In a world filled with an abundance of music, it can be challenging to find the time to fully immerse yourselves in the vast array of releases. However, we make it a priority to uncover hidden gems and expand your musical horizons despite life’s demands. As we do every Friday, we share a little roundup of releases you might have yet to hear. This week, we have eight fantastic releases to tell you about. So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into this week’s exciting selection.
Honour – Àlááfíà
Honour’s stunning debut Àlááfíà fuses jazz, blues, gospel, and African influences into a singular musical vision. Drawing from diverse traditions, the Nigerian-British artist crafts cosmic compositions that defy categorisation. Songs like the foreboding opener “Hosanna” showcase Honour’s gift for dramatic soundscapes. Throughout the album, Honour weaves inventive sonic tapestries, from the Sun Ra-inspired avant-jazz of “When Angels Speak of Love” to the epic 13-minute title track, a bittersweet ode to her late grandmother. With brave orchestral blasts, choral bursts, ear-splitting fuzz, hypnotic beats, and bold genre explorations, Àlááfíà announces Honour as a visionary talent. One who challenges preconceptions and transports listeners across time and space. This is an astonishing album that reveals new depths with every listen, establishing Honour as one to watch.
Kevin Richard Martin – Black
Kevin Richard Martin’s latest album ‘Black’ is a hauntingly beautiful tribute to the late Amy Winehouse. Though a departure from his previous work, Martin channels his grief over Winehouse’s untimely death into ten largely beatless, ambient tracks fusing together spectral doom jazz and hypnotic noir. Rather than a typical tribute album, ‘Black’ uses innovative soundscapes as catharsis, processing Martin’s emotions through resonant compositions. Standouts include the uncertain tones of opener “Loveless” and title track “Black,”. Elsewhere, “Cynthia’s Passing” and “Love You Much, Love Too Much” continue this emotional arc. At the same time “Camden Crawling” conjures Winehouse’s creative spirit through seductive sonic layers. The final track “Rest In Peace” mirrors Martin’s path to closure with dissonant drones, the album transcends typical tributes. Through raw emotion and sonic innovation, Martin has transformed overwhelming grief into a profoundly moving, experimental eulogy to Winehouse’s genius.
Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Five: In The Garden
Matana Roberts has finally dropped the long-awaited fifth chapter of their incredible ‘Coin Coin’ series after a gap of almost four years since the last instalment in 2019. It’s about time!‘’Coin Coin Chapter Five: In The Garden’ takes another deep dive into African-American identity and history. Roberts comes through again with a mindblowing musical journey that weaves together jazz, contemporary classical, and field recordings to create a unique sonic tapestry. One eagerly awaits where the ‘Coin Coin’ journey will take us next.
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – Afro Futuristic Dreams
Immerse yourself in a transcendental experience as the iconic jazz and world music ensemble, The Pyramids, led by the sax guru Idris Ackamoor, makes their much-anticipated return. Prepare to be spiritually enlightened through their highly musical cosmic brew of spiritual Afro-jazz, orchestral strings, funky grooves, vocal chants and choral elements. Get listening, and get hooked.
Onipa – Off The Grid
Onipa returns with their life-affirming and highly original world of sound. Led by Nubiyan Twist’s Tom Excell and K.O.G. & The Zongo Brigade’s Kweku Sackey, the quartet is completed by Wonky Logic (synth) and Finn Booth (drum). The outfit’s second album, ‘Off The Grid’, is a cool mix of afrobeat, jazz, rap, and hip-hop. It’s got some fantastic guest features from Dele Sosimi and Theon Cross, among others.
Len – At Mothers Feet
Len, is the project of producer, engineer and member of ‘The Cromagnon Band’ Lenny Walker. He enlists, among others, Biscuit from The Speakers Corner Quartet, Nathan ‘Flutebox’ Lee and Bert Page from The Cromagnon Band. At Mothers Feet explores jazz, breaks, trip-hop and folk fusion with a hip-hop sensibility. This record is a real charmer! It’ll have you nodding your head, tapping your feet, and even nourishing your brain.
Ana Frango Elétrico – Me Chama de Gato Que Eu Sou Sua
Ana Frango Elétrico’s eclectic new album Me Chama de Gato Que Eu Sou Sua showcases the Brazilian artist’s flair for infectious pop hooks and versatility across genres. Kicking off with the funky bass and disco guitar of ‘Electric Fish’, it immediately draws you in with smooth crooning and playful lyrics. ‘Dela’ shifts to breezy tropical vibes carried by mellow keys and subtle percussion, with Elétrico’s falsetto soaring over lush harmonies. ‘Nuvem Vermelha’ picks up the energy with driving beats and squiggly synths reminiscent of 80s dancefloors. The album turns unexpectedly into indie rock and jazz fusion while maintaining catchy melodies and grooves. Standouts like the dark, brooding ‘Boy of Stranger Things’ display a more serious side. But Ana Frango Elétrico returns to playful form on ‘Camelo Azul’ with its rapid-fire vocals and punchy horns. By the nonsense-lyric closing track ‘Dr. Sabe Tudo’, you’re fully immersed in Elétrico’s anything-goes musicality. This diverse album shows off Ana Frango Elétrico’s impressive creative range.
Johnny Lamas – Danza Cosmica
Being ahead of your time can be frustrating sometimes. Venezuelan musician Johnny Lamas released a fantastic hybrid jazz-funk, ambient and electronic album in 1993. Danza Cosmica was crammed full of musical experimentation, but he’s had to wait 30 years for everyone else to catch up and get it. But hey, the right moment has finally arrived with TrueClass Records re-issuing the album.