Friday 29 September 2023

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Craig Charles' favourite track of the new album, 'Adjust Like Dat' has just got a single release on Ramrock Red Records as vocal and instrumental versions.

Can we possibly say how good the album is, 'Proxima Ebony' (see review HERE) but if Mr Charles plays any track on BBC 6 Music's flagship 'Funk & Soul' show 3 (count 'em) weeks in a row, you know it's a tune.  And even more gratifing that's it's Joseph's tribute to his Dad, Francis Ukachukwu Malik (hence the tradition Nigerian dress in Igbo tribal colours.

And for those with a ear for this kinda of thing, you might reckonise Darren Morris' backing track is a cover of Norman 'The Harris Machine' Harris' 'In Good Faith' that got a wider audience when the 1980 track turned up on Harmless' compilation, 'Jazzy Vibes - Soulful Jazz Licks From The 70s'. 

Getting back to Mr. Malik's track, did someone say Jo Wallace is on back vocals?  And what's Joseph's Bill Wither's story anyway?

Artist: Joseph Malik 

Title: Adjust Like Dat 

Release date: 29th September, 2023

Label: Ramrock Red

Cat. No: RRR053

Format: Bandcamp / Digital

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Two Things Of Gold are a mother and son duo o Francesca Sortino and Diego Lombardo and it's more than a big pot from Rome.

In a departure from the straight jazz that A.MA Records are known for (like Enrico Bracco, Antonio Trinchero, Enrico Le NociPippo D'Ambrosio, Opus Trio, Davide Peluso Quartet  (not withstanding the remixes by Chicago's Elbert Phillips), Two Things Of Gold (let's say TTOG) are on the jazz end of beats n' Baleraics which maintains through this 14 track album.

You get a little bit of rap ('FIne', 'Where Flamingos Fly', 'You Go To My Head') but it's the whole vibe of "summer gentleness" that the band perfectly achieve; being Francesca (Vocals), Diego (beat and clarinet) with Roberto Rossi (horns), Alessandro Maiorino (bass), Alberto Parmegiani (guitar), Mauro Beggio (drums) and at times featuring Franco Piana (flugelhorn), Francesco Lento (trumpet), Sofia Ara (flute), Fabio Tullio (saxophone) and Pierpaolo Bisogno (vibraphone; 'Con Alma' and 'Wind Blows' are great!).

Francesco steals the show a couple of times, notably 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' and 'Malachi',  but the single 'Rooms To Go' (and the next one, 'Wind Blows'?) are natural highlights (as is the afro-jazz centric 'Noru') and together with the 'band' tracks, like 'Nowadays', 'Con Alma', 'Lover' and 'Much Love To Earthward' work the best; perhaps that should be 'jazz-beat band' as, dare I say, Two Things Of Gold are a little Futuristica Music at times (wonder what Peter Franks would say about that?), a little bit early Cinematic Orchestra and equally, that other great Italian label that has produced such fantastic, nu-jazz, soul, funk, jazz, downtemp, Afro, Latin and more, Schema Records. 

That said, the remix potential for a Reel People style 'Soulful Deep & Dope Ibiza' compilation is massive, (are you ready Elbert?) but for now, lets enjoy Two Things Of Gold as it is - trust me, it sounds better on every listen.

And it's been a really strong week for this kinda of laid-back soul-jazz beats; the more 'world' album by Eric Hilton with Natalia Clavier, 'Corazón Kintsugi' also being released (see review HERE) so there's only one thing to do, get both!

Artist: Two Things Of Gold 

Title: Two Things Of Gold 

Release date: 29th September, 2023

Label : A.MA Reforged / A.MA Records

Catalog Number : CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

Artist: Two Things Of Gold

Title: Two Things Of Gold

Release date: 29th September, 2023

Label : A.MA Reforged / A.MA Records

Catalog Number : CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

Posted by Gerry Hectic |

Fans of the disco new wave that found favour in New York with Talking Heads a few decades ago will hear echos in this killer track from KAYYAK called, 'Mönchhof Amour'.

