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TSHA

Capricorn Sun

    TSHA returns to Ninja Tune with her long-awaited debut album ‘Capricorn Sun’. Recorded over the past two years, the record delivers on the promise of her previous EP’s and Singles with 12 tracks that perfectly encapsulate the emotive blend of underground electronic and hook-laden pop sensibilities that have led to her being one of the most talked about new artists of the past few years. From gracing the front cover of high-profile magazines, appearing on numerous billboards, being included in flagship playlists and programmes by multiple streaming services and being placed on countless ‘best of’ & ‘one to watch’ lists, alongside high-praise from across the music press and radio – TSHA shows no sign of slowing down in 2022.

    ‘Capricorn Sun’ is both a statement of where she is right now as an artist and producer, but also a reflection of time she spent writing and recording the album, and the impact of global events, familial upheaval and personal struggles during that period. Lead single “Giving Up” — released today and arguably the most ‘peak time’ moment on the record — features TSHA’s partner Mafro, and was written during a period of strain between the couple (“I feel like that track is a manifestation of our frustrations at the time”).

    As you move through the album’s remaining tracks there are noticeable shifts across moods and emotions - ranging from the more upbeat and positive “The Light” and “OnlyL” through to moodier cuts like “Anxious Mind” — a personal highlight of TSHA’s — and the brooding “Dancing In The Shadows”, both of which feature vocalist Clementine Douglas. Other tracks hold significance for particular points in TSHA’s life, such as the previously released single “Sister”, written during lockdown after finding out she had an older half sister via her estranged father, and “Water” which picks up on TSHA’s love of the Malian Griot singing traditions (as evidenced on previous single “Demba ft. Trio Da Kali”) and features Grammy-winning vocalist Oumou Sangaré.

    As a Capricorn herself, TSHA was initially drawn to the tales of ancient Greek mythology that told of a creature with the body of a goat and tail of a fish, hinting at the dual nature of the sign and the idea of having two distinct sides to a personality. “I like to identify with some of the positive characteristics of a Capricorn: the hardiness and the work ethic… but also the sensitivity,” she explains. “Naming the album ‘Capricorn Sun’ was a good way of saying ‘this is me’”. It’s a theme that carries through the album’s creative and artwork, which features several pygmy goats that are “a visual representation of the different parts of me, like the songs on the album represent different parts of me,” says TSHA.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Galdem (Intro)
    2. The Light
    3. OnlyL (feat. NIMMO)
    4. Water (feat. Oumou Sangaré)
    5. Dancing In The Shadows (feat. Clementine Douglas)
    6. Giving Up (feat. Mafro) **
    7. Anxious Mind (feat. Clementine Douglas)
    8. Time
    9. Power
    10. Running
    11. Sister
    12. Nala (Outro)

    PVA

    Blush

      The eleven blistering tracks from the trio, made up of Ella Harris and Josh Baxter (who share lead vocals as well as handling synths, guitars and production) alongside drummer and percussionist Louis Satchell, are made from a formula of acid, disco, blistering synths, the release of the dancefloor and cathartic sprechgesang post-punk.

      On their debut album PVA carry that same energy from the live circuit, while also building out a holistic world full of texture and heart. 'Blush' is rich with industrial-sized beats that pack a heavyweight punch, jagged punk spirit, and moments of hushed contemplation from Harris’ poetic lyrics.

      It sprints tirelessly throughout, linking influences including Portishead, PC Music, Laurie Anderson, and cult rave-pop duo The Pom-Poms with ease. The album was produced by the band alongside friends Ben Romans-Hopcraft (Warmduscher) and Jamie Neville (Pumarosa) over a two week period at Neville’s home studio in South London. They then mixed the record at FOLD, the club hidden away on a trading estate in East London.

      One place intimate, another industrial; this is PVA’s world.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Untethered
      A2. Kim
      A3. Hero Man
      A4. Interlude
      A5. Bunker
      A6. Comfort Eating
      B1. The Individual
      B2. Bad Dad
      B3. Transit
      B4. Seven (feat. Tony Njoku) 

      Bicep

      Meli (II)

        SORRY BUT WE HAVE NOW SOLD OUT !!

        INSTORE SALES ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        AVAILABLE INSTORE ONLY FROM AUGUST 26TH @ £17.99.
        1 PER PERSON, FIRST COME FIRST SERVED!!


        Off the back of their critically acclaimed Sophomore album "Isles", Bicep release a limited edition white label of the track Meli (II) - a storming 4x4 heater that has been a highlight of their recent live shows

        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Meli (II)

        Black Country, New Road

        Ants From Up There

          Following on almost exactly a year to the day from the release of their acclaimed debut “For the first time”, the band have harnessed the momentum from that record and run full pelt into their second, with “Ants From Up There” managing to strike a skilful balance between feeling like a bold stylistic overhaul of what came before, as well as a natural progression.

          Their debut “For the first time” is a certain 2021 Album of the Year, having received ecstatic reviews from critics and fans alike as well as being shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Released in February to extensive, global, critical support - perhaps best summed up by The Times who wrote in their 5/5 review that they were "the most exciting band of 2021" and The Observer who called their record "one of the best albums of the year" - the album made a significant dent on the UK Albums Chart where it landed at #4 in its first week, a remarkable achievement for a largely experimental debut record. The album also reached #1 on Any Decent Music, #2 at Album Of The Year and sat at #1 on Rate Your Music for several weeks, remaining the record to generate the most fan reviews and site discussion there this year. Black Country, New Road were also declared Artist Of The Week and Album Of The Week by The Observer, The Line Of Best Fit and Stereogum, and saw features, including covers and reviews, from the likes of Mojo, NPR, CRACK, Uncut, The Quietus, Pitchfork, The FADER, Loud & Quiet, The Face, Paste, The Needle Drop, DIY, NME, CLASH, So Young, Dork and more.

          With “For the first time” the band melded klezmer, post-rock, indie and an often intense spoken word delivery. On “Ants From Up There” they have expanded on this unique concoction to create a singular sonic middle ground that traverses classical minimalism, indie-folk, pop, alt rock and a distinct tone that is already unique to the band.

          Recorded at Chale Abbey Studios, Isle Of Wight, across the summer with the band’s long-term live engineer Sergio Maschetzko, it’s also an album that comes loaded with a deep-rooted conviction in the end result. “We were just so hyped the whole time,” says Hyde. “It was such a pleasure to make. I've kind of accepted that this might be the best thing that I'm ever part of for the rest of my life. And that's fine.”


          TRACK LISTING

          LP
          Side A
          A1. Intro
          A2. Chaos Space Marine
          A3. Concorde
          A4. Bread Song
          Side B
          B1. Good Will Hunting
          B2. Haldern
          B3. Mark’s Theme
          Side C
          C1. The Place Where He Inserted The Blade
          C2. Snow Globes
          Side D
          D1. Basketball Shoes

          CD 
          Intro
          Chaos Space Marine
          Concorde
          Bread Song
          Good Will Hunting
          Haldern
          Mark’s Theme
          The Place Where He Inserted The Blade
          Snow Globes
          Basketball Shoes

          4LP Box Set / Deluxe CD
          Ants From Up There
          Side A

          A1. Intro
          A2. Chaos Space Marine
          A3. Concorde
          A4. Bread Song
          Side B
          B1. Good Will Hunting
          B2. Haldern
          B3. Mark’s Theme
          Side C
          C1. The Place Where He Inserted The Blade
          C2. Snow Globes
          Side D
          D1. Basketball Shoes

          Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall 
          Side A
          A1. Mark’s Theme (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall)
          A2. Instrumental (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall)
          A3. Athens France (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall)
          Side B
          B1. Science Fair (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall)
          B2. Sunglasses (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall)
          Side C
          C1. Track X (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall)
          C2. Opus (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall)
          C3. Bread Song (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall)
          Side D
          D1. Basketball Shoes (Live From The Queen Elizabeth Hall) 

          Bonobo

          Fragments

            Fragments is the most emotionally intense record that he - aka Simon Green - has ever had to make. It’s no surprise that it’s also his masterpiece. The album features Jamila Woods, Joji, Kadhja Bonet, Jordan Rakei, O’Flynn and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Born first out of fragments of ideas and experimentation, the album ultimately was fused together in a burst of creativity fuelled by both collaboration and Green’s escape into the wild.

            Fragments is a series of 12 sonic affirmations, featuring some of the hardest and most hip-shaking grooves that Green has ever created. The ballads are perfectly placed throughout; they capture a world in flux and glow with hope. Coaxing the ideas out initially took some hard work. The constantly-touring Green creates best while on the move; the global shutdown forced him to stand still.

            Musical themes began to arise through Green’s exploration of modular synthesis, recordings he had made of harpist Lara Somogyi, his work with arranger and string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, his own playing of the Fender Rhodes and more, as the album was created, recorded and mixed by Green over the past two years. The album also came into focus as he sought refuge on solo adventures into nature, away from the shutdowns and wild fires and into the blazing California desert.

            “Tides,” featuring Chicagoan singer and poet Jamila Woods, acted as a catalyst, and the album began to click into place around it. “I knew I had a centrepiece, I knew how it was all going to sound,” he says. Working with arranger and string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, musical themes began to emerge. Recording orchestral musicians in actual studios helped bring the songs “out of the box” even more.

            A rhythmic framework started to come together too: the structures of UK bass music and rave began to seep into beats that would become tracks like “Otomo” (eventually co-produced by O’Flynn and featuring a sample of the Bulgarian choir 100 Kaba-Gaidi), and “Sapien.” The ”old school, Detroity, Moodymann and Theo Parrish inspired” “Shadows” was recorded with friend Jordan Rakei. “Rosewood,” “Closer” and “Counterpoint” each start with an ecstatic snap to them, but snake down surprisingly different paths. Somogyi's harp and Atwood-Ferguson's strings mingle together on the beatless “Elysian.” Two ballads flesh out the second half of the record: “Day by Day” featuring Kadhja Bonet and “From You” featuring Joji.

            It's about the dancefloor in many ways, about how “I remembered all over again how much I loved crowds and movement and people connecting with each other,” Green reflects. But the positivity isn’t just in the uptempo rhythms: even the most introspective and melancholic pieces have joy in them.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: A Stunning new LP from Simon Green's Bonobo, fusing the clattering percussion and smooth rolling basses of 2010's 'Black Sands' with the more soulful, smooth sounds of the more recent outings. It's both a perfect artistic statement, and a wonderfully evocative listen, including some of the biggest names in modern soul and electronica. Brilliant.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Polyghost (feat. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)
            2. Shadows (feat. Jordan Rakei)
            3. Rosewood
            4. Otomo (feat. O’Flynn)
            5. Tides (feat. Jamila Woods)
            6. Elysian
            7. Closer
            8. Age Of Phase
            9. From You (feat. Joji)
            10. Counterpart
            11. Sapien
            12. Day By Day (feat. Kadhja Bonet)

            Debut album from the hyped tae fook South Korean artist Park Hye Jin. Now located in LA, it seems 2021 is the explosive year for this in-demand act.

            Stiring up a storm through her "If U Want It" 12", plus some tasty collaborations with the likes of Clams Casino, Blood Orange, Galcher Lustwerk and Nosaj Thing, the Ninja Tune-signed genius lays out her sonic identity in an edgy, attitude-filled LP which is both hi-tek and emotion-filled.

            Stylistically, Jin seems to digest booty bass and ghetto house, combine it with some of the modern lo-fi house aesthetics and give it her own uniquely S. Korean sugary icing. Some of her drum patterns recall early DJ Rush or Green Velvet, while at other times lo-fi pioneers like Seinfeld and DJ Boring are clearly an influence. It's her deadpan, cool ass delivery that really seals the deal though. Taking influence from Chicago drill, post-punk and pop and somehow gelling it all together into something sincerely her own.

            It's a beautifully modern LP which loses none of its soul from being entirely electronic. A future star in the making. Recommended. 


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: The wonderful 'Before I Die' sees Park Hye Jin renewing her take on oft-minimal footwork influenced house. It's a sleek and breezy affair, with the more propulsive moments being tempered with her heavily reverbed, hypnotic vocals forging a brilliant combination of drive and nuanced, lo-fi percussion.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side A
            Let’s Sing Let’s Dance
            I Need You
            Before I Die
            Good Morning Good Night
            Me Trust Me
            Where Did I Go
            Never Give Up

            Side B
            Can I Get Your Number
            Whatchu Doin Later
            Sex With ME (DEFG)
            Where Are You Think
            Never Die
            Hey, Hey, Hey
            Sunday ASAP
            I Jus Wanna Be Happy 

            Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, and songwriter Jordan Rakei returns with his fourth studio album, "What We Call Life’". Diving even deeper into his sound world, merging electronic with acoustic, and rugged grooves with ambient atmospheres, to create something richer, more detailed, and more textural than before. Rakei, already a practitioner of meditation and mindfulness, was curious about the potential of using therapy for further self-discovery. During the process, he began to learn more about his behaviour patterns and anxieties, and addressed his long-standing irrational phobia of birds – a fear often associated with the unpredictable and the unknown, and something explored in the album’s creative direction and visuals.

            ‘What We Call Life’ is Jordan Rakei’s most vulnerable and intimate album to date. Its lyrics concern the lessons that the New Zealand-born, Australia-raised, and London-based artist learned about himself during therapy, a journey that began two years ago when he started reading about the ‘positive psychology’ movement. These themes manifest on songs like lead single “Family”, which Rakei says is “the most personal” he’s ever been with his lyrics. “I wanted to hit my vulnerability barrier and be really honest. It’s about my parents’ divorce in my mid-teens but still having love for them no matter what,” he explains.

            Artwork was created by Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based visual artist Justin Tyler Close (who has worked previously with the likes of Laura Marling), who resonated with the themes on Rakei’s album. The image was created in a remote photo shoot, with Rakei sending images over the internet that were projected onto a sheet and photographed by Close. The melancholic images reflect the title of the record, a question that Rakei would sometimes ask himself during a period of his childhood in which he suffered a great deal of anxiety: Is this what we call life? Rather than accepting defeat, the title is today a commentary on the more happy, confident, and assured person and artist that Jordan Rakei is today


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Millie says: Jordan Rakei fourth album is highly anticipated here at Piccadilly, the album explores themes worn close to Rakei’s sleeve. Personal and moving, the track ‘Family’ is so beautiful and soulful.

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Family
            A2. Send My Love
            A3. Illusion
            A4. Unguarded
            A5. Clouds
            B1. What We Call Life
            B2. Runaway
            B3. Wings
            B4. Brace
            B5. The Flood

            DJ Seinfeld

            Mirrors

              If much of DJ Seinfeld’s previous work was characterised by a sepia-tinged haze, a result of the producer’s deliberately lo-fi production techniques, then brand new album ‘Mirrors’ sees his music come firmly into focus.

              “On this album I wanted to retain a lot of the raw emotionality that brought people to my music in the first place,” says Armand Jakobsson, better known as DJ Seinfeld. “But I also wanted to become a much better producer. It’s been an arduous process but it’s a real statement of where I’m at as a producer and person right now. I’ve been through various sonic explorations in the past few years but have come to understand what people like about my music and how to move forward with it.”

              Recorded between Berlin and Malmo, ‘Mirrors’ is the follow-up to Seinfeld’s critically acclaimed 2017 debut album ‘Time Spent Away From U’ and his first for Ninja Tune. Named after a quote by Armand’s favourite writer, Argentinean novelist Julio Cortázar, the album finds the producer in a more settled and grounded mood after an unfortunate family incident forced the producer to spend more time at home in his native Sweden over the past few years.

