Sdban Records Brings Together Belgium’s Best Jazz Musicians From The 1960s

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 PlaceboKoen 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.

Listen to ‘Open Sky’ by Open Sky Unit below.

Purchase on digital and vinyl here

Jazz Pianist Joe Armon-Jones Announces New Label + New Single

London-based keyboard virtuoso, composer and producer Joe Armon-Jones returns with Pray, a single that launches his new label, Aquarii RecordsAquarii 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 FatimaMala 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.

Listen to Pray Below.

Dego Considers ‘The Negative Positive’ On Upcoming New Album

The legendary Dego is back next week with a new album, ‘The Negative Positive’.

It will be released on April 30 on vinyl and digitally via his own 2000black imprint which specialises in music from the African diaspora that crosses genre bounds.

‘The Negative Positive’ fuses techno, funk, boogie and more over its nine tracks, showcasing exactly why Dego is renowned as an innovator and boundary pusher. The album showcases two vocal features, firstly with Nadine Charles on ‘This Is A Message To You’, then with new 2000black signing Samii on ‘Recovered Memories’.

Dego recently released a four-track collaborative EP with Matt Lord, ‘Lord & dego’, which was released earlier this month.

Listen to single ‘The Disclaimer’ below, and preorder the album here.

Glaswegian Jazz Curator Rebecca Vasmant Announces Debut LP Release

Glaswegian musician, producer, DJ and curator Rebecca Vasmant
announces her debut LP ‘With Love, From Glasgow’, showcasing the
breadth of the incredible Jazz talent the city has to offer.

Having made a name for herself with a residency at Sub Club, Rebecca
took the lead in curating the first live Jazz showcases at the venue, also
running a popular record fair with the venerable venue and a spot on BBC
Radio Scotland and Worldwide FM.

While promoting and touring in over 22 countries constantly over the last
five years, Rebecca has honed her craft on production projects which
feature world class musicians from The Scottish National Jazz
Orchestra and more, her talents are not only in spinning records, but in
composing, producing and performing. Though known for its rich musical
heritage, Glasgow is not a city perhaps synonymous with Jazz.

Rebecca and her cohort of hand picked musicians set out to change people’s opinions. Rebecca explains: “There is such crazy wealth of talent in this city of
Glasgow and I wanted to make an album that helped to demonstrate this
and which captures my own love and passion for deep and spiritual music. This album highlights just some of the exciting things that are happening
here in Scotland and it’s been a real honour and pleasure working with the
hugely talented musicians who came together to collaborate in such a free
and beautiful way. During the time spent working on this music an
amazing family formed, something for which I am so grateful.”

Listen to ‘Jewels of Thought’ below.

‘Soul Food’ Spotify Playlist Update

We’ve updated our ‘Soul Food’ Spotify playlist with new music from a range of independent artists across the world. As ever we look to incoporate Hip Hop, Jazz, and Soul into this playlist, keeping our followers up to date with what we’re listening to. We have music from artists such as, Sabrina Starke, Samoht, Tom Bailey, Tora, Alan Taylor, Pher, Lindon Jay, Phony ppl, and music more.

Listen to the playlist below.

Big Events And Festivals Could Be Cancelled Within Days

Large-scale live events will begin cancelling within days if the UK government does not agree to underwrite a protective insurance scheme, reports The Times.

The government has been warned by organisers that they will be forced to pull the plug on planned events if no security for covering costs in case of COVID-forced cancellation is offered.

According to insurance brokers, it would cost the state as little as £250 million to guarantee events such as festivals can plan to go ahead, and these could be worth billions to the UK economy if they do take place.

Music events organisations have been warning since the start of year that insurance will be necessary to prevent festival cancellations, with Glastonbury cancelling weeks later in January.

The UK music events industry received a major boost when festivals began selling out at record speeds and organisers were hopeful cancellation cover would be included in the recent Spring budget, but this was not forthcoming.

Julian Knight MP, chairman of the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, called the UK Treasury’s refusal to back such a scheme “inane”, adding that organisers “need the confidence to put plans in place and go ahead and lead to a summer of fun rather than a summer of none”.

Knight claimed there is “quite a lot of support” for an insurance scheme in government, but “it is the chancellor that has stopped it”.

He also revealed that the government had agreed to insure pilot test events planned to go ahead to test COVID-19 protocols, such as the two club nights planned to take place in Liverpool, which he said evidences a “market failure”, with insurers unwilling to provide COVID-induced cancellation insurance.

Paul Reed, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals, said more than 90 per cent of its membership feels it cannot hold events this year without cover, and warned The Times events would begin being cancelled within days due to financial commitments needing to be confirmed far in advance.

Within hours of Reed’s comments, Northamptonshire’s Shambala Festival (pictured), which attracts around 15,000 attendees each year, cancelled for the second year running, with organisers stating that a “lack of government-backed insurance leaves us no choice”.

