Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Dining Rooms - Lonesome Traveller (2011)

Three years after “Ink”, The Dining Rooms release their sixth studio album "Lonesome Traveller".

“Cinematic music” and “songwriting” (also developed in the Sem’bro Project released by Summer Dawn in 2010) are the main features of the Milanese duo work.

The meeting with the London based singer Jake Reid, and his undeniable vocal characteristics, played an important role in the writing and production of this album. Almost marked by fate, the meeting with Jake was fortuitous and immediately deep. Stefano and Cesare were looking for singers for their new album, when Stefano received an e-mail from Jake congratulating him for their previous productions and asking for any features in the near future.
Stefano listened to the tracks performed by Jake and decided to play them to Cesare; an immediate feeling has dawned shortly between Jake’s soulful and vibrant voice and The Dining Rooms musical atmospheres.
Jake ‘s approach to the album has been very enthusiastic and dynamic, he performed songs already written and wrote new ones inspired by the new collaboration. The result is an unusual album for the Dining Rooms style: for the first time there is a prevailing voice that defines the project stylistically.
"Lonesome Traveller" is an elaborate record, it is especiallythe crossing of the traditional song format by means of complex melodic textures and a minimalist approach to the vocals, which is interwined with the instrumental parts in a kind of a psycho-jazz, soul mantra.
The whole is rhythmic and expansive, harmony and nocturnal melancholy, abstraction and melody, an hypothetical meeting point among the vocal albums of Brian Eno, “Another Green World”, and his more ambient productions, “Music for airports” and “Music for films”.
"Lonesome Traveller" is also a concept album about the journey, inspired by a series of writings by Jack Kerouac ("Lonesome Traveller", released in 1960).
The song titles and the development of the tracklist are designed like chapters of a book or scenes from a movie, a sort of emotional narrative that becomes the underlying theme of the album and blends, seamlessly, literary, musical and cinematic references, from Don DeLillo (“Running Dog”) to Woody Allen (“Interiors”); from Can (“Fading Gradually) to half-breed jazz (Io cammino ma….) passing through Erik Satie meeting Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada ("We are the music makers," "We are the Dreamers," "Hotel rooms").
The traveller is lead by "existential" questionings and embarks on a journey that is primarily research based, with self-discovery as the central focus.
The journey, an unexplored horizon, becomes a metaphor for life: the conquest of man’s own internal world evoked in this album by the dialectic between voice and instruments. This highlights the gap between stability and instability, speed and slowness and between established values and absolute freedom.
It is the driving force of human will, to look ahead to the future and the unknown as a new challenge. The journey therefore contains a substantial polarity between loyalty to man’s own roots and the challenge of research, between the promise of the conquest and the risk of loss, between the hope of return and surrender to the unknown.
The significance of the journey is key to this album’s structure and merit……

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lack of Afro - This Time (2011)

Lack Of Afro (Adam Gibbons) has achieved a startling amount in the few years since his first Freestyle releases. Playing live and DJ-ing across the world, producing and remixing everyone from Tom Jones, The Pharcyde, The New Mastersounds through to Kraak & Smaak!

In 2011, as well as collaborating on an album project with Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds, having also produced and played on the album, Colours by Freestyle label mate Frootful, Adam somehow found time to create what is, without doubt his strongest album yet: This Time.

A wide ranging and eclectic, progressive musical outlook has always been the Lack Of Afro approach, and on this collection the music pulls together several strands into a fantastic, homogenous journey with almost too many highlights to mention! Several top notch vocalists feature, Jake Morleys Holding My Breath with its moody minor key feel riding over an aggressive rhythm track is one tune that is bound to find favour on dance floors worldwide.

A Time For with Wayne Giddens' smoky, falsetto voice is already gaining a reputation as Lack Of Afro's most genuinely soulful composition ever, evoking as it does a mid 70's sound that Al Green, Curtis Mayfield or Marvin Gaye would have been rightly proud of. Already available as a 7 inch single/download (FSR7069) the amazing feedback to this beautiful song ensures it will certainly become renowned as timeless classic.

Fool is a track that echoes 1960s pop-soul of artists like Dusty Springfield, as Angeline Morrisons sweet voice rides over orchestral strings, whilst on The Importance Of Elsewhere Angeline displays fully deserved soul credentials and her contributions mark her out as a rising star in 2011.

With flavours of afrobeat on Contusions, the laid back far eastern tonality of Little Fugue, Def Jam Records star Wax rocking all over P.A.R.T.Y. alongside Herbal T, and a smattering of well rounded and grooving instrumentals like Lazy Lazurus, This Time is the Lack Of Afro album we have all been waiting for. Considered, soulful, contemporary yet retro, accomplished certainly and setting standards in modern music others will struggle to follow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quantic - The Best of Quantic (2011)

posted on

‘The Best Of Quantic’ is out now on double CD and vinyl, to celebrate an incredible ten years of swinging and soulful, funk-filled and tropical, authentic and innovative, DJ-delighting, booty-shaking, culture-clashing, horizon-broadening and consistently sweet music from Quantic on Tru Thoughts records. All the biggest tunes are here, plus three exclusive new tracks.

It is a decade since a 20-year-old Will Holland (aka Quantic) came to meet Tru Thoughts A&R Robert Luis, holding in his hand the demo that was soon to become his first album, ‘The 5th Exotic’. Picked up on by the biggest names in underground music at the time, including Gilles Peterson, LTJ Bukem and Richard Dorfmeister, it was clear that this impressive debut heralded a very special new arrival onto the scene. A record-obsessed DJ and crate-digger, his musical talents have always been matched by a rare curiosity and drive that sets him apart. His passion to find the roots of the sounds that he loves has taken him on a journey from the UK to Cali, Colombia, where he now lives and works with a diverse and vibrant mix of musicians.

