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ON THE CORNER

"Continuation" is a remarkable work in which the interplay of emotional experience and life motion experienced by band leader Tamar Osborn (AKA Tamar Collocutor) is channeled and explored by Collocutor. The band’s third LP assuredly strides forward following the critical acclaim awarded to "The Search" from 2017 from the likes of The Wire, Vinyl Factory and Gilles Peterson. "Continuation" is an album about coping with grief and loss / bereavement. The music charts the many (and sometimes surprising) emotional states encountered, moving from acknowledgement, trying to keep ‘normal’ life going, the need to sometimes put a pause button on the world / existence and let the waves of feelings crash and roll, sudden anger & confusion, finally to moving (perhaps with uncertainty) forward.

Tamar Osborn has led Collocutor through a line-up shift from septet to quintet for "Continuation". The modified line-up creates space for the musicians to express themselves through the shadows of "Continuation"'s movement. The quintet allows for more group improvisation, based on just a few motifs and thereby giving the musicians more space to converse. The tracks "Lost & Found" and in particular the album’s title track, "Continuation" (the only piece with 3 horns) hark back to the intricate arrangements of "The Search". It’s a deeply personal album, the writing of which acted as Tamar's way of processing and understanding experience and the need to channel feeling. In listening truly "Continuation" bares that rare and precious gift of a morsel of the human experience being illuminated by artistic genius.


STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Improvisational jazz at it’s best, ‘Continuation’ is a deeply emotive album exploring themes of coping with grief and loss. Instrumental jazz that captures the soul is powerful and revealing.

On The Corner favourites Penya kick off the new year with a collaborative EP with legendary gogo musician Msafiri Zawose. The collaboration began in September 2017 when Penya’s Magnus P.I. spent a week in Tanyania, East Africa, recording material at Zawosi’s studio.

Penya are a genre defying quartet that embody the energised sound of a cosmopolitan UK. A host of traditional folkloric rhythms, club culture motifs and DIY electronics mark the band’s distinct sound. Drums, horn and vocals evoke Penya’s live performance from a world of euphoric ritual and visceral dance scapes, ancient and future.

The bands debut LP "Superliminal" (Jan 2018) quickly achieved critical acclaim from a host of taste makers and artists including Gilles Peterson, Bonobo, Tom Ravenscroft, WorldWide FM, Jeremy Sole, Late Junction (BBC Radio 3) and Boiler Room. The band went on tour, quickly establishing it’s dance floor ready, multi instrumental live show.

Since “Superliminal”, Penya have released collaborations with a diverse array of artists including Dengue Dengue Dengue, Photay, Sarathy Korwar, and most recently the renown Tanzanian artist Msafiri Zawose. Legendary gogo musician Msafiri Zawose, is heir to the legacy of the late Hukwe Zawose that put the music of Tanzania on the atlas.

On The Corner provide the first taste of a landmark recording that the label embarked upon two years ago on the East African island archipelago of Zanzibar. Pete On the Corner was consulting for the ambitious permaculture development of Fumba Town. The story of Siti Binti Saad, the mother of Taarab is rooted in Fumba. Pete joined the dots to shine new light on the pioneering life of Siti Binti Saad as the innovative town development took shape and looked to connect with the Island’s unique history at the centre of the Swahili world. Whilst steering a recording project that would celebrate Siti Binti Saad’s legacy, Pete brought in producer Sam Jones and the pair met with filmmaker Andy Jones (who documented the life and work of the legendary Bi Kidude) who revealed that Siti Binti Saad had a great grand-daughter, Siti Muharam who led a very private life but had a ‘golden voice’. With music director Matona on board the scene was set to go beyond celebrating the singular legacy of a Swahili pioneer and find a new hero.

Siti Muharam has a golden timbre and on this 7” we get the first taste of her debut LP that will represent her great grandmother’s legacy for the next generations. The 7” is two tracks which are at the furthest reaches of the LP project. The A-side is a Sam Jones Construct of ‘Ashikibaya (Ft. Tamar Collocutor)’ who find new frontiers of this Swahili jazz out across the Indian ocean pushing a cosmic Taarab on the trade winds. The flip is an instrumental affair with Matona driving the stunning ‘Mandira’. This project came to life in a derelict studio in Zanzibar in February 2018 with the help of Fumba Town Development, Dhow Countries Music Academy, The British Council, Matona, Sam Jones and On The Corner.


