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 new records you need to hear – stream music from Rejoicer, Midori Hirano, Vula Viel, Wildflower and Ville Herrala. If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Rejoicer – Spiritual Sleaze
What makes Rejoicer’s music so unique is his willingness to go in new directions with each release. There’s just something about not knowing what to expect that fills each new record with heightened anticipation, and this is even more apparent with his forthcoming LP, Spiritual Sleaze. Drawing on a broader range of influences than ever before he cites Sun Ra, Aphex Twin, Steve Reich, Dabrye, Wu-Tang Clan and more as inspirations for the album. As well as music, Rejoicer’s environment is also an influence: contrasting his peaceful life in Tel Aviv with the violent occupation in Gaza. The LP features a familiar cast of collaborators with vocals from KerenDun, Jenny Penkin and iogi, plus instrumentals from his brother Nomok, as well as Yonatan Albalalk, Yonatan Levy and Ilan Volvok. Spiritual Sleaze is a strong body of work, whose appeal will stretch beyond his hardcore fans and gain him a multitude of new ones! Solid, excellently crated stuff.
Midori Hirano – Invisible Island
Berlin-based composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Midori Hirano returns to Sonic Pieces for her new album, titled Invisible Island. The eleven-track album centres around minimal piano pieces, which finds Hirano channelling both classic Japanese ambient music and a more distinctly modern electro-acoustic sound. This LP is so good that there are far too many standout tracks to list. Just listen below and let us know what you think.
Vula Viel – What’s Not Enough About That?
London trio Vula Viel make a welcome return with their third LP ‘What’s Not Enough About That’. The trio led by Bex Birch continues their sonic explorations around the gyil, the wooden xylophone of the Dagaare from Upper West Ghana. Recorded at London’s Fish Factory, the new LP features New York trombone player and composer Peter Zummo and Ghanaian palm-wine legend Koo Nimo. Standout tracks include ‘My Own Skin’, ‘Grow’, ‘Forget and Forgive’ and the title track. At 32 minutes it’s an unfortunately brief but still very satisfying offering from the talented threesome! This incredible album is something you need in your life, don’t sleep!
WILDFLOWER – Season 2
New school jazz for old school heads and beyond! It’s a few years since we first became a little obsessed with WILDFLOWER’s self-titled debut album. Their eponymous album was full of warm meditative rhythms infused with deeply spiritual improvised jazz grooves that took you on a winding path of differentiating directions. The London trio comprised of Idris Rahman (sax), Leon Brichard (bass) and Tom Skinner (drums) haven’t relented in the interim period with their latest record packing all the beautiful spiritually and adventurous musical curiosity of their original material. WILDFLOWER continues to grow freely. Travelling the jazz world with independent minds and wild hearts! With so much of today’s spiritual jazz not quite cutting the mustard, this trio makes easy work of affecting the human spirit and soul. Buy on sight – we did!
Ville Herrala – Pu:
Bass player Ville Herrala draws on classical and electronic music for his solo LP, Pu:. Hot on the heels of Jonah Parzen-Johnson brilliant Imagine Giving Up LP, We Jazz Records drop the boundary-breaking solo debut of bass player Ville Herrala. The highly-regarded bass player is known for his work with ensembles such as PLOP, Jukka Perko Jazztet, U-Street All-Stars, Jukka Eskola Orquesta Bossa and UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra to name a few. On ‘Pu:’ he skillfully utilises only the double bass but approaches the instrument from different perspectives across 14 pieces with stunning results. This is a varied and always interesting album that reaps rewards on repeated listens. For those who like their jazz on the avant-garde side of things and slightly left of centre.