This one wasted no time working its way into our heads with keenly infectious hooks, but it was the subtle, eccentric touches to the instrumentation and lyricism that ultimately elevated the whole, and made Rebound a particularly memorable listen. Ever heard a demonic pied piper robot tooting a flute through a countryside field? The cover is a remarkably apt depiction of the kinds of sounds that lie in wait within. Play this record with the lights turned on, or you may never sleep again.
An intimate portrait of a life Vynehall never knew. Read our interview with Leon Vynehall here. Irish singer and songwriter Brigid Mae Power returned in with The Two Worldslayering reverb-heavy folk with the intensity of her soaring vocals. Read our interview with DJ Taye here. The label released four excellent albums, including one under his own Pendant moniker, any of which could have made this list.
Think otherworldly, surreal and highly addictive. Read our interview with Aisha Devi here. Exposing the fragile relationship between the personal and public, Broken Politics is a fragmented record that tries to make sense of how to live in turbulent With Four Tet on production duty, and Wolfgang Tillmans behind the album photography, Cherry remains razor sharp and as prescient as ever.
Rather than a complete from the first LP, Con Todo El Mundo is the perfect fusion of their southeast coconut funk with hazy desert strings and vocals sprinkled atop. Another essential release on Modern Love. Label boss, producer, saxophonist and latter day flautist Tenderlonious is one of those artists who does everything his own way. Recorded on the fly in a ferocious 8-hour session at Abbey Road, The Shakedown is pure lightning in a bottle.
Read our interview with Tenderlonious here. Far better than its title suggests, these are some great rap songs. Consider it a hazy, intricate suite of balmy electronic zips and zings, seeing you through long sunshine days into blissed out emerald twilights. We were rather spoiled for choice with all the Ostgut Ton releases this year.
Not so with Martyn, who traverses them all in a wholly cohesive way. This marked a refreshing change, one that left Martyn to explore the idiosyncrasies of his own percussive swings and roundabouts to the fullest, Walkers Dance - The Incredible Cherry Tree Band - The Incredible Cherry Tree Band (Vinyl.
The result is an LP that gives a remarkably vivid and multi-sensory impression of place. If you close your eyes, you can almost taste the frozen salt water spray.
Always hard to pigeon-hole, and a prescient figure in all manner of electronic music in recent years, Laurel Halo took a perfect side step from the vocal work and experimental pop of Dustfor six out-there instrumentals and a delicate electro-acoustic balance. As Walkers Dance - The Incredible Cherry Tree Band - The Incredible Cherry Tree Band (Vinyl such complex content, Hynes compositions constantly shift between neo-soul, leftfield hip-hop, avant pop and synthetic RnB, the disparate strands held together with street recordings and spoken interludes.
From the streets of Tokyo to the shores of Lisbon, Japanese ensemble Kikagaku Moyo recorded their fourth studio album with Portuguese jazz musician Bruno Pernadas, adding a soft-touch acoustic improvisation to their driving sound. An agile record with beautiful cover art to boot. Chicago label International Anthem has been bubbling for a while now. Yeah, it will still zing your eyebrows off from the start, but the reaction chain to it will likely be as follows… First LP) acknowledgement of quality.
Will someone play this in a club on loop for a few hours please? At once welcoming multiple genres whilst actively resisting their specifics or dwelling in a single atmosphere, it was this promiscuous approach to sound and song structure that cast Safe in the Hands of Love with a shade of its own.
Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings follows his work at the helm of all-star Brownswood compilation We Out Here, which also appears on this list, and A. But delve under the surface, reading between the lines of the track names as these saxophone messages weave their way through, and the rhythms take on a different meaning.
An example of the power this current UK jazz wave has to spread a message beyond music. A mighty first album that tip-toes between fierce techno, UK bass and more ambient moods with a deft touch. Almost 25 years in and Low are still one of the most essential bands around. Double Negative LP) both incredible, and must have the best intros of any album this year. The use of silence, noise, loop and effect on this record is astounding, and only a band like Low could turn all this into such simply beautiful music.
Diverging slightly from overtly breakbeat-orientated fare, it also added hues of IDM and ambient to the mix, to shape a different, and welcome, view of what a dance floor can and should look like in As with all sublime albums though, Compro truly came into its own when listened to the whole way through. In its entirety, soaking up the stripped-back, and quite frankly a bit emotional, moments, made its punctuated, frenetic scenes that much more satisfying still.
Unlike any other, Tunisian techno producer Deena Abdelwahed drew us into a world we never knew with her debut album Khonnar. Walkers Dance - The Incredible Cherry Tree Band - The Incredible Cherry Tree Band (Vinyl acidic electronics with traditional and rare instrumental experimentations, Khonnar evoked cloaked Arabian visions via the dance floor. The record that launched a thousand careers… London jazz has been the new thing for some time now, but on We Out HereBrownswood both captured and then turbo-charged what was already a thriving grassroots movement.
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