Friday 30 June 2023

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More new releases from the Ramrock stable finds a more mature Maxine Scott being 'New To This'.

As the last release, with Alf.E, 'Guard Down (see review HERE) was a step up from the previous single, also with Alf.E, 'SXC' (see review HERE), even with some child like giggles, this is shows further evidence that Ms. Scott is one to follow. 
With the instrumental, the beats are matched with some strings and dreamy harp to the slightly saucey lyrics.

If you're new to the work of Maxine, you may have heard her 'Erykah U Bad' track last year that was popular on BBC 6 Music and then there was 'Ya Energy' which was more hip-hop than the tracks already mentioned.  And we're still promised a No'West remix of the new track, working with the Black Science Orchestra (so looking forward to the return of BSO) and a house EP with Andrew Sant!

Artist: Maxine Scott 

Title: New To This EP 

Release date: 30th June, 2023

Label: Ramrock Blue Records

Cat. No: RRB021

Format: Bandcamp / Digital

Can you have a good hair day in a musical spaceship?  You can if you're Simon Mavin as he launches his latest EP on Bastard Jazz.

If you're a fan of the first wave of current Aussie/Melbourne jazz-funk-hip-hop-soul-bruksters, Hiatus Kaiyote, you'll note Simon is the keyboard whiz, co-produer & co-writer in the band.

He definitely had a 'Good Hair Day' when he produced this track and fellow Meburnian(?), Harvey Sutherland, upped the pace and added more synths on the remix (and a reminder to dig out Sutherland's last album 'Boy' that featured that funkster, "Commander" DāM-FunK).

And talking of out there funk mission, 'Only You & Me' is very jazz-funk-Roger(and out there) with another great remix, this time by Aussie duo, Close Counters that ups the broken beat.

The label is increasingly our 'Leftfield of the Year' at this rate as this EP closely follows BusCrates album, 'Control Centre' (see review HERE) and this EP is ideal get ready to party tunes.

Artist: Simon Mavin 

Title: Good Hair Day / Only You & Me EP

Release date: 30th June, 2023

Label : Bastard Jazz Recordings

Catalog Number :  Digital / Bandcamp  

Thursday 29 June 2023

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You'll recall that the group known as LILAMORS is the trio of German pianist Thilo Seevers, sound artist Jaka Arh and Slovenian vocalist Ana Čop.

We got a bit excited about the first single 'Slow Traveller' as "an experimental, Norma Winstone, ECM vs. Jazzland Bugge Wesseltoft, Silje Nergaard as minimal Balearic electronica: which is definitely, "Out there!" 

And the follow up 'Home' is a "counterbalance, [of] neo-classical piano minimalist" (see review HERE with a link to the Colour & Pitch Session that starts with 'Home').

The forthcoming album, 'When I Am Dead, My Dearest' (out 30th June), hints at a mix of the extremes with OST leanings

Indeed, any album that starts with an 'Alice Through The Looking Glass' style poem called 'Outro' tells us that these guys like to push boundaries,  We are told it's, "Music as a glitch in the time-space continuum". 

I'm couldn't say what that means.  I suspect 'Slow Traveller' might be the best example as tracks like 'And Now You're Gone' (a track in 3 parts) is as close to Winstone/Tippett wordless improvisation/jazz vocal whilst 'Dream Land' could be anything from Broadway to Judy 'Send In The Clowns' Collins.

And the title track reminds me of Annabel (Lee) in their Ninja Tune period before they started doing cover versions (see HERE) mixed with Robert Wyatt's 'Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard' period (for 'She Dried Her Tears' and 'But Still She Cries').

You get the idea that you're not going to be able to put these guys in a convenient box and I hope they stay this enigmatic and avoid slipping into a Ludovico Einaudi "comfort zone" as good as he is.


