Wednesday 8 September 2021

New music round-up ::: September 2021

'Dilla Impresses Me' by Matt Wilde

Only a few months removed from the release of his debut EP 'Believe in Things', pianist and producer Matt Wilde releases a stunning new standalone single that not only harks back to the brilliance of the iconic James "Dilla" Yancey but equally acts as an homage to Wilde's own musical journey.  Dilla's continual impact on entirely new generations of musicians, DJs and producers is always a wonderful thing to see as they unpack the tiny intricacies in his productions and marvel at the inner machinations of his genre-defining style.  It was Dilla's own homage to Ahmad Jamal that had spawned his beat 'Ahmad Impresses Me' as he masterfully manipulated Jamal's 'The Awakening' transforming it into an entirely new composition.  It was a track that took Wilde, a burgeoning Dilla fan, into the realms of jazz as the wonders of Ahmad Jamal were subsequently treasures now at his disposal.

In a wonderfully apt gesture, Wilde now tips his hat to the musical hero who he credits for setting him on to his own path with this incredible new single.  We've previously marvelled at the boundless talents of Matt Wilde and expressed our enthusiasm towards his skill and commitment to his craft.  His is an inspired talent that we can't wait to see develop over the years until the day an enthusiastic young fan lovingly creates his own "Wilde Impresses Me" homage. 

'The Midday Chill' by The Soul Sound Collective featuring Flyt

There's little we can say about The Soul Sound Collective that we haven't previously marvelled over.  Their inspired productions have found the gang just as adept at celebrating 70's jazz-funk as much as downtempo chillout numbers and  it's a testament to their abilities that listeners can be ultimately left guessing as to what the next move from the Collective will actually be.  Joining SSC founder, Craig Sims, are SSC stalwarts including bassist Tim Higgins and guitarist Simon Lee.  But 'The Midday Chill' is even further bolstered by the inclusion of North London duo, Josh and Mary Mycroft under the guise of their long-standing musical union, Flyt.  With a track that marks the third outing between The Soul Sound Collective and Flyt (fourth, if you take into account the Soul Sound Collective's remix for Flyt's 'Shadows'), Craig & company always find a way to find this exciting, untapped middle ground that binds the varying styles of the two factions.  'The Midday Chill' again exemplifies this and we may now be very close to the idea that a more official EP or full-length between the two would be very welcome!

'Finding The Wave' EP by Smokin'Rope

Comprised of Gabriel Nacu on guitar, Tim Higgins (of above Soul Sound Collective fame) on bass, Dave Kendall on keys and Luke Simmons on drums, the independent release ensemble forming Smokin'Rope release their third EP which may very well stand tall as their greatest effort to date.  The four-track EP that is 'Finding The Wave' sees the quartet boldly take their music into exciting new directions not previously explored.  While past EPs 'Live at Club 85' (2019) and 'Transcend' (2020) definitively demonstrated the band's skill, 'Finding The Wave' sees the band more playful and more creative than they've ever been.  The EP opener 'Bag' kicks the project off brilliantly - starting off with a harder and grittier tone which surprisingly makes way for some fantastic synths which is frankly a genius inclusion to the song.  Similarly, the EP's title track is another of the project's treasures as the lush keys and brilliant bass again present entirely new aesthetics into the Smokin'Rope mix.  Genuinely a real treat!

'Walk With Me' by Alessia Piermarini

Earlier this year, we took a look at Alessia Piermarini's 'Say His Name' EP - a two-track release created by the singer, songwriter, pianist and loop pedal artist during last year's lockdown.  It was a release that showcased Piermarini's talents as being equally effective whether the setting positions her in front of a piano ('Say His Name') or utilising her skills on the loop pedal to create dynamic new layers and textures as her own sonic backdrop ('Isolation Blues Rhymes').  Since then however, Piermarini has aligned with one of the finest purveyors of contemporary jazz there is through Italy's A.MA Records.  Home to labelmates Sanja Markovic, Avishai Darash and Ugljesa Novakovic, Alessia Piermarini finds herself in fine company as she strives to spread her message of hope as a retort to, at times, fairly horrific global events of the last 18 months.  Other than the understated presence of the piano on the track, all elements of the song's backdrop are created by Piermarini from beat-boxing to vocal percussions, ingeniously building 'Walk With Me' around these disparate layers.

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