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Dave Lee gets to load up the stems of STR4TA's "After The Rain" into his disco desk, the modern 12" mix aficionado carrying on the timeless tradition and giving us two, side-long interpretations of this killer STR4TA track. Produced by Gilles Peterson and Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick, STR4TA is the catalyst for a homegrown, new wave of jazz-funk movement.

This rework of "After The Rain’=" harps back to the classic Brit-Funk era whilst tailoring it to contemporary club culture with a spaced out dub; conscientiously keeping the essence of what is magical in the original mix. With the aim of giving more exposure to parts which are not so prominent in the original, Lee’s production process involved rearranging and rebalancing those parts, using a fading technique to create tension, moments and surprises that flow together, capturing that raw, moment to moment interaction and improvisation by the musicians involved.




STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Dave Lee, Giles Peterson and Jean-Paul Maunick under a Brit-funk state of mind? Sounds like musical heaven - and it is! A joy on the ears and the feet, you can tell how much enjoyment everyone involved is having from as soon as the needle hits the record. Your next living room disco needs this!

TRACK LISTING

A1. After The Rain (Dave Lee Alternative II Mix)
B1. After The Rain (Dave Lee Alternative II Dub

Back in stock Cover of The Sun / Journey by Secret Night Gang.

Secret Night Gang

The Sun / Journey

Handpicked by Gilles Peterson from Manchester’s vibrant live music scene, and newly signed to Brownswood, 2021 set to be the main stage for them to breeze on to the scene, as a multi-generational band breathing new life into the classic British street-soul sound, founded by singer/song-writer Kemani Anderson, multi-instrumentalist and song-writer Callum Connell and Manchester music scene stalwart Stuart Whitehead.

Debut track ‘The Sun’ was inspired by a poem written by Callum Connell at the top of Greenwich Park viewpoint looking over the infamous London cityscape as the sun set. At the time the band were writing and arranging separately with Callum & Kemani living in South London while they attended Trinity Laban (following in the footsteps of many of the UK’s young Jazz prodigies). Eventually, they congregated for a fateful recording session at Blueprint studios in Manchester, that would be the amalgamation of their individual processes, to create ‘The Sun’. Inspired by four bass chords flowing like a stream of consciousness, Callum’s poem sprung to life as the centrepiece of the track, with the melody being polished and refined by Kemani on keys and vocals. The result is an invigorating debut produced by influential music producer and sound engineer Yvonne Ellis (Simply Red & Swing Out Sister). Kemani coins this sound as “spiritual and healing” whilst Callum shares “The Sun’ is a powerful and uplifting song that can take you on a spiritual journey but also make you reflect on everyday life.” 

TRACK LISTING

A. The Sun
AA. The Journey 

Kokoroko

Baba Ayoola / Carry Me Home

Kokoroko return with this exclusive double A side vinyl of 'Baba Ayoola' and 'Carry Me Home' released via Brownswood Recordings. Both singles achieved huge support upon digital release by BBC Radio, BBC 6 Music, 1Xtra, Afropunk, Clash, Rolling Stone France & NPR.

'Baba Ayoola' was written as a tribute to the grandfather of the band's alto saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi and is 'an invitation to celebrate life'. Whilst 'Carry Me Home' was inspired by conversations with the masterful Dele Sosimi, whose technical ability in bridging the gap between the West African afrobeat sound of his roots, and the London energy of his upbringing, has directly informed the ever-impressive capabilities demonstrated by London's eight-piece collective, Kokoroko. Lively, and capturing that colourful hustle n bustle of the capitol; it’s a great double A-side to propel this band forward. Looking forward to a Manchester appearance soon guys!

TRACK LISTING

A1. Baba Ayoola
AA1. Carry Me Home

Gilles Peterson presents a time capsule of musical magic. Taken from a day of live sessions in London’s legendary Maida Vale Studios - studio MV4 to be exact, it was originally intended just for Peterson’s BBC radio show broadcast on 20th October 2018. Struck by what a special moment the sessions captured, Peterson has decided to mark the results with a release proper on his Brownswood imprint. It features a diverse, all-star cast of some of the acts celebrated by Peterson in recent years, in a series of freewheeling and off-the-cuff recordings, several of the tracks backed by the group of Brownswood signee, Joe Armon-Jones. Featuring Dylan Jones, James Mollison, Mutale Chashi, and Marijus Aleksa as well as guest turns from Fatima, Asheber, Nubya Garcia, Hak Baker, and Oscar Jerome, plus a double track special from Bristol based collective, Ishmael Ensemble.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Joe Armon-Jones - Starting Today (feat. Asheber) (Live From Maida Vale)
B1. Oscar Jerome & Joe Armon-Jones Band - Do You Really (Live From Maida Vale)
B2. Fatima & Joe Armon-Jones Band - Only (Live From Maida Vale)
C1. Nubya Garcia & Joe Armon-Jones Band - Hold (Live From Maida Vale)
C2. Hak Baker & Joe Armon-Jones Band - Thirsty Thursday (Live From Maida Vale)
D1. Ishmael Ensemble - The Chapel (Live From Maida Vale)*
D1. Ishmael Ensemble - Tunnels (Live From Maida Vale)*
D2. Joe Armon-Jones - Almost Went Too Far (Live From Maida Vale)

