Crucial Material – Best Releases Of The Week (March 24th, 2019)

Dig, listen, repeat.

We come again to share the fruits of our labor. This week’s bounty includes Modern Funk, Broken Beat, Brazilian Electronics, South African Hip-Hop, Jazz and Deep House from Chicago and Detroit. If you like something you hear, consider buying it on vinyl or digital formats. Your purchase supports the artists & labels whose work you enjoy.

Dig in.

Jayda G “Significant Changes”

Genres: Electronic / House
Label: Ninja Tune
Buy: Vinyl / Digital / CD
Stream: Spotify / Apple Music

There are two dissimilar records beautifully disguised as one on Jayda G’s major label début. The aptly titled Significant Changes, following her recent remix for Little Dragon, will get immediate attention for its distinct coverage of varied eras of amplified rhythm: House, moody 80’s wavy constructions and cheeky 90’s type anthems. The song Orcas Reprise, an elaborate green mood filled with the sounds of Whales chirping, gives us a REAL view of a dynamic budding artist connecting music to her yearning to understand nature. A life-force, greater than the club.
– Selected by John-Paul Shiver

Cykada “s/t”

Genres: Jazz / Fusion
Label: Astigmatic Records
Buy: Vinyl / CD / Digital
Stream: Spotify / Apple Music

The experimental London-based sextet, featuring members of Maisha, Ezra Collective, Where Pathways Meet and numerous others, release their much-anticipated debut. The 5-track recording blends together funky analog-based grooves, electronics, cosmic atmospheric textures, fuzzed-out guitar rhythms, and jazz-inspired improvisation that are heavily influenced by West African, Eastern European, and Turkish musical roots.
– Selected by TJ Gorton

Culross Close “Forgotten Ones”

Genres: Jazz / Electronic / Broken Beat
Label: Esencia
Buy: Vinyl / CD

London-based producer, remixer, and DJ K15 returns with his Culross Close quintet, made up of fictitious members, to release a brilliant new full-length. This new album, titled ‘Forgotten Ones’, fuses together spiritualism and astral jazz melodies, celestial electronics, cosmic atmospheric textures, and funky broken beat grooves.
– Selected by TJ Gorton

Genius Of Time “Peace Bird EP”

Genres: House
Label: Running Back
Buy: Vinyl / Digital
Stream: Spotify / Apple Music

A welcome return from the Swedish duo on Gerd Janson’s excellent Running Back imprint. The highlight of the EP is the title song Peace Bird, a masterfully executed piece of House Music, very musical and multilayered without losing sight of the dance floor. Rymd01 brings the 808 electro influence while Smiling Into Eternity gets into the more introspective territory with dubbed out Rhodes and percussions. Classic and timeless.
– Selected by Fred Everything

Saudade “Rest”

Genres: Dub / Electronic / Ambient
Buy: Digital

“Rest” is the debut from the Montreal duo who have been making waves with their radio show, DJ sets and more recently, their live set performance. A captivating EP where dub meets dark ambient, where electronic meets organic. Like listening to the alternate soundtrack from an obscure Film Noir where shadowy soundscapes give you encompassing textures with occasional rays of light. The future is definitely bright for the Saudade project.
– Selected by Lexis

Ronin Arkestra “First Meeting”

Genres: Jazz / Electronic / Broken Beat
Label: Albert’s Favourites
Buy: Vinyl / Digital
Stream: Spotify / Apple Music

Led by producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Mark de Clive Lowe, Tokyo’s Ronin Arkestra brings together some of the most forward-thinking musicians in Japan’s thriving jazz and electronic scene, featuring members Kyoto Jazz Sextet, WONK, Cro-Magnon, Root Soul, Sleepwalker, Sauce81, and Kyoto Jazz Massive. The group’s debut is a brilliant melding of jazz improvisation, soaring horn and piano-driven melodies, electronics, spacey synths, and groove oriented rhythms. The EP also features an incredible rendition of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.”
– Selected by TJ Gorton

TRKRNR – “No Summer Days / Stimulate” feat. Trailer Limon

Genres : Modern Funk, Modern Soul
Label : Voyage Funktastique
Buy : Vinyl / Digital
Stream : Spotify

SF Bay Area’s TRKRNR (Track Runner) team up with Trailer Limon (one half of SF’s The Pendletons) to create two insta-classics for the dance floor and the bedroom. The A side “No Summer Days”, a smooth, vibey Sade-esque track, while the flip side “Stimulate”, is a playful sex-funk exploration that will elevate dance floors and get pulses racing.
– Selected by Walla P

Gene Hunt “Reborn Rhythms”

