Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – Shaman! [STRUT214LP]

IDRIS ACKAMOOR/THE PYRAMIDS - Shaman!

Influential jazz collective Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids return with an epic new opus, ‘Shaman!’, featuring a fresh line-up including original 1970s Pyramids member Dr. Margaux Simmons on flute, Bobby Cobb on guitar, long-term associate Sandra Poindexter on violin, Ruben Ramos on bass, Gioele Pagliaccia on drums and Jack Yglesias on percussion. The band transitions from the political and social commentaries of 2018’s acclaimed ‘An Angel Fell’ into more introspective themes. “I wanted to use this album to touch on some of the issues that we all f ace as individuals in the inner space of our souls and our conscience,” explains Ackamoor. “The album unfolds over four Acts with personal musical statements about love and loss, mort ality, the afterlife, family and salvation.” Evolving around Ackamoor’s intricate compositions, the album takes us effortlessly across moods and emotions through a series of expansive, extended pieces. Starting with ritual, soul-searching, and masculine vulnerability on the title track, the band explores timeless existence on ‘Eternity’ and mourns the sudden loss of loved ones in the prescient ‘When Will I See You Again?’, a track which gains new relevance amidst the current COVID-19 crisis. Ackamoor pays tribute to his mentor Cecil Taylor on the angular ‘Theme For Cecil’ and renders homage to the ancestors on ‘Salvation’ and ‘The Last Slave Ship’, recalling the last ship to bring slaves to the US from Africa, the Clotilda. The superb ‘Virgin’ is an anthem of forgiveness, new beginnings and self-healing.

vinyl / CD

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – Shaman! [STRUT214LP]

Peaking Lights – E S C A P E [DKMNTL081]

PEAKING LIGHTS - Escape

With their first LP in over three years, Californian psych-dub duo Peaking Lights offer an outlet from the mundane with a kaleidoscopic collection of lo-fi, escapist-electronic pop. Over their illustrious twelve-year-plus career, the husband and wife duo of Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis have set themselves apart with their characteristic dreamy, and melancholic sound that blends together elements of dub, and delicate-but-quirky electronics. E S C A P E, Peaking Light’s sixth album, and first for Dekmantel, finds them at their finest, replete with atmospheric landscapes crafted out of homemade-percussive loops, that sit alongside wondrous electronic pop and krautrock-like hooks, all tied together by Indra Dunis’ composed and hypnotic vocal charm.

listen

Peaking Lights – E S C A P E [DKMNTL081]

Human Figures – Footsteps [POP127]

Popnihil returns with an album of intricate postpunk from Daniel Holt’s new project Human Figures. Besides running Ardetha Records, Holt has impressed with dungeon synth and ambient projects, his dark synth duo Vault, and a mind-melting techno 12″ for L.I.E.S. Records. But Human Figures is a completely new and personal avenue of expression. “Footsteps” features hymnal, meditative post-punk from musical polymath Daniel Holt.

Human Figures – Footsteps [POP127]

Wladyslaw Trejo – Es Una Bestia [PY90]

Polytechnic Youth return with the whacked out synth-punk mini LP “Es Una Bestia” by Wladyslaw Trejo. Trejo is a Spanish musician, and a key figure in the European underground electronic scene; and despite this being his first solo album since 2015’s self titled debut, he is eternally busy, especially as part of ‘avant-wave’ dueo Slovenska Televiza. Trejo says of the record: “Es Una Bestia is a settling of personal accounts with the ghosts and fears of youth. Digging through the wounds, exploring the cursed soul, inviting his monsters to come to the surface and they do so in the form of vitriolic and hallucinated synth-punk. For this bloody task he has aquired the best possible help, the complicity of the prestigious (and Nick Cave favourite) Polish painter Aleksandra Waliszewska, who provides vocals, as well as the director and musician Wiktor Stribog, the brain behind the ‘Kraina Grzybów’ phenomenon, who collaborates on the lyrics. In his solo project Wladyslaw reveals himself as a crooked line, a faustic anomaly that invites to a dark and psychotropic journey in the form of feverish electronics, industrial rhythms, and almost paranoid sound walls through certain life risks”.

listen

Wladyslaw Trejo – Es Una Bestia [PY90]

Mike Storm – Absorbing Other Stars [ASD002]

