Music Reviews

Show: New reviews | Artists beginning with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9 | Compilations
Virgo Stellar / As Valet

As Valet - Virgo Stellar

Futuristica

Parisian Producer/beat maker As Valet, former member of the group Electric Conversation delivers a deep dish of soulful electronic grooves with "Virgo Stellar". Valet's abstract compositions underline his skill at cultivating an ecosystem of sublime electronica. Whether it's downtempo or infectious deep house, the result is a deep dish of musical goodness. "Come True" is a warm and mellow house gem that glides underneath the blissful vocals of former Electric Conversation member LaNote, who is featured throughout the disc. "Verite' Sur L'amour" has a deep and percolating beat that is augmented by the vocals of J.Mcfysian and LaNote. "Lab E Aint" is the lone instrumental and is a slice of heaven due in part to the sublime blending of electronica, wordless harmonies and atmospheric grooves. This is a terrific release from a producer who shamefully remains under the radar. This release should provide the shine he rightfully deserves.

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Reg Dancy, 07/21

City Of All / Makez

Makez - City Of All

Heist Recordings

The Amsterdam based duo known as Makez's full length debut "City Of All" is the follow up to their impressive 2019 debut EP "Different Planets". Like their EP, this release is filled with big bold infectious house and down-tempo grooves. "Not So Different" is loaded with masculine energy, pulsating beats and guest vocals courtesy of Lyma. "Feel The Same" is another banger with a big majestic sound, heightened by bombastic cymbals and soaring vocals that punctuate the groove. The duo demonstrate their range as producers isn't beholden to house. "Looking Up" is a slow burning down-tempo tune augmented by the seductive vocals of Allysha Joy. "Orbit" is an orgasmic blend of jazz, latin and funk that has a meditative quality to it. There's a deep well of warmth to these compositions. The house tracks aren't just for dance floor consumption, they're perfectly suited for any setting. The other tunes are equally impressive. These guys are showcasing a lot of talent here. They've crafted a superb album that should make them a household names before long.

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Reg Dancy, 07/21

Anthology Vol 1 and 2 / Jimpster

Jimpster - Anthology Vol 1 and 2

Freerange

Dj/Producer Jamie Odell aka Jimpster has been on the short list of premier DJs for the past twenty five years.  He has released numerous timeless house tracks on his label Freerange records as well as other labels. With the release of the Anthology Vol 1 & 2 lp, we take a moment or several hours to celebrate some of his acclaimed recordings. As one might expect, this two disc set is loaded with bangers. "Sleeper" is heart pounding house with equal parts warmth, groove and heavy beats. "One" is infectious house with vocal assistance from Casamena. Jimpster's production is on point as the momentum builds throughout the track until it reaches a fever pitch. The digital version of this lp features a couple of down-tempo tunes perfect to shift your mood and give your feet a rest. "The Sun Comes Up" is one of those tunes to help you unwind after a night of clubbing. Or it's simply just a high quality chillout track. This disc is a great place to add some classics from a DJ still on top of his game.

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Reg Dancy, 07/21

Revealing / Gizelle Smith

Gizelle Smith - Revealing

Jalapeno Records

Manchester based vocalist Gizelle Smith returns with her latest lp entitled "Revealing". The soul and funk chanteuse's third full length release takes a shift from the high octane raw soul compositions she's become known for. Like all of us, the past year took a toll on Smith. Aside from the pandemic she also lost her Dad Joe, former musical director for legendary Motown group The Four Tops. She decided to scratch her original compositions and came up with the material we're treated to here. The opener "Agony Road" has a catchy guitar hook and provides the perfect canvas for Smith's restrained but potent vocals. "Better Remember" is a mellow tune fueled by a wicked wah wah guitar pedal and a soulful rhythm section. Smith shows a softer side as she confronts social distancing and the anxieties that come along with it. "Riot Cars" and "The Girl Who Cried Snow" have a rock tinged edge to them yet Smith sounds right at home. Although she's been in the game for more than a decade, Smith has just scratch the surface. This marvelous lp showcases a new side to her and you're gonna to love the results.

