Mm Mm (feat Angelique Kidjo & Roundhouse Choir) (4:11)
Snowfire (feat Bugge Wesseltoft) (5:17)
Ricochet (feat Dennis 'Funkybone' Rollins) (3:14)
Why Yellow (feat Rob Auton) (3:17)
Hypothetical (feat James Taylor) (3:37)
Netsanet (feat Mulatu Astatke) (5:44)
Without You (feat YVA) (3:32)
Crushing Lactic (Comp Tom Rogerson) (3:55)
What's Gone Before (feat Pete Wareham) (4:03)
Climbing Up My Own Life Until I Die (feat Rob Auton) (9:37)
Derashe (feat Mulatu Astatke) (6:12)
Review: Famed for their New Orleans style brass band covers - most notably a riotous Prodigy medley and tasty takes on Toto's "Africa" and Blackstreet's "No Diggidy" - the Hackney Colliery Band has decided to do things differently on their latest full-length excursion. As the title suggests, "Collaborations Volume 1" sees them join forces with a dizzying array of artists from the worlds of jazz, soul, funk, Afrobeat and hip-hop. The results are uniformly excellent, with highlights including the Afro-gospel brilliance of Angelique Kidjo and Roundhouse Choir hook-up "Mm Mm", the sunrise Afro-jazz breeze of Netsanet (featuring Mulatu Astatke), and the urgent stomp of percussion-laden workout "Crushing Lactic" with Tom Rogerson.
Review: Mysterious no-wave combo Madmadmad hasn't released many records since debuting in 2012, but what they have put out has been consistently on-point. This surprise debut album is, of course, up to the same exacting sonic standards. Prioritising low-slung punk-funk grooves, spaced-out psychedelic guitar solos, cheeky surf-rock riffs, starburst electronics and fuzzy musical motifs, the band offers up an album that's as raucous and riotous as it is strutting and dancefloor friendly. Highlights are plentiful, with our picks including the wild "Randomisation", the hip-swinging grooves and intergalactic electronics of "Mouse Rock (Rework)", the peak-time stomp of "Hot Disco" and "Gwarn", and stomping, spiraling dub disco rush of "Push The Bass Control".
Review: Given that the original pressing of Medline's wholehearted tribute to A Tribe Called Quest sold out in record time earlier this year, this speedy repress is more than welcome. The album's genius lies in the French producer's imaginative, fusion style approach. Each of the eight tracks is loosely based not only on the ATCQ tracks that inspired Medline as a youth, but also on the original jazz, soul, funk and jazz-funk cuts the legendary New York crew sampled on them. As a result, while some of the live beats and grooves sail close to hip-hop, the resulting music is closer in sound and style to jazz. In other words, boundaries are brilliantly blurred and the results are consistently spellbinding.
Review: Given that he's been rather busy with 22a's jazz house band Ruby Rushton, it's quite a surprise to discover that Tenderlonious has found time to record another solo album, his first full-length solo effort for three years. It's a deep, woozy and atmospheric affair, with the storied Peckham producer flitting between jazz-funk-fuelled deep electro ("Buffalo Gurl"), lapsed lo-fi deep house ("Hard Rain", "Casey Jr"), blunted beats ("GU22"), sparkling ambient jazz ("Low Tide"), wonky futurist synthesizer grooves ("Another State Of Consciousness"), and cuts so deep, jazzy and off-kilter that they defy definition ("Aesop Thought", where his distinctive flute playing takes centre stage).
Review: If you enjoyed the loose, warm and organic musical fusions of Italian outfits Nu Guinea and Mystic Jungle, we'd recommend checking out this fine debut album from fellow countrymen Aura Safari. The Perugua-based quartet explore similar influences - think jazz, jazz-funk, dusty deep house, Afro-cosmic, Balearica and boogie, for starters - and rely on a similar blend of vintage synthesizer sounds, live and programmed drums, jazz-friendly brass instruments and elastic bass guitar. The resultant album, then, feels like it comes from a similar sonic place, even if Aura Safari's distinctive musical blend is even more eclectic, emotive and atmospheric than that offered by their aforementioned contemporaries. Either way, it's a superb set.
Review: David Hanke's Renegades Of Jazz project has been relatively successfully in achieving its initial aims, namely "bringing the jazz back to the dancefloor". After a three-year hiatus Hanke and company are back with a new album, "Nevertheless" - a funk-fuelled romp through bustling breakbeats, elastic double bass, fuzzy Stax style horns, jammed out piano lines and groovy guitar riffs. Hanke has roped in a number of guest vocalists and collaborators to put their stamp on the set, with stellar contributions from rapper Donnie Numeric (the hip-hop/jazz/funk fusion of "Hot Wired"), soul singer Clair Fallows (see the punchy floor-rocker "Light Me Up") and Afrika Fuentes (check the tropical funk brilliance of "Don't Break My Love").
Review: Since he's such a prolific collaborator and creator of bands, it's easy to overlook the fact that Will Holland hasn't released a solo album as Quantic for almost five years. "Atlantic Oscillations", then, is a welcome return - particularly since Tru Thoughts boss Robert Luis thinks it's Holland's "most cohesive and intricate album to date". It's certainly a strong collection, with Holland wrangling multiple styles, tempos and musical influences to create cuts that defy easy categorization. While there are downtempo moments, "Atlantic Oscillations" includes more bona-fide club cuts then he's delivered in recent years, with sun-kissed disco cut "September Blues", Cuban disco-funk workout "Atlantic Oscillations" and Afro-Latin house bumper "Motivic Retrograde" standing out.
Review: This time last year, French combo Cotonete joined forces with Brazilian singer Di Melo to deliver what became one of the sleeper hits of last summer - the Latin disco/jazz-funk fusion of "A.E.I.O.U.". Here they continue their partnership with a first collaborative full length. It's a quietly impressive outing, with Di Melo's distinctive vocals rising above cuts that variously doff a cap to sultry Brazilian disco-funk, Azymuth-esque jazz-funk, soundtrack-friendly cinematic soundscapes, Astrud Gilberto style sweetness and humid salsa-funk (standout "Kilario (2019 Version)". It's a warm, loose and hazy set that feels authentically South American despite its Parisian roots.