Review: On this second album from his Ancient Moons project, Damian Lazarus has decided to switch focus. Whereas the outfit's debut album, Message From The Other World, combined global music influences with Lazarus's usual tech-house rhythms and a touch of psychedelia, Heart of Sky is much more heavily influenced by the Crosstown Rebels' chief's rarely discussed soul boy roots. Of course, the beats and basslines still largely stick to the powder house script, it's just that this time they come accompanied by starry-eyed soul vocals, 1960s dream pop influences, bold piano flourishes, gospel choruses and, on rare occasions, smoky trip-hop aesthetics. As a result, it's undoubtedly a much more "human" album, and one with far more crossover potential than its predecessor.
Review: The word 'legend' gets banded about rather a lot, but it is certainly applicable to West London scene stalwart Kaidi Tatham. Further confirmation of this elevated status can be found throughout "It's A World Before You", a staggeringly good album that marks the musician-producer's first solo set for some seven years. While rooted in the kind of warm, rich and life-affirming jazz-funk-fuelled broken beat workouts with which Tatham is most readily associated (and they're naturally superb), there's plenty of killer diversions dotted throughout. These include a couple of spacey, soul-flecked ambient rubs, a sublime collaboration with hip-hop/modern soul fusionists Children of Zeus, and a fine head-nodding hip-hop jam featuring rapper Uhmeer. In a word: essential.
Last Night (In This Dream I Watched A Film Of A Dream Within This Dream)
New Day (feat John Schmersal)
Calm Me Up
Wave Side Back
Review: It's some 26 years since Satoshi Tomiie announced his arrival via the brilliant Tears single with Robert Owens, and 16 since he released his only album, 1999's impressively eclectic Full Lick. New Day, then, is long overdue. While rooted in deep house - see the sensual vocal outing that doubles as the title track - the album's blend of bold synthesizer lines, crunchy electronic instrumentation and analogue drumbeats has more in common with Metro Area than the booming, mid-90s progressive house for which he was once renowned. It's a hugely enjoyable set, all told, with the shuffling, Balearic-influenced house of "Thursday, 2am" standing out.