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Reg Dancy, 07/21

Multi / Mista Monk

Mista Monk - Multi

Inner Tribe

Austrailian based rapper Liam Monkhouse aka Mista Monk brings a truck load of funk on his new release "Multi". Monk has partnered up with an array of like minded eclectic artists who relate to his vision of forward thinking soul music and hip-hop. "Crossroads" packs a load of boom bap as Monk spits hard hitting rhymnes along with vocal assistance from fellow Austrailian native Laneous. "Mind Zone" is a laid back soulful number with an impressive cast. Fellow rapper Illa J jumps on board alongside Pugz Alomz, Lord Lobe and vocalist Charli Umami of Plantself. "This Is For..." is another favorite with thumping beats certain to get your head nod on. "Rains" is a wicked dub track that provides a nice change of pace. Produced by notable producer Inkswell, "Multi" is quality hip-hop. There's plenty of funk, supreme vocals and beats by the pound that will warrant several spins.

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Reg Dancy, 07/21

Good Love / Wheel Up

Wheel Up - Good Love

Tru Thoughts

Danny Wheeler aka DJ Wheel Up releases his much anticipated full length debut "Good Love". Wheeler teams up with broken beat pioneer Afonaut from Bugz In The Attic fame as well as his own solo projects. The essence of broken beat personifies this disc and the lead track "Good Love" is evidence of that. The infectious banger features Alabama based rapper Blint Story and vocalist Destiny Will and ignites instant body movement. It's certain to find it's way onto several DJs playlist. "Rise Above" is another Bruk flavored classic that features drum n bass duo Pola & Bryson, aka "Abacus". Blint Story shows up again on the politically tinged Bruk banger "Stay For Long" which is woefully too short at under three minutes. Bembe Segue, a long time contributor to a number of Broken beat compositions with a number of artists displays her unique vocals to the boogie groover "Fusion". "Good Love" is a triumph that celebrates broken beat and club culture. It's an album filled with joyful vibes that deserves heavy rotation.

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Reg Dancy, 06/21

The Negative Positive / Dego

Dego - The Negative Positive

2000 Black

"The Negative Positive", the latest from DJ/Producer Dego is filled with instrumental grooves and tasty vocal treats. Dego seamlessly blurs the lines between soul, boogie and broken beat and has built an impressive catalog since his partnership with Marc Mac as 4Hero. Under his 2000 black label, he has released countless grooves and bangers for himself as well as collaborations with mainstays like Kaidi Tathum, Lord & Ranks among others. With this release Dego has pulled back the tempo but the tracks still pack quite a punch. "This Is A Message To You" is one of the strongest tunes here. A catchy mid-tempo tune enhanced by Nadine Charles lovely vocals. The title is filled with effusive beats and funky synths. Vocalist Samii warms up the laid back boogie tune "Recovered Memories". For moments when you need to chill this record will serve as the perfect antidote.

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Reg Dancy, 06/21

Beaches In Your Soul / Rolf Zielke

Rolf Zielke - Beaches In Your Soul

Agogo

Pianist Rolf Zielke's engaging release "Beaches In Your Soul" is a tasty stew of contemporary Jazz with a tinge of Brazilian and Middle Eastern influences as well. Zielke and his band come out the gate swinging on the elegant "Awakening". Saxophonist Stephan Abel's warm yet robust melodies are the perfect compliment to Zielke's shimmering flourishes. Cellist Stephen Braun adds another layer of melodic brilliance on strings. Braun shines even brighter on "Night Sea Journey", a blissful atmospheric composition. Mohannad Nasser's strumming on the oud adds a touch of a Middle Eastern vibe woven together perfectly. Zielke's elegant playing and arrangements will evoke images of Bill Evans but he's clearly carving out an identity for himself here. "Okavango Serenade" is a lovely ballad enhanced by Trumpeter Beeny Brown's sublime melodies. Zielke's playing and songwriting are top notch. The musicians on board here rise to the occasion. He has demonstrated a great deal of creativity by weaving a multitude of cultures into a deeply satisfying set. No doubt more attention will be coming his way.

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Reg Dancy, 06/21

Flamingo Pier / Flamingo Pier

Flamingo Pier - Flamingo Pier

Soundway

New Zealand collective Flamingo Pier's self titled full length debut is filled with punchy Disco, funky boogie and infectious house tunes. This album builds on the highly regarded EPs released in 2019 and 2020. The nine track release packs quite a punch right out of the gate. "Eternal" has elements of classic Disco with soaring strings, sweet horns and infectious drums courtesy of label mate Julien Dyne. Another label mate, saxophonist Nathan Haines shares production duties on the tasty house banger "Last Call". The eight minute banger will be an instant floor filler for many DJs. "Make You Wonder" has a percolating guitar infused boogie groove. The entire disc has an uplifting vibe that stems from a year of being in lockdown. The band was finally able to gather together in the studio and the energy manifested into a joyful recording that's certain to make you dance, toe tap or however you choose to move.