Quantic Tru Thoughts Podcast No 38

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Cinematic Orchestra - Entr'acte & Manhatta (singles, 2011)

The Cinematic Orchestra release 'Entr'acte' & 'Manhatta'

Posted on (13.09.11)

Debuting in 2010 with a live score at London's Roundhouse, Entr'acte and Manhatta are two films made in the same era as Man With A Movie Camera, showing the world in the 1920's from three distinct cultures. The Man With A Movie Camera score in 2003 was a landmark release for The Cinematic Orchestra, the most critically acclaimed of all the attempts at scoring the film. It is with some fanfare that two new soundtracks along with the film footage are to be released on the Ninjashop and iTunes...

Entr'acte (1924) is Rene Clair's Dada-influenced 20-minute short, commissioned for the interval of Francis Picabia's new ballet, Relache, in Paris in 1924. The original music for the film was composed by the famous composer Erik Satie, who makes a cameo appearance along side surrealist photographer Man Ray.

Manhatta (1921) is a short 11-minute documentary film made by painter Charles Sheeler and photographer Paul Strand. The film consists of 65 shots sequenced in a non-narrative structure, providing a view of the city in its formative years.

Buy Entr'acte at the Ninjashop

Download on iTunes

Buy Manhatta at the Ninjashop

Download on iTunes

The Cinematic Orchestra have also now sold out 'InMotion' at London's Barbican on 1st October. Continuing the on-going live event curated by the band, a selection of films will be given original live scores. As well as their own performance, The Cinematic Orchestra have invited Dorian Concept and Tom Chant, Grey Reverend and Austin Peralta to perform exclusive scores to hand picked short films.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blue Note Milano LIVE

One of the hottest jazz spots in Europe has opened up its doors for yet another exciting season. Blue Note Milano (the only B N club in Europe) has anounced its autumn dates with the likes of Charlie Watts Band, Nicola Conte, Al Di Meola, Freddy Cole, Nick The Nightfly & The Monte Carlo Nights Orchestra, Stacey Kent, Madeleine Peyroux, US3, Cedar Walton, Fourplay, Patty Pravo and many more strolling on its stage.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Electric Band Marzipan - Clocks On Fire ep

Super chill instrumental hip hop, featuring jazz, funk, soul, and even disco influences! ELECTRIC BAND MARZIPAN unleash their eclectic mix of funky tunes to the world 4 FREE! Check out their website to download all three albums they've released this year (Clocks On Fire ep, Hot Surfaces, Simple Apples May Provide Lean Edible Sauce).

Coming out of nowhere and immediately dropping two LPs, Simple Apples May Provide Lean Edible Sauce in March and then Hot Surfaces in June of 2011, Electric Band Marzipan is finally ready for their first appearances in front of a wider audience. No longer just a creation for self-satisfaction and to break away from the mainstream, Electric Band Marzipan is now about spreading their own brand of Funky Jazz for the Soul to everyone in need of some soul.

Everyone needs some goddamn soul.

The third album, Clocks on Fire, is a tour de force in creating a new sound: futurehop. Filled with wild rhythms, many different instruments, and more atmosphere than ever, this is instrumental hip hop from a futuristic world filled with both darkness and beauty.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

VA - Downbeat Selection vol. 2 (Compost Records, 2011)

After one and a half decade and more than 370 releases, Compost Records bundles some of their finest tunes as Various Artists digital download compilation albums.
The variety and full spectrum of Compost’s repertoire has never or rarely been presented in form of a musical genre compilation. These releases will be compiled or DJ-mixed by Compost’s artists and are available as digital downloads, except in some rare cases very very limited as 500 CDs. With the second Downbeat Selection, Compost head honcho and compiler Michael Reinboth shows the folky swinging side of the Compost repertoire. Vocal pop and uplifting tunes from our most talented songwriters highlighting a small but delightful spectrum of the Compost vault. Btw, Michael’s life-course shows that he compiled more than 25 compilations in his long term career, his first one was Germany’s first ever Hip Hop sampler called “Krauts With Attitude” in 1988, as well as he compiled two comps for Sleeping Bag Records (released on German label Intercord) with classics from Arthur Russell, Weekend, Konk, Class Action, Todd Terry a.m.o., including linernotes by Michael Reinboth, not to forget the „Future Sound Of Jazz“ (vol.1-11) serie, which will be continued with Vol.12 this autumn 2011.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Madeleine Peyroux - Standing on the Rooftop (2011)

This is a fine, largely original album, give or take a handful of covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Lennon and McCartney, and Robert Johnson, and a couple from a recently kindled composing partnership with the Stones' Bill Wyman. The feel is darker, spookier and earthier than on 2009's Bare Bones (Cassandra Wilson producer Craig Street is clearly an influential presence), with contributions from Tom Waits guitarist Marc Ribot and New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint helping establish a simmering, semi-abstract backdrop for Peyroux's measured delivery and bluesy elisions. A major highlight is the echoing, gothic account of Johnson's Love in Vain. It's part of a sequence of more weighty, atmospheric pieces that build from the quirky, ecstatic title track through the chunky guitar and bass riffs of Dylan's I Threw It All Away and on to the wistful original The Way of All Things – which Peyroux negotiates with her delicate control of small sounds, and complements with a rougher and more worldly quality that goes back to the early jazz and blues methods she understands so well.

- By John Fordham (The Guardian)