Sunday 19 May 2024

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , ,

Anna-Maria Nordström's new album is no eurovision, it's pure MOD!

And as it's Mod revival month, 1964 and all that / scooter rally to the seaside, Anna-Maria Nordström 'MOD' has more than a touch of 60s jazz-modern to it along with more recent "back in the day" Nordic jazz was that was all about nu-jazz leaders on Jazzland headed by the likes of Bugge Wesseltoft, Wibutee, Sidsel Endresen, Beady Belle and more.

Fans of the vibrazone (Ed. kids, ask your grand-parents) will love this album as singer, composer, arranger, producer literally swings from Norma Winstone to big band bop boarders.

'Det outsagda' is a jazz-dance shuffler that's deep that's in contrast to the angular instrumental 'The Otherside', that's definitely on the other side. And talking of other sides, 'Så säg' sounds like Swedish jazz poetry meets Corey Wilcox whilst there's 'MOD' beats in the 'In Phase' that goes a bit Pat Metheny.

The band, Jonathan Kronevik (trumpet), Johan Jansson (drums), Per Johansson (piano), 
Martin Olsson (bass), Magnus Sjölander (alto saxophone), Per Nilsson (soprano and tenorsaxophone), Jakob Sollerman (trombone), give the album a cross "We Jazz" Big Band and Schema fusion vibe.

There's definitely a lot of jazzy Herbie keys in 'Papa' and the singing the lyrics in Swedish gives it an unusal dynamic (to these English language attuned ears) that could be skating / improvisional.  Did I say fusion, get the Jaco/Thundercat bass on 'Wallys' which is in total contrast to the "big vocal number", 'Början'.

If you love all things Five Corners, Gard Nilssen, Jimi Tenor, Olli Ahvenlahti and more, this album is a must, "We are the MODS!" as you might have heard before. 

Artist: Anna-Maria Nordström 

Title: MOD

Release date: 19th April, 2024

Label: Varva Records and Music

Cat. No: -

Format:  Digital / Bandcamp

Saturday 18 May 2024

Who the blimey is Tryangle Man?

Still a man of mystery even after the release of his album 'Dream Sequence 1544' on Atjazz Record Company from 2001 that featured the quirky upbeat 'Night Jazz' hit.

Still a bit offbeat on his return with the single 'Theatre Of The Sand مسرح الرمل' that takes us to a cross between Max Cooper, Batov and Cee ElAssaad.

But that doesn't tell the whole story of the 'Discovery Of Pangea' as this 11 Day (sorry, track) journey and it's like a super-collection of parts that possibly will all drift apart?

'Midnight Jazz' is like a Duke Ellington trio's take on dance/house whilst 'Deep Mind' synths into a bit of Daft Punk and bits of lots of tracks are classical (in a good way), like many stand-out tracks, 'Everything' and 'Power'.  In contrast, there's the Kraftwerk-esque 8-Bit-Go-Go of 'Whispers Of A Dialogue' (that's 'Day 6' of the discovery expedition!) and the faster 'Desert Hills' that'll keep you hot-steppin' into the night.

So little surprise that his fans include the craftsmith likes of Laurent Garnier, DJ Koze and Josh Wink.  And there was I thinking that 'Discovery Of Pangea' was going to be this years' jazzt South Beach Recycling's ' Obsessive Compulsive Disco' (see review HERE) but it's deeper (no pun etc..) than that, get ready for the nu-Pythagoreanism spaceship dancefloor from Beirut!

The album launch on 18th May is at Notting Hill Arts Club where he'll be joined by Ben Hadwen on sax/flutes (Emanative's old mate) ad Miguele on vocals; and supported by Paoli & Simba and Paraiba for a full night of jazzy afro-house pleasure - check out the full details on Resident Advisor HERE.

Artist: Tryangle Man 

Title:  Discovery Of Pangea 

Release date: 18th May, 2024

Label : Tryangle Man Records

Catalog Number : TMR009AD

Format: Digital / Bandcamp 
Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

Wah Wah 45s have got a way of being Wah Wah 45s and brilliant all at the same time and they've found another rising star, this time it's a 'Rising Woman', Léa Mondo.

This is so "Gilles Peterson", a DJ/record label boss/etc known to be ahead of the game and not slow to feature new stars (check out Léa's live performance on Worldwide FM's Wah Wah 45s 25 year anniversary show HERE: that also features Dele Sosimi, Kahil El'Zabar and head honcho Dom Servini - check out the Interview HERE from when you could go to Cargo for a fiver!)

This new 6 track EP does reminds me of when Peterson first featured Amy Winehouse in a way as the DRC born/Manchester raised/now North London resident Ms Mondo has a beautiful voice, charm and sass in equal messure plus a great band behind her.  The two sides of the Amy influence can be heard on 'Heights Of Love' and 'Vices' with a Body Positive/Social Media "update" on 'Nah Mate' that features Tiece.

