Record Of The Week

Tumi Mogorosi - Group Theory: Black Music (Mushroom Hour Half Hour)

South African drummer and composer Tumi Mogorosi delivers one of 2022’s strongest jazz albums in the form of the hauntingly beautiful ‘Group Theory: Black Music’ on the impeccable Mushroom Hour Half Hour imprint, chasing the ghosts of Albert Ayler, Max Roach and Rahsaan Roland Kirk with the help of an allstar cast and a nine-piece choir.

Providing a dense wall of sound the size of a modest cathedral, the choir singing contrasts wonderfully with Mogorosi’s light and subtle drumming, Reza Khota’s understated guitar playing and Mthunzi Mvubu’s stunning harmonic sax work.

“(New) Black Music is this: Find the self, then kill it”, American poet and music critic Amiri Baraka wrote in the liner notes of the 1965 Impulse live album ‘The New Wave in Jazz’, that features spirited performances by John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp, a motto that is featured prominently on ‘Group Theory’’s inner sleeve.

It’s this striving for selflessness that makes this album such a rewarding listening experience, from the whirlwind first notes of opener ‘Wadada’ to the dying seconds of Mogorosi’s interpretation of the standard ‘Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child’. The ego is replaced by something bigger here - the communal spirit of making music together that takes both the musicians and the listeners to a higher plane, providing they look past the bombast and surrender to its awesome power. (Rogier) ⁣

MR. FINGERS - AMNESIA (ALLEVIATED)

Over the past three decades Larry Heard’s seminal 1989 masterpiece ‘Amnesia’ grew out to become one of the most sought-after records in house music history. Now the first ever official reissue is finally here.

Rivaled in scarcity only by ‘Introduction’ (1992) and ‘Sceneries Not Songs’ (the 1994 Black Market album that got reissued in 2020, also on Heard’s own Alleviated Records), ‘Amnesia’ is generally considered one of the definitive milestones in house music history, along with Fingers Inc’s ‘Another Side’, that was released a year earlier.

Marking both the beginning and the end of the first era of house music and signaling the advent of the second phase of Heard’s work (for context, the gorgeously jazzy ‘What About this Love’ came out the same year), the album contained some of the best ever versions of by then already classic Fingers material like ‘Can You Feel It’, ‘Washing Machine’, ‘Stars’ and ‘Mystery of Love’ - all tracks that for the most part had already been released in different shapes and forms since the inception of Alleviated in 1985, with the exception of the title track and the alternate version of ‘Bye Bye’.

Thirty three years later ‘Amnesia’ is still a vital piece of house music history, this time pressed on three records instead of two, giving it a bit more space to breathe. Sounding gorgeous as ever this is still a total must-have for anyone with even the slightest interest in electronic music. (Rogier) ⁣

TELESONIK ATELIER - A SELECTION OF IMPROVISATIONS (1989 - 2017)

Telesoniek Atelier is the nom d’artiste of Dutch audiovisual explorer and electronic music sorcerer Hans Kulk, who’s been steadily carving a name for himself in Dutch art circles while constantly shining a light on the electronic music pioneers that came before him.

‘A Selection of Improvisations’ brings together some of his work of the last quarter of a century, veering back and forth between avantgarde classical music (the post-Bachian opener ‘Chateauroux’, ‘Oberheim Impro’), thoughtful minimalism (‘A Prophet Oberheim Impro’), emotive ambient (the wonderfully understated ‘I Am’ and the Klaus Schulze-dedicated ‘Gruesse an KS’) and eerie retro-futuristic soundscapes (‘Improvisatie’, ‘Montage De L’Histoire’). It’s a varied bunch that’s so heartbreakingly beautiful you can’t help but wonder why none of this was ever released before.

