 4 piece sound like a blend between country, grunge rock and folk with a touch of bluegrass too. Quite probably my Album of The Year.

Oddisee- The Beauty In All (Mello Music)
As much as i really enjoy Oddisee's vocal work, it was the geographic album 'Rock Creek Park' that got my intention, full of tweaked out instrumental hip hop. There's always so much to listen into on his music that it's easy to get lost in it but the Beauty In All album simply soundtracks a journey to work, home or on the tube so well. And his album title is spot on. Truth.

Mavis Staples- One True Vine (Anti)
A record that benefited massively from the production of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy who gave alot of depth to the lyrics Staples was presenting. As ever, a heartfelt plea of an album as Mavis gets ever more closer to her Christian beliefs- something which i respect massively. Bless you Mavis :).

KELELA- CUT 4ME (Fade 2 Mind)
Kelela set's her RnB phaser to stun with this excellent debut. A Los Angeles singer, this 'tape' was produced by a variety of up and coming british producers. Initially intended to be a mixtape of sorts but morphed into a debut album. Solange Knowles is a fan of her work too.
Mop Mop- Isle of Magic (Agogo)
Deep and spiritual afro jazz of the highest calibre from the Berlin producer Andrea Benini. It has a couple of soulful moments but for the most part it's percusive, moody and tribal. Sounds like it was recorded in the mid sixties. The groups own end of year list is was a joy to listen to as well.

Yatha Bhuta Jazz Combo- Yatha Bhuta Jazz Combo (All City)
Having been getting into artists like Mulatu Astatke, Build An Ark, Lloyd Miller and the Skeletons over the last couple of years, my interest in Jazz is leaning more towards the spiritual and modal, so up comes this album which is presented as a tight 33 minute LP from Parisian producer Onra and fellow arranger Buddy Sativa. Even though most tracks barely scratch the 4 minute mark, the ethos from the duo was very much a "spontaneity rules" approach which comes across in droves on this album. Mode is all.

Oliver Wilde- A Brief Introduction To Unnatural Light Years (Howling Owl)
It wouldn't really be a proper Bristol blog if I didn't name check at least one artist from town every now and again, but Oliver Wilde is here on merit alone. The Wiltshire lads debut of textural, cassette style lo-fi has many layers to it. Whilst it's melancholic in places and inward looking, there are also sunnier moments making for an intricate and absorbing experience.

Courtney Barnett- The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (Marathon)
Low slung storytelling, with a nice tint of 90's shoegaze, Barnett really does paint some vibrant pictures of the ordinary and retains a good sense of humour whilst doing it.

Paramore- Paramore (Atlantic)
I watched Hayley Williams & band put on one of the most energetic performances at the iTunes festival and there's no doubt that Hayley really is one of the very best front women out there, swoon, (yes i have boycrush on her). The songs from the band match their last album and the quality is high despite a line up change. They may have veered closer to pop with the saccharine Still Into You, but the likes of the melodic Fast In My Car, the gospel vibe on Ain't It Fun and punkish opener Now more than make up for it.
Charles Bradley- Strictly Reserved For You, Nicole Willis- Tortured Soul, Night Moves- Coloured Emotions, Bonobo- North Borders, Dawes- Stories Don't End, Lady- Lady, Swearin'- Surfing Strange, Lewis Parker- The Glass Ceiling



Honey Ltd- Honey Ltd (re-issue of the year)
(Light In The Attic)
This is my personal favourite re-issue of the year, an album that was out of print for ages with LP's trading for up to $2000 a pop. Honey Ltd were like a breath of fresh air and brings together the production of Rotary Connection with the melodies of Mama's and Papa's. Delightful and on repeat! This release also caps off a superb year for Light In The Attic. Well done chaps and lasses.

Willie Hutch- Soul Portrait (Shout)
Most know Hutch for his soundtrack work on The Mack but upon stumbling into  a record shop only round the corner from where i live, they had Hutch's debut. Super soulful and packed with some superb RnB. Oh, and it's not on Spotify. A must own for soul fans.


::Compilations and Catalogue::

Theo Parrish Presents Black Jazz Signature 1971-1976  (Snow Dog)
Theo Parrish is no one trick pony as he really does seem to pick the cream of the crop from the Black Jazz catalogue. A superb cosmic, spiritual jazz selection that i've played often. Worth the purchase for 2 or 3 of the tracks alone. Mind expanded.


