Crucial Material – Best Releases Of The Week (October 1st, 2019)

Back at it again with your weekly roundup of unmissable albums and EP’s and reissue projects.

As always we hope you make some nice discoveries and feel free to encourage these artists/labels if you do! Enjoy and have a great week.

Neue Grafik Ensemble “Foulden Road”

Label: Total Refreshment Centre
Buy: Physical & Digital (via Bandcamp)

London’s influential music venue and recording studio Total Refreshment Centre has been at the heart of London’s thriving jazz scene since it was established back in 2012. Their latest release features the highly innovative producer, instrumentalist and DJ, Neue Grafik with an ensemble that features Emma-Jean Thackray, Vels Trio’s Dougal Taylor on drums, and guest appearances from saxophonist Nubya Garcia and vocalist/pianist Allysha Joy. Influenced by London’s currently diverse music scene, the album blends spacey jazz grooves over funky broken beat rhythms.
– Selected by TJ Gorton

Koichi Sakai “Wono”

Label: Olindo Records
Buy: Physical & Digital (via Bandcamp)

What a beauty this one is! The 7th release from our good friends at Olindo Records is their first 12″ and packs a serious dancefloor punch. London-based producer DJ Koichi leads this collaorative effort with Ghanaian percussionist and singer Afla Sackey (Afrik Bawantu). Absolutely killer version of Babatunde Olatunji’s “Jingo” and on the B-side you also get two ace remixes from Osunlade and Pocz.
– Selected by Lexis

John Coltrane “Blue World”

Label: Impulse!
Buy: Vinyl (via Juno)

Yet another unreleased Coltrane gem is made available to the public through Impulse and this one has a great story behind it. Quebec cinematographer Gilles Groulx contacted Coltrane, who he idolized, directly through his agent who was a personal friend, and tasked him to score his 1964 film Un chat dans le sac. Coltrane and his “classic quartet” went in the studio with engineer Rudy Van Gelder and recorded a 3 hour session whilst the label had no knowledge of this ever happening. Hence we find ourselves with a pristine recording of prime era Coltrane for all to enjoy and that is a truly wonderful thing.
– Selected by ASMA

Rōnin Arkestra “Sonkei”

Label: Albert’s Favourites
Buy: Physical & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Led by producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Mark de Clive Lowe, Tokyo’s electro-acoustic jazz collective 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 follow’s up their breakthrough debut EP ‘First Meeting’ with a brilliant full-length release titled ‘Sonkei’, continuing it’s melding of jazz and electronics with soaring horns, piano-driven melodies, spacey synths, and groove-oriented percussion rhythms.
– Selected by TJ Gorton

Giovanni Damico “Another Dj/Last Chance”

Label: Star Creature Universal Vibrations
Buy: Physical & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Excellent 7’ by the Italian producer Giovanni Damico, on Star Creature Universal Vibrations, based in Chicago. Sounds like a forgotten Nigerian Boogie Disco record, both sides are certified dance floor heaters.
– Selected by Walla P


Label: Forever Living Originals
Buy: Physical & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Less than three months since their surprise hit “5” LP, mysterious post punk soul upsetters SAULT deliver yet another LP of bass & drum heavy joints, echoing classic Motown, ESG and boom bap, with more obvious dark political undertones this time around (check “Living In America”). Like their debut, essential.
– Selected by Oli Brunetti

Blackpocket “ALAYLY”

Label: Exit Records
Buy: Physical & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Steve Spacek returns with his first album under his “Blackpocket” alias 12 years. Pure electronic soul of the highest order, as Spacek fans have come to expect. Despite the project being a vehicle for his experimental beats, Steve isn’t afraid to add his famously smooth and whispery vocals, even Fatima makes an appearance, and a couple classic soul songs get a nod too. I can’t wait to hear this in a sweaty bassment party.
– Selected by Oli Brunetti

Maria Chiara Argirò “Hidden Seas”

Label: Cavalo Records
Buy: Physical & Digital (via Bandcamp)

Stunning sophomore album from London-based Italian pianist and composer Maria Chiara Argirò & band, featuring members of Bahla and Waaju, and French singer Leïla Martial. Drawing on classical, rock and folk, and in contrast to her debut, electronics and lyrics(!), “Hidden Seas” has traces of Radiohead, Bahla, Tigran Hamasyan, Nick Drake, Bjork, Shostakovich and others, but the overall sound is distinctly her own.
– Selected by Oli Brunetti

Annie Pleasure “EP”

Label: Royale Records
Stream Links

Lefto, one of the finest selectors/tastemakers in the world has finally taken the leap and launched his own label. As he states, Royale Records is “a label in development, for artists in development”. Let’s just say it has a great future with him at the helm. The very first EP, produced by the mysterious Belgian Annie Pleasure (rumour has it this is a pseudonym for a member of a well-known band out there), is what I could online define as Rave Jazz! Expect the unexpected on this one!
– Selected by Lexis