Independent groove label Sdban Records have released ‘Utopic Cities: Progressive Jazz in Belgium 1968-1979’ featuring an eclectic selection of forward-thinking jazz from the Belgian underground, including the left-field fusion of Marc Moulin’s Placebo, Koen De Bruyne and Solis Lacus; the intense post-bop of Jacques Pelzer and Lou MacConnell; the cutting edge soul jazz of Philip Catherine and Open Sky Unit and the otherworldly avant-garde of Babs Robert and the Brussels Art Quintet.
Recorded in the aftermath of the revolutionary year 1968, this music is the fruit of a highly creative momentum in Belgian jazz history that produced a unique sound which distinguishes itself from its American source of inspiration by an indefinable characteristic that can be hardly better described than ‘Belgian’. The release follows Sdban’s critically acclaimed ‘Let’s Get Swinging: Modern Jazz in Belgium 1950-1970’, released back in 2017.
Germany’s undisputed Queen of Soul, Joy Denalane release has released her stunning new single, ‘The Show’. Taken from her upcoming album ‘Let Yourself Be Loved – Deluxe Edition,’ out September 3 on Lesedi / Motown Records.
Testament to a musical ability that comes from years at the top of her game, Joy Denalane is one of modern soul’s brightest stars and ‘The Show’ does not disappoint. Managing to sound classic and contemporary at the same time, it’s neo-soul at its best – a bittersweet account of Joy’s vulnerabilities as a parent, delivered in beautifully confident fashion.
“The Show is about that moment when kids realize: After all, my parents are just as questionable and flawed as I am”’ says Joy. “When children become teenagers, their parents’ hero status is quite rightly questioned. I tell my children: Please forgive me, that I too am only a part of the show, a part of the system – and as such fallible. The song aims to soften the shock of that realization for the kids and help navigate them through the complexities of life.”
Rising Dutch songstress Latanya Alberto reveals her new single ‘Get It Right’, taken from her EP titled ‘The Royal Escape’. A sublime dose of sultry neo-soul with a 2021 edge, the track was produced by LA based producers Shanks (BOSCO, SiR, Ledisi) and Sammy Perez. The second track to be taken from the EP, ‘Get It Right’ comes after the stunning ‘Royal (Recall)’ and it’s powerful visuals.
Speaking about ‘Get It Right’, Latanya shares the tracks meaning; “How many people are truly unapologetically themselves? This means being honest with yourself, being confident in your decisions, being prepared to walk away to remain in a position of dignity. The song emphasizes the journey back to that stage”.
Born and raised in Amsterdam to Surimenese and Curaçaoan parents, Latanya Alberto started writing poetry as a teenager, which became the basis for her lyrics today. Delving deeper into cultural awareness, female empowerment, social justice and romance, Latanya takes inspiration from the wordplay of legends India Arie and Erykah Badu. Latanya explains her M.O; “To deliver the story that needs to be heard, the consciousness that needs to be awakened, and the emotion that needs to be freed”.
London-based keyboard virtuoso, composer and producerJoe Armon-Jonesreturns with ‘Pray’, a single that launches his new label, Aquarii Records. Aquarii will be a home for all of Joe’s forthcoming solo releases and collaborative work.
Effortlessly fusing soul, hip hop, jazz and funk influences, ‘Pray’ features Morgan Simpson of Black Midi on drums alongside Luke Wynter of Nubiyan Twist on bass. It will also see a physical release on 10” vinyl with an exclusive vinyl only track on the b-side ‘Nothing Move’ and the artwork is by regular collaborator Divya Scialo.
Joe’s vision with Aquarii is “a home for the music that is around me; somewhere it can live and somewhere it can flourish”. In 2021 Joe will be releasing collaborations with extended family Fatima, Mala and Hak Baker.
Between his highly acclaimed solo work and his work with the influential Ezra Collective, Joe Armon-Jones is at the epicentre of the London underground scene and has recently collaborated with the late Tony Allen, Mahalia, Nubya Garcia, Greentea Peng, Poppy Ajudha, Moses Boyd and Ego Ella May.
