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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.


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.


Go.Soul.Map – Peaceful Sound for Broken Minds [Space Echo]

“Peaceful Sound for Broken Minds” is the debut from Sicilian producer Salvo ‘Dub’ Bruno aka Go Soul Map. The twelve track lp is filled with dreamy soundscapes layered over warm melodic grooves. “Back In The Underwater”, the opening track features the sultry vocals of Reiwa Pia. It’s a downtempo gem heighthened by warmsynths. London based vocalist Derane Obika appears on nine tracks. “Fall Into The Flame” features Obika’s dreamy falsetto aligned with heavenly synths. While the tempo picks up on “Right Of Me”, Bruno’s production along with Obika’s vocals ensure that the mood remains the same. Bruno has created a marvelous record filled with warmth and is certain to put your mind at ease. I’m instantly transported to a place free of stress and full of engaging grooves.


Ahu – Stellar [Mythstery Records]

Hard to believe that this is Ahu’s first solo project. The Turkish singer/songwriter has guested on numerous projects over the past fifteen years. You may recognize her voice from the Flying Lotus track “Roberta Flack”. “Stellar” features amixture of laidback and uptempo tunes that showcase her vocal talents. “I and I” starts the disc off with dreamy chords that complement her feathery vocals. “Same Sky” is a mid-tempo finger poppin’ tune with a soulful horn section. “Good News” is an uptempo sixties flavored soul number with an infectious drum snare beat. “Stellar” allows Ahu to stretch out present her own musical horizons. Let’s hope the wait isn’t too long for the next record.


Bright & Findley – Everything Is Slow [Athens Of The North]

In 2019 James Alexander Bright & Tom Findley made their presence felt with the single “Tigers Roar”. The single garnered critical acclaim and filled us with hope there was more to come. The wish has been granted. “Everything is Slow” is the debut from Bright & Findley. The eleven track disc is filled with laidback synth funk compositions tailored made for lazy Summer afternoons. Findley’s arrangements combined with Bright’s vocals are a potent mix. Among the highlights are the languid “When I look into the World” The swaying string arrangements and ambient soundscapes will warm your heart. “It’s Only Rain” is another downtempo delight. “NY Disco” is a nod to the Brooklyn Disco scene that also leans into eighties boogie. Warm and melodic, this is an electro soul gem that you shouldn’t miss.


Myele Manzanza – Crisis & Opportunity, Vol​.​3 – Unfold [Deepmatter]

New Zealand native Myele Manzanza demonstrates that not only is he an accomplished drummer but a premier producer as well. Now living in London, Manzanza enlisted his new London mates as well as a few friends from back home for his latest release. While Volume’s 1 and 2 of “Crisis and Opportunity” leaned toward jazz compositions, Vol 3 shifts towards beats and electronics and the results are nothing short of brilliant. The opener “Child” and “Unfold” features fellow New Zealander Rachel Fraser. The latter builds with boundless energy while Fraser’s warm vocals serves as the perfect compliment. “Therapy” is another banger with infectious beats that features UK don Omar. “Silencing The Sun” features the feathery vocals of rising star Wallace. Other notable vocalists include China Moses and Rosie Frater Taylor. If you’re not familiar with Lewis Moody then I suggest you check out his band Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange. Moody recorded and mixed this project while also applying his wizardry on keys and synths. With only nine tracks you’re left wanting more but you’ll Have a blast listening nonetheless.


JSOUL x B.Jamelle – Mellowdisiac [BSM Records]

“Mellowdisiac” is the latest release from Baltimore based producer/beat maker JSoul and vocalist B.Jamelle. The nine track EP is laced with mellow jazz infused soul compositions. B.Jamelle’s vocals are soothing to the ear as evidenced on “To Flower”, a slow burning ballad. “Really Love” features poetic verses from Jamil Honesty. The aptly titled “Blissfully Undone” is one of the stronger tracks here. JSoul’s production is full of creativity and the warmth of B.Jamelle’s vocals make for a perfect combination. JSoul already solidified himself as an architect at making soulful hip-hop. With B.Jamelle on board he’s adept at creating mellow grooves as well.


Moonchild – Starfruit [Tru Thoughts Recordings]

“Starfruit”, the fifth album from Moonchild demonstrates a band that’s hitting it’s stride. Their signature sound of soft melodic tones and heartfelt songwriting has resonated with audiences around the globe during their worldwide tour. The vocals of Amber Navran have certainly struck a chord, no pun intended and her vocals are recognizable from the first note. The new release supplies more of their musical good vibes, this time with an array of superb artists in their own right. The opener “Tell Him” aligns Amber with the velvet vocals of Lailah Hathaway. It has a noticeable groove not often found in their compositions yet still embodies the lush texture you’ve grown to love. “You Got One” is equally divine. Alex Isley’s heavenly vocals alongside Navran’s is like two Angels in a versus match. “Get By” is filled with joy and exuberance due in large part to the up and coming band Tank and The Bangas. Despite the large amount of guests on hand here their authenticity remains true to form. Overall it’s another marvelous release that you shouldn’t miss.


Lance Ferguson – Rare Groove Spectrum, Vol. 2 [Freestyle Records]

New Zealand’s own Lance Ferguson has been one of the most prolific producers of the past two decades. The New Zealand native is notable for his work with the funk and soul band The Bamboos and his spiritual jazz band Menagerie. In addition his solo projects have dived into nu soul and broken beat as well. Ferguson latest, “Rare Groove Spectrum Vol. 2” is a collection of re-works you’re certain to fall in love with all over again. “Far Beyond”, originally crafted by DJ/Producer Dave Lee is an infectious boogie tune. The Carly Simon classic “Why” is re-imagined as a breezy mid tempo jazz pop instrumental. Marcus Valle’s “Estrelar” has been transformed into funky laid-back guitar driven gem that evokes images of lazy sun drenched afternoons. Surrounded by an array of A-list musicians, Ferguson and his band-mates add a level of warmth not previously felt from on the originals. An enjoyable nine track disc that will meet Ferguson’s loyal fans approval. Newcomers will enjoy it as well.


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