Sonntag, 31. Januar 2016

V.A. - Praise Poems Volume 3

It seems like it's been almost yesterday that Tramp Records started their "Praise Poems" series and now there is already a third installment to this fabulous collection of rare jazz and soul tracks.

Don't let the picturesque coverart fool - as heartwarming as all of these tunes from the 70s might be, they are far from being unremarkable or just pretty. Just like on its predecessors you will find highly funky rhythms and deep jazz grooves among those carefully constructed vocal melodies. And there's another recurring theme: Especially the opener to this compilation series is always a priceless piece of soul music like Feather's "Be Real" on this one.

Stream some clips on Soundcloud. Release will be in mid February.

Mittwoch, 27. Januar 2016

Shinobi Stalin & Marz Mello - Planet Worth

Another upcoming project featuring Orlando-based rapper Shinobi Stalin: teamed up with producer Marz Mello as the Scumbag Jazz the duo he just dropped a new single called "Planet Worth".

The track is apparently a first taste of things to come in form of a full-length release. Shinobi Stalin's flow  unfolds over a smooth foundation of jazz samples and laid back beats. 

You can get the full stream and free download on Bandcamp.

Sonntag, 24. Januar 2016

Anchorsong - Ceremonial

Not often do you hear an electronic musician making waves with his dynamic live shows. Although Masaaki Yoshida, aka Anchorsong is almost standing still on his MPC 2500 there is something seriously captivating about the way he creates his music.

The name and coverart of his new album "Ceremonial" on Tru Thoughts is a tribute to his inspirations from African music which you can hear on this record. Without stressing how "fresh" and "lively" those African influences might sound it is important to note that the life and dynamic character in this music comes from the way how Anchorsong applies those samples and how he develops his tracks. Yoshida, who is currently residing in London, is really creating an individual style that sounds far more organic than most approaches in the genre. 

Stream "Ceremonial" on Bandcamp.

JOY - Confusion (Video)

As a little teaser for their upcoming album "Ride Along" on Tee Pee records JOY from San Diego released a new video for "Confusion" - a track from their previous album "Under The Spell".

Everything is pointing to the new record being another heavy psych gem like the appearance of guest musicians from Earthless, Radio Moscow and Sacri Monti. So you can probably can expect as much jams and guitar power as in the dynamic psych-explosion of "Confusion".  The new provided visuals are equally bewitching and in classic style as you would expect.

Watch the video below. The new album will be out in late April.

Donnerstag, 21. Januar 2016

The Francis Wolves - Valley Heat (Video)

As a special treat in the aftermath of releasing their debut single "Valley Heat" The Francis Wolves published a nice video featuring graffiti artists DNT and MatchBox Gallery from Bristol.

What we are dealing with here is an 8 piece soul band from Brisbane whose grooves are equally rooted in jazz, psych and afro elements. "Valley Heat" is an impressive demonstration of how good this blend can work. Below you can watch the fancy video with dancers, sprayers and a lot more entertaining things to see. And by the way, "Deep In The Ju Ju" which you can find on the flipside of the vinyl release is an equally great groover. 

Stream and/or download both tracks on Bandcamp.

The Volcanics - Transmission

Late last year Perth's The Volcanics released a splendid rock and roll LP named "Transmission" that just needs to find a way to your speaker. It marks the group's fourth album and features an energetic stripped down rock sound.

On this record you will find ten tracks that are as heavy as they are melodic. The Band's style is rooted in various rock traditions that you might call punk, garage or something entirely different if you will - fact is, that you are dealing with rock solid and well produced tunes full of speed, dynamics and a no-bullshit approach in the right direction.

Get the stream on Bandcamp.

Mittwoch, 20. Januar 2016

Cultiz vs. Le Bon Son 2015

To wrap up the last year France's Cultiz magazine teamed up with their friends Le Bon Son to deliver a series of french rap tracks on two free digital releases.

The number of different artists on this collection of 2x15 tunes is huge - just like the amount of different hip hop vibes on this digital release. The focus though remains on old school approaches with solid beats, vocal samples and talented MCs doing their thing.

Get the full stream and free download for parts one and two on Bandcamp.

Montag, 18. Januar 2016

FLUX - Voyager

There is certainly something about jazz bands whose leader sits on the drums like Thomas Jakoben's FLUX. If you combine this fact with a certain northern jazz tradition you can expect beautiful and fragile melodies on a solid rhythmic foundation as you can hear on the group's latest album "Voyager".