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music, said in a seminar hosted by the Let Live Thrive campaign that the “market failure is going to lead to a wave of cancellations”, adding: “It is also bad for the taxpayer. Lots of money has been spent supporting the sector. This is a way of getting away from government support. But the billions of pounds that could be generated for the economy will not happen.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP said last month that when there is more certainty about reopening of large-scale events, “the more we can have discussions about the insurance point”.

[Via: The Times]

New Report Shows UK Festival Line-Ups Still Have A Gender Balance Problem

Music festivals are set to return in the UK this summer but new research shows that issues surrounding gender equality still remain.

Research conducted by The Guardian found that out of 31 festivals, a majority were heavily weighted towards male performers.

Read this next: Are music festivals actually going to happen this year?

Analysis showed dance festival Creamfields featured a 91 per cent male line-up while Manchester-based Parklife was over 70 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Isle Of Wight Festival, which is set to be headlined by David Guetta, and three other male performers only offered a 27 per cent female line-up.

Maxie Gedge, UK project manager of music industry initiative Keychange, said: “It’s totally unacceptable that after a year of turmoil, women and minorities are being excluded from this return to live.

“We usually stay on the positive side instead of calling people out, but we’re getting tired. It’s not an accident any more, it’s a statement of exclusion.

“The fact that this keeps happening shows that there are certain festivals that just aren’t taking responsibility, or they’re not viewing it as their responsibility when, in actuality, it’s everyone’s.”

Keychange is the PRS Foundation’s initiative encouraging festivals to commit to lineups that are 50 per cent women and gender minorities by 2022.

Read this here: Ministry of sound to focus on homgrown talent

Other festival line-ups such as We Out Here are over 60 per cent male, while Reading & Leeds, Camp Bestival and Cross the Tracks ranges between 50-60 per cent.

Keychange highlights that diverse line-ups would refresh the talent pipeline and prevent events from becoming stale while enhancing their sustainability.

Gedge continued to tell The Guardian that exclusionary programming presents a negative message to attendees as well as society as a whole, especially as women, gender minorities and women of colour had been affected more by the pandemic.

“It’s really important that we take that very seriously and think about what we want the future of music to look like, and not what it did look like,” Gedge said.

Via Mixmag

The Simpsons’ Matt Groening Will Join Theo Parrish On NTS April 28th

NTS, the London station that has redefined internet radio over the last decade, is turning 10 years old.

To celebrate it will host a week of celebrations with 10 special guests curating both of its channels all day long.

Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and the inspiration for NTS’ name, will be on curation duties alongside longtime friend of NTS Theo Parrish, Detroit titans Dopplereffekt, shoegaze icons my bloody valentine, Arca, Mica Levi, Laurie Anderson and more.

The special week of broadcasts will also raise money for The Global Foodbanking Network.

Proceedings take place from Monday April 19 to Friday April 23.

Matt Groening curated an edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties the year before NTS was founded while the station recently hosted The Sopranos‘ Michael Imperioli.

Full info here.

Electronic Music Spotify Playlist Update

Every fornight we update our spotofy playlists with 20 NEW TRACKS from indepdent artist we think you should be listening to. We have incldued names such as Felipe Gordon, Chaos in the CBD, Jon Sable, Ciel, UMFANG, Beatrice Dillion, as well as many more from electronic producers all around the world.

Listen to the playlist below.

Ministry Of Sound To Focus On Homegrown Talent

Ministry of Sound has announced six weeks of reopening parties.The series will kick off on June 25, running from 10pm to 6am every Friday and Saturday through to July 31.

On Instagram, Ministry of Sound wrote: “our opening six weeks of parties will celebrate the sounds of the UK with an extra emphasis on homegrown superstars.”

Its website adds: “We’ve come a long, long way together, and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Dust off your raving shoes, call your friends, cancel your Zoom subscription and let’s never speak of quizzes, banana bread or Joe Wicks ever again. It’s Summer 2021 and it’s time for a FUCKING PARTY.

“Line ups are being finalised as we speak and we’ll update you as soon as we can. For the moment all you need to know is: Friday 25th and Saturday 26th June, 10PM – 6AM, bring your crew, we’ll do the rest. Let’s have it!”

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from Ministry of Sound’s website. Early bird tickets are priced at £14.

Any ticket purchases will be eligible for a full refund or transferable to a later date if there is any delay on the government’s roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions which means the event cannot go ahead as unplanned.

Earlier this month Printworks announced plans to go “back to basics” for three reopening parties on September 17, 18 and 19, which will be “a pure celebration of club culture” with no line-ups announced in advance and a rule of no social media, no cameras and no distractions.

Read our guide to what nightclubs are opening here.