Check it out: A selection of our favourite new releases coming out over the next month or so. We'll be adding choice tracks to playlists all month. Keep up to date with what we're playlisting via Twitter.
Todd Terje - It's Album Time (Olsen Records) Having been around for a fair while it’s nice to see Todd Terje eventually releasing a full length LP even if some of the tracks will be familiar to both dancefloors and fans. The title, in many ways, says all that needs to be said as Terje connects Electro, Disco and House cuts together into an upbeat and broadly instrumental record. The collaboration with Bryan Ferry on a cover of Robert Palmer’s ‘Johnny and Mary’ may be new but the older ‘Inspector Norse’, with its synth-driven classic House sound, is the highlight here. Check out that Bryan Ferry collaboration here.
Quantic – Magnetica (Tru Thoughts) With his first solo album in 8 years, which is a long time for someone quite so prolific, Will Holland has somewhat surprisingly returned to electronic production. Having worked almost exclusively with live musicians from around the world of late, Holland’s return to his electronic roots is an interesting step underpinned by the possibilities presented to him by Ableton Live. The result is a renewed focus on the beat whilst not sacrificing his analogue sound and its typifying warmth. Influences and collaborators include Iara Renno on the Brazilian ‘Caruru’, Shinehead on the dubby ‘Spark It’ and the ever present Alice Russell on the folky ‘You Will Return’. Check out lead single ‘Duvidó’ here.
Ibibio Sound Machine - Ibibio Sound Machine (Soundway) When Funk meets Electro a sense of fun and excitement is typically on the cards. When that Electro-Funk is combined with a heavy African influence, particularly Highlife and Afro-Beat, then an irresistible groove is all but guaranteed. It is through these infectious influences, and a keen sense of rhythm, that Eno Williams weaves her songs with stories from the Nigerian folk tales told to her by her mother. In many ways it makes a great contemporary companion to last year’s excellent William Onyeabor record. That alone makes it worth a spin. Check out ‘Let’s Dance’ on Soundcloud.
Fràncois & The Atlas Mountains - Piano Ombre (Domino) This may be Fràncois’ fourth record, but it is the first recorded in a proper studio. In moving away from their Lo-Fi roots their sound has expanded into a synthy form of Indie-Pop that feels refreshingly light and uplifting. The addition of those synth vibes alongside those wistful Gallic tones does mean thoughts of Air are inevitable, though that is certainly no bad thing. On ‘La Vérité’ there are elements of Soul guitar that bring energy and gusto while overall the sense is of texture and space. That studio time has been well spent. Check out ‘La Vérité’ here.
Tycho – Awake (Ghostly International) One of the great things about this time of year is that the light, upbeat records that encourage thoughts of summer days have started to be released. Often amongst those early releases will be a record that will see us through until autumn and Awake stands a fair chance of being one of those this year. Tycho’s instrumental Electro and downtempo Electronica is both light and airy with synthetic washes and analogue bass leading the way. Put simply, this is a happy record worth spending some springtime with. Check out ‘Awake’ here.
The Souljazz Orchestra - Inner Fire (Strut Records) The Souljazz Orchestra have often been a band that force you to pay attention through their unbending energy. With Inner Fire, however, that outward energy has been pegged back just a little in favour of a drive from within that presents itself most often through horns and keys. Equally, while the Latin and African inflections come across as strongly as ever, this is a Jazz record that checks back to classic Blue Note as much as it hints at Eastern influences or Funk. Delivering such a mixed bag of influences is no easy task, and Inner Fire succeeds with aplomb. Check out ‘One Life to Live’ here.
Kelis - Food (Ninja Tune) By teaming up with producer Dave Sitek, of TV on the Radio fame, Kelis has delivered an album that is designed to incite nostalgia with its rootsy form of soulful pop. Featuring horns and light electronic touches throughout, it has warmth and depth that makes it a pleasurable and involving listen. New single ‘Rumble’ is a highlight with its simple piano-led melody and low-end bass groove allowing Kelis’ vocals to take the reins and inject the bite that keeps the listeners attention throughout this surprising record. Much like Neneh Cheery last month, Kelis has shown that time can be a kind and supportive accomplace. Check out ‘Rumble’ here.