As a Swiss label, rumpelmusig (no capital 'R') got a winner with the last KAYYAK single 'Let Love Find Itself' (as featured on last month's Colour & Pitch Session) and split with the equally wild 'Dancing In The Dark' by Kalabrese who happens to be head honcho, "producer, DJ, club owner and village romantic" at the label.

Whilst that track had more Europe in it ('Disco to Disco' perhaps, Xenia Lasareva adds additional vocal to 'Mönchhof Amour' asking us about going to Italy.  

Well if it's the country or Little Italy, we'll be taking it to the dancefloor (the extended 8 minute version as opposed to the radio edit) and the next big hit.

Artist: KAYYAK feat. Xenia Lasareva

Title: Mönchhof Amour   

Release date: 29th September, 2023

Label : rumpelmusig

Catalog Number : RUMP011 Digital / Bandcamp 

Thursday 28 September 2023

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Eric Hilton has been on the boarders of house for nearly 30 years as half of the seminal Theivery Corporation and together with singer Natalia Clavier, the new release on the Montserrat House label, 'Corazón Kintsugi' shows how to use all that experience to craft something special.

Those house boarders have long been on the trip-hoppy jazz side, like the tone set by the title track 'Corazón Kintsugi' featuring the dreamy vocals of Argentinian singer-songwriter Natalia Clabier (who you may recall on the "Theives" album 'Saudade', one of 12 albums that they made over the years).

If you need a more of a Latin jazz-funk dancefloor vibe, 'Nene', 'Tres Sesenta' and 'Cada Vez' are the ones with a groovy bassline that nealy steals Natalia's performance. 

Hilton (as Theivery Corp.) was so influencial (as masters of the trip/dub/downtempo/future jazz genre and check their many remixes including our favourites Rockers HiFi) and with tracks like 'Amor Astral' and 'Divagar' he's lost none of the cross-over elegance (and he plays nearly all the instruments on the album) plus Clavier's Spanish/Portuguese vocals perfectly fit the Latin-world trip vibe.

Fans of Antiques Roadshow to Flog It! will know that Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold/silver/platinum dusted lacquer.  And being Japanese, it almost goes without saying that there's a philosophy at the heart of the process, the breakage and repair beng the history of the object rather than something you should attermpt to hide.  And Corazón is Spanish for heart - did you see what they did there?

Clearly, there's nowt broken or in need of repair on these nine tracks: lets dub out with 'Luna'.

Artist: Eric Hilton with Natalia Clavier 

Title: Corazón Kintsugi

Release date: 29th September, 2023

Label : Montserrat House
Catalog Number : MH026 Digital / Bandcamp 

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Is any free jazz suite an easy listen?  Let's hope the answer to that one is a 'NO' in a traditional sense of "easy" but I found this four track LP an easy listen in that it was mezmorizing (as the cover), intriging, and fun (check out the 'score' video below).

With a group consisting of Darius Jones (alto saxophone, composer), Gerald Cleaver (drums), James Meger (bass), Jesse Zubot (violin), Josh Zubot (violin) and Peggy Lee (cello) the 'unusual' set-up of 'jazz' trio and strings certainly adds a certain Nonclassical vibe to proceedings.

Certainly would be an interesting mix if there was a Darius Jones approach to avant garde gods Ayler/Coleman and the like, even last weeks' 'The Betrayal' by ENEMY (see review HERE).

And for any doubters, Free-Jazz is not cheap jazz, the musicians here are excellent; indeed to quote the press release, it's an "earthy blend of compositional and sacred music where sound becomes visual, emotional, and visceral"!

Artist: Darius Jones
Title: fLuXkit Vancouver (i̶t̶s̶ suite but sacred) 
Release date: 29th September, 2023
Label : We Jazz Records
Catalog Number : WJLP054 / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

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"[it's] shaping up to be the year of the Touareg takeover. Fortunately the appetite for the heavy, bluesy, desert rock made famous by Tinariwen is matched by the supply of fine bands".*

This is what we were saying in 2006 and whilst Tinariwen remain the most well known of the desert blues World/WOMAD discoveries (indeed you'll probably have spotted that they've got a new album just out, 'Amatssou'] for "supply", here's Idrissa Soumaoro on a longer awaited and very rare album during the past 20 years from Idrissa Soumaoro.

