There is so much good music around that I find it impossible to write about it all in depth. However, I do enjoy sharing what I’ve been listening to and enjoying, so here’s a few brief thoughts on some recent releases.
Jaiyede Sessions Vol.1 by London Odense Ensemble (El Paraiso)
First there was Rude and Skøtt with ‘The Discipline of Assent’ and ‘The Dichotomy of Control‘ which, as you can read through the respective links, I thought was brilliant. The duo added in Tamar Osborn on alto sax and flute for ‘The Virtue of Temperance’ adding further dimensions and layers to their music… and now that trio have become a quintet, with Al MacSween and Jonas Munk, to become the London Odense Ensemble to create what they say “summons the free flowing euphoria of Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders’ work in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But there’s also a focus on rhythmic energy and vitality that calls to mind the grooviest krautrock or electric period Miles Davis, as well as a healthy dose of electronic experiments.”
I mean, what’s not to like.
This is one of those albums that I could write reams and reams on such is the incredible musicianship, the brilliant arrangement (including the use of effects boxes in the mix) and the sort of atmosphere that some how encompasses the great musicians mentioned above, but also very much has it’s own unique feel, but really go and have a listen.
Really amazing stuff.
I’m including the provided bios for the group so to underline how much I think you’ll like this (check out their other output… it’ll keep you busy for weeks):
Saxophonist, composer and multi-wind instrumentalist is the creative force behind modal jazz ensemble Collocutor (On The Corner Records). She is a member of the Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, performs and collaborates regularly with Sarathy Korwar, Jessica Lauren, Emanative, Ill Considered and DJ Khalab.
Keyboard player & founding member of Kefaya. Collaborations include American jazz legend Gary Bartz, Syrian qanun master Maya Youseff, London Community Gospel Choir, Palestinian jazz singer Reem Kelani & kora player Kadialy Kouyate.
Multi-string instrumentalist & lead singer in Sun River. Doubles as stand-in bass player in Causa Sui.
Drummer in Causa Sui with a slew of side projects on El Paraiso, including Chicago Odense Ensemble, as well as being responsible for the label’s visuals.
Guitarist in Causa Sui & studio wizard on most releases on El Paraiso. Also works with a wide palette of electronic music.
Jaiyede Sessions Vol.1 is out now on El Paraiso Records
Light/ Flux by Mythic Sunship (Tee Pee)
Mythic Sunship are a band who previously appeared on El Paraiso Records and have put out an absolute string of amazing albums which, for me, peaked with ‘Another Shape of Psychedelic Music’ which is one of my favourite albums of the last decade… and I have to say that this one pushes it very close indeed.
There is something incredibly clean and open about this album, the guitar work throughout is absolutely masterful with riff after riff boring onto your brain… I found myself constantly and deeply engaging with it in a way that only happens with the best music I listen to… and maybe that’s what sets it apart… it both rocks its socks off and is hugely engaging throughout. As regular readers know I like much of my music to be deep and engaging… which often means it is challenging and maybe even confrontational… this is the oppose, it goes with my grain and I love it!
Mythic Sunship are one of the top three bands that I would still like to see live and ‘Light/ Flux’, if anything, ramps up that desire because I am sure that the track here will absolutely kill in that environment… there is a lightness here (although the music is ostensibly pretty heavy) and a wonderful flux within the transitions here… and moments of sax to die for… I very much hope that we cross paths soon!
The Flow Across Borders/ Remix Album by Dohnavùr (Castles in Space)
One of the best decisions that I have made over the last couple of years is to become a member of the Castles in Space Subscription Library, something which gets me a lot of really wonderful and interesting music both digitally and on vinyl… with the sort of packaging and extras that just scream “we are passionate about music”. Castles in Space put out a bewildering amount of great sounds on their regular label too, one of the recent highlights being the Scottish duo Dohnavùr, Ali O’May and Frazer Brown, who produce the sort of high quality electronica which I find to be irresistible. It’s difficult for me to encapsulate it in such a short piece but to my ears it is sort of an ambient dance music which makes me feel at the same time reflective and enthusiastic… I really like it’s complex and often fast moving sonics, and how you can explore different streams of sound within the overall piece… perhaps better it you give it a listen here…
… but that is not all, because Castles in Space have also released an amazing remix album. Now if you were to search this website you won’t find too many such albums featured here because, basically… and perhaps shockingly for some, I’m not a massive remix fan. However I have to say that this is just stunning, with contributions from such as The Orb, Concretism and Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan; this is an album that stands on its own… a testament to Dohnavùr’s original music as well as the skills of those who have worked with it here.
Both of these are, for me, essential!
Beautiful EP by Zone Six (Sulatron)
This year marks the twenty fifth anniversary of Zone Six, a band who I have enjoyed ever since I discovered them when they were already fifteen years into their journey through space. As a result it is super interesting for me to go back to their beginnings with these two longish tracks released for the first time on vinyl to mark this significant landmark.
I have to say straight off that, especially with first track ‘Something’s Missing’, you would not really suspect that this was anything but a new release… and I really like the tightness of the band and the silkiness of the vocal. It’s not exactly a revelation, but actually don’t for a minute think that these tracks feel dated.
Second track, ‘Beautiful’, is timeless in a different way with a melange of styles, including notably blues and trip hop, seamlessly melting together to produce something that is really very easy on the ears… and underpinning the eclecticism of this long-term act… which, according to the press-release, was put together originally for a one-off performance. Thank goodness it was and it persisted… if just to finally see the release of this literally beautiful 10”.
III by Korb (Dreamlord)
Unsurprisingly, from the title, this is the third release from space-rock duo Jonathan Parkes and Alec Wood… during which time they seem to have developed quite a following from those in the know. This is unsurprising given their ability to deliver music which develops within you a sense of space and endless possibility. These are open sounds whose horizons and parameters are only marked by our own imaginations. It is space rock which is fully and generously infused with the sort of psychedelia which will have you tripping off into the distance with nothing but your cares falling off beside you.
This is not an album of loose noodling though, as tracks such as ‘Infrared’ prove… this is also a duo who can rock out… and even get a bit funky, such as on ‘Robots of the Ancient World’… and slow and melancholy on ‘A Rare Bird’
In short check out the Bandcamp link below and give this band a listen, including a collaboration with long-term Fragmented Flâneur favourites El Hombre Al Agua, your brain will thank you for it.
Nostalgia by Sula Bassana (Sulatron)
It is now twenty years since German Dave Schmidt started playing music as Sula Bassana. During that time he has released a host of albums that have spanned many genre with a number of different approaches… including more electronic-orientated recent releases. This album ‘Nostalgia’ sees a return to a more guitar-based work… although not exclusively so… with the first side (‘Real Life’ and ‘We Will Make It’) marking a move to more of a rock sound… including unusually, for him, lyrics which I have to say really works here. These are understated numbers for the most part, and I find that this is one of the things that I very much enjoy about them… really nice chilled out and well-arranged music.
Side two sees something of a different approach… ‘Nostalgia’ still had that laid back feel but with a more jazz-oriented outlook… I really like the smooth rhythms here… and from the title a sort of winsome melancholia which fits perfectly with my own current reflective mood. Things change with the more sinister beats of ‘Wurmloch’ which open out into a really cool space rock tune as Bassana hits the thrusters, before the mellotron enhanced ‘Mellotraum’, first recorded in 2013 (the tracks were all recorded between 2013 and 2018, with further mixes added in up to last year), finishes things of in a different sort of mellow style.
Nostalgia is available from Sulatron Records here.
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