Digital Zandoli

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Here’s yet another rare ’80s compilation with even more deep cuts than the last. Where do they find them all? Heavenly Sweetness clearly know but they ain’t telling! They are showing though, and here on Digital Zandoli they reveal 12 newly discovered disco, boogie and zouk tracks recorded about 30 years ago in the West Indies. We’re clearly spoilt for choice on this record, but highlights include the synthetic sea breeze grooves of Puzzle Pulsion’s «Mwoin Ka Songe», the mellow Afro grooves of Zanman’s «Poutchi» and the abstract body music via a sandy beach vibes of OR EA’s «Biguine Inferno».
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Wymond Miles — Call By Night

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Wymond Miles was raised in the working-class small towns of the American West. On Call by Night, the singer’s latest widescreen opus, Miles masterfully evokes that lost landscape, all while grappling with issues of fatherhood, privacy, PTSD, police brutality, and love. The album adds a critical new chapter to the Fresh & Onlys guitarist’s story as an artist, and reasserts him as a major voice in contemporary songwriting.
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The Avalanches — Wildflower

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The Australian group finally returns with its long-rumored follow-up to Since I Left You, the 2000 album that earned them a ravenous following. Wildflower is a continuous mix of the wild and weird, another hallucinogenic collage of samples ranging from R&B to orchestral pop. From the calypso-klezmer «Frankie Sinatra,» featuring Danny Brown, to Biz Markie chomping over a Beatles sample on «Noisy Eater,” it’s the tour de force soundtrack to music’s past and present.
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Shura — Nothing’s Real

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Pop that’s both understated and immediate, from a rising singer/songwriter. On her long-awaited debut, Shura weaves together elegant, intricately patterned electro-pop that channels late-‘80s Madonna (“What’s It Gonna Be?”), Janet Jackson (“Indecision”), and more. Though it has the grand sweep and melodic goods of a major breakthrough, Nothing Real also bears the subtle flourishes (and song titles) of a reticent, deeply introspective mind.
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Roisin Murphy — Take Her Up To Monto

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Róisín Murphy has been on something of a winning streak: her last LP, Hairless Toys, garnered her a nomination for the Mercury Prize. Inspired by Paris is Burning, the iconic documentary on the underground ball culture of 80s New York, the LP sparkled with the sounds of a golden age of house and echoed both the joy and the tragedy of this era of counter-cultural sexual liberation, driven by queer and trans communities of color. Continue reading

BADBADNOTGOOD — IV

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Ça n’est évidemment pas avec son quatrième album que BadBadNotGood (BBNG pour les intimes) a décidé de se calmer niveau éclectisme… Et comme plus on est de fous, plus on rit, le trio de Toronto se fait quartet et officialise l’arrivée de Leland Whitty comme nouveau membre permanent du groupe… Comme toujours avec BBNG, si l’ADN de leur musique est bien jazz, c’est leur passion commune pour le rap qui les a réunis. Improvisation jazz, soul funky en apesanteur et motifs instrumentaux lancinant, IV est un nouveau trip qui ne ressemble à aucun autre. Une sorte de labyrinthe musical dans lequel il fait bon se perdre. Labyrinthe dans lequel on croise un casting hétéroclite comprenant le rappeur Mick Jenkins, le saxophoniste Colin Stetson, le producteur Kaytranada, Sam Herring de Future Islands et la chanteuse Charlotte Day Wilson
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Bat For Lashes — The Bride

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A haunting tale of tragedy, devotion, and self-discovery, Natasha Khan’s fourth LP pairs spare, gothic pop with a narrative centered around its title character as she reckons with losing her fiancé on their wedding day. From the saturnine swell of “Never Forgive the Angels” to the gauzy catharsis of “I Will Love Again,” it’s her most ambitious and captivating effort to date. Continue reading

Nicola Benedetti — Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No.1; Glazunov: Violin Concerto

Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1; Glazunov Violin

« Seulement » quarante ans séparent ces deux Concertos, celui du maître Glazounov écrit en 1904, celui du disciple composé en 1947. Mais quarante ans dont la Révolution russe, la Terreur stalinienne et la Seconde guerre mondiale, suffisamment d’événements et de situation pour radicalement faire changer d’ère le langage musical russe. Là où Glazounov se situe encore dans un post-romantisme lyrique incandescent, tour à tour tendre et nostalgique, poignant et emporté, Chostakovitch se referme dans un langage partagé entre le triste sarcasme et la fuite en avant, l’exubérance du désespoir et la gaieté de la mort… Seule la Burlesque finale semble plutôt inspirée de la Russie profonde « d’avant ». La violoniste écossaise (si ! le nom est trompeur !) Nicola Benedetti, dont la carrière s’est envolée très tôt, et qui n’hésite pas à se partager entre musique classique et jazz, nous offre une lecture brillante de ces deux ouvrages si différents et pourtant complémentaires. Continue reading