It marks the band's second album and features Ole Visby on saxophone and clarinet, Søren Møller on piano, Michael Møller Porsborg on guitar and Kenneth Dahl Knudsen on bass. The aforementioned melodic parts are recurring on this record and provide the basic structure for Jakobsen's compositions in a very cinematic fashion. Based around this framework you will find carefully constructed parts of improvisation that can feed the tunes some dynamics. From the slow and calm "Long Johns" to the lively "Parajive" you will find different kinds of moods on this record, though the important thing is that they never stay static throughout the songs - they evolve through the free structures.

Stream some clips on Soundcloud.

Freitag, 15. Januar 2016

Gun Outfit - Expansion Pact

On the way to their upcoming EP "Two Way Player" California's steadiest underground rock group Gun Outfit have released "Expansion Pact" - the first single and opener of the record.

The track approaches you in the lightest and most laid back country rock mood that you could wish for. There are still some dynamic elements to this fine tune that doesn't try to be this or that but just comes through your speakers in its floating style as what it is - a nice and smooth piece of rock music.

Get the stream on Soundcloud. Release date will be in March.

Sonntag, 10. Januar 2016

Hez - 19720 EP

It is time for another dig into the catalogue of one of the top labels to reissue 90s rap. Late January will see the release of Hez' 19720 EP on Heavy Jewelz Records.

Producer and MC Hez released a 12" record featuring the track "The Zip" that might be familiar to some old school hip hop heads. This new release includes another five great tunes with laid back vibes and the appearance of some highly talented rappers (see coverart). 

Stream the snippets on Soundcloud.

Samstag, 9. Januar 2016

Bambino dell'Oro - Los Belvos

Putting an interesting spin on traditional jazz approaches Bambino dell'Oro from Oxford are set release their new album "Los Belvos".

The duo consists of Evan McGregor on drums and Niko Brian on piano. Both also appear on various other instruments like Melodica or percussions throughout the album that also features guest musicians on bass and saxophone. The two tracks you can already listen to display mature compositions that make use of complex rhythms as in the cinematic flow of "Spit Splish Splash" or the grooving "Monolithik Asterisk".

Release will be next Week on Art As Catharsis. Get the stream on Bandcamp.

Donnerstag, 7. Januar 2016

Whitey - A Paler Shade Of Whitey

If you like your blues raw and heavy you should try a taste of Whitey's new album "A Paler Shade Of Whitey". It was released early December and features ten tracks by the Boston-based band.

Right from the first track "7 Years Bad Luck" you can witness the groups dirty riff-power and rock solid song structures. Through massive grooves in the following tune "Swagger Lee", uptempo songs like "Back Door Man" or slow and traditional blues vibes in "Tired Of The Blues"- there is no reason why any rock music fan shouldn't like this release.

Get the full stream on Bandcamp.

Dienstag, 5. Januar 2016

Mos Eisley Music's 2015 in Jazz

Pixel - Golden Years

"Golden Years" is the third album release by Pixel from Norway which appeared on Cuneiform Records (like so many other great albums these days). The quartet consists of double bassist and main vocalist Ellen Andrea Wang, drummer Jon Audun Baar, trumpeter Jonas Kilmork Vemøy, and Harald Lassen on saxophone. Just take the opener "Rainforest" which creates a perfect setting for the following tracks; a steady and grooving rhythm accompanied by soothing brass sounds playing beautiful harmonies. It is the composition of the tracks, how the pieces fit together, that make them special, like the following track "People Pleaser" whose vocal chorus could've easily ended up in any cheesy pop song - but the strong and lively jazz foundation transforms this element into something entirely different. Every sound on "Golden Years" sits perfectly in its place but also leaves room for some improvisational passages...more

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth - Epicenter

Though the Bigmouth quintet consists of highly productive and busy musicians it is always a special occasion when bassist Chris Lightcap calls for a new project. The new album "Epicenter" is the group's first release since "Deluxe" in 2010 and features saxophonists Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek, keyboardist Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver on drums. There is a lot to discover on this album and its lively compositions. The opener "Nine South" is already a track that bursts with energy and keyboard passages that might remind the listener of classic progressive rock tunes. The nice and slow vibes on "Arthur Avenue" are something else this group is capable of playing just like the dynamics on the record's title track "Epicenter". Just like the spectacular opening this album ends on a high note in a very intense version of Lou Reed's "All Tomorrow's Parties" with its steady groove and massive interpretation of the main melody...more