*two Tracks Merged Into One.

Gilles Peterson has partnered with Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick to reinvigorate the loose, protean energy of the early-80s Brit-funk scene. STR4TA sees them mine new musical possibilities outof that shared formative era. On “Aspects”, they revisit that important period and the spirit that guided it: self-taught, DIY vitality, and a raucous energy built on live performance. Bringing a fresh slant to a sound first developed by groups like Atmosfear, Hi-Tension, Light of the World and Freeez – with Maunick, it should be noted, also a member of the latter two bands – it’s the first material that Maunick and Peterson have released together in over a decade.

It’s an idea that had been in the works for a while, but which was encouraged by a surprising catalyst: the award acceptance speech by Tyler, the Creator at the 2020 Brit Awards, where he shouted out the influence of “British funk from the 80s”. It was an acknowledgement of the particular sound that Maunick and his peers had honed, where their US influences were reoriented through their own circumstances. “Like everybody else who plays music, we tried to emulate our heroes,” Maunick says. “But we didn’t have the tools, we hadn’t studied music: were all playing by ear, and we were coming off bits and pieces that we liked off certain records.” This record is guided by the same ethos. An array of musical touchpoints have fed into the album’s direct, no-frills entries: each track’s parts are cut back to the bare bone. In writing and recording the album, the pair of them would work together to strike upon the point of departure – more naive, less considered – that had produced that killer Brit-funk sound. Peterson would dig out records that showed particular flashes or moods as jumping off points, and Maunick would then work with collaborators to build new directions out of those prompts or suggestions.

It’s the latest chapter in a story that started with Peterson interviewing Maunick in his parents’ garden shed, the first interview that the former had ever conducted. Later, they would reconnect to put out a string of celebrated Incognito albums on Peterson’s pioneering, now-defunct Talkin’ Loud imprint. Now, linking up once more, they unpick an under-appreciated flashpoint in a vital musical lineage, one which each of them has been instrumental in shaping.

TRACK LISTING

1. Aspects
2. Rhythm In Your Mind
3. Dance Desire
4. We Like It
5. Steppers Crusade
6. After The Rain
7. Give In To What Is Real
8. Kinshasa FC
9. Vision 9

Fabled as the city where dreams come to thrive or die, Johannesburg is forever pumping out the life-giving force of criss-crossing sonic tributaries. As this collection of specially recorded new music shows, every generation must discover for itself what perfecting the alchemy of that expression entails. Indaba Is - produced and managed by pianist Thandi Ntuli and The Brother Moves On bandleader Siyabonga Mthembu, tackles that inquiry with refreshing insight.

The act of gathering to record in a time of isolation becomes one of anchoring and care, creating an energy field and capturing a living culture of making music. It is one in which bands exist to birth musical concepts as opposed to being static monoliths. Mostly recorded at Dyertribe Studio in Centurion, outside of Johannesburg, Indaba Is propels a collective of South African bands into the precipice of a new frontier. Jazz becomes a departure point as opposed to a tether.

“The magic was in the choosing of artists who kind of straddle different genres, different ideas and sounds,” says Ntuli. “We put together musicians who are not in that kind of straight-ahead place, even though some may have been in the jazz tradition or jazz-influenced styles of music.” The collection features eight tracks, attributed to Bokani Dyer, Lwanda Gogwana, The Brother Moves On, Thandi Ntuli, The Wretched, Sibusile Xaba and Iphupho likaBiko. Think of the names as thresholds through which ideas cross into the populace as opposed to being signifiers of strict ownership. For one, there is no mistaking the almost spectral presence of both Ntuli and Mthembu in and around the music. “Between me and Thandi, we pick up on the producer duties for four of the tracks,” says Mthembu. “Some of the bands came with already preconceived ideas of what they wanted to do and needed just facilitation on getting it done.” Overall, the pair also provided enabling briefs which harnessed the collective energy of scenes often seen as operating centrifugally to Johannesburg’s all-consuming pull, or a little further down in its tiers of visibility. There are several examples where this approach yields astounding results.

