Welcome to your new Between The Cracks featuring ten releases from across the musical landscape. 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! If you enjoy the music we have chosen this week, please click on the links below and support the artists.
Nicole Cassandra Smit – Third In Line
The music of Nicole Cassandra Smit crosses over between leftfield R’n’B and soulful, orchestral experimental pop. Third In Line, her first full-length album, reflects her role among three generations of women in her family. Raw and dramatic songwriting and infectiously inventive music make this one a must-listen from start to end. Those looking for softer tones should start with Dragonheart or Sundown. If you are looking for heaviness, try the opening track or Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Whatever you need, you’ll find on this genuinely captivating album. Third In Line should break Smit out into a much wider audience. Carving out her own stylistic lane, Smit makes the music she wants without compromising, and we love it!
Nduduzo Makhathini – In The Spirit Of Ntu
A stunning album inspired by Ntu, an ancient African philosophy centred on collectiveness by the South African pianist and composer Nduduzo Makhathini, released on Blue Note Africa, a beautiful epic record! After ten albums, Makhatthini remains in top form, and In The Spirit Of Ntu is highly recommended.
Mariano Gallardo Pahlen – Los Sueños de los Otros
Every time I listen to Mariano Gallardo Pahlen’s debut solo album, it gets better and better. The details are endless. The rhythms, textures, and melodies are so varied. Soft, orchestral pop music with many nuances to enjoy in just over 50 minutes. Los Sueños de los Otros was initially released digitally in 2020 and is now on vinyl via Little Butterfly Records for the first time.
Bruno Berle – No Reino Dos Afetos
Far Out Recordings presents blissful Brazilian R&B, ambient, and indie-pop from Maceinese composer, poet, and multi-instrumentalist Bruno Berle. In my opinion, Brazilian music is best when it is like this traditional but also original. No Reino Dos Afetos is sure to appear on many “album of the year” lists.
Bastien Keb – Organ Recital
Whenever Bastien Keb releases a new album, we’re always excited to hear it. Organ Recital, his fourth album, carry’s on in a similar vein to his earlier offerings, where psychedelic soul, jazz, experimental hip hop and soul music come layered with ambient textures and his life-weary tones. While Keb dabbles in many sounds, his music is usually minimal, allowing room for emotion to shine through. Top stuff!
Thor Harris- Doom Dub ll
Armed with his Kaossillator, Thor Harris writes a drum machine pattern and slows it down to create futuristic dub riddims and mysterious atmospherics. King Tubby and Lee Scratch Perry, two pioneering dub legends, would surely approve. Slip the headphones on and let the music of Thor Harris do its thing.
Salamanda – ashbalkum
Uman Therma (also known as Sala) and Yetsuby (Manda) release their third Salamanda album on Human Pitch. Ashbalkum, named after the Korean phrase meaning you’ve been dreaming something all along, was inspired by the pandemic and is a complete expression of the duo’s now perfectly honed leftfield ambient experiments. A great way to sum up this review is to say: Highly recommended
Em Spel – The Carillon Towers
Em Spel recently released his debut album, The Carillon Towers. As a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Emma Hospelhorn showcases her exceptional talents on this charming, beguiling, and thoughtful album. It is bolstered by contributions from Chicago’s thriving experimental and classical music scene, including the likes of V.V. Katinka Kleijn, Eric Ridder, and Matt Oliphant, all of whom help bring these lushly orchestrated songs to life. Lovely stuff.
V/A – Adrian Sherwood Presents: Dub No Frontiers
Adrian Sherwood has released a new compilation, Adrian Sherwood Presents: Dub No Frontiers, highlighting female dub artists. A collection of female artists, including Likkle Mai, Rita Morar, and Temi Oyedele, added their vocals to the album’s ten tracks, all Sherwood produced.
Insólito Universo – Jota (Awkward Corners Remix)
We’re happy to welcome back experimental folk group Insólito UniVerso, and even more delighted they’ve teamed up with Chris Menist, aka Awkward Corners. The haunting ‘Jota’ track is remixed by Menist into the realm of bubbling synths and rippling percussion he captivated us with on his debut album. Released on the consistently brilliant Olindo Records.