Donald Byrd & The Blackbyrds – The Jazz Funk Collection – Robinsongs

Listening to Donald Byrd play Trumpet leaves you with the impression that nothing else in life matters quite as much. In a class of his own, whether composing, playing or even singing there is a quality unique to the individual that celebrates the high and lows of daily existence. Remarkable given the longevity of his career which started out recording for the Transition label in the mid-fifties, before arriving at the evolving styles which decorate this newly available digital compilation which span three discs of equal beauty. The title refers to the genre that appeared by the early 1970’s and Donald Byrd was undoubtedly one of its finest components. Sometimes the Funk was more apparent than Jazz, at others the opposite was the case and for me that’s where all the magic is. The big hitting numbers such as Dominoes, Walking In Rhythm and of course Love Has Come Around are all present, sounding as resonate then as now. You will also discover the likes of Change (Makes You Want Hustle), Happy Music through to the later compositions captured here such as 1982’s Star Trippin’. Plus, there is a fascinating set of sleeve notes by Charles Waring explaining the background in detail to all the genius. Priceless.

Release: April 17

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Laurel Halo – Possessed – The Vinyl Factory

Laurel Halo has made twelve pieces of music to accompany the 2018 film Possessed, which was produced by the artist collective Metahaven and Rob Schröder. Created and crafted by Laurel Halo along with violinist, Galya Bisengalieva and cellist, Oliver Coates who play beautifully evocative accompaniment. The sounds are enough in themselves to guess at what the film is saying to you about privacy, technology and the invasive recordings of our daily actions at play, and equally as part of the act of new capitalism. Consequently you will experience the brutal, grainy strains of the drone fuelled Lead, while the piano coloured Hyphae offers up a contrasting divergence of emotion. That instrument also provides the interlude of Stabat Mater (Excerpt) in quietly exhilarating ways too, as on other moments, leaving the breathy ambience of Masks to suggest an altogether different circumstance to absorb. At many times this is a strange but always compelling listen that may leave you feeling certain about the uncertainty in modern life. Or perhaps not?

Release: April 10

http://www.laurelhalo.com

Possessed (Trailer)
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Pitto – Baila Baila EP – Heist Recordings

You can hear the past echo throughout this. At least the sensibility that music should contain both heart and soul. Following on from his 2018 Heist release the artist kicks things off with the beautifully sequenced, sunshine vibes of Sammie. Whoever the person in question is they’ve inspired truly uplifting music combining simply effective combinations of piano chords, funky percussion and smoky, yearning vocals. The proceeding, Discko gets a little dirtier via sleazy bass, wonky synth lines and the feeling that this sounds better as morning approaches. The twisted notation continues on Baila with its cutting arpeggios referencing the 1980’s in excitable ways. Leaving the Pete Herbert remix of Sammie to rework the original essence care of brighter instrumentation that has the piano transport you straight back to the 1990’s.

Release: April 20

Listen/ buy https://www.juno.co.uk/products/pitto-baila-baila-ep/770033-01/

http://www.justpitto.com

https://www.facebook.com/HeistRecordings

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Jürgen Kirsch – Breathe – Degree Records

Breath is of paramount importance these days and Jürgen Kirsch’s exhalation weaves a landscape of Acid sounds into and out of consciousness. The title track oozes a synthesized funkiness while undulating keys punctuate and voices intone over several minutes of compelling rhythm. A lone remix occurs by Sven Tasnadi who adds crisp handclaps, sirens plus an excitable breakdown to his also notable version.

Release: April 17

buy https://www.beatport.com/release/breathe/2903519

https://www.facebook.com/JuergenKirschArtistpage

https://www.facebook.com/sventasnadi

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James Solace – Setting Sun / The Light – Four Thirty Two

This production by James Solace ignites the imagination as darkly flavoured, filtered grooves heat up the landscape of potential. You get the sense that each layer of Setting Sun has been carefully crafted placing all sounds in order of impact, and yet the arrangement feels distinctly soulful with shimmering arpeggios offset by waves of emotive motifs alongside tough drums. Remixes come from the excellent East End Dubs who doesn’t fail to disappoint adding an extra energetic hit with fiery snares plus rugged bass, and from VONDA7 who’s heavier sequence more than enhances the Acid experience. Second track, The Light expands the theme via similar attributes, this time with a vocal enhancement, and is accompanied by a breezier Jansons version.

