Friday 27 January 2023

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If you're voted for Paul Hillary's 'Folk Funk & Trippy Troubadours' compilation as 'Album of the 2022', get ready for something that's just as cool Southern Louisiana folk/jazz/blue eyed soul that was totally ignored in 1981 when orginally released on a 7".  

Recorded in Baton Rouge with an engineer who had worked with southern rock royalty in the Allman Brothers, this double A seems to be on schedule for some overdue attention.  

'Forever' is a glorious love song that gets a groove on with a uptempo Prophet synth (John Smart) solo.  It's a really shame that it fades out (well it was a 7", who's got the tapes for an extended 12" version?)

Flip for 'Bayou Paradise' that's a bit sugary by comparison;  like a very soft Lynyrd Skynyrd from the glades and swamps.  

The single is a warm up for the re-release of the brothers' album 'Will & James Ragar One' as a double album.  Can't wait on the strength of this.

Artist: Will & James Ragar 

Title: Forever / Bayou Paradise

Release date: 27th January, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE723SLP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

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When the album came out last September, not only did we have "beautiful beats/Bruk/Nu-soul/funk from two artists that have excelled in the past and looks like that they're never going to stop" we were told that they'll be a remix release with stunning remixes by Moodymann, Potatohead, Moodorama.

As the original album sounds like a combination of Clinton/Bootsy/Amp Fiddler rolled up as one it's not difficult to imagine how cool the Moodymann remix of 'Hold On 2 It' is - just, super Kenny Dixon Jr on the dancefloor  knobs with a touch of dub.

Potatohead People might be out there in Vancouver but they're very much at the heart of underground hip-hop (notably New York's Bastard Jazz) and their vocal and instrumental takes on 'Make Me Crazy' funks up the slinky orginal version.

You may know Moodorama better as Martin Sennebogen who was on Stereo Deluxe (as was BiggaBush's original album 'Free') in the 90s and part of Knowtoryus (also Compost) and his two versions of 'Cruel Mistake' take us into that drama of orchestral dub 'Wierd Mistake' and a minimal soul 'Deep Rise' remix.

As with the original album, it wouldn't be right to focus on these remix versions as the power of Inkswel and Colonel Red as it's all quality throughout that kinda sounds like a BBE release so it's doublely cool that Compost have faith in this beautiful existance; and so should you.

Artist: Inkswel & Colonel Red

Title: Holders Of The Sun Remix EP

Release date: 27th January, 2023

Label : Compost Records

Catalog Number : CPT602-1/-3 / CD / Digital / Bandcamp  

Monday 23 January 2023

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So you've got some massive 'Red Flag Must Have' going on hear, Jazzanova's take on Detroit's Strata Records (as facilitated by DJ Amir and BBE last year) for one.  Then there's a remix of one of the most popular 'finds'. 'Face At My Window' (originally by Sam Sanders) by the stalwarts of modern J-Jazz, Kyoto Jazz Massive.  

Not only two versions of that but the Jazzanova's featuring the vocals of Sean Haefeli.  So how come there's 'Beyond the Dream' and 3 remix versions of it?  We'll, in short, we've got NY extension heaven from a duo known as musclears (aka Craig Handfield & Brandon Weems) who have really taken this on with a 10 minute 'reimagination' (vocal and instrumental versions) and a 8 minute dub and a tight Radio Version.  

Needless to say, we love this and now love musclecars (and everyone else) too! Lets say it again, 'MUST HAVE'. STOP PRESS: I'm not the only one that thinks this as BBE have brought forward the release date by a week!

Don't forget, Kyoto Jass Massive have been announced on the 'First Line' up of artists for this years' WeOutHere festival been held for the first time in Dorset at Wimborne St. Giles (10-14 August) with loads more YATM favourites.

Artist: Jazzanova

Title: Beyond The Dream (musclecars Reimaginations) / Face At My Window (Kyoto Jazz Massive Remixes)

Release date: 27th January, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE723SLP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

Friday 20 January 2023

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Another fantastic release in the BBE Music’s J Jazz Masterclass Series as Tony Higgins and Mike Peden Another fantastic release in the BBE Music’s J Jazz Masterclass Series as Tony Higgins and Mike Peden continue to amaze with their digging ability to give us such rare jazz from Japan from decades ago.