Composer, singer, guitarist and master of the kamalen n’goni he sings in French, Bambara and English and throughout the album it's a awash with distinctly West African stringed instruments, percussion with flute and balafon and a very 60s sounding organ; I'd like to think that if the Small Faces ever chilled out in the Desert, they'd produce such a masterpiece as 'Diré'.

For the single, 'Sababou' I'm still love the organ on this, like a Brian Auger goes to Mali; Malian Mod? Beautifully sung, it's lovely throughout with highlights like 'Don't Worry' and 'N'den tedi'.  There's even a bit of a jazz dance percussion on 'Yélé', brilliant stuff.

The mainstream press (such as MOJO, Uncut, Songlines, The Guardian and the like) will be championing this album (quite rightly) as it's a 10 track love song for 'Diré', a town where he met his wife: I'm in love with 'Diré' (the album) too!

Artist: Idrissa Soumaoro

Title: Diré 

Release date: 22nd September, 2023

Label : Mieruba

Catalog Number : -

Format: LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

*FLY Global Music - El Tanbura - 'Between The Desert And The Sea' Review: 06 October 2006 (see HERE)

Monday 25 September 2023

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Fans of the experimental/electronic/ambient jazz of GODTET (and indeed La Sape Records) know that they are partial to a bit of a '+' experiment but this is the first time it's been recorded as a live album and with the addition of Australian pianist Noval Manojlovic and a string quartet.

It's was apparently Noval's idea of the 'classical' strings and it really work as an experimental (lets hope Godriguez/they are all best buds now as we definitely want more of this.  

Love the faint 'Love Supreme' vs shoegaze vs. heavy percussion of 'Lilt' and you can't blame 'em if sometimes it slips in the 70s prog sphere of say a Camel ('Nautical') but not a Gentle Giant.  Jazz funkers, it's  'Broadening'.

This is GODTET's fifth album and a couple of years ago I said, "Ambient jazz club types that fall in the Cinematic Orchestra/Portico Quartet envelope with be onto GODTET's trio of tracks, Meditation I, II & III as a beautiful landscape of outer spatial sounds".

'+Strings' was performed in a former women's prison at VIVID Festival in Sydney 2022 and this recording has certainly captured an 'atmospheric' that's mezmorising in just an audio format; check the appropriately named 'Texture'. 

You don't have to be Jez Nelson to love this and many thanks to the label for making this event more widely available.

Artist: GODTET feat. Novak Manojlovic 

Title: +Strings

Release date: 22nd September, 2023

Label La Sape Records

Format/Cat. No. : Digital / Bandcamp  SAPE026

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Darren Price may not be the biggest name in club music but he had a hand in one of the biggest tracks in 'Born Slippy', this time, with F*CLR Music, if looks as if he's more than just touching a huge house hit as it's 'The Real House Music EP'.

Four tracks, with their own flavour of 'The Real House Music' message, 'Main' (obviously the main room jazz fusion chant), 'Warehouse' (a bit less defined). 'Cliffhanger' (on the edge of your seat) and the mind messin' 'Disco'.

Close to half an hour of house that'll move dancefloors for the rest of time because it's "All about the music, the real House Music".  

We've heard this sort of  repetitive chant that spans ambient, spiritural jazz, funk, soul all the to The Fall's classic take on 'Repetition' because it works; where's Frankie Knuckles; did someone say Kevin Saunderson?

A bit late for this month's Colour & Pitch Sessions but we'll definitely be on this one in all its form and reinforces F*CLR's history of being ahead of the curve; and they're at it again once more.

PS. it's also a good idea to check out his Soundcloud page: Stream Darren Price music.

Artist: Darren Price

Title: The Real House Music EP 

Release date: 25th September, 2023

Label: F*CLR Music

Cat. No: FCLR027

Format: Bandcamp / Digital

Friday 22 September 2023

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When you've got Tim Goldsworthy (DFA, UNKLE, Hercules & Love Affair) and Ramrock's Jo Wallace after a Bristolian living in New Zealand, you can be sure that they're sniffing out some super talent.

