Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Seahouses (Rework) - Troyka x Grigori

Troyka has long been screaming out for a vocal remake. In 2009, Micachu's mixtape Filthy Friends was one of the most in-demand albums on the East London scene. Early Troyka's slammin' riffs were the backdrop of one track on that tape, and that was just awesome.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

New live album of epic cinematic electro-jazz from Tom Challenger's MA

I was recently listening to the band MA on youtube. They were a short-lived band that played a sort of spacey electro-jazz thing in 2011/2012. Their 2011 album 'The Last' was received well by critics (including five stars from BBC Music Magazine), and the band - Tom Challenger, Dave Smith, and Matt Calvert - toured for a couple of years after its release (the touring band occasionally included the addition of Ross Stanley on organ, and percussion from John Blease and Ben Bryant).

'Live' is a collection of recordings from this period. We are lucky that they went to the effort of making such high quality recordings of these gigs. Capturing live energy with accuracy is intensely difficult - especially when studio-type sounds are so integral to the composition - but this album from the years that followed 'The Last' accomplishes it perfectly.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Zhenya Strigalev's mouth announces upcoming album

We've all seen plenty of insightful album promo videos. Maybe it has an interview with the artist, some behind the scenes footage of rehearsals and general band banter, etc. Zhenya Strigalev is about to launch the follow up to his 2012 "Smiling Organism Volume 1", and so naturally, he needed one of these videos.

Presumably what happened was that Michael Janisch rang Zhenya up and said "Hey Zhenya, please can you record a video of yourself to help promote the new album?"
"Sure," said Zhenya.
"Oh, and by the way," said Michael, "When you do it, please be sure to make as little sense as possible and zoom in so that we can only see your mouth. Kthnxbi."

Well luckily for Janisch, he got exactly what he asked for. It's brilliant in its own way, and reads like a Beckett script that's had a bit of time to chill out:

Thursday, 15 January 2015

DIY electro-woodwind pioneer returns to bend the limits of the acoustic saxophone

Joe Wright is one of my favourite saxophonists and for years both his playing and his writing have left me mesmerised. He's an out-there musical thinker who went electric ("Judas!") using both solder and code with great results. Recently, he has started to share some solo saxophone recordings he made in a church. Saxophone limits have been stretched by generations of jazz and avant-garde musicians. But ladies/gents/etc... This is how it's done.

Monday, 12 January 2015

London Jazz and West Africa: from 2007 to 2014 and beyond

Here's a small youtube playlist of London Jazz with a connection to West Africa - a lot of great musical things happened in 2014, and I thought I'd put it next to some old recordings of when Outhouse went to the Gambia in 2007... I've no idea if it really happened this way, but it seems like the London scene has developed some of the ideas coming out of those original sessions, with fresh inspiration coming from the likes of Bex Burch (whose band Vula Viel has been a phenomenal live act over the last year - I have high hopes for a 2015 record of some sort) with stunning levels of imagination and energy.

What's it all going to sound like in 2021?