The ‘Synth Expressionism/Rhythmic Cubism’ LP from Chicago’s Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being is a collection of idioms that have no past and no future, his jarring use of polyrhythmic polyphony imbues a sense of timelessness. The prolific catalog of Moss’ covers many musical dialects from his hometown and beyond. Never standing in one artistic sphere for too long, this adventure for On the Corner Records sees Hieroglyphic Being exploring a multitude of expressions of the American Avant-garde. Abstractions Of The Future Past — Afro-Cubism: The Designation, conceived by an African With A Mainframe — An Etude Of Effigy — A Hieroglyphic Being.

Rhythmic Cubism: In this ‘Dissertation Of Disorientation’ [Neal Andrew Emil Gustafson] temporal considerations are put aside as polyrhythmic propulsion is the current flowing through the work. As prelude the fastidious ‘Rhythmic Cubism’, Moss enacts a flurry of white noise and musical coda as it phases in-and-out of synchronicity. The disjointed dance of an alternative Black Music, ‘The Spiritual Or ‘Electromagnetic Worlds’ takes the meter down a fraction to exonerate a granular groove of visceral refracted complexity. Sonorus static sits alongside spastic shards of synthesis to reveal a melancholic medley before its conclusion.

‘Apocrypha’ collages distinct rhythmic source materials in an entrancing abstraction of ‘Hypersonic Hemiola’. An assertion of Art Blakey proportions. Perpetually pushed forward through the building of distorted percussion, Moss precludes into syncopated synapsis before and end of reductive symmetry.  Evolving into a studdered off-kilter groove, ‘The Redemption Project’ flows as a dissipating organ medley dissolves into a deluge of layered sonic textures, creating an indiscernible metric center before fading to a distant vanishing point.

Departing with a common-time ‘Timbuk2’ takes off like a classic Chicago Acid track, then makes a left turn towards the center as it drives the rhythmic motion into a dystopian dreamland, as the sax line surges forcing the track to break free from it’s charted course. The Fragmented Fantasy of The Synth Expressionism/Rhythmic Cubism LP is a conclusive work that has no end, a conundrum of conceptual calculated improvisation. Drifting through time, this fragmented abstraction of Afro-Cubism leaves room for posterity, as each listen summons a new perspective on the suite. Something ever so common in the work of Jamal Moss. Charting new sonic directions, the very nature of its precedent makes it a truly Hieroglyphic affair.

Destiny is made. Realised. Driven by the acts of vision. Hireroglyphic Being is a seer. Atomic resonance echoing from the big bang defies the conceptual reality of purity. The nuclear static of ‘white noise’ is HBs canvas. Channeling poly rhythms into the universe. Experience, repetition and eternal decay. From purity back to the absolute by way of a deluge of slurry across time. Infinite layers of distortion and refracted complexity. This is HBs canvas. Sound of eternity channelled through a bass bin, represented by its own impure reflection and fragments. Always more than it's whole but never as was before.

This album seeks to reach beyond ideas and emotions, beyond the comprehension of a human archetype. Beyond ultimate history, forwards and back. To ends and a singular beginnings. Timbuk2 is the frenetic intersection where the call and response of these ideas lock and dissipate back into the void.


Tenesha The Wordsmith

Peacocks & Other Savage Beasts

Tenesha the Wordsmith, who came to the fore on On The Corner’s 2018 release ‘Black Noise 2084’, has delivered a hard-cutting, gut-wrenching, and extremely moving spoken word album produced by Khalab that brings together different lines of black music – folkloric, jazz, and electronic dance – into an afro-futurist narrative with thunderous results. ‘Peacocks & Other Savage Beasts’, set for release on 30 August, lays bare difficult truths and projects the stories of hidden voices, with a warm and heartfelt delivery that envelops the soul.

The poems are dedicated to the intersection, the places where we contemplate identity, culture, trauma and love. ‘Peacocks & Other Savage Beasts’ is a place where they all meet. “I hope between these lines you find healing,” says Tenesha. “I hope your compassion for others grows. I hope you will make the decision you were afraid to make. I hope you will learn how to turn pain into power and purpose. Decide which type of beast you want to be and if you can’t make up your mind, watch the women…”

Originally from Oakland, California, “a place where revolutionaries are born,” Tenesha the Wordsmith originally began to fuse hip hop and poetry while living in Albany, New York, where she created her first collection ‘Body Of Work’. Her early influences have returned with features from beatboxers and vocalists that give the album a distinctly urban hip hop vibe.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: After a standout contribution to Khalab’s ‘Black Noise 2084’ LP last year, Tenesha teams up with the producer once again, delivering poetic, polemic and emphatic spoken word over an array of Afro-futurist beats. Sex, love, race and equality are all explored by an artist operating at the cutting edge of music and poetry.


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