Axis Records introduce a new element in their online shop. The Axis Online shop will now offer music in a curated form to feature exclusive works of various artists that are considered masters of their craft and style of Techno Music. This one is coming from Mike Storm master from the underground scene of Alkmaar in the Netherlands. Until this day, he still produces his tracks without any edits or total recall, just straight forward recordings directly from machines only. Mike Storm is mainly inspired by the Sci-Fi sound. The thinking process of his sound are created effecting emotions and leading to action. Sometimes there are actions we can’t control and therefore each creation is a unique process. Thoughts are created and disappearing like stars and planets. Mike Storm translate these thoughts and emotions into music sequences and it influences the mental state. Building sequences and sound development become a natural process.
Mike Storm – Absorbing Other Stars [ASD002]

Cyan85 – Lucid Intervals [VOILP03]

A year has passed since Cyan85 first graced the VOITAX catalogue with his successful summer debut EP – “Bay Of Sampieri”. His dreamy pads, avant-garde take on retro arpeggios and slamming 808 beats have been continuously conquering our ears ever since, making him a young talent to watch within the electro circuit. He now returns to the imprint with his very first album – “Lucid Intervals”, demonstrating his knack for crafting ambitious pieces to establish himself as a respected producer. The LP aims to explore a variety of dystopian atmospheres and energies throughout nine infectious and carefully crafted tracks that build on electro’s rich heritage without failing to infuse it with Cyan85’s very own remarkable, dreamy electronic signature.

listen

Cyan85 – Lucid Intervals [VOILP03]

Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Roy Ayers – Roy Ayers [JID002LP]

YOUNGE, Adrian/ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD/ROY AYERS - Jazz Is Dead 2

In February 2018, Roy Ayers performed four sold out shows in Los Angeles as part of the Jazz Is Dead Black History Month series. It wasn’t until 2020 that fans of Ayers discovered that in addition to those shows, the legendary vibraphone player had also recorded an entire album of new material with Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Over the course of its eight original compositions, written collaboratively by Younge, Shaheed Muhammad & Ayers and recorded at Younge’s Linear Labs in Los Angeles, the resulting album sounds both like an unearthed an unreleased album from Ayers’ classic period in the 1970s (which produced the oft-sampled “Red, Black & Green,” “We Live In Brooklyn, Baby,” “Everybody Loves The Sunshine,” and “Running Away), as well as something startling, new and unexpected. Joining Ayers, Younge & Shaheed Muhammad onthis musical journey are drummer Greg Paul, vocalists Loren Oden, Joy Gilliam, Saudia Yasmein, Elgin Clark & Anitra Castleberry, as well as Phil Ranelin & Wendell Harrison of the legendary Spiritual Jazz label Tribe Records. The 8 tracks on this album testify to the love not only of a legendary musician’s legacy, but to the vitality & necessity of this music and these sounds in the present era, a thread that will likely run throughout all of the upcoming releases from Jazz Is Dead Records.

vinyl / CD

Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Roy Ayers – Roy Ayers [JID002LP]

Oneness of Juju – African Rhythms (1970-1982) [STRUT233LP]

ONENESS OF JUJU/VARIOUS - African Rhythms 1970-1982

Strut kick off a brand new deal with the seminal independent black jazz and soul label Black Fire in May with ‘African Rhythms 1970-1982’, a comprehensive 2CD / 3LP compilation of Oneness Of Juju, led by Plunky J. Branch. Tracing their career from the band’s earliest work in 1970 with South African exiled jazzman Ndikho Xaba in San Francisco, the compilation covers the band’s journey to New York’s loft jazz scene, forming Juju and releasing two landmark albums of hard-hitting percussive jazz on Strata-East. “I saw myself as a cultural warrior,” explains Plunky. “We studied about Africa and tried to infuse our music with an African spirit.” Moving back to his hometown of Richmond, Virginia during the mid-’70s, Plunky drew in a superb new group of musicians and vocalists and created the band’s new incarnation, Oneness Of Juju, retaining the African influence but fusing his sound with funk and R’n’B on the classic ‘African Rhythms’ album. “We realised that, if we put a backbeat to the Afro-Cuban rhythms, people in Richmond and Washington D.C. could be drawn into it; it didn’t change anything about our message.” The change would lead to a series of enduring soul-jazz classics on Jimmy Gray’s Black Fire label, including ‘River Luv Rite’, ‘Plastic’ and ‘Don’t Give Up’ and their biggest crossover international hit, ‘Every Way But Loose’ in 1982, later famously remixed by Larry Levan. The band received renewed interest in their music during the mid-’80s as Washington D.C.’s go-go innovators cited the band as a major influence and rare groove DJs revived their albums for London dancefloors.