Peru Maravilloso: Vintage Latin Tropical and Cumbia (Tigers Milk)World music doesn't always jump to mind in my 'fave-genres' list but sometimes have a penchant for the occasional slice of Bossa. Up steps the Peru Millavoso comp via Tigers Milk (Strut) = World music never sounded so good! Some lovely long lost gems here, the best of lost latin, peru, cumbria and the tropical, mostly from 1964 which, no doubt, was a thriving time in Peru for music. Essential if you're buying one record this year from the genre.

Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label (Numero Group)
Since hearing a podcast from Daptone that featured Gene Williams essential 'Don't Let Our Love Fade Away', i've been on a quest to legitimately own a copy. Thankfully Numero Group deemed there to be an audience for the catalogue and released a 21 track compendium containing the 'best of'. Artists such as Marva Whitney, Lee Harris and Everyday People grace this Northern Souler. Yowser.

The Get Down Boogie Sound (Ace)
Been Mcloving my boogie this year, so much so i have a little mix ready to go soon that i'll stick on Mixcloud. It's been a while since anything matched or bettered the Back2Beats comp or the supremely good Boogie Back by DJ Spinna, but this highlights some real gems from the Vanguard catalogue. Extensive sleeve notes on each song too with highlights including Convertions 'SweetThing' (Leroy Burgess), Carol Williams club hit 'Can't Get Away (From Your Love)' and The Ritz 'I Wanna Get With You'. 5 star boogie.


Top 5 Gigs
Jagwar Ma- Birthdays, Dalston
Matthew E White, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin
Foxygen, The Lexington, Islington
The Pixies, Roundhouse, Camden

Paramore, Roundhouse, Camden
Factory Floor, Embankment, Central.

Close: Seapony :D , Arctic Monkeys :o ,
May God Bless You this Christmas

Monday, 25 November 2013

Playlist: Welcome To Jazz Club Vol. 3

I wanted to wait until i had hit 250 subscribers across the first two Welcome To Jazz Club playlists before publishing the third, but it took a good 18 months to mature and get this set right.

I tend to base the track selection on personal discovery of music through various sources, whether a press recommendation, a friend, a late night internet discovery or hearing the song played somewhere.

This volume leans towards accessible end of Spiritual and Modal Jazz, because that's what i've been exploring more and more over the last 24 months. This includes both new and older more original aspects of the genre, and hopefully does a half decent job in linking them together. Pretty powerful stuff. This even influenced me to a point on the Campfire Surf Mix I did a while back.

So here's my take on a selection of tracks from this playlist (click to open and listen)

Kelan Philip Cohran And The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Ancestral
It's usually pretty tough to choose an opening track and in the previous two playlists i went for upbeat openers, but Spiritual Jazz being what it is, i went for this standout from Kelan Phillip Cohran's self titled 2012 album.

Sathima Bea Benjamin – Music
Taken from the African Songbird album re-issued on  Matsuli, this was originally recorded and released in 1976 on Rashid Vally's As-Shams (Sun) label. Broody modal jazz.

Christian Scott – Who They Wish I Was
AllAboutJazz said this album was "an antidote to all that is wrong with jazz today." and for me this was a real stand out from the New Orleans Trumpeters album.

Darryl Reeves – Paradise (feat. Rasheeda Ali & Carmen Rodgers)
Really enjoyed the futuristic artwork on this and also it's link from jazz to hiphop and soul courtesy of some nice vocals. Brings some beats to the jam and a little slice of positivity "it's so nice, it's a paradise" on loop is just fine with me

Sunlightsquare Latin Combo – I Believe In Miracles
Taken from a good comp on BBE records this is a latin relick of the Jackson Sisters classic.

Lonnie Liston Smith – Golden Dreams
Everyone should hear his record 'Expansions' but his album Cosmic Jazz & Spiritual Sounds issued via Ace Records contained this gem

Mulatu Astatke – Yègellé Tezeta
Ethio jazz in it's prime with Astake leading the charge. If you enjoy this, the Ethiopoques series is well worth checking out. (it's also an album that has been played so many times in the office that it was added to the 'banned' list!)


