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Early year splurge

Well well well, thus far, 2016 has been a good start for additions to the music library. Albums released in the latter part of last year that have inexplicably escaped my attention to recent offspring from bop heavy joy bringers. If I may, I’d like to share those that have recently tantalized my aural senses.

empirical old street

Released in the past couple of days, it is safe to say that Empirical’s Connection is an album that I have been longing to hear since their week long residency at Foyles Bookshop on Charing Cross Road last year. This coming week, the group will be performing out of a pop up jazz lounge in Old Street Underground Station (details above), no doubt confusing the bleary eyed rat race participants with an 8am show. Empirical are everything that is right about jazz: graceful fluidity, unconstrained imagination and volume in warmth. Connection is no different, veering from haunting to filthy swing in an instance. God I love this band; be sure to catch any one of their multiple free performances this week!

A different form of intelligence, Field Music have returned with an album chock full of what they do best: edgy funk with sweet melodies, laced with clever touches and subtle layers of instrumentation. I could not imagine Commontime being out of place for any occasion.

Little known Oakland outfit Feed Me Jack released their latest EP, Ultra Ego, earlier this year. It represents a band honing their already identifiable sound, fine tuning their music by clearly illuminating the basis of each song amidst the variety of directions they pull you in. Put Audio Pono on and ease back, you’ll need to have reclined when you reach 1.22.


Released late last year, Astronautilus is Get The Blessing’s fifth studio offering. And with this track, Monkfish, they hark back to their oh so glorious roots. I challenge you to not feel engaged with this snappy number.


And finally, I’m going to be a bit bloody naughty and post my own band Corybantic’s muzakical deliberations. We released a mini EP this year and………..I make no further comment. It’s there if you’re interested.





Breaking in the new year

Did I include pouring boundless energy into more blog posts as one of my new year’s resolutions? Clearly I didn’t, but neither have I actively searched out music new to my lugs as of late.  Oh how I have missed it.


With the turn of the year, there are many new releases to look forward to and gigs a plenty booked, with Partisans, Blue Touch Paper, Tera Melos, Get The Blessing, RX Bandits and my second outing to White Denim all firmly planted on the radar.

Let’s keep it short and sweet: I’ve been keeping one track on loop for the past week or so, namely Tidal Wave by Thee Oh Sees. It’s one mother of a dusty groove, with the reverb pushed all the way to form an overdriven psychedelic haze.


Album purchased this week no. 2 – Sensible Shoes

Released in 2009 and nominated for the Mercury Prize the same year, Sensible Shoes by Led Bib forms my second, sweet album bought this week.

led bib

With current UK jazz circles populated by many outstanding groups, such as Troyka, Get The Blessing, Empirical and Polar Bear, Led Bib can rightly be counted as part of this thriving scene. The compositions that make up Sensible Shoes bound off into many directions, from all out free jazz, that sounds like Acoustic Ladyland on acid, to more delicate and melodic tunes. As always with this type of music, it is an album that merits many listens to gain an understanding of the ideas and motifs that make up each song, as well as an appreciation of the ability involved.

Sweet Chilli is a personal favourite of mine from the album – kick starting with a catchy, ascending saxophone riff that twists and turns between proficient drum fills, the tune settles on a measured bass line at 1.18 before building back up with brilliantly creative drum rolls from 2.20 onwards, turning into what could almost be described as a march at 3.07 and 4.08. The silent gaps at 1.09 and 5.00 are VERY cool (the second only punctuated by the deftest rim, skin and cymbal hits and the quiet harmonic pinch of a bass).


Groove! numero dos

The time has come, once again, to fill your ears with pure filth. The second instalment of big tunes is here.

Get The Blessing

Get The Blessing

Organs have the potential to rule the world, and Alan Hackshaw’s Beat Me Til I’m Blue could be the song to achieve global domination. Or so I like to think anyway.

Written by Stevie Wonder, Tell Me Something Good by Rufus featuring Chaka Kan is next up, a tune of talk box, heavy breathing and bass plucking wonder. Add a big chorus to the mix too and it’s a belter.

The first track from the album Bugs in Amber, Music Style Product by Get The Blessing can not fail to instantly hook you with raw energy and blaring brass lines. Look out for them again in future blogs, they have a raft of awesome music.

A Tribe Called Quest need no introduction…….an old favourite, Luck of Lucien is from the album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.

And lastly, the massively funky Make It Real (Ride On) by Betty Adams rounds things off, with brilliant vocal performances and piano work.