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

Duval Timothy – Sen Am  (2021 Edition)

If you missed out on Duval Timothy’s 2017 masterpiece ‘Sen Am’, it’s now back as a limited edition release pressed on tricoloured vinyl. The album is the product of Timothy living between London, UK, and Freetown, Sierra Leone. Throughout the record friends and family from Sierra Leone appear through Whatsapp voice notes that speak over solo piano and layered instrumental compositions. Don’t sleep; this album is absolutely mindblowing.

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Nick Garbett & Mike Majkowski – The Glider

Brand new collaborative release from jazz trumpeter Nick Garbett and bassist Mike Majkowski. Across its 38 minutes, this album melds soothing ambient grooves with meditative percussion and a jazz sensibility. Grab your headphones, find a nice quiet spot, listen to this heavenly piece of work. This one comes highly recommended for fans of Yazz Ahmed.

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Sávila – Mayahuel

I’ll admit we’re a bit late to the Sávila party, but their new album is so good we couldn’t afford not to share it. A fantastic mix of experimental r&b, with Cumbia, Latin, Mexican folk with beautiful dreamy vocals by the Portland, Oregon trio. The six-track project sees the trio broadening their sound with field recordings of local musicians performing in the sacred Mexican city of Oaxaca. 

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Natik Awayez – Manbarani 

Here’s another album that we missed at the time of its release. Recorded in Cairo in 2019 with an array of the city’s musical talents as a backing band, ‘Manbarani’ by Iraqi musician Natik Awayez is a fantastic album of contemporary Arabic folk music. Apart from the fact that his voice is fabulous, there’s just something about how the instrumentation weaves in and out makes for an intriguing listening experience.

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Cots – Disturbing Body

Steph Yates (of Esther Grey, Cupcake Ductape, French Perfume) is back with her new project under the guise of Cots. If you are in the mood for heart-melting music, then try these ten enjoyable slices of restrained bossa nova, folk, and jazz gems. The music is sublime, but Yates’ voice is quite frankly captivating, as it effortlessly drifts over the delicate soundscape topped off by her charming musings. Disturbing Body is an album for those who like their music to be imaginative yet understated. 

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Compilation

Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors – Selected Works 1985​-​2005

The ever-brilliant reissue label Time Capsule shines a light on pioneering tribal ambient music maker Gabrielle Roth with a new compilation called Selected Works 1985​-​2005. Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors made ground-breaking “percussive ambient recordings to induce altered states of consciousness through ecstatic dance.” The album consists of mesmerising percussion workouts using anything from a Sioux pony drum to East African kihembe and Japanese Kabuki drums. Let it roll and liberate yourself from your inhibitions.

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EP’s

Marco Woolf – Francine, i

Late last month, Malawian-born singer-songwriter Marco Woolf shared his latest EP ‘Francine, i’ via Phlexx Records. To say that it’s incredible is an understatement. The five-track project is full of insightful and inspiring lyrics that tell the story of a woman named Francine. All this, wrapped up in richly textured jazz-informed songs topped off by his smooth vocals, what more could you want?

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Glenn Astro – Purple 

Following last year’s Homespun LP, Glenn Astro returns to Tartelet Records with Purple. A four-track collection of back-to-basics modular synth bangers aimed squarely at the dancefloor that marks the label’s 50th 12-inch release. Press play and get ready for an onslaught of mutant future-boogie daubed in Rogers-Nelson hues. Wonderful stuff!

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Singles

Kondi Band & Sweatson Klank – It’s God’s World (So Don’t Do Bad) 

I’ll be honest with you; I wasn’t feeling the lead track from Kondi Band’s forthcoming album. Their latest taste, however, is a different story altogether. Featuring a heavy funk bassline from L.A. beat scene leader Sweatson Klank, blended with lead singer Sorie Kondi’s Krio (Sierra Leonian creole) vocals and effervescent thumb piano for a future Afro Disco classic, this is an absolute corker.

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Kutiman – Guruji

With his forthcoming EP Guruji just around the corner, Kutiman entices once more with his magical combination of looping sitar, halftime tabla rhythm, cascading synth-played motifs all wrapped around a droning bass synth. Listen to the title cut below.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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