Title: When I Am Dead, My Dearest 

Release date: 30th June, 2023 

Label: Latenite Lounging

Cat. No: LNL012ADG

Format: Bandcamp / Digital
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Fans of Be Adult Music will be happy that there's a new compilation coming out on the label; but let's hope they're grown up enough for a slightly deeper house than they are used to!

And 'getting  deeper' for these goes can stretch from a 'tribute' to 'Boogie Nights' (as reimagined as Latin disco-dub funk by Carlos Sanchez) to a Balearic beach zephyr. 'Feel The Breeze' (Moo Vee) to a bouncey remix of Sumsuch's 'Find Home' by Alex Kentucky & Ivan Garci as the day draws to a close (Sunset Mix) - fans of the Colour & Pitch head honcho will recall this is the one featuring Matty Eeles who's vocal is remincent of the jazzy end of Antony Hegarty; also check out 'Don't Go' and the latest on Colour & Pitch (Sen-Sei & Jason Merle's 'Traduire' - see review HERE).

You also get an organ express train awakening, 'Rude' (Matt Gilespie & Amir Groove) that will stay in everyones DJ bag forever, Mark Mac (different spelling) with a classic opener, 'Across The Globe'.

As a somewhat different tangent is Juan Domecq's 'Haunted Me' with it's synth ghost whispers and Aurel den Bossa & Ias Ferndale's, 'Calla Gracionetta' which has a Balearic 80s vocal vibe about it.

So, as you can tell, something for everyone and it's not just for lovers of deep house as it's always good to be a grown up.

STOP PRESS: Oh! What's that I hear, something from the other side of the office?  Sumsuch says, " 'Find Home' has really become a gift that keeps on giving. When I released the track in 2015 on my own Colour and Pitch label, it became something of a low-key hit around the beach bars and terraces on Ibiza and across the Balearics. Alex Kentucky in particular (one of the nicest DJs and humans you'll ever find) championed the tune, and asked if it would be OK to re-release it on his Be Adult imprint with a remix by Vincenzo, a favourite producer of mine. That rework became the stuff of legend, and I'm so happy to see Alex and Ivan provide yet another version of the song, perfectly timed for another lazy summer." Well, there won't be any fights in the playground with those thoughts.

Artist: Various Artists 

Title: Deep House Lovers

Release date: 29th June 2023

Label; Be Adult Music

Catalog Number: BAM316

Tuesday 27 June 2023

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Any fans of the influencial jazz label Impulse, will immediately spot the inspiration for the Nimbus Sextet's latest single, 'Impulsive'.

Impulse, the label, was at one of it's pinnacles when there was a choice in album purchases that went beyond the colour of vinyl, being 'mono' or 'stereo'.

The multi-national jazz group based in Scotland have not quite gone as far as the  'mono' or 'stereo' 7", but it'll get you excited about forthcoming 2023 gigs that starts at the home of UK Jazz, Ronnie Scott's (see below listing) 

The band have released a couple of album's on Acid Jazz, 'Dreams Fulfilled' (2020) and 'Forward Thinker' (2022), both were produced by Nuovi Fratelli (the duo of Wayne A. Dickson and Luigi Pasquini) and it's about time we had another record as the UK jazz scene continues to deliver exceptional band.

In the meantime,  don't think about it, do it on impulse!

Friday 23 June 2023

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House dub-jazz funk with French vocal vibes; yes, Colour & Pitch's new release is a crowd pleaser of the highest order.

Sen-Sei (originally outta Brooklyn) has joined forces with Jason 'Let Me Do It' Merle (San Francisco) to translate 'Traduire' in two versions, 'Original' (that's pretty dubby with French vocals) and a 'French Filter Mix' (that's even hyperdubby with French airport lounge vocals).

As you look out over the horizons (as per the cover photo), this will take you onto another level.

Expected to be on the Colour & Pitch Sessions monthly mix with Sumsuch - always an essential listen.

