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Nawen Afrobeat – Grietas

“Grietas” is the latest release from Nawen Afrobeat. The Chilean band’s six track lp draws inspiration from the music made famous by Fela Kuti. The band itself fronts a strong rhythm section as evidence on “Llovera”. A simmering bass groove is flanked by warm vocal harmonies and a soulful horn section. “Mare Mare” features the Afrobeat ambassador Dele Sosimi. The tune is a aignature Afrobeat funk tune with sparkling percussion alongside Sosimi’s rhythmnic singing. Chico Cesar is one of many special guests on board and he adds his vocals to the finale “Es La Vida”. Newan is one of many bands carrying the torch for Afrobeat. Based on this release they’re pioneers you need to get familiar with.

https://newenafrobeat.bandcamp.com/album/grietas

Jimi Tenor & Aura Safari – Sensory Blending [Hell Yeah Recordings]

Finnish multi-instrumentalist Jimi Tenor and Italian collective Aura Safari met at a party in Perugia where Tenor was set to perform. Within days they decided to go into the studio. They emerged from that session with “Sensory Blending”. The nine track release is filled with retro soul jazz compositions. On “Bodily Synesthesia”, Tenor’s seductive sax soloing along with his soft crooning sets the mood of a dark lit smokey jazz club. “My Bluebell” is a simmering soul jazz number with a heavenly flute solo from Tenor. It’s also highlighted by the vocals of Toimi Tytti. “Gimlet” is a light and airy samba where Tenor’s flute dances over the melody. Aura Safari are an impressive set of musicians who came in with great ideas and formed instant chemistry. Pour yourself a glass of wine, kick back and relax to this engaging album.

https://aurasafari.bandcamp.com/album/sensory-blending

Bruk Rogers – Loopholes [Tru Thoughts Recordings]

Cian McCann aka Zero T made his mark in the drum n bass arena. He has a number of recordings on the 4Hero label Reinforced records. He ventured into Bruk during the pandemic and his first release landed on renowned Bruk DJ/Producer Afronaut’s label. Alas, Bruk Rodgers was born. “Loopholes”, the full length debut on Tru-thoughts spans various genres with broken beat as the centerpiece. “Deusa” is ignited by latin rhythms and the warmth of vocalist Roberta Silva. “Feel Alright” is bubbling with broken beat rhythms that features rapper Jswiss and pianist Onj. “Jelly Head” is another banger filled with dazzling synths that features Wipe The Needle. This is an infectious album that’s filled with bangers and shines a light on club culture.

https://brukrogersmusic.bandcamp.com/album/loopholes

Lucas Arruda – Ominira [Favorite Recordings]

“Ominira”, the latest release from Lucas Arruda is his first for Favorite Recordings in five years. The nine track album takes a shift from his previous lp. Where “Onda Nova” was a funk and soul brew, “Ominira” takes you back to the essence of Brazilian compositions. “The Bracest Heart” is a sublime Brazilian jazz fusion instrumental that features Arruda on the rhodes. “Novos Planos” is a warm summer breeze filled with swirling synths and Arruda’s soothing falsetto vocals. “Abraco Pro Ed” is a sizzling up-tempo instrumental that would fit nicely in an Asymuth catalogue. Arruda is building up an impressive catalogue of his own with another marvelous record you shouldn’t miss.

https://favoriterecordings.bandcamp.com/album/ominira

Audrey Powne – From The Fire [BBE Music]

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Melbourne native Audrey Powne delivers her debut lp “From The Fire” on BBE music. The nine track release was written and produced by Powne. “Sleep” is inspired by lucid dreams Powne experienced and how they measured up to her reality. The track is a beautiful piano driven ballad. “Souled Out” is another emotive ballad that features Matt Keagan’s haunting phrasings on baritone sax. Powne’s string arrangements add another layer of emotion that will certainly stir your heart strings. Powne’s dexterity as a multi-instrumentalist are on display here. “Feed The Fire” is a mid-tempo track that showcases her soloing on Trumpet as well as her prowess as a pianist. A marvelous debut that weaves soul, jazz and classical elements seamlessly. Powne is a gifted artist you need to get familiar with.

https://audreypowne.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-fire

VA – The Congregation – Jazz Alliance International [Right Tempo]