Release: April 24

https://www.facebook.com/4ThirtyTwo

https://www.facebook.com/James-Solace-1526603840816355

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Das Komplex – Reverse Hallucination – King Of Kong

This hits you like all you most important influences have been channelled into a single excitedly, exhilarating experience. That’s not to detract from the originality of Maybe There in any way as it feels resolutely more invigorating than any number of bland offers you may have to navigate this week, or the next…
Lines of serious guitar pick apart the pieces left by robust bass, while drums flutter across the stereo amid the whir of heady effects, and yet you can also soak up the warm melodic distraction of finely tuned, electric keys too. That emotional roller-coaster continues as Stay begins life with a uniquely sublime introduction, then Sounds adds a heavier mood to its low-sluing theory amid a timely detuned Poet. Finally, Lagos twists rhythms around languid basslines to produce a compelling Balearic twist which proves equally irresistible.

Release: April 17 (digital)

buy https://www.juno.co.uk/products/das-komplex-reverse-hallucination/768892-01/

https://www.instagram.com/daskomplex

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Dino Lenny – Dis Kollect – Fine Human Records

This is fucking excellent. Dino Lenny’s output has of course been stunning over the years and this collection of released and unreleased tracks only heightens the thought. From the punk-funk of Deep & Dark through to the twisted Tech of Go Down To Mexico the producers music never misses a trick, or the chance to excite and surprise you in the ways good music always should. The provocative Techno Is Dead says more than most while the high energy, rave stabs of Let Me Hear Ur Sick transports you back somewhere else entirely. Gardens of God then complete the picture with a remix Deep & Dark that sequences syncopation into insane levels of anticipation. Sitting on the fine line between House, Techno and all the diverse influences that inspired those genres in the first place, Fine Human produce music to ignite the process of life.

Release: April 10

pre-order https://www.beatport.com/release/dis-kollect/2898812

https://www.facebook.com/dinolennyofficial

https://www.instagram.com/dino_lenny

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Nocturnalism – Ambra – Open Records

There is something particularly fitting about the way the smouldering drums collide with Guilio Schochia’s haunting, breathy vocal that so captures these uncertain moments in time. Ambra, is a captivating piece of music that dives into depths, hinting at Jazz via cool blasts of horn yet all the while feels forward-thinking, escaping Disco’s bland re-edit. Diego Simonetti (Knobs) and Francesco Lenci (Re:Set) form the nucleus of Nocturnalism and their beautifully engaging sound is both challenging and yet warmly re-assuring. Vosne supplies two remixes each enhancing the originals essence while expanding mood and interpretation. The Interpolation version carves perfectly sculpted percussion over an emotive release of pads alongside funkier punctuation, while Tesselation gets deeper exploring time and the space in-between, either way all are excellent.

Release: April 3

https://www.instagram.com/openrecords

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bvdub – Ten Times The World Lied LP – Glacial Movements

Brock Van Wey, aka bvdub provides the antidote to the notion that Ambience is merely something that hangs around in the background, opening out space for thought. While these ever evolving envelopes of sound are unfolded they do adorn the airwaves with a sense of contemplative room to think, but they are far from passive observations. Each of the ten speechless pieces purposively tear themselves across the spectrum of emotion as warmer climes are contrasted by tougher, more rugged landscapes. Touching joy, cutting darkness. Listen to the sheer, eloquent beauty of Not Yours To See…Reimagine the way you hear and see music.

Release: April 6

Buy glacialmovements.bandcamp.com/album/ten-times-the-world-lied

http://www.bvdub.org

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Scott Hardware – Engel – Telephone Explosion Records

I always found the word Pop difficult to describe music. I get that it’s popular but in a way it denigrates the strength of what you’re listening to, distilling it down to being inconsequential. Scott Hardware’s engaging new album opens with, not surprisingly, Intro which overlaps waves of ambience and grating synthesized sound, complimented and comntrasted by the warm tone of smooth bass. As voices drift in and out of view it is all at once epic, melancholic and strangely futuristic. And yes rather gorgeous. Then in quick succession the music caresses melodic sensibilities across sparse instrumentation, while peaking with the simply exquisite Joy, reinstating the power of song. There’s fascinating interplay between past influences which seem to trace back to Neil Young on Bound Together but the personal experience is never far from reach, with words engaging the mind – try Millionaire below – as the music often takes uncompromising, twisted turns and is all the stronger for it. As for Engel trying to be Pop, look at the cover!

Release: April 3

https://www.telephoneexplosion.com

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