Hideyasu Terakawa (sax), Tetsuo Miura (bass), Aki- hiro "Thunder" Nakaya (drums) together with Hiroshi Fujii (vibes) have been 'found' on this private press (originally 100 copies!) recorded live in concert at the jazz spot DIG in Masuda City, Japan, with first of a seven-day regional tour in October 1978.

You may recall 'Black Nile' appearing on 2021's compilation, 'J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan (Volume 3)' but it seems to be even more swinging now with that 'solid rhythm to anchor it all down' following down stream as if their on a ten minute race from the source, passed the pyramids and into the Mediterrean. This is perfect cover of Wayne Shorter's track that's so very 'Dingwalls'.

Whilst the album is full of covers post bop and ballads, even a standard such as 'Stella By Starlight' shines together with Frank Foster's 'Simone' (two versions on this expanded release) and 'I Remember Clifford'. 

On this version of the album, there's two version of 'Rerev' which like the composers' (Milt Jackson and Jimmy Heathblues walk with vibes for both 10 and 8 minute versions with a swinger of Hideasu's sax like a cool Woody Herman.

The J-Jazz series is such a mine and minefield, I fully expect that Higgins, Peden and BBE will be in the Japanesse Embassy's new years' honours list for services in International J-Jazz relations with a big rising sun gong to go with it.  Totally recommended as always.

Artist: Hideyasu Terakawa Quartet

Title: Introducing Hideyasu Terakawa Quartet Live Featuring Hiroshi Fujii

Release date: 20th January, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE668 LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

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So you think you know South African/Zimbabwean music and then the Bantu Spacehip lands and you're dancing like a King Sunny Ade meets Ladysmith Black Mambazo's lovechild. 

Joshua Chiundiza is the pilot on this ship and what really tweaks this track, or should I say, plugs-in, is Sam Mabukwa - lead guitarist of Ngosimbi Crew would released a couple of albums/cassettes in Zimbabwe with Admire Kasenga (who passed away in 2004). 

Only complaint, too short - Nyami Nyami Records promise an album in March so lets hope the 'flights' are a longer and watch out for the new Jit Wave to take off! 

Album release: March 10th 2023 on vinyl and digital formats.

Artist: Bantu Spaceship 

Title: Bantu Electro Sungura

Release date: 20th January, 2023

Label : Nyami Nyami Records

Catalog Number : NNR014 / Bandcamp

If you were in Vienna in the mid-00s and part of the party 'Dub Club' scene (which included Stereotyp, Makossa & Megablast, Rodney Hunter, Hubert Tubbs (ex-Tower Of Power) and many more) you might be surprised to hear that 10 years earlier a young Paul Nawrata (aka Urb) was taken under the wings of the Austrian version of Tony Wilson (aka Werner Geier) and took his first steps (along with Chaoz) in dance/hip-hop beats production that would become better known as trip-hop.

And by the time his debut in 2005 on G-Stone Recordings (co-produced by Peter Kruder (he of the Kruder & Dorfmeister sound and latterly, Voom:Voom), this also became a big European success (partly due to Gilles Peterson fandom) such that Urbs began producing other Austrian musicians and doing loads of remixes for the likes of Tosca, Marsmobil and Daniel Haaksmann (another Dub Club 'influencer').

Urbs has been busy ever since with film, TV/documentaries, commercials so it's about time he got back in the public eye and this 3 track EP will definitely do that. This is soulfully deep beats of lush nu-jazz instrumentals; 'Mighty Amethyst' gets his Miles dub up, 'Mandarine Sparrow Song' is Acker Bilk vs. Toots Thielemans (ask your grandparents) on the shoreline in space and 'Im Geheimland' start the journey in secret land far, far away where OST meets hip-hop beats and synths. You will not be surprised to hear that this is being released on Compost Records as Urbs had managed to sneak the tapes passed the boarder guards whilst they were watching a re-run of the Third Man; no zither on this as far as I can make out but what a great start to 2023! 