Indigenous knowledge is perhaps at the root of it, and a reverence for its treasures is instant, but there is an overall sense that Indaba Is asks us to consider the heavy lifting that remains.

Johannesburg, a city without a landmark water source, built on excavating the energy of its living dead, has never sounded so world-weary, and yet so ready to emerge out of the hold. With its unity of purpose, Indaba Is represents the crucible, untenable to the touch yet warm to the soul.

TRACK LISTING

LP
A1. Bokani Dyer - Ke Nako
A2. The Brother Moves On - Umthandazo Wamagenge
B1. Lwanda Gogwana - All Ok
B2. The Wretched - What Is History
C1. Sibusile Xaba With Naftali, Fakazile Nkosi, & AshK - Umdali
C2. The Ancestors - Prelude To Writing Together
D1. Thandi Ntuli - Dikeledi
D2. IPhupho L’ka Biko Ft Siyabonga Mthembu & Kinsmen - Abaphezulu

CD
1. Bokani Dyer - Ke Nako
2. The Brother Moves On - Umthandazo Wamagenge
3. Lwanda Gogwana - All Ok
4. The Wretched - What Is History
5. Sibusile Xaba With Naftali, Fakazile Nkosi, & AshK - Umdali
6. The Ancestors - Prelude To Writing Together
7. Thandi Ntuli - Dikeledi
8. IPhupho L’ka Biko Ft Siyabonga Mthembu & Kinsmen - Abaphezulu

On 20th November, Brownswood Recordings release the 4th edition of the Future Bubblers compilation. An expansion of Gilles Peterson’s network and supported by Arts Council England, the talent discovery and artist development scheme focuses on developing unsigned talent and building audiences for new left-field music. With support from PRS Foundation as Talent Development Partners, the professional recording, manufacturing and physical release of Future Bubblers 4.0 is made possible. Unlike any other initiatives within music, the compilation acts as a springboard for the musician’s careers with the cooperative model providing direct revenue to the artists by a share of the profits resulting in a sustainable income to work from. Previous Future Bubblers include artists such as Yazmin Lacey, Skinny Pelembe, MC Snowy and Kayla Painter to name a few. The 8 track compilation is a musically diverse collection of tracks, fusing genres that span across Electronic, Alt-R&B, Alt-Hip-Hop, Spoken word, Neo-Soul, Jazz and beyond. Opening with Forest Law - who recently released his debut EP on Brownswood Recordings - ‘Slow One’ combines his effortless vocals with a kaleidoscopic of groove-driven instrumentation. Singer/songwriter Quko demonstrates sonic elegance on his emotive track ‘My Darling Spaceship’ whilst HMD’s ‘If I’ reminds us that we’re only given one shot at life. Up next, Kiddus offers up a bouncy, late-night vibe on ‘Slow’ and An Alien Called Harmony switches things up with Nadeem Din-Gabisi and Metta Shiba proving their formidable connection on ‘N.H.H’. Manchester MC KinKai pours his old soul onto the page on ‘Scatty Brain Dump’ followed by Iman Houssein’s distorted vocals and delicate keys on ‘Slow Things Down’. Rounding the compilation off perfectly is Lazy H’s epic ‘When The Horn Comes In’ which perfectly combines elements of electronic and live. Spanning just over 30 minutes, Future Bubblers 4.0 is an extremely impressive assemblage of talent who have all delivered top-shelf tunes. Released both digitally and on vinyl, the compilation embodies the spirit of the musicians as well as the team behind Future Bubblers.

BBC 6Music play - Premiere for Lazy H as Near Future track on BBC 6Music, Mary Anne Hobbs. Comes in at 1:09:56
BBC 6Music play on Gilles Peterson’s show, for Iman Houssein 'Slow Things Down’, comes in at 1:19:27
Think Outside with Lefto show simulcast on Worldwide FM & Kiosk, played Iman Houssein 'Slow Things Down’, listen back link available here.

“A pleasing round-up of names to watch"
DJ Mag’s reviewed the project, attached a screen shot
Other magazines and publications have also supported such as COLORS Blog, Vinyl Factory, Guap, Mixmag & More. 



STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: The long awaited Future Bubblers 0.4 is here after some Covid- hold ups, now we can bask in the beauty of this compilation. As always Brownswood locates all the up and coming talent in Nu Jazz, Hip Hop and Neo Soul so you’re always up to date with what’s hot right now!