Artist: Sen-Sei & Jason Merle 

Title: Traduire EP

Release date: 23rd June, 2023

Label: Colour and Pitch

Catalog Number: CAP085

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So we know Bastard Jazz are deep diggers but BusCrates is doing his retro take on deep soul funk hip-hop now, and it's all from the 'Control Center'.

Billed as "a balancing act between vintage 80s synths" and "90s boom bap" in a melodic soul envelope, these tracks are the instrumental funk; like that Dâm Funk can produce but more jazzy.

'Get It Going' is a perfect example and if you want to funk up your imaginary summer city park Ryuichi Sakamoto theme, try 'Internal Dialogue'. 

The title track and  'Clarity' are proper uptempo bouncers, if you wanna to go all Radio Saturn/old skool Daedelus, there's sweet hybrid in 'Prisms' and another one that caused some NY noise is 'Buckin'' that features DJ Epik.

And talking of DJs, DJ Spinna is a mutual friend of Peter Franks (Futuristica Music - new album review HERE) and BusCrates (which may or not  been the reason for the BusCrates Remix of 'Sirens') but it shows another knob twist to his musical synth/keys expertise.

The one for the radio playlist is 'On My Way' that features the vocals of Soraya Watti that so Capital Gold (but in a more than good way).

Bastard Jazz have gone the full steel mill mile with this release with vinyl LP and 7" ('Internal Dialogue') and t-shirt options.  This is so different to their other recent release on the label, the equally brilliant and diverse, Captain Plant's 'Sounds Like Home LP' they are going to have a busy summer.

Artist: BusCrates

Title: Control Center 

Release date: 27th January, 2023

Label : Bastard Jazz Recordings

Catalog Number : LP / Digital / Bandcamp  

Thursday 22 June 2023

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There's been many great performances unearthed by the J-Jazz team of Tony 'Jazz Dad' Higgins and Mike Peden, but how they'd loved to have been at Lovely to have heard the Takeo Moriyama Quartet live in December of 1990.

And we know that because BBE have (re)issued what was once a Japan only CD release (1991) as the latest in the J-Jazz series as a special remastered double vinyl edition with translated sleeve notes and new sleeve notes by Tony.

The five tracks log in at just over an hour but what an explosive gig it was with Moriyama (d), Toshihiko Inoue (ts), Hideaki Mochizuki (b) and Fumio Itabashi (p); Itabashi composed all the tracks apart from the standard, 'Hush-A-Bye'.

Needless to say that all these guys can play.  Moriyama has had albums released where he's played with jazz names as varied as Mal Waldron, Takehiro Honda and Peter Brötzmann so there's nothing he can't do style wise.

Appropriately in the week of the longest day, the album opens with 'Sunrise' which put some extra power post-bop into your solar panels; it's heavier that a Stonehedge stone circle: Itabashi drops some Keith Jarrett as Inoue goes off planet with some modal spiritualism.  It's fantastic and it's somewhat of a relief after 14 minutes there is some gentle tones of 'Watarase' which was originally recorded on Moriyama's 1981 album 'Smile' (when he had two sax players) and turned up on a Jazzman Spiritual Jazz compilation a few years ago.   This live version is twice as long and like a Wayne Shorter in Japan lotus blossom.

But what can you say about the 20 minutes masterpiece that is 'Exchange'?  Moriyama's got an mixture of Art Blakey swing/Bill Ward villain/Kyoto Drum Ensemble with a touch of Chick Corea's 'Spain' thrown in, all on speed at a free-style jazzdance; it'd play it in the dance tent.

Even 'Hush-A-Bye' which I'd normally not bother with is given a deeper depth as there's an urgent swing going on for 10 minutes as they all take a bow.

This release which is somewhat encapsulated with the cover photograph; Takeo and drums that are half in light and half dark with a bit of a facial grimace on just before he's about to explode which is a bit like the track they finish off with, 'Good bye'.  And whilst we're never going to see December 1990 again, we can all party like it's 1991 with this massive re-issue.


