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 new releases, from across the musical soundscape, that require your attention. Check out our weekly mini-guide to the best new records you need to hear – stream music from Gigi Masin, Kroba & Sqwks, RAS, Siti Muharam and Lunch Money Life. Happy listening – and don’t forget to hit the links and support the artists.
Gigi Masin – Calypso
‘Calypso’ is the stunning fifth solo album by Italian multi-instrumentalist Gigi Masin. The LP is inspired by the mythical Greek island of Ogygia and its alleged real-life counterpart Gavdos – also known unofficially as Calypso – a place of extreme beauty, which upon visiting had a profound effect on the musician. It’s a wonderful release, for listeners that enjoy getting lost in gentle synth passages, soothing orchestral drones and warm piano melodies. Whether you find yourself indoors or outdoors this summer, ‘Calypso’ is perfect for the months ahead.
Kroba & Sqwks – The Incense Eaters
This wonderful, new age, ambient jazz gem is just what is needed right now. Kroba’s saxophone meanderings are meet with Sqwks array of acoustic and electric instruments ranging from the harmonium, guitars, jaw harps, synths, and more. Over the four tracks, the duo creates music that shifts, twists, turns, and changes with each listen. Shut yourself away from the madness outside for 30 minutes and explore this fine collection. Highly recommended!
RAS – RAS II
Berlin-based trio RAS, formed in 2018 and released their slept-on self-titled debut album early last year. They recently returned with a new 5-track release borne out of a spontaneous jam session in South Africa. RAS II is a beautiful meandering collection with a patchwork of influences ranging from dubby disco, soul and crisp psychedelic funk. The standout track(s) ‘Pharoah’ and ‘Zman Halal’ were originally recorded as one gorgeously flowing 10-minute piece. Drenched in soul and more soul, the cut is a stunning example of a song where each part, be it the vocals, the instrumentation and the crisp production all fit perfectly together. Essential listening.
Siti Muharam – Siti of Unguja (Romance Revolution On Zanzibar)
Always a sign of quality On The Corner, the London label, share this landmark album from Siti Muharam. To give you some idea how huge this album is Muharam is the great-granddaughter of Siti Binti Saad, the legendary ‘mother of Taarab’ and the first woman in East Africa to record an album in 1920s. On ‘Siti of Unguja’, Muharam explores the legacy of her great grandmother, skillfully joining the dots between past, present and future of a rich tradition. A great listen from start to finish.
Lunch Money Life – Immersion Chamber
The brilliant debut album from Lunch Money Life is a short yet eventful 29-minute odyssey of jazz, electronic, new wave, post-punk and more. Immersion Chamber is big on sound, thick slapping bass, restless beats moody electronics and combative drumming that sit slap-bang in your face throughout. I love the way this album ebbs and flows with each track, unlike the last but still managing to create a cohesive narrative. Standouts include ‘Lincoln’, ‘Superego, ‘Crewcut’, ‘Living3000 and ‘Truth Serum’. Exciting, innovative and a briliant listen from start to finish. I can’t wait to see where they head next. Dig in.