Genres: Deep House / Afro-Latin / Tribal
Label: Burek
Buy: Vinyl

Chicago’s Gene Hunt lands on Croatian label, Burek, for his first release in 2019. ‘Reborn Rhythms’ offers 3 expertly produced original works, leading off with Deep House Thang (Vocal & Instrumental versions). DHT is a gospel-y, Jazzy, Afro-Latin journey that casts a hypnotizing spell, and before you know it, you’re singing along with Lafayette Parker, whose voice delivers the on-the-nose-but-fun hook. On Get Down, Gene slaps the Latin vibe on a recognizable, yet undeniably addicting bass line, which is accompanied by female vox that pack a crisp, gentle punch, a punch you might soon hear in an MCDE set. Rounding out the EP is, The Message, a tribal, spiritual workout you’d otherwise find stamped with the name Lars Bartkuhn, but no, it’s Gene Hunt! This one’s certainly for you, if Deep House is your Thang.
– Selected by Jake Stellarwell

Various Artists “Outro Tempo II: Single Promocional”

Genres: Leftfield / Experimental / Brazilian Electronics
Label: Music From Memory
Buy: Vinyl

Two selections from the highly-anticipated 2nd part to John Gomez’ ‘Outro Tempo’ get a promotional 12-inch release. The soon to be unveiled compilation from Music From Memory will pick up where part one left off; exploring ‘the depths of the Brazilian underworld’. On ‘Single Promocional’, Bruhaha Babelico’s unheard Bruhaha II graces the A-side with ‘cassette madness’: lo-fi electronics, eerie synths, and a weaving of tripped-out vocals. On the flip, a cold-wavey, electro-industrial recording from Individual Industry titled, Eyes, closes the EP with intrigue. If this is a preview of what’s to expect from OT II, then I’d wager the rest to come will make quite an impression.
– Selected by Jake Stellarwell

Sea Bee “I Wanda Why?”

Genres: Kwaito / House / South African Hip-Hop
Label: Afrosynth
Buy: Vinyl

Originally released on CD in ’94 as a full-length LP, four wisely selected ‘Bubblegum’ tracks from ‘I Wanda Why?’ land on vinyl for the first time, thanks to DJ Okapi’s Afrosynth label. Keeping only the ‘choicest down-tempo dance-floor bombs’, the EPs tone is one of optimism. Once we get to the closing track, Stoppa, an air of introspection is revealed, but not without keeping a steady, forward propulsion. If you like the feeling of music bringing a smile to your face, then you’ll find that and more on this aptly timed 12-inch.
– Selected by Jake Stellarwell

Antoine Kogut “Remixes”

Genres: Balearic House / Downtempo Pop / Italo House
Label: Versatile
Buy: Vinyl

Antoine Kogut of Syracuse, party to a trio of releases on Antinote, lends 3 tracks from his 2018 LP to the remix treatment. Title cut, Sphere of Existence, gets completely re-imagined by both Chateau Flight and I:Cube; each delivering their take on blissful, late-night Balearic House. I anticipate these versions getting big plays this Summer. A curve ball is thrown as Flegon’s version of L’OEillet Noir enters the mix. The original already great, Flegon churns out a slow, psychedelic twist that takes the listener to the outer reaches of time and space. Finally, Raphael Top Secret courts you to an elegant dance on the French Riviera. His version of Current Density is a wonderfully executed nod to sun-soaked Italian Deep House, crashing waves included.
– Selected by Jake Stellarwell

Tink Thomas “Vibrationz EP”

Genres: Deep House / Disco House
Label: FXHE
Buy: Vinyl

Detroit native and 90’s Hip-Hop/R’n’B producer, Tink Thomas, debuts 4 superb sample-based, Disco-leaning House cuts on Omar-S’ FXHE imprint. It isn’t uncommon these days to find un-inspired sample driven house, but when this approach is taken on by the right producer, the results can be quite inspired, as is the case with TT’s ‘Vibrationz EP’. Choice samples, thoughtful production and clever editing are present throughout the EP. This is, without question, a Summertime release and I see the lot of these tracks getting heavy rinses from the likes of Moodymann, Move D and Kai Alce. Pick this one up and show some love to the D.
– Selected by Jake Stellarwell

Dolenz “Pull” EP

Genre: Hip Hop / Drum & Bass / Beats / Instrumental Hip Hop / Bass
Label: Exit Records
Buy: Vinyl / Digital
Stream: Spotify / Apple Music

Essential new beats/hip hop 12” on dBridge’s Exit Records, from rising producer, Dolenz, featuring Detroit son and Dilla/Madlib collaborator, Guilty Simpson. Guilty cuts a mean verse on the title track, itself a sparse, industrial beat that could of been crafted in a steel factory. An excellent track in itself but Dolenz & Exit haven’t pulled any punches with the remixes – with Darkhouse Family smoothing it out and the boss himself, dBridge, providing an extremely faithful remix, cutting and sharpening the beats and pushing the tempo up just a notch. To round it off, there’s some lovely low-end bass & brush shuffle on b-side “Turn It Up” and instrumentals of both the original & dBridge remix of “Pull”.
– Selected by Oli Brunetti