Joseph Abruzzi – Together – Kenja Records

More often than not it’s all too easy to dismiss records that sound like they were deliberately created to mimic the past. Dripping desperately with lost nostalgia, viewed through rose-tinted glasses that don’t actually reflect the reality. Then again you hear Joseph Abruzzi’s take, which is probably better labelled as an assault on the senses, and it’s time to change your mind. Theorizing aside Together proves simply too explosive to ignore with its fiery combination of hot, intentional stabs, rush of vocals alongside a series of breakdowns that serve their purpose well by letting you get lost in the moment. Dance For You and the excitable piano of Breath pay similar compliment though it is hard to beat the title track for sheer energy.

Release: December 10
Buy https://www.beatport.com/artist/joseph-abruzzi/405836
https://www.facebook.com/josephabruzzi
https://www.facebook.com/kenjarecords

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Lux And Ivy Dig Crime Jazz – Film Noir Grooves & Dangerous Liaisons – Cherry Red Records

Who doesn’t love the drama of crime? Then again you doesn’t love Jazz. This late 50’s sizzling combo is inescapably awe-inspiring featuring a feast of Film Noir scores across the roulette of excellence taking you into worlds unknown. This is real close your eyes and you are there stuff. Maybe, just maybe, they don’t make music quite as evocative as this anymore. I’m listening to Warren Barker’s cool Harlem Nocturne and the details are exquisite but then you also have The Man With The Golden Arm amid the sassy swing of Henry Mancini’s Son Of Raunchy conjuring up all sorts of naughtiness. Or Miles Davis hauntingly beautiful Générique or even Andre Previn’s snappy Like Blue. This is very much about late night encounters spread across the unrestricted, uncontained unreality of wonderful Jazz. The artists you will recognise, as much as the wonderful array of films whose scenes are adorned throughout. I really can’t recommend this highly enough for all sorts of reasons but after all time is timeless.

Release: November 26

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/lux-and-ivy-dig-crime-jazz-film-noir-grooves-dangerous-liaisons

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Real Gone Kid – Isolation – ASTIR Recordings

Each lighthouse has its own story to tell, one which encompasses the isolated air of familiarity ingrained within these peculiar, lifesaving buildings. Real Gone Kid’s richly intense production serves that suggestion well providing an uneasy interplay of tension between the drums, bass and undulating stabs that seemingly combining in endless numbers. Darkly emotive and compelling in equal measure.

Release: November 26
buy https://www.beatport.com/track/isolation/15867482
https://www.facebook.com/RGKOfficial
https://astirrecordings.bandcamp.com

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f5point6 – The Shuttle Leaves at Midnight – See Blue Audio

Art for me is sometimes about what happens next. Not so much what you see in a given moment captured but what story unfolds in the next frame. The unseen, the unknown. Whether that is getting lost inside a conceived picture or photograph or being subsumed by pieces of music it remains about the excitement of creative, future thinking. Not slightly sad nostalgic reflection. So welcome back R. Cleveland Aaron with his next chapter of works coupling the suggestive depth of the cover Art together with fragments and impressions left in the wake of further sonic explorations. Remaining true to organic form while of course tantalising you with the unexpected via a whir of electricity pulsing with abundant emotion. If you listen closely enough you can hear the voices talking to you.

The Shuttle Leaves at Midnight escapes the stranglehold of the recent past in a blur. You also get the idea that a more utopian/ dystopian vision is being sought, one that encompasses a sense of sci-fi dreaming amid a breathless wonder of the human spirit. Midnight expressed.

Release: November 26

https://www.seeblueaudio.com
https://f5point6.bandcamp.com

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Melchior Productions Ltd – Don Juan (Jus Nowhere’s back 2 Beirut edit) – MY KING IS LIGHT

Another brilliant release this time sees Jus Nowhere’s back 2 Beirut edit of Don Juan ignite the touch paper of riotous imagination, tempting future sounds alongside incendiary rhythms out of the ether and into the present. From the word go its percussion fuelled frenzy grabs your attention amid a swirl of vocal touches, tough bass stabs plus defiant hints of synthesized alchemy. Originally released back in 2007 on Perlon this new digital version feels every bit as urgent nudging notably into 2021.

