Hello music lovers! 🎶
I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year and are ready for the new challenges that await us this year. I was a bit ill and celebrated at home, but that's why there was even more music than usual.
I'm going to start this year's #newtunes with music that is more on the fringes and not in the mainstream of global music production, but that doesn't mean that new songs don't deserve our attention, quite the opposite.
Lesser-known bands and musicians are just as heartfelt as the big names and have a lot to say. If you have a few minutes, you can support them by listening, but if you don't like what you hear, just skip it.
Andreas Røysum Ensemble - Hares on the Mountain
The Andreas Røysum Ensemble is said to represent the new Norwegian free jazz, lubricated with all possible and impossible sounds and melodies. 'Mysterier' is their third album, released two months ago. The ensemble consists of twelve different individuals, who we won't name, and is led and orchestrated by clarinettist and composer Andreas Røysum, who says he is a very happy man and prefers to write music for himself and his favourite musicians. The ensemble works as a commune, which is open, and all the participants have other groups.
From the album, I chose the song Hares On The Mountain, which is a reworking of an old Celtic folk song, enriched with the voice of the new singer Sofie Tollefsbøl.
Bar Italia - Jelsy
I mentioned the London band Bar Italia a few times last year, but apparently, they are becoming more and more recognisable, not to say popular (yet).
'The Twits' is their third album, from November last year, their sound is more and more lo-fi indie. Minimal instrumental backing gives way to the interplay of male and female vocals and the eternal themes of partner relationships and lost opportunities. Listening to them, we constantly get the feeling that we've heard it all before, but we don't know exactly where or when.
Assiko Golden Band De Grand Yoff - Sama Néné
Assiko Golden Band De Grand Yoff is a Senegalese percussion ensemble from the village of Grand Yoff, which has been active for 20 years. Magg Tekki is their debut album and their music uses fourteen different percussion instruments, such as the African bouga, thiathia, djéme and thioung drums. There are also horns, flute, saxophone, balafon and accordion.
Very interesting for me, because for the first time I am encountering this kind of instrumentalisation, which quickly takes the listener with a rhythmic flow somewhere unencumbered and joyful.
Irreversible Entanglements - Free Love
Irreversible Entanglements is an American band formed in 2015, led by saxophonist Keir Neuringer and poet Camae Ayew, better known for her solo career as Moor Mother. They have also been called "modern, conscious free jazz and a poetry-driven, hip-hop-based improv sensation".
Protect Your Light is their fourth album, released last December. Here they continue with their traditional, perhaps more stripped-down sound in which they indulge in free-jazz escapades, building their brass-wind sound wall, backed by polyrhythmic drumming, to set the backdrop for Moor Mother's lyrics, which are always political and esoteric.
Brötzmann/Bekkas/Drake - Balini (Live)
Catching Ghosts is the latest album by the Brötzmann/Bekkas/Drake trio, released last June, and is a recording of a live performance at the Berlin Jazz Festival in April last year. The last one because the trio's mastermind, clarinettist Peter Brötzmann, passed away immediately afterwards. Brötzmann devoted much of his musical career to exploring Moroccan gnawa music (a blend of Islamic Sufi trance and pre-Islamic African folk music) and playing it within the framework of jazz improvisation.
You may find all this too boring, but if I mention that this genre, Gnawa, came to the West in the 1950s via writers such as Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin and that the first musicians to be introduced to it were Brian Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Ornette Coleman, then the matter becomes clearer.
Juicebumps - Scatterbrain
Juicebumbs is a quartet from California, they have been performing since 2017 and have released four albums, the last one, Jumbo, at the end of October last year. They are a new band for me, but musically they move between post-punk and new wave genres. Listening to them, we quickly hear that we are entering a strangely eerie world where the boundaries with reality are blurring as if they want to seduce us through altered states of consciousness.
Scatterbrain is the opening track of Jumbo and is about scattered brains... but did you expect anything else? :)
Chouk Bwa & The Ångströmers - Monche Pyè
Chouk Bwa is a six-piece band from the Caribbean, Haiti to be precise, The Ångströmers are a Belgian production duo and we are about to release their sixth album Somanti, a mix of Caribbean voodoo polyrhythmics and dub electronica.
It's very much dance music that celebrates movement and don't worry, there won't be any puppets to puncture, just raving and flickering bodies amongst the ghosts that force themselves from the afterlife (if you listen to this music long enough)...
Polygonia - Otro Mundo
Lindsay Wang or Polygonia is a classically trained producer, DJ and sound designer from Munich, Germany, working since 2018. Her path has taken her from classical to electronica, specifically to ambient music and EDM. In her music we notice a strong emphasis on building atmosphere, adding ambient and rhythmless elements that slowly and carefully fill the sound space harmonically, as in a classical composition.
Otro Mundo is her second album, released last September.
In techno, which, like all other areas of electronic music, is facing an identity crisis, her music is a pleasant proof that it is still possible to experiment and search for something new within the conventional electronic dance genres.
🎶That's all for today, enjoy in #newtunes!
I hope you liked something, and thank you for your attention.
If you're interested in #newtunes suggestions from the past five years, you can listen to them at these links - there are Spotify playlists for each year:
And here's something else:
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Thank you in advance.