TRACK LISTING

1. Forest - Law Slow One
2. Quko - My Darling Spaceship
3. Hmd - If I
4. Kiddus - Slow
5. An Alien Called Harmony - N.H.H (Needlessly Heedlessly Headless)
6. Kinkai - Scatty Brain Dump
7. Iman Houssein - Slow Things Down
8. Lazy H - When The Horns Come In

There’s something universal in the appeal of an escape – of finding somewhere to relax and explore your ideas. It’s a feeling which connects together the different parts of Maisha’s debut album. A deep record which provides grist for serious spiritual rumination, the music prompts internal reflection as much as it reflects the surrounds which shaped it. Each of its tracks provokes a feeling of intense revery which is timeless, on the one hand, but realised through a confluence of sounds and circumstances which are undeniably of the present.

The six-piece group, led by bandleader Jake Long, bring a fresh slant to the weighty spiritual jazz tradition. Their 2016 debut EP was released through Jazz Re:freshed (whose weekly shows and record label are an institution for forward-thinking jazz), and were part of We Out Here, Brownswood’s early 2018 record which documented London’s genre-bending, jazz-influenced underground. They’ve been featured on Boiler Room, supported the Sun Ra Arkestra, and played at Church of Sound, a live series that’s quickly become a staple of the emergent scene.

The album’s title alludes to a small, secluded park which bandleader Jake Long would often retreat to, whose peaceful surrounds were the setting for regular moments of reflection. It’s also a reference to London. Or to be more specific, the side of London which has helped nurture him and his peers: rehearsal rooms, friend’s houses and intimate venues. Its band members, Amané Suganami, Twm Dylan, Tim Doyle, Yahael Camara-Onono, Shirley Tetteh and Nubya Garcia, the latter of whom played a part in shaping the early sound of the band, are musicians who’ve come through the same circles as Long.

It was recorded across three days in mid-2018. The songs have grown out of their live sets over the past year or two, where each of them would take shape in rehearsals to then be tweaked as they worked out different approaches to them in their performances. It’s an organic kind of refinement, and one that’s audible in the music: songs unfold slowly, each of their parts given time to breathe, building up to crescendos which are patiently earnt.

It’s possible to trace a personal geography of music, place and memory just through the album’s track titles. On ‘Osiris’, the track’s beguiling melodies are framed in terms of Egyptian mythology, imagery prompted by old books that Long found in his grandparents’ house; ‘Azure’ hints at the blues forms winding their way through the track’s textured wandering; ‘Eaglehurst Place’, where a tense, rhythmic groove drives the track forward, is reference to a house share with musical peers like Joe Armon-Jones, Femi Koleoso and Rosie Turton.

Spiritual jazz is a tradition that’s leaden with its own traditions, histories and stories. Maisha carve out out their own style through that weight of expectation: they take stock of that history, channelling the greats like Pharoah Sanders, while filtering their own influences – which range from jazz to Afrobeat – through every part of their musical process. It’s a sound which rests on trance-inducing rhythms, instinctive musical interchange and repeated, deeply enriching melodic refrains. It’s a combination which has made for their own singular sound.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: 'There Is A Place' pits airy ambient instrumental flourishes with more upbebat ruminations, rich with a free-flowing improvisation style and propulsive loungy spirit.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Osiris
A2. Azure
B1. Eaglehurst/The Palace
B2. Kaa
B3. There Is A Place

Zara McFarlane

Songs Of An Unknown Tongue

    Brownswood are delighted to present Zara McFarlane’s, Songs of an Unknown Tongue a masterful work that underlines her continuous growth as an artist. Zara’s fourth studio album pushes the boundaries of jazz adjacent music via an exploration into the folk and spiritual traditions of her ancestral motherland, Jamaica. The album is a rumination on the piecing together of black heritage, where painful and proud histories are uncovered and connected to the present.

    Partnering with cult South London based producers Kwake Bass and Wu-lu, Zara has created a futuristic sound palate, electronically recreating the pulsing, hypnotic rhythms Kumina and Nyabinghi – and the music played at African rooted rituals like the emancipation celebration Bruckins Party, and the lively death rites of Dinki Minki and Gerreh. These richly patterned electronic rhythms are balanced throughout by McFarlane’s distinctive, clear vocal tones, and vivid song writing.