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Right Thing: Rosie Lowe

Music editors and industry shakers are currently compiling and indeed sweating over their Hot for 2014 lists including the much vaunted BBC 'sound of [insert year here]' poll. Whilst these lists tend to contain a bias of heavily funded major label artists, one artist getting my personal vote right now is Devonshire raised Rosie Lowe.

Produced by Kwes (Warp) and Dave Okumu of The Invisible (Ninja Tune), her debut EP presents some highly addictive moody, minimal RnB with some fairly straight up lyrics telling things as they appear. The EP includes this frankly stunning promotional video for Right Thing, which contains enough mystique to make us want to know and hear more.

Fans of Banks, Maya Jane Coles and Jessie Ware will enjoy this debut from the South Londoner, out Dec 2nd.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Theo Parrish: Black Jazz Signature

"From beginning to end the mix is beautifully rich and energetic—not to mention enlightening."-Resident Advisor 

Detroit techno legend Theo Parrish, widely influenced by Jazz, recently compiled a set exploring the Black Jazz label from 1971-76

Although Parrish is usually bunkered in the studio creating intelligent electronica, the influence of jazz remains strong in his production work.

I wasn't too familiar with Black Jazz Records until i heard about this superb compilation, but Parrish has done a fantastic job of picking out some truly wonderful, rare jazz moments.

Occasionally cosmic, often expansive and with superb musicianship on display, the 11 tracks here contain Parrish's take on the best of the catalogue, with the label sending him every album they had on vinyl.

Highlights for me include Gene Russell's take on 'My Favourite Things', The Awakenings 'March On' with it's excellent 1 minute drum solo and hiphop break, the strutty 'Criss Cross' by Calvin Keys and album closer the organ tastic 'Blue Bossa' by Walter Bishop Jr.

It's not on Spotify but it is available on Amazon and iTunes. If you buy the CD on Amazon then auto-rip will actually let you download the 22 track digital version which comes with the tracks separately to the mix as well, so pretty good!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Black Dough

Coming out 18th November, this is a very decent slice of broken soul from singer Fatima. Dubstepper Flako on production.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Own Appeal

Maryland rapper Oddisee returns with this tasty new track 'Own Appeal' taken from his forthcoming  mixtape "Tangible Dream" .

It's available with "The Beauty In All" his new instrumental album which follows on from his last instrumental album, the superb ode to Rock Creek Park.. Top stuff.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Matthew E White @ Iveagh Gardens, August

White's debut album brokers both folkrock and soul as he and his band played out a joyful 7 song set.

As a live act the last time I saw Matthew White was at his second ever UK gig at Rough Trade East, but the performance on this dusk lit night in Dublin was streets ahead.

Here he was afforded a big stage and although Rough Trade is more intimate, White and band were able to let loose on the crowd covering the album almost in it's entirety. Finishing off with the 10 minute Opus of 'Brazos' they came, conquered and left the crowd wanting more,and raised the bar for Grizzly Bear who, to their credit, were fantastic as well.


From a distance...

I moved forward!

It's obligatory to have a pint of Guinness when in Ireland! (and hairy legs?)     

Nighttime, by this point Grizzly Bear had taken to the stage

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I've Been Life

I'm a big fan of Cody ChesnuTT's album 'Landing On A Hundred' and whilst his voice draws comparisons to the likes of Marvin Gaye, this video for new single 'I've Been Life' proves he's not to bad on the visuals either. On this film shot in Brooklyns historic Bedford Stuyvesant area he showcases the lively stilt-walking group, the Brooklyn Jumbies. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Honey Ltd

On playing this 'forgotten' Detroit mid 60's girl group to my mum whilst showing her how Spotify worked, she commented that it sounded like the Mama's & Papa's, and there i was decided that i already liked the group based on how they sounded akin to Leonard Chess' group Rotary Connection! Kudos to my mum.

I heard about this timely re-issue through the power of twitter, and a scan & copy machine at SRD, who sent a Mojo review. This is the first time any of the groups material has been made available on CD. Vinyl copies of the original album were trading up to $2000 a piece so parting with £13 in Rise seemed a bargain.

