Between The Cracks: 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.

Albums

Guedra Guedra – Vexillology

Debut album from Moroccan genre-defying artist Guedra Guedra. Vexillology is an elevation of tribal consciousness and futurism from underground musical universes. The album offers listeners an immersive experience made from hypnotic and rhythmic arrangements rooted in ancient culture. The result is an exciting, unpredictable album that’s a must-listen for anyone looking for something truly original. Another excellent release from the ever-reliable On The Corner Records.

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Nubiyan Twist – Freedom Fables 

Nubiyan Twist return with their brand new album ‘Freedom Fables’ on Strut, the follow-up to the acclaimed ‘Jungle Run’ from 2019. Woven around soul searching, cautionary tales and parables for modern life, the new album is the most accomplished yet by the Leeds / London collective, effortlessly fusing different soul, jazz and global styles with great musicianship and lyrics.  

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Electric Jalaba – El Hal / The Feeling

El Hal / The Feeling, sees Electric Jalaba improvise their way through traditional Gnawa music mixed with disco synth patterns, percussive mbalax rhythms and dubby vibes. Electric Jalaba is made up of Moroccan Gnawa master Simo Lagnawi, Italian/English drummer Dave De Rose and four musical brothers; Henry, Oliver, Nathaniel and Barnaby Keen. It’s hard to describe their unique sound but anyone who loves music that goes beyond the usual boundaries needs to press play. 

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Landon Caldwell – Deep Strand

New solo outing from Indianapolis-based artist Landon Caldwell (Crazy Doberman, Creeping Pink, Thee Open Sex). Caldwell describes ‘Deep Strand’ as an “…attempt at meaningful connection despite the shortcomings of digital reality, small, long-distance conversations with one or a few other people who are all trying to stay human.” ‘Deep Strand’ is a real slow-burner of a listen so be patient but once you let it all sink in, you’ll keep coming back for more.

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Mecánica Clásica – Mar Interior

Valencian electronic experimental band Mecánica Clásica has been doing great things for a while. I finally managed to listen to them last week and I am glad that I did. ‘Mar Interior’ is thematically centred on the history and legacy of the ancient civilizations that once populated around the Mediterranean Sea. Deep fourth world, dreamy kosmische, ethereal ambient, minimalism and electronic music- it’s all here. Find a nice quiet space, slip on your headphones and dream. Highly recommended for fans of Roberto Musci, Jon Hassell and Brian Eno. 

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 Neuro… No Neuro – Object Models

In a similar way to his last album (‘Let’s be Happy’), this rides on a wave of bleeps, clicks, and glitches but also offers moments of quiet where tracks suddenly stop and move out of focus to keep the listener guessing. From spacious, floaty productions, to harsh abstract electronics, this offering is a great listen from front to back.

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Karima Walker – Waking the Dreaming Body

‘Waking The Dreaming Body’ is the second solo album by Arizona-based drone-folk artist Karima Walker. The slow-moving LP brings together field recordings, synth arrangements, piano, guitar, tape loops and Walker’s own delicate tones. Drawing on the mountains, rivers, and starry skies surrounding Tucson’ Waking The Dreaming Body’ paints such a vivid picture at times it feels like you’re being transported directly to the famous mountain ranges surrounding the Tucson Basin.

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Cameron Knowler & Eli Winter – Anticipation

Cameron Knowler and Eli Winter team up for an album of guitar duets. Blending folk music and the American avant-garde the pair take inspiration from US folk and country guitarist Norman Blake, American primitive guitarist Daniel Bachman and former Pelt guitarist Jack Rose. The result is a beautifully textured album of warming music that is both striking in detail and brilliant in its simplicity.

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Compilation

Stereolab – Electrically Possessed (Switched On Volume 4)

This one is huge! The fourth instalment in Stereolab’s ‘Switched On’ compilation series featuring rarities spanning from 1999 to 2008. The epic album includes compilation tracks, work for art installations and some outtakes from the ‘Mars Audiac Quintet’ and ‘Dots And Loops’ LPs which have all lovingly been remastered from original tapes.

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Reissue

Byard Lancaster – My Pure Joy 

A seminal album from Byard Lancaster recorded in 1995 and pre-figuring the Afro-Futurist wave of the 21st century. The album features guest appearances from Philadelphia’s “Sounds of Newest Africa” and Nigerian master bassist Tunde Kuboye for a mixture of Afro-funk and spiritual jazz. Essential!

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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