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Reg Dancy, 06/21

The Rich Will Only Be Defeated When Running For Their Lives / Anthony Joseph

Anthony Joseph - The Rich Will Only Be Defeated When Running For Their Lives

Heavenly Sweetness

"The Rich Will Only Be Defeated When Running For Their Lives" is the latest offering of spoken word brilliance from Anthony Joseph. The poet's latest release is a jam fest filled with Afro Caribbean rhythms fronted by a powerhouse lineup. Jason Yarde, who also serves as producer serenades us with his buoyant Alto and baritone sax on several tracks. On the opener "Kamau", Shabaka Hutchings brooding bass clarinet slivers into your body while Colin Webster's fiery Tenor dances on top of the infectious groove. The tune is a tribute to Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite who passed away in early 2020. "Calling England Home" is a slow burning number about a man trying to find his place in a new country for decades before feeling at home. "Language" is another long playing heater that pays tribute to Jamaican Poet Anthony McNeill. Drummer Rod Youngs sets the stage with heart pounding rhythms while creating space for others. Tenor titan Denys Baptiste muscular Tenor sends shivers while Webster switches from Tenor to Baritone and delivers with spine tingling soloing. The horn players aren't the only stars here. Parisian pianist Florian Pellisser finds his place within the delicious groove on "Swing Praxis" to add colorful melodies. Bassist Andrew John is superb at laying down a delicious groove and keeping your head on a swivel throughout the disc. As for Joseph, he's at his absolute best as he dives deep into his Caribbean roots. Quite simply it's another masterpiece from Joseph. He's the gift who keeps on giving. He's an absolute treasure and this record is among the best to emerge this year.

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Reg Dancy, 05/21

Orla / Caravela

Caravela - Orla

None More Records

"Orla", the full length debut from Caravela is filled with sublime Afro-Brazilian rhythms. Vocalist Ines Loubet Franco's warm and melodic vocals enanate from her native Portuguese to her recent experiences in Brazil. There's a purity to her voice that few can match. When you combine that with the band's driving percussive rhythms you have an intoxicating mix to quench your musical palette. "Vale Do Capao" blossoms with hypnotic electric guitar rhythms from Telmo Souza that simmer while Jansen Santana's percussion will immediately lift your spirits. "Um E Melo" is a slow burning delight that features emotive spoken word from Dizraeli. The seven track release is laced with organic grooves that speak to social issues from Brazil to Cape Verde. This superb release demonstrate a deep rhythmic palette that will take you on glorious ride. Don't miss it.

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Reg Dancy, 05/21

Love Stories EP / Sun Circle

Sun Circle - Love Stories EP

Futuristica

"Life Stories EP" is the first release from Simon Skolfield and Deborah Jordan since 2009's "Reborn". The duo certainly has been busy during that span with Jordan's solo projects and Skofield's array of production credits for his Futuristica label. With all the activity it's a pleasant surprise that they found time for this splendid six track EP. The disc kicks off beautifully with "Cry". The steady deliberate down-tempo beat and heavenly melody create a perfect canvas for Jordan's hauntingly beautiful vocals. "My Heart" oozes with emotion. Jordan's heartfelt lyrics combined with the sublime classical instrumentation will tug at your heart strings. The title track is another down-tempo treat filled with warm keys and strings. Marc Rapson's rework adds a little more bounce while transforming it into an atmospheric gem. Sun Circle delivers a marvelous EP that is warm, fresh and lush. The Futuristica family continues to gift us with one superb recording after another.

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Reg Dancy, 05/21

Sound Ancestors / Madlib

Madlib - Sound Ancestors

Madlib Invasion

DJ/Producer Otis Jackson aka Madlib refuses to stay in one lane. His roots in hip-hop are firm and his deep dive into jazz and Brazilian music has elevated him well beyond your average beat maker. With his latest release "Sound Ancestors" he hands over hundreds of beats to Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet. Hebden hand picks and re-masters some of the beat conductoer's unreleased gems and knocks it out of the park. "Road Of The Lonely Ones" is a prime example. Madlib weaves together a classic 70s soul vocal sample over a drum snare beat. "Dirtknock" is vintage neck snapping hip-hop. "Duumbiyay" is another testament to the master of his craft. The tune features what started as acapella of children singing and culminates with spiritual jazz rhythms and live instrumentation woven together. Hebden arranges the entire disc with a nice flow so you're treated to one prime cut after another. With hundreds of tracks in his posession here's hoping another album like this one will be on the way.

