Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Samuel Jon Samuelsson - 4 Hlidar (2013)

The Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band was originally formed in 2000 by Samúel for a set of live performances in Reykjavík. They play Samúels original funk/afro/jazz music. They released “Legoland” a live recording from their debut concert in 2000 that year and played at the Reykjavik Jazzfestival. in 2007 the band was reformed for a new record called Fnykur (old Icelandic word for something stinky, smelly or funky) featuring 10 tracks of original funk and groove music. Fnykur was released in Japan in 2008. Samuel has since 1998 been one of leading members of the Icelandic funk unit JAGÚAR. The group has released 5 albums toured trough Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Zwiss, UK and USA including gigs at Londons Jazzcafe and The Summerstages festival in New York. In 2004 the band opened up for James Brown in Reykjavik. Apart from working with Jaguar, Samuel has worked as an arranger and session man for various Icelandic artists such as Sigur Rós, Mugison, Reykjavík Big Band, Trabant, Mezzoforte, Tómas R. Einarsson and long list of local Icelandic act.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Heliocentrics - 13 Degrees of Reality (2013)

The Heliocentrics’ debut album, ‘Out There’ (2007) was a confounding piece of work. Drawing equally from the funk universe of James Brown, the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra, the cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone, the sublime fusion of David Axelrod, Pierre Henry’s turned-on musique concrète, and Can’s beat-heavy Krautrock, ‘Out There’ pointed the way towards a brand new kind of psychedelia, one that could only come from a band of accomplished musicians who were also obsessive music fans.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Erik Truffaz Quartet: El Tiempo De La Revolución (2013)

There was a generation or two of trumpeters who picked up ideas from the meteoric musical trajectory of Miles Davis and developed them after Miles himself had moved on.
Palle Mikkelborg and Enrico Rava are good examples, but the Swiss-born Frenchman Érik Truffaz is one of the most consistently creative. He just can’t help sounding beautiful and lyrical, whatever the setting.
A good example here is his work on the slightly grungy sound of vocalist Anna Aaron’s song Blue Movie, which has a delightful, whimsical trumpet solo with Harmon mute that could have sprung out of any Davis recording from the 50s or 60s.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Sweet Vandals - After All (2013)

The explosion in the black music scene in Spain over the last few years is undeniable and THE SWEET VANDALS have been at the forefront of European soul and funk bands since they released their first album in 2007.  Starting in small clubs where they built up their sound the band has gone on to perform at top festivals such as Womad, Pori Jazz Festival and Blue Note. Other accolades include European tours, particularly popular in France and Germany, worldwide gigs and performances for the BBC and the legendary Rockplast TV show on Germany’s WDR. All this has helped the band earn their nickname as the hardest working band in Europe. After three albums with the Düsseldorf based label Unique they have decided to make the jump to their own label SWEET RECORDS.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The James Hunter Six - Minute by Minute (2013)

With his last two albums, 2006’s Grammy-nominated People Gonna Talk and 2008’s The Hard Way, James Hunter delivered a classic yet perpetually modern brand of rhythm and blues that captivated listeners across generations and earned him two Billboard Blues #1′s, tours with Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Etta James, and Willie Nelson, performances on Leno, Letterman, and Conan, and critical raves everywhere from the NY Times to USA Today. 
Minute By Minute, out February 26, 2013 on GO Records/Fantasy, marks a pivotal movement in this unique artist’s career—not only because it arguably contains his best writing, singing, and playing to date, but because it signals James’ return to the studio following the loss of his wife Jacqueline, who died of cancer in October 2011.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Charles Bradley - Victim of Love (2013)

Since the release of 2011’s award winning debut, No Time for Dreaming, Charles Bradley has transformed from a rising star in the Daptone galaxy into a bona-fide headliner, now affectionately known across the globe as "The Screaming Eagle of Soul." The raw emotion and soulfulness of Bradley's voice lifts him up among the greats of the golden age of Soul - Otis, JB, Wilson Pickett, and Darrell Banks. Anyone who has had the privilege of hearing him sing has experienced how Bradley can captivate an entire audience with a simple "Ooooo..."

Omar - The Man (2013)

"When I grow up, I wanna be like Omar" Stevie Wonder

"Omar is one of my favourite artists.. ever" Erykah Badu
There are precious few, if any contemporary UK artists whose creative credentials and influence extend as far and so consistently wide as Freestyle Records most recent signing Omar. Since first breaking through to worldwide renown all the way back in 1991 with his first releases on Gilles Petersons seminal Talking Loud label, and going onto work with all manner of musical legends including a certain Stevie, Erykah Badu, Angie Stone, Syreeta Wright, Common, and Carleen Anderson. With willing, enthusiastic and supportive collaborators like that, it's undeniable that Omar maintains his reputation as a soul music Don par excellence.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

VA - Movements 5 (2013)

The year is 2013 A.D. True music lovers are forced underground because the whole world has been overrun by multinational media conglomerates... the whole world? Not entirely! There is one small village in Bavaria inhabited by an indomitable DJ whose record label still holds out against the invaders of minimalistic electro sounds and narrow-gauged pop bleat. Life ain't a cakewalk for our mighty little label, but with verve, spirit and a great courage it defends the mission of long-forgotten musicians: to reanimate the soul sounds of the 1960s and 70s.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Owiny Sigoma Band - Power Punch (2013)

Owiny Sigoma Band unleash ‘Power Punch’ on 8th April 2013 via Brownswood Recordings. Spinning on its London>Nairobi axis, the MOBO-nominated group continue to redefine universal, artistic and cultural exchange blending traditional Kenya nyatiti and Luo music with Western songwriting and production techniques. The album, as its title suggests, is a confident, radiant record packed with stirring, sometimes downright frisky jams.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Helena Jesele - Sweet and Sticky Fix (2013)

Helena Jesele is a 6 foot tall, singer and songwriter who was born in the 80′s in Manchester, England, but raised in Dublin, Ireland. She grew up in a typically musical Irish family listening to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra so when she began singing at the tender age of 5, it was a natural progression that the Great American Songbook became her staple vocal expression at school performances throughout her teenage years.

Coup de Soul - Guilty Company ep (2013)

Guilty Company is a homage to true old-school hip hop. Sample-based beats mixed with precise and conscious turntablism and thoughtful, humble flows bring the sounds of Coup de Soul to life. This 5-track EP is the debut from this duo, Christopher Williams on lyrics and flows and Rob Thomason producing and dj'ing.