Between The Cracks: Essential Releases You May Have Missed

Essential Releases You May Have Missed!

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.

 

J.H. Guraj – Introspection / Migration

Six years after recording this beautiful project J.H. Guraj’s epic record, Introspection / Migration finally sees the light of day. Of course in that time, we’ve had acclaimed albums such as Underrated Glances At The Edge of Town, Steadfast On Our Sand as well as his experiments as Vaccaro Overlapped Memories and Close Distances to keep us company. During the intervening years Guraj continued to work on the LP tweaking and adding new layers of sounds like subtle field recordings, or gentle percussion while maintaining the pureness of the original guitar recording. The gifted guitarist/ musical storyteller weaves his way through 14 miniatures of smoky Middle Eastern folk and North African blues that is a true delight to the ears.

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Rabii Harnoune & V.B.Kühl – Gnawa Electric Laune

Although we’re a few months late sharing this one, it’s simply too good to not to share it with you. Moroccan musician Rabii Harnoune and the German producer V.B.Kühl, expertly fuse traditional North African Gnawa music with a modern club sounds to create a truly unique album. There is so much variety on this record, it’s impossible to pigeonhole, but the Gnawa influences give it a truly distinctive sound, as do Rabii’s celestial vocals. There’s little else to say, other than press play and take a ride on a musical journey that’s refreshingly different and completely absorbing.

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Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids — Shaman

The legendary Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids have, yet again, proved themselves to be one of the most innovative and progressive jazz collective’s around. This new album sees the band transitions from the political and social commentaries of 2018’s acclaimed ‘An Angel Fell’ into more introspective themes. ‘When Will I See You Again?’, could be the perfect soundtrack for these COVID-19 times elsewhere ‘The Last Slave Ship’, poignantly brings to mind slave trader Edward Colston whose statue was recently toppled from its plinth and pushed into the docks by protesters in Bristol. While the beautiful ‘Virgin’ is an anthem of forgiveness, new beginnings and self-healing. Oh, and the artwork is as always superb.

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Eddie Chacon – Pleasure, Joy and Happiness

Eddie Chacon returns to the spotlight after a long hiatus with a brilliant album of celestial blue-eyed soul music. Produced by John Carroll Kirby, who says of the project, “What a rare and cool challenge it was for me to help Eddie re-emerge after a long hiatus. I was excited to produce a record for him that captured the chill, laid-back wisdom and easy vocal mastery he has that you don’t see that much these days.” Get your headphones, settled down with your favourite drink and let Chacon free your mind from these stressful times and take you to a peaceful place with this heavenly record. Strongly recommended!

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Adrian Knight – Pleasure Center

How does one escape from these troubling and stressful times? Well for a short while you could slip on the headphones, press the start button below, close your eyes and listen to Adrian Knight’s album Pleasure Center for thirty-eight minutes. This is one, for those who like their pop music soulful with swoon-some harmonies and laid back arrangements. Highlights include ‘Quarantined’, ‘Captain’s Log’, ‘Lasertown’, Drifter’ and the title track. Pleasure Center is an under the radar gem of the highest order.

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Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings E&F Sides

The latest masterpiece from Chicago-based drummer/producer Makaya McCraven has arrived! The new project titled ‘Universal Beings E&F Sides’ is a companion piece to his critically-acclaimed 2018 release Universal Beings. Recorded during the original sessions for the album, McCraven created fourteen pieces of organic beat music as a soundtrack to the Universal Beings documentary film (yep there’s a film as well!). Needless to say, this is fresh, innovative and a great listen from front to back. Seriously this guy is a f**king genius!

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Melodiesinfonie – Fragments

Have to thank our friends over at Music is My Sanctuary for this little discovery. Super intimate, late-night headphone music courtesy of Swiss musician Kevin Wettstein aka Melodiesinfonie. His new album called Fragments is a mellow ride, but an exciting one, and a must-listen for fans of soft vocals, and lo-fi beats mixed with psychedelic folk sounds looking for a genuinely fresh approach to the style. This is such a fantastic record. Press play, listen and enjoy!

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EP’s

 

DNGDNGDNG – Continentes Perdidos

Peruvian duo Dengue Dengue Dengue comes through with a new EP under the guise of their futuristic alter ego DNGDNGDNG. The four-track project called ‘Continentes Perdidos’ finds the pair creating a polyrhythmic theme that brings the imagined sound of Continentes Perdidos (lost continents) to our ears. My faves are ‘Hiperborea’ and ‘Mu’ with their other-worldly, atmospheric soundscapes neither sound like anything the duo has created before and both can send the listener into a trance-like state. Hopefully, this side project continues to reveal new dimensions in their sound as this EP is a real ear-opener for us.

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Reissue’s

 

Adult Fantasies – Towers of Silence

Even by the standards of STROOM.tv this is a very special find. Once again the label digs deep as they take a retrospective look at the work of little known Belgian art-rock duo Adult Fantasies. The 12-song collection draws on tracks from their three albums ‘8 Neo-Pathetic Scenes’ (1988), ‘For The Time Being’ (1989), and ‘The No-Sleeping Feeling’ (1994).  Towers of Silence is the perfect showcase of their dark, murky sound which ranges from gentle art rock to pulsing new wave and eerie synthwave. Make sure you check out ‘Under A Steelplate Sky’, ‘Parsi’, ‘Twilight’, ‘Life In Transit’, and ‘Cage’. If you want the vinyl be quick as this one is flying out so don’t delay.

 

 

Orchestra Baobab (Baobab-Gouye-Gui de Dakar) – Mouhamadou Bamba

African and Brazilian music specialists Sterns Music drop a stone cold classic! Almost forty years after its original release Sterns and Syllart Records, reissue Orchestra Baobab (Baobab-Gouye-Gui de Dakar) soulful funk masterpeice ‘Mouhamadou Bamba’. Under the musical direction of saxophonist Issa Cissoko, whose understated jazzy horn arrangements run throughout the album, along with guitarist Barthélemy Attisso, whose hypnotic, virtuoso solos are an outstanding feature, the album was recorded at the ‘Golden Baobab’ studio in Dakar and produced there by a young Ibrahima Sylla. This limited edition vinyl reissue has been specially remastered and comes with its own unique artwork.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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