This Is What You Are (feat The High Five Quintet - radio edit) (4:21)
This Is What You Are (The Brazilian Rime) (4:53)
Review: "This Is What You Are" is undoubtedly Mario Biondi's most celebrated work. He first sung it for original composers Was A Bee in 2004, before re-recording it for his debut album (alongside the High Five Quintet) in 2006. Since then it has been reissued or remixed on numerous occasions. Here it gets reissued on a tidy 7" single, with a punchy radio edit - a swinging, Sunday afternoon style chunk of Latin soul-jazz rich in jaunty grooves, soaring orchestration and smooth vocals - being joined by the "Brazilian Rime" rework. This tasty re-recording re-casts the song as a breezy, samba-fired slab of early 1970s style Brazilian MPB. It's an inspired interpretation and could well become the definitive version of the track.
Review: Back in 2016, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached techno pioneer Jeff Mills with the idea of working together. A series of live gigs and off-the-radar studio sessions followed, with the first fruits of their joint efforts finally appearing on this must-have 10". As you'd expect, the duo's collaborative work combines Allen's traditional Nigerian polyrhythms, traditional Afrobeat instrumentation, and the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired electronic futurism that has always marked out Mills' work. The result is a quartet of cuts that could arguably be described as retro-futurist Afro-tech - all delay-laden beats, basslines and organs subtly sparring with gentle acid lines, Motor City electronics, beguiling deep space textures and shimmering, 31st century motifs. It's arguably Allen's stylistic contributions that dominate, but that's no bad thing.
Review: Sample-digging beat-maker DJ Mitsu The Beats has been churning out blazed grooves and hazy, head-nodding workouts for well over 15 years. You'll find a fine example of his woozy, laidback and emotion-rich approach on the B-side of this Mukatsuku Records outing, which marks his first appearance on wax since 2016. While that track, "Pilot", is all warm Rhodes lines, toasty bass, Vibraphone flashes and crunchy MPC beats, it lets A-side "Let Go" shine - it was made in collaboration with Kaneko Takumi from Cro-Magnon and features spacey, Herbie Hancock style synthesizer lead lines stretching out over rich Fender Rhodes chords and shuffling, bossa nova-influenced beats.As played by DJ Spinna, Rob Luis (Tru Thoughts),Marc Hype,The Allergies,Kid Koala ,Nancy Noise,Smoov etc
Review: Astonishingly, Boogaloo's re-make of Pharoah Sanders classic "You've Gotta Have Freedom" is now 24 years old. It was originally included on the B-side of the jazz-loving Swedish hip-hop outfit's 1995 EP "Humongous Steps (Back Down To London)", but arguably became more widely known when it was reissued by G.A.M.M. on 12" in 2003. Here it appears on 7" for the first time, with the band's vocal version - a positive, life-affirming delight that brilliantly flits between sections faithful to Sanders' version and rapped section underpinned by live hip-hop breaks - being accompanied by an equally impressive instrumental take. If it's not already in your collection, this edition should be an essential purchase.
Review: Founded in 2017, Ronin Arkestra is a fusionist jazz/electronica collective from Tokyo founded by broken beat keys-man Mark de Clive-Lowe. Given that the band includes some of the finest players in Japan's contemporary jazz scene - most notably members of Kyoto Jazz Massive, WONK and Sleepwalker - you'd expect this first outing on Albert's Favourites to be rather good. It is, of course, with the band sashaying between dubbed-out soundscape jazz ("Stranger Searching"), sun-bright jazz-funk influenced positivity ("Redeye Reprisal"), loose-limbed, semi-improvised intensity ("The Silk Road Prelude") and, most notably, an awe-inspiring 21st century re-imagining of John Coltrane classic "A Love Supreme".
Review: The West Loop Chicago collective reportedly span continents, pooling soul-soaked talents into some truly powerful dance music. "Knocking On The Door Of The Cosmos" doffs its cap to Sun Ra with some crafty samples, but the musical vibe is more in line with the likes of Andres, Dego or other such masters of irrepressibly funky house music. "Theme For Chicago" takes an iconic Roy Ayers jam and gets wild with the filter, "Son Of Equinox" trips down a loose and limber jazz funk pathway and "Payback" whips up some tightly clipped samples into a pumped up peak time belter. From start to finish this EP oozes class and authenticity - a serious grip for any self-respecting Midwest heads.
