Album of the Week 30 March – 3 April
We’re New Again – A Re-imagining by Makaya McCraven [XL Recordings] Our album of the week is a celebration of beautiful music and Gil Scott-Heron’s birthday (April 1st, 1949), ‘We’re New Again – A Re-imagining by Makaya McCraven‘, out on XL Recordings. In February 2010, the late, legendary musician, poet and author Gil Scott-Heron released…
In February 2010, the late, legendary musician, poet and author Gil Scott-Heron released his thirteenth, and last, studio album. First conceptualised in 2005, and ultimately produced by XL Recordings head Richard Russell during New York recording sessions that commenced in January 2008, I’m New Here was Scott-Heron’s first album in thirteen years and found him sounding as vital and insightful as ever before. It was, and still is, a record that reveals something unexpected at every turn; one that found Scott-Heron pushing, probing and testing the limits just as he always had; always looking forward, still challenging conventions and expectations.
To mark the tenth anniversary of I’m New Here’s release, XL Recordings will release a unique reimagining of the album by the acclaimed Chicago-based musician Makaya McCraven, whose work Russell first discovered after hearing McCraven’s “Above & Beyond,” from 2017’s Highly Rare album. Equally renowned and revered as a musician, drummer, sampler, beat-maker and producer, McCraven is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and original voices in modern jazz via a run of records that were at once genre-defying and redefining such as Universal Beings, Highly Rare and Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON mixtape) for the highly influential Chicago label International Anthem. As the New York Times states: “Makaya McCraven has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz’s vitality.”
On We’re New Again – recorded and produced in the main at his Chicago home studio with a host of close-knit musicians – McCraven fuses the kind of killer, improvised live musicianship and electronic, sample-based approach to recording he’s renowned for with that vocal – the deep, stop-you-in-your–tracks, worldly-wise voice of Gil Scott-Heron – to enormously powerful effect. The resulting record is a sonically rich, totally original yet deeply respectful accompanying piece to Scott-Heron and Russell’s original work and is the latest stage in the evolution of a record that was previously remixed by Jamie xx in 2011 for the ground-breaking collaborative album We’re New Here.
1. Special Tribute (Broken Home pt.1)
2. I’m New Here
4. Blessed Parents
5. New York is Killing Me
6. The Patch (Broken Home pt.2)
7. People of The Light
8. Being Blessed
9. Where Did the Night Go
10. Lily Scott (Broken Home pt.3)
11. I’ll Take Care of You
12. I’ve Been Me
13. This Can’t Be Real.
14. Piano Player
15. The Crutch
16. Guided (Broken Home pt.4)
17. Certain Bad Things
18. Me and the Devil
Album of the Week 23-27 March
Shabaka And The Ancestors – We Are Sent Here By History [Impulse! Records] Our album of the week is coming from a crucial part of our Worldwide FM family, Shabaka And The Ancestors. “We Are Sent Here By History” is out on Impulse! on the 13th of March, 2020. Shabaka & The Ancestors have made…
Shabaka And The Ancestors – We Are Sent Here By History [Impulse! Records]
Shabaka & The Ancestors have made their impulse! Records debut on March 13th with the band’s second studio album We Are Sent Here By History. With their breakout 2016 album, Wisdom of Elders, Shabaka & The Ancestors were established as a sudden force in spiritual jazz. But where that record warned of impending societal collapse, this one unfolds within it. Shabaka Hutchings, tenor saxophonist and clarinettist of the collective, refers to the album as a “meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning.” On the lead single “Go My Heart, Go To Heaven” vocalist Siyabonga pays homage to his father’s favourite church song. The word “hamba” (or “go”) is repeated, and within the context of this track, it’s “about the point where one gives in and wants out of this world,” Siyabonga says. “But in times of darkness is a call to the light and the heart.”
Shabaka & The Ancestors formed in 2016. Shabaka had been flying to Johannesburg to play with trumpeter and bandleader Mandla Mlangeni, who connected him to a group of South African jazz musicians that Hutchings admired. After several sessions, their first album Wisdom of Elders was made. This follow-up record reunites the group, who recorded again in Johannesburg and Cape Town last year (2019). This album is more urgent, more unrelenting, darker and energetic, and presents a major social commentary in the context of ancient traditions. Shabaka explains this is “what happens after that point when life as we know it can’t continue.”
