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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Lemurian / Lone

Lone - Lemurian

Dealmaker Records

As Nottingham’s answer to Flying Lotus, Lone is an expert in the field of surreal, off kilter, wonky-tonk Hip Hop beats and with song titles like ‘Green Sea Pageant’, ‘Sea Spray’ and ‘Buried Coral Banks’ it is hardly a major surprise that much of his work evokes a warm and unmistakably oceanic feeling. Every sound has been tweaked, compressed and manipulated to within an inch of its life, creating the slightly unnerving, but nevertheless very welcome, sensation that the music (without wanting to borrow too heavily from Alan Partridge’s ‘Deep Bath’ metaphor) really is just washing over you. You get the idea. This is top-drawer ambient, electronic music and the initial comparisons with Boards of Canada are altogether justified.

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Tom Breslin, 10/08

Curiosities / Lord Echo

Lord Echo - Curiosities

Bastard Jazz

Producer and mufti-instrumentalist Mike Fabs, aka Lord Echo first made his impact from his work with the reggae dub group The Black Seeds. He followed up that successful release with his sparkling debut "Melodies" in 2010 which featured some hypnotic dub beats, wicked grooves and tasty vocals as well. With his sophomore release "Curiosities" he incorporates vintage 60's rhythms with authentic reggae grooves certain to keep your finger on the repeat button. One of those highlights include "Bohemian Idol" which features Toby Laing of Fat Freddy's Drop on vocals. "Digital Haircut" features a wicked groove reminiscent of James Brown's "Sex Machine". "Put It In My Head" blends reggae grooves with a disco beat. In addition, Mara TK's velvet falsetto takes it to another level. Overall "Curiosities" demonstrates Fabs growth as a producer and a keen ear for classic grooves. Like his debut, this release is a winner and deserves a place in your playlist.

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Reg Dancy, 02/14

Harmonies / Lord Echo

Lord Echo - Harmonies

Soundway Records

Melbourne producer Lord Echo has built an impressive resume filled with compositions that fuse reggae, afrobeat and latin rhythms. His latest full length release "Harmonies" may be his best yet. There's plenty to savor here right from the outset. "Woah! There's No Limit" is an engaging reggae tune with swaying horns and tropical rhythms. "The Sweetest Meditation" is a gorgeous boogie tune filled soothing vibes and infectious percussion. Both of the aforementioned tunes feature the golden falsetto vocals of Mara TK who appears on two additional racks as well. Two other noteworthy reggae tunes are "Low To The Street" and the superb cover of The O'Jays "I Love Music" Both tunes feature the blissful vocals of Lisa Tomlins. Throw in the afro-soul instrumental "Makossa" and you have one of the more enjoyable albums of the year.

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Reg Dancy, 09/17

Learn To Wait / LoTide

LoTide - Learn To Wait

Organik

"Learn To Wait", the third LP from Australian producer Lo Tide is a sublime electronic recording with ethereal soundscapes. Several vocalists from around the globe occupy one half of the LP while the second half is filled with instrumental dreamy compositions."Moving On" features seductive guitar riffs that complement the gorgeous vocals of Jenna K. Tomina Vincent's vocals soar alongside the atmospheric backdrop of "Swallow The Stars". "Family" is another gem filled with classical Indian rhythms. Overall these down-tempo compositions deliver a depth not found from his previous releases. There is much more space that allows the listener to fill in their own visual imagery.With gorgeous recordings such as these you'll take delight in embarking on this musical journey.

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Reg Dancy, 11/15

Here 'Tis / Lou Donaldson

Lou Donaldson - Here 'Tis

Blue Note Records

Lou Donaldson made his reputation largely on the basis of soul jazz recordings such as this. While he would later enjoy commercial success with 'Alligator Boogaloo', this album from 1961 is a superior example of the organ jazz format with five extended pieces. Accompanied by Grant Green on guitar and the under-recorded Baby Face Willette on hammond organ, the quartet cooks on the gospel influenced title track with Willette excelling. Green expands upon the standard 'Foggy Day' and Donaldson himself has his finest hour on the Charlie Parker tune 'Cool Blues' with driving support from organ and drums. An album that truly puts the soul into jazz. 

