Between The Cracks: Essential Releases From Across The Musical Landscape

 

Albums

Nick Malkin – Nothing Blues

The LA-based musician, NTS resident and label founder Nick Malkin crafts soft, stunning soundscapes that play out in the space between jazz, ambient and electronic music. An immersive, beautiful LP that transports you to another place. Press play; you will not be disappointed.

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Jeff Parker – Forfolks

‘Forfolks’ is Jeff Parker’s solo guitar album. It features his interpretations of Thelonious Monk’s ‘Ugly Beauty’ and the standard ‘My Ideal’, as well as six original compositions, including one from his time with Tortoise and four new loop-driven pieces that combine melodic improvisation and electronic textures. A deeply mediative listen with guitar lines from Parker that are jaw-droppingly majestic. One day, I hope to have the opportunity to witness Parker play these tracks live, but for now, I will be content to listen to this glorious album.

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Imajin – Imajin

Following his collaborative project with KerenDun, jazz pianist and composer Nitai Hershkovits has dropped a new solo project under Imajin. Unlike his previous output, which features more organic sounds (piano, clarinet, and percussion), it also utilises electronic elements (synths and drum programming). Imajin’s eleven tracks were crafted over the past two years, with Hershkovits recording and filming various sessions on social media, resulting in a unique workflow and sonic playfulness. It features a fantastic lineup of musicians, including Jamael Dean, Sharada Shashidhar, Yogev Glusman and Yonatan Albalak. A superb album with every track better than the last.

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Compilations

Scrapbook Mixtape – Voyage 02

Scrapbook Mixtape presents yet another sublime compilation featuring seven new tracks. Showcasing a varied wealth of fresh talent with contributions that include the return of Vol. 01’s Naima Adams, Marysia Osu, Amarnah Ufuoma Cleopatra, Sylvia Suli, And Is Phi, and Lorenz Okello. Excitedly Vol.02 welcomes Isobella Burnham, Deeby, Roella Oloro, and visual artist Wumzum. Highly recommended. 

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Various – A Heart In Splinters – More From The CAIFE Label, Quito, 1960-68

Honest Jon’s continues to explore Ecuador’s musica national with “A Heart In Splinters – More From The CAIFE Label, Quito, 1960-68”. The comp includes two stunning tracks by Orquesta Nacional and gems from Raul Emiliani, Lucho Munoz, Gladys Viera and Olga Gutierrez. Essential.

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Various – Longing for the Shadow: Ryūkōka Recordings, 1921-1939

This fascinating compilation by Death Is Not The End looks at the ryūkōka style before the post-WWII American occupation of Japan. It was a unique creativity period that blended Western classical, blues and jazz elements into traditional and classical Japanese music. I recommend everyone to listen to this intriguing album.

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Also, check out

Is It Really Goodbye? More Ryūkōka Recordings, 1929​-​​1938

Reissues

Catherine Howe – What A Beautiful Place

It was only released for a month in the summer of 1971 before Reflection Records shut down that year. ‘What A Beautiful Place’ is a beautiful concept LP interspersed with spoken-word pieces. Now Howe’s folk rarity is available on yellow vinyl from Numero Group. The record was produced and arranged by US jazz pianist Bobby Scott. I am so excited to have this masterpiece on vinyl finally! 

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EP’s

Khalab – The Great Oxidation EP

Electro-shaman Khalab delivers three dancefloor-ready tracks on his Hyperjazz Records label. Three thrilling instrumental tracks take the listener on a journey to rediscover the most primitive human ritual: dancing!

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Pigeon – Yagana

Sharp-edged blistering sounds from Pigeon. Across the four-track EP, the music effortlessly moves between Afro-disco, grunge, no wave, and jazz, with Nioke singing in different languages. It’s a powerful and emotional release that explores themes of lust, saudade, homesickness, and hope for peace. All in all, these guys make stunningly unclassifiable music that you just need to hear.

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Singles

Contours – The Programme/ Conga Quinto (Dub) 

Multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer Tom Burford, aka Contours, delivers a pair of top tier tracks blending samba and boogie with synths and drum machines that are a perfect fit for The Singles Club. Over two tracks, he incorporates acid basslines, cosmic pads, verb-laden percussion, and synth-driven Latin jazz. Essential!

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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