We Are Sent Here By History explores African and Afro-Caribbean traditions. The album takes the concept of the griot – the living archive of a historical narrative, the storyteller and contextualizer, and presents the album as the modern-day griot. An integral aspect to the project is the accompanying text to the album: South African performance artist Siyabonga Mthembu chants and sings on this record and composed lyrics for the album. Shabaka then chose song titles from the lyrics and composed poems around each title, based on Siyabonga’s lyrics. On the aptly titled “We Will Work (On Redefining Manhood),” Siyabonga sings a poem in Zulu that, when translated to English, shuns the archaic pillars of virility. From childhood, young boys are trained to suppress their emotions and suffer in silence. “This song sings from the point of the toxic masculine,” Siyabonga says. “It repeats the sentences they tell to their boys—to not cry, to not grieve and to not hurt.”
Hutchings has three primary projects – Shabaka And The Ancestors, Sons Of Kemet and The Comet is Coming – with a substantial number of awards and nominations between them, including winning the 2013 MOBO ‘Jazz Act of the Year’, Jazz FM Awards ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ (2015), ‘UK Jazz Act of the Year’ (2017) and ‘Jazz Innovation of the Year’ (2018), and Mercury Music Prize-nominations in 2016 and 2018.
1. They Who Must Die (10:10)
2. You’ve Been Called (6:29)
3. Go My Heart, Go To Heaven (6:41)
4. Behold, The Deceiver (6:01)
5. Run, The Darkness Will Pass (4:09)
6. The Coming Of The Strange Ones (6:28)
7. Beast Too Spoke Of Suffering (2:58)
8. We Will Work (On Redefining Manhood) (5:24)
9. ’Til The Freedom Comes Home (7:06)
10. Finally, The Man Cried (5:48)
11. Teach Me How To Be Vulnerable (2:46)
Shabaka Hutchings – Tenor Sax and clarinet
Mthunzi Mvubu – Alto Sax
Siyabonga Mthembu – Vocals
Ariel Zamonsky – Double bass
Gontse Makhene – Percussion
Tumi Mogorosi – Drums
Nduduzo Makhathini (Fender Rhodes), Thandi Ntuli (piano),Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet) on select tracks
Album of the Week 16-20 March
Gigi Masin – Calypso [Apollo Records] Our album of the week is Venetian producer Gigi Masin’s ambient and downtempo masterpiece, ‘Calypso’ out on Apollo Records on the 28th of February 2020. The LP is inspired by the mythical Greek island of Ogygia and its alleged real life counterpart Gavdos – also known unofficially as Calypso…
Gigi Masin – Calypso [Apollo Records]
The LP is inspired by the mythical Greek island of Ogygia and its alleged real life counterpart Gavdos – also known unofficially as Calypso – a place of extreme beauty, which upon visiting had a profound effect on the musician.
The other keys to Masin’s creation are Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ and Byron’s ‘Childe Harold’, all of which feature the tale of the goddess-nymph Calypso, who imprisoned king Odysseus on Ogygia for seven years.
The aqueous and sky-filled vistas of his native Venice are deeply intrinsic, but the best and simplest way to describe ‘Calypso’s sound might simply be Aegean, as every track takes you directly and vividly there – to timeless Greek beauty, glistening seas, picturesque landscapes and the sun’s bright, balmy heat.
But, much more than just pleasant dapples of twinkling of audio balm, ‘Calypso’ is music of the gods, goddesses and heroes, subliminally capturing all the celestial beauty, awe, romance and adventure of an epic saga.
The album – like the island itself – evokes a sense of intrigue, hinting at the dark and dangerous, made mellow with centuries of age, but still just palpable through the sands of time.
“Gavdos gives you profound sensations in every corner, as here you can find enchantment, mystery, the getting lost to forget, to erase and drown the memories in a light and salty water. A place new and ancient, between cedars that have seen exiles, pestilences, blood and desperation, isolation and abandonment, it’s the absolute of a life that every heart in love seeks, desperately, in the arms of Calypso, divine among the goddesses. An infinite love, and the infinite horizon of our dreams”, says Masin, eloquently.
Although instruments can be discerned if concentrating, and although identifiable as electronic music, it feels more like the elements are his ensemble – a multi-track tape machine filled with channels of water, warmth and breeze. This is the beatific sound of a relaxed mind, freed to wander in far away places of metaphysical awe.
‘Calypso’ was, in fact, made using “the same old software, a simple, sort of a child-proof game from the mid 90s or what experts call a ‘beta’. It’s a kind of mixer where you have to insert the music files as they are, naked and simply as recorded. But it works like I have 6 or 8 tape recorders where my sounds are not locked, so my chance of giving them a perfect position isn’t always certain. Often it seems the sound found its own way without human logic, and the music appears as a revelation”, Gigi explains.