Artist: Takeo Moriyama

Title: Contrast

Release date: 23rd June, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE671 LP  Order from Bandcamp 


Monday 19 June 2023

Now, '43' might not have the numerical significance as a '42' but in the Ramrock Red Record's universe, Cat. No RRR043 can only mean one thing, Suddenly WOW!'s 'Plastic Life EP' - the North Street West Remixes!

Can you believe it's been a week since the original came out and was instantly the YATM  'Single Of The Week'?

Talk about a "modern discofied take on 80s pop sensations Haircut 100, Orange Juice, Au Pairs with Beggar & Co. horns and a bit of AWB with some 'Holiday', I'd have a meltdown on the beach".

For the NSW remix, we're told, "You've already had the first 'Plastic Life' EP barge its way into your ears last week. Not content with filling your life with molecules of joy, the North Street West Crew marinate 'Plastic Life' in classic New Jersey house vibes to make you want to dance like no-one is lookin"

Needless to say, this is what we're dancin' to this week.  And if you don't know Suddenly WOW!, time to check out their 'Little Things' (see review HERE).

Artist: Suddenly WOW!

Title: Plastic Life EP (North Street West Remixes) 

Release date: 19th June, 2023 - Original 12th June, 2023

Label: Ramrock Red Records

Cat. No: RRR042

Saturday 17 June 2023

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Is this some sort of Gilles Peterson radio program tribute via the Met Office? No, it's the latest album on None More Records.

But don't expect this to sound anything like his label mates Monzanto Sound (see reveiw HERE) as this eight track album is based on the idea of the moon vs. oceans interaction forming an ambience of sound so there's quite a bit of looping and field recording mixed in.

It can be a bit hypnotic/shoegaze at times ('Spring Tides', 'Overcast') and beautiful at others, 'Neap Gloom' and 'Gameplan B' (this one more Gamelan/Paris left bank).

The single, 'In Syzygy' is a mini ambient balaeric rain shower built on field recording loops and a some synthy/guitar dreamscapes that align all his solar ducks - get those Flying Mojito Bros. on speed dial for a remix.  

'Longshore Drift' is the 'folk song' that's harks back to Tuung (who remembers them? As featured on the compilation,'Where The Sea Meets The Sky - see review HERE).

If you're after something close to original Fripp/Eno ('Walrus') or the series of Eno's 'Music For', this is pretty close and worthy of repeated listens.

Artist: Joe Woodham

Title: Worldwide Weather

Release date: 16th June, 2023

Label: None More Records

Cat. No: -

Format: Digital

Friday 16 June 2023

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This is summer fun all over and 'Techtube' goes more 80s soul-funk-house with the benefit of a remix by Tommy ‘Turbojazz’ Garofalo and Sean McCabe.

The duo started working together in 2000 and are regularly spotted on tracklistings along with other recent releases like Thakzin & Ray T's 'Don’t Let Me See' (see review HERE) and Risk Assessment's 'It’s Not Right But It’s Okay' 
featuring Monica Blaire (see review HERE).

The 'Techtube' remixes comes in five versions, the original, a radio edit, instrumental, a reprise and bonus beats.
I'd normally go for the instrumental (which seems to have added disco-funk in it) but the lead vocals by 50% of Technoir, Jennifer Villa (the other 50% is Alexandros Finizio) feels particularly addictive.

Second release this month after the 'Don't Let Me See' Jimpster Remixes (see review HERE) so definitely ones to follow this year. 

Artist: Technoir

Title:  Techtube (Turbojazz & Sean McCabe Remixes)

Release date: 16th June, 2023 

Label: Foliage Records

Cat. No: FN093

Format: Bandcamp / Digital

Thursday 15 June 2023

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This was originally released in 1976 by J&F Quintet on a little know Swiss label, Delta Production.   The group were clearly into Miles' fusion in a deep way so why isn't this better known with original copies demanding £350 prices!

