Charbonneau / Amato offer glimpse into forthcoming record with new single ‘Évaporations’

Photo: Chloé Charbonnier

Back in September, Charbonneau / Amato enticed us with the beautiful, soothing and wholly absorbing ‘Light Memoir’, the first single from their upcoming album Synth Works Vol. 2. More details have now emerged about the album, which is set for release on March 4th through Forward Music Group’s experimental sublabel Backward Music. Unbeknownst to Charbonneau and Amato then, the album came together just before a lockdown brought the world to a halt in March 2020. Over the course of a week, after setting up their synths, organs and pedals, the pair “worked at expanding their shared musical language through exploration”, as the press release explains, “carving out sumptuous worlds of modular melody recalling 70s komische and environmental musics.”

The transportive new single ‘Évaporations’ offers us a glimpse into the upcoming Synth Works Vol. 2. and we can’t wait for March to come. Take a listen below.

Eric Chenaux announces new album, Say Laura, and shares title track

Photo: Sylvestre Nonique-Desvergnes

Eric Chenaux‘s Slowly Paradise and Skullsplitter, released in 2018 and 2015 respectively, both made it to our Albums Picks of the Year and remain active favourites. Four years on from his last album release, we’re a little bit more than excited to learn that the hugely gifted experimental guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter has a new album on the way. Entitled Say Laura, the album is packed with the singular and skilful guitar and honeyed voice that made his previous records so wonderful. Equal parts intuitive and learned, the album is a mesmerizing affair that “bring[s] Chenaux’s semi-improvised but keenly intentional songwriting to its fullest, clearest, warmest and coolest articulation; uncompromising and generous, hyper-specific and loose, spartan and luxurious, elemental and ornate”, as the press release describes.

Citing various influences such as Sun Ra, Jeanne Lee, Gang Starr, Charlie Parker, Betty Carter, EPMD and Thelonious Monk, on Say Laura Chenaux builds on a foot-pedal technique he’d has previously used. He explains:

“I wrote a lot of the beats to this record while listening to other musics.
Playing a beat along with the recordings on my Boss drum machine.
These rhythms were then used to gate (noise gate) or open the harmony of the chords rhythmically.
To find rhythmic lines to sing and play with.
Sun Ra: The Night Of The Purple Moon with its slow bass driven grooves.
And a lot of hip hop, a lot of Gangstarr and EPMD (the first hip hop I encountered in the late 80’s and early 90’s)
Then these rhythms were repurposed into other forms.
Slowed down, for the most part.
Beats taken out to create space.
To make inferred beats.”

Ahead of the album’s release on February 19th through Constellation and Murailles Music, Chenaux has shared the beguiling title track. Lend your ears to it now.

Tanya Tagaq releases ‘Teeth Agape’ video, new album Tongues out later this month

We’ve been eagerly looking forward to the release of Tanya Tagaq‘s new album, Tongues, since its announcement last September. The good news is that we won’t have to wait much longer as the release date has been brought forward to the end of January. The incredibly talented Inuit throat singer and composer is now giving us another preview of Tongues with the release of new powerful song ‘Teeth Agape’. The track is offered with an accompanying video animated by David Seitz. Watch it below and grab the album when it arrives on January 21st through Six Shooter Records.

Binker and Moses announce new album Feeding the Machine

The year is starting on a very high note with the just announced new album from London jazz duo Binker and Moses. Entitled Feeding the Machine, the record features honorary third member Max Luthert on tape loops and electronics and was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios. As the press release describes, the new album sees them “moving their sound into an entirely new dimension that crosses into ambient, minimalism and experimental electronic territories, whilst also nodding to the duo’s roots in riff-heavy free jazz.”

Last month the adventurous saxophone and drums duo shared a new track, ‘Feed Infinite’, which will be on the album, and to get us even more excited, they have just unveiled a new single called ‘Accelerometer Overdose’. Listen to it below and grab the album when it’s out on February 25th through Gearbox Records.

