KOKOROKO has been leading the charge in London’s jazz community with its nod towards West African roots that informs their approach to jazz and improvisation. This self titled EP from the seven-piece band is a preview of an upcoming full length offering and demonstrates their power in creating new languages through the medium of Afrobeat, in all its down tempo magnificence. Highly recommended listening.
International Women’s Day OtC by On The Corner Records
This release coincided with International Women’s Day, with a homage to, and re-imagination of Taarab Jazz from the island archipelago of Zanzibar. Dating back to the year 1890, this form of music was championed by the revolutionary Siti Binti Saad, who brought the formal form of the music from the Omani Sultanate to the street, and in turn merging Arabic musical scales with Swahili culture in East Africa. Producer Sam Jones researched the music from 90 years ago alongside On The Corner Records in Zanzibar in 2018, and the result is this 2 bonus track release featuring Tenesha The Wordsmith, Siti Muharam and Tamar Collocutor, with an album of work dropping before this summer.
With Ruby Rushton’s upcoming fourth studio album Ironside dropping in April on the label 22a, the Tenderlonious led jazz quartet releases the single Eleven Grapes, a song first written in 2013. The interplay between the band leader’s flute and keys by Aidan Shepherd is reminiscent of the legendary Herbie Hancock. The other side to this release One Mo’ Dram is also early work from Tenderlonious, with its West African rhythm and rich sounding horns sitting perfectly on a groove, that presents to you great jazz influenced from Hip Hop and UK underground culture.
Straight out of Peckham in South East London, Pinty is a unique MC that flows on his own beats with a deep, laid back ease that the label Rhythm Section is very well known for. The opening track Tropical Bleu is a jazzy broken beat number, while tracks like Ceasors goes almost subterranean with its electronic tones and reverb drenched opening spoken word, which then drops into a pacey verse by the man himself. With the more up tempo UK Garage mix in Nightcrawler to the filtered, low slung four-to-the-floor moodiness of City Limits, this music could be the soundtrack of any city’s urban intricacies. Highly recommended listening.
This original work by Jura Soundsystem is an extended EP that explores a variety of avenues from proto-House, Balaeric and classic eighties boogie with great fluency. The closing track The Lantern Story is an ambient, spaced out master piece with nature sounds, flute and horns samples to form layers of sound design. Highly recommended listening.
Giovanni Damico has been writing funky boogie tracks meant for dancing for a minute now and this 4-track release is like no other. The lead track is super groovy with cosmic styled synthesizers made for the stereo of any intergalactic spaceship. Italians In A Line is an infectious disco number worthy of a conga line on roller skates. Definitely boogie worthy.
Real rap, real beats and classic flows. This refreshing rap release is the third output of the Infinity Stone series of Hip Hop EPs inspired by the comic books. This includes features by rappers from left of center of rap, such as Hieroglyphics, Masta Ace and Planet Asia appearing alongside Chong Wizard, who sees over the production of the whole release with a hosts of underrated beat makers contributing to the sonics. The back cover art for the physical vinyl copy was done by Singapore’s ClogTwo. Hip Hop is not dead, neither did it go away, it just takes a bit of navigating through the noise to find it.
Sully’s single release UH-02 on Uncertain Hour is an exploration of deep jungle music that takes you back to the days of Moving Shadow and LTJ Bukem in the mid-nineties. Porcelain is a futurist’s sci-fi dream complete with rapid fire, flange effected break beats and spaced out vacuum like synths. Run on the other side deploys the same sounds, but reaches deeper into the recesses of your mind, with a more haunting theme.
Alix Perez’s 1985 Music label has been a breeding ground for pushing the Drum & Bass genre into half time measures and minimal soundscapes, while still keeping the tradition of big bass lines and tough beats. The opening track Indigo by Lewis James and Fixate hits the nail on the head along with Trouble by Halogenix, which is a track with a little less menace and a little more swagger with eighties styled synths and chugging, off kilter beats. If traditional two-step Drum & Bass is needed to push up the tempo of your day, cuts like IWY by SubMarine, and Over You and Good To Me by Alix Perez featuring producers Adeus and Monty joining the label head honcho in the studio – will sort you out. A great compilation album for the vastness of the D&B genre.
Liquid style D&B don Lenzman returns to the Metalheadz label with the Bobby LP. Pictures Of You featuring DRS is the only track from Bandcamp available for stream as of now but from the look of the track list, features from Children Of Zeus, Artificial Intelligence and LSB in this full length body of work from the much revered producer is one you must not miss out on as cross over sounds into Hip Hop, Jazz and soul is promised.
With the title track of this EP dropping on International Women’s Day, Fracture brings his classic throwback jungle-hardcore sounds woven with modern production aesthetic for a euphoric dance number with a deep, growling and mean sub bass. The full EP drops in April and we are looking forward to it. Big up the ladies!