The past couple of months have been heavy on “inside time” here in Scotland aka that northern tip of an island just under the arctic circle, and the days have been dark (seriously), but that doesn’t mean the music has been lacking. Here are some of my favorite new releases and new-to-me discoveries that I have been working to and drawing to (and even puzzle building to?) over the past month plus.
A soundtrack for anytime in the day, good for work or play.
Arranged by Four Tet, the producer’s stunning album is poignant and sincere, combining beats, jazz, reggae toasts and vocal snippets into a kind of folklore
Jahari Massamba Unit
Pardon My French
Great jazz album.
This joint project between Madlib and drummer Karriem Riggins sounds like experimental jazz and feels like a beat tape.
Kabul Fire 2
Credit to KEXP for this discovery. Masterful beat tape this is.
On Kishmish, Farhot channels Madlib’s seminal Shades of Blue in his chopped jazz piano sample, while Arusi shakes with the unquantised swagger of a J Dilla beat under its piping flute melody and undulating tabla rhythms.
Found this one from KEXP DJ’s top albums of 2021 and it’s been on nonstop rotation in the evenings. A great dance album.
The Irish singer-songwriter’s fifth solo album, Róisín Machine, might seem in some ways like the same old song and dance. But it’s done with such impeccable elan that she has turned the old nightlife songbook into a book of revelations.
Glowing in the Dark
All kinds of styles and it all works together to make a really good indie rock/dance/jam (?) album.
Though it ranges through drummer and producer David Maclean’s record collection as widely as ever, Glowing in the Dark homes in on the group’s most memorable set of songs to date—and it sounds like a little extra time curating has helped them loosen up and have fun, too.
My country pick of the past couple of months, I’ve been listening to this almost everyday. I don’t know much about Andrew Hibbard, but I really like this album.
Described as tribal electronica, it’s heavy on the drums and I mean that in a good way.