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The Brkn Record – The Architecture of Oppression Part 2 [BBE Music]

Jake Ferguson, one half of the Heliocentrics returns with volume 2 of his solo project, The Brkn Record. While the theme of vol 1 centered on braking down oppressive institutions, vol 2 takes an extra step in calling out the injustices within the system. Ferguson certainly has enlisted an array of socially conscious artists to push this message forward. The mighty Anthony Joseph appears on three tracks here. “Skull Tax” comes in with a roar. A thumping bass groove and infectious electric guitar provides the canvas for Joseph’s thought provoking lyrics. “We Need Freedom” is a spirtual gem that kicks off with simmering percussion followed by searing Tenor sax and flute rhythms. UK vocalist Jermain Jackman’s falsetto moves the track to another level. “Prison of Skin” is another spiritual jazz keeper that speaks to the socio-economics prison that has held back countless communities. Ugochi Nwaogwugwu, a Nigerian singer/poet adds her heavenly vocals to the tune. A strong recording that entertains and enlightens you simultaneously.


Mario Luciano & Lauren Santi – Shades of Mauve [Madlib Invasion]

The Madlib invasion Music Library series continues with Producer Mario Luciano and vocalist Lauren Santi. “Shades of Mauve” is a collection of breezy jazz samples. Luciano’s keyboard arrangements take center stage while guitarist Gerson Zaragoza and drummer Ayepee play big roles. Santi’s vocal phrasings are spread throughout the fifteen track disc. “Inner Search” is layered with hazy synths and wordless vocal phrasings. “Psych Impression” is a cinematic offering highlighted by Santi’s opera styled vocals. “Blue Miles” captures the spirit of the Mountains with warm guitar and spacey rhodes. If you’re into laidback beats and dreamy soundscapes you’ll no doubt enjoy this one.


New Visionaries – Roadmaps [Love Monk Records]

Australian artist Joel Sarakula and Dutch musician Phil Martin are New Visionari
es. The duo first met in 2019 and the following year began working on tracks. “Roadmaps” is an eclectic collection of cinematic compositions and contemporary soul grooves. “Desert Disco Nights” has a seventies soundtrack aesthetic ignited by electric guitar and organ rhythms. “Summer Rain” is a mellow tune that features Hannah Williams on vocals. “Brasiliance” exudes warm vibes with percolating percussion and fender rhodes. This ten track release will keep your eardrums on lock and your head nod on non-stop.


Lorenzo Morresi & Le Isole – Pop Flop [Space Echo Records]

Italian DJ/Producer Lorenzo Morresi and Le Isole pay tribute to “library music” on his latest release “Pop Flop”. Library Music are obscure vinyl recordings written strictly for radio and television. These string laden jazz funk recordings were written by an array classically trained composers. Producer Luciano Cantone, who co-produced some of the recordings owns a large collection of rare library gems. Together they breathe new life into these recordings and lay down the groundwork for this impressive album. The disc kicks off with “Shalom”, a cosmic jazz funk heater. “Savana Urbana” is a mellow experimental number with a haunting groove. The ten track disc is filled with other cinematic compositions worth digging into. With Cantone’s vast collection I would expect to hear recordings like this from Morresi. This record deserves an encore.


Malcolm Strachan – Point Of No Return [Haggis Records]

Scottish trumpeter Malcolm Strachan follows up his impressive debut with another engaging record. Where “About Time” showcased a straight ahead sound “Point Of No Return” taps into the CTI sound with warm melodic compositions. “Nossa Danca”  is a bubbly tune with a Latin groove layered with Strachan’s warm harmonic tone . “The Wanderer” is a mid tempo tune that instantly melts into your soul. It’s layered with notable contributions from pianist George Cooper. In addition, UK vocalist Jo Harrop adds heavenly wordless phrasings and Atroll Ransome on flute takes the tune to another level. Strachan’s working band is a cohesive unit that is on top of their game. Strachan captures the spirit of the CTI sound with an impressive collection of soul jazz grooves with some bossa rhythms for good measure.


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