“There was never much focus on recording quality - I was interested only in capturing the momentary musical idea improvised on those great SCI, Oberheim and ARP instruments”, Kulk humbly states in the liner notes of this beautifully designed double album. While he’s obviously selling himself short here - ‘Improvisations’ sounds great from start to finish and that can't be solely attributed to the expert mastering of Frédéric Alstadt - it’s this sense of selflessness and unpretentiousness that makes this such a thrilling ride. The music speaks for itself here and it speaks volumes. (Rogier) ⁣

TOUCHING BASS PRESENTS: SOON COME (TOUCHING BASS)

Glued to the turntables at Rush Hour right now: ‘Soon Come’, the new 22 track trans-Atlantic statement of intent by community-based South-London collective Touching Bass, who’ve steadily established themselves among the most important cultural incubators of the city with their club nights, concert series, NTS radio show and imprint over the last six years.

Although often harking back to a time when hiphop and what was then known as neo-soul or nu classic soul (for lack of a better term) was increasingly being infused with jazz and gold dust, ‘Soon Come’ is still very much a product of its time, with one foot on the dance floor, head firmly in the clouds.

Roughly divided into two parts (‘Day’ and ‘Night’) ‘Soon Come’ is the perfect mix of blissed-out downtempo contemporary soul-plus gems and smoked-out bruk- and Detroit house-informed floor steppers in a bunch of assorted flavors.

Bridging the gap between bigger names like Rush Hour Store darling keiyaA, breakout jazz phenomenon Nala Sinephro, Hiatus Kaiyote’s Clever Austin and the ever brilliant Ego Ella May and a wide range of future stars popping up from the leftfield, there’s not a single weak moment on ‘Soon Come’ - it’s all love here. (Rogier) ⁣

WARM (RON TRENT) - WHAT DO THE STARS SAY TO YOU?⁣ (NIGHT TIME STORIES)

Over the last three decades Ron Trent has been carefully building a discography very few can match as a purveyor of impeccably produced and beautifully detailed high-end house music. With ‘What Do The Stars Say To You’ he turns his attention to slick late seventies and early eighties fusion, helped by some of the genre’s greats.⁣

⁣ When you think about it Trent going full jazz funk makes perfect sense, having operated at the highest level of musicianship for more than a quarter of a century now, expertly weaving jazz, soul and funk elements into the house sounds he initially became known for. Call it natural progression towards the source.⁣⁣

⁣ Opener ‘Cool Water’ (with Rush Hour regulars Lars Bartkuhn and Azymuth master drummer Ivan 'Mamão' Conti) sets the tone nicely, moulding spaced-out early eighties-style synthpop, sun-drenched yachtrock-not-yachtrock and a glorious fusion theme into an ecstatic groove that continues on the equally spaced-out sci-fi soundtrack vibes of ‘Cycle of Many’ and the wondrous new age jazzfunk amalgam that is ‘Admira’ (with Venetian electronic music innovator Gigi Masin).⁣⁣

⁣ ‘Flowers’ is another Rush Hour store favorite thanks to Venecia’s heartbreaking bittersweet vocals, as is the Alex Malheiros-led ‘Melt Into You’, but it’s electronic violin God and master synth and sequencer manipulator Jean-Luc Ponty stealing the show here with his unmistakable sound, although most attention will probably go out to Trent’s collaboration with high profile groove dealers Khruangbin on the excellent ‘Flos Potentia (Sugar, Cotton, Tabacco)’. It’s all good, since there’s not a single weak moment on this post-modern masterpiece. (Rogier)⁣ ⁣

Mr. Fingers - Around the Sun Part 1 (Alleviated)

Four years after his acclaimed ‘Cerebral Hemispheres’ album the High Priest of House is back with a new masterpiece - ten tracks of beautifully executed house jewelry and sun-kissed Balearic bliss.

Starting off his heavenly routine is the bittersweet title track, following a path similar to Cerebral Hemispheres’ now classic ‘Full Moon’. Ecstacy-wrapped pads, subdued yet exquisitely detailed percussion and the sort of gently lingering piano theme only Mr. Fingers could come up with. It’s a recipe that’s repeated on ‘Drive’, this time augmented by a New Order-style bassline, giving it an almost trancey vibe.

Heard drops the tempo on the Introduction era-style ‘Touch the Sky’ and the early morning anthem ‘Electrostatic Levitation’ before picking it up again with the jazz-tinged ‘Something’s Going On’ (Think along the lines of ‘On My Way’ and ‘Sands of Aruba’, weighed down here by a more serious message) and the dub house doings of ‘Like The Dawn’.