The EP opens and closes with 'Mwasi'/'Kitoko' - translates as 'Beautiful'/'Woman' which has a fantastic flute and guitar and is inspired by the vision of a Congolese 'The Girl From Ipanema'; with just a touch of Lonnie Liston Smith.

And in another sense of duality, her inspiration for 'Brave New World' is the Aldous Huxley 'A Level' classic of the same name that she sings mostly in her native Congolese language Lingala.

If you like harder, sultry Sade on a jazzy, Afro-bossa tip, Léa Mondo is the next emergent talent to follow and you can catch her live at the EP launch on Friday, 24th May at 91 Living Room, East Lonon (details HERE).

Happy Birthday Wah Wah 45s too!

Artist: Léa Mondo 
Release: Rising Woman EP
Release Date: 17th May, 2024
Label: Wah Wah 45s
Catalog Number: -
Format: Digital / BANDCAMP

Friday 17 May 2024

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If you said that Roy INC. had a bad credit rating, you better check his history and give the man some credit, especially for the new single on Ramrock Red, 'Credit Me'.

As a singer / songwritter / composer / arranger / performer, Mr. INC. has worked with an amazing array of industry big heads over the years including Frank Ocean, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Grace Jones, Donna Summer, Sting, The Pet Shop Boys, Neneh Cherry, Mica Paris, Suede, The Verve, Living Colour, Johnny Hallyday, Eros Ramazzotti and Cerrone.

And on this 3-track EP, equal credit is due to Darren Morris as the pair of them conjure up a deep synth driven Acid-Italo-house that Cerrone, Horse Meat Disco, Joseph Malik, Martin Green, Rusty Egan, Dom Servini would all approve of.

There's a clean and original (explicit) versions with an equally stunning instrumental to get you hot and sweaty in club or festival location.

Ramrock Red's sister/brother/associate label, F*CLR stunned us with the synth-disco 'Galactic Love' by Natasha Kitty Katt featuring His Bitter Truth (see Review HERE) and they'd be more than enough to get the party started and the cheque book out.

And credit where credit is due, we're promised more ROY INC x Darren Morris collaborations in 2024 together with Joe Goddard (Hot Chip), George T (Mr. Malik), Hannah Holland (of Ashley Beedle remix fame) all joining in the fun.

Artist: ROY INC. & Darren Morris 
Title: Credit Me EP
Release date: 17th May, 2024
Label: Ramrock Red Records
Cat. No: RRR062
Format: Digital / Bandcamp

We may be on the cusp of the annual migration of millions of animals that travel across the Serengeti into Kenya’s Maasai Mara in pursuit of greener pastures, but could it be that they've been beckoned by the enchanting vocals Kenya's Nes Mbue?

Aytiwan and Kaudron's new collaboration has all the Afro house soul of previous releases on DIYS, like Nico Efstratiou's 'Ndibize' featuring Athimux that included Aytiwan and Mahandana remixes (see review HERE) so it could have easily been the standout track on this release as it is as dreamy as 'Es Vedra' itself; being an island off the southern coast of Ibiza that is blessed with myths and legends.
However, another new name to us, Chaleee is on the remix and puts the track into Dutch after hours party in which the beasts are on the run by big trance like synths and tribal percussion.

That said, both tracks and hypnotic and coming to a dancefloor near you soon.


Artist: Aytiwan & Kaudron & Nes Mburu
Title: Es Vedra (incl. Chaleee Remix) 
Release date: 17th May, 2024
Label : Deep In Your Soul
Catalog Number : DIYS034 
Format: Digital / Bandcamp 

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I think it was Wah Wah 45s that first drew attention on Sam Redmore and it was certainly Wah Wah 45s that re-injuvinated the Afrobeat legend that's Dele Sosimi, so it seems appropriate that when they meet, it's on a track called 'Home'.

I say that with the added connection that Dele sings of his connection to 'home' (Lagos) as that's where his heart is, with years of being an important part of Fela Kuti, The Shrine and the roots of Afrobeat (you may recall the Dele link with Eparapo 
'From London To Lagos' with a Sam Redmore remix of their 'Black Lives Matter' - see review HERE).

Sam's home is in Birmingham (just so happens that's where I was born) but his musical home stretches far and wide from soul, funk, disco, house, Cumbia, Afrobeat, broken beat - like a Brummie Will 'Quantic' Holland meets DJ 'Pura Vida' Guts.

Dele's putting himself out a bit as this follows his collab with another Sam Duckworth (formerely known as Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly) on the album, 'The Estuary' (see review HERE) and I'd definitly call Mr. Redmore if I needed a remix of any of the tracks.

Artist:  Sam Redmore 
Title:  Home feat. Dele Sosimi
Release date: 17th May, 2024 
Label : Jalapeno Records
Catalog Number :  -
Format: Digital / Bandcamp 

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , , ,

Sai Galaxy has come down from the spacewaves of 'Hold Me Tonight' from the begining of the year that featured the vocals of Steve Monite to release a cover version of Letta Mbulu's hit 'Nomalizo'.

The previous single was more of Afrobeat-disco track so now taking on a classic Mbulu track, he's found another South African as a guest artist, bambam.