    Zara’s critically acclaimed third studio album ‘Arise’ met with universal critical praise, and was supported by an impressive live tour performing at festivals such as Love Supreme, Field Day and SXSW. Zara is the winner of multiple awards including a Mobo, 2 Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year Award (2018 & 2015), an Urban Music Award, and Session of the Year at Worldwide Awards. Drawing respect from a wide range of artists, Zara has collaborated with Gregory Porter, Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd and Louie Vega.

    These new sonic explorations signal an exciting direction of travel for this innovative founding member of the UK’s vibrant homegrown jazz scene.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: Zara McFarlane’s striking album ‘Songs of an Unknown Tongue’ is a reflective, hypnotic release filled with rich tones of roots-reggae, futuristic soul and rapid jazz tempos. The standout track for me is “Future Echoes” beaming with vibrancy and paired alongside a deep bassline, its soaring highs accentuate her stunning vocals and lyrical song-writing prowess. This genre-fusing album is a work of art, accentuating her personal growth and reflective aura through captivating storytelling.
    McFarlane’s rich and vivid vocals project a soothing, cathartic atmosphere, as though being awoken from a deep slumber – it feels warm and personal. Her vocal range is what takes your breath away, from steep impactful high-notes then fluctuating to deep, profoundly rich soft presence. It’s clear to see why Zara McFarlane has been highly regarded on the Brownswood label as one to watch, well here she is.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Everything Is Connected
    2. Black Treasure
    3. My Story
    4. Broken Water
    5. Saltwater
    6. Run Of Your Life
    7. State Of Mind
    8. Native Nomad
    9. Roots Of Freedom
    10. Future Echoes

    Forest Law

    Forest Law EP

      Rio meets Romford on Forest Law’s EP, the Essex-raised, London-based artist’s debut on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label. He was first discovered through Future Bubblers, Peterson’s programme for new and unsigned artists, and this release is an assured introduction to the singer and multi-instrumentalist’s tight, groove-driven sound. The EP features Esa Williams (Soundway, Rush Hour) on the berimbau on ‘Keep an Eye Out’, his mentor through Future Bubblers and bandmate in Esa’s Afro-Synth Band. A bright, Brazilian-tinted sensibility runs through every track which Forest Law creates. From Hornchurch, Essex, and now based in London, he makes warm, eclectic compositions in his garden shed. He takes groove as his driving force, building outwards in kaleidoscopic directions.


      TRACK LISTING

      A1. New Thoughts New Eyes (Extended Mix)
      B1. Keep An Eye Out
      B2. Voa Baixo

      This debut album by prodigious keys player, composer and producer Joe Armon-Jones, is buoyant, celebratory and welcoming. With a background in jazz, he draws from influences in dub, hip-hop and soul. Different traditions are infused and commingled together. Soulful brass arrangements are coloured with carefully-tuned atmospherics; individual flashes of brilliance are bound into the album’s bigger picture. He’s part of London’s young, jazz-influenced music scene. Drawn from that same close-knit circle, the album features the likes of Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia and Oscar Jerome. It’s playing with those – along with Ezra Collective, which he co-founded, and touring with the likes of Ata Kak and Pharoahe Monch – which has honed his playing and grown his ideas. It’s made for a record with an unmistakable depth. He draws on deep musical understanding, making music which is warm and has a feeling of joy. A document of his vision for bringing together his different influences, it’s also a testament to hard-earned, head-turning musical virtuosity.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Starting Today Ft. Ras Asheber
      A2. Almost Went Too Far
      A3. Mollison Dub
      B1. London’s Face Ft. Oscar Jerome
      B2. Ragify Ft. Big Sharer
      B3. Outro (Fornow)

      A heavy new compilation from Brownswood shines a light on the independent underground in Melbourne, where a close-knit collection of artists have taken cues from soul, jazz and club culture to carve out a fresh Melbournian sound. Featuring nine different groups, many of them sharing members and studios, the record surveys the musical contours of this bubbling scene, nodding to house, broken beat, samba, p-funk and soul.

      Recorded over a week at The Grove, a fabled house-cum-studio in the North Melbourne suburb of Coburg, it’s home to the record’s engineer, Nick Herrera, and two members of Hiatus Kaiyote, the city’s breakout gangster-soul dons with whom many of the record’s personnel have collaborated. Silentjay was musical director, the Rhythm Section-affiliated multi-instrumentalist and producer (who’s played with Joey Bada$$ and Flying Lotus) marshalling together the album’s different players, many of them part of influential collectives 30/70 and Mandarin Dreams.