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Reg Dancy, 04/21

After Dark / Amanda Whiting

Amanda Whiting - After Dark

Jazzman Records

"After Dark" is the new release from harpist Amanda Whiting. Ms Whiting has performed with a number fo jazz and soul luminaries from Jamie Cullum to Matthew Halsall's Gondwana orchestra. Whiting has played the harp since the age of 6 but mainly played classical music. She started building her chops in jazz in recent years and she hasn't look back. Based on this release the years of study have paid off. The disc starts out in a modal mood. "Messed Up" highlights Whiting's gentle flourishes juxtaposed with the splash of drummer John Robinson's high hat. "Stay For One" is a melancholy tune that features fellow Gondwana member Chip Wickham on flute. Wickham shows up again on the swinging tune "The Feist". Whiting ebbs and flows around Wickham warm melodies. The harp has become more promiment than ever. Let's hope this is just the beginning of delightful recordings from Whiting. Jazzman records never disappoints and this release is no exception.

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Reg Dancy, 04/21

Love Is / Prequel

Prequel - Love Is

Rhythm Section International

DJ/Producer Prequel has delighted us with an array of moody house tracks and eps over the years. With his full length debut "Love Is" he fuses hip-hop jazz and house to give his perspective on love. It's a concept album about the highs and lows from family to relationships. Prequel takes his production prowess to another level with the aid of some of Melbourne's bottomless pit of talented musicians. The dark and moody "When Love Is New" armed with a pulsating bottom that echoes Motor City house. It also features amazing string arrangements courtesy of violinist Tamil Rogeon. "Violeiro" sparkles with Brazilian rhythms aligned with punchy beats. "All I'm Missing Is You" has a dizzying piano melody that takes you on an enjoyable ride. The remarkable "Love Is" is a meditative gem that features the emotive spoken word vocals of Cazeaux O.S.L.O. The album also ebbs and flows with jazzy sophisticated interludes that fits the mood. While there may be a touch of heartache here there's plenty of euphoria that's punctuated by these recordings. Prequel steps out of his comfort zone just a bit and creates a deeply satisfying debut. Few producers have explored a sound and a topic as marvelous as this record.

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Reg Dancy, 04/21

People Need People / Nicola Conte & Gianluca Petrella

Nicola Conte & Gianluca Petrella - People Need People

Schema Records

Italian DJ/Producer Nicola Conte's latest release "People Need People" finds him returning to form of showcasing Italian Club Culture. Conte is more than just a DJ these days. He's become a solid guitarist and he's surrounded himself with an esteemed group of musicians. Accompanied by Trombonist Gianluca Petrella, the duo collaborated on a couple of EPs and this superb release is the manifestation of those efforts. There's much to savor here starting with the opening track. "Hold On To Your Dreams" opens with Magnus Lindgren's meditative flute which sets the mood for Debo Ray's enchanting vocals. "The Higher Love", a sublime tune that offers a message of hope and change. Vocalist/pianist Carolina Bubbico's evocative vocals combined by with the raw poetic skills of rapper Rashan Ahmad make this tune an instant favorite. Another keeper is the title track. A rumbling tune with heart pounding percussion and vibes courtesy of Pasquale Mirra. Bubbico provides backing vocals for Davide Shorty as he sings about the need for us to step away from our devices and become social again. Conte and Petrella have created a brillant record filled with global rhythms. Their mission is heal wounded souls through these beautiful recordings. Without a doubt one of the best releases this year.

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Reg Dancy, 04/21

Aspects / Str4ta

Str4ta - Aspects

Brownswood Recordings

Str4ta is the brainchild of renowned DJ/Producer Gilles Peterson and Jean "Bluey" Maunick of Incognito fame. "Aspects" is a nod to the eighties flavored Brit Funk era that they helped pioneer. Together they set in motion a genre that grew in stature and spawn numerous bands from the inception. Some of those bands were Hi Tension, Light Of The World and Freez just to name a few. The opening tune "Aspects" immediately transports us back to that time. A blistering up-tempo burner with an infectious groove backed by punchy drum programming. "Rhythm In Your Mind" takes the baton and serenades you funky atmospheric vibes. "Steppers Crusade" combines a wicked bass groove with blissful synths to put you in positive state of mind. In fact the entire disc is going to infuse you with good vibes while you reflect on just how precious this moment in time was. More importantly Brit Funk is alive and still relevant today thanks to these two legends.