P.S. Don't forget the pre-holidays release of Urbs' 'Levitation' (also on Compost Records)

P.P.S. Harry Lime was a bad man.

Artist: Urbs

Title: Im Geheimland / Mighty Amethyst / Mandarine Sparrow Song

Release date: 20th January, 2023

Label : Compost Records

Catalog Number : CPT603-6 / CD / Digital / Bandcamp

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When was the last time you did the Latin shuffle?  Too long ago I bet so lets take a continental shift and get down in Africa with The Deepshakerz as they remix Dave Mayer and Deeplomatik's 'Hustle Tribes'.

In extended and radio edit versions, it's definitely chunkee down on that African jungle dance floors with a touch of Latin too!

Junior Jack's Adesso Music label seems to just get stronger with each release - and there's a podcast too! The latest being by Oliver Knight including Acid Remix of 'Colombia' by Eldeanyo.

Junior Jack Presents - Adesso Music Radio Show on Apple Podcasts

Adesso Music Radio Show 007 (Oliver Knight)

Artist: Dave Mayer & Deeplomatik

Release: Hustle Tribes (The Deepshakerz Remix)

Release Date: 20th January, 2023

Label Adesso Music

Catalog Number: WP1341

Thursday 19 January 2023

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It seems like the underground hip-hop soul sound is the hot ticket at the moment and Si Tew starts the new year leading the way.

This new single, 'UIHIA' standing for 'Until I Have It All' (that features of the soulful vocals of Georgia Copeland) and will see him further develop after the release at the end of last year of 'An Apology' which we also loved.

Being on Atjazz's label, you might think this isn't very house, but on the flip side you've got this uptempo dance synth groover that's totally different to 'UIHIA' and you'll see 'Logos' in Martin's charts and many others no doubt in early 2023.

I'll be very surprised if this in not included in Sumsuch's Colour and Pitch Sessions - January tracklisting [Ed. update: yes it was - see below].

So get yourself prepared so that one day you'll have it all too! 

PS. As Si is down the road from Ajazz and both are hot on the remix front, expect something special for the forthcoming album, 'Quietude'.

Artist: Si Tew

Title: UIHIA (feat. Georgia Copeland) / Logos

Release date: 19th January, 2023

Label : Atjazz Record Company

Catalog Number : ARC200ADS2 Digital / Bandcamp

Monday 16 January 2023

Posted by Gerry Hectic |

Originally this was going to be a  'PHYSICAL ONLY release!' and 'very limited stock' as esteemed DJ Muro gets into a 'Diggers Dozen'.

So you were warned that you needed to get the vinyl but somebody has had the bright idea to list a digital version on Bandcamp; "PHEW!".

And this is brilliant as Takayoshi Murota, better known as Muro, the DJ, producer, remixer and digger, presents his first compilation on BBE Music.

So he's been getting dusty with the 70's archive of Nippon Columbia for the gems of composer and musicians of Japan's jazz & latin and soundtracks. You've got Kiyoshi Yamaya, Kifu Mitsuhashi, Toshiyuki Miyams, Tadaaki Misago & the Tokyo Cuban Boys and many more.

You can imagine any original vinyl of these releases will cost a few million yen but here you've got sumptuous jazz, funk, beats and OST soundtrack souding tracks that have absorbed the US '70s influences with, at times' the Japanese traditions such as 'Asadoya Yunta' and 'Nanbu Ushiou Uta' (both by Kifu Mitsuhashi on Shakuhachi and band leader Kiyoshi Yamaya).

There's the super Japanese version of 'Superstition' (listed here as 'Souma Nagareyama'), over 9 minutes of Toshiyuki Miyama and His New Herd's 'Seijinshiki (aka Adult's Day)' and four tracks by Tadaaki Misago & the Tokyo Cuban Boys (a "Latin hits covers band" formed in 1949) to complete this set; watch out for the 'Soran Bushi' karate chop and the jazz dance 'hit' 'Sakura Sakura'.

