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
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Butterflies / Finn Peters

Finn Peters - Butterflies

Accidental Records

Finn Peters has been on the scene for a while but it was in 2006 he made his debut as a leader with the critically acclaimed “Su Ling”. With his second release “Butterflies” there are two noticeable differences.  One is the reliance on his flute playing than on his sax playing. His tone on the flute is impressive and his compositions take these tunes to greater heights. The other difference is while “Su Ling” was more of an acoustic record, “Butterflies” has more of a classical vibe. The title track, "Butterflies", highlights Finn's engaging and spirited solo with guitarist Dave Okumu. “Atlas” is a brilliant composition that finds Finn on alto sax creating subtle harmonic images while drummer Tom Skinner is interactive with his every move. All selections here are rich in melody and the band approaches each song with passion and tenderness. This is simply another great release by Finn Peters that would be a welcome addition to your collection for those quiet moments.

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Reg Dancy, 06/08

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

Crush  / Floating Points

Floating Points - Crush

Ninja Tune

Sam Sheppard aka Floating Points latest release "Crush" was made during a five week period during 2017. Whereas his previous release "Elaenia" was a five year process. No matter the length of time the work of art he continues to release is majestic. Sheppard's utilization of electronics while encompassing a myriad of styles pays dividends once again starting with the opener. "Falaise" brims with intensity, filled with electronic experimentation and strings reaching a climatic fever pitch. "Last Bloom" ratchets up the tempo while providing atmospheric soundscapes. "Environments" starts out melodic and dreamy before shifting the tempo into overdrive. Best you laced those dancing shoes tight. The recordings for this release are more suited for the dance floor as opposed to ambient landscape of "Elaenia". Nonetheless, this is another set of mesmerizing work from Mr Sheppard who continues to push his music forward and beyond.

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Reg Dancy, 12/19

Transit / Flofilz

Flofilz - Transit

Melting Pot Records

"Transit", the third lp from German beatmaker FloFilz is a moody soundscape of Jazz samples merged with mellow hip-hop beats. "Hoxton Hoops feat. K Le Maestro" showcases a blusey guitar sample that evokes sketches of Grant Green while gliding over a tasty drum snare beat. "You & Me" is one of only two vocal tracks. The piano driven soul jazz heater features rapper Barney Artist. "Camberwell" is another highlight that features Alfa Mist on keys. FloFilz creates a laid back vibe of meditative grooves spread across eighteen tracks that pulls you in from the start and never lets go. With two quality lps preceding this gem, he's definitely one to keep on your radar.

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Reg Dancy, 07/19

Bijou Caillou Voyou / Florian Pellisier

Florian Pellisier - Bijou Caillou Voyou

Heavenly Sweetness

Pianist Florian Pellisier's third release "Bijou Caillou Voyou" continues his stretch of impressive albums. "Bijou Caillou Voyou" exudes a smokey night club ultra cool jazz vibe reminiscent of the late sixties NYC bebop era. Pellisier's quintet of over a decade convey that vibe to perfection. "Coup De Foudre a Thessalonique" is an earthy tune feels like a cool summer breeze. Pellisier's swirling melodies align with trumpeter Yoan Loustalot's joyous soloing. "Boca" is festive number that finds poet Anthony Joseph waxing a tale over drummer David Georgelet's bubbling percussion. Pellisier's two handed forays and his propulsive style shine on "Colosse de Rhodes" He unleashes a glorious melody for both trumpeter Loustalot and Christophe Panzani's tenor to glide over. Georgelet keeps the rhythm in high gear. This is a superb release from a band that can swing hard and takes no prisoners. Pellisier is proving to be a priemier pianist and this hard bop gem will provide definite satisfaction.

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Reg Dancy, 05/18

R.U.E.D.Y. / Flowriders

Flowriders - R.U.E.D.Y.

