Inspired Sound Radio w/ Nubiyan Twist | 13.03.21

Following the release of their album, Freedom Fables, a 9-piece afro-jazz group, Nubiyan Twist joined us on the radio show to discuss the album, and their journey. Now, it wasn’t all nine members of the group (the show would be way over an hour and a half) but we spoke with Pilo and Joe.

Be sure to follow Nubiyan Twist on their socials – @nubiyantwist
And head over to website to learn more – www.inspiredsound.ukJazzHip HopSoulfunk

Have a listen back below.

First Thoughts: Tensei – Constellate

New music is always a bit more exciting when you unexpectedly fall on to something which you weren’t really looking for, but, from rummaging around bandcamp I stumbled on an exciting duo culminating out of Chicago. The pair bring with them a wealth of experience and influences into their music, from hip hop, jazz, house, soul, Afrobeats and electronic. Forming the duo are Chris Kramer and Midas Wells, who have been making music together for over ten years, working with the likes of Black Thought, ADaD, Denmark Vessey, Tall Black Guy. Besides that, they’ve also enlisted a range of respected jazz and soul artists from their home turf, such as Makaya McCraven, Kafele, and Greg Spero. What’s more interesting, is producing music isn’t entirely their whole lives’ as Kramer works in the Robotics Field as well as finding time to travel the world, extracting those wanderings into his music. Whereas, Wells’ curiosity for people and how they interact drove him to studying a master’s degree in anthropology.

*This video is for promotional use only*

The duo recently released an impeccably contagious, feel-good 7-track album titled ‘Constellate’. The album drifts on topics which challenge the disparity and growing tension facing many Americans today, and matches that with positivity and perspective. Accompanied with a range of lyricist and vocalist to who help bring their arrangements and instruments to life, with their pensive, thought-provoking lyrics. Tensei create a wonderful soundscape in the opening track; Liquid Tongues, leaving an enchanting moody vibe for Bilal vocals to envelope. Stand out track ‘Amazing’ has some beautifully fresh sounding instruments which are enriched and harmonize Sam Trump’s vocal. Tensei show their range in the closing track; Telemetry, which stretches and layers wonderfully vibrant loops, to Kiara Lainer accompanied vocal hook line.

Have a listen for yourself and support the artist via:

 

First Thoughts: Moses Boyd – Displaced Diaspora

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Moses Boyd is an artist who has helped paved the way for London’s young vibrant jazz scene. First catching my attention, like many, with the momentous tracks; ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ and ‘Drum Dance’, which seemingly gave jazz a new spotlight to work on dancefloors. Building on those single releases, Moses a year later brought us ‘Absolute Zero’, An inquisitive 4 – track EP, which brushed on the inspiration from jazz, as well as incorporating some experimentation with the synthesizer.

Having had a relatively busy summer, with festival appearances abroad and in the UK, Moses has just dropped a 9-track album with collaborations from spiritual jazz group Kevin Haynes Grupo Elegua, as well as UK soul singers’ Zara MacFarlane, Terri Walker, and hip-hop artist; Louis VI.

Kevin Haynes’ influence throughout the album is clear, they’re known for their fusion of jazz instruments and West African Yoruba culture which makes use of rich Bata drums. Opening with incredible track ‘Rush Hour/Elegua’, a quiet intro erupts to a layered hard-hitting synthesised bassline, which is also blessed with vocals from the Kevin Haynes’ Grupo Elegua. ‘Elegua’ is described as ‘the force which makes communication possible between a man and the divine’, and those soft spiritual vocals are felt again throughout the last track ‘Ancestors’.

Another stand out track, featuring Brownswood’s jazz/soul singer; Zara Macfarlane, is ‘City Nocturne’, the delicate careful build of each instrument, starting with saxophone, and the electric guitar creates a smooth transition for Zara’s voice to center stage upon. Zara accompaniment, as well as Terri Walker, wonderfully suits the whole spiritual jazz, Afro-Latin infused theme throughout the album.

Have a listen and support the artist via:

IN Volume 1: Inspired Sound #4

The 4th addition to the inspired sound mix series includes only recent UK sounds from various artists coming out of the underground music scene. A combination of mellow electronic hip hop, soul and contemporary jazz.

Music from Joe Armon-Jones, Alxndr London, TyObongyjar, Project Karnak as well as other.

**TRACKLIST**

Go see – Joe Armon-Jones
Creeping – Obongjayar
Abusey Junction – Kokoro
Blue Skies – Obongjayar
Silver Universe – Alxndr London
The Idea – Blue beats (ft Blue Lab Beats (feat. Nubya Garcia, Dylan Jones & Sheldon Agwu) TB Afro Chronicles Vol 1
Brixton Baby – Ty (FT Mpho)
Favourite Truth – Eric Lau & Tawiah
Equinox – Project Karnak (TB Afro Chronicles Vol 1)
Eyes Open – Ty (Ft Deborah Jordan & Rootz)
Ragify – Joe Armon-Jones( Ft Big Sharer)
Typical – Nightmares on Wax Ft Jordan Rakei

First Thoughts: The Busy Twist – Sunny Side

The Busy Twist have continued to immerse themselves in the African culture to create an EP which brings their own experiences of the UK electronic music, together with the passion and effervescence of African Highlife and Afrobeat.