Fans of Heard’s rawer and heavier house material won’t find what they’re looking for here, with the possible exception of the aptly titled ‘Pressurized’ (an acid-tinged jack track lite), but this will do just fine, thanks. It’s almost summer. (Rogier) ⁣

DJ Stingray - FTNWO (Micron Audio)

Ever since it first came out on WéMè Records in 2012 @dj_stingray_313’s debut album ‘FTNWO’ has become both more sought-after and relevant - both musically and contentwise.

Conceptually “centered around conspiracy theory, science, prepper [doomsday preparation/survivalism] and social commentary” while referencing totalitarianism, hacking and digital media dependence it’s hard to believe ‘FTNWO’ was actually made ten years ago and not during the desperate last days of a two year lockdown - and that goes for the music too.

This time released on his own @micron_audio imprint ‘FTNWO’ is a dark and brooding double album of Stingray-specific fast-paced sci-fi electro doom made for confusing times. A highly scientifical and technologically advanced brand of electro that’s clearly indebted to the Drexciya-tradition he’s part of, yet instantly recognizable as the sole work of Sherard Ingram, residing on a planet that’s still light years ahead of us (Rogier). ⁣

Jimmy Smack - Death is Certain (Knekelhuis)

Releasing no more than two 7”s (1982’s ‘Death Or Glory’ and 1983’s ‘Death Rocks’) and one 12” (‘Anguish’) during his time, Jimmy Smack was one of the most enigmatic figures on the LA scene of the eighties.

A singular performance artist who donned corpse paint a good decade before Norwegian bands like Mayhem and Emperor turned it into a vital element of early black metal, Smack was a fixture on the LA deathrock/postpunk scene reciting his dark poetry over electric bagpipes and a Dr. Rhythm drum machine, carving his own niche like a Fad Gadget from hell.

Smack’s complete recorded output is now compiled by Knekelhuis as ‘Death is Certain’, a record that shines a new light on Smack’s unique craft. At times sounding suspiciously like a modular synth, Smack’s modified electric bagpipes and relentless rhythm box provide the perfect backdrop for his bleak storytelling like a dystopian drone leading you into a parallel dimension where only one thing’s for sure: death is certain. (RO) ⁣

FRED P - OASIS (PRIVATESOCIETY)

Fred P (Black Jazz Consortium) has been stylishly pushing the depths of the underground for almost two decades now. With his majestic new double twelve he is taking us even further on his journey.

The lauded New York artist has proven to be a master of his craft with an ever growing and diverse repertoire. A deeper dive into his work reveals that it resonates more than just music. Fred P transcends the superficial, transmitting a deeper language that flawlessly reflects his spirit through his music, giving the listener the impression that we get to know the man behind the music personally. It’s one of the many beautiful elements to be found on ‘Oasis’.

Opener ‘The Story Of Humans’ embraces the listener with a bright intro that could be the soundtrack to a vivid yet fragmented dream. The title track ‘Oasis’ leaves one wandering around in a place blessed by a glorious sensation full of organic texture, while ‘Remain’ has a more introverted feel and a live sounding edge.

Sucking you into the rest of this fantastic piece Fred skillfully plays around showcasing trippy broken beats over multi-layered and dense blankets of synth work (‘Brownsville Groove’) while diving into the deep zone again with the spacious yet playful beauty ‘Like No Other’.

His recent series of twelves disclosed the artist’s fresh move into exciting new directions and this brilliant double reaffirms he is on the right track. Awakening our imagination with each and every listen this one is a well recommended addition to any serious collection. (Roman) ⁣

BURIAL - ANTIDAWN (HYPERDUB)

After almost fifteen years Burial is back with a new album, following up last year’s whooping ‘Shock Power of Love EP’ and the twelve minute UK garage/breakbeat frenzy that was ‘Chemz’.

But the Burial of ‘Antidawn’ is not the same Burial that’s been pushing sound systems to their limits with his own brand of punishing bass experiments. This is the Burial of the ‘Chemz’ b-side ‘Dolphinz’, the Burial that occasionally turns his back on the dancefloor alltogether to look inwards.