Well, it is a bit of a mystery but thankfully IF... Music's Jean-Claude Thompson has a finger on this type of thing in Europe (check out his 'If Music Pressents You Need This' series  which has compilations covering labels like Enja Records, Black Saint & Soul Note and more) and he's managed to get this LP re-issued from the original master tapes!

The band, Stefan Schneller, Donat Beer and Toni Schädler, with the addition of drummers Gieri Bievi and Peter 'Huck' Hug and bassist Andri A Piorta, split up after this release; presumably Jazz-funk experimental mixed with trad. Swiss-Romansh isn't going to pay the mortgage.

Well, I say that now, but trad vocal/flute and jazz-funk-synth-out, 'White Arena' should have as it's got Can meets Jazzdance nonsense all over it; where's the 12" mix?

If you need "tips for tourist in Switzerland", this is the album you need and you jazz nuts will got for the longer tracks, like the 'Basilio' and the killer, 'Shagalak' plus the flute gang favourite, 'Sint-Flute'.

I'm guessing this won't be around for long so pre-order your copy now to avoid disappointment.

Artist: J&F Quintet 

Title: Contrast

Release date: 16th June, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE728 LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

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There's many types of Pigeon; Wood, Stool, Spatchcock, English, Racing, etc...but the best is signed to Soundway Records and the new EP is called, 'Backslider'.

The band is lead by Guinean singer Falle Nioke with Graham Godfrey (d), Steve Pringle (keyboards), Tom Dream (gtr) and Josh Ludlow (b).

Following on from the success of the previous EP 'Yagana' that came out last year and their mix of Afro-disco, no wave, grunge, jazz got them fans like BBC 6 Music's Tom Ravenscroft, Huey Morgan and Gilles Peterson.

This year they added some more space funk into the mix and the title track, 'Bacslider' is an instant hit with Mutant Disco-fication that it could have been an Ze out-take with Cymande vs Material: this is track of the month [is the that Pigeon entering the loft at the end?]

But don't over look 'Mama Yo Mama Yo', 'Ikanabore', 'Trust' and the three versions of 'Infinity' (Extended, Radio Edit, Josh's Extended Disco Mix).  They're all brilliant but for my festival gigs this year it will be Josh's never ending 'Infinity' for me as it's  got a the energy of early Bloc Party with a psych/rave/dance mindset - this extended version is nearly 12 minutes long: Josh Ludlow, the new Prins Thomas?

And talking of festivals/dance tents, Pigeon's festive appearances this year include Glastonbury, Latitude and The Great Escape so if you're lucky enough to be at any of these events, make Pigeon your 'must see' experience.

.Artist: Pigeon

Title:  Backslider EP

Release date: 16th June, 2023

Label : Soundway Records

Catalog Number : 12" / Digital / Bandcamp

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When you're getting the spotlight from Nick Grimshaw (his ‘track of the week’ on BBC Radio 1 at the time) to Jamz Supernova (BBC1Xtra) to JazzFM's playlists you must have lots to offer.

And West London based Kyra certainly has from her singing and songwriting.  There's that soul and jazz mix going on Nina Simone/Amy Winehouse/Terri Walker/Minnie Riperton and many more.

She seems totally 'arrived' on this seven track EP; especially on 'Blossom Spring' and 'Sweet Mahongany' (yes, there's Minnie Ripperton going on) and as this project is backed by PRS Women Make Music Foundation, she has used as many females as she can on this release; even the string arrangements were composted by an all female orchestra - check 'Need More Time Pt.2'.

The collabs with Blue Lab Beats will get attention like the jazzy-jam 'Excellent' but there's going to be more growth here than with a whole series of Gardeners' World; just beautiful.

Artist: Kyra

Title: As Things Grow EP

Release date: 16th June, 2023 

Label: Other Projects

Cat. No: SGLR068

Format: Spotify / Digital