Sarah Davachi - "Untitled" (live In Portland - Excerpt) (7:02)
Carlos Walker - "Via Lactea" (3:15)
The Rationals - "Glowin'" (4:16)
William S Fischer - "Chains" (4:31)
Max Roach - "Equipoise" (6:20)
Abu Talib - "Blood Of An American" (4:22)
Sweet & Innocent - "Express Your Love" (2:52)
Robert Vanderbilt & The Foundation Of Souls - "A Message Especially From God" (3:43)
A Message Especially From God - "A Message Especially From God" (4:52)
Alain Bellaiche - "Sun Blues" (1:52)
Alain Bellaiche - "Sea Fluorescent" (6:30)
Kara-Lis Coverdale - "Moments In Love" (Excerpt) (9:16)
Azimuth - "The Tunnel" (9:12)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - "Milk" (Excerpt) (5:50)
Toshimaru Nakamura - "Nimb#59" (3:40)
Floating Points - "The Sweet Time Suite" (part 1 - Opening - Exclusive Kenny Wheeler Cover version) (2:52)
Lauren Laverne - "Ah! Why, Because The Dazzling Sun" (Exclusive Spoken Word Piece) (2:50)
Review: Sam Shepherd AKA Floating Points has long been known as a producer, DJ and selector with a staggeringly good record collection. It's for this reason that his edition of "Late Night Tales", a series dedicated to the joys of post-club home listening, has been so eagerly anticipated. The resultant mix is a triumph, with Shepherd showcasing a largely rare and obscure mix of new age ambient, high-grade jazz, sumptuous folk-soul (see Abu Talib's impeccable "Blood Of An American"), psychedelic soul weirdness, intergalactic jazz-funk, Satie-style piano movements and the drowsy, liquid electronics of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. The set also includes a handful of exclusive tracks, including a wonderful new Floating Points cover of Kenny Wheeler's "The Sweet Time Suite (Part I - Opening)". In a word: essential.
Review: With their penchant for off-kilter psychedelic explorations, deep-rooted spiritual jazz excursions and cacophonous, otherworldly workouts, The Comet Is Coming is undoubtedly one of the most groundbreaking and essential jazz combos of recent times. It's for this reason that "Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery" - their first outing on legendary jazz label Impulse - feels like an event release. It is another stunning album, with the inspired trio flitting between sweaty, dancefloor-ready tracks soaked in psychedelic electronics and more melodious, laidback numbers that sail closer to traditional jazz pastures. Throughout, the level of imagination, creativity and uniqueness remains dizzyingly high.
Review: Given the rise in popularity in new school jazz in recent years, it seems a fitting time to welcome back Ninja Tune stalwarts The Cinematic Orchestra. "To Believe" is not only their first album in some seven years, but also one of their strongest releases to date. Opening with the poignant neo-classical/soul fusion "To Believe", the set sees Jason Swinscoe and company attractively saunter between jazz-electronica fusion (Roots Manuva collaboration ("A Caged Bird/Imitations Of Life"), pastoral jazz epics (the sunset ready epic that is "Lessons"), gentle downtempo songs ("Wait For Now/Leave The World"), ambient jazz ("The Workers Of Art") and slowly unfurling dancefloor workouts (killer closing cut "A Promise"). In a word: stunning.
Review: For their first foray into the mix market following the conclusion of their original, 100-volume series, London superclub Fabric has decided to offer up a rare DJ mix from genre-defying producer Simon Green AKA Bonobo. It's his first mix of any sort since 2013 and it is really rather good. Beautiful, picturesque, melodious and fluid, the mix not only includes heaps of previously unheard material from the man himself, but also touches on a dizzying number of styles (most notably ambient, loved-up deep house, African and South American drum music, IDM, electronica, techno, electro-soul, broken beat and dreamy breaks). That it all hangs together brilliantly is testament to Green's impeccable DJing and production skills.
Review: It was only a matter of time before Henry Wu and K15 would link up with London's Eglo, and their respective prior releases for the likes of Wild Oats, Rhythm Section and 22a have earned them a spot in one of the finest house and broken beat labels around. "Love's Gambit" is a perfect example of the latter genre, a sublime blend of jazzy percussion swings and smooth melodic drifts, followed by the even more soulful bounces of the gentle "Space & Time" - one for the jazz fusion heads! "The Anthem" heads towards more housey spheres thanks to its stable beat pattern - it-s an absolute peach of a tune, by the way - but it's "Shahada" that governs the dancefloor with its rough MPC drum programming and finger-licking synth rotations. A beautiful and fitting addition to the catalogue.
