This debut release from Marc Dolley and Denise Fadigati very much feels like a jump into the future, although ruggedly taking its cues from the past. Specifically the clash of sounds which ignited the turn of the 1970’s with those that began the eighties, as the fusion of Punk and Funk delivered a raft of exciting new ideas and motion. You’ll soak up all that alternative funkiness for yourself as the spine-tingling bassline moves deftly around punchy drums and Denise Fadigati’s commanding vocal delivery. Two versions to play with here but either way this sets the floor alight. Let’s see what lies in store…
Brian Eno is a bit like God. Always present playing somewhere in the distance. Echoing into collective consciousness now and again. Maybe that’s why he has had the Asteroid 81948 named after him: Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, or Eno for short. Besides, he is undoubtedly one of the most important, significant artists of this, and indeed the previous century with an influence stretching out far beyond any human horizon sculpting sonic masterpieces that resound into the sublime ether from the 1970’s to today. This latest re-release, originating from 1983, revisits the flurry of ambience created alongside his brother Roger and Daniel Lanois was produced to accompany the documentary ‘For All Mankind’ by Al Reinert, celebrating the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969. Zoom fast-forwards to now and the 50th anniversary of that surreal, cosmic event now features the original album (remastered by Abbey Road’s Miles Showell), plus an accompanying additional album of 11 new compositions which freshly reimagine the soundtrack. Analytically, as we do like to analyse the man’s work, categorising and theorising as to this and that, for me this isn’t his most important moment. Not that it isn’t great. It’s just not as great as the 1970’s trio from Music For Airports, but music is of course a personal journey and whatever reflects time and space for you is always going to be most significant. What is perhaps most interesting here, in that context, is the comparison of the new music which has been created sonically, as well as highlighting the progression from then to now. ‘For All Mankind’ occasionally marks a more playful, melodic side while also hitting those atmospheric buttons relieving brilliant sensations, most notably on the piano punctuated Waking Up. Or tearing at the heartstrings via on the picture-postcard, haunting nostalgia of the closing, Like I was A Spectator. Moments that capture time like these don’t come much more elated….
Marking his debut release for the label JA:CK sets the pace running with the decidedly edgy rhythms of Pervinca. Unsettling, even unnerving to a degree and yet underneath it all is a compelling sea of atmospheric sound that reveals itself more on each listen. In a world of sometimes safe, unimaginative blandness this proves refreshing. The beautifully sculpted, Never Ending follows mining another rich seam of emotionally resonate music, this time via a succession of grainy synth lines seeking out something more to life.
Once upon a time you might smoke something. Today, maybe you look up at the blue, sunshine sky to get your satisfaction. Either way this tranquil, yet probing set of music plugs neatly into the lineage of sublime, chilled music that you can all too easily apply the imaginary word Ibiza too. Red Moon sees a collaboration between Afterlife, Lenny Ibizarre and James Bright on three of the productions as the title track gets frisky with a series of punchy rhythms, while Earth Rise hits you with a rush string infused richness, high on atmosphere and life. The particuarily excellent Left Bank is the most up-tempo and energised number of the three, feeling suitably refreshed via the thump of four on the floor kick drums alongside a heady swirl of effects, vocals and melodic musicality. The System then sees a solo Afterlife expand reverberating sounds deep into the horizon as the pluck and twang of reggae influenced sounds sound magnificently invigorating all over again.
This startling release from the artist sees Joeski drive his signature sound forward with a philosophical determination as an abundance of percussion ignites Rachel’s smouldering vocal. Let The Drum Speak! touches on rhythm with a sense of eloquence as layers of sound excite and tease. Next the deeper, Expressions In Dub Love gets under the radar via hissing hi-hats and scintillating dub effects bouncing around the horizon. Finally, As We Dance visits the party once again with more playful keys and finely tuned drumming.
Frank Beckers alias delivers music that should have you jumping in the aisles as its startling succession of fiery drums and hot-wired electricity does pure damage to the senses. The title track unfolds with layers of dangerous keys alongside a probing urgency that resolves somewhat upon the arrival of tripped out vocal, but not before creative juices flow in excess. Clocking in at almost nine minutes of pure solution this has anthemic stamped all over it. Next, Rotary sequences a series of melodic notation that is all at once addictive and yet soulfully satisfying. What more is there?
I guess the first thing that strikes you about Patrice Rushen, apart from the beautiful quality of her voice, is the sheer range and depth of music she marries together into a distinctive style. This compilation of gems from the Elektra era begins with the Jazz-Funk sunshine of Music Of The Earth and continues via the Brazilian flavours of Let’s Sing A Song Of Love. The melodies are rich and plentiful while music is note perfect, first-class. Try the liquid heaven of Remind Me. The Disco classics included are by now transcending time as we speak with piano and bass combinations of Haven’t You Heard sounding every bit as exhilarating. Forget Me Nots is still beautiful (of course). While, Number One has that turn me up quality to it, feeling sassy across several minutes of heart-stopping funkiness. By the time drum machine generated sounds provided the backing for the vocalist the course of music had moved on, but not before the completing number To Each His Own demonstrates the sublime, earthy essence which only great singers have. And it’s here in abundance.
It’s perhaps down to the breezy, loose intensity of Lullaby (Dub) which makes it so tempting. Though the thrills seeping from the low-slung rhythm section as it winds down into a delicious combination of mood, atmosphere plus a bit of bump and grind are pure magic. This combines a sense of ambience defining a deeper recognition of the possibilities, while sounding equally first rate as a piece of danceable music too. Dub Warehouse does more of the same, this time adding a sense of history into the arrangement via grainy organ stabs. Leaving, Isle to inject more edge to complete the experience with punchy beats plus a swirl of colours dancing along the stereo.
Everything’s In You delivers eleven minutes of intriguing, brilliance which never falters from exploring as many ideas as humanly possible. Its journey through sounds encompasses a diverse range of influences while defining its own path, shooting out across the distance. A breath-taking production which fuses haunting sequences together with a smouldering, uplifting intensity feeling nothing short of delicious. The more introspective, though equally stunning, 311 Trillion Years follows probing more atmospheric richness while this time allowing for more space to do so.
Insanely good. When you love four beats to the bar, and within that space the message is spelled out loud and clear, then this latest from Claude VonStroke & ZDS is that explosive. Excellent that there is only one version to date as the sizzling combination of hot vocal and intense, heavy-duty instrumentation delivers addictive, do it again sounds. All over again…