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 records, from across the musical soundscape, that require your attention. Stream releases from Soela, John Carroll Kirby, Shabazz Palaces, Athletic Progression, Guedra Guedra and Bullion. Happy listening – and don’t forget to hit the links and support the artists.
Soela – Genuine Silk
Dial kick off their 20th anniversary year with the debut album from Soela. On Genuine Silk, the German-based DJ and producer explore the deepest shades of house, electronica and ambient music. This she delivers with aplomb, with the album moving effortlessly through styles while remaining cohesive and listenable throughout. Genuine Silk is an undeniably good album from the fast-rising newcomer.
John Carroll Kirby – My Garden
Pianist, producer and composer John Carroll Kirby recently shared My Garden, his first solo album for Stones Throw. My Garden, a collection of songs written, recorded and produced entirely by Kirby, is a pure distillation of his sound — soulful, spiritual, and evocative. Demonstrating perfectly why Kirby is the go-to collaborator for artists ranging from experimental auteurs Bat for Lashes and Connan Mockasin to pop megastars Harry Styles and Kali Uchis, and R&B innovators Solange and Frank Ocean, My Garden is also a testament to the clarity and singularity of Kirby’s vision. An album that gets better with every listen.
Shabazz Palaces – The Don Of Diamond Dreams
Three years on from their last album, Shabazz Palaces drop a dazzling Afrofuturist masterpiece with The Don Of Diamond Dreams. With over 25 years in the game vocalist and producer Ishmael Butler along with multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire are still thinking outside the boxes and crafting fresh new sonics. Summoning the spirit of Afrofuturist pioneer Sun Ra his influence can be felt all over The Don Of Diamond Dreams. There is “Ad Ventures,” a shout out to Butler’s crew, The Black Constellation. The beat operates like a melodic free jazz hymn elsewhere you’ll hear cosmic signals beamed down from outer space as Butler freestyles on ‘Wet’ while the new age, slow-paced ‘Thanking The Girls’ is another otherworldy highlight. The project also has some fine guest contributions with the standouts being ‘Fast Learner’ featuring Purple Tape Nat, ‘Bad Bitch Walking’ featuring Stas THEE Boss and ‘Reg Walks By The Looking Glass featuring Carlos Overall. This is an undeniably great album from the veteran duo who are still at the top of their game.
Athletic Progression – Athletic Progression
Danish instrumental hip hop and jazz trio Athletic Progression return with a new project. Consisting of Jonas Cook on keys, Jonathan J. Ludvigsen on drums and Justo Gambula on bass, the band’s self-titled LP is every bit as good as their debut EP Dark Smoke. Featuring previously released tracks ‘EMBASSY/NCCU’ and ‘EMMELEV/3POINTPLAY’, the 13-track LP sees the trio further take their alluring soundscapes to the next level. It’s an altogether more vibrant affair than their slightly darker debut release with tracks that are smooth, melodic and soulful throughout.
Guedra Guedra – Son of Sun
Moroccan producer Guedra Guedra has released a brand new EP titled Son of Sun. Whether your liking is for booming bass or slow quirky footwork, this EP has a wide-ranging appeal. The six-song release invites the listener to explore a fusion of eclectic influences and ethnic traditions of sounds from around the world. From the thumping opener ‘Uggug’, big and bold, to the playful and vibrant sounds of closing cut ‘Aït Crossing‘ this EP is unabashedly eclectic and a pure listening pleasure. Highest recommendation!
Bullion – We Had A Good Time
Lisbon-based artist Bullion is releasing a new EP, titled We Had A Good Time, this February on his label Deek Recordings. The 5-track project was created at his new home behind the grand hotel used as a setting for Wim Wenders’ 1994 film Lisbon Story. Inspired by journeys to shopping malls in his old Renault 9 Super, impromptu car park hulas, and solo cinema trips, the music ranges from wonky prog-pop to chamber disco. From the droning prog-pop of opener ‘O Vermona’ to the warm guitar melodies and charming samba swing of the album highlight ‘Hula’, Bullion creates a delightful and rewarding listening experience. Do yourself a favour and listen now.