Mophradat to release Songs for Kids, Vol. 1: AFFRATTA later this month

Mophradat Songs for Kids, Vol. 1: AFFRATTA is an enchanting and entrancing new album that will see the light of day later this month. Mophradat, a non-profit contemporary arts organisation that creates opportunities among Arab artists, conceived Songs for Kids, a project that is “looking for ways for children to be offered joyful, nature-loving, non-patriarchal, imaginative, and evocative music that encourages them to be kind, curious, adventurous, and loving”, as the press release describes. It continues:

“Music and song are one way children learn, express emotions, hear and tell stories, and get to know their bodies. The Arab world, unfortunately, has limited offerings of musical production for children, and this project is one of Mophradat’s first attempts to engage some of the region’s most exciting musicians with this genre.”

Last year Mophradat brought together a sublime cast of children’s writers and musicians to produce an album of progressive songs for young children. Writers Ahlam Bsharat, Hadil Ghoniem, and Yosra Sultan and musicians Huda Asfour, Rehab Hazgui, Maurice Louca, Aya Metwalli, Sam Shalabi, and Aalam Wassef were invited to create music for children around the ages of four to six. Mophradat Songs for Kids, Vol. 1: AFFRATTA is the fruit of this collaboration, a 6-track album mixed by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh and slated for a January 28th release.

Lead track ‘Kalbi Balady’, which translates as ‘My Balady Dog’, is the first wonderful single to be let loose and you can listen to it below.

Ben LaMar Gay’s album Open Arms to Open Us out now

Photo: Alejandro Ayala

Open Arms to Open Us, the outstanding and adventurous new album from musical polymath Ben LaMar Gay, slipped under our radar when it came out last month but we now have it firmly stuck in our ears and hearts. One of the year’s standout records, Open Arms to Open Us is an impressive feat with disparate stylistic dimensions. On his new album, the tremendously talented and versatile composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer and poet runs the gamut from blues, jazz and R&B to Tropicália, hip-hop and eletronica, and everything in between, often within the same track.

In adition to Tommaso Moretti on drums, Matthew Davis on tuba, and Rob Frye on woodwinds, Open Arms to Open Us saw Gay enlist a cast of stellar collaborators, including OHMME singers Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, bassist/vocalist/arranger Ayanna Woods, multi-disciplinary Rwandan artist Dorothée Munyaneza, poet A.Martinez, cellist Tomeka Reid, and vocalists Onye Ozuzu, Gira Dahnee, and Angel Bat Dawid.

In an accompanying prologue written by him, Gay says the album “deals with rhythm as an inheritance of information – sort of like DNA or RNA. Coping with the present-day bombardment of data and recycled ideologies from sources essentially fed by the creed “Destroy Them. Own the Earth” often leaves me with only one thing to look forward to: Rhythm. More than anything, I’d like my babies to always trust in rhythm. It’s the one trueness that travels great distances and constantly survives the crumbling of facades.”

He continues:

“Open Arms to Open Us is full of rhythm or information that will assist my young folk in dealing with the repetition of things that aim to harm them or stunt their holistic progression. The title is a suggestion of a body movement that is used in many spiritual practices and is also a gesture that represents a type of understanding that leads to touch or a hug. The music is for dancing, reflecting, celebrating, bellowing, bawling, stimulation, focus and deciphering messages from loved ones here and beyond. It was the space in between the sound of my great grandfather’s hammer that made me understand that, no matter what, We Gon Win.”

For a taste of the out-of-the-box sound and far flung influences at play in the album, here’s the three marvelous singles that preceded its release, ‘Sometimes I Forget How Summer Looks On You (feat. Ohmme)’, ‘Aunt Lola and the Quail’ and ‘Oh Great Be The Lake’.

Open Arms to Open Us is out now through International Anthem and Nonesuch Records.