Review: Will "Quantic" Holland has enjoyed a long love affair with the music of Colombia, establishing various live acts that pay tribute to the steamy, sweat-soaked sounds of the South American nation. His latest project sees him join forces with singer/songwriter India Gongora to deliver a set inspired by the "Pacific music" variant of Colombian dance culture. The result is a set of songs that sound distinctively Colombian, with tropical guitars, indigenous instrumentation and Gongora's wonderfully laidback vocals being joined by rhythms, bassline and electronics that bring a traditional style bang up to date. The double vinyl set also includes a few forays into more Caribbean territory, including the brilliant "Dub Del Pacifico (Version)".
Review: "Everything Under the Sun" is another example of lush, atmospheric, funky Jazz. The album includes hand picked vocalists such as Lizzy Parks in the unique track "Wildflower", the track that Gilles Peterson immediately picked out as a favourite cut, stating that Nostalgia 77 and Lizzy Parks were "two of my favourite acts of 2006 teaming up." The use of vocalists helps create a beautiful cosmic-tinged jazz album that sounds as much classic, spiritual, Impulse-influenced music as it does Cinematic Orchestra and Koop.
Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmos - "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thing" (3:11)
La Frima - "Lithium" (4:12)
Hot 8 Brass Band - "Ghost Town" (4:11)
Harleighblu - "Who's That Girl?" (3:40)
Alice Russell - "I'm A Man, That Will Find You" (4:11)
Youngblood Brass Band - "Ain't Nobody" (5:36)
Fingathing - "I Feel Love" (feat Jesca Hoop) (4:48)
Review: As the title suggests, Tru Thoughts Covers 2 is the follow up to 2009's hugely popular compilation from Rob Luis' south coast label and features another wealth of intriguing cover versions that have been released and loved as album tracks, singles or one-offs in the ensuing six years. Whilst not as weighty as the full 17 track CD edition, Tru Thoughts have still managed to slip in some real pearlers on this seven track LP version. Chief among them is the opening track, The Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmos take on "Ain't Nuthin but a G Thang", and Hot 8 Brass Band's parping take on "Ghost Town".
Review: Rob Luis clearly enjoys an unlikely but inspired cover version; over the years, his Tru Thoughts imprint has served up surprisingly good funk, jazz, reggae and brass band covers of everything from Roni Size's "Brown Paper Bag" and Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", to Max Sedgley's "Happy" and the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army". It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that Luis snapped up this vibrant South American cover of the Kaiser Chiefs' "I Predict A Riot" by Brazilian MPB revivalists Carolina Lins and Os Plantos. It's truly brilliant, with Lins' bold Portuguese vocal simply soaring over the band's samba-soul groove and fuzzy horn lines. As cover versions go, it's a bit of a doozy.
Review: It's commonly known if you cut Will 'Quantic' Holland, he'd bleed in little Tru Thoughts logo-shaped droplets, such is the bond between the artist and label. The latest Quantic long-player for the South Coast label, A New Constellation, finds the Bogota-based musician leading a hand-picked selection of musicians called The Western Transient. Their focus? To realise a set of new compositions paying homage to the rich, lively and intimate quality of the classic soul and jazz recordings. That Holland should choose to follow his last LP, the explosive Magnetica, with 10 tracks of more traditional jazz and funk proves he's still not happy to stand still as Quantic despite having a hand in well over ten long players.
Review: Tru Thoughts' Shapes series enters its tenth year with another wide-armed creative assault. Unifying the label's many members, tying the tethers between seemingly disparate genres, label founder Luis makes sense of the many amazing records they've signed in recent times. Flexing from icy, whimsical jungle (Jonny Faith's "Zheng") to warm, bubbly dub version science (Prince Fatty and Nostalgia 77's "Medicine Chest") via squidgy synth boogie (J Felix's "101 Reasons") and the classic, gutsy soul of Alice Russell, it's yet another eclectic experience that focuses on the very best of modern, rooted music. Tru say.
Review: Curiously, Anchorsong's sophomore set Ceremonial didn't appear on vinyl when it first appeared back in February 2016. Happily, Tru Thoughts has finally relented to pressure and pressed it up on wax. It remains a beguiling and beautiful set, with the Japanese producer somehow managing to create audio gold out of little more than an MPC-2500 workstation and a keyboard. While there are plenty of moments of fluid, eyes-shut beauty dotted throughout - see "Eve", "Oriental Suite", "Butterflies" and the outstanding "Monsoon" - the set also contains some crunchy beats ("Expo"), a thrillingly bass-heavy, steel-drums laden groover ("Rendezvous") and a seriously humid, tropical workout ("Last Forest").
East London Street (Hidden Orchestra remix) (7:07)
Western Isles (Throwing Snow remix) (8:22)
Still (Floex remix) (6:21)
Stone (Matthew Herbert Spring dub) (6:20)
The Lizard (Skalpel remix) (5:04)
First Light (Nostalgia 77 remix) (4:07)
Serpentine (Wrongtom Rotten Row dub) (3:07)
Long Orchard (The Physics House Band remix) (9:12)
Review: For this reworked edition of Joe Acheson's most recent Hidden Orchestra full-length, Tru Thoughts has enlisted the talents not only of some of the label's most prominent artists, but also a handful of genuine heavy hitters. Check, for example, the epic, string-drenched atmospheric techno rework of "Wingbeats" by Traum Schallplatten regular Max Cooper, Throwing Snow's rubbery, flute-laden dub disco take on "Western Isles" and Matthew Herbert's typically glitchy Spring Dub of "Stone", which neatly recalls his early years as a maker of distinctive deep house. Elsewhere you'll find a gently unfurling jazz version of "The Lizard" by Skalpel and a thoroughly blazed, out-there rendition of "Serpentine" by dub maestro Wrongtom.
Review: Dub revisionist Wrongtom has an impressive track record when it comes to dub-wise collaborations. For the latest in his ongoing Meets... series, he's joined forces with veteran UK mic man the Ragga Twins, offering up a swathe of new cuts featuring their distinctive, all-action Jamaican mic chatter. Predictably, it's a weighty and hugely entertaining set that doffs a cap to the duo's 1980s dancehall roots whilst retaining the reverb and echo-laden dub sound that the producer is renowned for. Amongst the 14 tracks you'll find a swathe of club-ready treats, from the Spaghetti Western horns and rolling riddims of "Woah!" and digi-dub wobble of "Hard Drugs" (an anti-narcotics warning), to the upbeat strut of closer "Follow Fashion".
Review: Pscyh-soul seven-piece Space Captain has been gathering momentum for some years, with their occasional singles and regular live performances catching the attention of a range of radio tastemakers. On this luscious and long-awaited debut album, they more than deliver on that early promise. Melding sweet soul with a range of complimentary influences - think Rotary Connection, dream pop, dubby bottom-end, nu-jazz, Eno-style ambience, gentle psychedelic rock, folk and woozy electronica - the Brooklyn-based combo serves up a set that ripples with effortless beauty. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the hard-to-pigeonhole haziness of closer "Flood", to the breezy shuffle of "Loveline/The Drive Home".