With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for brand-new music to drop online and go overlooked. To help prevent this, we’ve picked five new releases you need to hear — stream music from Ishmael Ensemble, Alfa Mist, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Tiago Frúgoli Ensemble, and Sydney. If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Ishmael Ensemble – A State Of Flow
Bristol-based collective Ishmael Ensemble releases their first album. We’ve had our ears on the collective ever since we stumbled their Songs For Knotty project back in 2017. The nine tracks on A State Of Flow showcase a range of exciting fusions of styles incorporating haunting jazz, psychedelic electronica, stirring ambient invocations, club-ready percussive workouts and much more. Their music has that unique quality of keeping the listener on the edge of the seat; with each track offering something new that you never quite know what direction the band will go next. The features on this album expand upon their sonic palette as vocalist Holysseus Fly and Yama Warashi, horn player Yazz Ahmed masterfully take things in new and interesting directions. Standouts include ‘Full Circle’, ‘Lapwing’, ‘Yellow House’, ‘The River’, and ‘Waterfall’. Hitting the play button will be one of the best things you do today.
Alfa Mist – Structuralism
East London artist Alfa Mist moves effortlessly between elegance, melancholy and simplicity on ‘Structuralism‘. Eight intimate downtempo jazz tracks that honestly address his battles with self and the societal pressures that inform our own conscious experience. ‘Structuralism’ provides listeners with a rare opportunity to disconnect from the world, and to consider their very presence in time and space. From the spacious, and floaty grooves of opener ‘44′, to the dramatic jazz soundscapes of ‘The Retainer’, by way of the soulful ‘Door’ and the records standout cut ‘Falling’ this wonderful album should no be missed, don’t sleep!
Mark de Clive-Lowe – Heritage II
Los Angeles-based pianist, composer, producer, and live remixer Mark de Clive-Lowe’s returns with Heritage II an album that takes us from the meditative Zen of Heritage into a world of jazz and Japanese roots culture fused with hip hop, drum’n’bass and broken-beat. Worth buying just for ‘The Silk Road’ – a broken-beat riding composition that oozes with class and soul. Another stellar new project from MdCL – don’t sleep!
Tiago Frúgoli Ensemble – Casa
Another fantastic release on the always brilliant Fresh Selects label to brighten up your Friday. Brazilian jazz pianist and bandleader Tiago Frúgoli recently came through with a brand new album titled Casa. The nine-track record finds an intersection between Deodato and Yesterday’s New Quintet and offers a refreshing take on Brazilian jazz uniquely informed by an instrumental hip-hop/beat tape ethos. Led by Frúgoli and his engrossing Fender Rhodes the result is a hypnotic journey for the listener from lush jazz to instrumental hip-hop via São Paulo. Stream Frúgoli’s wonderful new album Casa below, and make sure you support!
Sydney – Ode to eSwatini
Stumbled across Sydney’s album on SoundCloud, and we’re glad we did! Inspired by a trip home to Swaziland, now known as eSwatini, Bristol artist Sydney recorded the sound of life thereafter completing studies of sonic signatures and comparison of traditional instruments around the world. On his trip to eSwatini the third generation Brownswood Future Bubbler artist hooked up with local man Ralph Smitt who took him to meet an array of amazing local musicians, all with the aim of making a body of work that used traditional worldly sounds in authentic new ways. Across the seven tracks on Ode to eSwatini the producer crafts an absorbing and innovative collection of broken beat, deep house and jazz textures merged with indigenous percussion, tumbling drums and spoken word samples. One of the most impressive albums we’ve stumbled upon this year. You can’t afford to miss out on this one!