Buy https://mykingislight.bandcamp.com/track/don-juan-jus-nowheres-back-2-beirut-edit
https://www.facebook.com/jus.nowhere.music

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Snowdrops – Inner Fires – Forwind

Something about listening to this latest collection from the collaborative minds of Christine Ott and Mathieu Gabry pitches the decay of autumn against imagined fragments of regeneration forthcoming this spring. There’s an inherently organic feel to it all care the instrumentation alongside an otherworldly fuse of electronics adding an edge of uncertainty. Much like the seasons change is ever evolving, ever present. The four numbers include diving headlong into a whirlwind of introspection via the opening Elevation coupled with a cracked flirtation of Jazz on Shadow Society / A piece of freedom. The low-end theory dominating the piano which engulfs the mood and atmosphere of the final RÜPTUR 47 is suitably gigantic granting the listener free flights of fancy imagination amid Richard Knox’s cutting guitar.

Buy https://forwind.bandcamp.com/album/inner-fires
https://linktr.ee/snowdrops

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Pop Ambient 2022 – KOMPAKT

Wolfgang Voigt’s wonderfully curated selections have been spanning an amazing twenty plus years to date, still remaining fresh and invigorating considering the world of music outside may not always seem so. Take the opening Coiling by Blank Gloss which channels that epic essence of the Cocteau Twins into a new reality or Yui Onodera’s blissfully ambient Cromo 6 and as the story unfolds 2022 becomes rapidly about wonder and celebration. Darker introspection is also crystallised on the more contemplative movements such as the beautifully jazz inflected Grainscan from Reich & Würden. In a sense all life is here from high to low. Watch out for Thore Pfeiffer’s sublime Taunus along with the atmospheric melancholy of Kiss The Horizon by Andrew Thomas lost somewhere in-between Taxi Driver and Blade Runner. Or Blank Gloss’s heart wrenching Anticlimbers. All of this is best appreciated in its transcendent entirety of course sounding like the hallmark of great music which it so patently is.

Release: November 12
Buy https://kompakt.fm/releases/pop_ambient_2022_lp_dl

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Afterlife – Bluedog – Subatomic

Chasing your own tail can be a distinctive, timely occupation that many of us will be familiar with. The by-product of some ancient tradition or due to more contemporary stresses and strains, either way if it’s good enough for dogs then why not humans. This latest number in the sequence sees Afterlife exercises the ghost of a bluesy past with haunting keys colouring the field of vision, drenched in history while reflecting questions about matters blue, until a wash of electronics rise across the background cementing emotion and content splendidly. I’m not usually one for fade outs but in this case it seems like the right thing to do as the music enters, makes its presence felt, then exists having spoken the universal language of understanding.

Buy https://orcd.co/nv3q7xm
https://www.subatomicuk.com

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Freeez – Keep In Touch / Stay – Pink Rhythm

Freeez – Keep In Touch / Stay – Pink Rhythm

Celebrating the first two single releases by Freeez is this new repackaging of events from Far Out Recordings. Keep In Touch from 1980 remains a truly wonderfully uplifting piece of music helping to define what was been called Brit-Funk from the era – an essentially UK blend of Jazz and Funk featuring banks like Light of the World, Beggar and Co. Driven by Peter Maas’s frantically melodic basslines the music positively dances with movement aided by sparkling keys, crisp drums and guitar the sounds collectively transcended themselves. Stay, is less energetic in comparison but also plays testament to the times in this case featuring soulful vocals and soaring Saxophone amid the swing. John Rocca’s band went on to score dancefloor classics such as Southern Freeze and IOU but these initial releases highlight another vital side of the 1980 story alongside that of UK Dance music history.

Release: November 12
Buy https://www.faroutrecordings.com/collections/freeez/products/freeez-keep-in-touch-1980

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Simon McCorry – The Illusion of Beginnings and Endings – White Lab Recs

Sometimes descriptions can freeze the imagination locking you into cliques about response. Sometimes music means much more than just words when the music does not have words. Sometimes music doesn’t merit any at all. There are all sorts of words to describe Simon McCorry’s search for meaning through sound graphically tying together the emotional expanse of the human condition as viewed from the musician’s perspective. Like grains of black and white memory the depth of time is catalogued, referencing points of past brilliance while hauntingly incorporating them into the artist’s fertile landscape of danger and probability. There are hints of contrast too. Trying to celebrate a new-born release of joy for life, though the treatments given to the compositions often suggest an unease to the refrain as if something has remained stuck, or become unwound, or dislocated. The Illusion of Beginnings and Endings is perhaps brutally refreshing, captivating in sincere ways that challenge the listener to brush aside expectation. Perhaps it is none of those things as music is only truly open to your own interpretation.

Release: November 13
https://whitelabrecs.com
https://www.facebook.com/SimonMcCorryCellist

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