Welcome to the last Between The Cracks of 2022. As always, we select 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 any of the releases, please click on the links below and support the artists by buying their music.
KARU – An Imaginary Journey
Here is something different. Double bass player Alberto Brutti is back with his contemporary jazz project, KARU. Although KARU is not your average jazz player, there is plenty of jazz spirit in his exhilarating, percussion-heavy music. The album exudes tribal energy as ancestral rhythms clash with vibrating bass passages, sparkling sax, and evocative percussion. ‘An Imaginary Journey’ will appeal to adventurous listeners with a heady blend of jazz, beats, electronics, and world music.
BRAHJA – Watermelancholia
Watermelancholia is the latest offering from Devin Brahja Waldman and his B R A H J A collective. This brand-new album continues his penchant for hypnotic spiritual jazz delivered in a unique and experimental style. There’s a clear commitment to creating music without boundaries and consistently pushing the limits of improvisation and sound across the five compositions. Could it be as good as the previous album? It’s just as enjoyable and, at times, even better. I won’t waste too much time writing about this; you can start the listening adventure now.
Mansur Brown – NAQI Vol 2
To our great pleasure, Mansur Brown is spoiling us with a new project, NAQI Vol 2, a vinyl release which comprises both NAQI EPs. Take a stroll through the varied nimble guitar work, head-nodding beats, and a plethora of fusion sounds. Head out for a ride, stick this on and get lost in Brown’s heavenly soundscapes.
Heavy Color – Soft Light
These days, we live in a tense and stressful time. What is the most effective remedy to soothe the soul? Put on your headphones, take a deep breath, and close your eyes while you listen to the brilliant new album, Soft Light by Heavy Color.
kIRk – K.
Some intriguing artwork by Michał Maliński tempts one to discover the new album from inventive duo Olgierd Dokalski (trumpet) and Paweł Bartnik (electronics), who links up with Stanisław Matys playing duduk. Lovely, soft and unwinding electronic/ambient collection with occasional subtle hints of forcefulness thrown in for good measure.
Yara Asmar – Home Recordings 2018 – 2021
The debut offering from 25-year-old multi-instrumentalist, video artist and puppeteer Yara Asmar, is an absolute revelation. The album – entirely created by Asmar at home – concentrates on atmospheric pieces that encompass subtle instrumentation and plenty of experimentation with the sounds of the piano, her grandmother’s old accordion, the metallophone, synth, and various deconstructed and disassembled toy pianos and music boxes all flowing through her recordings. No skipping; this is one of those albums you must listen to from beginning to end.
Karolina – All Rivers
‘All Rivers’ is the first full-length solo English-speaking release for renowned songwriter and vocalist Karolina (pronounced Carol-een-a). Curating a thoughtful blend of jazz, afrobeat and soul, ‘All Rivers’, is a journey through the space between daydream, fantasy and reality and the emotions that dictate us. The LP features a hugely talented selection of musicians, vocalists and producers, including Avishai Cohen, Rejoicer, Jenny Penkin, Amir Bresler, Nitai Hershkovits and Eyal Talmudi.
Noah Fürbringer and Friends – Moonwalker
Titled the ‘shooting star of the German drummer scene – the young wild one’ by German media, Noah Fürbringer delivers his debut album ‘Moonwalker’ which shows just how versatile and exciting the young drummer is who delights crowds at jazz clubs across Europe at the same time as drumming for German rap superstar Casper.
VA – Women Invented Noise Vol II
North Yorkshire-based label Industrial Coast dedicated its first compilation to the Ukrainian refugee crisis. They return with a second compilation; Women Invented Noise Vol II. A stellar collection from start to finish, and all proceeds donated to another worthy cause (Centre for Human Rights in Iran) – you can’t go wrong.
Santaka – No Rivers Here
In a gleeful disregard for musical norms, Manfredas and Marijus invite you into their delicious soundworld with No Rivers Here. The duo build a distinctive soundworld around drum machines, synths and drums/percussion. As a result, the project stands out for its rawness, spaciousness, thought-provoking nature, playfulness, and quirkiness, out on the ever-interesting Byrd Out label.