She sound a little like Letta, best know as being one of the South Africa exiles who fled to New York and "discoved" by Gilles Peterson on his "In Africa" compilation and her big hit originally recorded in 1967(!), 'What's Wrong With Groovin?'.

Sai's swopped the disco synth to some deep bass bounce with some classic gospell jazz organ.

This gives back that old time feeling for the dancefloor of the now.

Artist:  Sai Galaxy 
Title:  Nomalizo ft. bambam 
Release date: 17th May, 2024 
Label : -
Catalog Number :  -
Format: Digital / Bandcamp  

Thursday 16 May 2024

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Chet Baker was known for his voice, his trumpet and being cool; this re-issue 'Chet On Poetry' has the benefit of all three!

Last month we looked back (and forward) with Yellowtail's 'easons In My Mind' with  remixes (see rview HERE) that featured another jazz vocal original, Mark Murphy.

Baker is even a bigger name in jazz and as a swan song (recorded in 1988 in Rome and originally released the year later after he passed away) has been somewhat overlooked.

So it's a good time to re-assess this one and, in some ways, come to terms with what Chet could envisage from his West Coast notoriety.  And it you start with 'Party Is Over', whilst his voice may have lost something over the years, the track could be early Jazzanova!  And don't be put off by the opener being a (yet another) version of 'In A Sentimental Mood' but put in the context of an album based on poetry and music (by Nicola Stilo who was in the Chet Baker Quartet and plays flute guitar, piano and synthesizer on this album) with poetry 

The remastered original tapes also feature Carla Marcotulli (backing vocal), Enzo Peitropaoli (double bass), Roberto Gatto (drums) and Alfredo Minotti (percussion) with Chet on trumpet and vocals as interpretations of translated Roman poets Gianluca Manzi and Maurizio Guercini.

There's some glorious flute on here, notably on 'With Sadness' and the Jack Kerouac-ness of 'Waiting For Chet' (both highlights on the album).

Chet's horn is fantastic as you'd expect from a true master and whilst the pathos of 'Like The Precedent' is a little downbeat, the horn on the semi-bossa of 'Deep Arabesques' and the jazz-bounce of 'Chet's Blues' is proof (none needed) of what a star he is.

In addition to the Duke Ellington cover, he does Elvis Costello's 'Almost Blue' (come on, he's not got to do 'Watching The Detectives' or '(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea' - perhaps he should have?)

This may not have been his last album/performance but one of the most unusual and now available in 'all' formats, you've got no excuse to treat yourself to a copy.

Artist: Chet Baker
Title: Chet On Poetry  
Release date: 14th May, 2024 
Label : Right Tempo 
Catalog Number : -
Format : LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp

Friday 10 May 2024

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BBE's Middle Eastern Heavens series of re-issues of the albums made by legendary Lebanese composer Ihsan Al-Munzer is now on its fourth release and it's the best yet!

Fantastic news that this follows last years' album by Al-Munzer on BBE, 'Belly Dance' (see review HERE) and show's there's so much more to 70s pop-synth disco cross-over tradtional folk as Batov Records' 'Middle Eastern Grooves' (see review HERE) have been proving too!

Fancy living in Beruit and being known as "The Godfather of Belly Dance" but as a digital only release, your hard-drives are going to have trouble keeping up with this.

Artist: Ihsan Al-Munzer

Title: Orientalissimo Vol. 2

Release date: 10th May, 2024

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE526 

Format: Digital / Bandcamp 

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

Having worked together in an experimental pop group, multi-instrumentalists Lefteris Volanis and  Dimitris Pagidas cleared their minds to take a look 'Outside The Long Walls'.

YATM have their own musical views outside of the walls of conformity and we do like a post-rock, psych OST approach.  And that's what we've got with these 11 tracks.

'Leaving London' (on a personal note, be warned, once you've left, there's no going back) is the most folky-pop of the set with it's Sunday morning soothing vibe.  In fact, the whole album is like a laid-back Project Gemini ('Colours & Light' see review HERE) merged with the quieter less jazzy elements of 'Valia Calda ('Homeland' see review HERE).

That said, the combinationof the guitar, synths, xylophone, electronics with some vocals (Greek & English) are perfect in setting the post-ENO-Fripp ambient Balearics - particularly like the 'eastern' title track and the longest tracks, 'Goodbye To Purity' and 'Crystals'.

Following on from last month's Record Store Day 7", 'Melodia / Melancolia', these two are on it like an out-there on a 60/70s space prog-folk Parthenon mission centre take off OST.

Artist: Lefteris Volanis, Dimitris Pagidas 
Title:  Outside The Long Walls
Release date: 10th May, 2024 
Label : Veego Records
Catalog Number :  -
Format: Deluxe edition 12" vinyl (limited to 500 copies) / Digital / Bandcamp  

Recorded in Epidaurus between March 2020 until September 2023
Mastered by Richard König
Vinyl Master by Ekelon
Cover photo by Eftichia Vlachou
Artwork by Giorgos Maraziotis