Mr Bongo

There have an abundance of broken beat hits (and misses) this year. This is one of the hits that should have lots of staying power. In addition, there are a couple of highlights that stand out about the new Flowriders cd "R.U.E.D.Y". One is the live instrumentation that gives the music a fresh sound every time I play it. The other highlight is the guest vocalists such as Tanya Saw, Spoonface and the dynamic blue-eyed soul man himself, Colonel Red. On the cosmic "Looking Deep" the Colonel provides well placed background scats to complement the vocals of Tanya Saw. "I Think I Know" is a nice mid-tempo gem that is enhanced by the drum work by Richard Spaven (Mark De Clive Lowe, 4Hero). "President" is an energetic broken beat track with vocals by Spoonface, who on this track, sounds a little like Omar to me. "Visualize" also features Colonel Red and has a haunting deep groove that begs for the volume to be turned up. Chances are you feel compelled to do that the minute this track starts. Thanks to the tight production by Vincent Helbers (aka Flowriders), this disc will provide definite satisfaction to fans of the bruk beat, broken soul. Recommended.

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Reg Dancy, 01/08

Starcraft / Flowriders

Flowriders - Starcraft

4Lux Recordings

What struck me when I first listened to this album was I couldn't quite believe this was their debut; it felt like they've been at this game for years. There are the big singles 'Different Spaces' and 'Pheromone' with not one of the other tracks can be called a filler, well maybe except the 'Interlude'. It's just tip top quality. Give this a listen when you're next on a record hunt, you'll be walking out of the shop with a copy.

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Simon Harrison, 06/05

Cosmogramma / Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma

Warp Records

Flying Lotus’s adventures in experimentation has made him one of the most sought after producers on the scene. His latest release, “Cosmogramma” will only add to that. Lotus skillfully meshes multiple sounds like classical, jazz and hip hop and adds assortment of multiple colors to them. The result is a disc filled with celestial arrangements that pushes the music deep into cyber space and the next thing you know you’re soaring right along with him. Among the highlights are “Intro of Cosmic Drama”, filled with kinetic synth arrangements. “MmmBmm” is a laidback space odyssey that features Thundercat on vocals and bass. “Do the Astral Plane” is a intergalactic cyber funk jam that is, like many of the tracks here too short but enjoyable nonetheless. Each track feels like an extended snippet, just as you’re getting deep into track it’s on the next one. However it’s a ride that you’ll certainly enjoy. “Cosmogramma” is a journey into the mind of Flying Lotus. It’s a trip to places you probably didn’t realize existed but you’re glad you traveled there. 

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Reg Dancy, 08/10

Los Angeles / Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus - Los Angeles

Warp Records

There are a lot of beat makers on the scene today but few are putting out cutting edge music like Flying Lotus. His latest disc "Los Angeles" is a soulful psychedelic exploration of electronic soundscapes that stretch the boundaries of hip hop. There are certain tracks that stand out more than others but the truth is each track bands together like a suite. Some of the highlights include "Beginners Falafel", an atmospheric track with exotic synths. "Roberta Flack" is one of the few vocal tracks on the disc and it features the sultry voice of Dolly.  Another vocal tune is the dreamy "Auntie's Lock/Infinitum" which features Laura Darlington, who was featured on his 2006 underground classic "1983". Flying Lotus has crafted an eclectic cinematic gem that displays his massive talents. This is one record where you'll just sit back, press play and enjoy the ride. This is a wonderful release by one of the premier producers in the game today.

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Reg Dancy, 07/08

Soul Mentality / Flyt

Flyt - Soul Mentality

Futuristica Music

From the moment you start listening to “Free”, the opening track from Soul Mentality, you know you’re about to embark on peaceful journey of sublime soulful music. “Soul Mentality” is the debut of Mary and Joshua Mycroft, better known as Flyt. Together they've carved out eleven tracks that will transport you into soul heaven. Joshua handles the production and keys while Mary breathes life into every track. Among the delights,  “Beautiful Love” is a lovely ethereal ballad and “The Journey’s Over” a soothing melodic groover. All in all a fine debut by FlyT and another winner for Futuristica.

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Reg Dancy, 07/08

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