Thee Gobbs - It's TimeAtjazz Record Company
South Africa continues to build on it's reputation as a haven for spiritual House music and culture. Thee Gobbs is another stellar DJ to emerge from the homeland to keep on your radar. "It's Time", his debut on Atjazz showcases his deft touch as a producer with a keen sense of musicianship. He seemlessly fuses the spirtual melodies with the emotive harmonies deep infectious grooves. This double cd features Gobbs original compositions while disc B features some tasty remixes from some of the most notable DJ/Producers today. "The Love" is a joyous dance track featuring Johannesburg based vocalist Tsholo. "Thin Ice" is another pulsating tune featuring vocalist RJ Reynolds. "Like A Drum", the track that rose Gobbs name to a broader audience features a number of scorching remixes but among my favorites is the deep house remix from Fish Go Deep. "Time To Rise" receives a soulful house remix from priemere DJ/Producer Sean McCabe. Gobbs had already knocked on the door with his two previous singles. Now with "It's Time" he's blowing it wide open.
Reg Dancy, 10/17
Thief - SunchildSonar Kollektiv
Most of us should have seen this coming: Sonar Kollektiv have released three volumes of the ace Secret Love compilations, so it makes sense that Sascha Gottschalk and Axel Reinemer aka Extended Spirit and two members of the Jazzanova collective produce a folk style album. Even though I say folk, the productions are not a million miles away from last year's brilliant Beauty Room album, which was also influenced by Steely Dan, rather than the fashionable folk doing the rounds at the moment. As with all Jazzanova productions, they are polished, with beautiful arrangements and lyrics. It's not all about Gottschalk and Reinemer because Thief's voice is something to savour and sit back and enjoy over and over again. Beautiful.
Simon Harrison, 02/07
Think of One - Camping ShaabiCrammed Discs
At a time when the linguistic divide in Belgium between the French-speaking Waloons and the Flemish-speaking populations has intensified, it is refreshing to know that a musical antidote exists which takes on board both traditions and is open to myriad external musical influences throughout the globe. They are the Antwerp based collective Think of One and this highly eclectic fusion of musical styles is quite simply a breath of fresh air on the musical landscape. Whereas previous albums have focused on Brazilian music and even that of the Arctic, this latest project is firmly rooted in the shaabi music of Morocco with diverse western influences thrown in to great effect. The opener, 'J'etais jetee' is an intriguing fusion of traditional shaabi with dance rhythms and this is typical of the album as a whole which even incorporates Jamican dub. Indeed the sheer eclecticism is exemplified further on 'Gnawa power' with a Led Zepplin style guitar suiprimposed over gnawa rhythms and chants. In contrast, 'Wereld ni' is a hypnotic piece with vocals in Flemish. The exotically designed gatefold sleeve truly reflects the music within. A brief DVD short sheds light on the raison d'etre of this new project. With a host of guest musicians, this must surely be one of the year's most original sounding world roots albums.
Tim Stenhouse, 05/08
Third Coast Kings -Record Kicks
Since coming onto the scene in 2010 with the single “Give Me Your Love”, the Third Coast Kings have been keeping it hot with their brand of deep funk and raw grooves. On their full length debut, the Michigan based band deliver twelve selections of high octane grooves that will jumpstart any party. Among the prime cuts are “Cop It Proper”, an instrumental burner ripe with funky horns. “Tonic Stride” displays funky guitar licks and the soaring voice of Michelle Camilleri. “Roughneck” will grab you right from the start with wicked wah wah guitar playing courtesy of band member Andy Filisko. It all adds up to another heavyweight band from the Record Kicks roster that hits you hard with the funk and never lets up and that’s just the way we like it.
Reg Dancy, 03/12
Third Coast Kings - West Grand BoulevardRecord Kicks
The funk and soul band from Ann Arbor Michigan made quite an impression with their 2012 debut. Their sophomore release "West Grand Boulevard" is firmly entrenched in the early Detroit raw soul sound and picks up where their debut left off. This band knows how to lay down a tight groove as evidenced by "Moving In The Night" and "Lead Foot". Vocalist Michelle Belle heats things up on "Just Move" while Sean Ike croons over the deep funk "Birds And Bees". Producer Nate Goldentone knows a thing or two about bringing out the best in a band having worked with The Liberators and Dojo Cuts. If you like your funk uncut and you need to kickstart a party then you need this on your playlist.