One thing hasn’t changed though. Burial still does exactly what he wants whenever he wants to. In this case that means coming up with an album based around alienation and solitude, stretched out over five disorienting ambient noir compositions.

‘Antidawn’ is the time of night that sounds like a dark fairytale, with distant figures moving around in a haze of static, smoke and solidified stillness. Muffled speech, distant noises and forgotten melodies from the ancient past fading in and out in a strangely familiar parallel world that reveals itself a bit more with every listen. (Rogier) ⁣

IRREVERSIBLE ENTANGLEMENTS - OPEN THE GATES (INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM)

When looking back at 2021 it’s impossible to ignore the output of Chicago-born jazz imprint International Anthem, who’ve been on a serious roll this year with stellar albums by Damon Locks’ Black Monument Ensemble, Carlos Niño, Jamie Branch and Angel Bat Dawid & Tha Brothahood, ending the year on a high with two more beauties by Jeff Parker and Ben LaMar Gay.

Currently stuck on our turntables during this expanded lockdown however, is International Anthem #49, the tour de force that is Irreversible Entanglements’ ‘Open the Gates’, released in collaboration with New Jersey indie label Don Giovanni.

Intensity is key on their third full-length album that has Moor Mother exploring alternative histories with her powerful poetry (make sure to seek out this year’s ‘Brass’ and ‘Black Encyclopedia of the Air’ too if you haven’t already), propelled by Luke Stewart’s snakey basslines, Tcheser Holmes’ funky drums and Aquiles Navarro and Keir Neuringer on trumpet and sax respectively, for the first time augmented by electronic experimentation.

It’s this renewed and broadened high pressure sound that makes the new Irreversible Entanglements album the most urgent so far - a spirited and ecstatic whirlwind celebration of life that’s only slowed down halfway for the twenty minute free jazz suite that is ‘Water Dimension’ and the more introspective ‘Six Sounds’ and ‘The Port Remembers’. One of 2021’s best albums for sure. (Rogier). ⁣

TURN ON THE SUNLIGHT - DRIVES TO THE BEACH (TOKONOMA RECORDS)

Carlos Niño follows up his beautiful ‘More Energy Fields, Current’ for International Anthem with a new set of blissful ambient sounds that has become nothing short of a Rush Hour lockdown favorite over the last few weeks.

On ‘Drives to the Beach’ Niño once again hooks up with his old friend Jesse Peterson to present their fourth album since their self-titled 2010 debut album as Turn On The Sunlight, the follow-up to 2020’s digi-only ‘Warm Waves’ on Tokonoma.

This time around Niño and Peterson are joined by Pablo Calogero on bass flute, bass clarinet and tenor saxophone, adding an extra dimension to the duo’s sunsoaked compositions.

The result is a beautifully atmospheric album made up of warmblooded sonic sketches woven from improvised patterns that form the perfect backdrop for Pablo Calogero’s impressionist watercolors - a match made in heaven. (Rogier) ⁣

Edson Natale - Nina Maika (New Dawn)

Originally self-released in 1990 and lovingly redone by our sister label New Dawn, Edson Natale’s ‘Nina Maika’ is one of the most beautiful reissues to come out this year - if we may say so ourselves.

After touring and playing with his jazz group Dharana for years during the late eighties the self-taught guitarist decided to do things differently on the first album under his own name, inspired by the spirit of Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges’ groundbreaking Clube Da Esquina, now having arrived in a decidedly post-MPB era.

Enlisting the help of Serbian expat and electronic music pioneer Mitar ‘Suba’ Subotić (Rex Ilusivii) and some of Brazil’s finest players including former Dharana collaborators Alex Braga, André Geraissati and Toninho Horta the São Paulo native started weaving his dream at the turn of the decade - the singular masterpiece that is ‘Nina Maika’.

