Fourth Dimension, the seventh album from extraordinary percussionist/composer Brian Shankar Adler, hit shelves last week and we may be a little late picking this up but we were clearly missing out. Featuring eleven magnificent compositions immensely multifaceted, drawing from an array of genres, from jazz and rock to psychedelia and experimental music, Fourth Dimension is inspired and informed by Adler’s spiritual upbringing in an ashram. “I remember we would spend one month each year in silence. It was quite profound, because we started hearing the world in another way.” said Adler, adding: “After looking into the mind’s eye and becoming comfortable with what is brewing from within, the outside world appeared to be a reflection of that source.”
A storm of sound, Fourth Dimension is a sublime, bewitching and adventurous record that will leave no one untouched. For a tantalizing taster from it, here’s the two singles that preceded its release, ‘Gowanus’ and ‘Mantra’. The latter is offered with an accompanying video animated by Tenis Studio.
We weren’t familiar with Chicago’s Mute Duo, made up of Skyler Rowe (drums/percussion) and Sam Wagster (pedal steel), but they caught our ears on first listen, with their experimental, immersive and mighty sounds, melding ambient and free jazz with a touch of country. The pair released their first album in 2017, and a follow-up has been announced for release in 2020. Entitled Lapse in Passage, the album “is an ode to Chicago’s strong, supportive experimental scene”, describes the press release, “but it’s also a love song to community at a much smaller scale – that of two people sharing space, cherishing it, and brandishing their hope through act of creation.”
We’ll have to wait until March 20th for the record to drop through American Dreams Records but we can already hear the monumental first single ‘Canopy Bells’, clocking in at over 8 minutes. It starts gently, drawing you in and wrapping you up before erupting into an explosive and triumphant climax. If ‘Canopy Bells’ is anything to go by, we just can’t for March to come.
Rebecca Foon announced a new album last month, Waxing Moon, marking the first under her own name, and also the first with piano and vocals taking centre stage. Deeply influenced by the climate crisis, the upcoming album “finds her writing and singing her most arrestingly direct yet poetic words”, describes the press release, “tapping universal and personal heartbreak in both despair and hope”. She offered a few words about it:
“This album is by far the most raw record I have ever made, and the most direct channeling of emotions I have ever put into music. We are in a time of enormous sadness and fear as humanity and all sentient beings are faced with incredible unknowns about our collective future. This album channels my love for our beautiful world and the personal heartbreak I have experienced over the last couple of years in my own life, amidst despair over our dying planet facing mass extinction. Making this music was a way for me to communicate on some level the interplay between the micro/macro, the exchange between trying to live in each precious moment while navigating the beauty, chaos and pain of being alive together, the spirit world that surrounds us and how it can touch us in the most unanticipated magical ways, and the human struggle of how to truly make a positive impact in these dire times – with all the hope and loss of hope that comes with it. Making this music has saved me on so many levels, and I hope it can provide some connection to another realm for a moment as it did for me. I am so grateful. With love and hope for a renewable, equitable and just world. xoxo”
The album news came paired with the gorgeous and compelling track ‘Ocean Song’ and the enchanting and brilliant composer and musician is enticing us again with another striking beauty of a song called ‘Dreams To Be Born’. Take a listen now.
Waxing Moon is out on February 21st through Constellation and all its royalties will be donated to Pathway To Paris (of which she is a co-founder) and its “1000 Cities” Green Transition initiative in collaboration with the United Nations.
Earlier this month, English actress and musician Keeley Forsyth announced the release of her debut album, Debris, and offered the arresting title track as the first taste from it. Ahead of the album’s release on January 17th through The Leaf Label, she is teasing it again with a new single called ‘Start Again’. “‘Start Again’ is the song where the singer starts to stand and grow limbs,” explained Forsyth. “But there’s no rise. It’s bumping into things. There’s an immediacy and a recognition of her human ability. Bourne brought the pulse and made a perfect melodic opening for this happen.” Label mate Matthew Bourne, who collaborated on the album providing minimal piano and string arrangements, had this to say about it:
”My role in this project is to elaborate on those tacit, near-hidden qualities which are found within the atmosphere of the original demos. In ‘Start Again’, each round of chords ended up as an uneven, five-bar phrase, and is something that seemed to occur naturally. This impulsive method is also true of Keeley’s other tracks – my instrumental parts are laid down quickly, before there is any time to ponder, or to be tempted to find a ‘better’ way of doing things.”
Take a listen to ‘Start Again’ below.
In other related news, Keeley Forsyth is performing at a Matthew Bourne-curated Daylight Music session at London’s Union Chapel tomorrow November 30th at 12pm. She has also announced a headline show at The Islington on January 29th.
We fell under the spell of Collectress with Mondegreen, their debut album, which was one of our 15 Album Picks of 2014 and remains an absolute favourite. Nearly six years on, the incredibly talented quartet of Quinta, Rebecca Waterworth, Caroline Weeks and Alice Eldridge, are ready to gift the world with their hugely anticipated second album, Different Geographies. On the new record, the four multi-instrumentalists continue to create enchanting and enveloping music that is both composed and improvised.
“Named in response to the realities of collaboration”, as the press release explains, Different Geographies sees Collectress “look[ing] for new opportunities to create across the separations of time, space and the vibrancies of life,” referring to the many projects they have been involved with over the last few years, including overseas residencies, tours with other bands and motherhood.
We’ll have to wait until March 6th for the album to be released via their own imprint Peeler Records, but we can already wrap our ears in the magical and gorgeous first single ‘Landing’.
Percussionist, producer and composer Sarathy Korwar has shared a video for ‘Coolie’, a track lifted from his recently released second album More Arriving. The track features Indian reggae/dancehall artist Delhi Sultanate and Delhi-based Punjabi rapper Prabh Deep. Speaking about the track, Korwar explained it “is based on the history of indentured Indian labourers (know as coolies) being used to replace African slaves on sugar plantations after slavery was abolished,” adding that “many rich multi-national companies like Tata and EIC made huge sums of money through this trade of people and labour.”