Crucial Material – November 2nd, 2020

Hope you are doing well and that some of these records will make your day!

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


Sun Ra Arkestra — Swirling

Afro-futurism pioneers, under the direction of maestro Marshall Allen who has been leading the band since Sun Ra left the planet in 1993, have just released their first studio album in over twenty years, titled Swirling on Strut Records. This brilliant sonic journey through the space-age cosmos features new versions of Sun Ra classics like “Angels and Demons at Play”, “Rocket No. 9”, “Astro Black”, “Door of the Cosmos”, “Seductive Fantasy” and more. Space continues to be the place!
— Selected by TJ Gorton

Angel Bat Dawid & Tha Brothahood  —  LIVE

Recorded a year ago in Berlin after experiencing two days of racist aggresions, ‘LIVE’, on International Anthem, captures an enraged & impassioned Dawid & co, recalling the otherworldliness of Sun Ra, the naked honesty of Nina Simone and an incomparable raw energy.
— Selected by Oli Brunetti

Tino Contreras — La Noche de los Dioses

Following Gilles Peterson’s launching of his new Arc Records reissue imprint with prolific Mexican jazz musician, Tino Contreras’ rare classic ‘Musica Infinita’, Contreras, now 96, has recorded a brand new album for sister-label Brownswood that more than stands up against his past work and the current international crop. ¾ rhythms, Tino’s expressive drums, a deep, and mystical sound from the accomplished band, complemented well by Carlos Icaza’s production and pre-Hispanic percussion.
— Selected by Oli Brunetti


Fredy V & The Foundation — One Step

A refreshingly modern foray into soulful RnB and Boogie by Montreal ensemble Fredy V & the Foundation, this EP is solid all the way through. Opening and closing with the bangers One Step and Gimme the Check, the project is elevated by the stellar musicianship of the Foundation (check the epic instrumental Funghi) and Fredy V’s smooth and skilled vocals. This funky journey is a trip you can’t miss and sets the standard for what that sound is in 2020.
— Selected by ASMA


Audio Bambino — BAM​-​001

A sick new club music label is launching from Montreal, with conceptual graphic design featuring 3 main characters on the releases. This first V/A focuses on sleek and futuristic trancy techno by the likes of Priori, Ugent and many impressive local talents.
— Selected by dileta

Huey Mnemonic — Technician

Released on his own imprint Subsonic Ebonics, this new EP by Detroit’s Huey Mnemonic contains 3 versions of a minimal, yet furious old school techno tool, in which the drum machines are dusty, wild and loose and the synths stabs are dubby, funky and psychedelic. As a bonus, there’s a fantastic heads-down-full-speed-ahead remix by Max Watts at the end.
— Selected by dileta

Bakongo — 3 x 2

The original don of UK Funky returns under his Bakongo moniker and sounds as fresh as ever, blending the original foundations with the exciting rejuvenation of Hard Bass meeting Funky sounds of the last few years. The kind of EP that make you miss dark sweaty rooms.
— Selected by Lexis

Moonstarr — The Trip

Our great friend Moonstarr shares a few versions of a track dedicated to a great social cause (read more). “The Trip” features mr. Moon’s unmistakable swinging drums and synth wizardry. Now if he could only be convinced to release some of the incredible tunes from his vaults!
— Selected by Lexis


Busta Rhymes — Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God

Busta has achieved the highly touted yet rarely obtained successful rap comeback album. Keeping his signature flow active to explore current themes with a spectacular list of collaborations including Q-Tip, Paak, Kendrick, ODB, M.O.P, Mary J, Mariah Carey & Bell Biv Devoe. Highlights include the  soulful Best I Can with Rapsody and Master Fard Muhammad with Rick Ross. This album is like a classic Busta verse, it takes many listens to truly appreciate.
— Selected by ASMA

Zach Zoya — Spectrum

Young rapper Zach Zoya has all the potential to carve his own lane and his debut EP gives us a glimpse into what’s ahead. Powerfully introspective lyrics backed by stellar production and melodic vocals give this intimate yet explosive project a solid foundation. With the right aesthetic all we can do is wait for the breakout hit.
— Selected by ASMA

Lou Phelps — Extra Extra!

Lou Phelps returns with a solid 7 track EP that is all killer no filler. From the uptempo Must Be to the smooth Smiling or the headnodding Nike Shoe Box, Lou Phelps rides the production with ease and versatility. Beats by Kaytranada, Lakim & tek.lun make this a thoroughly enjoyable project with a few tracks that will give DJs new ammunition.
— Selected by ASMA


Trees Speak  —  Shadow Forms

Second LP this year for Soul Jazz Records by the Tuscan, Arizona based Diaz brothers, whose outsider recipe of 70s German ‘motorik’, psych, soundtracks (think Carpenter, Morricone, Goblin) and no wave synths somehow sits well enough together to be an instant buy-on-sight hit. 
— Selected by Oli Brunetti


Maalem Mahmoud Gania — Aicha

First time on vinyl for this incredible album by the master Moroccan Gnawa music. Beautifully remastered by Hive Mind Records, previously released on cassette alone in Morocco in the nineties. To these ears, ‘Aicha’ could arguably be the best, readily available introduction to the deeply resonating tones of the guinbri (3-string camel-skin bass banjo), call & response and vocals and trance-inducing effect of gnawa music. Sold out on Bandcamp, but see Honest Jons or Forced Exposure. 
— Selected by Oli Brunetti