Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nicole Mitchell - Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds

Kudos to former UMFM programmer Jeff Friesen - aka Little Beard - for always keeping an eye out for the far-reaches of jazz sounds. It's thanks to him that FPE Records from Illinois and this record from Nicole Mitchell came to my attention. If you've been digging the Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda comp that recently came out, Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds should be on your to-do list.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Profusion - "Where Do I Begin?"

Formed from a connection on MySpace (!!??) Profusion is a collaboration between Emeson and K15. Subtle beats and smooth vocals = contemporary soul.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Jane Weaver - "Slow Motion"

Liverpool's Jane Weaver releases her latest LP, Modern Kosmology tomorrow, but you can give it a spin now. "Slow Motion" is my favourite of the bunch, but this is a front-to-back solid effort.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Amir Bresler - "Afro Golden Line"

Not the first funky Israeli I've recommended (that'd be Kutiman, way back in the Ear To The Sound days), but Amir Bresler is certainly the latest to make me think "Holy Sh*t" just as much as I think "Holy Land." Just the A-side from this one available to check out so far, but it features Sefi Zisling on trumpet, which is how it popped up on my radar.

**If you haven't heard Beyond the Things I Know from Zisling, get thee to a Bandcamp stream.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Fleet Foxes - "Fool's Errand"

Kinda bonkers, but beautiful. Looking forward to hearing the rest of Crack Up, the new Fleet Foxes album.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Calcedon - "Sparrow"

I don't know if the rest of Echo In measures up to the lead-off track, "Sparrow," but damned if it isn't a phenomenal single. That opening guitar line sound like Paul Simon, but then it gets a bit screwed and chopped and things get BIG.


Friday, April 28, 2017

The Cactus Channel & Sam Cromack - "Sleep Demon"

Since the rise of Courtney Barnett I've been enjoying a lot of indie-rock coming out of Australia (Heart Beach, Julia Jacklin, anon.) but thanks to the folks at Hope Street Recordings, it's becoming a great source of soul music as well. My first discovery from the label was the country-soul of The Meltdown (think Jeb Loy Nichols) and now comes The Cactus Channel and Sam Cromack's collaboration, Do It For Nothing. Cromack's the guest vocalist and boy does he bring the heat. Torch-song level emotion throughout the EP, but particularly on "Sleep Demon" below.

Keep your eyes on Hope Street and your ears on their roster!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This Flame I Carry - "Dustbowls"

 These are the tags Noah Cebuliak - aka This Flame I Carry - lists at the bottom of the Bandcamp page for new album Taboos: folk r&b jazz lofi neo-soul prog folk

If you're not intrigued by a fairly disparate group of genres, then I doubt you're following RR on the regular. The spooky bells, Cebuliak's wispy vocals and haunting violin on "Dustbowls" are all underpinned by Patrick Latreille's phenomenal acoustic bass.

Can't wait to hear the rest of the album.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dwight Trible - "What The World Needs Now Is Love (ft. Matthew Halsall)"

I have a pretty big love for old pop - particularly the likes of Burt Bacharach who wrote this classic with Hal David, and an equally large love for great jazz vocalists so this cut is a no-brainer.

Trible sounds like Terry Callier on this cover, and the strings (harp!) swell beautifully behind him.

Can't wait to hear the rest.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I Ninhos Pega - "Pinha Taburim"

Record Store Day is just three more sleeps away, and one of the things I'm hoping pops up at my local shop is the Sonor Music Editions reissues including the soundtrack for La Seduzione. Check out this swanky sexual organ number.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gabriel Garzón-Montano - "Crawl (Karriem Riggins Remix)"







I've been jonesing on Garzón-Montano's Jardin  and Riggins' Headnod Suite records separately, so it's no surprise that a remix of the former by the latter would resonate. There's more snap to the bounce of Riggins' percussion on this remix, which pairs nicely with the inherent syncopation of Garzón-Montano's vocals.

