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 Abdullah Ibrahim, Kali Malone, Carmen Villan, Ami Dang and Anti-Lilly & Phoniks. If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Abdullah Ibrahim – The Balance
Legendary South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim released his new album ‘The Balance’, via Gearbox Records in June. The new 10-song collection features his long-time septet Ekaya, a line-up that he’s been recording with since 1983. Speaking about the album, he says “We push ourselves out of our comfort zones. So that we can present to the listener our striving for excellence. So that we can engage with our listeners without any barriers of our ego. It’s not jazz. For us, it’s a process of transcending barriers.” Encompassing Township-Jazz, solo piano, Highlife and lavish modern jazz styles, ‘The Balance’ is a significant return for a genuine living jazz legend.
Kali Malone – The Sacrificial Code
‘The Sacrificial Code’ sees Kali Malone taking a more surgical approach to the methods first explored on last year’s ‘Organ Dirges 2016 – 2017’. The 10-track album stretches across nearly two hours, performed over three parts and on three different organs. Every jarring drone on The Sacrificial Code feels perfectly placed, making for a solid and accomplished recording. Slow, methodical organ pieces that will place you in a trance and have you searching for the repeat button.
Carmen Villan – Both Lines Will Be Blue
It is two years since Mexican-Norwegian artist Carmen Villain released the intensely beautiful’ Infinite Avenue’ LP on Smalltown Supersound. ‘Both Lines Will Be Blue’ is her third album and her first entirely instrumental project. The music incorporates field recordings, synths, piano, drum-programming, zither and modular sounds. The soothing flute sounds you’ll hear throughout the album comes courtesy of Chilean-Norwegian musician Johanna Scheie Orellana. There are elements of new age, kosmische, dub and ambient music all encased up in these delicate electronic compositions. Opener’ Observable Future’ is a sumptuous warm ambient effort while ‘I Trust You’ with its minimal instrumentation, proves that sometimes less can be more. Recent single ‘Type’ veers brilliantly between Fourth World ambience and downtempo trip-hop and ‘I Could Sit Here All Day’ is another strong track featuring Prins Thomas on percussion. Absolutely beautiful, lush sounds.
Ami Dang – Parted Plains
Baltimore based vocalist, sitarist, composer and producer Ami Dang recently dropped her new album called Parted Plains via Leaving Records. The nine-track instrumental album fuses sitar and electronics and is inspired by South Asian and Middle Eastern folktales. Dang draws inspiration from “the four tragic romances of Punjab, Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Punnun, Heer Ranjha, and Mirza Sahiba; Flora Annie Steel’s Tales of the Punjab: Folklore of India, and selected stories from One Thousand and One Nights.” Never a dull moment – it’s a wonderful listen
Anti-Lilly & Phoniks – That’s The World
‘That’s The World’ sees Houston emcee Anti-Lilly painting vivid pictures of the struggles he’s endured while Portland, Maine producer Phoniks blends laid back jazz groove. The album is the third instalment of their hip-hop trilogy which featured 2014’s ‘Stories From The Brass Section’ and 2017’s ‘It’s Nice Outside’. Once again, Anti-Lilly talks candidly about his struggles with substance abuse, trust issues, relationships, and coping with his parent’s divorce. However, while lyrically the LP deals with painful topics, the jazzy production provides an uplifting juxtaposition. Excellent album.