Between The Cracks: Essential Releases You Need To Hear

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

Awkward Corners – Amateur Dramatics

Awkward Corners album ‘Dislocation Songs’ was one of last years standout releases. Now he’s back again, with his stunning second album. He builds on foundations of the meditative, devotional electronic aspects of the previous LP, but this time in a jazz context with guest spots from saxophonist, composer and multi-wind instrumentalist Tamar Osborn, vocalist Kitty Whitelaw and double-bassist David Leahy. Amateur Dramatics is an album for life’s quieter moments, where you can sit back and fully immerse yourself. Released via the ever-interesting Shapes Of Rhythm, whose catalogue just keeps getting better and better.

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Andrew Wasylyk – Balgay Hill: Morning In Magnolia

Making me feel all warm inside is the latest full-length from Andrew Wasylyk. Perfect for the summery days, the breezy, laid-back songs shimmer and glow just as brightly as the sun. All ten tracks, especially the meditative and unsteady flow of ‘Magpie Spring’, are sheer perfection; don’t sleep on this one! Released on Clay Pipe Music.

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Josef Akin – Flightcase

The first of two outstanding albums released on London-based record label Sola Terra. Meditative, deeply spiritual jazz from Glasgow-based pianist, keyboardist, and composer Josef Akin. Absolutely essential for fans of Sun Ra and Herbie Hancock and Akin’s band Amara, who we’ll get to in a moment. A wonderful listen.

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Amara – Amara

Sola Terra drops some more spiritual jazz vibes from Glaswegian collective Amara! Totally improvised; the music is, however, not hit-or-miss, offering fully formed gems influenced by the cold and dark months of autumn and winter that are vibrant and full of warmth. Having shifted through hours of recordings at gigs, rehearsals, or out and about on the streets, Amara delivers a fantastic album that is a sheer joy to listen to from front to back. A new contender has arrived for our next album of the week slot, no doubt!

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Lionmilk Quartet – O.T.S.

If you need some free-spirited jazz improvisation mixed with underground LA beats sensibility, check out Lionmilk Quartet’s new live debut album, O.T.S on Preference Records. Low-slung grooves, effervescent keys, shuffling drums, funk riffs, breakneck keyboard runs and rippling percussive interplay expertly fused into a lovely jazzy brew. It’s safe to say that this one will be on rotation for a while.

Buy

Reissues

 Marcos Resende & Index – Marcos Resende & Index

Far Out Recordings came up trumps once again with this previously unreleased gem of progressive Brazilian instrumental music. Recorded in 1976 by jazz pianist Marcos Resende and his backing band Index, who are still largely unknown, but hopefully, thanks to Joe Davis and the Far Out family, this reissue will gather a broader appreciation for the band – well recommended!

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Compilations

Shika Shika – Querencia (V​.​A​.​)

A new release from Shika Shika is always welcomed around these parts, and their migration themed compilation is a border-hopping delight. Cruise through the musical landscape with scorchers from the likes of Dengue Dengue Dengue & Prisma, Maggie Tra, Penya, Ancestral Beats and more. Click on the individual tracks to learn more about the inspiration behind the music. Big ups to Shika Shika.

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EP’s

John Haycock – In a Boppy Mood

Forget your worries and get lost in the ambient world folk sounds of In a Boppy Mood. Multi-instrumentalist John Haycock presents the melodic sounds of ancient West African folk fused with modern electronica on his debut solo EP. It’s an utterly charming, slow-moving adventure that sees Haycock assisted by Sarathy Korwar on tabla and Emanative (Nick Woodmansey) on the boards. Lovely stuff.

Buy 

(Liv).e – CWTTY+

(Liv).e marks the one year anniversary of her debut critically acclaimed album ‘Couldn’t Wait To Tell You…’ with her new EP ‘CWTTY+’, which features six unreleased songs, including the true ending of her album!

Buy

The Whole Truth – Proceedings of the Percussive Arts Society, vol. 2

The second and very welcomed addition to the Percussive Arts Society series. Founded in 2019, the series explores new approaches to rhythm and harmony. Harking back to the 80’s electro sound, the PAS tweak the formula to create a thoroughly modern take as the past and the future perfectly coexist.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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