Monday 12 July 2021

New music round-up ::: July 2021

'What If Nile Rodgers and Fela Kuti Were Friends' by All Day Breakfast Café

As host and curator of Windmill Brixton's Jelly Jams series - a residency dedicated to free-flowing, open-minded performances and collaboration - guitarist and producer Jelly Cleaver has long waved the flag for this inspired approach to music-making.  As explained in the title, this glorious 8-minute composition explores the harmony and correlation between the seemingly worlds apart genres of disco and afrobeat and, in genius fashion, finds ways to highlight their musical parallels while also celebrating their differences at the same time.  It's disco, it's afrobeat, it's jazz... at any point when you think you've cracked the code, the song changes and introduces a further captivating dimension to it.  The song is the very embodiment of a Jelly Jams performance.  Following on from All Day Breakfast Café's first single - the high energy disco-funk of 'Old School Struggling' - the sextet couldn't have our excitement set any higher for the upcoming release of their 'Builder's Brew' EP scheduled for later this year.

'Mmasùna' by Muriki

From the Italian Redgoldgreen record label that strives to celebrate selections from afrobeat, reggae and dancehall comes the new project from saxophonist Attilio Errico Agnello.  Formerly of the funk & afrobeat collective Funky Mama - who released their debut four-track EP back in 2012 spearheaded by the brilliant single 'Ottobre' - Agnello now unveils his new musical project in the form of Muriki.  A project that continues his affection for the afrobeat aesthetic, 'Mmasùna' is the lead single from the project's accompanying EP that also saw the recent release of 'Involution' featuring Valentina Bausi.  'Mmasùna' on the other hand works best primarily as an instrumental excursion with an understated vocal only appearing near the song's conclusion.  Bursting with energy, Muriki's horn-heavy funk explosion delivers as a perfect introduction to the group.

'High Life' by Leona Berlin featuring Sedric Perry

In the build-up to Leona Berlin's sophomore album release - the official follow-up to her excellent self-titled debut album in 2018 - Berlin has racked up some really first-rate singles including 'Cage', 'Wrong Lane' and the anthemic 'Feminine Energy'.  New single, 'High Life', pairs the Berlin-based singer, songwriter and producer with US vocalist Sedric Perry for an awesome collaboration genuinely ranking amongst one of Berlin's best.  Produced by drummer and frequent collaborator Magro, 'High Life' boasts a warm and infectious groove that finds both Berlin and Perry so at home on a track that brings out their absolute best.  (While on the topic of Magro, definitely look out for 'Running' from his own 'Tripping' album released earlier this year featuring a typically scene-stealing vocal from Berlin.)  Always keen to present new facets to her music and never afraid to try new things, Leona Berlin secures another win with this fantastic single which will hopefully not leave us waiting too long until the release of the new album.

'Cette Lettre Là' by The Vogs

Delving through the releases of Q-Sounds Recordings' ever-expanding catalogue is a continual pleasure.  With some staggering projects from Lisa Melissa & The Mess, The Supertights, Principles of Joy and Laura Llorens & The Shadows of Love, the label based in Seine Saint-Denis, France, boast some fantastic contemporary funk and soul music.  The new single by the latest inductees into the Q-Sounds fold, The Vogs, comes in the form of a double A-side (along with 'Pour que tu ne m'oublies pas') introducing their blend of exquisitely-presented Northern Soul that is a real treat.  With a five-star performance from Vogs vocalist, Elodie, the band members provide the perfect backdrop steeped in its authenticity and commitment to the genre.  Currently busying away putting the finishing touches on the new album, we definitely look forward to more music from the Vogs/Q-Sounds pairing.

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