              Citing late night sessions learning how to produce on his laptop while at university in Edinburgh and ‘pretending to be Burial’ as key turning points in his journey, Seinfeld has now produced an album with all the emotional depth and musical dexterity of those electronic luminaries. ‘Mirrors’ touches on everything from UK Garage to down-tempo house to ambient to breaks and is an at times tender, at times euphoric sonic journey with a producer slowly realising his full potential.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. She Loves Me
              2. Walking With Ur Smile
              3. U Already Know
              4. The Right Place (feat. Teira)
              5. Home Calling
              6. These Things Will Come To Be
              7. Tell Me One More Time
              8. Someday
              9. I Feel Better
              10. Song For The Lonely

              Amon Tobin

              Out From Out Where - 2021 Reissue

                ‘Out From Out Where’, the classic Amon Tobin album from 2002, is being reissued for the first time on gold coloured vinyl with a glow in the dark effect on the front cover.

                With ‘Out From Out Where’, his fourth album under his own name, Amon Tobin cemented his reputation as one of the most innovative and important names in electronic music. It was darker, more complex, even more rhythmically driving and intense than what had come before.

                The depth and scope of Amon Tobin’s work have been a major inspiration to many. From the Kronos Quartet to Diplo, he has achieved respect among artists within and outside of the electronic music world and has collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Philip Glass. Amon Tobin has established a reputation for musical ingenuity unconfined by genre and, for over two decades, has remained one of the most visionary electronic artists of his generation.

                For fans of Coldcut, DJ Food, Mr. Scruff, The Herbaliser, Blockhead.

                TRACK LISTING

                Back From Space
                Verbal Featuring (feat. MC Decimal R.)
                Chronic Tronic
                Searchers
                Hey Blondie
                Rosies
                Cosmo Retro Intro Outro
                Triple Science
                El Wraith
                Proper Hoodidge
                Mighty Micro People

                Kevin Martin’s first solo full-length album under The Bug moniker for seven years could not be better timed, and could not be more needed: ‘Fire’ - the third exhilarating part of an incendiary urban triptych, that began with 2008’s explosive ‘London Zoo’ via 2014’s mind-melting 'Angels & Devils' - is fourteen tracks that immolate the synapses, flail the body, that cinematically take you from arcing evocations of a bleak lockdowned city-scape to swooping deep-focus close-ups of Martin and his collaborator’s psyches at breaking point. The aggression, the attitude, the vertiginous scope and subterranean incisiveness, the destabilising unsettling frenzy of The Bug sound is marshalled to perfection throughout but ‘Fire’ is no mere reanimation of the Bug’s past - for Martin, the album is both a response to the unique circumstances of the past year but also a chance to reflect his own journey from reclusive sound-obsessive to family man, and his thirst - in a period of enforced hermetic isolation - for contact, for the mayhem that can only happen between people, noise and bass, the derangement of the senses that has been Bug’s method and trajectory ever since it first crawled out of London’s deepest corners in the late 90s. It’s the Bug’s best yet, possibly the most ferociously realised and immensely moving music Martin has ever made, and still touches on those initial cravings and impulses that first propelled ‘London Zoo’ into your world like a pipe bomb through your letterbox. It’s a HUNGRY record in all senses.

                “I've always been addicted to the physicality and intensity of sound: I started The Bug because I wanted to make music for a soundsystem I had in storage, and the live experience of The Bug has always been something I wanted to reflect on record - I’m always looking for fuel to the fire and live shows - and MISSING live shows in lockdown was a real impetus” Martin admits. “I’m always asking - how can I ramp this up MORE? How can I get people more out of control? For me a live show should be unforgettable, should alter your DNA, or scar you for life in a good way - that’s always been my goal, to set up shows that are unforgettable. I like friction, chaos, fanning the flames with sound, and this album is the most reflective of the live show in terms of intensity and the sheer fuck-off attitude of those shows. ‘WHAT the FUCK?’ is the reaction I want - insane is a good reaction especially at a time when there’s so much control in how people consume music and are pacified culturally”.

                The MCs featured (longtime likeminds like Flowdan, Roger Robinson, Moor Mother, Manga Saint Hilare, Irah & Daddy Freddy alongside relatively new names to the Bug stable like Logan, Nazamba and FFSYTHO) inevitably reflect the external madness of a world turned upside down, but also dig deep into themselves to craft reflective, pitilessly honest portrayals of the rage, resistance and resignation the last year has engendered in all of us. Check the juddering maelstrom of ‘Clash’ wherein Logan matches every lunging hit of the kick and Martin’s none-more-dank dubtronics with a diseased narrative of mental warfare and strife, or ‘Pressure’ where Flowdan imperiously calls out the universe for a scrap over a beat so thunkingly rapacious its as if the ghost of Andy Weatherall has been reanimated for some rerubbing duties. Throughout ‘Fire’ you can hear MCs and Martin upping the ante, pushed to new heights and lows by an ever-present, periphirally-glimpsed armageddon. The album is bookended by the TS Eliot Award winning poet and long term friend and collaborator Roger Robinson.

                “2020 was the worst dystopian nightmares made real - part of me was panic-stricken, the other part of me was ‘how am I going to stay sane?’” recalls Martin. “I’ve got to support 4 people and it might be YEARS before I play shows - this was at the back of my mind making the album. Just to keep calm I got into making solo albums which was meditative, got me back in touch with myself and enabled me to rebuild my studio which kept me working and helped me keep my head straight. It was crucial because I’ve realised through life that what keeps me grounded is music. I used to think I wanted to bury myself in NOW, reality, sensation, information - as time’s gone on I’ve realised I want to actually make a parallel world in sound - the studio gave me an escape from just how fucked up the world was last year. That feeling of external chaos but really questioning yourself internally is something that all the MCs, in different ways, reflect on ‘Fire’. And I feel I’ve grown - making music not just as an egotistical pursuit but to support my family has meant I’ve stopped overthinking things - we KNEW when tracks were finished and loosening my maniacal control over the music, letting it breathe and come together more naturally. That’s something I think you can hear throughout the album.”

                ‘Fire’ then is 14 tracks that not only chart where we are right now, but offer tantalising glimpses of just what miracles we might soon conjure again together. Growing up VAST. Get some ‘Fire’ in your belly and feel the BURN. This plague has found its soundtrack. 

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Having long been one of the most uncompromising forces in music, there is a significant amount of excitement over the new Bug LP. and with good cause. 'Fire' lurches from cavernous bunker techno to shadowy trip-hop via dark hip-hop, perfectly performed by a superb line-up of guest collaborators, and brought together in The Bug's inimitable no-holds-barred production style. Superb.

                TRACK LISTING

                Side 1
                1. The Fourth Day (feat Roger Robinson) (1:57)
                2. Pressure (feat Flowdan) (3:48)
                3. Demon (feat Irah) (3:48)
                4. Vexed (feat Moor Mother) (3:44)

                Side 2
                1. Clash (feat Logan) (3:07)
                2. War (feat Nazamba) (4:30)
                3. How Bout Dat (feat FFSYTHO) (3:47)

                Side 3
                1. Bang (feat Manga Saint Hilare) (3:03)
                2. Hammer (feat Flowdan) (3:28)
                3. Ganja Baby (feat Daddy Freddy) (3:15)
                4. Fuck Off (feat Logan) (3:24)

                Side 4
                1.Bomb (feat Flowdan) (4:46)
                2. High Rise (feat Manga Saint Hilare) (4:17)
                3.The Missing (feat Roger Robinson) (4:35)

                The Cinematic Orchestra

                Ma Fleur - Reissue

                  The Cinematic Orchestra deliver a very special reissue of their classic 2007 album ‘Ma Fleur’, including three tracks from the time that have never been released on vinyl; ‘Flowers’, ‘Talking About Freedom’ and ‘Colours’, and come with four double sided art cards/prints.
                  At the time the album was recognised for its bold departure from the group’s sonic traditions. In the years since, it’s been continuously celebrated, with tracks like ‘To Build A Home’ reaching huge audiences with over half a billion streams to date. Their latest album ‘To Believe’ in 2019 debuted at a career high #19 on the Official UK Album Chart and was #1 on the UK vinyl chart.
                  Dealing with themes of loss and love - and in itself representing a kind of absence - "Ma Fleur" is fertile ground for Swinscoe and long term collaborator Dominic Smith's brand of music-making, for while people rightly have talked about what they do in terms of jazz, the truth is that the basis of their music has always also been in raw emotion. From the achingly beautiful opener "To Build A Home" to the finale, "Time And Space," this is an album which reaches for and finds a truth and honesty far beyond what we would normally expect from such a record, but without losing any of the accessibility which made the band popular in the first place. If the mood is melancholy, The Cinematic Orchestra manage to make it an ultimately uplifting experience, perhaps in the end more about the love you find than the love you lose…


                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1. To Build A Home
                  A2. Familiar Ground
                  A3. That Home
                  A4. Child Song

                  B1. Music Box
                  B2. Ma Fleur
                  B3. Prelude
                  B4. As The Stars Fall

                  C1. Into You
                  C2. Breathe
                  C3. Time And Space

                  D1. Flowers
                  D2. Talking About Freedom
                  D3. Colours

                  India Jordan

                  Watch Out!

                    London based DJ and producer India Jordan releases their new EP ‘Watch Out!’ on Ninja Tune.

                    India is tipped as one of the world’s most exciting artists, producers and DJs of the moment following last year's’ hugely successful ‘For You’ EP. They have captured the attention of the scene’s top tastemakers and have received impressive support, with stellar reviews from Pitchfork (8.0), NME (5/5), Clash (8/10) and the EP’s title track ‘For You’ voted as Resident Advisor’s #1 Best Track Of 2020, Crack Magazine’s #2 and Pitchfork’s #21.

                    India had quite the year despite most shows being cancelled in 2020 and was named as Pete Tong’s Breakout Star Of 2020 on BBC Radio 1, listed as one of The Guardian’s 50 Amazing Musicians To Watch in 2021 and won Best Breakthrough Producer at the annual DJ Mag Best Of British Awards. 

                    ‘Watch Out!’ sees India reflect on how movement has tied into their life over the years. India describes the record as “a homage to both physical and conceptual movement” and comes as a result of their own pattern of movement being forcibly changed by lockdown.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    A
                    1. Only Said Enough
                    2. Watch Out!
                    3. 10:58

                    B
                    4. You Can’t Expect The Cars To Stop If You Haven’t Pressed The Button 
                    5. Feierabend 
                    6. And Groove 

                    Leon Vynehall returns with new album ‘Rare, Forever’ - the follow up to his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Nothing Is Still’. Here he showcases all the strings to his bow—creating music that’s borderless and unbound—alongside artwork by Eric Timothy Carlson (Grammy nominated for his work with Bon Iver). ‘Rare, Forever’ is a beautiful marriage of everything he's done so far while remaining genuinely progressive; the end result sounding like ‘Nothing Is Still’ but with the narrative toned down, and the dancefloor dialled up.

                    The album follows his winter 2020 ‘A Little More Liquid’ performance—the stunning audio-visual exploration/livestream project (and live follow up to his sold-out “Nothing Is Still” residencies in London and New York)—that Vynehall collaborated on with Eric Timothy Carlson and Aaron Anderson and which served to introduce some of the ‘Rare, Forever’ album materials and themes.

                    Recommended if you like: Four Tet, Thom Yorke, Floating Points, Kelly Lee Owens, Avalon Emerson, Beatrice Dillon, Boards of Canada.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: 2018's 'Nothing Is Still' had us all wowed in the shop, so it's with some excitement that Vynehall's latest lands. This time we get the claustrophobic atmospherics and cavernous beats we've become accustomed to, but enriched with a wealth of complexities in both sound design and percussive drive. From off-kilter time signatures and wonderfully hypnotic synth lines, this is superb from start to finish.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Ecce! Ego!
                    2. In>Pin
                    3. Mothra
                    4. Alichea Vella Amor
                    5. Snakeskin ∞ Has-Been
                    6. Worm (& Closer & Closer)
                    7. An Exhale
                    8. Dumbo
                    9. Farewell! Magnus Gabbro
                    10. All I See Is You, Velvet Brown

                    Black Country, New Road

                    For The First Time

                    All formats come with a free Piccadilly Records EOY Sampler CD whilst stocks last.

                    Born from the Brixton Windmill scene that has seen the likes of black midi, Squid, Fat White Family and Shame rise to prominence, Black Country, New Road now take up the mantle and release their debut album.
                    The seven piece kick off proceedings with the aptly titled “Instrumental”, a maelstrom of sounds and influences including the post-rock mastery of Slint, the Klezmer style folk of Beirut and dapples of free-jazz improvisation.
                    Throughout the album’s six tracks those themes continue along with a simmering sense of drama and intensity. The best example of this occurs on the monolithic last track “Opus”, clocking in at just over 8 minutes it locks the listener in with a sprawling sonic soundscape of plateaus and troughs that recalls the mighty Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
                    For The First Time is an ambitious and intelligent album that stands out as one of the best debut releases of 2021.


                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Instrumental
                    2. Athens, France
                    3. Science Fair
                    4. Sunglasses
                    5. Track X
                    6. Opus

                    After two years of studio development, sample searching and production upgrades, Belfast-born, London-based duo Bicep (Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson) drop hotly anticipated second album, “Isles”. On the title, 'We have strong mixed emotions, connected to growing up on an island, wanting to leave, wanting to return'. 

                    From their early days living and clubbing in Belfast, to their move to London over a decade ago, the breadth of music they’ve been exposed to during this time informs “Isles’” massive sonic palette. Both cite the joy of discovering Hindi vocals overheard from distant rooftops, snatches of Bulgarian choirs drifting from passing cars, hitting Shazam in a kebab house in the vain hopes of identifying a Turkish pop song.

                    Lead single "Apricots" encapsulates these disparate influences perfectly. Sampling traditional Malawian singers - recorded by ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey in 1958 and released via the label Beating Heart, whose profits go towards supporting the ongoing music conservation work of the International Library of African Music; and a 1950’s performance by The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir, steeped in a shimmering bath of warm synths, its spare percussion and arresting vocals bring the big room chills of 90s rave, while still evoking something lost or forlorn. The accompanying video is directed by Mark Jenkin, who recently took home a 2020 BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Director for his 2019 film Bait.




                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: Flexing relentless muscle since those youthful days on the blog scene, Bicep bring us their second LP, blending their love of jacking house, proper techno and pumping italo with fragments of UK club history and the cultural diversity of their London bass. The ideal soundtrack to your living room lockdown disco.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Atlas
                    2. Cazenove
                    3. Apricots
                    4. Saku (feat. Clara La San)
                    5. Lido
                    6. X (feat. Clara La San)
                    7. Rever (feat. Julia Kent)
                    8. Sundial
                    9. Fir
                    10. Hawk (feat. Machìna)

                    As we all struggle to deal with the sorry state of Earthly affairs, Darren Cunningham answers the Batcall and returns with a brand new Actress LP on usual haunt Ninja Tune. The producer recently resurfaced with his self released mixtape '88', a sparse and stripped back set of low slung house crunch, electro madness and uncompromising techno coated in a thick patina of fuzz and feedback. 'Karma & Desire' then is a comparatively expansive and accessible affair, replete with vocal contributions from the likes of Sampha, Zsela, Aura T-09 and Christel Well.

                    Billed as “a romantic tragedy set between the heavens and the underworld", the set serves us a string of retro-ist house and techno heaters, balancing a fragile beauty, in the form of soulful vocals or delicate keys, with the grit and growl of hissing drum machines and gnarly basslines. Naturally Darren avoids playing with a straight bat, twisting the traditional styles with the chopped and screwed sound design he excels at. If singles and stompers are your thing, look to "Angels Pharmacy", "Loveless" and the meditative closer "Walking Flames", but really this album works best when enjoyed in its entirety. 