The background to the group is quite interesting, among extensive sleeve note interviews including the group singing in the MD's office and picking up a contract. They penned with Lee Hazlewoods label outlet and went on to cut an album and release several singles alongside some pretty decent TV appearances including the Ed Sullivan show. Unfortunately the story isn't one of glitz and glamour and the band fell on hard times resulting in them splitting,  the record never getting the attention and the group never getting the recognition their music deserved.

These original Sugababes are well worth checking out.


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Carry Me On

The new tune from Brookes Brothers -  good video and positive message, check this out! ::

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Glastonbury 2013- as reviewed from a sofa

So it's all over, 3 days of potential mud fest was postponed as the sun came out for a glorious Glastonbury weekend and what, for many, kicks off the official festival season.

Seeing as i had no ticket this year i decamped to Bristol  to watch the happenings on TV. Below are 15 acts reviewed using the classic 'star rating' system. See below for a sentence on each!

I couldn't have written this without the excellent coverage the BBC provided throughout (and my parents widescreen tv), so big thankyou to them :).

Haim ★★★★
The LA band really seemed to enjoy their set and the crowd did too. The album is shaping up very nicely.

Savages ★★★
Crikey Jehnny Beth and Co have got some tunes that really drive but this felt like an intense and often awkward performance.

Rodriguez ★★★✰
Fast becoming a legend here as well as in South Africa, Rodriguez played his debut Glastonbury and though sometimes it was occasionally an ambling performance peppered with one liner jokes, his music is simply unforgettable.

Rolling Stones ★★
Billed as the headline act to top all headliners, from a tv point of view they seemed a bit past it, but i doubt i could do it at their age! Mick Jagger did his bit and was an excellent frontman,  but Keith Richards seemed bemused and off pace. Those that were there said it was fantastic, even if the Daily Mail did describe it as 'Night of the Living Dead!' in their somewhat amusing/harsh Monday headline (delete as appropriate).

Ben Howard ★★★
I'm not always one for major label fayre such as Howard but he was jovial and entertaining, his surfer folk  going down well on a breezy afternoon in Pilton.

Editors ★★★
Very much a stadium act now, Editors can draw a pretty decent crowd, hence their slot on the Other Stage. Playing well known tracks from the first few albums interspersed with material from new album, The Weight Of Your Love. Tom Smith is a dickensian looking frontman with sideburns to match but he was energetic and got the crowd moving.

Chic ★★★★✰
It would be fair to say that Nile Rodgers is better known now than ever before to the masses. I'm reading his auto-biography 'Le Freak' which is a great read into the roots of Disco. His band, Chic, have got some great tunes and if you just want to feel a little bit more alive you just have to listen to the likes of He's The Greatest Dancer, Dance Dance Dance or the likes of Why by Carly Simon (which Rodgers wrote), to get a boost. A set packed full of classics, good times.

Arctic Monkeys ★★★★✰
Although they played the same time as Chic, the good news is on the tele- *editors note- did i mention i didn't go yet?- you can watch both, but Alex Turners Monkeys were unstoppable tonight. Hit after hit delivered with panache, energy and technically tight too.

Portishead ★★★★
A band that don't play too many live gigs, their set up live involves alot of visual elements, it's cinematic, urban decay and it was a treat to see them live (on tv). *editors note- i do have all 3 of their albums so i'm a little bit biased.

Alice Russell ★★★✰
I do quite like Brighton's Alice Russell, and she didn't seem phased by the big stage her success is affording her. A real highlight is Heartbreaker Part 1, i've listened to it several times since via Spotify and it was superb.

Solange ★★★★ 
Not just Beyonce's littler sister, Solange's music isn't RnB as we know it but stands looking askance at 80's electronic pop as well, which makes for an intriguing listen. Flat buddies might include Jessie Ware and AlunaGeorge. She really enjoyed the set, came across quite humble and it was quite a sight watching the crowd synchronise a jig in front of her.

Tame Impala ★★★✰
A quite windy wind threatened to sour the set but their blend of psychadelia went down well, even if a record does afford them more space-age effects than possible live.

