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Ephemerals-Everyday Killers (Remixes)

Having released the 'not-so-difficult' sophomore album 'Chasin' Ghosts' in 2015- including the heart-wrenching, orchestral Soul of 'You'll Never See Me Cry',  Ephemerals give the foreground to a second single, 'Everyday Killers'. That consistent, baritone vocal of Francophile, Wolfgang Valbrun, cooperates with a classic soul-revue sound: redolent of a '60's, Atlantic Soul piece,. The tempo of the original and its tight guitar riffs lend naturally to two Reggae-leaning  remixes by Gentleman's Dub Club: the first, more reflective of Dub while the second stands tall with contemporaries, Fat Freddys' Drop on a dominant horn section. Labelmates The Allergies bring the Funk/Hip-Hop edge to the single ahead of the bonus cut, 'Say You Love Me', more unadulterated full-fat soul. Out soon on Jalapeno to support a Europe-wide tour.


Tim Aminov-Moment (EP)

Russian invention takes Soul into new sonic territories on this full-fat, honest five tracker from Berlin's Sonar Kollektiv. Tim made an impact less than two years ago as part of Aanbreken on the 'Verge' EP. Fellow label affiliate and current beacon of original Jazz-related Soul music, Pete Josef lends an almost unrecognisble, unassuming vocal to opener 'One Love Survivor'. Elements of a post-Dubstep, Submotion Orchestra-like landscape provide a platform for Aminov's introspective composition. 'Lonely God' has a bridge of beauty escorting fellow Aanbreken colloborator Gala Ga's voice across to higher ground. 'Insight' creeps under the radar into Bass/Footwork territory. Not to be outdone, Darlini's contribution to the emptiness of 'Whale' fits perfectly with the reflection, preceded by  EP highlight, Unibird's 'Leave Only' as it builds over a staccatto rhythm pattern, aside a cello: Unibird resembling the voice of Norway's Hanne Hukkelberg.

Watch Tim Animov make his impact in 2016. Out mid-February.

GoGo Penguin-Initiate (Stray Remix)

A much anticipated Blue Note debut ishere for this groundbreaking trio (see below). GoGo Penguin may have taken the next natural step towards global exposure but it was as part of Matthew Halsall's Gondwana Records that they achieved a Mercury Prize nomination. Before 'Man Made Object' arrives, there are a few previews of three remixes from it - including Matthew Herbert on 'Unspeakable World' and an enticing piano loop from 'Al Res'; the feature of Dabrye's take. Stray just gets the nod however for 'Initiate's  ethereal arrival, waxing and waning with 88bpm beats, as they support the riff and background vocal effects.

Appreciate? Check out Stray's other work on the likes of the Submotion Orchestra.

Ash Koosha-Mudafossil

A formidable talent and welcome arrival to the Ninja Tune label. Once imprisoned in his native Iran because of his music, Ash Koosha  sought asylum in the UK where he currently remains pursuing his command of the visual and aural arts.

On the back of last year's lauded debut LP 'Guud' and as a forerunner to his new collection, 'I AKA I', first single 'Mudafossil' comes as a slice of sonic genius. Defying genre once again, there is an indigenous flavour at its core while, at the same, redrawing the boundaries of possibility: the results of which he calls “finding geometry in sounds.” Take your own position and observe something wonderful from a genuine pioneer.

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Nicola Conte & Stefania  Dipierro-Natural/A Gira

The Italian master of Jazz and Bossa Nova reunites with his contemporary from the group Fez. Nicola Conte was synonymous with the Nu-Jazz revolution as albums like Blue Note LP release 'Other Directions' sat comfortably alongside St Germain's 'Tourist' for 'must-haves' of the early millennium. Also a connoisseur of música brasileira, DJ and remixer, it is a pleasure to welcome Mr Conte back with the sweet and fitting vocals of Signorina Dipierro. Nowhere more appropriate to release such a single as this than Far Out Recordings.

'Natural', in fact, lends more to 98BPM Funk on an Acid-Jazz-era number: congas, rhythm guitar and drums to the floor produce sunshine chord changes. 'A Gira' tips the balance with a Gilberto Gil/Tropicália leaning as the organ takes centre stage. Stefania's lovely lyricism completes.

Out at the end of February.

Ennio Morricone-Neve (Original Soundtrack: The Hateful Eight)

Also known as 'The Fertile 80s', if you are the master film scorer, Ennio Morricone putting body and soul into another soundtrack, all the while, helping fulfil director Quentin Tarantino's dreams of the man writing an original score for his latest film, The Hateful Eight.

These compositions are all captivating - balanced by contributions from Roy Orbison's archive, David Hess and The White Stripes and slices of candid dialogue . You will find some extraordinary moods,  and memorable melodies worthy of Mr Morricone's greatest work, with too many emotive moments to list. Already touted for an Oscar, it is the extended, stealth-like 12'16 version of 'Neve' (Snow), however, that is the centrepiece and receives the nod for that reason.

Maribou State-Portraits (Outtakes)

An exceptional year was 2015. This one is already showing a tendency towards the same for the Herfordshire partnership as they show signs of scaling similar heights of contemporaries Disclosure in 2013. Counter Records hosted 'Portraits' last year leading to an upcoming sell-out tour. These three 'outtakes' would not be so for many an artist, highlighted by the two-step 124BPM rhythm of 'Manila': positivity exuding through the guitar-led melody and meandering background vocal manipulations. 'November Nights' offers a similar template as 'Manila', aimed more at exhilerated dancefloors while 'Colours in Sea' takes the reflective route, redolent of Caribou and Letherette's best work. Out now.

Rive Gauche-Walking (remixes)

Twenty years as a label and showing no signs of wearying, BBE Records invites former St Germain pianist, Alexandre Destrez and friends into its house. Much like its title, this debut single moves at 105BPM on a definitive early-millennium Nu-jazz feel - not least for Alexandre's piano variation and the supporting trumpet.

In demand remixer from the leftfield, Simbad, supplies the minor keys over a 4/4 kick drum on the first rework, picking elements of the original to sit comfortably in the Bass as well as Jazzy-House categories of a speedier, dance-orientated, affair.

Gilles Peterson's rare foray into the remix world shows what a special cut he considers this. Heading into an ethereal mood, 'Walking' starts in swingtime before being taken into 'Emergency on Planet Earth', Masters at Work-remix territory on the syncopation side. Looking forward to a fruitful future from Rive Gauche.


Album track of the week:

GoGo Penguin-Man Made Object

Already featured on this page, GoGo Penguin's debut for Blue Note marks the third release for the pioneering trio. The Manchester-based outfit, reared on Matthew Halsall's Gondwana Records, seize their opportunity to bring a unique brand of all-embracing Future Jazz to a wider audience.  Drummer Rob Turner, made use of music production software Logic and Ableton before double bassist Nick Blacka and pianist Chris Illingworth joined him in the  live reinterpretation that is this.

Restless exuberance runs throughout the spine of the band, picking up where 'V 2.0' left off on 'All Res'. 'Unspeakable Truth' has a stuttering ostinato piano riff that sets the tone and loosens into exhilarating freedom before the Bill Evans-like intro of  'Branches Break' tick-tocks into intense emotion. Its yang is 'Quiet Mind': drums scampering around another simple and soulful melody. Just a taste of the ten tracks on display , showing GoGo Penguin nestling comfortably in the big league.

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