      Nurtured in the city’s collaborative, close-knit confines, the scene has been bubbling up under the radar of Australian music institutions, in the garages and makeshift studios of Melbourne’s suburban sprawl. Sunny Side Up is a colourful portrait of the scene’s potential, exploring the story behind this flourishing period and shining light on some of its most compelling figures.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Millie says: Brownswood shifts its focus to creative collectives from Melbourne in Sunny Side Up, filled to the brim with Afro-beat, jazzy goodness and samba. From Allysha Joy to SilentJay, this compilation provides the relaxing chilled tones which make you want to sail away on an idyllic coastline.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Phil Stroud - Banksia
      2. Dufresne - Pick Up / Galaxy
      3. Kuzich - There Is No Time
      4. Audrey Powne - Bleeding Hearts
      5. Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange - Powers 2 (The People)
      6. Laneous - Nice To See You
      7. Silentjay - Eternal / Internal Peace
      8. Horatio Luna -The Wake-Up
      9. Allysha Joy - Orbit

      Bridging distinct but closely connected music scenes can open new possibilities. On ‘No More Normal’, Swindle confidently grasps the different sides to the UK music scene. Boasting roots in the boundary-pushing world of Grime & Dubstep, this album marks the next step in the London-raised producer’s expanded vision for his music. It fuses different disciplines together in new and electrifying ways. He connects a group of peers sharing creative common ground, one that centres around the fertile space between UK Jazz, Grime and Hip Hop. The results span from lush, strings-laden soul to voicebox-heavy p-funk – often in the course of one song. “It’s a class photo of 2018,” he says. “I need everyone in this picture.” It incorporates an all-star cast of MC’s in Kojey Radical, Ghetts, D Double E and P Money, to instrumentalists Yussef Dayes, Nubya Garcia, Riot Jazz, and singers such as Etta Bond, Eva Lazarus, Daley and Kiko Bun.

      The album was built over a three year period. The opening track “‘What We Do’ became the track that set the scene for each studio session, a way of Swindle explaining what he was setting out to achieve. Featuring an (on paper) unusual combination of R&B singer Daley, Grime legends P Money & D Double E, and an opening speech from Bristol-based spoken word artist, Rider Shafique - “It describes the narrative of the record overall and helped set the agenda for what followed - I made a lot of tracks that were really good that at the end of the day didn’t fit this project”. The resulting work has a pervading sense of triumph against the odds, and a celebration of togetherness at this moment of fragmentation that manages to feel both optimistic and nostalgic. A record that could have only been made in today’s multicultural Britain. “No More Normal is the idea of us doing our thing, our way, with no rules or limitations. It is jazz influenced as much as it is grime influenced. It’s London influenced as much as it is LA influenced. I can work with D Double E and Nubya Garcia, these records are my imagination brought to life in musical form”.



      STAFF COMMENTS

      Millie says: High energy Hip Hop at its finest, Swindle’s album No More Normal varies from Jazz to Hip Hop, Grime to R&B and just a bit of everything in-between. My personal favourites are ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Grateful’, articulate lyrics and boss beats create this confident and collaborative album.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. What We Do (Feat. Rider ShafIque, P Money, D Double E + Daley)
      A2. Get Paid
      A3. Drill Work (Feat. Ghetts)
      A4. Run Up (Feat. Kiko Bun, Knucks, Eva Lazarus + Nubya Garcia)
      A5. Coming Home (Feat. Kojey Radical)
      A6. Reach The Stars (Feat. Andrew Ashong)
      B1. Knowledge (Feat. Eva Lazarus + Kiko Bun)
      B2. Take It Back (Feat. D Double E + Kiko Bun)
      B3. California (Feat. Etta Bond + Kojey Radical)
      B4. Talk A Lot (Feat. Eva Lazarus + Mansur Brown)
      B5. Grateful (Feat. Kojey Radical + Rider ShafIque)

      Toshio Matsuura Group

      Loveplaydance - 8 Scenes From The Floor

      On ‘LOVEPLAYDANCE’, legendary Tokyo DJ and producer Toshio Matsuura charts a new direction. Casting musical cornerstones in a fresh light, the Toshio Matsuura Group features Tom Skinner (drummer for Sons of Kemet and Owiny Sigoma Band amongst others) as its musical director, as well as some of the UK’s most exciting jazz-influenced musicians. Drawing on years of surveying and curating different corners of music, Matsuura deftly combines this talented pool of players into one singular, wide-ranging album.

      A co-founder of Japan’s United Future Organisation (aka U.F.O.), this new record sees Matsuura reconnect with longstanding friend and collaborator Gilles Peterson. Releasing the album via Brownswood Recordings in the UK, it’s a continuation of a relationship which started as a bridge between London’s then-blossoming jazz scene and Tokyo’s new musical vanguard of the early ‘90s. This album continues that two-way dialogue between Japan and the UK.