‘Sunny Side’ represents the first EP release from their newly formed record label aptly named Busy Life Records’ – an ambitious project which aims to ‘tie the dots between West African, South American, Caribbean and UK electronic music’.

‘Sunny side’ opens with a wonderfully lively quick stringed guitar melody, which is recognisable from some Latin house music, however, the main tone is generally Afrobeat; with a lighter, uplifting feel, which is almost befitting of the tracks’ name (Sunny Side). Lead singer Zongo Abongo from Ghana, accompanies the track nicely with a mixture of broken English and a dialect native to north of Ghana, his vocals enrich the track with soul and feeling.

‘Traveller’ excellently follows suit of the last, with additional vocals from Burkina Faso vocalist; Kyekyeku. The Busy Twist stubbornly stay strong to their African highlife influence, featuring similar instruments to the last track, which seamlessly blends the first two tracks together. However, where it differs is the quicker tempo, and free flowing nature of the guitar melody as the track develops, which is reminiscent of work from African highlife artist; Baka Gbine.

Capturing you in a swirling, ambient downtempo groove throughout, is the next track YIRIBA. With additional vocals from Burkina Faso vocalist; Siaka Djarra, carefully riding on the rhythm of the melody. Taking a slightly different turn is their last track titled; ‘Train Soukous’, which steers towards more Caribbean, Latin influences, as the hard-hitting, reverbed vocals make for dreamy, vibrant house track.

Nevertheless, this is EP represents the foundations of The Busy Twist’s work and a sign of bigger things to come from their new label…

IN Volume 1: Inspired Sound #3

Back with our monthly dose of inspired sounds from around the world. Delving into the sounds from parts of Africa for the most part, whilst dipping in to the experimental broken beats and soul.
Featuring tracks from Gbine Baku, Domu, WU-LU, M’bilal Bel, Afronaught, Neue Grafik as well as other. Enjoy 🙂

**TRACKLIST**

Sweet Talks – Juliana
Sakwe – Baka Gbine
Nazali Mwasi – M’bilia Bel
Electric Africa – Manu Dibango
Wait a Minute (Dwele remix) – Ty
Dont Fight The Feeling ft Dwele – Slum Villiage
The Beaujolais Files – Afronaught
Why You – Neue Grafik
Save you ft Face – Domu
Boulez Boulez – Baka Gbine
El Ruso – Dayme Arocena
A Night Trance – Maisha
Then I Dream ft Binisa Bonner – Wu Lu

First Thoughts – K15 – Sunbeams

Eglo records kicked off their new year nicely with the ever growing K15 delivering a sonically pleasing, Latin house inspired EP.  Previous work with Henry Wu through Eglo records sights at a range of influences, entrusting jazz and hip -hop with their core influence, with the added ‘broken beat’ style production being a consistence presence in their solo work as well.

bt-k15-secondThis photo is courtesy of K15

The ‘Broken beats’ in the UK’s dance scene derived from house producers, Domu, Seiji and Neon Phusions wanting to add something extra house music. They helped pioneer the Co -Op movement in the early 1990s – early 2000s, along with artists such as; IG culture, Dego and Alex Phounikz as well as other. Coming from different scenes the movement came together at a time where they sought to change the underground scene to incorporate a different groove to their work. In some ways, K15 has somewhat backed the break beat resurgence in the last few years, as well as the recently formed selectors assemble.

K15 throughout the EP seems to showcase his deep love for the broken beat style beats, as he seems to blend that with some Afro and Latin inspired synthesized percussion. Sunbeams’ is an infectious rhythm, with the funky bassline setting pace early on, whilst the quick looped Congo drums and persistent bells provides the energy, reminiscent of current Latin House tracks. ‘Starbursts 3’ on the other hand, is a pulsating house, broken beat styled track with a concoction of exotic percussion, giving the track a great party feel. ‘Escenia’ closes the EP blissfully, with a downtempo but still challenging piece.

With only three tracks, your kind left wanting one more, and with each track fitting so nicely together it almost feels like one long track. Nevertheless, K15 is an talented producer who is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Have a listen to this month’s release from Culross Close (K15) release below:

First Thoughts: Penya – Super Liminal

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Like most artists these day, Penya are a group which are difficult to pinpoint to a particular genre. However, Penya can be described as a percussion driven, electronic quartet led by producer and multi-instrumentalist; Magnus PI, whose most recent EP; Super Liminal has been receiving some rave reviews from various publications; such as Stamp the Wax and Boiler Room, as well as, Brownswood founder Gilles Peterson. The various versions of Acclere from their previous EP, had an infectious, high energy displaying Latin influences in not just the vocals, but also the heavy percussion and vibrant guitar giving the track a cosmic warmth.

Super liminal (released through On The Corner Records) seems to culminate their percussive wanderings through Cuba, Turkey, Morocco, Tanzania, India, Peru which they describe to have driven their alternative tribal Afro-Latin rhythms. There’s a perfect balance of dance floor workers with fantastic tribal energy, as shown in tracks like ‘Search It Out‘ and ‘Karachi’. Tracks such as ‘Cham bomb’, ‘Beat your Demon’ and ‘Lysesa’ seemingly take you through a cosmic tranquil journey of Penya’s experiences and influences, all three offer a sense of contemplation and peace. There’s something incredibly enriching about this album which is very difficult to describe in words. Every track sounds organic and unique in their own right but still congeal together under similar influences which help form Penya’s sound.