Over the last 20 years, New Zealand has proved to be more than just an musical outpost that produced Split Enz/Crowed House/Finn Brothers and Charles Tumahai (BeBop Deluxe) as the likes of Fat Freddy's Drop/Joe Dukie and Julien Dyne have seen them have album releases on cult labels in the UK and Europe.

And now it's Joe Probert's turn as his unique soul/funk/pop is right up Ramrock's as 'No Hot Fever' gets psych/funked-out, 'Toe The Line' that's classic Motown soul soaked vocal/organ (you get me, Mrs Ramrock?) and 'Tired Of Waiting' which is my pick of the three; that said, I can see all three getting played on all the great radio stations throughout the day.

Who know's why it's call The Nose (why not 'The Toe'?) but if you're a fan of Joseph Malik's new album, 'Proxima Ebony' (see review HERE), here's another must have and it's frightening to think how good these guys are and indeed, what's to come!

Did someone say, DJ Gerry Hectic was on the undercard to Tim Goldsworthy in Bournemouth many moons ago?  I thought not.

Artist: Joe Probert

Title: The Nose EP

Release date: 22nd September, 2023

Label: Ramrock Red Records

Cat. No: RRR052

Format: Bandcamp / Digital

How good is Nick Marks?  If he was a 100m athlete, he'd break the current world record by at least 4 seconds: one for every track on this EP!

We've loved everything we've heard as singles previously, 'Dorongo', 'Paradiso' (love the rock guitar solo at the end, who'd have thought it'd fit in so well) and 'Ride The Dragon'.

I've said before that is like a 'modern' interpretation of jazz-funk OST as Marks gets his 70s 'Thundercat' on with the Metropole Orkest for 'Enter the Dragon' (Lalo Schifrin) meets 'Death Wish' (Herbie Hancock).

So, you can tell from the titles that there's a big cinematic influence as there is with the new track, 'Prelude/Asrc Of Light'. You just know 'Prelude' is going to be the atmospheric tension before the opening 'Arc Of Light' orchestral jazz sunshower of sound.

It's like Miguel Atwood-Ferguson has teamed up with Lalo Schifrin, Quincey Jones and Eumir Deodato in an explosion of cinematic jazz funk disco goodness with a hint of Dilla.  

This guy's is far to busy for remix work and it's more than evident Mr Nick Marks is a cool dude that's as much Cinematic Chromatics as he is Snarky Puppy. People: this is Vol 1 and it's a set of 3! 

On your Marks, [Nick] you might say?

PS. The artwork by rtistry and vision. French artist matches the briliane of the music.

PPS. Thanks to the Jazz Chill Blog for quoting, “a twisted jazz fusion of orchestrated funk bruk electronica - dare I say, of Herbie Hancock proportions” (Gerry Hectic, You And The Music)

Artist: Nick Marks

Title: Cinematic Chromatics Vol.1 

Release date: 22nd September, 2023


Cat. No: -

Format: Digital

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Whether it's big or small, We Jazz are not the enemy and there's no beytrayal going on whatsoever.

The reason I mention this is because they've gone from the magnificently and large 17 member Gard Nilssen's Supersonic Orchestra album release of last week, to the release of a trio, Enemy, that's made up of fantastic modern jazz exponents.  We'll known pianist Kit Downes, the magnificent Petter Eldh and drummer James Maddren.

I've said before on the single, 'Hollywood Bypass' that they make a very powerful trio; "... bypass Hollywood, straight to Frith Street/5 Corners" but even I was taken aback by the other 11 tracks.

Kit was once a member of the hard hitting "new London jazz revolution" group Empirical and he's no less powerful or inventive in ENEMY and he's know/played with Maddren for many years.  'Sun' is hot and manic, Croydon is represented by 'Croydon Shuffle' and 'Croydon Smash' - the later being the opening tease of a track; shame it's just shy of 2 mins long but the rest of the album makes up for it. 

Recorded in a day(!), this is their third album as a group (their debut on We Jazz) and even though there's no hint of the previous association with ECM trademark sound (the label of the previous albums) you're going to find that fans are already in the major jazz press and radio stations; consider this is more of a transfer than a betrayal.

