With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. No lengthy write-ups as who reads those anyway? We keep it short and to the point because you’re here 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.
E.M.M.A – Indigo Dreams
After a seven-year gap, E.M.M.A. returns with her second album, and it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with her dreamy atmospherics all over again. Since debuting in 2012, E.M.M.A. has quietly established herself as an immensely respected figure in UK electronic music, be it for her for soundtrack work for Gucci and Chanel or her behind-the-scenes work as the founder of Producergirls, the UK’s first free-to-attend beginners’ electronic music production workshops for women. More than worth the seven-year wait across Indigo Dream’s nine synth-led tracks, E.M.M.A seeks to explore “the fluid nature of a dream”. I loved her debut album, Blue Gardens. This one is even better!
Laurence Pike – Prophecy
Inspired by the devasting fires last summer in his homeland of Australia, Prophecy is the Laurence Pike’s latest masterpiece. As with his previous releases, on the spot improvisation and spontaneity are at the heart of this project with no post-production. Recorded in one day the message of the album is simple don’t take anything for granted. As we look at the world around us now that message rings loud and true. Ten beautiful songs from Pike that feature an array of instruments and deftly blends ambient, atmospheric music and free-flowing jazz
Laraaji – Sun Piano
Something a little different from Laraaji as the Afro-Transcendental pioneer returns to his first instrument the piano on this collection recorded by Jeff Zeigler. Sun Piano is released alongside a companion album titled Moon Piano, an extended EP of piano/autoharp duets, and complete piano sessions anthology CD. Take some time out, whack on the headphones, and while away in Laraaji’s wonderful soundscapes.
KMRU – Peel
The unbounded creativity of Kenyan artist KMRU, aka Joseph Kamaru, really shines through on his debut album Peel. The talented manipulator of sound creates the perfect vibe with this collection of field recordings blended with ambient electronics. The six-track album says Kamaru captures his “experiences travelling in Montreal, as well as being back in Nairobi just before lockdown”. The album takes its name from a metro station in Montreal. “I’ve been studying repetition and time in sounds, and Peel is one of the experiments from this,” Kamaru recently told Resident Advisor. “I tend to work freely and effortlessly on my textural sounds or ambient, not using any metronomes and just hitting record and improvising all the way. I’m always happy to have limitations while making music, and Peel is a good example of this. I recorded the entire project in 48 hours.” Of the six tracks, four are over twelve minutes long, and at times it can seem like nothing much is happening or going to happen. With people’s attention spans seemingly getting shorter and shorter, it’s a brave move, as you’ve got to be certain that you’ll keep the listener engaged at all times. Not to worry as Kamaru is a master when it comes to slow-moving music that keeps the attention by placing subtle fluctuations in sounds taking you on a cosmic journey that rewards with repeat listens.
Saskia – Eeuwig Op Reis
Belgium label STROOM.tv recently dropped this two-track limited edition 7 inch by Dutch artist Sacha Vingerhoeds. In 1983 under the guise of Saskia she was involved in an experimental music collective in Holland named ‘Arts’. They self-released a home-taped cassette called Eeuwig Op Reis which featured twelve tracks of her dreamy musing soundtracked by delicate lo-fi ambient music, and experimental synth sounds. The loose collective lived together in a communal house in Rotterdam, where they created a makeshift studio situated in the basement of the building where spontaneous recording sessions took place. The collective involved Saskia, Coen de Neef, Fred Flerst, John Zandijk, Andre de Vries, and Cora Emens as well as travellers and unexpected visitors (both from Holland and abroad) who passed by and contributed to the creative output of the community. The title ‘Eeuwig Op Reis’ loosely translates to ‘Endlessly In Transit’ or ‘Perpetual Travel’, in the sense of being on an endless journey or travel. Spend some time with this two-track release then go seek out the album for the full experience.
Shackleton Waclaw Zimpel – Primal Forms
Say no more: It’s Sam Shackleton! Primal Forms finds him teaming up with clarinettist/multi-instrumentalist Waclaw Zimpel for his second outing on Shapednoise’s Cosmo Rhythmatic label, following last year’s Reach The Endless Sea by Tunes Of Negation. It’s a deliciously jazzy affair, with Shackleton expertly twiddling the knobs to unexpected frequencies while Zimpel lets loose on a multitude of instruments that include alto clarinet, violin, harmonium, e-piano, organ, frame drum and more. Very few releases grab you like this one, it’s mesmerising. Listen below, and you’ll see what we mean. You know what to do…
De La Selva – Alma
London-via-Colombia producer De La Selva debut EP is all kinds of musically layered goodness. Spanning rap, jazz, psychedelia, cosmic beats with indigenous folk and spiritual elements it’s a roller-coaster ride which surprises with its many twists and turns. Looking forward to hearing more from De La Selva, but for now, tuck into ‘Alma’ below…
Emma-Jean Thackray – UM YANG 음 양
Twistedsoul fave Emma-Jean Thackray goes deep into the Taoist teachings of harmony and duality, on the profoundly personal UM YANG 음 양. Her grounding in Taoism was inherited from her father, and this release fully embraces the seemingly opposite forces feeling calm yet full of life, relaxing yet exciting, and the sudden switches in mood and tempo make for an infectious listening experience. The one-off recording for Night Dreamer was cut straight to vinyl at the Artone Studio in Haarlem, Holland. The two-track project features an incredible cast of musicians including Soweto Kinch (sax), Lyle Barton (Rhodes), Ben Kelly (sousaphone), Dwayne Kilvington (percussion), Crispin Robinson (congas), and Dougal Taylor (drums). The endlessly fascinating EJT comes up trumps once again.
Marvin Tate – Jesus on ‘da Green Line
Poet, storyteller, performance artist and time-traveller Marvin Tate blesses us with a dark soulful slice of heaven. With Ben LaMar Gay gently tickling the ivories, all that’s left is for Tate to seduce you with his impeccable vocals. This is one of those timeless sounding songs!
Lady Blackbird – Beware The Stranger
Following her spellbinding debut single , Lady Blackbird keeps the anticipation high for her debut album. Beware The Stranger is her captivating reimagining of the ’70s funk/soul anthem Wanted Dead Or Alive. Originally performed by The Krystal Generation, her reworking takes its inspiration from The Voices Of East Harlem’s classic rare groove version. Of course, it’s needless to say that this is incredible!