      The project is focused on covers, putting classic or influential tracks in a new context, spanning a cross-section of Matsuura’s taste. On ‘Black Gold of the Sun’, Cuban vocalist Daymé Arocena fronts a new take on the Rotary Connection classic, along with a band – guided by Tom Skinner – that features her prodigious Havana-based players. Elsewhere, Byron Morris and Unity’s ‘Kitty Bey’, a Dingwalls classic, is knocked into a tight, high energy new shape (by a band that includes Yussef Dayes, Yazz Ahmed and Nubya Garcia.)

      The scope of the music reflects the breadth of Matsuura’s interests. It ranges from Bugges Wesseltoft’s Detroit-influenced, dancefloor-minded jazz, stretched out into a more meditative contemplation, to Flying Lotus’ LA-rooted, Brainfeeder beatmaking, translated from laptop-to-live, given a new, equally idiosyncratic lease of life. Elsewhere, Carl Craig’s iconic ‘At Les’ is taken in a looser direction, the overtones of euphoria cast in a different hue.

      They’re touchpoints which hint at interests in the different, diffuse corners of electronic music, and how they connect to jazz and improvisation. Coming to this project from the perspective of a DJ, producer and curator, it’s an album that shows his grasp of the bigger picture. This album shows him finding the threads which connect those different scenes together, exploring a to-and-fro – between live, played instruments, and the possibilities found in laptops and samplers – which has long been a backdrop to music aimed at dancefloors.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Millie says: Brownswood yet again producing the best jazz around, the twist of classic jazz presented in a contemporary way is fab! A favourite of mine has to be the Flying Lotus cover Do The Astral Plane!

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Change
      2. High Noon
      3. L.M. II (Full Length)
      4. I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun
      5. Kitty Bey
      6. Brown Paper Bag
      7. Do The Astral Plane

      A primer on London’s bright-burning young jazz scene, this new compilation brings together a collection of some of its sharpest talents. A set of nine newly-recorded tracks, We Out Here captures a moment where genre markers matter less than raw, focused energy. Looking at the album’s running order, it could easily serve as a name-checking exercise for some of London’s most-tipped and hardworking bands of the past couple of years. Recorded across three long, fruitful days in a North West London studio, the crossover between each of the groups speaks to the close-knit circles which make up the scene.

      Surveying the way that London’s jazz-influenced music had spread outside of its usual spaces in recent years, this album bottles up some of the vital ideas emanating from that burgeoning movement. Giving a platform to a scene where mutual cooperation and a DIY spirit are second-nature, it’s a window into the wide-eyed future of London’s musical underground.

      Ubiquitous, much-lauded saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is the project’s musical director. His own recent projects span from South Africa-connected, spiritually-minded jazz players Shabaka and the Ancestors to Sons of Kemet, who match diasporically-connected compositions with viscerally-direct live shows. His entry on the album, ‘Black Skin, Black Masks’, is typically difficult-to-define: with an off-kilter, shifting rhythmic backbone, repeated phrases – mirrored between clarinet and bass clarinet – shape the track with an alluring hue. His input ties together a deft, genre-agnostic sensibility that’s shared through all the players on the record.

      Theon Cross – who’s also part of Sons of Kemet with Hutchings – starts his track, ‘Brockley’, with the solo, distinctive low rumble of his tuba. Winding and mesmeric, it sees tuba and sax lines winding together in rhythmic and melodic parallels. Ezra Collective – whose drummer and bandleader Femi Koleoso has toured with Pharaohe Monch – run a tight, Afrobeat-tipped rhythm on ‘Pure Shade’, with the final third changing gear into a melodic, momentous closing stretch.

      Joe Armon-Jones, whose ludicrous chops on the piano have seen him touring with the likes of Ata Kak, showcases earworm-like, insistent motifs on ‘Go See’, balanced with a playful, improvisatory approach with room for ad-libbing and solos a-plenty. Taking a softer tact than many of the other entries, Kokoroko – whose guitarist Oscar Jerome has been making waves with his solo material – spin a lyrical, steady-paced meditation on ‘Abusey Junction’, matching chanted vocals with gently-played guitar.