Play. Bounce. Repeat.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Nautilus - "We Live In Brooklyn Baby"

 This lead-off track from Japanese trio Nautilus' Nautiloid Quest LP is one funky stroll. Those arpeggiated octave lines on keys are particularly entrancing.And the way they f**k with the timing, speeding up, slowing down and nearly full-stopping is just awesome as all get out.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jasper Lee - "Veils of Crocus"

Woah. It pays to read the small print. I get release books sent to me with splashy one-page promos for big name releases, but in the late pages of those pdf's are terse one paragraph descriptions of a host of "minor" albums. This morning, I read about Mirror of Wind from Jasper Lee on Noumenal Loom and mention of  "influence from exotica, free jazz and the golden age of holistic LP experiences."

Colour me intrigued. And after listening to the album in its entirety on Bandcamp, colour me hooked. I've embedded my favourite track, "Veils of Crocus" below to spotlight, but it flows so seamlessly into "Primeval Currents" that I strongly recommend just listening to the whole thing.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

El Michaels Affair - "Tearz ft. Lee Fields & The Shacks"

Crazy, but it's been eight (!!!!!!!) years since the El Michaels Affair first entered the 37th Chamber. Big Crown - the label responsible for the Lady Wray LP I loved last year - will be releasing the Return on April 14th. Only one track up right now, but it's got breathy vocals from The Shacks and anguished gasps from Lee Fields.


Vincent Ahehehinnou - "Best Woman"

Oh man, this track is straight FIRE!!! That rhythm guitar line alone is enough to send me over, but when that trumpet blazes a solo midway through there's no doubt that "Best Woman" is a killer cut. Do yourself a favour and read the crazy story of Vincent Ahehehinnou's departure from Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou.

Analog Africa FTW, once again.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Children of Zeus - "I Can't Wait"

The description for this track on First Word Records' Bandcamp page is "Hashtag baby making music... This is grown folk shit. Classic slow jam material."

It don't get more apt than that.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

(Gyedu) Blay Ambolley - "Simigwa-Do"

This is Ghanian artist Gyedu Blay Ambolley's THIRTIETH (30 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) album [< that's one exclamation mark for each release].

"Simigwa-Do" is the first cut that's been made available from Ketan and it's a terrific slice of highlife brought to you by RR fave, Agogo Records.

Pre-order the double LP now and set your iCal for May 12 when the rest of the goodness drops.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Tennis - "My Emotions Are Blinding"

Oh man. So much good music lately. I'm buried under an avalanche of submissions both digital and physical of late and have been busy digging out.

One of the pure pleasures among the bunch is Yours Conditionally, the new LP from Tennis. Alaina Moore's vocals are so breezy and the song "My Emotions Are Blinding" has such an 70's AM vibe it could fit snugly alongside something from Rumours.

Be sure to check out the album version, but enjoy this live take on KCRW.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Oddisee - "NNGE (ft. Toine)"

I'm not even going to comment on this cut. I present the lyrics straight from Oddisee's Bandcamp page.