The Greg Foat Group - The Dancers At The Edge Of Time

There is a reason why The Greg Foat Group marks some of the few contemporary recordings in the Jazzman Records roster. The previous album "Girl And Robot With Flowers" was already an incredible piece of retrofuturistic jazz-soundscapes. The new record "The Dancers At The Edge Of Time" shows a slightly different approach which is also due to the extravagant recording setting. The preference for analog equipment is accompanied by the special feature of recording in an ancient church at the Isle of Wight. So it's no wonder that a powerful organ is a part of the sound. The tracks are as haunting as the beautiful cover art suggests. A floating character and intense melodies transform every composition into a unique piece of art. But you will also find highly dynamic and classic jazz tune like "Riff for Raff". So this is might not music from outer space but definitely jazz sounds taken to another sphere....more

Nat Birchall - Invocations

Not many artists carry the spiritual jazz tradition in modern times. Nat Birchall rose up to the challenge and released his latest album "Invocations" a few days ago on the brilliant Jazzman Records. It marks his 6th record and contains five highly intense and authentic jazz tunes. The name "Invocations" speaks to the spiritual and soulful approach of the music which finds its colorful predecessors in Roland Kirk, John Coltrane or Albert Ayler. Despite the dynamics in most of the compositions there is a floating character to the vibes that rises and descents in powerful yet minimalistic arrangements...more

Romain Collin - Press Enter

Last year french-born pianist Romain Collin from New York made a tremendous impact on this blog with his trio "The North" - now he is back with a new solo effort "Press Enter" and his debut on ACT Music. On this album you will find another excellent example of Collin's melodic songwriting and his sense for beautiful harmonies. Besides interpretations of tunes by Justin Vernon and Thelonious Monk "Press Enter" consists of eight original compositions. From dramatic tracks like "Event Horizon", to playful notes in "The Kids", an emotional hymn in "San Luis Obispo" or top class modern jazz piano vibes in "Raw, Scorched and Untethered"  - it is all there. There are cinematic vibes to every song. Collin is truly painting landscapes with his music and you don't want to miss the view...more

More 2015 Jazz Music:
Pericopes +1 - These Human Beings
Jakob Sørensen - Bagland
The Kandinsky Effect - Somnambulist
Drifter - Flow
Emil de Waal - Handmade in Denmark
Beppe Di Benedetto 5tet - Another Point Of View
Le Rex - Wild Man
Nick Sanders Trio - You Are A Creature
Zetzum Zorglub

Youtube Playlist:

Montag, 4. Januar 2016

Mos Eisley Music's 2015 in Rap

Memory Man - Broadcast One

Though you could already listen to a lot of Memory Man's works on his Bandcamp he has just recently dropped his debut record "Broadcast One" on Chopped Herring Records - and it's a huge one. The DJ from Texas features some incredible MC's on this album like Edan, Prince Po, Kool Keith, Mr. Lif, Busdriver or Open Mike Eagle. This concept hip hop record was seven years in the making and a few beats and rhymes in it you will know that it was worth it - bringing together old school rap vibes in a modern outfit...more

Adam and Cuth - Formwork

Even if you don't remember this little post I wrote on Adam and Cuth's single "The Look Up" you will surely remember their new LP "Formwork" once you've given it a spin - guaranteed. In case you do recall the name of this London based Hip Hop duo you know that something great is coming your way. Right into the new album you'll hear another example of producer Cuth's excellent stutter beats in "Troubles At The Door". "Formwork" features a great variety of beats and a remarkable use of samples from all kinds of genres. So it's all set for for the rhymes of Adam the rapper who surely knows how to move through Cuth's gritty vibes. The combination of the two provides a fantastic brand of hip hop with old school elements and a massive sound that makes you wanna let your neighbours know about it...more

