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Caoilfhionn (pronounced Keelin) Rose is a singer, songwriter and producer from Manchester. Emerging from a diverse music scene, she ties together remnants of Manchester's musical past with its evolving present. She has collaborated with musicians from around the world and is perhaps best known for her work with Vini Reilly of Durutti Column: Collaborating on four songs on The Durutti Column - Chronicle LX:XL album. She grew up surrounded by music (dad loved jazz and mum was a massive folk fan) but it wasn't until her late teens that the muse took hold: "I've always been interested in music but I really started to get into it after a period of illness when I was 17. It was music that made me begin to feel like myself again. Listening to my iPod, everything felt new and exciting and yet vaguely familiar and nostalgic." A year or so later, during her recovery she started to write songs again on the piano and started performing in Manchester, graduating through open mic slots to her own shows.

Caoilfhionn's music draws on a diverse range of influences from The Mummers, to Rachel Sermanni, Melody's Echo Chamber and Broadcast. She also professes to a love for beautiful, stripped back, piano based music, such as Dustin O'Halloran and Peter Broderick. Vini Reilly from The Durutti Column is also a big influence and inspiration. "We're friends now after collaborating a few years ago and I have become a big fan of his music. It is intricate and detailed but spontaneous and free." Another inspiration is her immediate environment. With Manchester's Fletcher Moss Park especially inspiring. And it was what led her to Gondwana Records, Matthew Halsall, when she heard his 2012 album Fletcher Moss Park. She reached out and shortly afterwards he went to see her perform at The Art of Tea Cafe in Didsbury Village. Blown away by the fragile beauty of her music he offered to produce a recording for his label.

Awaken, is Caoilfhionn's debut album, co-produced with Matthew Halsall, guitarist Rich Williams and Matthew's brother Daniel Halsall (artistic director of Gondwana Records) she describes it as a deeply collaborative effort. Expansive, fragile and experimental it's a rich tapestry that draws on folk, psychedelia and subtle electronica influences. For Caoilfhionn it represents a busy mind, change, and an up and down life. "It is an honest and personal account, full of memories and mumblings to myself that I hope other people will relate to or at least understand". It's also a deeply collaborative album featuring songs developed with her band mates, Matthew Halsall and one song, Wild Anemones, even features her grandmother! And the title track of the album sums up the whole body of work. It's a positive song about looking outward, forwards and all around. It marks the beginning (like waking up) and feels like the starting point of a lot more music. "It was the song that pushed me and moved me out of my comfort zone. "Having played solo as a pianist for a couple of years, it inspired me to work with new sounds, musicians with a different approach to making music.

Singer, pianist, writer, poet and creative being, Allysha Joy, is a key member of Melbourne collective, 30/70. Their growing success over the last two years has led her to further challenge her expression in a project of her own, pushing boundaries as a female keys player, poet, singer and producer. Whether performing solo on Fender Rhodes or accompanied by her band, Allysha's steady groove, husky vocal tone and unique style of writing emanates her own personal truth and illuminates a powerful feminine energy learning to be peaceful, giving and considerate of others.

Allysha grew up listening to jazz, soul, hip hop and RnB. Her sound is dynamic and raw, real and complex. "As a performer I look to people that present their genuine self on stage, reaching for something beyond the present moment, beyond themselves, being a vessel for something greater. I always try to take the audience on a journey".And as a song-writer Allysha draws from her own experiences and the empathy she feels for the world and its inhabitants. "I write as a way to process the emotion that consumes me in day to day life, otherwise I'd explode".


For Allysha, Acadie : Raw signifies a moment in time: "from beginning to completion of creating this music, it has been a chance to express a deeper, more personal side of self and to take full control of the vision and the music. This record has allowed me to dive deeply into my creative expression and is just the beginning". The album features members of 30/70, the collective born from the creative music scene in Melbourne: "I play both solo or with my 30/70 family, Henry Hicks, Ziggy Zeitgeist, Josh Kelly and Danika Smith. I feel super blessed to have met this crew, we've been playing together now for four years and for me this record is just another extension of the 30/70 collective, constantly unravelling and branching out".

It is the heartfelt mix of love and power, of desire and wonder, anger and faith and hope for change that underpins Acadie : Raw and marks Allysha Joy out as a future star telling her tales and spreading her wings to bring the joys of life to us all.



STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Brand new from the Gondwana label is Allysha Joy's Acadie: Raw, the album has a bold powerful presence and her style is refreshingly original, different to anything else out there right now. Her vocals are beautifully husky and you can feel the emotion weaved throughout the album. This is up there with the best jazz record of this year.