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Reg Dancy, 04/21

The Space In Which The Uncontrollable Unknown Resides Can Be The Place From Which Creation Arises / Work Money Death

Work Money Death - The Space In Which The Uncontrollable Unknown Resides Can Be The Place From Which Creation Arises

ATA Records

"The Space In Which The Uncontrollable Unknown Resides Can Be The Place From Which Creation Arises" is the latest project from the group Work Money Death. The project was the creation of Saxophonist Tony Burkill and pianist Adam Fairhall. The group performed with Burkill for his ATA records debut back in 2017. Although there's only two tracks here they both come in at around seventeen minutes each. The two track disc has a spiritual jazz vibe as Burkill channels the spirit of Pharoah Sanders. On the haunting opener "Dusk" Neil Innes distinctive bass patterns are the driving force behind the tunes. Innes's vamps are a perfect compliment to the melodic flourishes from Burkill and pianist Adam Fairhall. "Dawn" is a sixteen minute passage driven by a quest to spread peace and love. Burkill's tenor is strong out the gate but isn't the only element serving notice. Emotive percussions courtesy of Pete Williams are in alignment with Fairhall's glorious soloing. Drummer Sam Hobbs understated rhythms serves as the perfect canvas for everyone to shine. Marvelous work from on hand here and another winner for ATA records.

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Reg Dancy, 04/21

Rhythm Of Years / Joanna Law

Joanna Law - Rhythm Of Years

Tangential

"Rhythm Of Years", the new release from Joanna Law is filled with warm and soulful electronica compositions. You may be familiar with Law's warm and languid vocals from her cover "First Time Ever" back in 1990. The Roberta Flack classic and other gems are featured here. There's also several tracks that feature a collaboration with Pressure Drop, the Trip hop act that she worked with back in the nineties as well. "You're Mine", one of their collaborations starts the disc off.Law's warm vocals are the perfect compliment to an unrelenting hypnotic groove that builds momentum over the course of play. "Song For Theo" is another winner that's filled with sunny chords and synths layered on top of an infectious samba groove. As the title suggests, the album explores an array of rhythms and textures evolving from one composition to the next one. Add to that a number of tastyremixes and you have a gorgeous album filled with sublime recordings that you shouldn't miss.

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Reg Dancy, 03/21

Natural Law / mfp

mfp - Natural Law

R2 Records

Masaki Konagi, aka MFP first caught our attention when he appeared on Gilles Peterson's "Brownswood Electr*c 2". Now with his debut "Natural Law" we're serenaded with a collection of laid back hip-hop beats and infectious synth laden grooves. MFP (Mindfullpeace) has assembled some notable collaborators to bring out the best in his compositions. The aptly titled "Your Warmth" kicks off the disc with warm and hazy synths and a catchy drum snare beat. The title track is drenched in LA funk and features Melbourne based vocalist Alien. Simon Mavin of Hiatus Kaiyote adds beautiful electronic piano melodies to "Darlin Darlin". Other notable contributors include Sauce 81, Natalie Slade and rapper Stan Smith. Masaki becomes one with nature and delivers an organic collection where the warm vibes get inside your body and puts you in a good headspace.

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Reg Dancy, 03/21

Many Worlds / Menagerie

Menagerie - Many Worlds

Freestyle

DJ/Producer Lance Ferguson aka Lanu has so many projects that it's futile to keep track. What's extraordinary is there's no dip in quality in any of them. Whether it's The Bamboos, Rare Groove Spectrum or his Lanu project. Now with the third full length from Menagerie, he continues to cement his status as one of Melbourne's brightest stars. "Many Worlds" blossoms with spiritual and straight ahead jazz compositions. The disc kicks off with potent "Hope". Phil Noy's robust tenor is in top here while Daniel Farrugla pushes everyone to the edge with his spirited drumming. The ex-factor here is the hymn caliber vocal harmonies that elevate the track to greater heights. The title track features a slow burning groove but the dynamic interplay amongst the musicians are high intensity. Pianist Mark Fitzgibon forays on electric piano are complimented by the sheer harmonic guitar rhythms sprinkled throughout. "Hymn of The Turning Stone" is another winner. Fitzgibbon's brings the thunder once again with melodic flourishes that will keep your head on a swivel. Noy's playing evokes images of Pharoah Sanders and the stylistic touches of the composition allows everyone to shine among this nine piece unit. The energy of the compositions, the musicianship and the vocal harmonies are healing and downright marvelous. Whether you're a lover of spiritual or straight ahead jazz, purchasing this record will provide immediate satisfaction.