Jessie Ware ★★★★
She's from Laaandaaan! It's nice in and amongst all the Notting Hill, Fulham, Shoreditch, farmer folk to have a nice slice of intelligent dubbed soul music from the East End Hammersmith. Ware enjoyed the set too and even got adventurous by moving to the edge of the stage at one point, something she said was her limit. Thankfully the beeb blocked out the swearing on iplayer by reversing each swearword. They rated it as 'guidance'.

Gabrielle Aplin ★★★★ (based on one song)
I always want her surname to be spelt Alpen as it reminds me of cereal, but much like Muesli, there's more to Gabrielle Aplin than meets the eye. She's got a Lisa Hannigan style of charm about her that seems quite befitting of her style of music and some well written music too. I heard her perform 'Home' from the introducing stage on Radio 2 in the car and was actually quite struck by the lyrics::

With every small disaster
I'll let the waters still
Take me away to some place real

'Cause they say home is where your heart is set in stone
Is where you go when you're alone
Is where you go to rest your bones
It's not just where you lay your head
It's not just where you make your bed
As long as we're together, does it matter where we go?
Home home home home

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

One True Vine

Mavis Staples of the Staples Singers fame releases her 13th Solo album next week and it could just be the lucky13th  album!

On first listen this is a deeply heartfelt album revolving around faith, life and experience

The fine people at The Guardian are streaming it upfront this week::

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Yatha Bhuta Jazz Combo


I received an email today from Sounds of The Universe which listed about 12 albums to check out. Some of them i knew, but the artwork on this one and description peaked my interest.

In a slightly tired state  i logged into spotify and searched for Yatha Bhuta , misspelling it about 3 times. Eventually copy and paste came to the rescue!

Having been getting into groups like Mulatu Astatke, Build An Ark, Lloyd Miller and the Skeletons over the last couple of years, my interest in Jazz is leaning more towards the spiritual element, so up comes this album which is presented as a tightly packed 33 minute LP,  from Parisian producer Onra and friend - fellow composer and arranger Buddy Sativa. Even though most tracks barely scratch the 4 minute mark, the ethos from both Onra and Satvia was very much a "spontaneity rules" approach which comes across in droves on this album.

Here is rare moment of a vocal track featuring Brooklyn poet Aja Monet from an album mostly of instrumentals::

Album out June 24th (or out now if you're reading this after that date!)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Mix: Campfire Surf

I decided to embark on a mix that was a little bit more conceptual compared to previous mixes and a little bit more psychedelic. A mix that really rewards if you listen attentively but could just as easily blend into the background. The idea was if you had to soundtrack a bit of time at night or dusk whilst on the beach enjoying some company, that this would fit..


*Contains excerpts from John Grout's  recording 'Pacific Ocean'

Black Sugar- Pussy Cat
Subtle, bubbling afro jazz fusion from early 1970's Peru, sets up the mix really well before..

Kramford Look- Shoebox At Sea
You could be mistaken for thinking this should have been on Air's Moon Safari, but these guys are masters at soundtrack and this chilled piece of faux motion picture really gelled with..

Girma Hadgu- Ene Alantchi Alnorem
As appears on the Ethiopiques Vol 4. comp, this was recorded somewhere between 1969-74 and taken from a great era for Buda. With it's muffled sound, flutes and wistful harmonies, this is just perfect.

KWJAZ- Righteous Wane
Sounding slightly like an icecream van that you'd want to run out to whatever age you are, KWJAZ's EP was a highlight in my collection last year and 'JAZ, aka San Franciscan Peter Berends, is about all dub, jazz, dreamy loops and twinkley keys.

- Marc Mac : 'little rock' interlude.

The Welcome Wagon- My God, My God. Parts 1 & 2

I really enjoyed the Welcome Wagon album last year, an LP from a Presbyterian couple from Michigan- the Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique. Between them they execute a genre of gospel music that is modest and melodic whilst being pretty straight forward in delivery. This really helps to set the mood for a progression in the mix, from jazz centric into a bit of a songbird section.

Rotary Connection- Salt of The Earth
We're all really used to hearing the excellent Black Gold of The Sun, but Rotary offer so much more across their catalogue. And it helps with the psychadelic soul element too. Top record.

Elena Legakis- 3.50am (Piano Intro)
It's easy to imagine still being on the beach waiting for the sunrise at ten to four in the morning, and this beautiful, slightly eerie piano interlude from Camden girl Elena leads really nicely into...