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Tim Stenhouse, 05/08

Percussion Madness / Louie Vega Presents Luisito Quintero

Louie Vega Presents Luisito Quintero - Percussion Madness

BBE Records

This is the debut album from Latin percussionist Luisito Quintero, which brings a mix of Afrobeat, Bossa Nova and Latin Jazz to the table. Quintero was apart of Louie Vega's Elements in Life project, which may explain why his name is mentioned in the title, apart from maybe to sell a few more units. Quintero was born in Venezuela and, with help from his father, gained recognition in his early teens. This may be his debut but he's worked on countless projects including India's two albums, and with artists like Tito Puente, Ray Barreto to Gloria Estefan. Guest artists include Hilton Ruiz, Brian Lynch, Nestor Torres, Milton Cardona, Jose Mangual and Blaze, which work great with the heavy percussion and Latin influences. "Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo", "M' Bongi" and "Love Remains The Same" are worthy of your attention but these are only the tip of the iceberg for this excellent album. BBE have timed this release perfectly, just in time for summer.

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Simon Harrison, 04/06

Strangers To The Ordinary / Low Budget Soul

Low Budget Soul - Strangers To The Ordinary

Futuristica Music

Low Budget Soul first appeared on the excellent Abstract Soul records a few years ago and brought to my attention the wonderful vocals of Randolph Matthews and the productions skills of Tris "Ol' English" Browne, who was and is influenced by the likes of J-Dilla and Madlib. Matthews is on lead vocals here and shines through on tracks like "Into You", "No. 1", "Waves" and "Mystery Rose". Also featured are the singles "She Won't Let The Summer In" and "Fills My Heart" with the amazing vocalist Nanar Vorperian, which will have you on your knees. This is UK soul at its best.

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Simon Harrison, 09/06

A Different View / LTC

LTC - A Different View

Ricky-Tick Records

With two singles already under their belt the Italian jazz trio LTC now deliver their debut album. ‘Easy Does It’, ‘Meninos Das Laranjas’ and ‘Just Give Me Time’ from the singles are present but stronger in my opinion is the their take on the modal masterpiece ‘Anthony And Cleopatra’s Love’ and the blistering dancers ‘A Different View’ and ‘Shibuya Crossing’. Another classic from Ricky-Tick!

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Andy Allen, 06/08

Onda Nova / Lucas Arruda

Lucas Arruda - Onda Nova

Favorite Recordings

Vocalist Lucas Arruda continues to seamlessly merge Soul and Pop with Brazilian rhythms with his latest "Onda Nova". The soothing synths of "Dragoes E Tigres" combined with Arruda's vocals will sink into you like a warm summer breeze. "Soulshine" is a soul jazz number that's driven by a thumping bass groove and gorgeous harmonies. "What I'd Do For Love" is steeped in the Brazilian Pop/AOR tradition and features a Portuguese version as well. Arruda is carrying the torch set by Lincoln Olivetti & Robson Jorge. Their recordings were a staple of Brazilian funk from the late seventies through the eighties. This release ensures that Brazilian Soul Pop is in good hands.

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Reg Dancy, 06/19

Sambadi / Lucas Arruda

Lucas Arruda - Sambadi

Favorite Records

"Sambadi", the debut from guitarist/Keyboardist Lucas Arruda is rich in soul infused jazzy Brazilian rhythms. Lucas initially started out as a guitarist but after seeing a performance by Marcus Valle turned his attention to the Fender Rhodes. The vibrant sound of the Rhodes is used prominently to create warm Brazilian rhythmic compositions. Among the highlights are " Batuque", a funky melodic tune with soulful harmonies. "Alma Nova" is a laid back composition filled with warm synths and luscious melodies. "Carnival" and "Tamba" are also warm sublime treats as well. Inspired by Rio De Janeiro, not far from where Arruda was born, "Sambadi" is an impressive release from one of Brazil's exciting young talents

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Reg Dancy, 09/13

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