Native Dancer-EP Vol. 1
Dele Sosimi-Sanctuary (remix)
The Gray Area and
Fridays, 4pm: www.breaklondon.co.uk
Beat Spacek-Modern Streets
Out of the blue, a very enjoyable diversion was taken on introduction to this five-piece outfit. Reminding of that turn-of-millennium leftfield soul/jazz movement, a full band of bass, guitar, keys, drums and sax; Frida Touray's vocal topping off a fresh fusion of original songs on their five-track EP. 'Love', 'SWB' and 'Until Frida Speaks' will take them to the next level but 'Paris Drive' shows their musical horizons to be even wider as it undulates around a chime-like riff. Out soon. Appreciate? Seek out Tawiah, Fatima, Andreya Triana, early Sonar Kollektiv, Micatone.
Once Fela Kuti's keyboardist, musical director of Egypt 80 and son Femi Kuti's Positive Force, Mr Sosimi releases his debut single and a corresponding remix. A big signing to the delightful and diverse Wah Wah 45s label, Sanctuary reflects the Afrobeat sound of which he played a large part in bringing to the wider world. Tru Thoughts' Titeknots is on remix duties balancing the integrity of the original with a little more edge for dancing feet. Look out for his deep soulful 4/4 take on Harleighblu's 'Love Like This' in 2014 too.
After such a unique solo adventure until this point, notable recordings with his band Spacek and collaborations with none other than the late J Dilla and Mark Pritchard, Steve Spacek comes again under a new moniker. , this is the title cut for his new, eclectic LP, due on Ninja Tune soon. Minimal nu-wave-era programming and a Grace Jones-style, monotone vocal approach to his storytelling, this brings the past into the future. Looking forward to the whole collection.
Age of L.U.N.A.-Six Feet Deep
Coming out of London, this quartet of two rappers, a female vocalist and a producer are set to unleash a piece of no-nonsense, straight-up Hip Hop, with a focus on horn-led instrumentation, soul and lyricism. Already given an open door to BBC Radio 6's playlists, the maturity of their sound and approach goes much beyond an average age of the late teens. The genre is in need of this approach following the shocking alliance of Hip Hop and R'n'B over the last 15 years. A bright future awaits.
On paper, this man should be enjoying well-earned retirement. In reality, he continues to absorb with his untainted rhythms that underpinned the seminal works of the late Fela Kuti. Released half-way through last year, 'Film of Life' brought Mr Allen's good friend and colloborator Damon Albarn back into the fold, also leading on vocals on 'Go Back'. The rhythm is prominent as expected, well led by a powerful horn section. The highlights from a tenth solo LP on Jazz Village Records include, the classic vocal chorus-led 'Ire Omo', 'Koko Dance' while Ewa takes off with piano riffs, vibes and sirens.
Jah Wobble presents PJ Higgins-I Did Bad (EP)
Steve Salvari-Golden Lady
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Out of Stockholm comes this Local Talk, specialising in cerebral house music - not least through this, the best piece of dance of the final month of 2014. Crackazat's original is positive house with substance and some smiling keyboard touches, Hade 94's rework concentrates more on the cymbal effect atop bass but it is AD Bourke, who had a good year on his own productions , providing an alternative kind of atmosphere that appeals beyond house music circles.
Appreciate? Try AD Bourke's 'Prelude'
Crackazat-Somewhere Else EP
What an alliance on this new single released on Berlin's Sonar Kollektiv. Bass, Dub and World music ground-breaker and instigator of the higher-brow post punk movement, Jah Wobble continues his voyage with this laid-back, dubby Trip-Hop feel, topped off with leader PJ Higgins' soulful singing. Wobble's contemporary heavyweight & US counterpart Bill Laswell gives us a remix akin to his work on the Panthalassa remixes of Miles Davis' electric work. Oliver Frost's remixes place more emphasis on the Reggae Rhythm and fuller instrumentation. You need the lot as there is no filler on this pre-cursor to summer.
Stevie's 1973 favourite gets a soulful and original take from one of the pillars of British Afro-Carribean music in the 70's. So pleasing to hear a 'full-fat' interpretation with bass, rhythm guitar, keyboard and a muted trumpet solo all in the mix to support Mr Salvari's jazz-approach to the vocal. A multi-instrumentalist , vocalist & producer whose liaisons range from Chaka Khan to Omar, he is also the man behind music production company Moondance Musik. Out at the end of January.
Appreciate? Try Don E -Spiritual
Tony Allen-Film of Life
Quality soul, funk, 80's boogie and electro are all part of this melting pot and here, Soulparlor reaches 15 years since forming with electronic funk at the nub of 'Smile' and a contemporary list of notable names as guests. Producing such an eclectic collection, these 15 cuts will appeal to different audiences with the more syncopated numbers standing out to these ears. Mainly involving the vocals of Leona Berlin, this liaison gets us underway in 2015 with the soulful Rhodes-supported dance of 'IO', 'Feel the Power' and the very special 'Cruel' finishing off a high-end LP. Out now on Tokyo Dawn Records.