PS. Petter Eldh plays the bass on Gard Nilssen's Supersonic Orchestra album 'Family' (see review HERE) so there's another reason to get both albums.

PPS. Apparently availabe in bring pink vinyl version.

Artist: ENEMY

Title: The Betrayal 

Release date: 22nd September, 2023

Label : We Jazz Records

Catalog Number : LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

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Sweden's Daniel Ögren (Swedish guitarist, composer, engineer and producer) was actually born in the late 80s so what's 'Fastingen 92' all about?

Well, the cover looks like Jan Akkerman might look as a young man in a studio of today and that's a bit of a clue as Akkerman is equally adept at jazz, funk and rock, Ögren beguiles us with a range of styles that sound a little synth pop, a little South American folk, Scandinavian folk, OST and a little ambient/Balearic too [Ed. not sure that we can have 'Scando-Balearic']. 

'Idag' is the "obvious" crossover track, but to where - 60s pop or Scando-Young Marble Giants(?)  It's definitely a grower and much the better for the inclusion of a bonus track, 'April' that's ideal for radio plays next spring (great pysch-ish climax). Then, not long 'til 'October (For Lo)', another dreamy won, and if you're not fed up of me mention Belgium's hero Remco Evenepoel at every desparate opportunity, previous Belgium legend get a mention on 'Maj (For TinTin)'; a bit more instrumental post-Joy Div that one.

It's been quite a year for Mr Bongo Records already and this is about as far as you can get from thier last release, Ana Frango Elétrico's 'Electric Fish' (see review HERE) or even fellow Swede (and mate), Sven Wunder (see review HERE).

This album's was original release in limited to 100 copies in 2020 version whilst this version of 'Fastingen 92' comes in both magenta and black vinyl versions, CD and download.

Artist: Daniel Ögren

Title: Fastingen 92 

Release date: 22nd September, 2023

Label : Mr Bongo

Catalog Number : MRBLP277

Format :  Vinyl / Digital / Bandcamp

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Do we love a mid-week remix? We certainly do when South Beach Recycling meets up with Craig Smith for a journey into the outer-reaches of Theo Parrish's excelsior space travel disco ball service.

South Beach Recycling (let's call 'em SBR) released one of our favourite albums of the year with 'Obsessive Compulsive Disco' (also on Atjazz Record Company - see review HERE) and this remix with the tolling bell of Whitby (or should that be Portland Bill) is so mesmerizing.  Throw in some disco moves and it's the perfect single for this time of year.

So there's the remix and the original version and you'll love 'em both whether you're in Detroit or Derby.

Artist: South Beach Recycling 

Title: C Dog's Wish (Craig Smith's Lightyears Dub) 

Release date: 19th September, 2022

Label: Atjazz Record Company

Catalog Number: Digital / Bandcamp


Sunday 17 September 2023

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We are told that this is this the lastest in, "Ennio Morricone vs The Clash spaghetti western reggae....": you'll have to give us some space to let that sink in! 

If you're a little worn on the Clash's 'Bankrobber'/'Dub' and after a bit more rockabilly as in Brian Setzer (he's got a new album out too, 'The Devil Always Collects') with the Camden Cat (Daniel Jeanrenaud) and the spirit of Joe Meek, here's a reviver with a sting in the tail.

That said, you've got to watch those pinchers at the front as they've got a vocal version and an instrumental double punch.

The only thing this is missing is a full string orchestra OST version and a full on dub but that apart, this is another winner from the Ramrock Red team.

Artist: Scorpio Leisure

Title: Give Us Some Space EP

Release date: 18th September, 2023

Label: Ramrock Red Records

Cat. No: RRR051

Format: Bandcamp / Digital

Saturday 16 September 2023

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On the face of it, Heavenly Sweetness/Pura Vida having a album led by a Franco-Swiss saxophonist Léon Phal might seem a little bit out of their comfort zone; but this ten track debut on the lable picks up from his last with the benefit of some label mates.

K.O.G. always sounds good but he's alongside Léon Phal's as guest on 'Stress Killer' - great lyrics for all of France and the rest of the world - jazzy hip-hop is here! For more K.O.G, there's 'Zone 6 Remixed EP (see review HERE).

