Crucial Material – May 1st, 2021

Another bumper edition of Crucial Material full of essential listening.

Here are our favorite EP’s, Albums and Reissues of the past couple of weeks. As always we encourage you to buy digital or physical releases if you discover a release you love. Support artists and labels!

JAZZ

Natural Information Society with Evan Parker –  descension (Out of Our Constrictions)

Free jazz sax giant Evan Parker’s relentless circular breathing technique is a perfect fit for the immersive drone of Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society. Incredible!  Selected by Oli Brunetti

Billie Harris — I Want Some Water

Nimbus West has released Billie Harris’ incredible 1980 spiritual jazz album on vinyl for the first time, featuring a superb cast of musicians including Horace Tapscott, David Bryant, Everett Brown Jr. and Daoud Woods. — Selected by TJ Gorton

Khan Jamal — Infinity

Paul Murphy’s Jazz Room Records reissues vibraphonist Khan Jamal’s highly obscure 1984 spiritual soul jazz masterpiece that made waves during the Acid Jazz heydays of the 1990s. — Selected by TJ Gorton

Lord & Dego — ‘s/t EP’

Broken Beat pioneers Dego of 4Hero and Matt Lord of the legendary Bugz In The Attic collective return with a brilliant new EP that dances the line between jazz-funk, disco, and broken beat. — Selected by TJ Gorton

Simon Denizart & Elli Maboungou — Nomad

Pianist Simon Denizart connects with percussionist Elli Maboungou on a truly collaborative and innovative album. Maboungou’s complex rhythms meld with Denizart’s floating melodic strands to create a unique sound. — Selected by ASMA

GLOBAL GROOVES

José Carlos Schwarz & Le Cobiana Djazz — Lua Ki Di Nos (The Moon Is Ours)

An incredible compilation celebrating the music of poet and activist José Carlos Schwarz and his remarkable group Le Cobiana Djazz, who were highly influential in Guinea-Bissau during the 70s. — Selected by TJ Gorton

HIP-HOP

Young Thug — Slime Language 2

Young Thug plays A&R by compiling talent and generating genre defining collaborations. Much like its legendary predecessor, SL2 is a no-skip masterpiece.  — Selected by ASMA

Sech — 42

Sech’s impeccable songwriting chops takes his approach to the urbano genre up a notch. With solid collaborations and productions, 42 is a standout reggaeton album. — Selected by ASMA

Degiheugi — Foreglow

French producer Degiheugi has a knack for looping the most refreshing international samples and adding an extra layer of grooves. Standout track Nuday with Andree is sure to be a summer hit. — Selected by ASMA

SOUL

SAM — American Cars

Sublime UK acoustic soul jazz reissued. Standout “American Cars” is perfectly tweaked by Ashley Beedle and “Life” receives a beautiful neo-soul treatment by Scrimshire. — Selected by Oli Brunetti

Betty Lou Landreth — Betty Lou

Betty Lou Landreth – I Can’t Stop

Extremely rare LP from little known singer. Soul-jazz, funk and even country, recorded with the creme of Detroit’s players & released in 1979, reissued by Outernational Sounds. Available from Honest Jons. Worth the price for “I Can’t Stop” alone. Selected by Oli Brunetti

ELECTRONIC

WheelUp — Good Love

Cracking LP, a natural development for the broken beat/bruk sound, and fresh at the same time, drawing on elements of house, hip hip, neo-soul, salsa & African polyrhythms. — Selected by Oli Brunetti

HOWIE LEE — Birdy Island

There’s absolutely nothing out there like Beijing-based producer/artist Howie Lee’s beautiful ‘Birdy Island’. Acoustic, ceremonial Taoist music meets synths experimentation, jazz fusion and FWD>>.  — Selected by Oli Brunetti

ALTERNATIVE

Bahla — Life Long

Tight playing from 4 pairs of jazz hands, electronic production, and strong lyricism & hooks, delivered by Inês Loubet’s distinctive voice. Bahla have bloomed. — Selected by Oli Brunetti