Between The Cracks: Essential Releases You Need To Hear


After taking a little Easter break last week we’re back with our weekly selection of the best new albums, compilations, EP’s, and the rest to drop recently. 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, support the artists and labels.


STR4TA – Aspects

It’s finally here! Referencing groups like Atmosfear, Hi-Tension, Light of the World, and Freeez, broadcaster, DJ, and record label owner Gilles Peterson and the legendary Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick share their new wave jazz-funk project ‘Aspects’. The nine-track excursion sees the long-time friends and collaborators exploring jazz, funk, and pop – channelling the loose, protean energy of the early-80s Brit-funk scene. The resulting album sounds familiar but also very, very fresh! The sound of the summer has arrived so press play, and feel the vibes.


Matthew E. White & Lonnie Holley – Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection

The unlikely pairing of producer/ songwriter Matthew E. White and folk-jazz artist Lonnie Holley come together for a brilliant collaboration. The songs that make up the LP were instrumentals recorded by White in 2018 with his Richmond-based crew; White invited Holley to write and record over those tracks. ‘Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection’ focuses on how to find contentment in modern society, with White’s cosmic grooves providing the perfect soundbed for Holley’s voice.


 Yoshinori Hayashi – Pulse of Defiance

‘Pulse Of Defiance’ by Tokyo-based producer Yoshinori Hayashi comes three years on from Hayashi’s last album, 2018’s Ambivalence, and sees Hayashi traverse jazzy hip-hop breaks, techno, drum and bass, rapid-fire club music, and more. It’s a much more expansive project than ‘Ambivalence’, which Smalltown Supersound also released. Essential.



Various Artists – Medusozoa 

 Medusozoa is a compilation of 13 introspective, downtempo, and ambient-leaning tracks that have been carefully selected for their healing qualities. Alongside previously released and unreleased material by Glenn Astro, Henry Wu & Tito Wun, Jitwam, Max Graef & Wayne Snow, Space Ghost, and Uffe, the record also features recent signings the likes of ABUNAI, Armin Tamzarian, and Nelson of the East.


Various Artist – Mathias Modica Presents Kraut Jazz Futurism Vol. 2

The second volume of Kryptox’s compilation series seeking out the best and brightest from the Berlin jazz scene. ‘Mathias Modica Presents Kraut Jazz Futurism Vol. 2′ features contributions from Contrast Trio, Key Elements, CV Vision, Modha, and Ark Noir, among many other artists seeking new musical pastures within familiar genres like jazz, krautrock, afrobeat, electronica, kosmische, and hip-hop.



 Luis Pérez Ixoneztli – Santuario de Mariposas

Tokonoma Records reissue ‘Santuario de Mariposas’, which translates to The Butterfly Sanctuary, an album by cross-culture, multi-instrumentalist Luis Perez originally recorded back in 1989. Using pre-Columbian instruments only, the music will soothe and transport to a faraway place with jungle sounds, indigenous flutes, wooden percussive shakers, and more. Fans of Moondog, Midori Takada, and Jon Hassell don’t sleep.



Dam Swindle – Spice Run 

‘Spice Run’ is Lars + Maarten’s first release under their new Dam Swindle alias (FKA Detroit Swindle). The A-side features Nikki O, famous for her work with Mahogani music. Here she applies her elegant soul vox that sits perfectly over the percussion and live bass section courtesy of Dutch bass veteran Charles Nagtzaam. Other featured artists on the EP include Mauskovic Dance Band percussionist Chris Bruining on the uptempo’ Spice Run’ and Italian keys player Marcello Cassanelli on the jazzy ‘Get Together’. 


JAB – Currents

Jazzy vibes meet heavy percussion and epic strings on the latest offering from Brooklyn artist JAB, aka Junior Alli-Balogun. On this wonderous 4-tracker, JAB employs various instrumentation including cello, viola vibraphone, organ, and more to create a blissful project that will shoot straight into your Top 10 EP’s of the year list.


Speaker Music – Soul-Making Theodicy

DeForrest Brown, Jr, aka Speaker Music, is back with a new EP! The multitalented artist follows up his stunning ‘Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry’ with a four-track EP titled ‘Soul-Making Theodicy’. Speaking about the idea behind the record, he explains that ‘Soul-Making Theodicy’, is based around a sample of a developing gestural praxis of electronic drumming inspired by percussionists such as Rashied Ali, Max Roach, Metro Boomin, and Steve Poindexter. Speaker Music recorded the new collection by hand using haptic rhythm synthesizers via iPad and Push alongside a 49-Key MIDI Controller––routed through Ableton and mixed live into stereophonic paintings or further abstractions of rhythm and soul. Just as spectacular as his last outing, set the volume to high and press play!



Jasper Darius – The Middle Distance

Following their 2019 Jean-Michel Basquiat-inspired compilation Untitled, Lonely Table return with a new EP from co-founder Jasper Darius. Across three tracks Darius explores some of the nuances of his British-Iranian mixed heritage. Melding his love of early dubstep and dark warehouse dancefloors, his genre-spanning productions move between electro, techno, dubstep and more. Listen to the closing cut ‘June’ below. We’ve been playing the EP for a few days now and it’s a bold and impressive debut. 


CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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