"STUFF. is what you would get when Hudmo and FlyLo would give Alt J their MDMA before going on stage, telling them to sound like instrumental Beastie Boy's Check Your Head."

One of the most exciting band's in Europe, STUFF.is a five piece band that creates a mighty groove, spanning from broken hip-hop grooves to more electronic and jazz influenced future funk. They defy easy categorisation. Writing for Jazz Standard, Tina Edwards said 'If an energy drink could make music, it would sound like STUFF.', a description that does more to describe their sound than established any genre tags. While Phil Taggart said "This is what I imagine Flying Lotus' band to be like" on Radio 1.

Utilising lesser-used instruments like the wind synth, alongside the familiar array of drums and electric bass, synthesizers and turntables, they're able scatter rhythms, melodies and electronic effects across their canvas with a Pollock-like abandon, creating music that while heavy in groove has great depth and intrigue.

They released their self-titled debut album March 2015 to critical acclaim and embarked on a sold out club tour in Benelux, Germany, UK and Ireland short after. Several tracks of their debut gained airplay on UK stations BBC6 and BBC1 as well as Belgian nationwide stations StuBru & Radio 1. They kept on touring playing nearly 150 shows throughout Europe on very diverse stages, showing their eclectic style: renowned jazzfestivals like North Sea Jazz Festival (Nl) , Elbjazz Hamburg (De) and Gent Jazz (Be); alternative festivals like Lowlands (Nl), Pukkelpop (Be), Dour Festival (Be) and Shambala festival (UK); urban/hiphop festivals like Couleur Café (Brussels) and Les Ardentes (Liège) and electronic festivals like Dimensions (Pula) and Fusion (Lärz Germany).

Originally from West Yorkshire, but now resident in Manchester, composer, bassist and producer Phil France is probably best known as a key collaborator alongside Jason Swinscoe in the Cinematic Orchestra, where he co-wrote, arranged and produced on classic albums including Everyday, Man With The Movie Camera, Ma Fleur and also the triple award winning soundtrack for The Crimson Wing nature documentary. In 2013 France released his debut solo album, The Swimmer (GOND016), an emotive, epic record influenced by the great second wave of film composers including John Carpenter and Vangelis, as well as minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass

Five years later, France presents the follow up, the enigmatically titled, Circle, which again represents a very personal journey for the artist. For France the album is an extension of work he began on The Swimmer. A process he has described as: " blocks of sound containing intricate minimal arpeggiated patterns and electronic textures that develop and shift in subtle, original and melodic ways. The trancelike quality, mood and electronic character of title track Circle led France to think of the circular patterns which eventually became a potent concept for the album. "Ideas and fashions repeat themselves in cycles. Events are said to travel 'full circle' and this is important to me because it represents my own recent personal and musical journey after 15 years touring as bassist and composer with The Cinematic Orchestra. I consider circles to be a strong symbol of unity, strength and inclusiveness and ultimately I've aspired to make something beautiful with those values at its heart".

The album opens with the title track, Circle, built on a minimal looped pattern with melodic embellishment and shifting additional harmonic textures. Bells was developed from the arpeggiator and offers a nod to the melodicism and atmosphere of French electronic music. The Jackal features an idea originally developed for The Crimson Wing score but which finally bears fruit here. Cathedrals features an improvised intro, Philip Glass inspired organ and vocal textures inspired by the work of Colin Stetson. Finally, the album ends with a reprise of Circle this time featuring layered pianos. But it isn't the conclusion of the journey, for France: "The Circle is infinite - During the process of making this record, I have been constantly reminded that nothing ever stays the same and that all is in constant flux. The challenge for me is always to respond positively, be aware of and seize the opportunity for progression constant change provides" And it is that sense of movement and flow, but also calm and beauty that permeates Circle and make it such a worthy successor to The Swimmer.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Beautifully ethereal electronic pulses, rippling arpeggios and skittering machinated percussion are woven through organic drums and reverbed Balearic basslines. Stunningly emotive but with enough momentum to find a home in the front room or in the crepuscular haze on a sandy beach. Stunning.

Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

Journey In Satchidananda / Blue Nile


Originally isused back in 2015 and now selling for silly money on Discogs and Ebay, Gondwana Records is delighted to announce the re-release of Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra's tribute to Allce Coltrane / Journey in Satchidananda and Blue Nile.