                    TRACK LISTING

                    Fire And Light
                    Angels Pharmacy (feat. Zsela)
                    Remembrance (feat. Zsela)
                    Reverend
                    Leaves Against The Sky
                    Save
                    VVY (feat. Sampha)
                    XRAY
                    Gliding Squares
                    Many Seas, Many Rivers (feat. Sampha)
                    Loveless (feat. Aura T-09)
                    Public Life (feat. Vanessa Benelli Mosell)
                    Fret Loose (feat. Christel Well)
                    Turin (feat. Aura T-09)
                    Diamond X
                    Walking Flames (feat. Sampha)

                    Machinedrum

                    A View Of You

                      Machinedrum returns with his definitive new album “A View of U” featuring an incredible cast of collaborators including Freddie Gibbs, Sub Focus, Chrome Sparks, Father (Awful Records), Mono/Poly (Brainfeeder), Tigran Hamasyan, Tanerélle, Jesse Boykins III and Rochelle Jordan. Distilling his signature fusion of IDM, UK rave, jungle and bass culture blended with myriad US regional hip-hop and club music styles. it’s a potent and masterfully executed fusion, evoking a pace, warmth and groove synonymous with his modern classic “Vapor City” (2013).

                      Recommended if you like… Squarepusher, Lone, Jamie xx, Flume

                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1. The Relic (feat. Rochelle Jordan)
                      A2. Star (feat. Mono/Poly & Tanerélle)
                      A3. Kane Train (feat. Freddie Gibbs)
                      A4. Wait 4 U (feat. Jesse Boykins III)
                      A5. Sleepy Pietro (feat. Tigran Hamasyan)
                      A6. Spin Blocks (feat. Father)
                      B1. Idea 36 (feat. Chrome Sparks)
                      B2. Believe In U
                      B3. 1000 Miles (feat. Sub Focus)
                      B4. Inner Eye
                      B5. Ur2yung

                      Marie Davidson & L'Œil Nu

                      Renegade Breakdown

                        Marie Davidson is back with a new album “Renegade Breakdown” on Ninja Tune. A new band, and a bold new sound under the banner of Marie Davidson & L'Œil Nu, it is a trio formed of old-time friends with shared roots in Montreal’s DIY scene: Marie, Pierre Guerineau (also in Essaie pas on DFA) and Asaël R. Robitaille. The record follows previous album “Working Class Woman” (2018) and is drawn to the idea of the eternal return, they deliver a forward-facing, innovative pop record that builds on the classic tenets of Marie’s music to create something that strikes out towards a broader audience. With dark humour and interpolated musical influences from Fleetwood Mac to Kraftwerk, Billie Holiday and Chet Baker. 

                        If there’s a mood that encapsulates “Renegade Breakdown”, it’s the one found at 3AM after a long night, when it’s time to start putting on the classics.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        Renegade Breakdown
                        Back To Rock
                        Worst Comes To Worst
                        Center Of The World (Kotti Blues)
                        La Ronde
                        C’est Parce Que J’m’en Fous
                        Just In My Head
                        Lead Sister
                        My Love
                        Sentiment

                        Julianna Barwick

                        Healing Is A Miracle

                          Four years on from the release of her last, critically acclaimed LP, Julianna Barwick returns with “Healing Is A Miracle”.

                          A distinctive meditation on sound, reverb and the voice, “Healing Is A Miracle” is a record built on improvisation and a close affinity to a couple of trusted items of gear, from which she spins engrossing, expansive universes. Additionally, Barwick draws on the input of three collaborators with whom she has nurtured deep friendships with over the years: Jónsi (Sigur Rós), Nosaj Thing and Mary Lattimore; who each gently nudge out at the edges of her organically-evolved sound.

                          Recorded in the wake of a seismic shift in her life following a move from New York—where she had lived for 16 years—to Los Angeles where she is now based, the title of the record came to her after thinking about how the human body heals itself, of the miraculous processes we pay little attention to: “You cut your hand, it looks pretty bad, and two weeks later it looks like it never happened… That’s kind of amazing, you know?” It’s a sentiment that feels particularly apt for the moment. From there, she conceived of the record’s simple statement title, ran it past a couple of friends, and it was settled. Like with the record itself, and all of her work, it’s about following her gut, and seeing where it takes her.

                          “Healing Is A Miracle” began life in spring of last year, when Barwick sat down with her vocal looping set-up and began sketching out some ideas for new solo material. “It had been so long since I had done that,” she recalls, “making something for myself, just for the love of it… it was emotional, because I was recording music that was just from the heart, that wasn't for an 'assignment' or project… it brought me to tears a little”.

                          Part of the joy also came from a small but significant switch up to her recording process: the addition of some studio monitors—a birthday gift from Jónsi and Alex (Somers)—having previously recorded all of her music on headphones. “The first song I remember making with those was the first song on the album, Inspirit.” she explains, “When I added the bass I really felt it in my body, you know, in a way you just wouldn’t with headphones… it was kind of euphoric and fun. I got really excited about making the record in that moment, and I think that really had an impact on the sounds I ended up making.”

                          Excitement too came from the chance to work with three dream collaborators. Her connection to Jónsi began via producer Alex Somers, when Barwick flew to Reykjavík to record some sessions with him for her 2013 record “Nepenthe”, a trip which would begin a long-standing affinity with Iceland and the people she connected with there. “I think he has the best voice in the world,” she says, “and hearing my voice with Jonsi's is one of the joys of my life.” Nosaj Thing—the highly respected electronic producer and stalwart of the LA scene who has worked with the likes of Kendric Lamar—had gotten in touch to express his affection for her 2011 album “The Magic Place”, and they’d since been trying to find a way to work together. Barwick and Lattimore had struck up a friendship over many years performing live together, and had moved to LA around the same time. Finding herself in the same city as all three for the first time, it felt natural to include them in her process, and added to the feeling of newness, support and friendship she had while producing the record.

                          Beyond her records, Barwick’s impressive live shows have gained incredible praise over the years from the likes of The Guardian—who described her performance as “exquisite in its eloquence, reflection and compassion” in their 5* review—The New York Times, NPR, and more. She has also supported and performed with an amazing array of artists including Bon Iver, Grouper, Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Rós, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Perfume Genius, Mas Ysa, and Nat Baldwin.

                          Barwick has additionally been involved in some head-turning collaborations over the years. In 2015 she took part in The Flaming Lips’s Carnegie Hall show, performing music from their reimagining of “Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band”, alongside Phillip Glass, Debbie Harry, Laurie Anderson and Pattie Smith. That same year she was invited to play two shows with Yoko Ono, one at MoMA (“my favorite thing ever”) and one in Central Park. In 2012 she released a collaborative album with Helado Negro as OMBRE, and has also released a collaborative single with Rafael Anton Isarri, on the super-limited Thesis label, and most recently, the “Command Synthesis” EP, on RVNG Intl. sub-label Commend There, which employed AI to build five tracks that responded to the airborne environment outside a hotel room. In 2019 she teamed up with Doug Aitken on his nomadic art project, and created stunning performances in the Massachusett wilderness.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: 'Healing Is A Miracle' is an absolute triumph of majestic instrumentation, perfectly balanced atmospherics and tasteful collaboration. 'In Light' with Jónsi couldn't have been a more perfect fit, with both of their voices coalescing into one grand, sonic gesture. Stunner.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          Inspirit
                          Oh, Memory Ft. Mary Lattimore
                          Healing Is A Miracle
                          In Light Ft. Jónsi
                          Safe
                          Flowers
                          Wishing Well
                          Nod Ft. Nosaj Thing

                          Little Dragon

                          New Me, Same Us

                            Little Dragon—the pioneering Swedish four-piece fronted by enigmatic vocalist Yukimi Nagano, with multi-instrumentalists Håkan Wirenstarnd and Fredrik Wallin on keyboards and bass respectively and Erik Bodin on drums and percussion—return with their sixth studio album, “New Me, Same Us”.

                            For a band who are proudly left-of-centre and fiercely protective of doing things on their own terms, they have achieved no shortage of mainstream recognition. Grammy nominated for 2014’s “Nabuma Rubberband”, Little Dragon have long been seen as one of the most sought-after groups to work with. Chalking up an enviable list of collaborators throughout the years, working with equally groundbreaking artists like BADBADNOTGOOD, Gorillaz, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Flume, Kaytranada, Big Boi (who was first put on to the band via fellow Outkast member André 3000), De La Soul, DJ Shadow, Tinashe, Mac Miller, Future, Raphael Saadiq, Faith Evans and more. Their hugely popular and highly regarded live performances have spawned a decade-spanning career which has seen them recently co-headline a show with Flying Lotus at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl and perform at some of the world’s most revered festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Bestival, Lollapalooza, Melt, Dour, Sonar and Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Camp Flog Gnaw’.

                            Having played together since their school days in Gothenburg—where they’d meet up after class to jam and listen to records by artists like A Tribe Called Quest and Alice Coltrane —“New Me, Same Us” is the sound of a band going back to basics and falling back in love with their instruments: drums, bass, keyboards, harp, guitar and voice, to produce some of their most focussed and inarguably best music to date. “This album has been the most collaborative for us yet.” they explain, “which might sound weird considering we’ve been making music together for all these years, but we worked hard at being honest, finding the courage to let go of our egos and be pieces of something bigger.”

                            Entirely self-produced and recorded at their long-term home-built studio in Gothenburg, “New Me, Same Us” represents another chapter in the continuing evolution of Little Dragon, finding new direction in their unique style of unhurried, off-kilter r’n’b, pop and electronics, they sound as rejuvenated and energised as ever. The record also finds them in a reflective mood, Yukimi’s distinctive vocals musing on transitions, longing, and saying goodbye. “We are all on our own personal journeys,” they say, “full of change, yet still we stand united with stories we believe in, that make us who we are.” Lead single ‘Hold On’ is a message about breaking away and moving on, ‘Rush’ is about yearning for a love now lost, ‘Another Lover’ is described as a daydream of heartache, “I can’t understand what I'm doing / don't understand where we going” Yukimi laments in the opening lines. The aptly named ‘Sadness’ speaks to “how you might think you know someone but then time shows you a new face” say the band. ‘Where You Belong’ is a lullaby of fear of loss and death. There is room for optimism too, though. ‘New Fiction’ seeks that space in which to create new narratives and forge your own path and ‘Are You Feeling Sad’ is a reminder to take a step back and not worry too much: “you gonna be alright / don’t worry don’t worry / things gonna turn out fine”. 

                            TRACK LISTING

                            Hold On
                            Rush
                            Another Lover
                            Kids
                            Every Rain
                            New Fiction
                            Sadness
                            Are You Feeling Sad?
                            Where You Belong
                            Stay Right Here
                            Water

                            A phenomenal talent, Jordan Rakei is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter/producer with an incredible soul voice, preparing to release his new album “Wallflower” via Ninja Tune on 22nd September 2017. The record frames soul and jazz in a truly vibrant oeuvre simultaneously recalling his predecessors The Roots and peers The Internet, Nick Hakim and Hiatus Kaiyote.

                            Released digitally today, new single ‘Nerve’ is a sweetly swung groove founded on warm organ, bass and effortlessly understated guitar licks courtesy of Dave Okumu (The Invisible). “The song is about the concept of loving yourself wholly and truly before you offset that love onto others,” explains Jordan.

                            The New Zealand born, London-based artist is riding high with amazing support from BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac and Huw Stephens; Mistajam, Toddla T and Jamz Supernova at BBC 1Xtra; plus a coveted playlist spot over at BBC Radio 6 Music in addition to incredible support from Mary Anne Hobbs, Lauren Laverne and Gilles Peterson. He has played Pitchfork Avant-Garde Block Party, Annie Mac Presents, supported Jamie Woon and NAO, and collaborated with Disclosure, Taku, FKJ, Tom Misch, Loyle Carner and Richard Spaven. In 2016 he also released an EP of dancefloor-focused tracks via Rhythm Section under the moniker Dan Kye.


                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Eye To Eye
                            2. May
                            3. Sorceress
                            4. Nerve
                            5. Goodbyes
                            6. Clues Blues
                            7. Chemical Coincidence
                            8. Carnation
                            9. Lucid
                            10. Hiding Place
                            11. Wallflower (feat. Kaya Thomas-Dyke) 

                            Denis Sulta

                            Aye Spoake Te Sumwuhn & They Listenhd

                              With our close relationship with Rubadub in Glasgow, we spotted Denis Sulta's pre-destined path and rise up the dance music pyramid sooner than most. Much like his predecessor Jackmaster a decade previous, there was an initial spark to the DJ / producer which had the full support of his loyal home town crew, ensuring his message was hammered far and wide at every opportunity.

                              Now a household name amongst the under 30's, not least for his outrageous festival antics, flamboyant DJ performances and unrelenting residency at Sub Club; he's recently, and relatively quickly, garnered the cover of Mixmag and joined Radio 1's Residency show to add to his credentials.

                              His first album, on prestigious label Ninja Tune, it serves to showcase the energetic and rambunctious DJ style he's become famous for whilst also showing a depth of studio technique that belies his less-that-serious public image. Aligning itself with the hedonism of Glasgow's night life, whilst journeying through the more electric experimental and nocturnal moods of dance music without revisiting over trodden ground the LP, "Aye Spoake Te Sumwuhn..." is Sulta's battle cry to the global audience.

                              Set to play on increasingly bigger and bigger stages, this affirmative, recklessly naive yet confident LP finds (real name) Hector marching up the hype mountain with his trademark hefty beats and screaming synths wailing gleefully at the moon and the dancefloor. You'll want to stay hydrated, it's a marathon not a sprit!



                              TRACK LISTING

                              In~Narito
                              Gas Whillis (While I Paint My Nails)
                              ForTee
                              I'm Not Always Right, So I Listen
                              Matthew Keeps Me Pirrie
                              It's Tough, But Not As Much As The Dream Is Worth (Joseph) -
                              Dan (wll SOME Day KNOW How Special He Makes Me Feel)
                              Welcome, To The Rest Of My Life

                              Purveyors of contemporary ambient and electronic inspired music, A Winged Victory for the Sullen make a bold return on new album “The Undivided Five”. The pair, made up of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie, have created iconic film scores and forward-thinking ambient groups, releasing a series of game-changing records for Erased Tapes and Kranky. On “The Undivided Five” they rekindle their unique partnership for only their second piece of original music outside of film, TV and stage commissions, creating an album that channels ritual, higher powers and unspoken creative energies. Their fifth release (following their debut album, two scores and an EP), they embraced the serendipitous role of the number five, inspired by artist Hilma af Klint and the recurrence of the perfect fifth chord.

                              This album sees them create bold new work built on their foundations in ambient and neoclassical. Since their 2011 self-titled debut, the duo have emerged as part of a much-lauded scene alongside peers like Max Richter, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Tim Hecker and Fennesz. Their 2014 album “Atomos” was the product of a commission to score a new performance by Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor, while 2016’s “Iris” was the score for director Jalil Lespert’s thriller, “In the Shadow of Iris”. They count the likes of Jon Hopkins among their fans, who included ‘Requiem For The Static King Part One’ on his 2015 Late Night Tales compilation. They composed the score for Invisible Cities, a specially-created performance to herald 2019’s Manchester International Festival, and have played some of the world’s most celebrated venues, including a sold out Boiler Room performance at London’s Barbican, and a 2015 BBC Proms show curated by Mary Anne Hobbs at the Royal Albert Hall.

