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Tracklist

Karima Walker – Reconstellated (Waking the Dreaming Body / Keeled Scales ‎/ Ordinal Records)

“Seems every morning starts the same way.” Karima Walker breathes these words in the midst of the title track from Waking The Dreaming Body as if to reflect the fact that her fourth solo album was finally realised in her own makeshift home studio in Tucson, Arizona whilst subject to lockdown conditions. Listening to the record thousands of miles away here in the United Kingdom as we start to slowly and ever-so-cautiously emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic not only can the wider impact of Waking The Dreaming Body’s creation be more deeply felt, but its true meaning also begins to make the most perfect of sense. – God is in the TV


Spiral Wave Nomads – Radiant Drifter (First Encounters / Feeding Tube Records / Twin Lakes Records)

Asynchronously making music together over the internet since 2018 — an effort which gave us their self-titled debut LP — bandmates Eric Hardiman and Michael Kiefer met in the flesh for the first time during the summer of 2019. The public record of their first meeting is the four tracks that make up the aptly-named First Encounters, freshly improvised and recorded on just one afternoon in 2019 and co-released on Twin Lakes Records and Feeding Tube Records. – Post-Trash


Yu Su – Futuro (Yellow River Blue / Music From Memory)

Following 2018’s Preparation For Departure and 2019’s Watermelon Woman, Yellow River Blue develops Yu Su’s unique sound that takes influence from the emerging Chinese experimental electronica scene, with deep dubby explorations and twinkling ambience, spun together in inventive and original arrangements. – The Noise Narrative


Farhot – Ahange Qadimi (Kabul Fire Vol. 2/ Kabul Fire)

Farhot’s music can often be quite difficult to explain accurately, but that’s a part of his charm. The Afghan-born, now German-based producer is unlike anyone else, absent of comparatives as he fuses together cultural and musical pickings from his Kabul-based background with the experiences and inspiration he gains as an immigrant to Hamburg; a place where the musician’s art has thrived amongst the freeing, multi-faceted nature of the city’s art scene. – Pile Rats


Yasmin Williams – Jarabi (Urban Driftwood / Spinster)

Pick any track from Urban Driftwood and you’ll soon be made aware of Williams’ ability to use the guitar to say what she wants it to say. – Continuous Thunder


Lia Ices – Young on the Mountain (Family Album / Natural Music)

There’s something almost comical about the fact that Family Album, the fourth album from singer-songwriter Lia Ices, begins with a simple, forward piano melody. Her last album, 2014’s Ices, saw the artist take a rather hard left-turn out of the organic, folksy instrumentation of her first two LPs, and land on something much more synthetic, comprising slick grooves, glistening pads, electronic beats, and lots of effects. It was an experiment, and it seems, judging by the first seconds of Family Album, an experiment that Ices is ready to leave behind. – Beats Per Minute


Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds – He Walked In (Swing From The Sean DeLear / In The Red Records)

If live music stages are currently gathering dust, Kid Congo Powers isn’t. A veteran of the trash rock trail going back to his first band, the Gun Club, Powers ended 2019 with the excellent Wolfmanhattan Project debut album (a trio including Mick Collins and Bob Bert), some follow-up gigs before the whole virus mess, and now he’s back with his ongoing Pink Monkey Birds concern, dishing up a growly and gratifying four-song cycle, Swing from the Sean Delear (In the Red). It’s entire second side is a 14-minute long beat-jazzy meander (“He Walked In”) that was inspired by a dream Powers had where he saw his old Gun Club cohort, Jeffrey Lee Pierce. About halfway through, it snaps into a heftier groove that might get you dancing despite the smoky, spooky mood. – Please Kill Me


Gerry Weil – The Message (INF001: The Message / Olindo Records)

The ever inspirational Olindo Records has now got a sister! To be precise a sister label entitled Música Infinita and she kicks off her new life with this barnstorming album of 1970’s funky Venezuelan Jazz-Rock. – Truth & Lies


Adrian Younge – The American Negro (The American Negro / Jazz is Dead)

The American Negro is not for the faint of heart, including the album cover art–a recreation of “Lynching Postcards” that celebrated the murder of African Americans at the hands of White Americans as vigilante justice at the turn of the last century, with no judicial reprisals – Grandstand Media


Tala Vala – Angel Organ (Modern Hysteric / Number Witch)

Experimental music covers a multitude of sins and Tala Vala do that too. Mixing together brass, strings, guitars, vocal samples, drums and weird percussion, Tala Vala sits at a crossroads of trip-hop, jazz and deconstructed electronica. It is difficult to pigeon hole the London based duo as they work purposely with niche genres of music to blend them together. Their results usually fall somewhere around the above with a psychedelia tilt though. – Higher Plain Music


Menahan Street Band – Cabin Fever (Dunham / Daptone)


Loshh – É Beré (ÍFARADÁ / Self Released)


Pauline Anna Strom – I Still Hope (Angel Tears in Sunlight / RVNG Intl.)


Philippe Cohen Solal & Mike Lindsay – Blessed Assurance (OUTSIDER / Ya Basta!)


Cassandra Jenkins – Hard Drive (An Overview On Phenomenal Nature / Ba Da Bing!)


Alastair Ottesen – Soul In Us (Pathless Land / Self Released)

This album is about love in modern times, spiritual realizations, political waters, mental contradictions, and matters of the heart.

Further Reading: High Five For


Elori Saxl – Blue (The Blue Of Distance / Western Vinyl)

Combining digitally-processed recordings of wind and water with analog synthesizers and chamber orchestra, Elori Saxl’s The Blue of Distance begins as a meditation on the effect of technology on our relationship with land/nature/place but ultimately evolves to be more of a reflection on longing and memory. The phrase “the Blue of Distance” was coined by Rebecca Solnit in A Field Guide to Getting Lost and refers to the phenomenon of faraway mountains appearing blue due to light particles getting lost over distance.

Further Reading: The Road to Sound

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