Review: Lindstrøm – It’s Alright Between Us As It Is

Lindstrom It's Alright Between Us As It Is

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A blast of shimmering sounds opens from the title track of It’s Alright Between Us begins the first album in five years from Hans-Peter Lindstrøm. Before you know it, the minimal disco crackle of “Spire” blasts us into orbit with rhythms that keep on building, setting the tone for the whole album.

Lindstrøm has built a reputation as an artist who creates beautiful electronic music that will set your soul alight. There is even more of a blissful quality to the music on It’s Alright Between Us As It Is, especially on songs like “Tensions,” the sweeping euphoria of “Drift” and the mid-album interlude “Versatile Dreams.”

There are a number of vocal-led tracks that make the album sound even more blissful. The vocalists that he’s chosen are definitely inspired: Swedish chanteuse Frida Sundemo graces “But Isn’t It” with her glacial and beautiful vocals; “Shinin” features American singer Grace Hall (who has worked with Lindstrøm in the past and should do so more often) for a song that would captivate any dance floor with its infectious energy; and Norwegian Jenny Hval lends her unique vocals to “Bungl (Like A Ghost)” for a track that is full of intrigue as well as charm.

The glittering funk of “Under Trees” closes the album on a high note, breaking through and reaching a crescendo. It sounds amazing and couldn’t have ended the album better.

The main strength of It’s Alright Between Us As It Is is not only the blissful and life-affirming nature of the music but just how rounded an album it is. As the cold nights draw in, put this album on and it will warm your body, mind and soul in no time at all.

Review: Souljazz Orchestra – Under Burning Skies

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Montreal’s Souljazz Orchestra return with Under Burning Skies, their first full-length since 2015’s Resistance. Like that album and all of its predecessors, it’s a free-flowing, grooving and uplifting opus. Soul, funk, jazz, Afrobeat, Latin and roots are the fondation of the band’s sound. It all comes together to create a magnificent uplifting sound that Souljazz Orchestra are renowned for.

Under Burning Skies features an array of hypnotically rhythmic tracks such as “Lufunki,” “Holla Holla” and “Sorrow Fly Away.” Album opener “Dog Eat Dog” has a bit of a slower groove and a more laid-back pace. That doesn’t detract from the vibes and just demonstrates Souljazz Orchestra’s musical diversity.

The grooves on the album are tight and the band keep it funky throughout. I would defy anyone not to nod their head, tap their feet or just dance along when they listen to this album. Just listen to “Adawe Boogie” and the album’s closing finale “Aduna Jarul Naawo” for proof.

The musicianship and playing is also top-notch. The way all the instruments morph together to create such a vital sound is undeniably impressive. With as many members of the band that there are, this is suitably impressive.

This is music that is of such a sunny disposition that when you put it on in the upcoming autumn and winter months, it’ll feel like summer anyway with its upbeat rhythms and sunshine grooves. You can rely on Under Burning Skies to create a warm atmosphere no matter the weather. So put it on, turn it up and bring the sunshine into your home.

Review: Aeronautic Vol. 1

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With this collection of bass artists from around the globe showcasing a variety of styles, Aeronautic Records’ debut compilation shows off a wide range of talent. Bass music as a genre is so varied, and Aeronautic Vol. 1 does a good job at showing off the many styles that come under its umbrella as trap, juke, footwork, Ghettotech and ambient styles are all featured heavily here.

The compilation collects such a wide range of sounds and styles over its 20 tracks. From Dev79 & Swimwear’s cinematic blend of classic Ghettotech and trap on “Shoot Dice” to the laid-back vibe of Atman’s woozy “Whenever You Want Me” to the mix of a hip-hop indebted, high-octane Baltimore club music of DJ FLP’s “Good Old Days” with its heavy use of its 808s and the eclectic nature of “The Stokes” by Radius, there is a huge selection for your ears and mind to get stuck into.

Some of the standout tracks include the heavyweight and brooding electronic feel of “Late Night Situation” by Satta Don Dada & Ace Myth, the destructive digital funk of “Chicken Strip” by Pleasure, the vibrant “Back To The Cave” by Squash, the cinematic crawl of “Borjas Carry On” and Zebo’s “Indigo”, an uplifting track reminiscent of Rustie and Hudson Mohawke.

With the interest in bass music in all its variations at an all-time high, and the rise of clubs and labels like Brainfeeder, Low End Theory and Numbers, Aeronautic Records have released this showcase at a perfect time. Hopefully we will hear a lot more from then in the future as they are definitely a label who have a knack in selecting talent.

Review: Kali Phoenix – Voices

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After previously working together on a few musical projects, Glaswegian singer Kali Phoenix reconnects with influential Bristol producer Hundred Strong (a.k.a. Ben Dubuisson) to create Voices. The album is an intensely personal journey that’s informed by the ending of Phoenix’s relationship. Her strong vocals mark her as one to watch.

Voices is dominated by her strong, passionate voice and soulful blend of different musical genres. From the gentle mix of soul and jazz on “What’s Your Poison” to the swirling acoustics and P-Funk grooves of “Bolt From The Blue” (which sounds like a more soulful version of Bristol legends Portishead) to the gentle but stirring beats of “Save Me,” there is a such a variation of different sounds. Each of the tracks segue together effortlessly, and despite all that is going on sonically, nothing ever sounds out of place.

These musical landscapes are bolstered by Phoenix’s voice. She can go from a gentle hush to an emotional howl in a heartbeat with ease and confidence. Under the tutelage of Hundred Strong, Phoenix displays her talents which despite the seemingly laid-back vibe of the project are defiantly focused and supremely executed.

There’s is a strong hip-hop and dub influence under the whole thing with Hundred Strong’s Bristol roots giving Voices an urgent yet familiar feel. The producer does a fantastic job with the two styles, making them work brilliantly together. Although the material could be raw given the subject matter, the musical outcome is smooth and uplifting and sounds all the better for it.

The circumstances for the content of the album may have been brought together by a tumultuous experience but the result is definitely a positive one. Kali Phoenix’s voice is the perfect example of the healing power of music and establishes her out as a talent for the future.