With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. To help prevent this, we’ve picked ten releases you need to hear — stream music from Sefi Zisling, Black Jazz Consortium, Machweo, Go: Organic Orchestra, Dizraeli, Ulla Straus and Oceanic, Anna Meredith, François N’Gwa, Music For Dreams and Jonnine. If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Sefi Zisling – Expanse
Following his critically acclaimed debut LP ‘Beyond The Things I Know’ trumpeter and composer Sefi Zisling returns with his second album ‘Expanse’. Citing influences including John Coltrane, Grant Green and Fred Wesley, the 10-track project is a refrshing fusion of afro, jazz, psychedelic funk and spiritual jazz. Recorded as a collaborative live session the album features long-term friends Omri Shani (bass), Tom Bollig (drums), as well as frequent collaborators like Noam Havkin (drums), Idan Kupferberg (percussion), Uzi Ramirez (guitar), and Tair Slutzki (trombone). As expected from such a talented lineup, the level of musicianship on display is incredible.
Black Jazz Consortium – Evolution Of Light
Fred Peterkin aka Fred P dons his Black Jazz Consortium alias for a new album, Evolution Of Light. Drawing influence from the music and culture of Brazil the 12-track LP finds Peterkin working with musicians from the country on several tracks imbued with South American rhythms, sweet-sounding percussion and sun-kissed moods. BJC delicately balances organic and electronic sounds to deliver a dynamic and deeply-textured record. Tracks like ‘Sacred Sun’ ‘More Blessings’ and ‘Energies Collide’ and ‘Salvador’ are stand out tracks but this album needs to be heard in its entirety to be fully appreciated.
Machweo – Fire And Sea
Italian producer Machweo recently dropped his new album titled Fire And Sea. The eight-track collection pays tribute to the Mediterranean Sea. Written by Machweo and performed in the studio with his jazz quartet (electronics, sax, electric guitar and drums), ‘Fire And Sea’ tells the tale of the Mediterranean people and their music. This hybrid music is embedded in more traditionally electronic structures that tap into both beat-making and club-oriented cyclical repetitions. Machweo tries to give a jazz breath to traditionally electronic constructions, always keeping in mind the Mediterranean as a link between the productions in the record. This one’s a keeper
Go: Organic Orchestra – A Garland of Ragas
On the remarkable new album Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas, Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra and Brooklyn Raga Massive form a singular ensemble that vibrantly bridges musical and cultural distinctions. The result is a breathtaking set of music that carves an egalitarian and communal way forward while reverberating with echoes of the recent and ancient past. Drawing parallels with another ground-breaking and singular epic, Ragmala has already been referred to as a Bitches Brew for the 21st century (Ahmet Ali Arslan of Açık Radyo Istanbul).
Dizraeli – The Unmaster
Oh My Gosh! After a three year hiatus, Dizraeli returns with a vital new album. Having spent time in Senegal learning percussion, immersing himself in the world of London grime and bass music, working with refugees in Calais and finally, living through a mental breakdown Dizraeli’s new album is an autobiographical story of those times. On The Unmaster he explores masculinity, madness and collapse, struggles and redemption with searing honesty, surreal humour all soundtrack by a hybrid of hip-hop, grime, field recordings (bus brakes, saucepans ) and West African percussion. The power of his lyrics and breadth of styles on The Unmaster is beyond doubt, this album is perfection. Fans of Roots Manuva, Mud Sun and Kate Tempest will lap this up.
Ulla Straus and Oceanic – Plafond 4
BAKK continues its Plafond series of records with Plafond 4 with the different sounds of Ulla Straus & Oceanic. Two artists separated by the vast Atlantic, combine forces to create deeply enchanting music that envelopes the listener in sonic warmth. Ulla Straus kicks things off with the melancholic romanticism of ‘I Forgot to Take a Picture’, while ‘Becoming Warm’ feels lorn yet hopeful. On the flip, Oceanic work against Straus with the trilogy ‘Three Sides of a Shell’ which moves through a range of phases and moods throughout its nineteen-minute duration. Overall, a fantastic blend of different styles and vibes!
Anna Meredith – FIBS
Beautiful new album from Anna Meredith. The genre-hopping composer and producer continue to show her versatility in crossing musical genres moving from contemporary classical, art pop, electronica and experimental rock. On this brilliant eleven-track recording, Meredith updates her creative process by chucking out her old MIDI patches. Combining her unique compositional voice with brand-new instruments, both acoustic and electronic this new album is a thrilling and unique musical adventure.
COMPILATIONS & EP’s
François N’Gwa – Ogooué
New French label Into The Deep Treasury shares Ogooué as a tribute to François N’Gwa’s homeland, pulling together some of his finest pieces. The eight entries in this LP take a fascinating look into his pioneering and timeless music, that melts together his African music heritage with his favourite influences. Carefully restored and remastered, and pressed on 180g vinyl in a hand-painted cover artwork this is one of my favourite compilations released this year. Props to all involved at the label.
Proper Sunburn – Forgotten Sunscreen Applied by Basso
After immersive and emotive contributions from Jan Schulte and Moonboots, Music For Dreams’ collectors series continues to delight with this playful and profound selection from Growing Bin curator Basso. Whether you’re coping some rays, watering the plants or tackling the tax return, ‘Proper Sunburn’ will ensure you keep your cool and stay smiling. Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams has done it again with this release for the proper connoisseurs.
Jonnine – Super Natural
HTRK member Jonnine goes solo with 4-track EP Super Natural, released via the French label Good Morning Tapes. Opening with the eerie and minimal production of ‘You’re Wanting It To Go This Way’, Jonnine’s solo debut moves into the dark and foggy soundscape of ‘I Don’t Seem Myself Tonight’. Next comes the sluggish yet utterly captivating sounds of ‘You Can Leave The Vampires’. Sinister plucked bass sounds serve as the chilling backdrop to finger-clicks, faint whistling and Jonnine’s hushed tones on closing cut ‘Scorpio Rises Again’. It’s all so utterly mesmerising – hit the play button now!