Mickey Newbury- Flower Man
A legend of the American alt-folk scene, i was introduced to Newbury last year by Steve from my office. Flower Man has a kind of spaced outness to it. Newbury was no space cadet but i'm sure alot of people go that way listening to this.

Portishead- Deep Water
A very non Portishead record, this simple banjo song is more uplifting than most of their gritty soundtrack (excellent though that is!). Has the sound of a 'spiritual' too.

Les Shelleys- Pastures of Plenty
Another house on the prarie type of song, from this acoustic guitar / vocal duo from Los Angeles, consisting of Tom Brosseau and his singing partner Angela Correa. American standard.

April Fulladosa- Sunlit Horizon
I like the offer that Fulladosa makes in this song about 'flying above the sunlit horizon'. The bass is very warm and has a bumpy swagger to it.

David Crosby & Graham Nash- The Lee Shore (Live Version)
I've been listening alot recently to the David Crosby box set. This is just such a great duet. "There's another island, it's a days run away from here- it's empty & free"

Arthur Foy- Get Up & Dance
At this point in the mix, i though i'd done enough lumbering about so thought to throw something in that was laid back but challenged me to get up!

Zyma- Wasting Time

A little bit of prog rock making it into the mix here from Zyma's 9 minute opus 'Wasting Time' though this is an excerpt from that. AOR style.

Milton Wright- Friends & Buddies
Most know Milton Wright from 'Keep It Up'. But this really fitted well and also carried a good unity message.

Hiatus Kaiyote- Nakamarra

Most of the records here are over 30 years old bar 3 or 4 so to have a record from 2012  adds some refreshment. This underground Aussie posse have dubbed themselves as an 'independent future soul group' and it's hard to disagree. This is quite lovebirdy and has Erykah Badu in the mirror.



Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Dr Meaker 'Fear'

A song and act to keep a very close eye on is 'The Fear' from Bristol dance troupe, Dr Meaker. Here's the Red Bull Session they played recently. Soulful vocals from Lorna King too.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Support new Music!

Tennessee Singer songwriter NiTasha Jackson is looking to raise funds for what promises to be a great debut album. You can help get her to London to record it by watching the video below and helping her out!

Check out the superb single 'Let It Fall' on Spotify here: NiTasha Jackson – Start Again

Monday, 6 May 2013

Best Tweets of 2012

Best Tweets from last year (2012)

I drafted this as part of my end of year music poll and then forgot to publish it so here are some of my favourite tweets from 2012!

A random but quite hilarious impulse tweet from Christian singer songwriter Kari Jobe (@karijobe)

@ChurchCurmudgeon questions Windows 8

GW Boles ( @gwboles ) responds to me thanking him for making Ice Road Truckers Deadliest Roads so enjoyable

The Olympics feels like a while ago now but at the time Robin Cooper came up with this excellent suggestion::

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Playlist: Love Dubs

Inspired by alot of the slower dubstep and beats out there i've been tinkering with a playlist of slower grooves over the last 18 months and finally ready to make it a little more public.

So this is Love Dubs and features Cooly G, Little Dragon, SBTRKT, Mount Kimbie and more!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Shola Ama

Shola Ama, who's collaborated with Toddla T on records such as the superb garage of Take It Back, has now cut a new hype track of her own.  The results are a pretty slick and sultry  rnb tune

Boyfriend is the record and is streamable below:

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

New Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu & Kelis

Two new tunes announced on the same day from some heavyweight RnB artistes today included the collaboration between sharp suited songstress Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu titled 'Q.u.e.e.n' , taken from new album Electric Lady (dropping in time for Festival season). A decent promo for the new album  and the Monae rap at the end of this 5 minute record is worth waiting for.