                              They were first introduced by mutual friend Francesco Donadello in 2007, a close collaborator who’s gone on to mix all of the AWVFTS records. O’Halloran launched his reputation with two acclaimed solo piano albums, attracting the attention of director Sofia Coppola, who asked him to score her 2006 film Marie Antoinette, and he has since won an Emmy for his 2015 theme song for Jill Soloway’s Transparent series, and been nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for his 2017 score with Hauschka for Garth Davis’ Lion. Wiltzie, meanwhile, founder of iconic drone outfit Stars of the Lid, has scored Hollywood films including Kevin MacDonald’s “Whitney”, Jake Scott’s “American Woman” and collaborated with Jóhann Jóhannsson for 2014’s The Theory of Everything.

                              This album sees them pay greater heed to the small details in their sound than previously, something they say has been encouraged by the move to a new label. It’s been their first opportunity since their debut to create something that’s solely guided by their ideas, and it represented an opportunity to call back to that first outing while also building on the various ways in which they’ve grown. “We understand that times have changed,” they say. “We have evolved, but we also didn’t want to forget the beginning.”

                              They channel influences such as Debussy, nodded to in the opening track, whose big chords and complicated arrangements inform a lot of their approach – parts that sound simple but require great skill to execute. Likewise, the artist Hilma af Klint – one of the first abstract Western artists – informed their ideas about drawing on spiritual influences to shape their work. “It’s like an invisible hand guiding things,” they say.

                              The start of recording sessions for the album were marred by the death of one of their closest friends. Within weeks after the funeral O’Halloran found out that he would be expecting his first child, and it was soon after that a visit to see the art of af Klint brought home a profound realisation of life, death, the afterlife, and the spaces in between. She belonged to a group called "The Five", a circle of five women with a shared belief in the importance of trying to make contact with spirits, often by way of séances. This chimed with the duo’s unspoken approach to collaboration, and nudged them to return to their writing process centered around the harmonic perfect fifth; the five senses, the divine interval – The Undivided Five.

                              The album was also shaped by the breadth of locations in which it was created, helping to shape its nuanced sonics. In addition to O’Halloran and Wiltzie’s respective Berlin and Brussels studios, the record took shape across six different sites. They recorded orchestral samples in Budapest’s Magyar Rádió Studio 22, re-recorded album parts in Brussels’ Eglise Du Beguinage’s unique, reverb-heavy surrounds (where Wiltzie has performed with Stars of the Lid and, in 2018, organised a tribute concert for Jóhann Jóhannsson), experimented with overdubs in Ben Frost’s Reykjavik studio, and recorded grand piano parts in a remote woodland studio in northern Italy. The duo pay close attention to the micro-level of sound, and each of these places was chosen for the qualities which could enrich the finished product. And it’s in Francesco Donadello’s studio in Berlin, where all of the previous AWVFTS material has been mixed, that the album was run through the studio’s analog board, binding the record’s different parts together.

                              It was their connection to Jóhannsson which partly shaped the direction of their new album. They were asked to create a remix for him, which he heard before his death in 2018, where they unlocked a new process in terms of how they work. They recomposed the strings, using modular synthesis, old synths and string and piano arrangements, a method they applied to album opener ‘Our Lord Debussy’. “It’s about going into the DNA of music and taking different strands,” they say.

                              The album is their debut for Ninja Tune, and comes as change is underway for O’Halloran, moving from Berlin – hence the title of ‘Keep It Dark, Deutschland’ – after a decade in the German capital. He’s headed to Iceland, the country where the pair shot their latest press photos and which is an important locale for both of them. The wide-spanning connections which have shaped the record are testament to their deep roots as artists. This album’s powerful energy is driven by the deep-rooted bond between them.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: ‘The Undivided Five’ is the newest outing from the masters of ambient classical music, A Winged Victory For The Sullen. Their debut album hit us all pretty hard back in 2011, and has continued to be on the player pretty much constantly since then. Though they’ve released a soundtrack and another LP since, this is really only the second full album, and it is every bit the spiritual successor. Soaring, spine-tingling swells of string and synth coalesce together into a perfectly organic, yet otherworld rush of emotion and heft. Brittle, tentative passages are suddenly engorged with indescribable euphoric joy, evocative but fleeting, bringing to mind their debut, but with every bit rendered in unparalleled definition. ‘The Undivided Five’ deserves every attention you can give it, every precious moment you spend with it revealing more secrets and more colours you didn’t even know existed. An unrivalled beauty.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1.Our Lord Debussy
                              2. Sullen Sonata
                              3. The Haunted Victorian Pencil
                              4. The Slow Descent Has Begun
                              5. Aqualung, Motherfucker
                              6. A Minor Fifth Is Made Of Phantoms
                              7. Adios, Florida
                              8. The Rhythm Of A Dividing Pair
                              9. Keep It Dark, Deutschland

                              We've come an awful long way since Floating Points' first utterances entered our stratosphere. That opening trio of twelves ("J&W Beat", "Love Me Like This" and "Vacuum Boogie") immediately caught the attention of us and our customers and we've been hooked on this cat throughout the last ten years.

                              Whereas the incredible "Elaenia" (2015) was a five-year process, "Crush" was made during an intense five-week period, inspired by the invigorating improvisation of his shows supporting The xx in 2017. He had just finished touring with his own live ensemble, culminating in a Coachella appearance, when he suddenly became a one-man band, just him and his trusty Buchla opening up for half an hour every night. He thought what he’d come out with would 'be really melodic and slow-building' to suit the mood of the headliners, but what he ended up playing was 'some of the most obtuse and aggressive music I've ever made, in front of 20,000 people every night,' he says. 'It was liberating.'

                              Fundamentally, this is still stylistically a Floating Points record. Classically informed pieces drift into focus without beats, only to dissolve into a mist of modular-generated textures. There's some speaker-tested mainroom techno moments, namely the lead single "LesAlpx" which concludes side A's meticulously programmed schedule with a moment of undiluted dancefloor energy. Fans of his jazz-flecked house will find tracks like "Last Bloom" and "Anasickmodular" a joy to behold; possessing that idiosyncratic shuffle and swing that instantly characterize an FP production. "Bias" opens side B with a unfathomably futuristic, attitude-ridden bass monster until Sam unexpectedly flips into his patented, cerebral jazz-house hybrid. Don't get me wrong though, he's not resting on his laurels in any way. His New Sounds bite and spit, as he seems to harness extraordinary levels of intricacy and power from his trusty Buchla synthesizer and his much lusted-after Arp Odyssey. More refined, more evolved, deeper, richer - but the same Floating Points - sound up your tree? It should be. 


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Matt says: The Chetham's graduate has been a permanent fixture on our shelves for the last decade. 'Crush' embodies everything we love about him across a succinct and direct two sides. Drifting through a highly musical sanctum, we get expressions on modular and synth informed, and indeed elevated, by Sam's well documented and rich musical education.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              Side A: 
                              Falaise
                              Last Bloom
                              Anasickmodular
                              Requiem For CS70 And Strings
                              Karakul
                              LesAlpx

                              Side B: 
                              Bias
                              Environments
                              Birth
                              Sea-Watch
                              Apoptose Pt1
                              Apoptose Pt2 

                              Romare

                              Gone / Danger

                                In the two years since the release of his critically acclaimed album "Love Songs: Part Two", Romare, real name Archie Fairhurst, has spent his time almost solely on the road. Playing over 150 shows across the world, including stops at Berghain / Panorama Bar, Primavera Sound, All Points East, Dimensions, III Points, Printworks and The Warehouse Project. He joined both Bonobo and Nightmares On Wax on their US tours, playing iconic venues like Terminal 5 and Output in New York and Smart Bar in Chicago, has played shows across India and Australia, and held two sold-out London residences, first at Phonox and most recently at the Jazz Cafe.

                                Recorded over the same period, in which he also acquired an electric organ and built a new recording studio, the two tracks, "Gone" & "Danger" represent his most intentional and direct nod to the dancefloor to date. The titular A-side, with its menacing bassline and soaring piano stabs was named after a vocal snippet since removed from the track. The B-side "Danger" was imagined as an alternative to "Gone", with both tracks being recorded 'whilst watching the seasons change from winter to summer in the new studio set up in the garden'.

                                Romare's finely crafted house tapestries have appealed to everyone here at Piccadilly since his first forays on Ninja Tune. Intricate yet unimposing, his detailed collages nod to hip-hop and downbeat whilst working intrinsically within house music's wide cannon. 


                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Matt says: Romare's deft and gentle hand strikes again. The UK's answer to Moodymann? Maybe not but there's parallels as to how they both manipulate sound. Sometimes less is more, and Romare demonstrates this perfectly.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                A1. Gone
                                B1. Danger

                                Sampa The Great creates a sense of home on her debut album - “The Return”. A characterful record, its reference points range from classic hip-hop to ancient Southern African sounds. Built on four years of personal and musical soul-searching, it’s an assured statement, the product of meaningful musical connections and of Sampa having to redefine her self-identity away from the comforts of family and old friends.

                                Building on her formative works, “The Return” sees Sampa tackle bigger questions, exploring what it means to feel at home, to feel excluded, and to see someone as an outsider. It stems from the rift Sampa has experienced in the rise of her career, where she’s celebrated as part of a new generation of Australian musicians while at the same time still being seen as an other. The album artwork features Sampa alongside a Nyau dancer - traditional dancers and figures that are found in villages across parts of Africa. For Sampa, the dancer represents the fear of the unknown which is often projected by the West when it comes to African traditions. She also wanted to rediscover her ancestors’ spirituality: her mother’s side of the family are of the Bantu ethnicity from which the Nyau tradition originates.

                                The themes behind the album are addressed head on in title track ‘The Return’. At the close of the track, Whosane’s lyrics refer to “returning to the self of my self”. This, for Sampa, is what she’s been trying to do for the past six years: to find new ways of feeling at home and rediscover an emboldened idea of herself. "Home is described in a lot of ways and means a lot of different things to different people,” she says. “I had to redefine in my mind and in my spirit what home means.” The album is both a re-telling of that journey, and the realisation of her aim; the album walks us through that return to home, while the accomplished sound and lyricism underscores the steps she’s made as a person and artist.

                                Her African heritage is an important aspect of her exploration of home. On ‘OMG’, for instance, she talks about celebrating the cultures and traditions of Africa:

                                “Daddy adolescent said he’d get out from the streets
                                Give him kid a feed
                                Let em grow they feet
                                Fly em out of Africa
                                Give them kids a beat
                                Show them how the other half
                                How the world lives”

                                Explaining the meaning behind the lyrics, she says, “I personally feel that people on the continent have a duty to our family in the diaspora, to re-teach our culture, language, spirituality, ways and return our peeps to ourselves. To me ‘OMG’ sounds like the songs we heard in our childhood. It’s broadly about flexing your culture! Loving where you’re from and even being shocked at the realisation of not knowing how dope it is to be ‘who you are’.” The video was shot between South Africa and Botswana, where she was raised, and gave Sampa the chance to involve her parents in her world. “I got to do something that I’ve never done before,” she says. “Which is to have my parents in one of my music videos. This is the first time they have been involved in my music at this level and it was important for me to express accepting and flexing my culture with the two people who know me most!”

                                On album opener, ‘Mwana’, she employs the language of the Bemba tribe which her mother is a descendent of. “Mwana” means “child” in Bemba, and the song samples her mother and features her sister singing, making connections between her immediate family and their wider history. However, “The Return” is a reference to a physical journey, as well as a spiritual one; Sampa returned to Zambia and Botswana, where she was born and raised, respectively. There, she recorded the videos for both ‘Final Form’ - the triumphant single which sees her embrace the struggle of growing as an artist, and ‘OMG’. She is also set to release a short film titled ‘Homecoming’ about her experiences returning home to play her first shows on African soil. Across every aspect of “The Return”, from the music and the lyrics, to the visuals and the artwork, Sampa The Great returns to the foundations propping up her sense of self and in doing so makes a bold statement about who she is as an artist.


                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Millie says: Sampa The Great’s masterful ‘The Return’ is the musical culmination of four years of self discovery, a theme which runs throughout the entire album. Incorporating everything we love about hip-hop as well as a celebration of Southern African rhythm, this album is pure and dynamic. Featuring some badass artists like Whosane and Krown, this is the gift that just keeps on giving.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Mwana (feat. Mwanje Tembo, Theresa Mutale Tembo, Sunburnt Soul Choir)
                                Freedom
                                Wake Up (Interlude)
                                Time’s Up (feat. Krown)
                                Grass Is Greener
                                Dare To Fly (feat. Ecca Vandal)
                                Any Day (feat. Whosane)
                                OMG
                                Light It Up (Interlude)
                                Final Form
                                Heaven (feat. Whosane)
                                Diamond In The Ruff (feat. Thando, Krown)
                                Leading Us Home
                                Summer (feat. Steam Down)
                                Brand New (feat. SILENTJAY)
                                Give Love (Interlude)
                                The Return (feat. Thando, Jace XL, Alien, Whosane)
                                Don’t Give Up (feat. Mandarin Dreams)
                                Made Us Better (feat. Blue Lab Beats, Boadi, Lori)

                                Soulful, intimate and expansive all at once, Jordan Rakei’s third album, "Origin", cuts straight to the point. The melodies are brighter, the sound is bigger and the vision behind it more finely-tuned. Switching up from the highly personal and intimate portrait he painted with 2017’s "Wallflower", which was a way of grappling with his experience of anxiety and introversion, "Origin" is overtly inspired by dystopian visions of our future - notably Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. 'I’m worried that we’re losing a sense of connection,' explains Jordan, with many of the album lyrics exploring technological growth, and how it affects our sense of humanity. For example, new single "Say Something" is 'about speaking up for what you believe in; a call to arms for future humans to stand up against the AI systems which govern a now-dystopian world. It follows recent single "Mind’s Eye", which envisions a future world where malfunctioning tech implanted in the human body has flooded the users mind with projections of chaos. He meditates daily, something he adopted partly in response to his issues with anxiety, and something which has shaped his worldview and informed his writing and production process.

                                On "Origin", Rakei has scaled up his ambitions, and is more confident in the way he goes about achieving them. Making tracks that speak more confidently, in brighter colours, and which deal with something bigger than himself. He channeled the classic songwriting and musicality of his heroes Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan, striving to surprise and delight with the form of his work, and always infusing it with the same effortless swing and human feel that he fell in love with listening to A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock and 9th Wonder.


                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Millie says: Rakei returns with his new sublime album, exploring themes of a technological and a dystopian future while producing the best jazz groves around topped with soulful vocals. Absolutely gorgeous stuff!

                                TRACK LISTING

                                01. Mad World
                                02. Say Something
                                03. Mind’s Eye
                                04. Rolling Into One
                                05. Oasis
                                06. Wildfire
                                07. Signs
                                08. You & Me
                                09. Moda
                                10. Speak
                                11. Mantra

                                Jayda G releases her debut album “Significant Changes” via Ninja Tune, having risen steadily through the dance music underground thanks to her infectious energy, vitality, rhythm and boundless enthusiasm. Musically it’s a blend of vintage drum machine funk drawing heavily on Chicago’s house blueprint - a natural progression from a string of EPs both solo and alongside her friend and mentor DJ Fett Burger (Sex Tags Mania), often appearing on the Freakout Cult label the two ran jointly until 2018 and most recently her newly minted JMG Recordings imprint. Also renowned for her high-energy performances as a DJ, the past 12 months have seen her play London’s formidable Printworks venue alongside the likes of Marcellus Pittman, Moodymann and Omar-S, be invited by The Black Madonna to play at her Warehouse Project takeover, and Berlin’s iconic Panorama Bar, as well as festival appearances at Field Day, Kala, Melt!, AVA and the xx’s Night And Day to name a few.

                                'I’ve gone through some significant changes personally, in terms of growing up into the person that I am, my career just morphing to a place I never dreamed or imagined possible,' explains Jayda. 'It’s about me understanding myself as an artist, understanding who that person is, and who I want that person to be, and taking more responsibility for the platform that I’ve been given.' 


