With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. Each week we select five new releases, from across the musical landscape, that require your attention. Check out our mini-guide to the best new records you need to hear – stream music from Shabaka and The Ancestors, The Heliocentrics, Dumama & Kechou, Irreversible Entanglements and Green House. If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Shabaka and The Ancestors – We Are Sent Here By History
Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings has his fingers in so many pies it’s hard to keep up. When he’s not leading the highly-rated jazz outfit Sons Of Kemet, he’s laying down raw cosmic fusion with Comet Is Coming. On his latest venture, he teams up with the Ancestors for their second album, which finds Hutchings the band of South African jazz players exploring the weighty subject of human extinction. The new 11-track project is conceptualized as an album-long sonic poem examining the present and future. You can check out the lyrics and poems written and performed by Siyabonga Mthembu (Brother Moves On) here. Powerful stuff.
Dumama + Kechou – Buffering Juju
Dumama & Kechou are the latest artists to join the Mushroom Hour Half Hour family with their debut album titled Buffering Juju. The music is folk-soul but of the most progressive type and Buffering Juju is a fantastic example of how to blend the two genres with originality and style. Recorded primarily between Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2019, Buffering Juju features performances from Siya Makuzeni (SPAZA), Nobuhle Ashanti, Angel Bat Dawid, Shane Cooper, Dion Monti and more. Each song on the record is a chapter in a story about a women leaving prison and her path towards purgatory. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the beatuiful harmonies on opener ‘Leaving Prison’ and mellow groover ‘Wessi Walking Mama’, to the delightfully vibrant ‘Intaka’, clarinet laced bliss of ‘Uveni’ and the impeccably peaceful and heartwarming textures of ‘Mother Time’ which closes the album out brilliantly. Like the Kassa Overall album, we featured last week; this one will also find a place in my Top 10 albums of 2020.
Irreversible Entanglements – Who Sent You?
Free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements return with another dazzling blend of jazz and spoken word performance on their new album Who Sent You? Although the politically charged lyrics of Camae Ayewa better known by some as Moor Mother sit front and centre on each track. She’s backed by a superb quartet that features saxophonist Keir Neuringer, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Tcheser Holmes. Musically Who Sent You? is slightly less boisterous than their self-titled debut giving the musicians more time and space between the grooves to converse. Some tracks, especially the likes of ‘The Code Noir/Amina’, and ‘Bread Out Of Stone’, feel calm but with a little tension bubbling beneth the surface. However the record also features the explosive free-wheeling cut ‘No Más’, and the rumbling free-jaaz of ‘Blues Ideology’. Out today via International Anthem – don’t sleep.
The Heliocentrics – Infinity Of Now
On their last two albums, London-based outfit The Heliocentrics introduced Slovakian singer Barbora Patkova who took their signature sound into unexplored dimensions. On ‘Infinity Of Now’, the bands first full-length for three years, Patkova returns, and her soulful vocals feature on the majority of tracks. Blending ear-catching funky grooves, Krautrock and Ethio-influenced melodies, jazz vibes, and spacey psychedelic tones it’s an exciting affair. Highlights include the thumping, psychedelic-funk of ’99 % Revolution’, the low slung free jazz of ‘Elephant Walk’, the Can-like beat-heavy Krautrock of ‘Burning Wooden Ship’ and the psyched-out vibes of ‘People Wake Up’. Oh, and it’s released on Madlib Invazion!
Green House – Six Songs for Invisible Gardens
Green-House is the project of Los Angeles based artist Olive Ardizoni. Approaching the project with an intentional naivety, they craft songs that find freedom through simplicity. As a non-binary artist, they hope to create a space with fewer barriers as both a performer and a listener. Six Songs for Invisible Gardens is Ardizoni’s first release under the Green House guise. The EP is described as being “designed as a communication with both plant life and the people who care for them”. Playful, warming and ultimately very peaceful music.