What’s A Girl To Do
For those fans of Dixon and the 5am brigade, here’s an interesting cover of Fatima Yamaha’s beautiful ‘What’s A Girl To Do’. It's produced by the under-the-radar duo of Group Listening, who were spotted last year with their ‘Clarinet & Piano — Selected Works’ LP, which included covers of ambient legends Eno, Roedelius and Arthur Russell. This release follows in similar thematic fashion; fleshed out and humanised in a laid-back but mildly euphoric way, ‘What’s A Girl To Do’ stands up to the original, and is backed by a doff of the cap to the Durutti Column on ‘Messidor/Danny’.
We’ve always been fans of Cowley's output, from his early days with The Brand New Heavies to Zero 7, to his self-produced, award-winning jazz albums. Here's something new for Cowley, it would seem, as he incorporates technology and the joys of electronics into this reflective set. Coming off with a subtle urgency, ‘Beat Infinitum’ has a definite film quality, especially on tracks like the beautifully subdued ‘Joan’. Investigate.
Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen
There is definitely something unique about the sound of Finnish jazz that sets it apart from its European counterparts. It’s not simply in the production or the arrangement either; it’s a kind of rawness, urgency and energy that makes it clearly identifiable. If you’re not sure what the hell we are waffling on about, just check the latest single from these Finish stalwarts. Fascinating, tempo-shifting, shapeshifting jazz for the 21st century and beyond.
'Fading Cosmos '
Full Time Hobby
Borne out of the same sessions that created last year's ‘Somnium’ album, this EP reveals another slightly different side of Gardner’s productions. While still on the same synth-focused, proggy musical trajectory as the aforementioned, ‘Fading Cosmos’ favours a slightly more laid-back, ethereal approach, with eight minutes of dreamlike, cosmic pop exploring the issue of light pollution, the increasing invisibility of our solar system and the consequent effect on the wider cosmos. Deep man, deep.
The Daptone Family
'Hey Brother/Soul Fugue'
Our love of Daptone and its wider musical family has been well documented on these pages. As modern soul/funk/Rock/Psych/Afro labels go, it’s pretty much untouchable. It’s entirely fitting then that for their 100th 45, they should have such a monstrous release! The A side is wonderful, star-studded soul cut, but it’s actually the B-side that absolutely kills it. An epic brass extravaganza featuring, amongst others, The Dap-Kings, Antibalas, The Budos Band, Menahan Street Band, and the Daktaris. Enough said!
'Icy Roads '
British jazz is certainly reaching boiling point at the moment, with more artists, collabs and band crossovers than you can shake a stick at. Armon-Jones is no exception, as he brings KwAkE bAsS on drums and KOROROKO bass player Mutale Chashi into the fold. Spatial sonics ensue, with plenty of sweeping pads and Jones on Rhodes, guiding this London-centric trio into a place of mellow jazz ecstasy.
The whole krautrock/kosmische thing is a well-trodden and documented path. Many try, many fail, but most come up somewhere in-between, with well-meaning and worthy, but ultimately uninspired, plagiarised attempts. Craven Faults, however, are a welcome and wonderful distraction — an entirely different, post-industrial proposition, in fact. Born and nurtured somewhere within the pioneering world of synth visionaries Stockhausen, Radiophonic Workshop, John Carpenter and The San Francisco Tape Music Centre, this is music of pure quality.
'Talking Drum '
Super slo-mo rhythms from London, who has been making waves in the Big Smoke with his falsetto-tinged take on all things downbeat and soulful. Clocking in with a handsome 2.5 million views on the YouTube channel Colours, as well as making waves in tastemaker circles, London has a unique, haunting style that takes influences from gospel but has its roots firmly entrenched in an altogether more future urban sound. Ice cool.