                                TRACK LISTING

                                CD
                                1. Unifying The Center (Abstract)
                                2. Renewal (Hyla Mix)
                                3. Stanley’s Get Down (No Parking On The DF)
                                4. Leave Room 2 Breathe (feat. Alexa Dash)
                                5. Orca’s Reprise
                                6. Missy Knows What’s Up
                                7. Sunshine In The Valley (feat. Alexa Dash)
                                8. Move To The Front (Disco Mix)
                                9. Conclusion

                                2LP
                                A1. Unifying The Center (Abstract)
                                A2. Renewal (Hyla Mix)

                                B1. Stanley’s Get Down (No Parking On The DF)
                                B2. Leave Room 2 Breathe (feat. Alexa Dash)

                                C1. Orca’s Reprise
                                C2. Missy Knows What’s Up

                                The Cinematic Orchestra are back with a definitive new album that explores a timeless question of vital importance in 2019 - what to believe? Founding member Jason Swinscoe and longtime partner Dominic Smith have enlisted album contributions from collaborators old and new: Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend (vocalist on Bonobo’s 'First Fires’), Dorian Concept and Tawiah (Mark Ronson, Kindness). Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Flying Lotus, Anderson Paak, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote) features on strings and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept. The record was mixed by multiple Grammy winner Tom Elmhirst (David Bowie, Frank Ocean, Adele) in Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios. The album artwork comes courtesy of The Designers Republic™ (Aphex Twin).

                                In 2019 it is easy to see the band’s influence, jazz is all around us, London and LA have recently produced scenes more prolific than anyone expected; Kamasi Washington has been nominated for both Grammy and Brit Awards, Sons Of Kemet a Mercury Prize, BADBADNOTGOOD provide jazz soundtracks to high fashion shows and Kendrick Lamar has put the jazz palette at the top of the charts. When The Cinematic Orchestra released their critically acclaimed debut album “Motion” it helped pave the way for this moment, incorporating as it did an interpretation that had been lacking in the oeuvre and encouraging a new generation of musicians to break rules. “To Believe” doesn’t shy away from this ethos - its articulation of the band’s unique sonic language, encompassing not only jazz but the sort of transcendental orchestration combined with the elegant electronics of artists like Ólafur Arnalds and Floating Points, artists they have helped forge a path for, has never been more cohesive and compelling.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Matt says: This year is the 20th birthday of this prestigious band who, out of the fertile soils of UK jazz, hip-hop and electronica, have grown into a much-celebrated household name. What better crown to mark the end of their teens than ‘To Believe’. With another ambrosial list of vocal collaborations, its (notably) reduced number of tracks and a huge injection of neo-classical nuances, it aims its bow directly at the heart; a body of work that seems to exist and transmit out of a heavenly and divine realm. The band employ a beguiling tapestry of organic and electronic instruments, samples and improvisation throughout. There's a deliberate and considered higher consciousness to the entire album, like it's whispering into your ear late at night between the pillows. Sometimes like a snow-dusted fairytale with its highly cinematic string arrangements, at other's deeply introspective; it's the message that matters after everything else is removed, and on ‘I Believe’ we receive it with a fragile yet focussed intimacy.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. To Believe (feat. Moses Sumney)
                                2. A Caged Bird/Imitations Of Life (feat. Roots Manuva)
                                3. Lessons
                                4. Wait For Now/Leave The World (feat. Tawiah)
                                5. The Workers Of Art
                                6. Zero One/This Fantasy (feat. Grey Reverend)
                                7. A Promise (feat. Heidi Vogel)

                                BADBADNOTGOOD X Little Dragon

                                Tried

                                  Canadian Jazz group BADBADNOTGOOD unite with Swedish electronic band Little Dragon for their beautiful and melancholic single, Tried.The single follows a myriad of successful collaborations from BADBADNOTGOOD with Kendrick Lamar, Kali Uchis, Snoop Dogg, Thundercat, Kaytranada, Charlotte Day Wilson and Sam Herring (Future Islands) and Little Dragon’s 2018 “Lover Chanting” EP.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: BADBADNOTGOOD's new collaboration with Little Dragon demonstrates their mellow side of beautifully slowed-down jazz rhythm, matched with the sweet vocals of Little Dragon is a heavenly retreat for the ears.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A1. Tried
                                  B1. Tried (Instrumental)

                                  The Cinematic Orchestra

                                  A Caged Bird / Imitations Of Life

                                    Ninja Tune bring us the first new material from The Cinematic Orchestra in three years via a limited vinyl release of the Roots Manuva collaboration "A Caged Bird / Imitations Of Life". Claps and tambourines bring us into the room, where the downbeat ensemble gently tease out a skeletal fusion of thoughtful piano, solid percussion and moody electronics, made whole with Roots Manuva's philosophical flow and urgent strings. It's clear by now though that TCO don't trade in the linear, and soon enough the track explodes into syncopated drums, twinkling electronics and a drifting chorus, tugging every heartstring at once. Available on a limited vinyl with an instrumental and acapella on the flip, this is a welcome return for the electronic legends.


                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    A1. A Caged Bird/Imitations Of Life
                                    B1. A Caged Bird/Imitations Of Life (Instrumental)
                                    B2. A Caged Bird/Imitations Of Life (Acapella) 

                                    Marie Davidson

                                    Working Class Woman

                                    Marie Davidson’s new album turns the mirror on herself. "Working Class Woman” is the Montreal-based producer’s fourth and most self-reflective record: it’s a document of her state of mind, of operating within the spheres of dance music and club culture. Drawing on those experiences, as well as an array of writers, thinkers and filmmakers who’ve influenced her, Davidson’s response to such difficult moments is to explore her own reaction to them and poke fun. 

                                    The sound of "Working Class Woman” is more direct than any of her previous outings. She still mines the same influences, from Italo disco, to proto-techno and industrial, but leadens them with a gut-punching weight, making for a record that’s more visceral than any she’s released before. Industrial heaviness is balanced by Davidson’s spoken text - rather than spoken word, which she sees as a distinct tradition - dark, textured soundscapes are counterweighted by statements that carry a more darkly humourous edge than before, making observations on both aspects of club culture as well as more oblique critiques of the modern world. It’s something that’s encapsulated in the driving momentum of lead single "So Right", which matches pared back lyrics with a melodic bassline and bright synths, her words sketching out a euphoric feeling that chimes with the music.

                                    Building on the dancefloor-minded trajectory charted by her previous record "Adieux Au Dancefloor” (Cititrax / Minimal Wave), which drew praise from the likes of Pitchfork, The Fader and Resident Advisor, and opened up her sound to a new, wider audience, earning support from peers such as Nina Kraviz and Jessy Lanza. 


                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Your Biggest Fan
                                    2. Work It
                                    3. The Psychologist
                                    4. Lara
                                    5. Day Dreaming
                                    6. The Tunnel
                                    7. Workaholic Paranoid Bitch
                                    8. So Right
                                    9. Burn Me
                                    10. La Chambre Intérieure

                                    Actress X London Contemporary Orchestra

                                    Lageos

                                      Following the release of the ’Audio Track 5’ EP and live performances at the Strelka Institute (Moscow), Barbican Centre and Tate Tanks (London), electronic producer and musician Darren Cunningham AKA Actress and the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) release a full album of their collaboration on Ninja Tune entitled ‘Lageos’.

                                      Originally performed at the Barbican in February 2016, the project was curated by Boiler Room and LCO with support from Arts Council England and Ninja Tune. The music created a synergy between both live electronic and acoustic components, not just in the harmonies but in the way the traditional instruments were spliced into new hybrid instruments. As part of the process, Actress and LCO augmented traditional piano and created sounds from objects as varied as temple bowls and plastic bags. The show, a massive sell-out success, eventually lead to the release of this much anticipated album.

                                      For the album, LCO recorded the individual instrumental parts as stems at Spitfire Studio then sent to Actress to manipulate, in turn delivering some truly unique new pieces. LCO also went on to reinterpret Actress classics ‘Hubble' and ’N.E.W' among others from his catalogue.

                                      "In many ways the collaboration is about exploring an ambiguity of sound that sits between electronic and acoustic spaces; something that we’re aiming to push further as part of the live shows,” says the LCO’s Hugh Brunt of the collaboration. “For much of the set we look to realize as close as possible the timbres and colours of Actress’ electronics through acoustic means (which he in turn responds to); something of a physicalisation of those synthesized or sampled sounds. That has involved utilizing various accessories: plastic bags (for white noise or to emulate an EQ’d hi-hat); keys; Blu-Tack (to dampen the piano’s upper strings); milk frothers on harp strings, etc."

                                      The project’s genesis was very much inspired by, as well as performed at, the mecca of brutalism – the Barbican Centre. Iannis Xenakis, a Greek composer and architect who would create buildings to fit his scores, and scores to fit his buildings was an inspiration, Actress and LCO took architectural layouts of the Barbican and created sounds directly inspired by its shapes.


                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: A less beat-driven adventure for Actress, focusing mainly on the texture and interplay between found sounds and a classical orchestra. Fitting in nicely to his previous dusty electronic workouts, Lageos is a fascinating and impeccably curated suite of brutalist ambience and avant-garde electronica.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      LAGEOS
                                      Momentum
                                      Galya Beat
                                      Chasing Numbers
                                      Chaos Rain
                                      Surfer’s Hymn
                                      N.E.W.
                                      Audio Track 5
                                      Voodoo Posse, Chronic
                                      Illusion
                                      Hubble

                                      Cocoa Sugar, announced in November 2017 that Young Fathers had a brand new album and it has been highly anticipated since. The trio – Alloysious Massaquoi, Graham ‘G’ Hastings and Kayus Bankole – marked the news by previewing a brand-new song, ‘Lord’ and a subsequent accompanying video. Just like their previous standalone 2017 single ‘Only God Knows’ (written for the Trainspotting T2 film and described by director Danny Boyle as “the heartbeat of the film”), ‘Lord’ provided an enticing glimpse of what to expect from Young Fathers’ third full album; something typically unique and exhilarating, but leaner, more muscular and self-assured than ever before. Cocoa Sugar sees Young Fathers operating with a newfound clarity and direction, and is without doubt their most confident and complete statement to date.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Millie says: Long awaited but is now finally here, Cocoa Sugar is refreshingly original as their new sound is bold and irresistibly good.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. See How
                                      2. Fee Fi
                                      3. In My View
                                      4. Turn
                                      5. Lord
                                      6. Tremolo
                                      7. Wow
                                      8. Border Girl
                                      9. Holy Ghost
                                      10. Wire
                                      11. Toy
                                      12. Picking You

                                      Bicep

                                      Bicep

                                        Bicep - the Belfast-born, London-based duo of Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson are mainstays in the current dance music climate. Fresh off the back of groundbreaking live performances across the globe (notably Dekmantel but also here at MCR's Parklife) they now present their debut album - as it its taken them this long! First coming onto our radar in 2010, the pair have come a long way since the initial 'NY house revival' that set their careers alight after running a tastemaking blog - Feel My Bicep. The perfect summation of the duo’s career to date - "Bicep" is a sonic tour of their history touching the cornerstones of underground club culture. Matt and Andy have pulled off the rarest of feats, to make a singularly unique electronic record founded on the blueprint of classic house, techno, electro and Italo disco, but flipped and morphed into a fresh design bearing the unique Bicep sonic signature. It’s a perfectly succinct album: loose, raw and energetic enough for the dancefloor, yet refined, artfully composed and contemplative enough for home listening.



                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. Orca
                                        2 .Glue
                                        3. Kites
                                        4. Vespa
                                        5. Ayaya
                                        6. Spring
                                        7. Drift
                                        8. Opal
                                        9. Rain
                                        10. Ayr
                                        11. Vale
                                        12. Aura

                                        Actress X London Contemporary Orchestra

                                        Audio Track 5

                                          Everyone's favourite leftfield enigma, Darren Cunningham aka Actress, joined by the London Contemporary Orchestra as they premiere new material as well as expanded arrangements of their dark and brooding back catalogue. Showcased last year at The Barbican Centre London and Strelka Institute Moscow and in conjunction with Boiler Room this 12” release named simply "Audio Track 5" serves as an introduction to a larger body which will be released on Ninja Tune and Boiler Room TV as both a full length album plus live show in August this year. Over a decade of releases Cunningham has built a reputation as a fine creator of cerebral abstract techno, or R&B concrète, crafting pulsing kickdrums, jittering percussion and chopped sample loops into churning, rumbling tracks soaked in static. But he has also been on record saying he wants to make ‘classical stuff for a modern generation’. A truely defining artist, who isn't afraid to push challenging content if it gets his message across clearer, we've been big fans of Actress here at Piccadilly since forever. In this new collaboration, commissioned and curated by Boiler Room and the London Contemporary Orchestra with support from Arts Council England, the London Contemporary Orchestra bring a new dimension to Cunningham’s choice of sounds. With the producer in effect using them as a new instrument, matching his electronic loops with precise manipulation of their acoustic instruments, together they form a heightened kind of chamber music laced with electrostatic interference and DSP nuances. It'll keep existing fans on their toes, which is kinda why we love him! 

                                          Forest Swords, aka acclaimed Merseyside-based producer Matthew Barnes, returns with his eagerly anticipated new full-length record.

                                          “Compassion" engages with an uncertain world we’re experiencing, distilling it into a unique sound territory: Barnes' exploration of the mid-point between ecstasy and frustration, artificial and human feels timely and affecting. The result is an assured, compelling body of work, tying together the ancient and future: weaving swathes of buzzing digital textures, field recordings, clattering beats and distorted jazz sax with fizzing orchestral arrangements.

                                          "Like many, with all that's been going on since I started making the record, I've struggled to see any kind of light at the end of the tunnel," says Barnes, "so I realised there's some sort of power in trying to create our own instead. I'm inspired by the ways we're communicating now, for better or worse, and thinking about new channels we can distribute ideas. The idea of looking for flexible future ways of expression and language, that bends to our needs quicker, really excites me”. Barnes launched the record with a unique experiment in new ways to disseminate music, personally sending album tracks through messaging app WhatsApp to anyone who asked.

                                          The album shifts from 'The Highest Flood's skeletal bounce to 'Panic's claustrophobic paranoia; the rapturous hyperballad 'Arms Out' to the windswept and cinematic ‘Knife Edge’, navigating through the orchestral glitch of 'War It' to decaying jazz thump of ‘Raw Language’. The album is equal parts disorienting and immersive, balancing bold sweeping gestures and crumbling textures; tracks seemingly disintegrating and reassembling at points across the album. Blending both digital and specially recorded brass, strings and vocals, Barnes's processing never truly makes it clear what's new or old, sampled or unique, constantly blurring and toying with the line between digital and acoustic.

                                          There will also be a variety of multidisciplinary projects set to run through his Dense Truth umbrella over the coming year: collaborations across dance, performance, film and music. Previous Forest Swords projects include devising and scoring contemporary dance piece ‘Shrine’, composing for the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ video game, collaborating with Massive Attack on their new music, and scoring the first movie made entirely with drones – 'In The Robot Skies’ – which debuted at the BFI London Film Festival.