Masin’s debut album ‘Wind’ went underappreciated on its release in 1986, but later gained a cult following among late night radio listeners. His 1989 joint LP for Sub Rosa with This Heat’s Charles Hayward – ‘Les Nouvelles Musiques Du Chambre – took on a life of its own when his track ‘Clouds’ was sampled by Björk, Post Malone, To Rococo Rot, Main Attrakionz, Black Eyes Peas and Nujabes, but Gigi remained in obscurity.
Aptly released on Apollo, ‘Calypso’ joins a label who count other classics like Aphex Twin’s ‘Selected Ambient Works 85 – 92’, plus Biosphere’s ‘Microgravity’ and ‘Patashnik’ in its catalogue.
Climbing in incremental steps to the pantheon’s summit, Masin now is close to reaching his rightful place alongside giants like Brian Eno, Laurie Spiegel, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tangerine Dream and Midori Takada.
B2 ‘Khalifa Golf Club’
B3 ‘Mayo Slide’
B4 ‘Susan Maybe’
C3 ‘How To Disappear In A Kiss’
C4 ‘Cry Winds Or Flames’
D1 ‘Enter Venus’
D2 ‘On Demons And Diamonds’ – with Ben Vince
D3 ‘The Water Sibyl’
D4 ‘Your Name Is My Infinite’
Album of the Week 9-13 March
SIBUSILE XABA – NGIWU SHWABADA [Komos Records] Our album of the week is Sibusile Xaba’s ‘Ngiwu Shwabada’ out on Komos Records on the 14th of February, 2020. Charismatic guitar savant Sibusile Xaba reframes maskandi and the avant garde into his own humanist manifesto. With a vocal style that is part dreamscaping and part ancestral invocation,…
SIBUSILE XABA – NGIWU SHWABADA [Komos Records]
Charismatic guitar savant Sibusile Xaba reframes maskandi and the avant garde into his own humanist manifesto.
With a vocal style that is part dreamscaping and part ancestral invocation, Xaba divines as opposed to plainly singing. Combined with a guitar style that is rooted in expressive picking, Xaba’s music shatters the confines of genre, taking only the fundamentals from mentors such as Madala Kunene and Dr Philip Tabane and imbuing these with a mythology and improvisational intensity all of his own. The song TRIBUTE TO BAFO that features on this new record is an homage to Madala “Bafo” Kunene.
Maskandi, malombo, the desert blues and jazz all figure in Sibusile Xaba’s expansive vocabulary, albeit through a magnetic individual filter.
After the acclaimed release of ‘Opened Letter to Adoniah’ in 2017, Sibusile’s second album NGIWU SHWABADA was recorded in one continuous take at Studio Pigalle in Paris, France, in May 2019. It features his long-time musical companion Naftali on additional vocals.
Sibusile explains the philosophy behind this second album NGIWU SHWABADA ( I am of SHWABADA – a spiritual lineage) : ‘The record is a dedication to my ancestors for all the love, blessings and guidance they continue to share.These songs are conversations I have had with them, transmitted into songs to be shared with mankind. The elements of the record are waters & the great feminine spirit.’
To close the album, London saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings joins Sibusile for a purely improvised 18 minute musical trip recorded that same day. ‘Phefumula is a journey of still minds, with a focus on the importance and simplicity of breathing. After a practical breathing session Shabaka & I were granted time to explore worlds and receive messages to be shared – we were gracefully granted to be vessels who receive.’
6. NGIWU SHWABADA
9. MAKWANDE LWENDE
11. TRIBUTE TO BAFO
12. PHEFUMULA feat. SHABAKA HUTCHINGS
Worldwide Rotations: March
We’ve updated our regular Worldwide FM playlist with upfront and reissued music from around the world. Listen throughout the month on air, or to enjoy on the move, subscribe or follow the playlist on Spotify and Soundcloud. Akbaba Ikilisi – Darildim Darildim [Uzelli Kaset] Blvck Spvde – High Low [Pugilista Trading Co.] Bullion – We Had…
We’ve updated our regular Worldwide FM playlist with upfront and reissued music from around the world. Listen throughout the month on air, or to enjoy on the move, subscribe or follow the playlist on Spotify and Soundcloud.
Akbaba Ikilisi – Darildim Darildim [Uzelli Kaset]
Blvck Spvde – High Low [Pugilista Trading Co.]