      Nodding to spiritual jazz influences, Maisha’s ‘Inside The Acorn’ is a wandering, explorative rumination, balancing delicate washes of piano and percussion with sharp interplay between flute and bass clarinet. In contrast, Nubya Garcia’s ‘Once’ is taut and carefully-poised, her tenor sax guiding a carefully-built energy to an explosive conclusion. And finally, Triforce’s ‘Walls’ is a performance in two parts: starting with Mansur Brown’s languorous, lyrical guitar, the second half switches up to a low-slung, g-funk-tipped groove.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Millie says: The trusty Brownswood label at the rescue again to point out all the new music you should be listening too, We Out Here is a collection of London’s blooming and ever-growing young musicians Jazz scene. This captures the vibe and hub around upcoming Jazz, elements of traditional raw Jazz elements matched with swooning percussion. The contemporary style reaches back into its essential past and is shone in a new era of up and coming artists.

      TRACK LISTING

      LP
      A.1 Maisha - Inside The Acorn
      A.2 Ezra Collective - Pure Shade
      B.1 Moses Boyd - The Balance
      B.2 Theon Cross - Brockley
      C1. Nubya Garcia - Once
      C2. Shabaka Hutchings - Black Skin, Black Masks
      C3. Triforce - Walls
      D1. Joe Armon-Jones - Go See
      D2. Kokoroko - Abusey Junction

      CD
      1. Maisha - Inside The Acorn
      2. Ezra Collective - Pure Shade
      3. Moses Boyd - The Balance
      4. Theon Cross - Brockley
      5. Nubya Garcia - Once
      6. Shabaka Hutchings - Black Skin, Black Masks
      7. Triforce - Walls
      8. Joe Armon-Jones - Go See
      9. Kokoroko - Abusey Junction

      Shabaka And The Ancestors

      Wisdom Of Elders

        Tradition shapes your work. For saxophonist and bandleader Shabaka Hutchings, that’s something he’s long understood. After years spent in the orbit of London’s jazz circuit, he examines and reimagines his influences with a dexterity that’s unique. Drawing out the vision underlying his new album, he says, “I see energy as being a form of wisdom to be passed down through the ages.” Unpicking the album’s title, he continues, “When we study the music, the lives, the words of our master musicians we obtain a glimpse of that artist’s essential energy source. This is the core vitality of the individual which leads them to utilise the musical specifics of their chosen genre in a way that mirrors their inner source of power. This is an intuited wisdom that’s handed to us from the legacies of our elders.” The album is a document of sessions combining Hutchings with a group of South African jazz musicians he’s long admired. His connection to the group was Mandla Mlangeni (bandleader of the Amandla Freedom Ensemble), whom he’d flown there to play with over the past few years. Recorded across just one day, the group drew on their South African lineage – heroes like Zim Ngquwana and Bheki Mseleku – to bring their own slant to the American jazz lineage being reconfigured in Hutchings’ compositions themselves. Going beyond the jazz greats Hutchings cites, influences are drawn from plenty of other sources: Caribbean calypso, central African song structures and Southern African Nguni music all play a part. Bringing together those ideas with the contributions of his bandmates is, he explains, crucial to what he sees in the role of an album artist. “Even though I wrote all the music, for me, the leader of the project isn’t the person who writes all the music but the one who has a vision for how certain musical elements will be combined.” Born in London, moving to the Barbados from the age of six to 16, his tenor sax has become a regular sight on stages around London and beyond since his return. Receiving awards from Jazz FM and the MOBOs for playing in – and often leading – groups like Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, Melt Yourself Down and Sun Ra Arkestra, he’s part of a generation whose idea of jazz is pointedly unrefined. That’s to say, "Wisdom of Elders" comes from an artist interested in the indefinable gaps more than fitting into boxes. 

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Mzawandile
        2. Joyous
        3. The Observer
        4. The Sea
        5. The Observed
        6. Natty
        7. OBS
        8. Give Thanks
        9. Nguni

        Anushka

        Distorted Air EP

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

          Brighton-based duo Max Wheeler (producer) and Victoria Port (singer/songwriter) are a classic British concoction of jazz-inflected heady dance floor thrills. While Victoria’s melodies bring the sweetness, the tracks have the low-end weight to please DJ mavens like Karizma and Brackles on Rinse and Moxie and Annie Mac on Radio 1.

          The results could be described as a UK Funky Lorde. The ‘Distorted Air’ EP forthcoming on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings, is full of Victoria’s songwriting on fractious romance, ever the well-spring of transcendent pop with sweet female attitude. There’s relationship breakdown on ‘Broken Circuit’ or the claustrophobia of ‘World In A Room’. All of which brings to mind 1998 Talkin’ Loud signing MJ Cole and his bedroom produced classic ‘Sincere’ which traded on a similar brew of jazz, musicality, connection with the living dance floor and the pull and push of love.


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