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. Each week we select new records from across the musical soundscape that requires your attention. Happy listening – and don’t forget to hit the links and support the artists.

Albums

Jaubi – Nafs at Peace

The debut album from Lahore-based ensemble Jaubi finally drops five years on since their much-lauded 2016 EP ‘The Deconstructed Ego’. This album has been a long time coming but does not disappoint in any way. From the brilliant opening track ‘Seek Refuge’ you know they’ve created something special, and Jaubi do not disappoint across the seven tracks as they stitch together North Indian classical music elements with hip-hop and modal/spiritual jazz. ‘Nafs at Peace’ sees Jaubi collaborate with Tenderlonious, Latarnik and The Vox Humana Chamber Choir who all leave their mark on this outstanding album.

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The Texture of Silence – As in the Sun, so in the Rain

‘As in the Sun, so in the Rain’ is the debut studio album from Johannesburg-based trio ‘The Texture of Silence’. The ensemble features Mzwandile Buthelezi as visual artist, Keenan Ahrends on guitar and Cara Stacey on piano, musical bows, umtshingo flute and various lamellophones. Exploring the interface between composition, improvised music and visual art, it’s an audiovisual treat! Don’t sleep as it would be a shame for something this good to be passed by. Head here to find out more about the project.

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Cosmic Neighbourhood – All for fall

York-based illustrator and musician Adam Higton is back under the guise of Cosmic Neighbourhood. ‘All For All’ is his latest colourful excursion into modular electronics, flutes and drum machines mixed with sounds found in psychedelic children’s TV shows of the 1960s and 1970s. Fans of Silver Apples, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, and The Moomins will find much to love.

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Carlos Niño & Friends – More Energy Fields, Current

Two years on from the last Carlos Niño & Friends LP, 2019’s Bliss On Dear Oneness, the latest collection ‘More Energy Fields’, sees Niño working with frequent collaborators including Laraaji, Jamael Dean, Jamire Williams, Sam Gendel and more. The tracks flow into each other like the smoothest of DJ sets, moving from ambient vibes, experimental folk, hip-hop grooves and jazzy textures. A beguiling 44-minute journey best enjoyed with headphones. 

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KMRU – Louge

A gorgeous mix of electronic, experimental ambient and field recordings, that’s what you get from the new album by Joseph Kamaru aka KMRU. If you’re new to Kamaru, then ‘Louge’ his first via Injazero is an excellent introduction comprising of works from his past years of self-releasing via Bandcamp. Click play and get lost in a transcendent state of his innovative sound-design. 

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EP’s

Maya Dunietz – Free The Dolphins

Free The Dolphin is the new album by prodigy pianist and sound artist Maya Dunietz. Influenced by Erroll Garner and Ahmad Jamal, despite having these reference points, it is unique, blending touches of folk lullabies, African scales and rhythms. The lead single ‘Opus 1’ is breathtaking, but there are many highlights within the EP’s 27 minute runtime. Refreshingly different and completely absorbing.

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Kiefer – Between Days

Multi-instrumentalist Kiefer follows up Bridges and Superbloom, with Between Days, the last instalment in a trilogy of EP’s. Of his new record, Kiefer says, “Between Days is about transition, feeling old even though I’m not, missing friends, finding purpose, and remaining hopeful.” Choosing a fave track is not easy but his take on The Cure’s ‘Between Days’ is jaw-dropping. Sublime from start to finish and a wonderful finale to a special series.

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Mini Compilation

Melodies Record Club #001: Four Tet selects

Melodies International launch a new series: “Melodies Record Club”. Kicking off the series is Four Tet who selects two big peak-time jazz tracks he used to spin regularly at Plastic People. On one side is Jackie McLean and Michael Carvin’s ‘De I Comahlee Ah’. On the flip is Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath’ MRA’. Sensational!

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Singles

Yazz Ahmed – Solo 7″s Vol​.​1

Well, what can I say? This new offering from Yazz Ahmed is simply sublime as the ‘High priestess of psychedelic Arabic jazz’ keeps on pushing the boundaries of modern jazz music. The new release features two home-recorded solo compositions that showcase Ahmed’s superb musical talents. Solo 7’s Vol 1 is another impressive step forward for the wonderfully gifted artists.

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Roseland En Why Cee – Big Sis Riddim 

A slight musical detour for Roseland En Cee Why but no less intriguing. He blends jazz and reggae on his new track, continuing the legacy of masters like Dennis Bovell. There’s also a beautiful, haunting trombone lead from Kokoroko’s Richie Seivwright. Don’t sleep.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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