listen

Oneness of Juju – African Rhythms (1970-1982) [STRUT233LP]

John Beltran – The Season Series [DSR/D6]

BELTRAN, John - The Season Series

Detroit composer John Beltran returns to Delsin with The Season Series. A collection of subtle and colorful compositions of beautiful synth melodies creating heavenly atmospheres. A blissful walk through breezy spring fields where the gentle sunrays thaw frosty winter scenes. Whether offering up club-focused Motor City techno, futuristic tech-jazz, bubbly electronica or sofa-bound ambient compositions, John Beltran always wrings the maximum amount of beauty and soul from the machines he uses to make music. He’s at it again on “The Season Series”. Variously fusing swelling, almost classical chord sequences, stirring melodic refrains, effects-laden shoegaze guitars, effected vocal snippets and beats (when used) that touch on many of Beltran’s main influences (think IDM and Detroit techno), Beltran has produced a simply stunning album that amply rewards those who give themselves in to its positive, emotion-rich charms.

vinyl / CD

John Beltran – The Season Series [DSR/D6]

Filmmaker – Discordian Disco [PHXS10]

Filmmaker sharing some mythical and magical sounds on the latest Phormix release. Dystopian panoramas have been a recurrent panorama on Filmmaker’s tracks and for this work the direction focused on some core elements like the entropy and chaos magic to bring a musical tribute to the goddess Eris. Filmmaker’s birth name, Fauns (derived from Faunus) has surrounded his life with inspiration from greco-roman mythology so all the energy put on ‘Discordian Disco’ is fed by the multicontextual universe and synchronicities that shaped it into a memorable tape. During the days off his touring in New Zealand, Faunes stayed in Wellington, city where these 10 tracks were recorded using his Deluge, motivated by how the other artists on this tour developed various uses and styles for this instrument also crafted in that land. The result is a collection of wave grooves and lo-fi creamed melodies which also included a special collaboration with the Belgian producer Naomie Klaus (ex Laura Palmer) on the track ‘Golden Apple’ where she delivered both male and female vocals with lynchian tones and tribal vibes. Besides the symbolism of this release, Filmmaker wants to dedicate this album to his most eclectic listeners for highlighting the soul reflected on the music since the beginning. Discordian Disco aims to cause a unique remembrance on the auditory memory of anyone who listens to it from start to finish as is the last Filmmaker’s full-length on this 2020.

Filmmaker – Discordian Disco [PHXS10]

AKSK – Things We Do [RBINC006LP]

AKSK is the collaborative effort of Adda Kaleh and Suzanne Kraft. Recorded over the course of almost seven years and despite local separation or virtual realities, it sums up the magic that already inhered in their debut song „Breaking“ for Gerd Janson’s „Musik for Autobahns“ compilation on Rush Hour. An eight track LP of crystalline chansons and pastels pop that features the skills of The Coober Pedy University Band aka CPUB (Tornado Wallace and William Paxton) on dub duties to complete the magical musical mysteries of AKSK.

listen

AKSK – Things We Do [RBINC006LP]

Alastair Galbraith – Seconds Mark III [ACOLOUR028]

Alastair Galbraith is considered nothing less than a genius around these parts. A New Zealand underground legend active since the ’80s, his solo works have seen release on Siltbreeze, MIE, Emperor Jones and Grapefruit Records while his own labels, Xpressway and Next Best Way have released the likes of The Dead C and Damo Suzuki. His list of collaborators reads like a who’s who of freeform musicianship: Peter Jefferies, Bruce Russell, Robert Scott (The Clean; Flying Nun) and Maxine Funke to name but a few. Seconds Mark III is Galbraith’s first solo album since Mass (2010) and is a collage of pensive, longing and almost forgotten pieces stitched in his inimitable style. A thrilling addition to A Colourful Storm’s ever-expansive catalogue. 21-track LP

listen

Alastair Galbraith – Seconds Mark III [ACOLOUR028]

The Beneficiaries – The Crystal City Is Alive [AX087]