Bullion – We Had A Good Time [Deek]
Cleo Sol – Butterfly [Forever Living Originals]
Jerome Thomas – I Don’t Need (Feat. Blue Lab Beats) [Self Released]
Karmasound – Instantes [phutureshockmusik]
Linkwood & Foat – Es Vedra [Athens of the North]
massicot – Kratt [Les Disques Bongo Joe]
Tara Clerkin Trio – Hellenica [Laura Lies In]
Angela Muñoz – I Don’t Care [Linear Labs]
Maxwell Owin & Xenia – Probably Never (feat. Joe Armon-Jones) [Waella’s Choice]
Yazmin Lacey – Loose Love [Self Released]
Anunaku – Nascent [Mothers Finest]
dumama + kechou – mother time
Emma-Jean Thackray – Movementt [Self Released]
Foodman a.k.a 食品まつり – Kazunoko [Highball]
John Carroll Kirby – Blueberry Beads [Stones Throw]
Koichi Sakai & Afla Sackey – Atenteben Blues [Olindo]
On-Ly – Double Edge [La Sape]
Capitol K – Temple [Faith and Industry]
Knxwledge – gangstallthetime [Self Released]
Lakecia Benjamin – Acknowledgement (feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater and The Last Poets) [Ropadope]
Matthew Tavares & Leland Whitty – Through The Looking Glass [Mr Bongo]
Zenobia – El Intro [Crammed Discs]
Irreversible Entanglements – No Más [Irreversible Entanglements]
Ivan Conti – Katmandu [Far Out]
Ak’chamel – Phallus Pallace [Akuphone]
Alabaster DePlume – Whisky Story Time [TRC/International Anthem]
Aloha Got Soul – Eclipse [Aloha Got Soul]
Andy Shauf – Living Room [Self Released]
Asa Tone – River At Work [Leaving Records]
Audrey Powne – Taboo [Unreleased]
Catching Flies – New Gods (Ron Basejam Remix) [Unreleased]
Cross Island – Wave (Al Kent Remix) [Kalita]
Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – Track07 [Loma Vista Recordings]
Dijf Sanders – Parvati [Unday]
Dilbert Cohen & Ariel Kalma – De Luscious [Versatile]
DJ Mitsu the Beats – It’s Time [Jazzy Sport]
Eto x Wally Clark – The Circle (Lord High Executioner RMX) [Gummy Soul]
Fess Grandiose – Phasing Out (Echo Vibes Mix) [ETC]
Forest Law – New Thoughts New Eyes [Brownswood]
Gila – Rider 2 (Sittin On Nothin) [Lex]
Heliocentrics – Venom [Madlib Invazion]
Iman Houssein – UNITY [Ghost Notes Worldwide]
James Reese & the Progressions – One Girl [Now Again]
Jeff Parker – Fusion Swirl [International Anthem]
Jimpster – The Way It Is [Freerange]
Jon Hopkins – Scene Suspended
Karate Boogaloo – Marriage For All or None At All [College of Knowledge]
King Krule – Alone, Omen 3 [XL]
Kutmah – Super Psychic Kids [All City]
Lagartijeando – La Frontera (feat. Minük) (DJ Raff Remix) [Wonderwheel]
Makaya McCraven – New York Is Killing Me [XL]
Minor Science – Blue Deal [Whities]
Moses Boyd – BTB [Exodus]
Nduduzo Makhathini – Modes of Communication Letters from the Underworlds [Blue Note]
Novelist – Major Player [MMMYEH]
Obongjayar – God’s Own Children [September]
Pluralist – UN Sanctions ft. Rex Domino [Manuka]
PML Beatz ® – Manganza [Principe]
Ragz Originale ft. ELIZA – 4am [Self released]
RAS – Pharoah / Zman Halal [Botniss]
Raviv Gazit – One & One [Raviv Gazit]
Rejoicer – Pre Memory Circle [Stones Throw]
Ricardo Richaid – O Velho Cai [Far Out Recordings]
Rinse and Repeat – Golden Mean [Jazz Re:freshed]
Ritmo Y Tumbao – Sky’s The Limit [Honeycomb Records]
Samuel Rohrer – The Climber [Arjuna Music]
Seigen Tokuzawa & Masaki Hayashi – Soramame [Flau]
Shabaka & The Ancestors – Go my heart, go to heaven [Impulse]
Shamanic Catharsis – Yumbos (feat. Amaruka & Mauricio Vicencio) [Shika Shika]
SiR – New Sky (feat. Kadhja Bonet) [TDE]
Sparkle & Rahni Harris – Six Million Steps [Cultures of Soul]
Spiritczualic Enhancement Center – Away On Business [Akuphone]
Steve Arrington – Mellow As A Cello [Rhino Atlantic]
Steve Spacek – Rawl Aredo [Black Focus]
Sudan Archives – Iceland Moss [Stones Throw Records]
The Mystery Kindaichi Band – A Honjin Satsujin Jiken [WeWantSounds]
The Quiet Temple – Earth (Sararthy Korwar Remix) [Point of Departure]
Three Body Trio – Palm Leaf [Running Circle]
Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes – What Kinda Music [Blue Note]
Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela – We’ve Landed [World Circuit]