Combining traditional acoustic Brazilian styles and atmospheric ambient electronics ‘Nina Maika’ gently floats somewhere between the guitar-based folk and bossa traditions that blossomed in the sixties and seventies and new era esoteric music with Fourth World- and minimalist undertones, all the while maintaining a strong yet subtle pop sensibility. It’s a sound that turned out to be a match made in electro-acoustic heaven - if heaven could ever be like this. (Rogier) ⁣

New Horizons Volume 2 (Afrosynth)

Despite all the ongoing Covid-related restrictions 2021 has been a great year for South-African jazz so far when it comes to both new releases and reissues of classic material - fresh talent seems to be emerging all the time while some of the most coveted holy grails of SA jazz were brought to light to be enjoyed by a new generation.

With part two of New Horizons Afrosynth aims to shine a light on the next generation of the thriving South-African jazz communities by selecting fourteen tracks that perfectly reflect the broad palette the current scenes have to offer.

The result is a glimmering treasure chest encompassing mantraic jazz soul (opener ‘Pressin’ On’ by Thembelihle Dunjana and Spha Mdlalose’s ‘Indlela’), deeply introverted spiritual travelling (Linda Sikhakhane’s ‘Inner Freedom’) and pure meditative beauty (Blake Hellaby’s ‘Hodge’ and Ndabo Zulu’s ‘Nandi Suite’), to name just a few of the directions explored here.

Other shop favorites include Sisonke Xonti’s breathtaking ‘Siniville’ (make sure to check out Xonti’s fantastic sophomore album ‘Ugaba the Migration’ on As Shams that’s also available in the store) and Sibusiso ‘Mash’ Mashiloane’s ‘Ke Mashiloane’, but this is the sort of record we play from A1 to D4 here - sometimes twice in a row (Rogier). ⁣

THEO CROKER - BLK2LIFE: A FUTURE PAST (MUSIC ON VINYL)

Here’s another record that’s been gracing our expanded Klipschorn set-up a lot over the last week: Theo Croker’s ‘Blk2Life: A Future Past’.

On his sixth album, his most expansive and accomplished to date, everything falls into place for the American trumpeter, composer and producer who’s worked with anyone from Dee Dee Bridgewater to Common and J. Cole.

Written and recorded in his childhood home in Leesburg, Florida during the pandemic, much of the album was informed by psilocybin meditations and astral travels.

The result is a universal sound palette that encompasses jazz, funk, soul, pop, hiphop and broken beat, all flowing together in a completely natural manner.

Or, as Croker tells it: “Our hero received a transmission from his ancestors while in meditation that set him on a mission to raise the planet's vibrations through music that defies the confines of a ‘genre’ and frees the culture from the imminent threat of commercial gentrification”.

Standout cuts are the beautifully fluid ‘Soul Call/Vibrate’ with its sweeping horn theme and gently floating piano chords, the warm-blooded ‘Anthem’ with Croker’s former teacher Gary Bartz and the frantic spiritual jazz attack that is ‘Hero Stomp’, but this is the sort of album that’s best appreciated in full - it’s worth the trip. (RO) ⁣

Bremer McCoy - Natten (Luaka Bop)

Natten’ is the fifth album by Bremer McCoy, the Danish duo that once started out as a part-time reggae sound system and has now made a full transition to creating transcendental ambient jazz.

Recorded straight to tape as to avoid any form of overthinking it’s Jonathan Bremer (acoustic bass) and Morten McCoy (keys and tape delay)’s finest effort to date - a meditation exercise that has the two effortlessly floating in a zone of their own.

Intuition is key on this gently shimmering album, from the star-sprinkled opening sequence of the title track (which means ‘The Night’ in Danish) to the wavering end notes of the Mulatu ode that is ‘Lalibela’.

‘Aurora’ may well be the key track on this translucent beauty - a lotus-shaped new age composition that’s decorated with a luminous and brilliantly conceived piano theme. It’s one of the most striking creations on this flawless multi-faceted ambient jazz diamond. (RO) ⁣

DEAN BLUNT - BLACK METAL 2 (ROUGH TRADE)

Seven years after part one elusive UK escape artist Dean Blunt drops ‘Black Metal 2’, his most well-rounded album to date.

Despite being involved in a myriad of albums, collaborations, mixtapes, music videos and side projects (including an opera and an attempt to sell a toy car stuffed with weed on eBay) over the last ten years it somehow seems both Black Metal albums are at the very core of Blunt’s artistry, although you can never tell for sure. After all this is Dean Blunt.

