Get ready to enhance your Friday with our lovingly curated Between The Cracks feature. We’ve sifted through countless releases to bring you an array of crucial albums. This week, we guide you through albums from Komo Saxo, Berke Can Özcan, Anagrams, sneaky jesus, Claire Deak, and a killer Ibrahim Hesnawi compilation. We’ll dive right into this week’s roundup without further ado!
Komo Saxo – Post Komo
Petter Eldh’s latest release, Post Koma, takes the Swedish bassist and producer’s ever-evolving jazz vision to captivating new sonic landscapes. Seamlessly blending live instrumentation and sampling across 13 engrossing tracks, Eldh and collaborators like drummer Christian Lillinger and saxophonists Jonas Kull mar and Mikko Innanen craft a forward-thinking jazz album that subverts expectations. From the sparse opener ‘Koma’ to the off-kilter ‘Poly Amok’, Post Koma is full of surprises and subtle layers that reveal themselves on repeat listens. Eldh uses jazz as a jumping-off point rather than a destination, pushing boundaries with labyrinthine compositions and unexpected left turns. While the album feels cohesive as a full listen, each track is a fascinating vignette. With contributions from talented musicians and the unorthodox vocal style of Sofia Jernberg integrated into Eldh’s bigger picture, Post Koma is an adventurous exploration of the many possible shapes of jazz today and tomorrow. If you’re looking for a rewarding album that insists on morphing and expanding the jazz idiom – try this one.
Berke Can Özcan – Twin Rocks
Özcan takes listeners on an imaginative journey along Turkey’s Lycian Way with “Twin Rocks,” crafting an ambient, jazz and electronic fusion from homemade and conventional instruments. Trumpeter Arve Henriksen’s mournful horn and Özcan’s chiming vibes establish a melancholy mood on the opener “Buried Palms Garden.” “Snake Behind Valley” picks up the tempo as Henriksen’s trumpet snakes through a landscape of percussion acoustic guitar and field recordings while Mahmut Albulak sings of the winding trail ahead. On the inventive “The Way Back Hill,” Özcan coaxes a rich array of tones from household objects like bottles and straws. “Hidden Village” pairs saxophonist Parzen-Johnson’s baritone sublimely with Özcan’s steel drums, conjuring a secret hamlet. The haunting finale, “Red Pine Bridge”, blends Özcan moody tones and smoky sax as the trail ends abruptly. As the music dissipates, listeners are left marvelling at the journey. With its multilayered textures and innovative sounds, “Twin Rocks” is an immersive escape into Özcan’s enchanting musical vision. It rewards repeated listening as new details emerge, making this a must-album for the adventurous listener.
Anagrams – Blue Voices
With Blue Voices, experimental duo Anagrams chart an entrancing sonic journey through inventive jazz and electronica. Jeff Crompton’s virtuosic woodwinds dance around JD Walsh’s electronic soundscapes, with both players crafting vivid improvisations. Subtle electronics enhance the organic instrumentation. Songs ebb and flow gracefully between energetic and ethereal. “Birds on Clifton” conjures morning mist with gentle brushwork. The title track evokes the summertime with warm sax lines and breezy guitar work. The pace picks up “Ex Uno Plures”, delivering infectious grooves. Moments of serenity emerge on the crystalline piano piece “Hidden Hearts” and closer “What Is Left Is Music.” More abstract textures appear on the shape-shifting “Another Cloud.” While genre-defying, jazz remains the core. Anagrams know when to switch gears, with moods shifting fluidly. Each track occupies its own headspace while contributing to a holistic journey. For innovative instrumental music, Blue Voices delivers. Anagrams have created an of-the-moment and timeless recording.
sneaky jeues – Chaching Taphed
With their genre-bending new album “Chaching Taphed,” sneaky jesus takes listeners on an unpredictable sonic adventure that hooks you right from the darkly hypnotic opening track. Using jazz as the starting point, the quartet showcase their audaciousness to take the road less travelled. From the ever-changing flow of “Krztusiec” to the breakbeat vibe of “Chiński Sprzedawca Smażonych Kasztanów,” the quartet excites with daring artistic choices. Flexing their musical muscles on the gritty jam “W Klatce z Bykiem,” then smoothing things out with the enchanting flute lines of Mariya Mavko on “Piękno Niemożliwe,” the band showcase both their heavier and softer sides. The punky closing track “Pięciu Pszczelarzy” astonishes with its hard-hitting pulse and the dynamic interplay between the quartet. Operating at the cutting edge of modern jazz music, sneaky jesus deserves immense credit for crafting a thrillingly diverse album that keeps you guessing.
Claire Deak – Sotto Voce
Claire Deak’s debut solo offering, “Sotto Voce”, is an enchanting exploration of subtle soundscapes. True to its title, the album constructs hushed compositions from delicate textures, with Deak expertly weaving together evocative vocals, dreamlike piano and gossamer strings. Despite its tranquillity, the album remains richly layered and immersively textured, blending classical, electronic and avant-garde influences into tracks of astonishing depth and complexity. Deak sculpts sound like a painter who layers brushstrokes, subtly interplaying dissonance and harmony. Moments of silence and near-inaudible notes imbue the album with an otherworldly, meditative flow. Tracks like “Liberated Sighs” and “A Million Clocked Ghosts” showcase Deak’s harp mastery. “In Defiance of Time” has a lovely neoclassical tone. With each listen, new dimensions reveal themselves in this aural labyrinth. The hypnotic push-and-pull of “Quarrel of the Senses” pits harp against shadowy vocals and discordant textures. The final track, “Prefigured (Ritornello)”, offers a crystalline resolution. Transcending genre, “Sotto Voce”, is an immersive sonic environment that invites deep listening and reminds us of the transportive power of stillness. It’s an album not to be missed for its fearless innovation and ethereal beauty.
Ibrahim Hesnawi – The Father Of Libyan Reggae
Since the 80s, Ibrahim Hesnawi has spread sweet reggae vibes all over Libya. He’s even earned himself the title of “The Father of Libyan Reggae”. His unique style blends roots, dub, and dancehall with an Arabic twist, creating a musical journey from Tripoli to Kingston. Habibi Funk’s compilation, The Father Of Lybian Reggae, does a fine job of introducing the broader world to the music of Hesnawi some 40 years after its creation.