Founded by Philippa Pacho and Luke Standing, who produces under the alias Blue Hour and runs a label by the same name, the platform will focus on progressive dance music and early club culture.
Its confirmed roster of artists include Rove Ranger, Lady Starlight, Blue Hour himself, LDS and Alpha Tracks, among others. Each release will be accompanied by artwork by contemporary visual artists such as Aaron Elvis Jupin, who designed the forthcoming compilation’s cover.
“Our visual concept is to bridge a connection between figurative imagery and the iconic ‘smiley,’ which has been widely adopted by rave culture,” the cofounders explained in a statement.
Mndsgn shares a new song and video from his forthcoming album Rare Pleasure, out June 4th on Stones Throw Records. Celestial and hypnotic, “Slowdance” arrives with the perfect visual counterpart conceptualized by Mndsgn himself and directed by Eric Coleman. The video meets the artist on a glimmering beach as he sets up a transformative flower circle for two souls to find coalescence in the rhythm of the song. The new track follows last month’s single “Hope You’re Doin’ Better,” which came alongside a self-directed video.
Speaking on the track, Mndsgn says: “To me, the ability to deal with time and changes are tied to my ability to dance. The tempos speed up and slow down. Chords progress, weaving through tensions and resolves. The rhythms alternate from something familiar to something strange. Sometimes we adjust accordingly, sometimes we struggle to find the groove, finding ourselves a few beats ahead or behind. However we choose to dance is entirely up to our own expression. The point is to keep dancing whether fast or slow.”
Rare Pleasure is Mndsgn’s third album to be released on Stones Throw Records. Following 2016’s Body Wash, this album truly shows the artist’s evolution from his roots as a heralded beatmaker to vocalist, songwriter and arranger.
Anz is launching a label. Short for “otras mitades,” which means “other halves” in Spanish, OTMI will house some of the UK artist’s unpublished works and contributions from friends across the electronic music spectrum.
The first release, OTMI001, lands April 9th and will be available digitally and on vinyl. “I’ve always loved—’mi otra mitad de naranja,’ or ‘the other half of my orange,’ a way of describing a soulmate,” Anz wrote in an email. OTMI001 will be Anz’s first EP since last year’s RA-Recommended Loos And Twos on Hessle Audio.
Read more about that record and more in our recent Breaking Through feature with Anz.
Gyakie has just released a bubbly remix to her chart-topping single ‘Forever‘ in collaboration with Naija’s next rated superstar, Omah Lay.
With this remix featuring Omah Lay, Gyakie will continue her valiant strides while using this motherland association to further solidify her status as the next takeover star from Africa whose eyes are set beyond the Atlantic embankment.
Romford based alternative RnB artist KeepVibesNear. Having turned heads with his haunting single ‘What U Need’ (which was included on the incredible The Silhouettes Project record), KVN now readies his touching new single ‘Gently’.
‘Gently’ sees melancholic wurlitzer notes reverberate across a cold sonic landscape, beautifully accompanied by KVN’s tender tones, channeling a wintery tale about reconciliation.
KVN explains : ‘Gently as a song represents the build up in an argument with your other half. That moment at the end of an argument when you give in to your care for the other person. You take a breath, put aside your ego. The turmoil in the verses compared to the make up in the chorus represent the balance in compromise.’
Los Angeles-based artist Rochelle Jordan announces her new album,Play With theChanges, out April 30th on TOKiMONSTA’s Young Art Records, and today presents new single,“NEXT 2 YOU.” For Jordan, a desire for sonic expansion has long beenembedded into her fusion of futuristic and ancestrally soulful R&B.
To hear a Rochelle Jordan song is to absorb a blend of sampledelic 90s pop, vintage UK house and garage, 31st century electronic bangers, airy late night ballads, and progressive hip-hop. On Play With the Changes, Jordan showcases not just her own personal evolution, but a path topushing sound forward.
Produced by KLSH,Machinedrum, and Jimmy Edgar, the album presents her as a modern heir in a lineage of powerhouse vocalists with style and imagination: everyone from Whitney Houston to Celine Dion, Aaliyah to Amerie, Kelis to Mariah Carey.