                                          Central to this enthralling world is “Compassion", an album that's as weighty as it is vulnerable, sculpting the most striking parts of his previous work into something that feels urgent and necessary, and cementing Barnes as one of the UK's most significant electronic artists and composers.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Martin says: I’ve always had a soft spot for Forest Swords paranoid, rhythmic soundscapes. That the emotion that inspires Matthew Barnes' music is born of his view of the current political situation, the brooding angularity hung on its sparse frame is hardly surprising. An uneasy marriage of analogue and electronic fragments, shot through, reflecting the world situation perhaps, with a germ of hope.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          War It
                                          The Highest Flood
                                          Panic
                                          Exalter
                                          Border Margin Barrier
                                          Arms Out
                                          Vandalism
                                          Sjurvival
                                          Raw Language
                                          Knife Edge

                                          For me, Actress exists in a sparsely populated world of pure muses. Throughout musical history you have people at the very forefront of a generation or culture. Artists who relate to a time and environment rather than appeal to specific genre constraints of an fleeting aspect of club culture. Artists who truly put 'art' before anything else - often challenging the norm and usually way ahead of what the general consensus then later terms as cool. I put Darren Cunningham in this class, alongside Bowie, Kate Bush, Prince, Jamal Moss, AFX, Burial and Madonna. A grand statement I know but as the esteemed producer reaches album number five his artistic focus and future vision is unrivalled. The simplest you could say about "AZD" is that it’s art - the unique creation of a unique mind. There will be few more distinctive, brilliant or visionary suites of music released in 2017. Shimmering through a holographic prism its opening trilogy of tracks shines with new industry and broken societies; mixing dissonance with rhythm unceremoniously. Side B twists and churns through a multitude of audio processes, the very fabric of time space audible as Actress switches our receptors onto maximum sensitivity; offering up two painfully current club cuts in the process ("X22RME" & "Runner"). As side C slide gracefully in with the neo-orchestration of "Falling Rizlas" Actress prepares us for the demonically epic "Dancing In The Smoke" which defies categorization entirely, spinning old school hip-hop vox through an audio spiralizer and swirling metallic washes. Side D opens with the alluring "There's An Angel In The Shower", fluttering electronics gentle serenading us through highly emotive micro-chords. Finally "Visa" sees the Actress depart us in spritely, mischievous form, playful arpeggios rambunctiously motoring away as Cunningham pours hot white noise and electromagnet shards over the recording medium. It's been another awe inspiring, and at time uneasy vision of the future and how it's gonna sound, but Actress welcomes in the new with a wry smile and comforting gaze.



                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          NIMBUS
                                          UNTITLED 7
                                          FANTASYNTH
                                          BLUE WINDOW
                                          CYN
                                          X22RME
                                          RUNNER
                                          FALLING RIZLAS
                                          DANCING IN THE SMOKE
                                          FAURE IN CHROME
                                          THERE’S AN ANGEL IN THE SHOWER
                                          VISA

                                          Nathan Fake has grown from his beginnings as an undeniably skilled, but relatively inoffensive purveyor of twee IDM (see the cutesy electronic rhythms and circuit-bent melodies of 'Drowning In A Sea Of Love') into a powerhouse of challenging electronics and innovative melodic constructions.

                                          The brash and stomping 'Feelings 1' could easily be stretched into a 6-minute long OPN track from his early catalog, but retains its impact and drive in part due to it's brevity, letting up after only a couple short minutes with a thematic segue into the thumping title track. Utilising his tried-and-tested technique of a filtered-out beginning into a revisitation of that theme, but injected with fiery percussion and swooning synthplay, Fake constructs a towering wall of chaotic arps and fizzling saturation, underpinned by distorted kick drums and dusty pads.

                                          'HoursDaysMonthsSeasons' is much more along the lines of Border Community heavy-hitters Holden or Luke Abbott, pitching tweeting modulars and syncopated throbs against a droning foundation of fire and brimstone. As with all of Fake's more recent work, this is a deep and rewarding experience, but gives as much as you do, revealing it's complexities through patence and perserverance. 

                                          Moving further along (we have convered the towering 'DEGREELESSNESS elsewhere), we move into ambient territory with 'SmallCityLights' which is a relaxing and much-needed respite (make use of it while you can) before the thudding dystopian sidechained duality of 'Radio Spiritworld'. Like a pack of robots fizzing and staggering towards a neon sun, we get chillwave guitars, industrial hammering and crackling electronic connections, coming together into a bracing mix of rampant retro-futurism and forward-thinking outsider 'tron.

                                          Providence is as contrary and (I imagine) divisive as anything Fake has accomplished thus far, founded upon his considerable talent for writing a dancefloor stomper, but abstracted into the outer realms of melodicism and rhythm. A challenging, towering behemoth of an album, that will confound and amaze in equal measure. 

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Nathan Fake does OPN. Shimmering synths, soul-shaking drone and abstracted rhythms mashed together (amazingly) into a brittle and brutal amalgamation of conceptual genius and technical mastery. A++, Will listen again.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          Feelings 1
                                          PROVIDENCE
                                          HoursDaysMonthsSeasons
                                          DEGREELESSNESS (ft Prurient)
                                          The Equator & I unen
                                          SmallCityLights
                                          Radio Spiritworld
                                          CONNECTIVITY
                                          RVK (ft Raphaelle)
                                          REMAIN
                                          Feelings 2

                                          Simon Green, aka Bonobo returns with his sixth album – the masterful, magisterial “Migration” – is a record which cements his place in the very highest echelons of electronic music and indeed, beyond. By turns lush, manic, beautiful, melancholy, joyful, packed with both emotion and technical skill, this is perhaps his most ambitious attempt yet to capture the very textures of human existence in his work, as Green says of the broad dynamics on the album, "Life has highs, lows, loud and quiet moments, beautiful ones and ugly ones. Music is a reflection of life."

                                          It is a theme with a personal as well as a sociological aspect to it. Last year, a close family member passed away. “My Family and I are all disbanded and spread to far corners of the earth,” explains Green, “In the end we did the funeral in Brighton. My own personal idea of identity, where I am from, and what home is, has played into this record and its migratory themes. Is home where you are or where you are from, when you move around?”

                                          It's tempting to relate Green's emotive aesthetic to his sense of dislocation. He grew up in rural Hampshire with a father heavily involved in the British folk scene. "We would have endless folk jams in the house. There would be random banjo and violin players crashing in the garage for the weekend.” Not that he was necessarily feeling his dad’s taste at the time: “I was a grubby little skater back then, listening to alt-rock, hardcore and hip hop”. But no doubt this phase was an early musical education, indeed Green started learning to play guitar, piano, 4-track tape recorders and effects pedals in this period, building up soundcscapes from an early age. His move to Brighton is also a key influence; his skill at drum programming harks back to his days DJing and producing in the small, musically fertile town. Under the initial guidance of Tru Thoughts' Rob Luis and at nights such as Phonic:hoop where he began to regularly play all-night DJ sets.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Has it really been almost 4 years since Bonobo's last full-length? Yes! yes it has, but the wait has been worth it. This is an altogether more soulful affair, still packed with the sort of downbeat rhythmic mastery you've come to expect but imbued with a melancholic and matured aura that only adds to mr Green's veritable mastery of his craft. A triumph.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1) Migration
                                          2) Break Apart
                                          3) Outlier
                                          4) Grains
                                          5) Second Sun
                                          6) Surface
                                          7) Bambro Koyo Ganda
                                          8) Kerala
                                          9) Ontario
                                          10) No Reason
                                          11) 7th Sevens
                                          12) Figures

                                          Letherette

                                          Last Night On The Planet

                                          Letherette return with their second album for Ninja Tune. Imbued with the duo’s signature warmth and distinctive swing, “Last Night On The Planet” is ten tracks deep and runs the gamut from hip-hop (featuring raps from Rejjie Snow and Stones Throw’s Pyramid Vritra), to straight-up four-to-the-floor house trax, uptempo ‘80s R&B-inspired dancefloor heaters, and deeper, introspective downtempo moments (blessed by Jed & Lucia of Ubiquity Records). With a wide range of RIYL artists including Lone, MCDE, Lapaluz and Flako, don't let the street ready rap of "Momma" lull you into thinking this is gonna be a straight up hip-hop LP. "Rich & Dan" displays Letherette's ear for a warbled, head twisting sound design. "Shanel" treads the electrofunk / boogie route that we've seen Letherette rock so well in the past while tracks ""Wootera" and "Bad Sign" display Letherette's love for a banging house beat. The speed in which Letherette changes style and direction through the album is striking if nothing else, not only displaying the varied production talents of this artist but also a lesson in how to structure an album in a dynamically pleasing fashion. Excellent stuff!

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. Momma Feat. Rejjie Snow
                                          2. Rich & Dan
                                          3. Shanel
                                          4. Wootera
                                          5. Bad Sign Feat. Jed & Lucia
                                          6. Dog Brush
                                          7. Frugaloo
                                          8. Soulette
                                          9. Rubu
                                          10. Last Night On The Planet Feat. Pyramid Vritra

                                          Travis Stewaert aka Machinedrum returns with possibly his career-defining album. Written during the early stages of this year, which saw Steward move to California and start exploring esoteric and new age sounds. This concept of sound as a healer, or as a way of expanding our mind is something he's trying to carry throughout the execution of the album. From opener "Lapis", Machinedrum immediately grabs our attention - slowly an arpeggio ascending to heaven which, apparently building towards the mother of all drops, instead fades up and off into the ether. "Morphonogene" swiftly carries the listener into some skitty, future-proof beats backed by what will become the albums ident - pitched angel vox set to a half-tempo swagger. "Angel Speak" continues the theme with euphoric stabs building and rising before a huge snare roll signifies the drop into bass heavy wobble - the post-everything production ethos coming through strong on this number while MeLo-X offers understated, classy assistance.
                                          The music throughout is scintillating, stimulating and stylish; from the mind-candy riffs of "White Crown", the ecstatic d&b finale of "Do It 4 U" (featuring an absolute stand-out vox from singer-of-the-moment D∆WN). From the smile-inducing, melodic brilliance of "Colour Communicator" to the precision and build of "Dos Puertas" featuring Rihanna collaborator Kevin Hussein, one of those albums that displays perfectly what it sounds like to be alive RIGHT NOW, without a thought of looking backwards. There's a plethora of collaborations: the aforementioned MeLo-X; Jesse Boykins III offers a moment of astral r&b goodness on "Celestial Levels"; Rochelle Jordan provides the lift off as Machinedrum works the rhythm flips on "Tell U". There are also contributions from Ruckazoid, Roses Gabore and SK Simeon. It's a tour de force of future musica and we love it! Recommended. 


                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Matt says: Thoroughly invigorating listen from Machinedrum, exploring new styles and sounds with ease and finesse. Perfect for anyone wanting a glimpse into the futuristic progression / hybrid of bass and pop music

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          Lapis
                                          Morphogene (ft Ruckazoid)
                                          Angel Speak (ft MeLo-X)
                                          Tell U (ft Rochelle Jordan)
                                          Surfed Out Do It 4 U (ft D∆WN)
                                          Celestial Levels (ft Jesse Boykins III)
                                          Isometrix
                                          Spectrum Sequence
                                          White Crown (ft Tosin Abasi)
                                          Ocean Of Thought
                                          Etheric Body Temple
                                          Dos Puertas (ft Kevin Hussein)
                                          Opalescent
                                          Colour Communicator

                                          The Invisible

                                          Patience

                                          Listen to The Invisible’s new album, 'Patience', and what you will feel most strongly is the band’s sense of “joy and gratitude for being alive.” The experiences of Dave Okumu (guitar, vocals), Tom Herbert (bass & synthesizer) and Leo Taylor (drums) since the release of their last album, 'Rispah', both individually and collectively, mean that the group “have gained a deeper understanding of the value of life,” and a mission to communicate that to the listener. On 'Patience', they achieve these aims with a kind of effortless transcendence.

                                          From the opening bars of the wonderful “So Well”, (featuring their friend and collaborator Jessie Ware), the feeling of joy pervades the record. Although the group have worked on this record with Anna Calvi, Rosie Lowe, Connan Mockasin and Sam Shepherd (Floating Points) as well as Ware, the sense of collective excitement and pleasure in music-making is what holds sway. It’s an album which hints towards the London soul of Ware, but combines it with the experimentation of the LA beat scene (where Dave Okumu went to write many of the songs) and the raw funk of D’Angelo.

                                          Shortly before the release of Rispah (itself a heartfelt tribute to Okumu’s dead mother), Okumu was electrocuted while playing with the band onstage in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s possible that only the intervention of Herbert, who pulled his guitar off him, saved his life. This personal sense that the band have of deliverance has lead to Patience, not least their sense that they are “the luckiest men alive.”

                                          Joyous without losing any of its intelligence or compositional rigour, the record takes its title from an unfashionable but profound idea - that, if we want to solve problems we have to be prepared to work and to wait rather than expecting instant results. It was an idea clarified when Dave found himself playing in Paris only a week after the gun attacks which ripped through the city on November 13th 2015. On his way home he read an interview with the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield in which he talked about a realisation that could only have come to him in space: “What started seeping into me on...seeing all the ancient scars, was the incredible temporal patience of the world.”



                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          So Well
                                          Save You
                                          Best Of Me
                                          Life’s Dancers
                                          Different (ft Rosie Lowe)
                                          Love Me Again (ft Anna Calvi)
                                          Memories
                                          Believe In Yourself
                                          K Town Sunset (ft Connan Mockasin)

                                          Seven Davis Jr releases his debut album 'Universes' via Ninja Tune – his most honest and heartfelt musical statement to date. Recorded in LA, San Francisco, Amsterdam and London, it’s a unique exploration of his musical landscape, traversing tempos and flipping styles with typical panache but always embedded in the bedrock of soul and funk.

                                          Born in Houston, Texas, before relocating to Northern California, Seven Davis Jr was raised on the classics - from Michael Jackson and Prince to Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. He studied gospel and jazz singing, inspired by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Burt Bacharach. During his teenage years he discovered dance music, specifically house and jungle.

                                          SDJR’s early Bandcamp output was more closely aligned to Los Angeles’ vibrant left-leaning electronic underground. Nurtured by the Hit+Run crew, he owes his first official release to Kutmah (who bagged "Thanks" for his ‘Worldwide Family Vol.2’ compilation on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood imprint in 2012). It was the only four-to-the-floor jam on an album curated by a DJ who is rarely drawn to that style and that fact alone is significant.

                                          When he’s making straight ahead house music, the swing is reminiscent of classic Todd Edwards and the drums bump ‘n’ shuffle like Tuff Jam and Derrick Carter. And the vocals… well at times it’s like he’s channeling the spirit of George Clinton, offset with the sweet character of Peven Everett - the perfect balance of rough and smooth - it’s that undeniable funk that hooks in the hip-hop fans, the cats that don’t generally mess with “house” music. "Good Vibes" (feat. Julio Bashmore) nails this dynamic in a whirlwind 3 mins 18 secs that recalls Daft Punk at their boisterous best - proof that sometimes all you need is a chopped-up disco loop and a hook.

                                          Elsewhere on "Universes" Seven brings a similar soulful energy that Moodymann or Theo Parrish purvey. "Sunday Morning" picks up where Seven’s "Wild Hearts" 12” left off, a mighty ditty with the cheeky mantra “I bet ya never had a love like this before?” sitting pretty upon bustling drums and bass punctuated with snatches of guitar. “It’s about having healthy confidence in yourself and what you can offer the world,” says Seven. There are more introspective moments on the record too – such as "Fighters" and "Afterlife" (feat. Kutmah) – that explore murkier downtempo depths.


                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          CD
                                          Imagination
                                          Freedom
                                          Sunday Morning
                                          Everybody Too Cool
                                          Good Vibes Ft Julio Bashmore
                                          Be A Man Ft FLako
                                          Fighters
                                          Afterlife Ft Kutmah
                                          No Worries
                                          Welcome Back

                                          2LP
                                          Imagination
                                          Freedom
                                          Sunday Morning
                                          Everybody Too Cool
                                          Karma
                                          Try Me (I’ll Funk You)
                                          Options
                                          Good Vibes Ft Julio Bashmore
                                          Luv
                                          Be A Man Ft FLako
                                          Fighters
                                          Honestly
                                          Afterlife Ft Kutmah
                                          No Worries
                                          Welcome Back

                                          Evelyn Jane Mason and Jeremiah Klein met in Vancouver in 2011 and connected via a shared love of bass music, R&B and pop. Though their work is collaborative, Jeremiah leans towards production, with Evelyn providing startling vocals and frank lyrics. The results are enthrallingly hazy.