And just hours later a new, less sassy; more soulful Kelis announced her return with 'Jerk Ribs'.  First thoughts are the melody's a bit hard to get to grips with and it lacks the punch of some of the records from her Tasty album, but early days all the same and nice to have Kelis back.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Isle of Magic

This arrived to my headphones very recently but i've played it through almost every day since. If you like your Afro-Jazz and looking for something that sounds deeply authentic then look no further than the Isle of Magic album. The Italian producer Andrea Benini is the man behind Mop Mop and worked on the album with Anthony Joseph and JB's legend Fred Wesley.  The album was recorded between Germany and Italy with the use of vintage analog equipment to achieve a sound with all the “warm” qualities of vintage analog tape recordings, part of the reason this moody foray into percussive rhythms, chanting and Caribbean flavours works so well. Check out an album sampler below

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Lewis Parker- The Glass Ceiling

Breaking news in the hiphop world today as Lewis Parker announced the follow up to The Puzzle Pt 1 with The Puzzle Episode 2- The Glass Ceiling'. With Parkers cinematic, sample heavy beats and sharp lyrics, this could end up as one of the years best scene records.

For a preview of the tracks and a sneak of the  deluxe vinyl edition with tee shirt click here !

Monday, 15 April 2013

Playlist: Boombox Soul

Along with music, radio is one of my first loves, and at home i have my own Sharp GFGF 9090 ghettoblaster , produced in Japan between 1977 and 1979.

So to celebrate I put together a playlist of hiphop i'd be happy to play on this boombox, (all on cassette of course!)


Saturday, 13 April 2013

The North Borders

So many good albums have been released in the last month including Charles Bradley, Night Moves, Mop Mop and Bonobo as the year starts to hit it's stride for superb albums.

So starting off then with Bonobo who on North Borders, his follow up the masterful Black Sands, is a further excursion into cinematic dance music, drawing upon dubstep, the oriental and his own textural approach to electronica.

Track 1 'First Fires' might be more reminiscent of SBTRKT who themselves were probably influenced by Simon Green's thematic, addictive sound. Guests on the album include the ever excellent Eykah Badu on Heaven For The Sinner, a two step glitch and a yearning melody and vocalist Grey Reverend (Cinematic Orchestra). Then there's the clockwork of Cirrus, whilst Emkay sways towards Mj Cole (no bad thing) amongst the 12 tracks here. An artist at the peak of his powers right now and a worthy follow up to Black Sands.

Like this? Check out the new Mount Kimbie album, released on May 27th. Taster track 'Made To Stray' is downloadable here:

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Whilst on a trawl in search of rare groove gems I stumbled across this great tune from 1982. Trading for £35 a copy, this is a really good example of early 80's boogie. It sounds a little like a Greg Carmichael production, but actually produced by hot shot producers Mainline.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Similar album covers

I've noticed a few of these over the years, but here are some of my favourite 'similar' album covers.

Thanks to my friends including Mike (the man!) Butler who's contributed a few as well. Let me know if you have any of your own in the comments section below..

 Updated on 02/02/2017 with Bleached Vs alt-J

alt-J 'Dissolve'


Bleached 'Can You Deal?'


Chi Lites 'Give More Power To The People'


Sharon Jones 'Give The People What They Want'

Space Daze "What Did You Say"


Yo La Tengo "Painful"


Itch - The Deep End


Alex Turner "Submarine" OST

Oddisee - Tangible Dream


Jonathan Wilson- Fanfare

Ruth Granton- People Help The People


Gabrielle Aplin "Panic Cord"

Yo La Tengo- And Then Nothing


Paul Kelly- Conversations With Ghosts


Ty- "Closer"


Grover Washington Jr- "Mister Magic"


Blomma- "Minilogue"


Bloc Party - "Four"


Kid Cudi- Indicud (2013

Royksopp- Melody AM (2001)


Mount Moriah "Miracle Temple"


Swell Maps


Jim Jones "Burning Your House Down"


The Gaslight Anthem "The 59 Sound"

  Rhett Walker "Come To The River"

Weezer "Weezer"

The Feelies "Crazy Rhythms"

Alkaline Trio "This Addiction"

Tim Hughes "Love Shines Through"

We're Down Til The Underground


The Black Seeds "Dust & Dirt"
The Temper Trap "The Temper Trap"


Heartless B's- Arrow

Phoenix Foundation- Buffalo
Lisa Hannigan "Passenger"


DJ Rashad 'Double Cup

Saint Etienne "Words & Music"


James Brown "In a Jungle Groove"

Various "In The Christmas Groove"

Race Horses "Furniture"


How To Dress Well "Total Loss"


Lee Fields "Faithful Man"

Michael Payne 'Nosey Neighbour' from The Fast Show