With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. Check out our weekly mini-guide to the best albums you need to hear – stream music from Sarah Bates, Mohammed Reza Mortazavi, Nick Malkin, Golden Mean and Tino Contreras.
Sarah Bates – Fantasy Modulation Sonder Series 02
Late last year Bristol-based label Banoffee Pies shared the latest Sonder Series. The imprints ambient sub-label continued the series with a mysterious six-track collection of real-time hardware tracks, composed and performed live by Sarah Bates. Early last year Bates performed at Gottwood Festival where her beautiful ambient compositions had the crowd in a trance including the Banoffee Pies crew who were in attendance. Carving her own unique path in electronic music, the six entries on this EP of immersive real-time composed creations will worm there way into your mind. Listen below.
Mohammad Reza Mortazavi – Ritme Jaavdanegi
The man with the world’s fastest fingers, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi unveiled his sixth full-length recording Ritme Jaavdanegi towards the back end of 2019. The Iranian born, Berlin-based percussionist recorded the LP in June last year taking inspiration from the vivid memories he had listening to music as a child. The dazzling eight-track LP explores the 11/8 time signature and weaves traditional Persian instruments, like the tombak and daf. Ritme Jaavdanegi is an impressive collection of music that shows his virtuoso talent of composing original Persian folk compositions.
Nick Malkin – A Typical Night in the Pit
LA Night, don’t you wanna treat it right? Nick Malvin certainly does as he drops a dense, and swirling nocturnal soundtrack to the City of Angels. Each song on A Typical Night in the Pit perfectly encapsulates density and chaos of the urban complex. Nine vignettes ranging from the skewed MIDI-jazz of ‘Sixth Street Conversation’ to the unsettling seedy charms of ‘Estacionamiento Privado,’ before closing with gorgeous noirish vibes of ‘View From Two Perspectives’. With its mix of gentle jazz, ambient drones and sleazy noir, Malkin has created an exceptional body of work that is destined to float in your ears for a very long time. The first essential album of 2020 has arrived!
Golden Mean – Through Walls
Yeah, this is a good one! A new year and Jazz re:freshed keeps doing what it does best sharing first-class modern jazz music. London-based quartet Golden Mean is made up of Tom Driessler of Yussef Kamaal, Luke Wynter of Nubiyan Twist, Lyle Barton and Noya Rao’s Matt Davies. Fresh, unquie and expressive; the quartet’s soundscapes treads around trippy beats, synths, catchy hooks, solos, and uptempo grooves. The title track is a personal highlight – displaying the breadth of their impressive range. The talent among the new UK jazz family seems to be an endless creative well. Another essential listen for any self-respecting jazz head.
Tino Contreras – Musica Infinita
The first release on Gilles Peterson’s new Arc Records label! Kicking off the imprint in fine style the veteran DJ reissued Tino Contreras’ Musica Infinita LP. Three dazzling experimental psychedelic jazz tracks by the pioneering Mexican drummer and composer who back in 1978 created a sound so far advanced that it appeared to be from the future. Explaining his connection to the record, Peterson says, “This was the first record I heard from that region which had that amazing psychedelic, cosmic jazz sound. It’s somewhere between a David Axelrod record and a release on Saturn. I’ve always had it as one of my secret gems.” If you’re a fan of Contreras fill your boots and if you’re a newbie acquaint yourself with his incredible music. We really can’t wait to see what Peterson is cooking up next for Arc Records, because this inaugural release is quite frankly stunning!