                                          Popping up two years ago in February 2012 with a staggeringly brilliant 12" via Canadian creative collective and imprint King Deluxe, FACT compared Evy Jane's "frozen pop futurism" to the likes of Clams Casino and The Weeknd, whilst Pitchfork simply labelled it "stunning," giving it a Best New Track feature. Newly signed to Ninja Tune, Evy Jane's Closer EP neatly rounds up the duo’s sonic excursions since their explosive debut.

                                          Inherently DIY, Evelyn and Jeremiah draw upon Vancouver's mystical aura to create a world that mirrors and magnifies it. From self-directed videos to hypnotic songwriting, Evy Jane is inspired by the hooks and melodies of R&B as much as the sub low shudder of the UK’s shifting bass music spectrum and the ebb and swell of tidal synth washes and grainy atmospherics.

                                          Title track "Closer" draws the listener into its swirling electronic textures, catchy melodies and bass. The effect is to be caught helpless in its current, and the combination with the song’s lyrical plea for further closeness is heady. ‘Nothing So Great’ is a simply magical combination of synths rising gradually from heavy to urgent with commanding vocals describing the dark aftermath of sex. "Sosoft" is future R&B that charts the fear and wonder of romance via fathoms-deep bass and utterly beguiling vocals, dark veins spreading through lullaby softness. Final track "Worry Heart" ventures into dubbier territory, a recollected vision of failed reassurance seeing Evelyn’s vocals soar: "You are so damn fair. With your anchors gone, you are floating too free".

                                          The beautiful 'Closer EP' vinyl format features artwork by the amazing Leif Podhajsky.


                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          Closer
                                          Nothing So Great
                                          Sosoft
                                          Worry Heart

                                          It’s a new Mr. Scruff album and you know what to expect, right? We widdle on about sexy potatoes and bouncy bacteria offering you a cup of tea, you have a little chuckle and actually make a brew, you stick on the album and… hold on. Because you see, quietly and without a lot of fuss (cos that’s not the way the Stockport Strepsil rolls) Mr. Scruff aka Andy Carthy has been evolving and developing his music.

                                          So yeah, you can still count upon a shedload of gritty funk and stony soul (not sure where this metaphor’s going..?) but the new record displays a stripped back musicality, a depth that maybe hasn’t been there before. It’s been coming across his last few releases, but this is the most complete, sustained exploration of where his music is at right now. In Carthy’s own pithy words it’s “tougher, sparser, less samples, more bass. More vocals and collaborations and shorter tunes.”

                                          If this record proves anything, it’s that there’s more, much more to the work of Andy Carthy than dancefloor grooves and funny cartoons.

                                          Don’t worry though - it is still one sexy potato.


                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          01. Stereo Breath Feat. Denis Jones
                                          02. Render Me Feat. Denis Jones
                                          03. Deliverance
                                          04. Thought To The Meaning Feat. Denis Jones
                                          05. Friendly Bacteria
                                          06. Come Find Me Feat. Vanessa Freeman
                                          07. Where Am I?
                                          08. He Don't Feat. Robert Owens
                                          09. What
                                          10. We Are Coming
                                          11. Catch Sound Feat. Denis Jones
                                          12. Feel Free

                                          Machinedrum

                                          Gunshotta Ave.

                                            Simply put by Machinedrum himself, "Gunshotta" is the theme for the "Gunshotta Ave." district of Vapor City. Filled with crime, paranoia and darkness, Gunshotta Ave is a street you don't want to walk down alone."

                                            The "Gunshotta Ave. EP" opens with "Gunshotta", which combines rough junglist rhythms and ragga rap loop with a swampy acid bassline, enveloping pads and a soul-tinted vocal refrain. Remixes come from Fracture, who pushes the atmospherics and tightens up the breaks, dropping wicked compressed acid along the way. AMIT slows the pace right down for a proper dubwise version featuring melodica and organic percussion. Righteous! Lastly we get dancehall-junglist mash-up track "Stirrin" which dices up Barrington Levy's vox and drops the pieces over a thunderous bass rumble and break. This is an original track not featured on the album.

                                            Machinedrum

                                            Vapor City

                                              Electronic music’s Renaissance man Travis Stewart, better known as Machinedrum, drops ‘Vapor City’ his first full-length offering since his critically heralded ‘Room(s)’ in 2011.

                                              Conceptually based on recurring dreams he has had for years about an unknown metropolis, Stewart has finally crafted a fully formed soundscape which doubles as a map into this imaginary universe. “‘Vapor City’ is an album inspired by a dream city,” explains Stewart. “A collection of different songs each representing different districts in the city.”

                                              Combining the speed of skittering jungle / juke rhythms with enveloping half speed basslines, atmospheric pads, lush piano chords and disembodied vocal samples, he's created the perfect backdrop for a trip through his invisible city. Opener (and single track) 'Gunshotta' twists old school jungle and ragga vox with a post-dubstep emotive soul and electronic depth. Hardcore shifter 'Infinite Us' combines rough beats with sparkling synth spirals with rising notes, while 'Don’t 1 2 Lose U' reimagines old school R&S rave with 2013 digital kit, juke rhythms and that post-Burial, post-Blake emotion. Taking a bit of a breather in the BPMs 'Center Your Love' offers a swooning female vocal and Boards Of Canada style detuned keyboard lines at the centre of rolling head-nod break. Heavily treated yearning vocals over a rolling junglist rhythm make 'Rise N Fall' another outstanding cut here, with 'U Still Lie' bringing an 80s electro ballad feel to the proceedings, and closer 'Baby It’s U' offering R&B suffocating under the crunch, crackle and rumble of current alt-step production sounds.

                                              The perfect counterbalance to the wave of harsh stadium-friendly no-brain EDM bro-step that passes for 'dance music' these days.


                                              If there's one thing occasionally lacking in the current crop of electronic wonders, it's fun. Fun is what sets Letherette apart, what makes them more than just another act in electronica, and what makes their self-titled debut a classic album. Letherette is, dare we say it, a classic of 'dance' music generally.

                                              The young duo from Wolverhampton have won hearts, minds and feet with four EPs, stunning remixes for Machinedrum and Bibio, and exuberant live shows. It's easy to see why they inspire such enthusiasm; they understand the cutting edge without feeling afraid to let themselves go, and their music is all the better for it. Letherette explores mood confidently, taking in introspective, melancholic moments as well as upbeat drive, and lending their debut extraordinary depth.

                                              If you're someone that wants to enjoy music as much as you admire it, Letherette will put a big, day-long smile on your face.


                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              After Dawn
                                              D&T
                                              Restless
                                              I Always Wanted You Back
                                              The One
                                              Gas Stations And Restaurants
                                              Cold Clam
                                              Warstones
                                              Boosted
                                              Space Cuts
                                              Hard Martha
                                              Say The Sun

                                              Bonobo

                                              The North Borders

                                                'The North Borders’ is the eagerly anticipated fifth studio album from iconic Ninja Tune artist Bonobo, and features appearances from Erykah Badu, Grey Reverend, Szjerdene and Cornelia.

                                                Three years on from his breakthrough album 'Black Sands', 'The North Borders’ has kept to a similar widescreen electro-acoustic soundscape, providing us with another selection of upbeat downbeat gems. Opener 'First Fires' has the melancholy and post-dubstep clicks and blips of a James Blake production, given extra similarity by Grey Reverend's vocal. Bonobo has been playing with 2-step rhythms for a while now (check 'Black Sands' favourite 'Eyesdown'), and now with the UK garage revival in full swing, cuts like 'Emkay' and 'Know You' sound right on point for 2013. House cuts like 'Don't Wait' and 'Antenna' lead the way to an alternative dancefloor, while 'Cirrus' features a similar intricacy to Kieran Hebden's polyrhythmic creations. Star guest Erykah Badu adds typically sublime vox to string-laden wonky-hop cut 'Heaven For The Sinner', while upcoming singer Szjerdene is equally ear-catching on future R&B essentials 'Towers' and 'Transits'. 'Jets' expands on the kind of crackling atmospherics of a Burial production, adding lush strings and organic percussion. 'Sapphire' has a rolling dubstep rhythm, but with plucked harps and vocal samples sewn into the mix. Bonobo leaves us wanting more with the beatdown downbeat album closer 'Pieces', featuring sweet vocals by Cornelia and uplifting strings and woodwind.


                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                01. First Fires Feat. Grey Reverend
                                                02. Emkay
                                                03. Cirrus
                                                04. Heaven For The Sinner Feat. Erykah Badu
                                                05. Sapphire
                                                06. Jets
                                                07. Towers Feat. Szjerdene
                                                08. Don't Wait
                                                09. Know You
                                                10. Antenna
                                                11. Ten Tigers
                                                12. Transits Feat. Szjerdene
                                                13. Pieces Feat. Cornelia

                                                "Hexagonal crystals have a unique directionality," says Slugabed, "which must be aligned and oriented with Earth's spin axis for every crystal in the inner core." This idea led him to try a computational experiment. If all the crystals must point in the same direction, why not one big crystal?

                                                Could an iron ball 1,500 miles across be a single crystal? Unheard of until now, the idea has prompted realisation that the temperature-pressure extremes of the inner core offer ideal conditions for crystal growth. Slugabed's high-pressure laboratories have conducted numerous experiments to test these theories.

                                                The article "Time Team" is a concise documentation of these experiments.

                                                Greg Feldwick is 23 years old and from Bath. He makes noises as Slugabed. His first releases were on Stuff, Ramp and then Planet Mu but now he is signed to the mothership, Ninja Tune. His music is suffused with a unique mix of humour, next level production, dancefloor smarts and melancholic emotion. “Time Team” is his debut album and we think it’s a belter. The album opens with “New Worlds", a heroic trudge across a vast space landscape, followed by the single “Sex”, a place of wildly suggestive synth squelch. He then takes us deeper, delving into the disembodied anime of “All This Time” and on to “Moonbeam Rider” which combines digital lyncanthropy with a kind of deep funk groove that ought to come with a warning label. Along with the nervous squeals of "Travel Sweets" and the widescreen spangling of “Unicorn Suplex” this is a record that evokes a very particular, very peculiar, but never less than beautiful worldview. An album highlight is “Mountains Come of The Sky”, which has a wonderful rolling rhythm and uplifting vocal, whilst the synth melody goes stratospheric at the mid-point. “Grandma Paints Nice,” distills yet more warmth and emotion from supposedly synthetic sounds, and “Climbing A Tree” sounds like the slow and wonderful death of a computer clinging on to its last, implanted false memory. Crowning the album, electro jam "Earth Claps" takes you on a field trip to the very core of the earth, melts you down and spits you out of a volcano. Lastly, the mood of dislocated melancholy is pushed almost to a nervous breakdown on the closing track “It’s When The Future Falls Plop On Your Head”.

                                                Asked to explain “Time Team,” Feldwick responds that “it's to do with deep feelings about mostly inexpressible things.” It is indeed an album full of feeling and warmth and humor, a remarkable feat for a record composed mainly on synthesisers and drum machines. You will be hearing a lot more of Slugabed.

                                                Something witty about crystals or whatever nonsense we were banging on about earlier.


                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. New Worlds
                                                2. Sex
                                                3. All This Time
                                                4. Moonbeam Rider
                                                5. Travel Sweets
                                                6. Unicorn Suplex
                                                7. Dragon Drums See All 2
                                                8. Mountains Come Out Of The Sky
                                                9. Grandma Paints Nice
                                                10. Climbing A Tree
                                                11. Earth Claps
                                                12. It's When The Future Falls Plop On Your Head

                                                In early 2011 Luke Vibert told Ninja Tune that he had just found some long-lost never heard before DATs dated 1995-1998 and titled "Back On Time".

                                                In 1996 Blue Angel Recordings an offshoot of the legendary Rising High label released the "Drum & Bass For Papa" album by Plug AKA West Country king of kitschtronica Luke Vibert, whom at that time had only released under his Wagon Christ moniker. The album remains to this day one of the acclaimed records to emerge from the buoyant and hugely influential electronic scene of the south-west in the 90s. Alongside people like Aphex Twin and Tom Middleton, Vibert filled cassettes with new tunes, hijacked the pirates and revelled in all that was original, twisted and like nothing else before.

                                                So a few years later and somewhat ahead of the curve, Vibert shook up D&B. Avant-jungle that wasn't made for the 'club', the album was an eccentric bolt from the blue, it shocked many of Vibert's contemporaries but went on to influence many, most notably Squarepusher.

                                                Until now Plug has yielded just one album - possibly only a humble man like Luke Vibert would have a whole album of top-quality electronic tracks just sat around for over 15 years and not release them. The 10 tracks on offer here include the proto-garage vocal stylings of "Feeling So Special", the demented circus-organs of "No Reality", the hilariously titled "Come On My Skeleton", the old-skool rinse out of "Mind Bending", the skewed bollywoodisms of "A Quick Plug for A New Shot" and all with impeccably produced jungle credentials as the bed.

                                                Sounding brand new as well as being a lost classic from a electronic icon, "Back On Time" is a release that anybody interested in the progression of dance music should be very curious to hear and enjoy.


                                                Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL releases his debut EP with Ninja Tune and it’s an absolute cracker. Over its four tracks he shows the range and grasp of rhythm, atmosphere and melody which have made him one of the most exciting producers in electronic music right now.

                                                Title track “Atlantis” is distinguished by a complex, swinging, relentlessly danceable beat, unfeasibly low bass hits and a melancholic tune which sits somewhere between Four Tet and classic rave. “Can’t Stop The Prophet” shows the DNA of Wagon Christ (an early influence) spliced with the sonics of post-dubstep and the restless energy of an ADHD toddler, ending with a first-love junglist wig-out. “My Light, My Love”, seemingly sampled and built out of the sonic spaces between notes and beats, is perhaps the deepest moment on an incredible EP, while “The Sale Ends” takes us once more back to the skipping feel of a fractured, interplanetary 2-step.

                                                FaltyDL is one of the hottest names in electronic music right now and the Atlantis EP shows why. Immersed in the old New York and Chicago sound yet creating a more subtle and ultimately futuristic mash-up of influences, Lustman takes his influences and makes them fresh. The sometime sushi-chef and now New York resident has been turning heads since 2008, when Mike Paradinas signed his US-ified versions of UK garage to Planet Mu and released it on an unsuspecting world. Since then, Lustman has looked to expand and evolve his signature sound over two albums, an EP and three singles for the label. In addition, he has released an Afro-beat-inspired 12”, "Mean Streets Pt 1" with Loefah’s Swamp81 label, a single on Ramp backed with a remix from Jamie XX, plus remixes of his own for the likes of Mount Kimbie, The XX, Scuba, Photek, Anthony Shake Shakir and others.


                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Atlantis
                                                2. Can't Stop The Prophet
                                                3. My Light, My Love
                                                4. The Sale Ends

                                                Fink

                                                Perfect Darkness

                                                  Mention Fink and you surprisingly get one of two reactions: head-scratching non-familiarity; or the impassioned response that prompts artists such as John Legend and Professor Green to wax lyrical about him live on air. It is a remarkable void, one which looks set to finally close upon the release of Fink’s latest studio album 'Perfect Darkness'.

                                                  As Fink explains, "Singer-songwriters always get criticised – fairly – for sometimes sounding like a scratched record… Moaning about this, moaning about that, girlfriend’s left you, blah blah, blah. With Fink we do sing about relationships and love and emotions - but we also sing about other stuff: embracing fear, Berlin dawns, looking forward."