Featuring Matthew Halsall trumpet, Lisa Mallett flute, Rachael Gladwin harp, Taz Modi piano, Gavin Barras bass, Gaz Hughes drums and Nat Birchall percussion and recorded at the legendary Maida Vale Studios. Vinyl and download.

Packed in a distinctive bright orange Gondwana Records sleeve this is the first in a collectors series of spiritual jazz limited-edition EPs set for release in 2018 as part of Gondwana Records' 10th anniversary.

Matthew Halsall first met the La-based, spiritual jazz vocal legend, Dwight Trible(Kamasi Washington, Pharoah Sanders and Horace Tapscott) at the Joy of Jazz Festival in South Africa back in 2015, when a chance encounter backstage led to Trible sitting in with The Gondwana Orchestra for an impromptu reading of the classic Pharoah Sanders and Leon Thomas anthem 'The Creator Has A Master Plan'. In 2017 they released the deep, soulful Inspirationsalbum together (GOND017) but inspired by their first meeting Matt arranged some classic Pharoah tunes for Dwight to revisit. This then is The Gondwana Orchestra featuring Dwight Trible, Colors: a 4 track vinyl and digital only EP featuring brilliant new versions of Colors,The Creator Has a Master Plan, Love is Everywhereand You've Got to Have Freedomand featuring the Gondwana Orchestra with pianist Taz Modi, bassist Gavin Barras, drummer Jon Scott, harpist Rachel Gladwin and Matt himself on trumpet.

Packed in a distinctive bright orange Gondwana Records sleeve this is the second in a collectors series of spiritual jazz limited-edition EPs set for release in 2018 as part of Gondwana Records' 10th anniversary.



STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: A beauty from The Gondwana Orchestra, let the jazzy piano notes sweep over you as this twelve is one to sit back and relax to. Soulful harmonies and featuring Dwight Trible on each track is a joy to listen to. Don’t let this record slip you by.

Captivating, ethereal and majestic, Mammal Hands (saxophonist Jordan Smart, pianist Nick Smart and drummer and percussionist Jesse Barrett) has carved out a refreshingly original sound from adisparatearray of influences: drawing on spiritual jazz, north Indian, folk and classical music to create something inimitably their own.

Hailing from Norwich, one of Britain's most isolated and most easterly cities, they have forged their own path away from the musical mainstream and their unique sound grew out of long improvised rehearsals. All three members contribute equally to the writing process: one that favours the creation of a powerful group dynamic over individual solos. Their recordsare entrancing and beautiful affairs,while their hypnotic live shows have seen them hailed as one of the most exciting bands in Europe as they push their unique line-up to the outer limits of its possibilities.

Over the course of three albums, Animalia, Floa and Shadow Work they have built a committed following and established themselves as one of the finest live bands in Europe. But while Floa and Shadow Work were both issued on vinyl this is the first time that Animalia has been committed to wax.



STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Beautifully serene and ambient, produced by Matthew Halsall, this reissue is cathartic in all the right ways! My personal favourite from the album is Snow Bough.

GoGo Penguin

V2.O (deluxe Edition)

    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

    2LP clear vinyl

    Portico Quartet

    Untitled (AITAOA #2)

      Portico Quartet has always been an impossible band to pin down. Sending out echoes of jazz, electronica, ambient music and minimalism, the group have created their own singular sound.And while their new music mixes dense layers and textures with electronic and acoustic instruments the sound remains uniquely, recognisably their own.

      In 2017 they released their fourth studio album in a decade, Art in the Age of Automation, on Gondwana Records. Released to a chorus of acclaim, the album marked a triumphant return for the Quartet after a brief hiatus as the three-piece, Portico, and marked a welcome return to the stage for the foursome with sold-out shows across Europe including the Roundhouse, London earlier this year.

      Untitled (AITAOA #2) was largely recorded at the same sessions as Art in the Age of Automation at Fish Factory Studios in London and Portico Quartet's own studio in East London. Like it's predecessor, the album was mixed at Voxton in Berlin. It is intended as a companion piece to last year's AITAOA. But works equally as well as a stand-alone album and explores similar areas of enigmatic, widescreen minimalism alongside the more hard-hitting sounds that have become a notable part of their live shows. There is no lessening of quality here, album opener, Double Space, Index, View From A Satellite and Berlin were all originally slated for AITAOA, before being held back as the band's vision of that album came into sharper focus. The insistent groove of Unrest and cinematic beauty of Celestial Wife were enhanced with further recording sessions till the band felt they were complete. The artwork is by Duncan Bellamy for Veil Projects.


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