Toro y Moi-Buffalo
Parker Madicine-Layers (EP)
The Gray Area and
Fridays, 4pm: www.breaklondon.co.uk
Cy Gorman-Carmen (EP)
Chaz Bundick returns under his nom de plume for a 5th LP, hosted by Carpark Records as he continues to extricate himself from the innovator of the good but short-lived 'Chillwave' sound. The second single from the forthcoming 'What For?' harks back to a more '70's blue-eyed soul/funk feel redolent of Steely Dan, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers at their peak. Top songwriting, hooks, riffs and arrangement bodes well as it injects a positive sound ahead of the new LP. Out in April. Appreciate? Look out for side project Les Sins deep house and electronic soul delight, 'Michael'.
Fitting into a sound in which Floating Points has been a leader, Parker Madicine puts out a collection of instrumentals on Brooklyn's Bastard Jazz, which pays homage to the early 80's Boogie sound with a mature, synthesised one very much of the future soul-dance scene. References to Brazilian greats in the opener, 'Mazimuth', warm synths and well-paced phrases, will appeal to Deep House and Nu-jazz fans alike. The Mosaic remix of the same offers a different pace while standout cut, the original of 'Carnival into Space', appeals like a modern reference to Francine McGhee-type jazz-funk. The Inkswell/Temple 80s Dub remix reconstructs and takes it to the left side. The ambling arpeggiator on 'Song of Life' rounds off. A welcome arrival, also through his work on his own label CT-HI.
Melbourne is the host city of Cy Gorman's arrival on Australian radio giant Ennio Styles' label Heard and Felt. on which Mr Gorman presents the first artist-focused LP. Hopscotching between modern styles of electronic music - and away from 4-to-the-floor, Cy's first snapshot from a few years ago 'Cool Change', is added. A top piece of synth-funk while 'Carmen San Diego' sounds like the type of unique, disjointed sound of the Hyperdub label. The variety shifts to jazzier downtempo on the appealing 'Far Away' and 'RDJ' (flipped on the Daniel Crawford vocal remix as an extra) and the fleeting beauty of 'The Wishing Well': vocals by Gian Slater. Antipodean excellence.
Shaun Escoffery-Perfect Love Affair
A very welcome return it was to have the dulcet tones of Mr Escoffery coming out of the airwaves again at the end of 2014. June sees the release of this latest single on Dome Records.
Touching on the UK Garage Scene in 2001 with 'Space Rider' and the now-Soulful House anthem, 'Days Like This'. This is a beautiful track, rich with musical content, including unintrusive but essential strings and harp. Well-produced modern soul music; a perfect setting for the voice of Shaun Escoffery.
Switzerland gets the Detroit treatment. Mr Loko's new three-track single covers all you would hope for in the sphere of Minimal/Tech House. His original builds to some considerable substance before it plateaus into its fade. Intense atmosphere follows on the extended adventure of Carl Craig's second remix (in particular). Luciano's Cadenza Records plays host to his first upcoming solo LP in 6 six years, despite prolific output. Appreciate? Try Mr Craig's '06 remix of Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom's Relevée for a kindred spirit.
Grace Jones-Private Life (Dub Version)
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Jazzanova member Claus Brieler's trip to Caracas in 2012 made possible worldwide awareness of this Venzuelan sound-engineer's work between 1974 & 1983. Also a multi-instrumentalist and composer, his short-lived and Venezuelan-only career gave a tropical, local angle to the funk and disco-era dance of the period. The release of this fourth set of remixes on Berlin's Sonar Kollektiv updates Daniel's music, opening a new route to international audiences, opening with the pulse of Mark E's take on 'Combination' towards the rhythm guitar-led joy on Marcel Vogel & Jacques Renault's edits. Discover Daniel Grau 30 years later.
Daniel Grau-Reworks (Vol. 4)
A new Welsh vocalist and songwriter has emerged with distinction on this, her first official label release. Casi's traditional musical heritage dovetails with the mix of Dubstep original, Distance, as he leaves room for a choral background and Ms Wyn's outstanding vocal. Backed by veteran A&R/DJ Ross Allen and produced by Robbie Ash, perhaps an artist destined to create her own market as Kate Bush once did. Check out her Soundcloud page for more examples of her versatility, straddling the traditional and the electronic.
Chris Blackwell's Compass Point Studios was the source of inspiration in Nassau for this previously unreleased version of Chrissie Hynde's track, much praised on its release on 1998's astute reflective of Grace's career on Island Records. Sly & Robbie are again the masters behind what should be a template for the 'dub version', where even its author acknowledged: 'That's how it's supposed to sound' of the original. At over 8 minutes, it is worth tracking down the double album for this alone as much as for a reflective on a unique contribution to music, still appealing in 2015 as on its arrival.
Mirko Loko-Kolor (EP)
Earth Wind & Fire's Larry Dunn was the writer behind the timeless fusion on this Latin American number. Taken from the second of Caldera's four Capitol Records releases of the same name, the band were definitively pan South American/Caribbean and led by Eduardo Del Barrio. Unassuming yet progressive in its melody, rhythm and harmonies, this arrived within the hinterland of jazz-funk, in which the ratio of quantity and quality was a near match. Look out for a synth and lead-guitar line to aid your escape to those very islands.
Appreciate? Try Jeff Lorber's 'Soft Space'.
Caldera-Sky Islands (single)
Vintage Album track of the week: