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.
Karaba – Pheremon Crumble Wax
The Munich-based alternative jazz ensemble Karaba drop their debut EP via Kryptox. With a sound that is deeply rooted in the heritage of all kind of wild forms of jazz, krautrock and psychedelic music, the five-piece ensemble of young musicians fit like a glove into the labels boundary-pushing musical ethos. I am already looking forward to their next release, hoping that Karba will continue to deliver on this promising debut effort.
Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger – Force Majeure
Regular readers will know we cover pretty much everything released by International Anthem. Their output is always cutting edge, inventive and unique featuring independent artists who create starkly-stunning modern jazz. Force Majeure by bassist Dezron Douglas and harpist Brandee Younger is yet another first-class album from the Chicago imprint. Featuring 11 pieces performed by the pair across a series of live-streamed shows from their living room in Harlem, NY, this is wonderfully uplifting and comforting music that we all need right now.
Scrimshire – Believers Vol. 1
Whatever the genre might be Scrimshire excels in it and then some! From the vibrant Afro-disco inspired groove of ‘Anadwo’ to the warm neo-soul of ‘Lost In Space And Time’ and the dazzling jazz, poetry and improvisation of ‘Chance Me’, please do yourself a favour and listen to this fantastic body of work. The album sees him collaborate with K.O.G., Stac, Bessi, And Is Phi, Tamar Osborn, Penya, the legend that is Omar and more. Essential listening.
Thijsenterprise – Lahringen
Is it jazz? Is it post-punk? Is it both? What does it matter, when the music is so damn good and exciting? The liner notes by John-Paul Shiver sum up the album perfectly; “The combination of new school beat-making tactics, via scientists Makaya McCraven & Jeff Parker, who’s shown it’s far more interesting tossing out the rule book, see Reinier come full-circle with the wide spectrum of his sound jacket.” Lahringen is a sheer adventure of varied and consistently great tracks that make it a real breath of fresh air.
Marcus Hill – Soul Sign
Inspired by a yearning to learn more about the Zodiac, New York-based trumpeter, composer and producer, Marquis Hill releases a 12-track cosmic stew of hip-hop, jazz, soul and spoken word in his engrossing beat tape. Every track is different, just like the traits associated with each Zodiac sign personality making for a varied listening experience. Soul Sign has been on constant rotation for the past week. Press play and enjoy.
Seba Kaapstad – Konke
The latest album from neo-soul/jazz outfit Seba Kaapstad is titled ‘Konke‘, translating to ‘Everything’ from Zulu. The album picks up where they left off from last years debut album ‘Thina’. Ever evolving, the group has focused in on their sound, making ‘Konke’ a laidback, cerebral and uplifting album. Featuring guest spots from Quelle Chris, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Oddisee this is an essential listen to fans of Robert Glasper, Kamall Williams and Terrace Martin and just anyone who enjoys great music.
Quakers – Quakers II: The Next Wave
This one is huge! Eight years after their self-titled debut on Stones Throw, Quakers are back with Quakers II: The Next Wave. With its fifty minute runtime , 33 tracks, featuring 31 rappers, and three producers it’s a colossus affair. The guest MCs include the likes of Sampa The Great, Jonwayne, Chester Watson, The Koreatown Oddity, The Niyat, and Jeru The Damaja. Dive in below.
Apifera – Overstand
Stones Throw is releasing the debut album by Apifera, called Overstand, next month. If you’re a regular visitor to the site, you’ll be familiar with the names that make up Apifera. Yuval Havkin aka Rejoicer (keys), Nitai Hershkovits (keys), Amir Bresler (drums) and Yonatan Albalak (bass) are all longtime members of the Raw Tapes family, and they have come together to form this new quartet. The album’s ten tracks span influences from Israeli folk music to impressionist composers like Ravel and Satie, traditional music from Sudan and Ghana, and the transcendental jazz of Sun Ra. Only a handful of tracks are currently available to stream, but that should be more than enough to get your appetite well and truly whetted! Pre-order the album below and get excited about what’s to come next month.
Somei Satoh – Mandala Trilogy +1
Like a zen master, Japanese composer Somei Satoh meditates his way through four tranquil ambient recordings complete with Shomyo Buddhist chants. Three of the pieces’ Mandala’, ‘Mantra’ and ‘Tantra’ were recorded separately in 1982, 1986 and 1990 while the bonus composition ‘Mai’, was commissioned by harpist Ayako Shinozaki and recorded at the Kioi Hall in Tokyo on November 11th 2004. It’s another excellent release from Geneva-based label WRWTFWW Records, which dropped back in October alongside another Satoh gem Emerald Tablet / Echoes, also well worth checking out.
We’re not done yet …