Review: London-based Michael Colvill has risen to considerable prominence within the South London musical community since 2015, after the self-released Midnight Moods mixtape, guest appearances on tracks by Glenn Astro and Jamie Isaacs and hosting a radio show on Balamii. As MC Pinty, his sound takes influence from the introspective poetry of The Streets, the twisted late-night moods of friend and collaborator King Krule and the jazz-inflected bounce of production partner Maxwell Owin. From the blunted urban blues of "Tropical Bleu", to his clever rhyming over sultry late night deep house on "Ceasors" or the jazzy drum 'n' bass of "Nightcrawler" (calling to mind the mid '90s flavour of legends like Alex Reece or Peshay) - City Limits is perfect to plug in to on one of those trips on the night bus back to Peckham.
Review: Bruno E has plenty of history in the field of future jazz and downtempo, and now he's been snapped up by D3 to deliver some of that cold-chilling lounge business with some interesting remixers on board. Pat Van Dyke is up first, creating a blissful version of "Ventos De Outono" that feels as cosy as a warm fire and a glass of whisky on an autumn evening. The original version of the track is actually a peppier affair with a broken beat lilt that wouldn't sound out of place alongside the Dego and Kaidi Tatham crew. Kirk Degiorgio is a natural fit for another remix given his jazzy roots, and his swirling techno treatment is the perfection lotion to pour over Bruno E's excellent original ingredients.
Review: Tenderlonious' prolific explorations of contemporary jazz continue unabated with this new album from his supergroup, Ruby Rushton. With Mo Kolours and Yussef Dayes (formerly of Yussef Kamaal) amongst the highly skilled players in this ensemble, the quality spilling out of their fourth album need not be questioned. The band leader's signature flute stylings skip and twirl across the top of the music, with the overall brew striking that elusive but oh-so-sweet balance between loose, free-wheeling expression and rock solid groove. Fresh and satisfying at every turn, this is proof of why the modern jazz scene is so vibrant right now. Ruby Rushton can do no wrong!
Review: Narrowing down Melbourne band Mildlife's style into a genre is almost impossible, as they bond over the desire to push musical boundaries. No strangers to the local band scene, these four longtime friends have been drawing crowds through an epic journey at intimate venues and festivals for the best part of four years. Developing a dynamic live show centered around wild improvisation, they have left punters itching for their first full length studio album. Their debut entitled Phase captures the spirit of their performances, with six tracks that are a kaleidoscope of jams is the interplanetary path between jazz, funk and disco, The perfect amalgamation of cosmic electronics and soulful acoustic instrumentation.
Review: DJ Deep and Roman Poncet first launched their collaborative project Sergie Rezza back in 2015 on Desire Records, and now the project makes a welcome return with another dose of utterly stellar deep house concoctions that go beyond the average while maintaining a sense of classicism about them. "Envole" is a sumptuous blend of snaking rhythm, spacious pads and cosy keys, all draped in exotic garms that make this a transcendental house cut to treasure. There are also more adventurous trips into percussive territory on the focused and deadly "Le Reveil," crafty jazz diversions to be soaked up on "Max" and poised ambient pieces "Eclipse" and "Procession" to seal the deal.
Review: Oooh! Angie Stone's "Wish I Didn't Miss You" definitely belongs in the canon of all time modern soul classics. Taken from her 2001 second album Mahogany Soul, the Swizz Beats produced track made optimum usage of an O' Jays sample and was instrumental in that LP going gold and propelling the former D'Angelo collaborator to stardom. It also inspired countless official and under the counter remixes with Blaze's perhaps the most recognisable. So yes this reissue on 7" from Outta Sight is worthy if you don't have the original in your collection and features a housed up remix from Hex Hector on the flip.
Shabaka Hutchings - "Black Skin, Black Masks" (6:59)
Triforce - "Walls" (5:07)
Joe Armon-Jones - "Go See" (7:38)
Kokoroko - "Abusey Junction" (7:03)
Review: We Out Here, Brownswood Recordings' latest compilation, was born out of a desire by label boss Gilles Peterson to capture the essence of London's contemporary jazz scene. To ensure a sense of there "here and now", Peterson invited some of the city's brightest young bands and musicians into the studio in August 2017, recording the results over three action-packed days. The resulting never-heard-before tracks are, for the most part, joyous and thrilling, and range from trad jazz, jazz-funk and Latin jazz to acoustic-electronic fusions and groovy, guitar-laden downtempo explorations. It feels like a glimpse of a scene on the rise, and we wouldn't be surprised if many of those involved become modern British jazz greats in the years to come.
