Hello good people; welcome to your new 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.
Noah – Noire
I will refrain from describing Noah’s album. Let me tell you how to listen to Noire. Make yourself comfortable, grab a bottle of your favourite drink and headphones and turn the lights down. Embrace the calm that Noah offers you by pressing play. The correct setting is all that matters when it comes to this album.
OHMA – Between All Things
OHMA consist of Mia Garcia and Hailey Niswanger (primarily guitar and woodwinds), respectively, but both play an array of instruments across the LP with occasional help from labelmates Benny Bock and Abe Rounds. As with other Colorfield releases, defining its genre is beside the point. The music of Between All Things comes filled with elements of electric bass, deep synths, clarinets, vocal choirs, and processed spoken word. Highly recommended for those with a liking for both playful New Age music and warming jazz fusion music at the same time.
Matthew Halsall – The Temple Within
The Temple Within is the latest chapter in Matthew Halsall’s ongoing musical voyage of discovery. To create something uniquely his own, Halsall draws upon the heritage of British jazz, the spiritual jazz of Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, and world music and electronica influences. It’s a continuation of the exciting new sound from Halsall that we first heard on Salute to The Sun in 2020, and it’s beautiful.
Rich Ruth – I Survived, It’s Over
Super mellow, with reflective elements of New Age, jazz vibes and psychedelic soundscapes are woven together with flutes, saxophones, and pedal steel, to make up ambient explorer Michael Ruth aka Rich Ruth’s new album for Third Man. I’ve often encountered a few of his songs but never took a deeper plunge. What took me so long? Throughout seven tracks, Ruth explores healing, confronting trauma, surrendering, and finding peace. ‘I Survived, It’s Over’, is a primarily tranquil, sometimes excitable and beautiful record encapsulating all these things. He has released three studio albums so far. I’m off to check out his entire discography!
Takuro Okada – Betsu No Jikan
Here’s some ambient spiritual jazz that deserves more attention than it seems to have been getting. On his third album Raum, Takuro Okada collaborates with Shun Ishiwaka, Carlos Nino, Sam Gendel, Jim O’Rourke, and even the legendary Haroumi Hosono to deliver meditative music with deep feeling that will make you want to listen to them again and again. This album combines ambient, free jazz, and avant-garde to create five mesmerising soundscapes. For those who love atmospheric instrumental music, this album is a must-have.
FKJ – Just Piano
This record is so good. When it dropped last year, I missed this fantastic stripped solo piano by virtuosic multi-instrumentalist and producer FKJ. Check out his recent second album, VI N C E N T, here.
The Vernon Spring – What’s Going On
Vernon Spring’s second album, What’s Going On, is a powerful homage to Marvin Gaye’s seminal album from 1971. An album of field recordings, samples, and spoken excerpts is woven around The Vernon Spring’s faint piano performances. It’s a beautiful album to keep for a lifetime.
Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad – Jazz Is Dead 011
Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad continue their ‘Jazz Is Dead’ series. On Jazz Is Dead 011, legends and rising stars in jazz are featured, including Lonnie Liston Smith, Tony Allen, Phil Ranelin, Wendell Harrison, Garrett Saracho, and Katalyst.
The Upsetters – Return Of The Super Ape (Green Sleeve Version)
The classic 1978 Lee Perry dub album ‘Return Of The Super Ape’ has been reissued by Music On Vinyl. Lee “Scratch” Perry’s insanely layered textures and technical wizardry are again on display across the album. The Upsetters provide musical backing.
Elijah Minnelli – Creamed Horn
There’s hardly any information (we know he has a monthly show on Soho Radio) on Elijah Minnelli, who just released his new EP via Accidental Meetings. But it doesn’t matter – the music is brilliant, and that’s the most important thing. This EP offers three inventive reggae excursions with a darker, moodier vibe than his earlier offerings. Ace!