On ‘Black Metal 2’ Blunt lets his inner singer-songwriter roam freely once again, his instantly recognizable baritone at the front of the mix more prominently than ever, floating over jangly guitars and understated beats, but it’s still impossible to pin the man down.

Painting open-end anecdotal scenes in his typical deadpan manner, often aided by frequent collaborator Joanne Robertson’s contrasting vocals, there’s a fatalistic melancholy hanging over ‘Black Metal 2’ that’s much heavier than the tongue-in-cheek title and the trollish logo reference to Dr. Dre’s ‘2001’ suggest, despite Blunt’s claims everything will be allright on the surprisingly soft ‘Dash Snow’, one of the key songs on the album.

It’s this ambiguity that’s right at the heart of ‘Black Metal 2’. “LSD, CBT, EDT, daddy’s broke, what a joke, future’s bleak, ain’t it neat?”, he muses on ‘Nil By Mouth’, illustrating the sense of hopelessness that runs through the whole album. The pain is real on ‘Black Metal 2’, and so is the beauty that comes with it. (RO) ⁣

OCEANIC - TOTAL COMFORT (RUSH HOUR)

DJ/producer Job Oberman is both one of the most versatile and talented artists to emerge from the Netherlands in the last few years.

Just look at some of his more recent output, that comprises a 40-minute registration of an ambient-leaning sit-down concert performed on his custom-made string instrument connected to a modular synth (2018’s ‘Live at de School’), his experimental mindclash with free jazz deity Greetje Bijma (2020’s ‘Swallow a Party’) and the set of club-ready derivations of his School performance that came out last year.

On his outstanding debut for Rush Hour the multi-talented Dutch musician displays his skills as an increasingly confident producer while keeping an eye out on the dancefloor, taking cues from classic Detroit-, mid-nineties UK- and post-modern Berlin breakbeat techno.

Opener ‘Total Comfort’ is a remarkable display of restraint - a retro-futurist slice of Detroit-inspired techno that relies on string structure solely without any dominant percussion, executed in a fashion reminiscent of some of Carl Craig’s nineties work.

‘Q On 6’ follows a similar path before the bear bones are buried under a pile of nervous stutter steps and pulsating bass. ‘Foam To’ and ‘Connect in Rest’ both hint at new directions for this gifted producer, taking the post-modern breakbeat techno sound to a whole new level. (RO) ⁣

Germán Bringas - Tunel Hacia Ti (Smiling C)

I came to the realization that I had synesthesia - I played a note, and the first thing I know is that I’m picturing a color. A quest for new colors followed suit: metallic blue, light green, orange, and yellow. Then, I started to combine them, without knowing that I was actually improvising. So colors are the first thing that I ever played.”

Here’s a record that totally blew us away over the course of the last few weeks and sounds absolutely mesmerising on our new vintage Klipschorn speakers: ‘Tunel Hacia Tí’ by Mexican jazz synesthete Germán Bringas.

Comprised of tracks taken from his lost cassette-only ambient jazz masterpiece ‘Caminatas’ (‘Hikes’), its successor ‘Exposición Al Vacio’ (‘Vacuum Exposure’) and unreleased works from the nineties Bringas plays all instruments on this kaleidoscopic sixteen track sound adventure that was recorded in a small studio in the back of his home.

Minimal music, new age ambient, improvised jazz, pastoral music and Fourth World influences all flow together in the mind of Bringas who witnesses colors as he plays, resulting in a unique cross-sensory sound language that’s as intuitive as it is moving. It’s this almost supernatural sensitivity that allows Bringas to find the perfect balance between experimentation and sheer beauty. (RO)

PS. Make sure to check out Smiling C’s equally beautiful accompanying twelve-minute documentary ‘Caminatas: La Historia De Germán Bringas’ (https://youtu.be/aeVXRmvaiRE). It’s one of the best things you’ll see and hear all year. ⁣

Steve Summers - Generation Loss (L.I.E.S.)