Verse One - Oddisee
I mean what is there to fear/
I''m from black America this is just another year/
If you're new to disrespect by your elected puppeteer/
well let me show you how to persevere/
Just get up every time somebody knocks you down/
& celebrate in front of people like they're not around/
& if they try to build a wall to keep you balling out of bounds/
Use the bench they told to you warm to keep the fences knocking down/ Shout out to latinos because hustling ain't illegal/
Whether praying to the east or the padre, we all are equal/
But if parted they will progress in stopping us getting C notes/
Well let me asked the crowd, do one of y'all disagree, no/
This is for chocolate city though I represent the county/
Until your vote is counted know I got you until I'm outy/
it's all about the effort & effortlessly fresher/
If I'm preaching to choir know they're bound to get the lecture/
it went from folks around me, pushing envelopes & boundaries/
So you won't only hear me where you found me/
I'm somewhere asking questions like can I afforded the most/
You better answer me with more than a no/
Chorus
Ooh, never not getting enough/ From this life that I'm leading/ & all I believe in/
ya'll go, I ain't leaving/
I'm posted, like/ (x2) This if for the county/
& the areas surrounding/ DC, Maryland & Virginia/ know I'm with you/
Verse Two - Toine
What are you willing to let die first/ Your pride or your freedom/
The story of my life's inner conflict/ It's like I follow my dreams/
But how am I supposed to slide in the DM/
On the mic, is what I'm trying accomplish/
I used to do it for the fist bumps & applauses/
But caring about respect started making me nauseous/
You walk in a room, $ bammas speak to you cautious/
like employees trying to figure out who the boss is/
so now I just kick it for, the most divine/
Working overtime/
Sitting with an open bottle, looking for an open mind/
trying not to be aggressively jaded/
Because I find myself just getting faded/
& I know that ain’t quite me/
I step up for whatever it might be/
& RSVP when inspiration invite me/
Because who else gonna look out for those who look like me/ another disenfranchised boy in a white tee/
Chorus
Ooh, never not getting enough/ From this life that I'm leading/ & all I believe in/
ya'll go, I ain't leaving/
I'm posted, like/ (x2) This if for the county/
& the areas surrounding/ DC, Maryland & Virginia/ know I'm with you/
Verse Three - Oddisee
All I know is love/
I give it & I get it, I can never get enough/
Sympathy to enemies cause hate ain't in blood/
& if you can relate you've given up/
I'm trying to make the most of it though/
Getting close is a no/
Want nothing less than yes because it's suppose to be so/ The cost of nothing's too low/
My expectations are too high/
I'd rather die/
Than be complacent with the way that it goes/
Apathy is a disease & we're just steady sharing needles/ Unaffected people carry evil/
Ease is what know/
We've got to raise the bar though/
The sorrows of today will give away to a tomorrow/
So what's a week of paid leave/
& empty promises of hiring/
Just to fire me before retirement/
I'm trying to make more in one day than 401 K/
So give me what you promised to pay/
Because it's never enough/
Chorus
Ooh, never not getting enough/ From this life that I'm leading/ & all I believe in/
ya'll go, I ain't leaving/
I'm posted, like/ (x2) This if for the county/
& the areas surrounding/ DC, Maryland & Virginia/
know I'm with you/


Mean Lady - "Walking Flower"

Newark, Delaware band Mean Lady have released a couple singles since 2013's Love Now (which was my #4 album that year), but FINALLY dropped a new full-length on the world. Nature came out on Valentine's Day *swoon* and Katie Dill's vocals remain as wonderfully nonchalant and captivating as they were on Love Now. The matter-of-fact delivery within a narrow range is what makes the effect of the occasional swoops (like the 2:50 and 4:00 marks on "Walking Flower") so potent.

Plus these two know their way around a melody like nobody's business.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hejira - "No Matter"

The Lima Limo Ceremony is the all-too-brief new release from London trio Hejira. On the heels of a trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia the group decided to create the Lima Limo Records and this 7" is the first release "No Matter" is an understated and drowsy beauty of a track. Like a Kings of Convenience b-side played at half-speed.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Oscar Key Sung - "Shallow"

A little romantic gift to all the music-lovers from Melbourne's smooth crooner, Oscar Key Sung.

#lotsoflove


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Chris LaRocca - "Closer"

Somehow I missed the boat on LaRocca's Sextape work, but this track under his own name is completely in my wheelhouse. Downtempo neo-soul with falsetto? SIGN ME UP.

I actually just became his 91st follower on Soundcloud and this number needs to blow up. Get on it.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dirty Projectors - "Cool Your Heart ft. D∆WN"

YO! Another track from the forthcoming Dirty Projectors LP, featuring D∆WN, who if you haven't heard "Lazarus" you need to rectify asap.



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Shiverettes - "Justice Robin Camp"

Local label  - I live in Winnipeg - Transistor 66 has been killing it in the world of punk, garage and rock for 15 years and the future looks bright for Art & co.

They just signed Calgary quartet The Shiverettes and debuted the first track (below) from their forthcoming LP, Dead Men Can't Cat Call.

Can't wait for more.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Molly Burch - "Try"

Not a cover of the Blue Rodeo classic, this tune from Los Angeles' Molly Burch does have a throwback roots feel, but much more of a Laurel Canyon thing. Love the keys.