Review: Some two years after dropping his debut album, "Broken Knowz", Jay Daniel delivers a follow-up. Interestingly, the fast-rising Detroit producer opted to move away from his usual club sound on "Tala", recently telling Resident Advisor that it was, "an invitation to know me outside of DJing". It's as deep, jazzy and musically rich as you'd expect, with Daniel flitting between jazz-funk/broken beat fusion, spacey ambient soundscapes, head-nodding hip-hop beats, intergalactic R&B instrumentals, super-smooth beatdown fare and the kind of hushed, glassy-eyed grooves that are best enjoyed while lying flat on your back at six in the morning.
Review: Casbah strikes again with a powerful homage to the NYC foundations with this juicy, insatiably funky piece of disco soul. Driven by a belting vocal from Angela Goode, there's a strong sense of timelessness, honesty and raw funk that smacks with authenticity and one of the funkiest slap-bass breakdowns you'll hear all year. Chicago's Rahaan takes the remix duties with a pumping contemporary disco cut while Casbah strips things back himself for the essential DJ tool that is the percussion edit. Feel the love.
WAKE (For Grenfell) (feat Cherise Adams-Burnett) (9:07)
Stargaze #2: LAU (2:04)
Interplanetary Migration (feat Mr Ekow) (7:04)
Review: Jazz Re:freshed has a reputation for championing rising stars of British jazz, so it's little surprise to find the label releasing the debut album from SEED Ensemble, a ten-piece outfit led by saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi. And what a debut it is, too. Built around uniquely British twists on spiritual and uplifting jazz, the eight original compositions are beautifully written and performed. The handful of included vocal numbers boast politically charged lyrics that take aim at injustice and inequality, with "WAKE (for Grenfell)" standing out. It feels like an important record as much as an enjoyable one, and could well be the start of a very bright future for both Kinoshi and the SEED Ensemble.
Review: Yadava made a sterling debut appearance last year with the fully realised "It Rains Here" album on Church, and now he's following up that strong start with this equally excellent four tracker for Ad Hoc. The Manchester-based artist leads in with the natural bump and flex of "Grapefruits" and his jazzy chops are plain to hear throughout. "Heart Strings" lets spiritual strings and plenty of reverb shape out a misty mood that it's impossible to resist, while "Camomile Samba" brings a more uptempo feel to his honey-coated production. "Go Slow" finishes the record off on a supremely mellow beat down for those oh-so-sweet chill moments after the party.
Review: After debuting with their killer self-titled album back in 2015, Nubiyan Twist are back in full force with this incredible album on Strut. This is broken beat in full widescreen technicolour, with the hefty size of the band and their incredible chops whipping up all kinds of soul stirring patterns and shapes. There's a strong list of guests too, from Nick Richards to Pilo Adami, and not least the legendary ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke. From spiky futuristic workouts to delicate bossa inspired trips and drawing on a rich tapestry of cultural influences, this album bursts with life at every turn.
Review: Berlin via Los Angeles' Steve Huerta first made a name for himself on labels such as Amadeus (run by fellow Californian Urulu) and Retrofit - usually in collaboration with homeboy Yooj - who is known these days as Gene On Earth. Like the latter, Huerta has reinvented his sound with appearances on In Dust We Trust, Oscillat, and now with this terrific new four tracker for Berlin based retroverts Slow Life. From the hypnotic old-school swing of "Metafiction" with S Moreira, the sun-kissed broken beat of "Loose Thread" (calling to mind classic Atjazz) to the woozy and minimal "Pale Fire", this single perfectly fits the label's open end parties aboard the Hoppetosse.
With More Love (Special edit instrumental version) (6:42)
Review: Originally released back in 2009 in its' epic 13-minute original form, "With More Love" remains one of Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's most endearing tracks - a gorgeous chunk of sun-kissed spiritual house rich in fluid piano solos, sunset-ready classical guitar solos, undulating bass, non-verbal vocal harmonies and the producer's bouncy Afro-Latin house beats. Happily, Clausell has decided to reissue the track, offering up two scaled-down versions that fit on one tidy seven-inch single. On the A-side you'll find the "Special 7" Edit", a six minute blast of ultra-positive dancefloor bliss that's about the most positive thing we've heard in ages. Turn to the flip for a previously unreleased instrumental take that strips the track back further, allowing the gorgeous piano solos and busy bass guitar more room to breathe.
Review: Rob Luis clearly enjoys an unlikely but inspired cover version; over the years, his Tru Thoughts imprint has served up surprisingly good funk, jazz, reggae and brass band covers of everything from Roni Size's "Brown Paper Bag" and Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", to Max Sedgley's "Happy" and the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army". It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that Luis snapped up this vibrant South American cover of the Kaiser Chiefs' "I Predict A Riot" by Brazilian MPB revivalists Carolina Lins and Os Plantos. It's truly brilliant, with Lins' bold Portuguese vocal simply soaring over the band's samba-soul groove and fuzzy horn lines. As cover versions go, it's a bit of a doozy.
