Between The Cracks: Essential Releases From Across The Musical Landscape

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!

Albums

Neil Cowley – Battery Life

Sometimes the memories we have are happy and full of joy. Other times, they can bring back painful events or difficult times. But no matter what, memories allow us to reflect and grow. Renowned jazz pianist and composer Neil Cowley’s latest release ‘Battery Life’, finds inspiration in memories. The album features a variety of musical styles, from electronic, ambient and neo-classical music. Neil’s playing is crisp and engaging, the music infused with vitality and sentiment. This well-crafted album rewards multiple listenings, allowing the listener to learn about each song’s hidden depth.

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Richard Youngs – Modern Sorrow

Richard Youngs is an artist who takes risks when creating music, blending different genres and influences to create something completely different. Often his music can be challenging for some listeners, but it can also be enriching for those who appreciate the risks taken by Youngs. His latest endeavour comprises two side-long pieces; you’ll hear piano samples, synthetic bass notes, and organ swells, with shades of contemporary R&B on one track. In contrast, there is a slow drum machine beat, bass-heavy chords, and pitch-corrected voice on the flip side. Modern Sorrow is genuinely one-of-a-kind, distinctive, and creatively inspiring.

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Test Card – Channels

Vancouver-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Lee Nicholson, aka Test Card, reaches his 5th album with ‘Channels’. It is his third release on his Home Service Recordings imprint. ‘Channels’ is a sonic exploration of Nicholson’s fascination with mid to late 90’s experimental, lo-fi, electronic and post-rock music. Throughout ‘Channels,’ Test Card crafts a unique blend of sounds, combining elements of ambient textures, glitchy electronica, and melodic post-rock guitar lines. Despite its experimental nature, ‘Channels’ manages to strike a balance between complexity and accessibility, making it an engaging listen for TC fans and newcomers alike. 

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Szymon Burnos – Plastic Music For Deep Thinkers

Set to a soundtrack of electronic music inspired by a cross-section of Warp Records releases, enriched with intelligently used jazz, hip-hop, and experimental elements. ‘Plastic Music For Deep Thinkers’ by Szymon Burnos is an album exploring the chaos caused by the conflicting forces of technology and nature and speaks to the human need for connection and understanding in a rapidly changing world. It reflects our collective experience of the current moment and is a call to action to strive for a better tomorrow. The music is often bonkers, but we love it. Take a listen and make up your own mind.

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Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – Spirit Gatherer: Tribute to Don Cherry

Tribute albums can sometimes fall short of expectations, but they are exceptional when crafted by the renowned percussionist Kahil El Zabar. In his newest album, he guides his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble through tracks, both covers and original recordings, that pay tribute to the influential Don Cherry. The album features a range of sounds, blending African instrumentation and musical traditions with spiritual jazz, and it also includes the voice of Dwight Trible and Don Cherry’s eldest son, the late David Ornette Cherry. Kahil enjoys experimenting with music like the great Don Cherry, known for his unconventional playing style and collaboration with musicians worldwide. El’Zabar’s album features diverse musicians and instruments, including saxophone, trumpet, melodica, douss’n gouni, and kalimba. Each track on the album showcases the unique talents of the performers and pays tribute to Cherry’s innovative spirit. An essential release for any fan of the jazz avant-garde. Out on the every excellent Spiritmuse. 

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Imaginary Softwoods – The Notional Pastures Of Imaginary Softwoods

Meditative healing frequencies abound on this new album from John Elliott, aka Imaginary Softwoods. If you’re looking for a way to relax and destress, consider putting this album into your daily routine. Whether you need a quick pick-me-up or an extended session of deep relaxation, the calming sounds of this project can help you unwind and find peace in a chaotic world. Press play and Imaginary Softwoods will guide you through a gentle journey, with each song taking you to a different place.

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The Declining Winter – Really Early, Really Late

Fresh from unveiling a new song ‘Really Early,Really Late’ a little while ago, The Declining Winter shared their latest album of the same name. From the moment frontman Richard Adams’s unique guitar tones carried by his calming vocals burst into life, you know you’re in for a treat. What I like most about The Declining Winter’s tracks is that they’re all inventive and enticing. Your ears will be stuck to this album for a very long time.

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Polypores – Praedormitium 

Here’s some deep-listening music for an intensely enveloping sonic journey. Back in the saddle for Castles in Space, Praedormitium is the third part of a loose trilogy of Polypores albums. It’s a journey through hypnagogic states, a sonic exploration of the boundaries between reality and dream. Each track is like a page from the mind’s diary, evoking vivid imagery and feelings. It’s a unique experience that will stay long after the music ends. Thanks to James Holden for the tip!

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CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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