Tuesday 9 February 2021

February new release round-up

'A Sad Love Song (Wadiya's Song)' by Mumia Abu-Jamal

A Night on Canopy

An incredibly beautiful, poignant and powerful number to kick-off proceedings with the reissue of the Mumia Abu-Jamal penned number written for his wife.  The political activist and journalist became widely known for his writings and commentary on the US criminal justice system, having been imprisoned since 1982 for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer.  In a case considered to contain numerous flaws and failings, Abu-Jamal continues to garner support with the hopes of securing his eventual freedom.  

'A Sad Love Song' serves as a two-part acclamation from A Night on Canopy: there is the eight-track 'Freedom For Mumia Abu​-​Jamal' project containing compositions across two suites, but there is also this beautifully composed treasure...  With piano and arrangements by Alain Jean-Marie and a lovely vocal from Morena Fattorini, this ten-minute masterpiece kindly donates all proceeds to Abu-Jamal's defence.

'Senses' [Marc Rapson Remix] by Deborah Jordan

Futuristica Music

Unveiled as a special bonus track as part of the 12" vinyl release for Jordan's 'I'll See You Again', the track serves as part of a long line of masterful reworkings of tracks from last year's 'See in the Dark'.  With remixes from luminaries including Kaidi Tatham ('Horizon'), DJ Spinna ('Horizon') and Nicolay ('Senses'), Marc Rapson holds his own with the best of them with this inspired new perspective 'Senses'.  The final two minutes of the song in particular are really fantastic with the live instrumentation vamping to Jordan's vocal - it's just brilliant.  And of course, briefly turning our attention to the official tracks comprising the two-disc vinyl release - firstly, when answering the question of how you take a perfect five minute fifty-two second song and make it *better*... well, you simply make it four minutes and six seconds longer!  While the extended edit is genuinely everything you could want it to be, Rapson's 'Rework' once again justifies the genius that Futuristica have in him.  Frankly, Rapson accomplishes the impossible by taking, in essence, a string-laden ballad and morphing it into something reminiscent of a 90's Dilla-esque production which is mind-blowingly good!

'Beat Tape' by Magro

From Berlin, Germany, the incredibly talented drummer and producer is steadily garnering a fantastic reputation for some wonderful music.  Prior to the release of this project - his first Beat Tape - Magro's Bandcamp page hosts an awesome selection of singles released over the past couple of years: with the music heavily hip-hop-inspired, Magro skilfully fuses elements of jazz and neo-soul into his compositions delivering excellent collaborations with US rapper Stimulus ('15 Minutes') along with R&B artists Kileza ('Superskater') and Kenny Wesley ('Jupiter').  His work with vocalist Leona Berlin also warrants special mention, not only for their collaboration on the Magro-helmed 'Floating Freely' but also for his extensive contributions to Berlin's singles of last year for her upcoming sophomore album. 

'Beat Tape' is something of a back-to-basics approach for Magro - taking his inspiration from heroes including Herbie Hancock, Dilla, Robert Glasper and Chris Dave, the ten-track release demonstrates Magro's versatility within his music and his continual evolution.

'Hitchhiking' by Maya Law

The exciting news of Maya Law's brand new single, 'Hitchiking', comes with the news that the upcoming EP will have the distinction of being released on both vinyl and digital formats.  With the project's official release now scheduled for April 2021, anticipation must be incredibly high for long-time followers of Law's music which consistently runs the gamut of contemporary soul and R&B. 

The EP - also entitled 'Hitchhiking' - has been spearheaded last year by the infectious, sing-a-long nature of the first single 'Tired' before making way for the lush, acoustic guitar driven number, 'Say It Ain't So'.  The release of the EP's title track though, musically, meets them somewhere in the middle and like 'Say It Ain't So' genuinely leaves you wanting more from the exquisite track.  Beautifully sang... brilliantly produced... Maya Law once again proves herself a deftly versatile and exciting artist and we're incredibly excited for the eventual release of the 'Hitchhiking' EP. 

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