Archives: August 2020

OUT NOW – Vusi Mahlasela’s Shebeen Queen via ATO

August 28th, 2020

Vusi Mahlasela, the legendary activist and singer-songwriter known as “The Voice” in his native South Africa, released a live album of traditional township songs, Shebeen Queen viaATO Records.

The “shebeen queen” of the title is Mahlasela’s late grandmother Ida (whom he calls Magogo), who raised him in the township of Mamelodi (“mother of melody”), where he still lives today. Following her husband’s murder in 1961, Ida opened a shebeen (speakeasy) and began selling homebrewed beer to make her living. Her space became known for its lively musical gatherings at night, where the townspeople would use buckets, tins, and plastic drums as instruments, and Ingoma’buksu – music  rooted  in  Mbube culture, meaning “Songs of the Night” – would  be  celebrated  with  everyone singing together in full voices.  Ida became known as the “Shebeen Queen.”

As a boy, Mahlasela saw a man playing a guitar at these gatherings and was inspired to build his first guitar from fishing line and a cooking oil can. His new album Shebeen Queen is a celebration of the vibrant musical culture of his hometown, first encountered at Ida’s shebeen. “Ida  was  a  strong  woman  and  was  respected  by  all  in  our  community,” he says. “In  1976,  when  I  witnessed  the Soweto  Uprising,  my  political  education  began  and  I  realized  how  important music was. I began writing songs of justice, of freedom, of revolution, of love, of peace and of life. For these songs, I was arrested and thrown into solitary confinement. Magogo was always there for me –she fought for me, protected me and stood up for what was right. She was and still is my greatest hero. I decided I wanted to record some of these great Township songs in an effort to preserve this important music, so critical to our community and to our history. I wanted to honour this music and my grandmother by recording a live show, right here in Mamelodi at Magogo’s house.

OUT NOW – SWIMM “Feel Better” + Video

August 26th, 2020

Los Angeles psych-pop outfit, SWIMM, officially launched the next chapter in their creative journey with the release of the brand new single and video, “Feel Better”. The track offers solace and hope to a young LA woman who has fallen victim to “the cliches of men in Hollywood taking advantage of starry-eyed transplants for the first time” as vocalist, Chris Hess (a.k.a Cookie), puts it. As the guitars roll over a soul-soothing beat accented by a myriad of carefully arranged synths, the song’s protagonist let’s his friend know it is ok for her to slow down and do what she needs to do to feel good. 

For the video, the band has composed a moment that offers solace on an isolated beach. We’re given an aerial view of a lone woman exploring the gentle break, sandy beach, and towering bluffs along the Pacific, creating a perfect environment for finding peace in difficult times; something we can all use in a tumultuous 2020. It’s a visual that embodies the make-shift moniker of “For the moment, I feel better” on which the song’s reassuring chorus is built.

LISTEN – Tricky “I’m In The Doorway ft Oh Land” + Video

August 25th, 2020

OUT TODAY – I’m In The Doorway’’ is the featherlight new single from Tricky, following from tracks “Fall Please” and “ Thinking Of”. “I’m In The Doorway”, as beautiful and beguiling as Dirty Projectors at their sweetest, features Danish singer Oh Land’s honeyed vocals.

The song’s accessibility – albeit a strange and twisted accessibility – surprised even the man who wrote it. “With most of my stuff, there’s nothing else like it around,” says Tricky. “But with ‘Fall Please’ and ‘I’m In The Doorway’, it’s my version of pop music, the closest I’ve got to making pop.”  

Tricky’s new album Fall To Pieces was recorded in Tricky’s Berlin studio, over the course of two or three months in late 2019. The tracks are often short, ending abruptly and moving on to the next without warning. It is undoubtedly Tricky’s best album in a number of years, and will be supported by extensive touring beginning in spring 2021.

WATCH – Ian Isiah + Chromeo team up on “Princess Pouty”

August 25th, 2020

At the beginning of May, as the pandemic raged through his hometown of New York, Ian Isiah revealed his latest creative incarnation: the AUNTIE project to be released this fall on Chromeo’s new record label Juliet Records. Then last week Ian’s official funk manifesto “Princess Pouty” was premiered via an explosive performance, and is now available on all platforms. Over oozing, fuzzy synths and an undeniable two-step groove, Ian calls out “Momma’s baby, Daddy’s maybe” in an ode to empowerment and street savvy sass. The accompanying visual finds him in head to toe clown attire, roaming around a deserted Coney Island. “Princess Pouty” is a Commedia dell’ Arte reimagined Brooklyn style, intersecting fine art and fashion photography for a tale of post-gender love and spirituality. 

WATCH – Moscoman “Eyes Wide Strut + New Abum!

August 22nd, 2020

Israel-based based DJ & producer Moscoman is back on Moshi Moshi Records with ‘Eyes Wide Strut’, linking up with UK’s WOOZE. Built on the foundation of a flavorful bassline, the cut unravels with the unique vocal prowess of WOOZE, as they develop a retro feel while remaining truly fresh. A gripping and immersive, 80s-inspired official video for the track takes the release to new heights, diving deeper into that vintage notion.

‘This is inspired by an Israeli song ‘I Don’t Dance When I’m Sad’, for some reason it moved me to create this one, a very climactic tune with super juxtaposed lyrics written by the amazing WOOZE boys’, says Moscoman about the new track.

‘Eyes Wide Strut’ is a part of Moscoman’s NEW album ‘Time Slips Away’, out now on Moshi Moshi Records.

Nubya Garcia in Jazzwize – New Album Source Out NOW

August 21st, 2020

Source is tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia’s eagerly anticipated debut solo album and is released on 21 August on Concord Jazz. Jointly produced by Garcia and renowned producer Kwes (Nérija, Bobby Womack, Solange), the forthright, groove-driven and soulful long-player features Garcia’s hard-touring band of keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones, bassist Daniel Casimir and drummer Sam Jones, alongside guest appearances by fellow Nérija bandmate Cassie Kinoshi on alto sax; KOKOROKO horn players Richie Seivwright (trombone) and Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet) and vocals from Akenya on closing track ‘Boundless Beings’. The first single is the title track, an epic 12-minute journey with guest appearances by Ms Maurice, Kinoshi and Seivwright, which can be heard below. – Jazzwise

Action Bronson on Hot Ones + Latin Grammys

August 20th, 2020

Last week Action Bronson made his second appearance on Hot Ones…the first to ever used grilled chicken instead of wings on the show. Also, he’s unveiled his first new music of 2020 with the release of “Latin Grammys” produced by Tommy Mas via Loma Vista Recordings. Over a slinky brass and guitar loop, the Queens legend raps with gusto about swim trunks stuffed with cash, driving like Dale, Sr. (with his feet up), Dolph Lundgren and Derek Jeter. “It’s Young Baklava, you know me,” he reminds us.

In addition to the release of new music, Action Bronson continues to set the bar for rap renaissance man. He makes a special appearance in the Pete Davidson film, King of Staten Island, (Action made his acting debut in Scorsese’s The Irishman). The season four finale of the food & travel show he hosts, F*ck, That’s Delicious, aired last week on VICE TV and will continue broadcasting and streaming this summer. He also hosts a bi-weekly musical variety show Live From the Moon on Beats1 / Apple Music, continues to create custom ice creams for Morgensterns, and raps over The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” in the trailer for EA’s UFC 4 game, in which he’s also a playable character.

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