Jazz Spastiks & Rebels To The Grain - Unkut Fresh 

 It was only a matter of time until this one would appear on the blog. Everybody who listened to the first single of this incredible collaboration knew that something big was coming his way. So "Unkut Fresh" is the complete record that features the classic Jazz Spastiks production and vocals by Rebels to the Grain. Apparently "Tapes" is only a small part of a great collection of rap tracks, instrumentals and old school vibes. Collection is probably not the right word to describe this album because it really sounds like one piece of hip hop where everything is sitting perfectly in its place.  Just hit the play button and enjoy this journey through laid back tunes and everything this genre should be about. Right now it seems like the Jazz Spastiks can really do no wrong...more

Phill Most Chill & Paul Nice - Fabreeze Brothers

The word was out long ago that Paul Nice and Phill Most Chill would collaborate as the Fabreeze Brothers and now the highly anticipated full length album is finally out on AE Productions. When you see the name of rapper Phill Most Chill on a record you basically know that you can't go wrong. He certainly enjoys the company of talented beatmakers like Jorun Bombay, DJ Format or in this case producer Paul Nice from New York who provides the funky framework for this album. Positive Old School hip hop vibes with fresh productions is what the Fabreeze Brothers will bring you. Guest appearances include MC Oxygen in "Golden Crown" and Paten Locke who combines with PMC for one of the most thundering rap tracks out there in "Heroes Of The East"...more

More 2015 Rap Music:
Configa & HaStyle - A Good Combination EP
MG Gost - Waking Walk
Teej and Cuth - Seven Ages
Grizzly Gato - While You Were Sleeping
Adam Cooper - The Free EP
Vursatyl - Crooked Straights
ChillxWill - Almighty
Soulbrotha - The Golden Era Isn't Finished

Youtube Playlist:

Samstag, 2. Januar 2016

Mos Eisley Music's 2015 in Soul

The Meltdown - Better Days EP

The Meltdown is a soul band based around singer Simon Burke and saxophonist Lachlan McLean. Their new record starts with its lead single "Better Days" which might be one of the best soul tracks you've heard in a while. All doubts should be removed the moment when Burke's vocals kick in. Both musicians have roots in the country genre which show here and there though the dominant character of The Meltdown has to be the smooth and brassy old school soul approach. All this combined with some accurate songwriting will get you three great and originals tunes...more

The Milk - Favourite

It's been a while since The Milk from London have released some new music - Now they are back with a stunning new album "Favourite Worry" on Wah Wah 45s which shows the band in a very soulful mood. From the great opener "Wonderlust" that equally moves through solid soul grooves and dramatic brass sections to smooth-as-butter tracks like "Lonelines Has Eyes" and the impressive climax in "Favourite Worry", this album is everything that a soul fan could wish for. It features a blend of Stax-like old school vibes and a healthy dose of contemporary elements which show in the tapestry of the recordings and their production...more

BENJAMIN - Arriving

The Chicago-based label Cherries Records is lately releasing some nice funk and r&b records - and its hard to tell if they are either ignoring modern trends in soul music or if they are the very incarnation of them. The latest release features the BENJAMIN-duo and their new album "Arriving". The first single "Those Memories (Sneak Up On Me)" already dropped earlier this year and was a nice example for the synth-vibes and smooth production that you will find on the full-length record. BENJAMIN's music is certainly a timeless approach that might have been the result of a collaboration between Leroy Hutson and Bootsy Collins. Clothed in a super clean and funky production this is one of the best and unique contemporary soul records you will find out there...more

The Soul Surfers - Soul Rock

You could already tell the quality of The Soul Surfers' sound on their recent single "You Can Run (But You Can't Hide) From My Love" - now there is a full album on the horizon. It is not a surprise that Myron & E are not the only acclaimed guest apperances on the upcoming "Soul Rock!" record. The band from Russia also teamed up with Smoove & Turrel, Shawn Lee, Malcolm Catto, JJ Whitefield and Didier of the Soul Investigators. So there really is a lot to look forward to although for now the aforementioned single remains the only single available for streaming. "Soul Rock!" will be out in late September on Ubiquity... more

More 2015 Soul Music: 
Speedometer & Junior James - No Turning Back
The Soul Motivators - Free To Believe
The Sorcerers - The Sorcerers
T Bird & The Breaks - Harmonizm
Willie West - I'm Still A Man
Dokkerman & The Turkeying Fellas - Illegal Move
Strange Faith - Love & Poverty
The Whole Truth feat. Lucid Paradise

Youtube Playlist: