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 may have missed — stream music from Félicia Atkinson, Air Space Ark, KOKOKO!, Quantic and Myele Manzanza. If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Félicia Atkinson – The Flower And The Vessel
French poet and composer Félicia Atkinson recorded the project while pregnant on tour, in impersonal hotel rooms in foreign cities. Atkinson has referenced a trio of French classical compositions as influences on the album: Maurice Ravel’s ‘L’ enfant et les sortilèges’, Debussy’s ‘La Mer’ and Erik Satie’s ‘Gymnopédies’. Across the collection, you’ll hear shades of classicism woven within the tracks, however hidden, abstracted, or unconventional. The 11-track album features Atkinson using a mixture of field recordings from Tasmania and the Mojave Desert as well as cut-up poems, interviews, plus percussion instruments such as the vibraphone, and marimba. Sunn O))) guitarist Stephen O’Malley joins Atkinson on the 19-minute closing track ‘Des Pierres’. A lush and compelling set of experimental electronic music that takes the listener on a serene and enriching journey.
Air Space Ark – All Rivers Lead
Air Space Ark’s debut, ‘All Rivers Lead‘ charts the course of divergent streams of contemporary ambient music, downtempo rhythms, and electroacoustic experimentation, arriving at a calming confluence of these sources. Opener’ 333’ is a warm introduction to the sound of ASA with its steady
sub-bass and ripples of calming sounds the track set the tone for the record. Throughout All Rivers Leads, ASA’s music is calming and contemplative. On ‘Blank Page’ we find a gentle hip-hop beat blended with birdsong, piano plinks and heavy sub. The celestial keys, flute-like hums and soft chimes of ‘Words Between Self’ is the highlight and lingers long in mind after the final note. Headphones on, press play and bask in the utterly breathtaking soundscapes. Don’t sleep on this one!
KOKOKO! – Fongola
KOKOKO!’s distorted polyrhythms and spontaneous lo-fi sounds provide a chaotic soundtrack to their home country. Their brilliant 11-track debut album has a unique sound, fusing electronic, African dance rhythms and post-punk grooves. Producer Débruit describes Fongola as “like a giant electronic puzzle with pieces that don’t fit and no blueprint.” It’s an ambitious and original patchwork of ideas that you’ll have fun piecing together. Opener ‘Likolo’, ‘Buka Dansa’, ‘Identité’ and recent single ‘Malembe’ are highlights. Superb album.
Quantic – Atlantic Oscillations
Quantic follows up his superb ‘Magnetica’ from 2014 with another brilliant album ‘Atlantic Oscillations’. The title refers to a formidable weather force; the LP aptly brings together Holland’s global travels and the musical influences developed along the way. While “Atlantic Oscillations” has its roots in Brooklyn, “September Blues” was inspired by Quantic’s first long tour across the states. The west African feel of “Motivic Retrograde” sit alongside the simple Marimba Motif of “La Refexión”, inspired by time spent in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. This is Quantic best album to date.
Myele Manzanza – A Love Requited
New Zealand drummer Myele Manzanza returns with a powerhouse new album in the form of ‘A Love Requited’. Produced with award-winning Australian bassist and longtime musical collaborator Ross McHenry, his new album called ‘A Love Requited’ brings his skills as a composer to the fore. The LP sees him connect with an array of New Zealand and Australia’s finest young instrumentalists. Using music as therapy the album helped Manzanza work through and come to terms with the life around him.” A Love Requited’ is easily my most personal work to date and my hope is that beyond the music itself it may be of help to others if only to say that your not alone in your struggle to make sense of the world.” Absolutely stunning work.