Derrick Carter - "Squaredancing" (DC Nu Vox dub) (4:59)
George Alexander - "Promised Land" (feat Big John Whitfield) (3:23)
Review: This tasty release is the first instalment of BBE and Soul Clap member Eli "Bamboozle" Goldstein's "House On 45" series. The basic idea is to offer up rare and hard to find house cuts that have only ever been released on seven-inch singles. To kick things off, Goldstein has selected Derrick Carter's 2017 "DC Nu Vox Dub" of his 2002 classic "Squaredancing In A Roundhouse", an insatiable version of a killer cut rich in bluesy samples, bumpin' beats and scat vocals. Equally as impressive is George Alexander and Big John Whitfield's 2009 cover of Joe Smooth classic "Promised Land", a warm and musically expansive affair that adds superb new flute and electric piano parts to one of house music's most celebrated songs.
Review: Stunning stuff here from the mysterious but utterly intriguing West Loop Chicago, an outfit only known for two previous releases on City Volt and nothing else. Taking cues from the broken beat and jazz scenes, this new record is a force to be reckoned with, not least as "The Serpent" comes wheeling in with a skittering drum funk and bugging synth lines to send you pinging into the cosmos. On the flip, "Divinity" has a more organic feel with Rhodes keys and piano dancing across the rhythms - these aren't specifically billed as edits, but given the project's background in disco re-rubs it's safe to assume these are two soul jazz bombs buffed up for your wild card spinning pleasure. There's even bonus beats for each track included - how considerate!
Just Negotiate (feat Simeon Jones - Kaidi Tatham remix) (6:41)
Century (feat Hardhouse Banton) (4:32)
Review: Fresh from the runaway success of his Yussef Kamaal project with Yussef Dayes, Henry Wu returns to Eglo Records for the first time since 2015. While it's jazzy broken beat opener "Deep In The Mudd" - co-produced by Hardhouse Banton - that's naturally getting most attention, there's plenty to get excited about elsewhere on the EP. Check, for example, the hissing jazz of "Boards & Skins", Kaidi Tatham's deep, sparkling and effortlessly soulful re-make of "Just Negotiate", and the ultra-deep, Rhodes-laden bliss of "Reflections", a beat-less treat. Also worth checking is the EP's other Hardhouse Banton hook-up, "Century", which charges off on a high-tempo, mutant P-funk tip.
Review: Despite not releasing all that much in 2018, Canadian nu-jazz combo BADBADNOTGOOD's reputation continued to rise. That was in no small part due to their eye-catching collaboration with Little Dragon, which resulted in the digital release of "Tried" back in September. Now the track has been given a deserved seven-inch single release by Ninja Tune. With LD lead vocalist Yukimi Nagano doing her best to channel the spirit of Minnie Riperton, "Tried" has a similarly languid, jazz/folk/soul fusion feel as some of the best works by Rotary Connection. BADBADNOTGOOD's admiration of the Charles Stepney-produced band comes through loud and clear through the choice of instruments and arrangements. For further proof, check the accompanying flipside instrumental mix.
Review: Blacks & Blues is a new name to 2000 Black, but the people behind the project are label stalwarts: Dego, Kaidi Tatham, Matt Lord (AKA Lordamercy) and vocalist Obenewa Aboah. With such talent on show, it's unsurprising that opener "Spin" - a cracking slab of broken-beat/soul fusion rich in military style drums, jazz-funk keys and summery vocals - is rather good. While dancefloor-friendly, the track feels loose, languid and tailor-made for outdoor parties. "Don't Know Why (Chant For Love)" is an even more lo-fi broken soul excursion (very Fatima), while "You Know The Feeling" recalls the jazz-funk-fired soulful club cuts of early 2000s broken beat heroes Bugz In The Attic.
Review: This long promised debut album from Pete Cunningham's hybrid electronic/acoustic jazz collective, Ishmael Ensemble, has already received rave reviews. Listening back, it's easy to see why. The collective specializes in inventive, slow-burn epics that fuse the producer's dance music influences with more traditional jazz and seductive songs that recall the folksy bliss of the Minnie Riperton fronted Rotary Connection. They're capable of laying down bona-fide floor-rockers - see "Siren!" and the sweaty, bass-heavy swirl of "Lapwing" - but it's often the more considered and atmospheric pieces ("The Chapel", "Yellow House (feat Yama Warashi)" and the trumpet-driven brilliance of "The River") that leave the longest lasting impression. Either way, it's a superb debut album that's well worth a listen.