Gypsy Mamba - "Volcano Sunset"

Alpha Pup's been killing it lately. Josef Leimberg's LP was in my Top 10 of 2016, and in the past two days they've dropped tracks from Ronald Bruner Jr. (Thundercat's bro) and now this tasty cut from Gypsy Mamba's forthcoming Magnetic Syndromes.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Snoh Aalegra - "Feels"

Described as the lovechild of Amy Winehouse and Lana Del Ray on Twitter, it's an apt summation and "Feels" seems especially fitting coming off a weekend that gave me a lot of them. Shout out to @whoistheELLE


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chip Wickham - "Sling Shot"

This shit bounces like crazy!!! Cannot wait for the full-length. La Sombra's out tomorrow.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bastien Keb - "Pick Up"

Not as flame as "Chicken Stomp," the first track from Bastien Keb's forthcoming 22.05.85 is a bit of a slow-burner, but it's a promising taste of more to come.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Otis Junior & Dr. Dundiff - "Why Can't You (Just Come For Conversation)"

WAAAAY back in March of 2016 I featured a cut from this duo and it ended up being my number one song of 2016.  It's pretty much twelve months to the day that the pair finally drop a full-length - Hemispheres - on Jakarta Records. Here's the first single.


Miles Mosley - Uprising

The actual uprising may happen sooner (cough cough Saturday? cough), but UPRISING, the debut record from Miles Mosley - a Kamasi Washington collaborator - comes out in just 11 days. Mark your calendar accordingly. That's the one that notes it's Martin Luther King Jr. day today.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Shadowgraphs - "Countryside"

Out of North Carolina and and out on Golden Brown in April, Venomous Blossoms from Shadowgraphs seems hella promising based on "Countryside" and that swirling organ.


Minus the Bear - "Invisible"

Had kinda forgotten about Minus the Bear. But "Invisible" puts them back on the radar with those great guitars and a killer hook that has me looking forward to Voids release on March 3, 2017 on Suicide Squeeze.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Quelle Chris - "Calm Before (ft. Cavalier and Suzi Analog)"

This track percolates. Can't wait to drink up the full-length when it drops February 10th.


Shadow J. Brown - "Doctor Mister Wunderkind"

This instrumental from one of my favourite discoveries of 2016, Shadow J. Brown, is a nice easy way to slide into 2017.  The bass is insistent but those keys are mellow af.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dirty Projectors - "Little Bubble"

It's been a minute since we've had some new Dirty Projectors so this is among my most anticipated releases of the new year. Sounds like Dave's been listening to some James Blake in the interim.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 - Top 20 Albums

So, after a healthy batch of great records profiled in seven longlist posts, it's time for the fantastic stuff. My Top 20 was revealed on the 12th annual countdown show on UMFM, but if you didn't catch that on NYE, here's the skinny.

20 Tiff The Gift - It Gets Greater Later [Don't Sleep Records]



19 Library Tapes - Escapism [Independent]



18 Wadada Leo Smith - America's National Parks [Cuneiform]



17 Dori Freeman - Dori Freeman [Free Dirt Records]



16 Bill Laurance - Aftersun [GroundUP]



15 Jamila Woods - HEAVN [Closed Sessions]



14 Klô Pelgag - l'Etoile thoracique [Independent]



13 Kadhja Bonet - The Visitor [Fat Possum]



12 Black Mountain - IV [Dine Alone/Jagjaguwar]



11 Shabaka and the Ancestors - Wisdom of the Elders [Brownswood Recordings]



10 Josef Leimberg - Astral Progressions [World Galaxy/Alpha Pup]



09 BADBADNOTGOOD - IV [Innovative Leisure]



08 Anderson. Paak - Malibu [Steel Wool]



07 HINDS - Leave Me Alone [Mom + Pop]



06 Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book [Independent]



05 Kaytranada - 99.9% [XL Recordings]



04 Margaret Glaspy - Emotions and Math [ATO Records]



03 Aidan Knight - Each Other [Fulltime Habit]



02 David Bowie - Blackstar [RCA]



01 A Tribe Called Red - We Are The Halluci Nation [Radicalized Records]