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Reg Dancy, 03/21

Rebirth / LaNote

LaNote - Rebirth

Futuristica

Avid fans of the Futuristica label may be familiar with the blissful vocals of LaNote from the Parisian soul electronica group Electric Conversation. Along with beatmaker As Valet the duo made up one half of the eclectic genre bending group. With her debut "Rebirth" LaNote takes center stage and the results are simply marvelous. Valet's compositions are drenched in down-tempo melodic rhythms. If that wasn't enough, several tracks also receive the remix treatment from an All-star line-up of producers such Marc Rapson, Mecca 83, DJ Spinna and more. Simon S adds his soulful jazz infused hip-hop touch to "Miracle". The title track is blissed out down-tempo soul remixed by Nicky Lars. It's filled with warm vocal harmonies layered with LaNote's vocals. "Truth Be Told" is warm and hazy soulful electronica at it's best. You'll find it hard not to get swept away by LaNote's low pitch airy vocals. In addition Valet's soulful compositions make this a brilliant release that you shouldn't miss. Just press play and let the music take you away.

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Reg Dancy, 02/21

Son of Nyx / Tamil Rogeon

Tamil Rogeon - Son of Nyx

Soul Bank Music

Violinist and composer Tamil Rogeon has built an impressive resume filled with a wide array of accomplishments. He has composed and conducted for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Austrailian National Academy of Music. He's co-founder of the orchestral electronic band The Raah Project and has worked with acclaimed producer Harvey Sutherland. "Son Of Nyx" is his latest release and it's a spiritual jazz gem not to be missed. Rogeon's sublime violin melodies are puncuated by Danny Fischer's spirited drumming on "House No Wheels". "Bad Sandals" is filled with Rogeon's lush melodies. The track is also highlighted by engaging percussion from Fischer and warm vocal harmonies from Rita Satch that make for a climatic finale. The disc wraps up with the ten minute plus spiritual jazz delight "Horns No Eyes". The tune unleashes splash of riveting fender rhodes in parallel with Rogeon's majestic phrasing of melodies. Simply a superb ending to a wonderful record. This is an early standout for a 2021 release that you need to get.

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Reg Dancy, 02/21

Voiciii / Voilaaa

Voilaaa - Voiciii

Favorite Recordings

"Voiciii" (Here It Is) is the third lp from Voilaaa and is steeped in engaging Afro Disco. "Woman Can Do" is a heart pounding dance track featuring the vocals of Ayunne Sule. "Water No Get Enemy" features Pat Kalla. It would fit nicely in the TK Disco catalog. "Manu Ecoute" is a nod to Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa", filled with funky horns and infectious percussion. "Voiciii" is filled with good vibes and infectious grooves that captures the spirit of pioneers such as Fela Kuti and the aforementioned Dibango. This lp has all the ingredients that made Voilaaa famous, a pulsating soundsystem and joyful vibes. Produced by Bruno "Patchworks" Hovart who has a knack for finding talented vocalists from the around the globe.

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Reg Dancy, 02/21

Blue Note Re:imagined / Various Artists

Various Artists - Blue Note Re:imagined

Decca Records

Legendary labels Decca Records and Blue Note team up for the brilliant compilation "Blue Note Re:imagined". A collection of some of the Uk's young musical phenoms to provide alternate takes on some of the labels most treasured recordings. Let's start with Ppppy Ajudha's cover of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man". Ajudha's vocal and arranging skills totally transform the tune. From the ethereal wordless phrasings to combustive jazz fusion rhythms, Ajudha takes the listener to the edge of their imagination. "A Shade Of Jade" finds Nubya Garcia channeling the spirit of Joe Henderson's "Mode For Joe". Garcia's arrangements swing from 60s hard bop to infectious hip-hop beats and head nodding grooves. Trumpeter Emma Jean Thackery is a rising star with multiple projects worth checking out. She transforms Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil" into an uptempo jazz funk banger. Jordan Rakei's honey toned falsetto vocals are tailor made for Donald Byrd's timeless jazz funk gem "Wind Parade". With sixteen tracks there's a ton of covers to savor here and other artists you need to get to know better. The musicians here maintain the spirit of the original recordings while bringing fresh ideas to the table. Without a doubt you need this in your collection.

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Reg Dancy, 01/21