Between The Cracks: Essential Releases From Across The Musical Landscape

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.

Nicolas Repac — Rhapsodic 

Nicolas Repac plunges into musicologist Charles Duvelle’s pioneering field recordings, to deconstruct and revisit rare music archives gleaned from all over the world. Repac ventures into the craziest sonic and stylistic pileups –adding voices, rhythms and traditional music from every world. He offers some “Rhapsodies” of multicoloured sounds and instrumentals, revisited through the prism of electronic music.

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MidnightRoba – Golden Seams

MidnightRoba’s soulful and lush tones grace this beautiful collection of songs to create an utterly uplifting listening experience. Golden Seams finds MidnightRoba in fine vocal form as she explores the global sounds of RnB, neo-soul, electronica and jazz. ‘Reminded’, ‘Don’t Let This Change’ ‘Be Still’ and the title cut are amongst the strongest tracks. American jazz pianist, Jason Moran joins Roba on the soul-stirring ‘Bitter Boy’, and the lovely mellow grooves of ‘If Time Heals’ is engaging and super seductive. I could listen to her voice all day and every day. Don’t sleep on this one; you have been warned!

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Yu Su – Yellow River Blue

Following up her brilliant ‘Watermelon Woman’ 12″, and her ‘Roll With The Punches’ EP, Yu Su delivers her debut LP. Marking the first release on her bié Records imprint Yellow River Blue ranges from airy electronica, dreamy downtempo, ambient dub, vibrant pop mixed with Yu’s vocals. Tunes like the trip-hop flavoured ‘Klein’ and the beautifully crafted ‘Dusty’ are just gorgeous. ‘Touch-Me-Not’ features gorgeous shimmering synths, elsewhere ‘Futuro’ is both blissed-out and eerie. Quality.


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University Challenged – Oh Temple!

The debut album from Netherlands based trio University Challenged is a joy to behold. Oh Temple! is a dazzling encounter featuring various styles from kosmische, electronic experimentation, deep spiritual jazz, modern classical, pastoral guitar soli, and more. ‘On the Banks of the River Swale’ they swirl and whirr whilst ‘Reversed Swing’ is a psychedelic journey through time and space. Absolutey love the barrage of bleeping electronics, driving fuzz bass and swirling guitar drone on ‘How I Swam Across the Pond’. Standout track ‘Shibboleth’ blends cosmic synths with an interview with Malcolm X. This wonderful album is something you need.

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Emmanuelle Parrenin / Detlef Weinrich – Jours De Greve

Detlef Weinrich, aka Tolouse Low Trax, and French folk singer/ harpist/hurdy-gurdy player Emmanuelle Parrenin have shared a new collaborative album, called Jours De Greve. The duo recorded the LP in Paris with like-minded souls like Gilbert Cohen, French avant-garde saxophone player Quentin Rollet and experimental voice artist Ghédalia Tazartès. A sonic tapestry of sounds and musical colours Jours De Greve brings together free jazz, tribal dub, shamanic drone, otherworldly vocals and more. Complex, eclectic, quirky, and certainly never dull you need to hear this album!

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Hairetis Harper – Draft

Hairetis Harper is lute player Υiagos Hairetis and master harpist Maria-Christina Harper. If like me, you love folk music that veers towards experimental and is fused with blues and jazz then this is for you. With most of the tracks running over the six-minute mark, there is much to be enjoyed here. Draft not only demands your attention it deserves your attention.

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Tom Furse – Ecstatic Meditations

Album number two by Tom Furse is an absolute beauty. A dramatic yet playful core runs through most of the tracks that find Furse, taking inspiration from Alice Coltrane, Laraaji, Eno and Steve Reich together with a newfound appreciation for Japanese environmental music composers Akira Ito and Yasauki Shizimu. Try the nearly 19-minute opening track ‘A Journey in Ecstasy’ for a taste it’s utterly gorgeous.

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Ancient Astronauts – ZIK ZAK

Dj and production duo Ancient Astronauts team up with rising African musicians on groundbreaking new album ZIK ZAK. The pair finds inspiration in various styles, from hip hop, dancehall, roots reggae, bass music, soul, electronica and breakbeat, with their production incorporating live instruments and musical influences from all over Africa and its diaspora. The epic 20-track LP features artists from nine countries on the mother continent, including Joyce Olong, Bantu, MoRoots, Blessed San, Nilotika Cultural Ensemble, to name a few. It doesn’t always hit the sweet spot, but when it does this is brilliant.

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EP’s

Olivier St Louis – M.O.T.H. Matters Of The Heartless

Another absorbing collection of alt-soul music from super talented Berlin-based singer/producer Olivier St. Louis. Packed full of stunners, the EP moves from the downtempo groove of ‘Jump The Line’, to the smoothed-out soul of ‘All In Love’, and the uptempo boogie vibes of, ‘Steady’. A fantastic EP for those searching for some soul-funk with a rock edge, and a touch of jazz. Strongly recommended.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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