What with the sucess of the J-Jazz compilations and masters series releases, I can't see this being the first and last 'Diggers Dozen' by Muro; he's not known as 'King Of Diggin' for nuthin' and lets hope we can see some DJ sets from him soon.

Artist : DJ Muro

Title : Diggers Dozen

Release Date : 13th January, 2023

Catalog Number : BBE633

Label : BBE Music / Bandcamp

Friday 13 January 2023

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Is that 'Teardrops' you hear in 'Learn To Be Cool' or is it a modern version of the "Pioneering jazz-rock, progressive, psychedelic, funk & pop" group, Ian Carr's Nucleus or an electronic jazz version of Cinematic Orchestra? 

We'll it is hard to try and tie down some bands to a unique/tribal genre and Conic Rose is definitely one of them. 

Love 'Learn To Be Cool' as the 'Teardrops' sounding line is almost like a taped Short Wave radio show with super lovely keys and a funky bassline; quasi 'Baba O'Riley' meets OST. 

This German band have all the background of playing arenas filled with fans of pop stars Clueso, Jan Delay and Samy Deluxe together with supporting jazz bands too. It's German; it's post-Compost/Jazzanova/Sonar Kollektiv/MPS Records and it's great. 

'Goodbye' is similar in a glitchy/bruk/downtempo 'Miles' jazz way which is super cool. 

Album due soon and don't forget last year's release Gleisdreieck / Chopin Rosé / Honeylake but you've got to learn to be cool first.

Artist: Conic Rose 

Title: Learn To Be Cool / Goodbye

Release date: 13 January, 2023

Label: Conic Rose

Cat. No: ConicRoseS04

I can guess you're first thought, is Pedro Ricardo's single 'Déhéba' as stunning as the image artwork?

Well, my answer is yes as the ever dependable Soundway Records continue to dig and delve to find us the best music from around the world.

DJ and producer Pedro Ricardo is from Portugal and 'Déhéba' drops ahead of his debut album on Soundway Records, 'Soprem Bons Ventos’ that is due out mid-February.

This is classic bassy Brazilian folk flamenco electronica!  This guy's music seems as eclectic as his DJ sets and radio shows on Balamii and NTS. 

Artist: Pedro Ricardo
Title: Déhéba
Release date: 13th January, 2023
Label : Soundway Records
Catalog Number : Digital / Bandcamp

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There seems quite a lot of the downtempo, electronica, lo-fi hip-hop and trip hoppy mixtures going on at the moment.

And here's Audio Dope adding to that list with a single, 'Round & Round' with Auckland/Berlin 'resident', Noah Slee on vocals.

It's a bit potty mouth so a instrumental version would be cool to highlight those keys and percussion so we'll keep out fingers crossed for the album release. 

The album title is 'Gone' (to keep in with the vibe?) which is scheduled for release in March on the eclectic Swiss based Radicalis Music.

Artist: Audio Dope

Title: Round & Round ft. Noah Slee

Release date: 13th January, 2023

Label : Radicalis Music

Catalog Number : Digital / Deezer

Thursday 12 January 2023

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Tru Thoughts ended last year with their best release of the year [Ed. that's because you're Edit was on it - see A Different Style EP by Biggabush] so what will 2023 bring?

Well, compared ot the 8 tracks on 'A Different Style' this release has a very different style with just the two; the original Anchorsong (aka Masaaki Yoshida) version of 'Windmills', a short and atmospheric track and a Salamanda remix.

Salamanda are new to me and the track itself has 'moved' to a gentle shinto water garden at the break of day with sunlight shimmering on the water (just like the cover image).

Apparently, Salamanda are based in Seoul, South Korea and have already found fans for thier electronic ambience on a number of labels around the globe and have a thier own NTS radio show.

'Windmills' was one of the many highlights on Anchorsong's 2021 album 'Mirage' so let's hope that there's more stunning remixes in the pipeline like this one.

Artist: Anchorsong 

Title: Windmills (Salamanda Remix)

Release date: 12th January, 2023

Label : Tru-Thoughts

Catalog Number : Digital / Bandcamp