BENEFICIARIES, The - The Crystal City Is Alive

In 2018, the idea was introduced by Jeff Mills to address the lack of artistic collaborations within and from the city of Detroit/USA. The city had always been an engine of new innovative ideas related to music, art, dance, poetry and all other arts. It was thought of as a way to demonstrate the commonality people possess from various art forms and that by mixing ideas visions and perspectives together are might produce unexpected and often provocative results. The project started when Mills reached out to one of Detroit Techno’s founder and legendary DJ/Producer Eddie Fowlkes. Though the two are known and connected to Detroit Techno and knew each other for decades, they never worked together so the first few meetings and conversations were marked with finding all the common links that have built both of their careers. During this time, Mills wanted to find a third person for the project, one that was from Detroit, but not a musician. His idea and theory was that by engaging two other creative thinkers would most likely produce something unique as emotions would become linked together to find that common, but higher level. While browsing the web, Mills discovered a post that featured the Detroit-born poet Jessica Care Moore. Struck by her words and the energy she mastered to say them, Mills knew immediately that she would be the perfect artist to approach for this creative venture. As with most artists that grew up in Detroit, they immediately opened up the links in their past, present and future outlook. He presented the case and explained to her how he thought it might work. She liked the idea and agree to join. “The Crystal City Is Alive” (A phrase extracted from Moore’s words), puts the Detroit, America and the World on notice. The alarm has sounded and it is now time to mobilize all creative units to the frontline.

vinyl / CD

The Beneficiaries – The Crystal City Is Alive [AX087]

Legowelt – Pancakes With Mist [NW025] [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Legowelt with another free offering on his Nightwind Records. Written, performed and produced by Danny Wolfers at the North Sea Institute For the Overmind Scheveningen Holland. Across the ten tracks, you will find shades of house, electro, techno and Italo but what most notably ties them all together is Legowelt’s signature use of distortion. The album is dripping in Lo-Fi tactics and features plenty of vocal work throughout.

Legowelt – Pancakes With Mist [NW025] [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Lausen – Glorius Box Dates [FE037]

LAUSEN - Glorius Box Days

Furthur Electronix brings back an essential analog acid album by Lausen. Released in 1995 on Drop Bass Network, includes remastered versions of ”Dry Ray” and ”Acid Inhaler” from the ”Anti Static EP’.

listen

Lausen – Glorius Box Dates [FE037]

Soft Pioneer – Life Hack’z [CHILDELEVEN]

Summer 1987 – Data bits racing through your processor. Breaking into the cyber world and turning the world up side down. The dawn of the digital era has just begun and is core brain expands a hacking community that changes the C64 world. The soft pioneer, A lil teeange hacking dude blows up the complete scene by using their own hacking weapons and pointing them against themselves. The result is an angry freaked out conspircy to kill the soft pioneer. The hunt has just started..

listen

Soft Pioneer – Life Hack’z [CHILDELEVEN]

Massimo Guanti – Diapositive [LON002LP]

Beside the telluric year in pop music and culture, 1977 was still ranked as the future for Italian leftfield composers. Published by Roman imprint Gemelli and credited to the elusive Massimo Guantini (none else than influential jazz player and composer Sandro Brugnolini), Diapositive is a fully cinematic journey in the realm of sci-fi and cool jazz. Fully produced at famous roman Emmequattro Studios (home of many fascinating recordings by piano player Enrico Pieranunzi) the album is deeply rooted in the coolness of italian libraries, showing up such an incredible music craftsmanship. Fully adorned by a vibrant rhythm section, an acoustic piano, a clavinet, a Fender Rhodes and a proper ‘acid jazz’ guitar-playing, this album will lift your mind and soul for good.

listen

Massimo Guanti – Diapositive [LON002LP]

Nordvest – Grøndal [SUCTION051]

Suction Records welcomes Roger Semsroth back to the label – having previously released 2 full-length albums with us under his retired electro-pop alias, Skanfrom. “Grøndal” is the debut vinyl release under a new alias, Nordvest. These days, Semsroth is best-known for his stark and minimalist techno project, Sleeparchive. The material on Grøndal – icy, melodic, and mostly beatless – is comprised of tracks that were originally released digitally as Sleeparchive, via Bandcamp. The releases were met with general disinterest from Sleeparchive fans, prompting Semsroth to re-brand them as Nordvest, before removing them from Bandcamp altogether. We’ve chosen 11 highlights from 3 of those digital albums, “Rooftops & Chaotic Streets”, “Scribbles”, and “Sleepless”, for a cohesive 11-track LP of austere, synthetic ambiance.

listen

Nordvest – Grøndal [SUCTION051]