On 'Something Inside' the band; Arthur Alard (Drums), Rémi Bouyssière (Double Bass), Gauthier Toux (Keyboards) and Zacharie Ksyk (Trumpet) is joined by Cameroonian born/LA based Lorine Chia on vocals.

The other tracks do have a mix of club and jazz club inter-meshed from a cover of 'Naima', the in your face, 'Fuck Yeah' and the title track which is a quirky bopper.

If you're new to the label, this is different but now we know that jazz is hip (after Ezra Collective have won the Mercury Prize this year), this is not as leftfield as it once was!

Artist: Léon Phal

Title: Stress Killer

Release Date : 15th September, 2023

Catalog Number : -

Label : Heavenly Sweetness

Friday 15 September 2023

Back in 1984, there was probably little interest inside or outside of Japan for what was seen as a jazz-rock album even though the band leader was drummer, Tatsuya Nakamura.

Now, nearly 40 years on, Nakamura's album 'Locus' is latest in the Tony Higgins/Mike Peden curated J-Jazz Masterclass Series to be re-issued on BBE Music.

Originally only four tracks, 'Ballad' and the previously unreleased shorter version of 'Ballad' as a bonus is more reflective of the album artwork than the actual title track that over the 12 minutes wanders from synth/electronic intro to full on Miles fusion rock-off including obligatory drum solo.

At times, you might think this is any of the Miles fusion supergroups especially where Airto Moreira and Chick Corea are present which says much for the group joining Nakamura (drums, percussion); there's Shinobu Fujimoto (trumpet), Jun Fukamachi (keys), Hedeto Kanai (electric bass), Kazumasa Akiyama (electric guitar) with more percussion by Tatsuji Yokoyama and Yuji Sakai.

    'Wow' is more of a showcase for Fukamachi who, in addition to being a jazz-fusion composer, pianist/keyboards was a synthesizer pioneer and played with many of the US leaders in the 70s.

    And talking of the 70s, in '79, Nakamura's debut album 'Where Is The Quarter?' contained a 5 minute track called, '¼ Samba' (with a different line-up) so by the time of the recording of 'Locus' the operandi (you could say) had progressed to '¼ Samba II' which made an re-appearance as the near 12 minute version on the compilation 'J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan (Volume 3)' a couple of years ago.

    And if you do recall, it's monsterously mad sh*t jazz bonkers and needs to be any collection of anyone that loves jazz or J-jazz or even hates jazz; 'Ballard' is a well timed cool down after that!

    Many thanks to Messrs Higgins and Peden for their combined dedication to this series and bringing to the BBE fan club music that would normally be totally unobtainable to us mere mortals.

    My informants tell me that the J-Jazz team have a special announcement coming soon so consider me to be on the case and we'll bring it to you as soon as we can. In the meantime, 'Locus' awaits to thrill and entertain you.

    Artist: Tatsuya Nakamura 

    Title: Locus

    Release date: 15th September, 2023

    Label : BBE Music

    Catalog Number : BBE6 1XLP vinyl / Digital / Bandcamp .

    Thursday 14 September 2023

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    You can see why Sampology is into this as jazz-loop-trip that Sun Ra would be proud of as Charlie Hill releases his 'Yore EP'.. 

    There's so much great music coming out of Brisbane (and New Zealand) as 'Philly' is another great mix of BRUK/World/Jazz-Funk and our favourite, 'Space For Space' as spiritual jazz meets hip-hop vibes that so popular these days.

    And Charlie likes his house too as 'Orleigh Sun' is his 4x4 drives to the classic Carlos Niño/Daedelus/Life Force Trio period and 'Her Four Thorns' is a little bit more experimental.

    'Yemlaad' (Ed. is that a Black Country saying?) is more bass wobble-ish meets Mia Toi Dodd so that's one more for clubs/NTS than say, TWR but there's loads here to keep Charlie HIll in your charts for a while yet.

    Artist: Charlie Hill

    Title: Yore EP 

    Release date: 15th September, 2023

    Label : Middle Name Records

    Catalog Number :  Digital / Bandcamp