Between The Cracks: New & Notable Releases You Need To Hear

Six albums to hear this week.

With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. No lenghty write ups as who reads those anyway? We keep it short and to the point because you’re hear to listen to the music! Check out our weekly mini-guide below and if you like what you hear click the links and support the artists.

 

Greg Foat – Symphonie Pacifique

The intriguing and prolific jazz pianist Greg Foat is back a new album, called Symphonie Pacifique. Recorded in London, Edinburgh and Gothenburg the LP features a band including Phil Achille on bass, Eric Young on congas and Moses Boyd on drums. Symphonie Pacifique blends soul-jazz workouts, library music, cinematic, haunting compositions and pastoral acid folk. Speaking about the new record, Foat explains: “My last albums were very much characterized by choir voices and tubular bells. “This time I also used a pedal steel guitar”. This combination can be heard on the atmospheric “After The Storm”. “We improvised the piece on the last day of our studio sessions. The assistant sound engineer had programmed an arpeggio as a metronome on the synthesizer, the harp and guitar played an ostinato, and then we played our solos over it. Choir and strings were added later. In the end we took out the arpeggio so that the music sounds calmer and more relaxed ”. The choral textures, harp and tubular bells of the title track, atmospheric ‘After The Storm’, and the pumping Groove Merchant-channelling ‘Nikinakinu’ are standouts as are the more mellow ‘Island Life’ and his moving tribute to KPM library legend Duncan Lamont on the reflective ‘Lament For Lamont’ are both must listen. Will please Foat fans as well as those looking for a high-quality yet relatively unfussy contemporary jazz album.

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Asher Gamedze – Dialectic Soul

Dialectic Soul is the compelling, multi-layered and attention-demanding debut album from Asher Gamedze, released via On The Corner. Some of you may remember the Cape Town-based drummer for his feature on ‘Capetown’ from Angel Bat Dawid’s fantastic spiritual opus, The Oracle. Recorded live over two days at the Sound and Motion Studios in Cape Town, Gamedze says “Dialectic Soul is about motion and a refusal to remain static or stay still. It’s the commitment to be continually moving”. On the album are Gamedze (drums), Thembinkosi Mavimbela (bass), Buddy Wells (tenor sax), Robin Fassie-Kock (trumpet) and Nono Nkoane (vox). It is hard to pick out individual tracks as the album flows dreamily from one track to another. The opening near 19-minute piece ‘state of Emergence Suite’ is in a nutshell, it’s epic! As is the lovely ‘Siyabulela’ and the vibrant, crisp and easy on the ear grooves of ‘Hope In Azania’. Overall what you get are six breathtaking and soul-stirring pieces that take you somewhere else. 

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Gary Bartz & Maisha – Night Dreamer Direct-To-Disc Sessions

The third release from Night Dreamer’s dazzling “Direct-to-Disc” sessions comes from legendary saxophonist Gary Bartz and London-based jazz outfit Maisha. The six-track record features two Bartz classics and three brand new joint songs written by both Bartz and Maisha. Recorded and cut direct-to-disk in one day at Artone Studio in Holland, the album follows efforts from afrobeat star Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, and the beautiful collaboration between Brazilian stars Seu Jorge & Rogê. The jazzy funk of ‘Harlem – Harlem’, the afro-jazz rhythms of the superb ‘Leta’s Dance’ and the hard-hitting slab of dirty funk on ‘The Stank’ are highlights, as is the reworking of the classic Bartz composition ‘Dr Follows Dance’. Essential.

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Keleketla! – Keleketla!

Keleketla! is an expansive collaborative project, reaching outward from Johannesburg to London, Lagos, L.A. and West Papua, “Keleketla!” started as a musical meeting ground between Ninja Tune co-founders Coldcut and a cadre of South African musicians (introduced by the charity In Place Of War), including the raw, South African-accented jazz styles of Sibusile Xaba, and rapper Yugen Blakrok (Black Panther OST). From those initial sessions, the record grew to encompass a wider web of musical luminaries, including Afrobeat architects, the late pioneer Tony Allen and Dele Sosimi, legendary LA spoken word pioneers The Watts Prophets, and West Papuan activist Benny Wenda. 

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Anteloper –  Tour Beats Vol. 1

Anteloper, the collaborative project of Jaime Branch and Jason Nazary, continue to reshape jazz for the future. Initially released as a super limited-edition cassette tape while on tour last years with DC duo Blacks’ Myths. Tour Beats Vol. 1, features recordings from their month-long residency in the shipping container-turned-recording studio at Pioneer Works in 2018. On the five-track EP, they bridge the gap between jazz, beats, nowave and psychedelia doing what they always do — rolling the tape, starting from nothing and draw the listener in launching them through a unique musical journey.

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Petros Skoutaris – Tropika

Into the Light return with another great discovery featuring the work of late Petros Skoutaris. Last time out they delved deep into the unreleased archives of Free Level, a collaborative project between Greek composer George Theodorakis and Skoutaris. Shining a light solely on Skoutaris this brief but varied release includes four tracks rescued from a forgotten CDR recorded around the start of the millennium. A fine showcase of his wide palette of styles which takes in the dreamy synth-pop of ‘Tropika’, to the Flamenco-influenced sunset bliss of ‘Attica’ and the two-part ‘Yusurum’, a wonderfully intoxicating, NYC dub-funk influenced affair. Headphones recommended.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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