Mo' Kolours-Texture Like Sun
Joseph Deenmamode successfully reapplies for his membership to a select club of avant-garde eclectic soul artists, based on the evidence here. Following on from a much-praised debut last year, this 19-track outing continues to keep the listener enthralled as he travels on the back of some addictive riffs, loops and melodies: a Dub and Hip-Hop influence is subtle but pervasive. Also including unique twists on some of Mr Deenamode's childhood favourites, like 'Golden Brown' (from where the album takes its name) and 'Harvest' (for the World), highlights include 'Tears and Sand'; riding a Moog-like bass, Jamaica meets Electro-Funk on 'Keep Cool' and the percussive backdrop to 'Don't Poison All the Water'. Out in October on One-Handed Music.
The Gray Area and
Fridays, 4pm: www.breaklondon.co.uk
With an ever-growing empire, Omnidisc continue their inaugural year with some gusto. This time they welcome Northern Ireland's Schmutz and three cuts of peak-time force. Title cut of the EP, 'Transgender', contains many contours, veering through fizzing hi-hats into fuller, electro territory. The kick drum breaks it into two when a building arpeggiator takes it up and out. 'Blue Dust' is about getting the best of an analogue drum machine sound and taking it further out, riding a collage of synthesisers. 'Cartographer' goes straight into techno territory, sizzling its way through, withdrawing and coming again on the crest of a sweet synth wave . What might once have been part of the Electro-Funk scene, this is perhaps the most captivating of the three journeys. Out now.
Ephemerals-You'll Never See Me Cry
Jalapeno records have produced a stable of artists who are major players in their fields: from the Nu-Roots Soul of Smoove & Turrell and until recently, the deeper, Soulful House/Funk of Kraak & Smaak. Ephemerals are part of that clique as they lean towards the former on this harbinger for the new collection, a lyrically reflective piece on one man's emotional plight. Wolfgang Valbrun's voice commands over a constant drum roll, joined by a simple, spine-tingling strings and a supporting cast of piano and a low-key horn section. Writer/band leader Hillman Mondegreen, is the man behind the pen, aided by a masterful band. This pre-empts 'Chasin' Ghosts', out in October.
An absolute pleasure to find Somerset's Pete Josef doing breaking waves on a career-high collection. All-embracing soul-filled music, marrying the traditional with the future exeplified on the minimal brilliance of 'Night Gospel', acoustic guitar-led 'Move On' with reverberating rim shots and warm harmonies in support: Mr Josef's vocal stands tall on the back of deep lyrics. Soul-Jazz enters the arena on 'Your Life', redolent of Zara McFarlane's cover of 'Angie La La'. 'The Travelling Song' is near perfection as it works its way around the drum rolls and its sun-kissed Brazilian coda while the title cut gets an acoustic bass launch into an ethereal space. just samples of the eminent songwriting and performance you will find on an album-of-the-year contender. Out this month on Sonar Kollektiv.
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Mr Bird (feat Greg Blackman)-Save Me (mixes)
Mr Porter has a contemporary. His name is Greg Blackman. Returning as the vocalist of composer and multi-instrumentalist Mr Bird for a big slice of Ramsey Lewis-like Soul-Jazz, this is a top-notch collection of mixes. Taking us to an exalted place, Greg's vocals and choruses bring the best out of Mr Bird's melody. You'll find a swinging original, taken further on the Paragons of Goodness remix, embellishing the horn elements. A break-beat-like approach to the Renegades of Jazz mix gives an alternative slant. The Ill advised take is more direct, punching its way through the dancefloor. Honey for the ears, energy for the feet, out soon on BBE Records.
Fat Freddy's Drop-Razor/Wheels
Over ten years since their benchmark release 'Based on a True Story', the mellifluous voice of Joe Dukie leads the Drop with their first double-A-side single from the forthcoming 'Bays'. The pulsating 'Razor' is driven by a 4/4 kick drum as the polysynth sounds build into an apex, common in so many of their previous compositions. 'Wheels' offers even more. Lyrically introspective, a three-note stuttering synth forms the spine as a minimal approach. Expectations are high with the advent of a new Fat Freddy's Drop album. These two are harbingers that another high-end, eclectic collection awaits from New Zealand's finest.
Julio Bashmore (feat. J'Danna)-Simple Love
Bristol native (nomme de guerre) Julio Bashmore has been at the forefront for a while, releasing a slew of singles like 'Batty Knee Dance' and 'Au Sève'. With a first-love of House-related music, Julio delivers a debut LP of eclectic delights, bringing to mind Soulparlor's recent 'Smile' and Miguel Migs' 'Outside the Skyline', as a template of what an electronic collection should contain. Alas, the two colloborations with J'Danna are personal highlights: the above and its Prince-like Linn drums driving forward a very agreeable mood. 'Knockin' Boots' is out on Broadwalk.
The Foreign Exchange-Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey
It is eleven years on since American Phonte and Dutch beatmaker Nicolay produced an attention-grabbing Urban Soul/Hip-Hop long player for the '00's. 'Leave it All Behind' in 2008 focussed more on Phonte the singer, comparable to a Dwele-like vocal on cuts like 'Sweeter Than You'. Fast forward through more high-end R'n'B of the soul kind on 2010's 'Authenticity' then 'Love in Flying Colours', this class has reached its pinnacle on 'Tales...' Ranging from electronic bossas ('Milk & Honey') to a stew of early to mid-'80's Soul/Dance in the form of 'Work it to the Top'; a Drum & Bass/Soul hybrid on the a synth-led 'Disppear' as Phonte and Carlitta Durand seamlessly interact. 'As Fast As You Can' features Carmen Rodgers, epitomising a common thread of positivity via beautiful chord changes and riffs, bridges and choruses with harmonies to rival newcomer Jarrod Lawson. The kind of variety every collection should have.
The SoulJazz Orchestra-Resistance
Producing a unique musical stew of pan-African, Funk, Jazz, Soul, Latin and the broad spectrum of Caribbean music for over 10 years, Canada's finest group continue to extend the boundaries on a 7th collection. 'Resistance' takes the Ottawa collective into the next chapter as they produce their first all-vocal album. Elements of West Africa and the French Caribbean are part of the mix as those eighth note beats, rhythm guitar and punchy horns drive the music forward. 'Kossa Kossa' is full of addictive riffs, winding synth lines, veering towards dirty funk. The future timeless classic is album closer 'It's Gonna Rain' as it leaves a positive message via a gruff, soulful, vocal and chorus however 'As the World Turns' is the one to lead the Souljazz Orchestra to potential commercial success and introduce the unknowing to a catalogue of treasures. Out now on Strut Records.