Toshiko Yonekawa, Kiyoshi Yamaya & Contemporary Sound Orchestra – Saitaro-Bushi [Denon]
Tulips – Retrograde II [Planet Rescue]
Twylyte ’81 – Can I Change [Favourite Records]
Olivier Rogg – GE/CH:Seq [Bongo Joe]
vhoor – Imagem [Self Released]
Werkha – Generation X [First Word]
Ville Herrala – Pu: 12 [We Jazz Records]
Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange – Candy Flip [The Jazz Diaries]
Zeroh – 4D [Leaving Records]
Album of the Week 2-6 March
Various Artists – Intenta: Experimental & Electronic Music From Switzerland 1981-93 [Bongo Joe Records & Décalé Records] Our album of the week is “Intenta: Experimental & Electronic Music From Switzerland 1981-93” by Bongo Joe Records and Décalé Records out on the 28th of February. Décalé Records and Bongo Joe Records present an all new compilation…
Various Artists – Intenta: Experimental & Electronic Music From Switzerland 1981-93 [Bongo Joe Records & Décalé Records]
Our album of the week is “Intenta: Experimental & Electronic Music From Switzerland 1981-93” by Bongo Joe Records and Décalé Records out on the 28th of February.
Décalé Records and Bongo Joe Records present an all new compilation placing the spotlight on the Swiss experimental and electronic scene of the ‘80s and the early ‘90s. The compilation Intenta assembles under-appreciated gems, sought-after titles and newly mixed versions. It places leftfield synth-pop next to otherworldly jazz, and joins the dots between lyrical post-punk excursions and proto-house experimentation.
The compilation covers a period of transition: When songs mutated into sounds. When synthesizers and samplers became the règle du jeu in DIY music-making. When a politicized youth movement slowly gave way to the hedonistic embrace of techno culture in Switzerland. Intenta mines the outer fringes of a scene yet to be. Many of these experimenters were pretty much on their own. Often the only way you would get in touch was at the local synth dealer.
A spirit of bold improvisation inhabited studios between Geneva and St. Gallen: these artists were articulating pop sensibilities (Air Project, Sky Bird, D-Sire, Peter Philippe Weiss), entering computer worlds (Claudine Chirac, Olivier Rogg, Carlos Perón), exploring exotic shores (Andreas Hofer, Bells of Kyoto, Fizzè), building future discothèques (Aborted at Line 6, Carol Rich, UnknownmiX) or finding glacial bliss (Dressed Up Animals, Elephant Château, I Suonatori).
The compilation was put together by Matthias Orsett and Maxi Fischer. Intenta unfolds as a sonic story that is laid-back yet energetic, sultry yet daring. The two crate diggers set out to meet with many of the artists arrayed here. Memories were shared, wine bottles opened. There were moments of sadness: Karl Lienert Löwenherz (Dressed Up Animals) and Claudius Scholer (Sky Bird) passed away during the making of this project. What remains of this journey into the backrooms of Swiss popular culture, is Intenta. If you listen closely, it will reveal a nation on the move. Beyond the Matterhorn, there is sweetness and light.
1. Andreas Hofer – Untitled
2. Claudine Chirac – Etudes
3. Sky Bird – Pasolini’s Trembling
4. Fizzè – Kulu Hatah Mamnua
5. Bells of Kyoto – Swiss Air
6. Elephant Château – Dreamings
7. Dressed Up Animals – Mondtanz
8. Peter Philippe Weiss – Subway (Intenta Version)
9. D-Sire – Wintertime
10. Air Project – Rap Yourself
11. Jean-Pierre Huser – Chinatown
12. Olivier Rogg – GE/CH:Seq
13. Carol Rich – Computered Love
14. Carlos Perón – Her Heäd Is Bräkin Intu Foör (Primal Version)
15. UnknownmiX – Django
16. Aborted at Line 6 – Mammuth (Extended Version)
17. I Suonatori – Matrosen
Compilation, concept and production by Maxi Fischer & Matthias Orsett
Artistic supervision by Cyril Yeterian
Analog mastering by Tim Stollenwerk
Vinyl cut by Adi Flück
Editorial by Bjørn Schaeffner
Drawings and layout by David Mamie
Typeface (Office Grotesk) by Chi-Long Trieu
Leaflet design by Yanis Carnal
The gatefold cover illustration is the music sheet of ‘Mondtanz” by Karl Lienert Löwenherz from Dressed Up Animals. Courtesy of the artist’s family.