Whereas most compilations focus on the past, Massimiliano “Jazzcat” Conti shines a light on the quality recordings of the present. The Italian resident DJ has delighted listeners with his eclectic mixes and mix shows. The Congregation is a superb collection that intertwine soul and modern jazz tracks with present day culb culture. Evidence can be found with “Seasons In My Mind”. The previously unreleased Yellowtail track that features jazz crooner Mark Murphy. Mama Terra’s “Ruptura” is a spiritual jazz burner that’s equally enjoyed on the dance floor or in your living room. The hard driving piano rhythms aligned with orchestral vocal harmonies will bring immediate satifaction. The finale “Who Will Save The World” features the spoken word genius of Anthony Joseph. The seven minute gem is fueled by a simmering groove, warm piano melodies and a sterling horn section. There isn’t a weak track in sight here. The Milan based Right Tempo records consistently delivers with quality recordings and this is no exception.

https://righttempo.bandcamp.com/album/the-congregation-jazz-alliance-international

VA – Funk Tide – Tokyo Jazz Funk from Electric Bird 1978-87 [Wewantsounds]

“Funk Tide – Tokyo Jazz Funk from Electric Bird 1978-87” is available for the first time outside of Japan. The eight track lp is filled with atmospheric synth heavy jazz funk compositions. The tracks feature Japanese Saxophonist and composer Yasuaski Shimizu, Toshiyuki Honda and pianist Mikio Masuda. In addition, American artists Ronnie Foster and Bobby Lyle are on board as well. “Let’s Get Together” is a light and airy composition that features Masuda on the rhodes. Foster’s “Night Life” is laidback synth funk that would fit into any beatmakers bag of beats right now. “Funk Tide” provides a window into Japan’s early eighties music scene. Credit Tokyo DJ Notoya for digging into the Electric Bird catalogue and emerging with these tasty tracks.

https://wewantsounds.bandcamp.com/album/funk-tide-tokyo-jazz-funk-from-electric-bird-1978-87

Cotonete – Victoire De La Musique [Heavenly Sweetness]

Parisian eight piece band Cotonete unleashes their second full length release and their first in fifteen years. “Victoire De La Musique” is filled with funky samba infused fusion compositions. French DJ/Producer GUTS has a strong body of work of hip-hop and soul recordings for the Parisian label Heavenly Sweetness. He knows a thing or two about aligning lyrics with a tight infectious sound. “Venezuela” exudes summer vibes, transporting you somewhere on a beach in the Caribbean. Jean-Claude Kebaili’s thumping bass aligned with a tight brass and rhythmnic electric guitar receives high marks. There’s a number of superb vocalists on board as well. “Babete Vaobora” is a simmering mid-tempo samba that features Sabrina Malheiros. “What Did You Run For?” is a toe tapping soul burner taken to another level courtesy of the UK don Omar. The finale “Cinq pour |’aventure” is a fourteen minute cinematic jam session. The track pays tribute to the band affinity for 70s French movie soundtracks. Strong production, great musicians, it all adds up to a marvelous recording you shouldn’t miss.

https://cotonete.bandcamp.com/album/victoire-de-la-musique-2

Casa Bonita – Casa Bonita [Aquário Records]

Casa Bonita is a five piece band from Lisbon Portugal. Their self titled lp showcases a band that is comfortable laying down funky instrumental dance grooves. The album features cuts like “Lobster”, a sizzling enrgetic slap anchored by a deep pocket and bass rhythm. “Arrabiata” follows up with funky disco rhythms, mind bending synths and infectous percussion. “Vian” is a mellow soul burner that comes at the right time when you want to give your feet a rest. Casa Bonita explores the space between soul, jazz and electronics. The musicianship is on point and embodies an organic seventies soul sound. Put your dancing shoes on and get ready to party.

https://casabonita2.bandcamp.com/album/casa-bonita

Erin Buku – Self Titled [Inner Tribe Records]

Austrailian Vocalist, DJ/Producer Erin Buku delivers an engaging self titled debut. The nine track album is a laidback array of tasty RnB soulful hip hop grooves. “Dreamers” is a mid-tempo hip hop track that showcases her tender vocals. It’s an uplifting tune where Buku artfully encourages everyone to follow their dreams. “Ley Lines”, co-produced by Inkswel is awash with serenading horns and melodic textures. “The Way” erupts with ebulient electronic rhythms aligned with Buku’s emotive vocal harmonizing. Buku is just another example of the bottomless well of talent from Austrailia that’s well worth checking out.

https://erinbuku.bandcamp.com/album/erin-buku-self-titled

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