Between The Cracks: Essential Releases From Across The Musical Landscape



Hello good people, welcome to your latest Between The Cracks selection. As always 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.


Neneh Cherry – The Versions

‘The Versions’ sees contemporary female musicians pay tribute to Neneh Cherry through cover versions. Some of her critical tracks, such as Buffalo Stance, Manchild, and Buddy X, have been reimagined by artists such as ANOHNI, Sudan Archives, Sia, Jamila Woods, and Greentea Peng.



The Smile – A Light For Attracting Attention

The Smile, a collaboration between Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood along with Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, has just released their highly anticipated debut album. The album, produced by Nigel Godrich, is a beautiful mix of post-punk, prog, Afrobeat, jazz, and electronica, plus string accompaniment from the London Contemporary Orchestra and a complete brass section featuring contemporary UK jazz musicians such as Byron Wallen, Theon and Nathaniel Cross, Chelsea Carmichael, Robert Stillman, and Jason Yarde. It’s just as good as you imagined.


Nightports w/ Tom Herbert

Nightports w/ Tom Herbert is the third in a series of collaborative albums, following Nightports with Matthew Bourne in 2018 and Nightports with Betamax in 2020. It sees musician-producers Adam Martin and Mark Slater team up with Tom Herbert, who made his name as the bass player in Mercury Music Prize-nominated bands Polar Bear and The Invisible. Nightports and Tom Herbert demonstrate the versatility of the double bass. Herbert’s articulate melodic lines are one of the most compelling elements on the album because of the emotional resonance they evoke. 


Vega Trails – Tremors in the Static

Vega Trails is the collaboration of Portico Quartet bassist Milo Fitzpatrick and Mammal Hands’ saxophonist Jordan Smart. Bass and melody inspired the two musicians to combine their talents. Throughout ‘Tremors In The Static,’ each instrument is allowed to convey a range of emotions in the rawest form.


Ebi Soda – Honk If You’re Sad

Brighton’s Ebi Soda freewheeled their way through a ten-hour jam in a marathon session. Honk If You’re Sad results from the best bits culled from the session. The eleven new tracks on this album straddle the lines between jazz-funk, hip hop, electronic music and spiritual jazz. Ebi Soda continues to push the envelope and take them to new heights.


Melchior Sultana – Self Reflection 

The multi-instrumentalist and producer Melchior Sultana is back with another impressive album of largely laidback tunes that flirt between ambient house, deep house, jazz house, and chill out treats. The talented artist is ready to take off with a set of new songs that display his diverse talents and a variety of influences. It’s mostly a sofa listen, but a few tracks will make you want to dance!


HAAi – Baby, We’re Ascending

HAAi has dropped her debut album, ‘Baby, We’re Ascending’. Across the album’s 13 tracks, HAAI shifts from hardcore, echoey beats to sweeping, colourful synth lines and bright, warped vocal samples. Offering a wide selection of styles, you will find everything from techno to house to drum n bass to electro-pop. It’s an exciting collection of innovative dance music featuring Jon Hopkins and Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, and spoken word poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal.


El Khat – Albat Alawi Op.99

El Khat’s ‘Albat Alawi Op.99’ is a deep dive into group leader Eyal el Wahab’s Yemenite roots and their inspired re-imaginings. Across the album, you’ll hear a careening orchestra of percussion, horns, strings, electricity and el Wahab’s DIY instruments. Mesmerising retro-futurist sounds. 


Rosa Brunello – Sounds Like Freedom

Yet again, Rosa Brunello proved herself to be one of the most innovative bassist/composers around with the release of Sounds Like Freedom. With trumpeter Yazz Ahmed, experimental musician Maurice Louca, and drummer Marco Frattini, this utterly improvised record features massively hypnotic bass lines, masterful trumpet notes, and captivating drumming amidst atmospheric soundscapes. The album’s charm lies in the phenomenal cast of musicians who had never met or performed together before the recording, creating such a cohesive result. Essential.


Flora Purim – If You Will

A celebration of Flora Purim’s music and life, her new album explores both original compositions and updates her favourite personal songs. For over 50 years, Purim has been a critical figure in Brazilian jazz fusion. The record features her closest circle of musicians, including husband, drummer and percussionist Airto Moreira, guitarist José Neto, her daughter Diana on vocals and percussionist Celso Alberti. 


CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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