And so the story continues with Tone Of Arc and this deliciously funky production that combines effortless cool with heavy-duty electronics. Providing a taster of what’s in store from his forthcoming album for the label Derrick Boyd’s distinctive ‘live’ style incorporates all that’s hot at this very moment: creatively treated voices saying something alongside irresistibly dark-bass notes, with imaginative arrangements of percussion and sound. No Pushers, then expands those boundaries by delving further and deeper with sumptuous keys and almost jazzy Rhodes that feel comfortably warm, while reverberating vocals remain tastefully soulful. Outstanding.
release: May 21
Not in any way to make light of Tinnitus but this does sound good. The title track sizzles with sparkling sythns which offset the deep beats and bass perfectly, and it’s those very notes that give the production such a unique feel. You could say, hypnotic and even apply the words trance inducing…
Stronger, feels moodier and again plays challenging keys off against throbbing rhythms, ending up seemingly sinister with its unsettling, insistent vocal edits driving the distraction. Play It, almost lightens the mood with funkier feeling drums and bass, though also retains its playful sense of experimentation and probing, nearly ambient, sounds.
An excellent debut album from, Tristesse Contemporaine whose electrifying take on new-wave is all at once dangerously exciting, yet always deeply emotional. Love the way the words play with the late seventies inspired guitar sounds on some tracks and the tension these arrangements inspire. For starters can’t get enough of the beginning number, Empty Hearts which is a case in point with its Hook styled bassline, Magazine beats and icy cool vocals sounding so in-vogue it hurts. But, it’s certainly not all about historical reference points as the album plays very much like today with spoken words rapping over irresistible rhythms and uniquely, contemporary electronics. Try the video to I Didn’t Know below and you’ll get a piece of the action…
release: May 21
Desperately trying to avoid the cliché but there actually is: something for everyone on here. That is if your mind is open to touches of everything from Balearic to Latin, to House and Disco, plus with most shades coloured in-between you could also pretty much use that other cliché: essential. Music like the Mudds Width and Comfort remix of Key boy ‘Viva Blue’ makes you pray for summer days to materialise sooner rather than later (U.K) while Flash Atkins, Crazy P and Neil Diablo will have you gravitating towards the nearest dancefloor. But that’s probably to undersell the sum total of the twenty two tracks which are offered here on what is essentially a first-rate compilation.
release: May 21
Just As I Am
Bill Withers debut album from 1971 gets a timely reissue care of bbr and a record that contains not only Harlem and Ain’t No Sunshine, but also Grandma’s Hands can really only be regarded as a classic. If you were lucky enough to catch BBC 4’s recent excellent documentary: Still Bill then this album is all the more profound as his experienced wit and wisdom can benefit us all. Produced by Booker T. Jones this still sounds incredible today and there are a couple of great covers to witness too, namely Let It Be and Everybody’s Talkin’. But don’t miss out on the exquisitely mournful Hope She’ll Be Happier and or the blues/ rock inflected Better Off Dead either – indeed don’t go missing out on any of it!