Review: Turkish synth pop pride Jakuzi land a major record deal with the always trustworthy City Slang. Debuting in 2017 with the indie pop Fantezi Muzik LP, the trio, straight out of Istanbul's yet to be mined alternative pop scene, sees the group this time around deliver something that's slightly darker than before. Darker in the sense, that is, that their music now sounds more like Depeche Mode and The Sisters of Mercy, or even These New Puritans, than the sun-catching sounds of their previous release. Gothic tendencies to their instrumentalisation remain throughout the LP, and dark disco plays a part too alongside strands of post-punk guitars that all coalesse into a LP that will no doubt appeal to the shadier realms of pop and synth music lovers.
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for veteran leftfield indie rockers The Notwist. Their last album - the lo-fi cinematic soundtrack collection Music for "Storm" - dropped way back in 2009, making this belated comeback for City Slang long overdue. Happily, Close to the Glass is an impressive collection, offering just the right balance between Pavement-ish lo-fi fuzziness, touchy-feeling piano-laden atmospherics, folksy beauty and curiously experimental analogue electronics. While excellent throughout, it's when they bring all of these strands together - such as on the superb "Run, Run, Run" - that Close to the Glass really soars. As comebacks go, it's quietly impressive.
Review: Jessica Pratt's third solo album is a blessing from the start, with opener, "Opening Night", setting the album's tone as a sojourn through a fresh but solemn memory, like strolling through a mist swept pasture. With Pratt's unique vocal ranging tied up in a mix of space, crackle and forgotten reverie, her vocals at times sounding as if they're lost somewhere in a wireless ether. With softly played chords and delicate strumming sitting in tune with dreamy interludes and folky motifs, City Slang have arguably dropped their best record for 2019 first.
Review: London's krautrock, prog, electronica, free jazz and funk rock fusion specialist returns with his fourth full length for the mighty City Slang! "Depayse" remains fully laced with Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab's subtle Sudanese flair, singing praises and the word of love in "Everyone". The title track sees ambient jazz percussion give a giant runway for a massive guitar solo to take flight while album closer "Mango" delivers something of a West London-Caribbean vibe. In between is an album full of dips and climbs through the hill tops of a sunny afternoon somewhere in the feel-good malaise of Sinkane's multi-instrumental talents.
Review: The most recent entry in the storied CV of London-born Sudanese musician Ahmed Gallab has been a stint heading up the Atomic Bomb! band, whose role is to reinterpret the work of celebrated Afro-funk pioneer William Onyeabor. It's been a tenure that's had a marked impression on his new sixth record as Sinkane, on which cheerful disposition and rhythmic drive combine to offer a collection of uplifting songs that hark back to the funk and soul of the '70s and '80s with rare zeal and freshness. Replete with fizzing synths, brass and his rich falsetto, 'Life & Livin' It' is the moment that this longstanding sideman finds himself ready for his close-up.
Review: Texas band White Denim have been kicking around for the past decade with a constant stream of albums released through labels like Full Time Hobby, Downtown, and for a second time, City Slang. "Side Effects" follows up from 2018's "Performance" and the band deliver once more a hotted up selection of rock 'n' roll licks that touch on a grungey sound not too distant from the New York Dolls. Furthermore, White Denim maintain their finger picking, folk and bluesy take on psychedelica, and acid washed or not, the band remain no frills in their musical technique with a subtle but quality touch of glam too. School's out for summer!