Exactly ten years after his first EP for L.I.E.S. Chicago jakbeat maverick Steve Summers delivers his first album for Ron Morelli’s Brooklyn-born imprint - a double dose of raw jackin’ house.

Summers, who has worked under a myriad of names and is also known as one third of Mutant Beat Dance with Traxx and Beau Wanzer, has perfected his take on the late eighties to early nineties-house sound (think Drewsky, early Paul Johnson and foundation Steve Poindexter) to a tee, but the ideas on ‘Generation Loss’ are entirely his own.

Starting off with the Armando-esque acid stomper ‘Who Knows’ and the aptly titled ‘90’s’ Summers snakes his way through a full palette of classic early Chicago jack styles on the first two sides of this double album to take them to a new intensity level on the third and fourth.

‘Boxed In’ (C1) sees the Chicago maverick going into full overdrive, while he flirts with swirling deep techno on ‘Loose Connections’ and bleak EDM on ‘Unclubbable’. There are literally no weak moments on this awesome display of raw jakbeat power. (RO) ⁣

ON OUR OWN CLOCK - ON OUR OWN CLOCK (MUSHROOM HOUR HALF HOUR)

Just imagine some of the best musicians of the contemporary South-African, Senegalese and UK jazz scenes getting together in the studio to create an album that celebrates the universality of music. That was what was supposed to happen here.

Then came the pandemic, making sure the plan had to be altered, dividing the kindred spirits into separate groups on different continents, sending the results of their spirited studio sessions back and forth for their overseas counterparts to react.

The result is an extraordinary album overflowing with creative ideas coming in from all angles. Ideas that are sometimes stacked on top of each other in layers to form a mouthwatering musical cake, but also allow a sneak peek into the kitchen - or kitchens - of this five star distant gathering.

Just look at that line-up, that includes tuba don Theon Cross, Alabaster dePlume, Siya Makuzeni (SPAZA), Zoe Molelekwa, Asher Gamedze, Kora virtuoso Tarang Cissoko and Balimaya Project’s Yahael Camara Onono - all forces that will not be held back by distance and time. Like the title of the three-part reflection on long-distance creation suggests, this is How To Make Art In A Pandemic 101. (RO) ⁣

IVAN MAMÃO CONTI & GRASSMASS - NATURAL (NEW DAWN))

Here’s a record we’re all exceptionally proud of at Rush Hour: ‘Natural’ by legendary master drummer Ivan ‘Mamão’ Conti and Recife born, São Paulo based bass player and producer grassmass (yes, that lowercase is intentional) on our sister label New Dawn.

Having already worked with big names like Naná Vasconcelos and Arto Lindsay while simultaneously hosting projects with some of today's brazilian edgiest talents like Negro Leo and Thiago Nassif grassmass (real name Rodrigo Coelho), who also runs the experimental UIVO imprint, is the perfect match for the Azymuth founding member.

‘A Mina’ and ‘Caatinga’ are both prime examples of Mamão’s constant desire to move forward, despite being in the game for more than half a century - a desire that’s perfectly illustrated by these two experimental funk monsters. Both tracks display the Brazilian maestro’s unrivaled skill level and irrepressible penchant to keep things funky while steadily pushing his signature sound towards the future. No one can stop Ivan ‘Mamão’ Conti. (RO) ⁣

Masters at Work - Mattel (MAW)

Ever since their early releases together as Masters of Work the sounds of Louie Vega and Kenny Dope have been a major influence on the formation of Rush Hour, their unrivalled output being omnipresent in clubs worldwide during the nineties and beyond, Amsterdam being no exception.

Thirty years later the two are still major forces in house, hiphop, funk and Latin music, but it’s been over two decades since they last released anything as Masters at Work, so it would be a massive understatement to say this release is a special one.

Named after the Synsonics, a drum synthesizer marketed by toy manufacturer Mattel in the early eighties, ‘Mattel’ is a high-pressure dancefloor bomb that takes the MAW-sound Into new directions.

With fireworks percussion played live in an Ibizan studio by Kenny Dope and bass and stabs provided by his fellow Master, ‘Mattel’ is perfect proof the two haven’t lost any of their touch. Not that there were any doubts, of course. (RO) ⁣


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