On The Turntable

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     Denis Mpunga & Paul K.

    Denis Mpunga & Paul K. :: Criola

    Early 80s industrial beats synthesized with traditional African rhythms make for a deep zone experience on Criola, a collection of collaborative tracks between Belgian/Congolese duo Denis Mpunga and Paul K.

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    Various Artists

    Various Artists :: X-Ray Music: A Blood And Fire Dub Directory

    1999, CD only, Blood And Fire dub compilation. 18 tracks. Scientist, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, King Tubby and Prince Jammy all represent along with a host of others. All killer, no filler.

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     Akiko Yano

    Akiko Yano :: Japanese Girl

    In 1976 Lowell George and Little Feat hooked up with Akiko Yano to record her debut full-length, Japanese Girl, on the west coast at Hollywood Sound Studios. The flipside was laid down back in Tokyo with Haruomi Hosono, Tatsuo Hayashi and Moonriders’ Keiichi Suzuki.

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    Ian Carr

    Ian Carr :: Belladonna

    Of all the UK acts to tinker with the temperamental alchemy of jazz-rock in the early 70s, none slapped harder Ian Carr and Nucleus. Despite all the aesthetic trappings of an acid-folk gem on the cover, Belladonna lives in the venn between by Miles Davis’ dark, post-Bitches Brew fusion and the heady prog jamming of Soft Machine and Islands-era King Crimson.

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     Dwight Sykes

    Dwight Sykes :: Songs – Volume 1

    A 2013 compilation wrangling 7 tracks from the unreleased cassette archives of Detroit musician Dwight Sykes. Originally recorded in his home studio, L.U.S.T. Productions between 1980-1990. Step into the life zone…

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    Wednesday Knudsen

    Wednesday Knudsen :: Soft Focus: Volumes One And Two

    Wednesday Knudson describes the glowing set of tracks on her new LP, Soft Focus, as “ambient.” That’s true, to an extent, but that genre is widely used as a label and has grown a messy head of hair lately. Recorded in spring of last year, right around the time most of us felt remotely safe popping our heads out of our pandemic quarters, the Soft Focus recordings capture a musician treating her terrestrial tones with a newfound appreciation.

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    Daniel Villarreal

    Daniel Villarreal :: Panamá 77

    Panamá 77, the debut album by Panamá-born, Chicago-based drummer and DJ Daniel Villarreal, arrives right on time—emitting earthy and humid spiritual jazz. Freewheeling and unmoored by genre…

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    Arthur Lee

    Arthur Lee :: Vindicator

    Arthur Lee frantically and impressively trying to fit every ounce of his musical yearning into one record. Someone trying to prove his every potential in one fell swoop. Years of pent-up emotion and style are released, and with great effort.

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Travesía :: Ni Un Minuto Más De Dolor

Under the name Travesía, the trio of Estela Magnone, Mariana Ingold, and Mayra Hugo graced a handful of albums that defined the direction of Uruguay’s music coming out from under a dictatorship in the early 1980s. In the trio’s short lifespan, though, they released only one album–1983’s Ni un minuto más de dolor, the first Uruguayan record performed and arranged entirely by an all-female group.

The Lagniappe Sessions :: Neal Francis

The past few years have seen Neal Francis carve out his name with an incendiary live show and a refreshingly well-schooled, analog-obsessed interpretation of 70s soul. His dry tenor has been compared to that of Allen Toussaint, and the late maestro would certainly approve of Francis’ keyboard stylings, as well as his affinity for billowing grooves and charged arrangements.

Sessa :: Estrela Acesa

A celestial nocturne, Estrela Acesa is the sophomore stunner from Sessa. It’s been three years since the São Paulo-born singer-songwriter dropped his perennially stellar debut, Grandeza—a jubilant, sun-dappled LP embodying a confluence of Brazil’s rich past and musical traditions. But where Grandeza was an ode to temporal pleasures, Estrela Acesa is a humble meditation on the nature of love, eternity, and the point of intersection between music and spirit.

Kevin Morby :: This Is A Photograph

The awareness of our own mortality is a blessing and a curse. This isn’t a new idea, and it’s one that we’ve seen reflected time and again in art. While catalysts vary, for Kevin Morby it was witnessing the sudden collapse of his father at a dinner. Thankfully his dad survived the incident, but much in the same way that just seeing parents, or ourselves, get older can send us down that spiral staircase of mortality, Morby turned his thoughts inward.

Tim Bernardes :: Mil Coisas Invisíveis

A folk singer, a dreamer, a soul. On his newly released sophomore album, Mil Coisas Invisíveis, São Paulo’s Tim Bernardes brings his diaristic existentialism to vibrant sonic life. Whether accompanied with just his guitar, or surrounded by handclap percussion, swelling string arrangements, and muted woodwinds, he stakes his claim as a graceful and earnest chanteur, joining the ranks of fellow countrymen Jorge Ben, Caetaneo Veloso, and Clube da Esquina.

Transmissions :: Mark Stewart (The Pop Group), Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire), Eric Random (The Buzzcocks)

This week on Transmissions, a post-punk roundtable with Mark Stewart of The Pop Group, Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire, Eric Random (The Buzzcocks, Nico). On Mark’s latest album, VS, they team up for “Cast No Shadow.” How did post-punk hit their respective places? What role did regionalism play in the music’s development? These three join us for a freewheeling hour of discussion and deconstruction—talking about the VU, German cosmic music, black magic, and more.

Ennio Morricone: Sans Mobile Apparent (Bande Originale du Film) / Freddie Hubbard: Music Is Here – Live at Maison de la Radio, Paris 1973

Over the past half decade the Paris based label WeWantSounds has released some of our most favorite reissues in a number of genres: Spiritual Jazz, Soul, Japanese Experimental Pop, Japanese Free Improvisation and Arabic Music. The label’s two most recent reissues (Ennio Morricone’s Sans Mobile Apparent (Bande Originale du Film), and Freddie Hubbard’s Music Is Here – Live at Maison de la Radio, Paris 1973) maintain the high quality record collectors have come to respect and expect.

Spacemonkeyz Vs. Gorillaz :: Laika Come Home

All mouths will be fed. Twenty years ago next month saw the release of Laika Come Home, a complete and total transfiguration of Gorillaz s/t debut as remixed in dub. Spacemonkeyz (dj Darren Galea) is the controller, and the results are nothing short of sublime. At times haunting, at times ethereal, the dozen tracks absolutely float featuring limber contributions from the likes of U Brown, Tina Weymouth and Terry Hall. Not unlike Bill Laswell’s ambient-dub interpretation of the Bob Marley catalog, Laika is the rare instance of a remix album feeling as essential as the core material its culled from.

Isaiah Collier & Michael Shekwoaga Ode (I AM) :: Beyond

The Art Ensemble of Chicago’s expression, “Great Black Music: Ancient to the future,” is a program for life and not a mere slogan. It reminds us that we cannot move forward without reference to the past; that we must respect and respond to our elders. On their duo album Beyond, released under the moniker I AM, saxophonist Isaiah Collier and drummer Michael Shekwoaga Ode invoke two of the heaviest albums in the Free Jazz canon: Interstellar Space, by John Coltrane and Rashied Ali, and Duo Exchange, by Rashied Ali and Frank Lowe.

While it echoes the past, Beyond is not an imitation or an attempt to recreate history. It is an album bursting with spiritual energy that will give joy and inspiration to both old heads and new Free Jazz acolytes alike.