Reg Dancy, 07/14
Thomas Mapfumo - Choice ChimurengaSheer Sound
A best of from 1998 to 2003 on Anonym Records, The Lion Of Zimbabwe developed his Chimurenga Music (music of struggle) style to voice his concerns over political and social issues in Zimbabwe. At the core of the music is the spiritual sound of the mbira but thereâs some jit jive and wider influences contributing too to his powerful vocal style and delivery. The CD starts with a track from his latest release 'Toi Toi'. taking us back it time to 'Chimurenga '98'. Good collection.
Graham Radley, 03/07
Thundercat - DrunkBrainfeeder
"Drunk", the third full length release from LA bassist Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat is a genre bending pot of eccentric jazz infused with funk and pop rhythms. The 23 track release is a journey of contrasting moods, from light hearted humor to dark subject matters. In order to express these emotions he's invited a number of his friends from the burgeoning LA scene to take these compositions to another level. On "Uh Uh" he teams up with mufti-instrumentalist Zack Sekoff and unleashes sparkling bass riffs. "Lava Lamp" is a dreamy melodic down-tempo tune featuring red hot producer Sounwave. "Friend zone" is a upbeat number laced with trippy synths that touches on the awkward position of relationships. Flying Lotus jumps on board for several tracks, most notably "Show You The Way" and "Them Changes", the former featuring icons Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. Thundercat's virtuoso bass wizardry combined with his soft falsetto and zany lyrics are an adventure to behold, not to mention an fascinating listen.
Reg Dancy, 05/17
Time Grove - Time Grove RootsWah Wah 45s
Time Grove Roots is the brainchild of Pianist Nitai Hershkovits and beatmaker/producer Rejoicer. Joined by an array of equally talented musicians, they've created an amalgation of atmospheric soundscapes wrapped in jazz, funk, and other musical styles. Among the highlights are "The Navigator", where drummer Sol Monk lays down a studdering hypnotic beat for vocalist Shuzin. Guest vocalist Georgia Anne Muldrow sounds right at home on the haunting piano driven "Sattelite Dish". "The Chase After Tomorrow" is a down-tempo tune filled with frenzied beats by Bemet aka Rejoicer and Hod Moshonov plus vocalist KerenDun. "My Turn" is a dreamy composition from Hershkovits filled with adventurous soloing from dynamic guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. This is an engaging release that's filled with pleasant surprises and comes together beautifully. Definitely worth checking out.
Reg Dancy, 08/18
Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen - Timo Lassy & Teppo MäkynenWe Jazz Records
Tenor saxophonist Timo Lassy and drummer Teppo "Teddy Rok" Makynen have collaborated for years on the Finnish Jazz scene but this is their first lp as a duo. Makynen demostrates not only is he a wonderful drummer but a top notch composer as well. Makynen's adventurous compositions provide a challenge for Lassy to stretch out and he delivers. "Liberty pt1 & 2" opens with Lassy delivering fiery free flowing solos. Makynen is equally up to the task with explosive cymbal work as well. On "Telemagenta" Makynen lays out a spirited groove with changing patterns while Lassy's restrained yet powerful phrasings paint vibrant colors. "Dark Cyan" is a highlight among many that displays Makynen's affection for electronic music and the boundless directions he can take his music. Makynen's explosive polyrhythms combined with Lassy's spiritual playing make for an extraordinary record. Thirteen tracks with each centering around three minutes and all of them packing a punch. Yet another sterling release from the brilliant We Jazz record label. As far as duos go they don't get much better than this. Let's hope an encore arrives soon.
Reg Dancy, 07/19
Tinariwen - Aman ImanIndependiente
The title means water is life and when you're desert nomads then the significance is all the greater. Third album, with Justin Adams on production duties again and it's a don't mess with what doesn't need fixing philosophy, allowing the music to roll along, drawing you in, evoking the spirit of the desert and using the blues to provide the shading to the landscape. They even managed to get onto the BBC's Glastonbury coverage which was brilliant especially when you consider the vast numbers of artists there (witness Africa Express as one very special example) who the BBC ignored. Excellent.
Graham Radley, 07/07