Welcome to our latest ‘Between The Cracks’. You can read a bit about each album and play it on the website via the Bandcamp player. As always, please support the artists by purchasing their music. We hope you enjoy reading and listening!
ELUCID – I Told Bessie
I don’t listen to a lot of new hip-hop these days, which is a shame because there is a lot of good stuff out there. I Told Bessie is among the best in contemporary hip-hop; across 13 tracks, ELUCID lays down a gorgeous and touching tribute to his grandmother. Poignant verses and experimental soundscapes are the order of the day. It’s a solid record that deserves a listen.
billy woods – Aethiopes
Here’s another reason I should be listening to more hip-hop in 2022. Aethiopes is billy woods’ first album since 2019’s double feature of Hiding Places and Terror Management. If you like your hip-hop dark, raw, brutal and honest, then Aethiopes is for you. Flow and variety are critical components of Preservation’s production. Among the performers are guest appearances from Boldy James, Breeze Brewin, Denmark Vessey, El-P, Elucid, Fatboi Sharif, Mike Ladd, and Quelle Chris. It’s a fantastic album full of craft, talent, and imagination.
Danger Mouse & Black Thought – Cheat Codes
‘Cheat Codes’ is the debut album by Danger Mouse and Black Thought. Danger Mouse AKA Brian Burton is long known for being one-half of both Gnarls Barkley and Broken Bells. Rapper Tariq Luqmaan Trotter of The Roots is Black Thought. Bass-heavy old-school hip-hop meets retro soulful vibes in this collaboration. A match made in heaven, Danger Mouse’s scintillating production sets a perfect tone for the potent lyricism of Black Thought.
Pan Amsterdam and Damu The Fudgemunk – EAT
Jazz and hip-hop unite in this rich and vivid collaboration between rapper trumpeter Pan Amsterdam and producer Damu The Fudgemunk. It’s an album that’ll stick in your head for days, thanks to Fudgeemunk’s infectious backdrop and Amsterdam’s clever and quick-witted verses. Give it a spin below.
Swim Ignorant Fire – Ancestral Motion
Yet another winner from Shimmering Moods Records. Vivid loops of African Juju witchcraft dance, chants from India, exotic percussion and hints of improv-free jazz converge on an SP202 on this trippy, cosmic adventure from Swim Ignorant Fire. Lovely stuff!
Szun Waves – Earth Patterns
Otherworldly, shadowy, widescreen electronic jazz from a super trio comprised of producer Luke Abbott, saxophonist Jack Wyllie (Portico Quartet) and drummer Laurence Pike(Triosk/Liars). Let Earth Patterns take you on a trip to the outer limits of the cosmic jazz universe. Out via the excellent Leaf Label.
Robohands – Violet
We’ve been fans of London-based artists Andy Baxter aka Robohands, for quite some time now, and we love sharing his music on the site. Having released his incredible ‘Shapes’ album early last year, he returns as classy as ever with a brand new record, ‘Violet’. Combining sophisticated hip-hop grooves with smooth jazz instrumentation and ambient textures, what’s most impressive is Baxter’s songwriting, which comes to life here beautifully, showing his progression as an artist. Excellent work here.
Joys Union Group – Boredom Euphoria
Texas-based Joys Union Group combines new age bliss with meditative jazz and “New Weird America”-esque psychedelia to find the perfect balance between organic and digital sounds. The collective features Future Museums, Sungod, Molly Birch and Uniform members, and their individual and collective talents shine brightly throughout the project. Highlights include the title track, ‘Shimmering Surface’, ‘Fragile Chrysalis’ and ‘Wiser’. It came out in January, but it would be a shame if it went unnoticed.
Archie James Cavanaugh – Black And White Raven
Numero Group has reissued Archie James Cavanaugh’s 1980 masterpiece. Across nine tracks, Cavanaugh mixes disco, gospel, soul and yacht rock with his Tlingit heritage. There’s something special about this record because of its uplifting and joyous feel.
Joe Armon-Jones and Mala – A Way Back
Early 2000s dubstep meets contemporary jazz on ‘A Way Back’. The five-track EP sees legendary DJ and dubstep pioneer Mala collaborating with keyboardist and producer Joe Armon-Jones, an essential figure in the London jazz scene. Released on the Jone’s Aquarii imprint, it’s a contemplative yet heavy journey over 21 minutes. Like CoN & KwAKE, these two gel perfectly. The artwork is dope, too; it reminds me of Big Audio Dynamite’s Tighten Up Volume. 88.