                                                  A smouldering, pulsating, and purposeful book of songs, 'Perfect Darkness' bristles with tense passion and hypnotic charm. It is, in two words, bewitching and addictive. Judging by this new record he is set to emerge into the bright lights of long-deserved mass recognition.


                                                  Bonobo

                                                  Black Sands

                                                    Simon Green aka Bonobo returns with his fourth, most eagerly-anticipated and most accomplished album to date, the magnificent "Black Sands". Green proves once and for all with "Black Sands" that he is an artist and producer with his sights set on much higher prizes than to rule any dusty sub-genre of dance music. Green's mix of beats and breaks (from the mellowest downbeats, via jazz breaks to UK garage style grooves and Afro-tinted jauntiness) with a melodic sensibility make for a great listen. This is a record of epic reach and massive emotional pull, all held together by Green's understanding of composition and arrangement of live instruments (most of them also played by him) as well as his complete mastery of the tricks and techniques of the digital age. "Black Sands" is the most contemporary record he has ever made.

                                                    "Ninja Tuna" sees the triumphant aquatic-themed return of the reigning yet uncrowned world champion of fish-related cheekiness. Yes, Mr Scruff is back with a long player that's packed with pure funky loveliness from start to finish. The set opens with b-boy hip hop cut "Test The Sound" before heading straight into current single "Music Takes Me Up" featuring Alice Russell ("Donkey Ride" and "Kalimba" also feature), while other special guests include Roots Manuva, Quantic and Andreya Triana. As ever with a Scruff long player we get a nice mix of wobbly bass, funky breaks, jazzy grooves and soulful touches - sometimes all in the same song!

                                                    The Cinematic Orchestra

                                                    Live At Royal Albert Hall

                                                      On November 2nd 2007, Jason Swinscoe brought an enhanced line-up of the The Cinematic Orchestra, incorporating the 24 piece Heritage Orchestra, to the Royal Albert Hall and played a show to a sold-out crowd of more than 4000 people. With over 40 musicians onstage at times, Swinscoe and his colleagues used the show as a unique opportunity to open out his chamber pieces into intense, beautiful and exquisitely realised epics which left the huge audience baying for more. Featuring vocal contributions from Heidi Vogel, Lou Rhodes (formerly of Lamb) and Grey Reverend, plus the return of original member PC on turntables, an intense, beautiful night is captured here in all its glory. History as it's lived, human emotion, love and rapture. You can feel it in the hairs on the back of your neck.

                                                      The Herbaliser

                                                      Take London

                                                        Over the last decade, The Herbaliser's Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba have established themselves as one of the most innovative and reliable production duos to come out of the UK hip hop scene. This has been achieved, in part, by the kind of constant self-improvement which makes "Take London" their best album yet. You can hear it on the instrumental tracks on the record – the tender, angry "Song For Mary", electro-funk influenced "Gadget Funk", wah-guitared space funk of "Kittynapper" or chase scene jazz of "Geddim'" - where attention to detail and love of sixties soundtracks and library music are all mixed up with a dose of geezer front and b-boy charisma. Of course, The Herbaliser have also always had an eye for a killer vocal guest. Jean Grae (formerly known as What What) has been a long-time collaborator and here she contributes to four tracks, including the storming posse cut "Generals", "Twice Around" and moving "If You Close Your Eyes". The UK end is held up by Nottingham's Cappo (who has released material through Son and Zebra Traffic) and the one and only Roots Manuva. Then, just to finish off – and perhaps remind people how broad the duo's tastes are - there's a scintillating tribute to Serge Gainsbourg, "Serge", with a monologue from Katerine.

                                                        The Herbaliser

                                                        Something Wicked This Way Comes

                                                          Combining live playing by the Easy Access Orchestra, studio trickery by Jake & Ollie with guest vocals from Dilated Peoples, MF Doom, Blade, Wildflower and Phi Life Cipher, this is a cinemtic hip hop tour de force!

                                                          The Cinematic Orchestra

                                                          Man With A Movie Camera

                                                            Originally written for a one off live performance to accompany Dziga Vertov's classic 1929 Russian silent film 'Man With A Movie Camera', some of these tracks ("Evolution", "All Things"), and their 70s free-jazz inspired style went on to become the backbone of the "Everyday" sessions. Finally J Swinscoe and Co have gone into the studio and recorded the tracks (live) for this proper soundtrack LP.

                                                            Fink

                                                            Biscuits For Breakfast

                                                              After the critical acclaim which has met Fink's two singles, "Pretty Little Thing" and "So Long", now it's time for the full length, "Biscuits For Breakfast". Completely recorded at his 7Dials studio in Brighton and already drawing comparisons to the mighty John Martyn, the album is a highly personal, beautifully executed journey into folk, blues, soul and dub overtones that sees the former dowbeat beatsman reinvent himself in a way that's more akin to a religious conversion than normal record company 'change of haircut' practice. From the very opening of the record Fink shows that his lyrical pre-occupations are very much his own. While he touches on themes which are in themselves familiar - love, sex, loss, bad jobs, the ephemera of everyday life - he treats them with such an attention to detail and to his own genuine feelings that they fly. Beautifully produced, achingly soulful, "Biscuits For Breakfast" is an album that will stand the test of time, because at root it's built on original, honest song-writing.

                                                              Kid Koala

                                                              Your Mom's Favourite DJ

                                                                Although there is the romance, silent movie comedy and a certain amount of swing on "Your Mom's Favourite DJ", the enthralling deftness and complexity you'd expect from Kid Koala is also here - woven together with classic hip hop beats, breaks and generous swathes of heavy guitars. Looking back to the seminal "Scratchcratchratchatch" cassette of a decade ago, the album also hints at the many projects Mr San has to come. There are references throughout to a book about a clarinet-playing mosquito that Eric is currently working on, also to the musical puppet show he has in development (honest).

                                                                The Cinematic Orchestra

                                                                Remixes 98-2000

                                                                  Collects together all their remixes of other people! Lush cinematic nu lounge / jazz surround sounds.

                                                                  Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio

                                                                  Love Is The Answer

                                                                    Over a remarkable career, this Los Angeles native has worked with everyone from Bobby Hutcherson and Charles Lloyd to Harry Belafonte. He is the vocalist with the Pharaoh Sanders Quartet and also the vocal director for the Horace Tapscott Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, a Los Angeles institution with a history stretching back forty years and an active engagement in the city's Black community since the Watts Uprising. Enthused by the power of Trible's vision, Carlos Nino (one half of AmmonContact) started speaking to the new luminaries of the LA scene about collaborating with this elder statesman and before he knew it he had an album which combined sixties-inspired avant / spiritual jazz with the hottest beats the city had to offer. Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Madlib, Daedelus, members of Platinum Pied Pipers, Jay-Dee - wherever he went, Nino found only enthusiasm, and the project began to take shape. From "Equipoise", on which Sa-Ra revisit 80s synth funk and give it their signature loping twist, through "Freedom Dance" with its Stetsasonic-meets-Fela vibe, on into the sheer oddness of the Madlib-produced "Waves of Infinite Harmony", the more straight-up boombap of "The Tenth Jewel", and finally through a last third that probably peaks with the incantatory "Musician's Union" (by Ammoncontact) and the beautiful "Constellations" (which grew out of a piano loop contributed by Prefuse 73's Scott Herren to the Piano Overlord project), this is a record of pure sonic invention and all round goodness.

                                                                    Various Artists

                                                                    Solid Steel Presents DJ Kentaro

                                                                      Ninja Tune were introduced to the work of DJ Kentaro through his success at the 2002 DMC World finals where the Japanese turntablist won outright to become World Champion with a set of pure innovation using not just hip hop, but also reggae, drum & bass, house and electro, in the process achieving the highest score ever in a DMC Final. As such he seemed the perfect DJ to choose to produce a mix of the Ninja back catalogue for the Japanese market. A box full of vinyl and CDs was sent off to him and he began piecing together a selection from Jaga, Wagon Christ, DJ Food, Coldcut, Pest, Funki Porcini, Herbaliser and DJ Vadim to create a truly masterful mix. The CD came out in Japan in December 2004 and has since sold 15,000 copies in the territory. However, word of Kentaro's lightning skills spread way beyond Japan and it was decided it was time to share his talents with the world. To this end, a DVD was commissioned which showcases much of what is special about Kentaro. A mixture of live footage and animation (some of it 'visuscratched' by Kentaro himself), this selection of short films will appeal to the turntablist community but, as you'd expect, would also work well as audiovisual fodder for any party.

                                                                      Various Artists

                                                                      Solid Steel Presents Bonobo

                                                                        Solid Steel continues its purveyance of the art of the mixtape by asking Brighton's Bonobo to get working on those crossfaders like there's no tomorrow. Simon Green brings us the seventh in the series and it's time for the man to step and show us how he rocks it whilst out on DJ duties across the world. The mix kicks off with the custom built and exclusive "Solid Steel Intro" before flinging us into the sublime "Sandcastles" by Diesler on Tru Thoughts - the people that brought out the early Bonobo releases. The slept-on gem "Exploration" follows from Karminsky, heading into a slightly tinkered with version of "Pick Up" by the man himself, before staying at the business end of the M23 with south coast soldiers Flevans and Black Grass. By now the mood is well established – expertly chosen dusty breaks combined with funked up loops, syncopated horns and double bass cuts. The impossible to find and gorgeous "Hidden" by King Seven precedes a new track from Bonobo's forthcoming album. It's always great to have an exclusive but rarely do you get one of the jaw dropping beauty and quality of "Recurring". The mix wraps up with the beautifully mellow end section led out by Amon Tobin and completed by Savath & Savalas' godlike "Paths In Soft Focus" and Ninja's own Super Numeri, whose sixty year old harpist shows once again why he is the man!

                                                                        Kid Koala

                                                                        Some Of My Best Friends Are DJs

                                                                          Second LP from crazy mixed up turntablist Kid Koala! It's a strange stew of beats, cut up samples, silliness and scratching, covering jazz standards played by drunken horn players from New Orleans, hip hop from the other side and ska like you never imagined it.

                                                                          Coldcut

                                                                          Sound Mirrors

                                                                            In "Sound Mirrors" Coldcut have made the best album of their long and illustrious career. Their production has never sounded better, their ideas have never been more varied or more interesting, they've never had such a great cast of guests and then integrated them into their sound so well. Dancehall-hip hop cut "True Skool" features Roots Manuva adding vocal weight, while the electroclash-edged "Just For The Kick" has eerie words from legendary singer-songwriter Annette Peacock. "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" features the legendary Robert Owens on an epic, building, hands in the air tune, while "Mr Nichols" combines a beautifully subtle piece of music with a superb, deadpan piece of writing from Saul Williams. Former Ninja Andrew Broder, aka Fog, offers wonky, melancholy lyrics over a faltering kitchen sink orchestra backing on "Whistle And A Prayer" and so it carries on, with the likes of Mpho Skeef, Dom Spitzer and Black American poet Amiri Baraka guest spotting later on.

                                                                            Skalpel

                                                                            Konfusion

                                                                              The Polish DJ duo aim to 'Resurrect the dusty and smoky spirit of '60s and '70s Polish Jazz and then re-imagine it for 21st century audiophiles'. This period in Polish history was deeply Communist and jazz presented a different reality and an emotional escape. From "Shivers", which does exactly what it says on the tin, on into the double bass-driven "Long Distance Call", the wah-trumpeted, heavy riffing "Test Drive", the funkiest drumming of the title-track and cut up torch song aesthetic of "Deep Breath", this is a record brimming with ideas, with atmosphere, with the kind of intelligent cut and paste that makes it an artform instead of a form of theft.

                                                                              At last, Mr Scruff's 1997 self-titled (although often referred to as "Mrs Cruff") debut album gets re-issued! It's a fantastic collection of instrumental tracks indelibly marked with Scruff's sampladelic cheekiness and fat, deep BASS heavyness. Opening with the soundsystem-like "Sea Mammal", the album works its way through head-nodding hip hop breakers like "Bass Baby" and "Bonce", via the warm jazz moods of "Jazz Potato" and "Night Time" to the funky jazz-breaking "Crisps" and club smash "Chicken In A Box", setting out a statement of intent (fun, funky and fat) for all his future tracks. A welcome return of this northwest classic, I remember obsessing about Scruff early on in my music discovery and I'm proud to see after just over twenty years I wasn't wrong! - this still sound mega today! (not something that can be said about all of Matt's furtive musical steps... - ed).

                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              A. Sea Mammal 8:18
                                                                              B1. Bass Baby 5:54
                                                                              B2. Limbic Funk 5:28
                                                                              C. Chicken In A Box 8:24
                                                                              D1. Jazz Potato 6:03
                                                                              D2. Bonce 4:58
                                                                              E1. Night Time 5:58
                                                                              E2. After Time 2:30
                                                                              F. Crisps 6:25

                                                                              Blockhead

                                                                              Music By Cavelight

                                                                                The debut album from New Yorker, Blockhead, who's had production credits for the likes of Aesop Rock and Slug of Atmosphere. From the anti-fanfare of opener "Insomniac Olympics", through the elegaic strings and slomo disco-bass of "Carnivores Unite" on into the two-minutes-to-midnight atmospherics of "You've Got Maelstrom", the spread out reggaephonics of "A Better Place", and right on up to the flute and eastern violin anomie of title track "Music By Cavelight", this is a record that establishes its own emotional space and holds it from start to finish. A sublime slice of avant hip hop.

                                                                                The Cinematic Orchestra

                                                                                Every Day

                                                                                  Mind blowing second LP (i'm not including the remixes set) from J Swinscoe and Co. They're joined on three tracks by vocalists Fontella Bass and Roots Manuva, the other four are lush sweeping fusions of 70s style cosmic jazz, dreamy downbeat and nu-jazz. Very special... definitely one of the LPs of 2002!

                                                                                  Mr Scruff

                                                                                  Keep It Unreal

                                                                                    Scruff's debut for Ninja Tune, and it's just one of those essential LPs for fans of quirky, jazzy upbeat downbeat grooves. Includes the massive trad-jazz-house anthem (and advert favourite) "Get A Move On", as well as "Honeydew", "Jus Jus" with Roots Manuva and the silly "Shanty Town" and "Fish".

                                                                                    A product of post-acid house Manchester, Mr Scruff is a complete one-off; a cheeky innovator. His debut album is a bold statement, distinctive and confident. "Keep It Unreal" oscillates wildly between opposing styles - one moment Scruff's in deep, down-tempo dinner jazz territory, the next he's in Coldcut mode, chopping out superb big beat breaks with naughty hooklines to get you pogoing. At one extreme is the wacko humour of Spandex Man, bolshi breakbeat and a hooky 1920s jazz loop that'll make you grin. And then there's the even more ridiculous "Shanty Town", with samples of a Jacknory story about a whale. At the other end of the scale, is Scruff's accomplished acid jazz - like the serene, trip-hoppy "Midnight Feast" or the smoothie cocktail number "Honeydew", with it's loungey female vocals. This man is out there, the Salvador Dali of beats and breaks.

                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                    1. Is He Ready..... Feat. Mary Ann Hobbs 'The Breeze Blocks'
                                                                                    2. Spandex Man
                                                                                    3. Get A Move On
                                                                                    4. MIdnight Feast
                                                                                    5. Honeydew
                                                                                    6. Cheeky
                                                                                    7. So Long
                                                                                    8. Chipmunk
                                                                                    9. So You Hear?
                                                                                    10. Shanty Town
                                                                                    11. Jus Jus Feat. Roots Manuva
                                                                                    12. Blackpool Roll
                                                                                    13. Travelogue
                                                                                    14. Fish


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