The Leaf Label has been a hot spot for beautiful releases from new and incredible artists and bands for many years, from Susumu Yokota and Murcof to Jherek Bischoff and Colleen. The label is on a roll this year, with excellent releases already out or on the way from the likes of Snapped Ankles, Laurence Pike and LWW. Extraordinary trio Szun Waves, made up of Laurence Pike, Luke Abbott and Jack Willie, are the latest addition to their impressive roster, with news of their second album emerging this week. Entitled New Hymn To Freedom, it follows their 2016 debut At Sacred Walls and arrives on August 31st. With no edits nor overdubs, and featuring six live improvisations, the upcoming album finds the trio “in a place of pure spontaneity”, as the press release describes. Accomplished musicians in their own right, Pike, Abbott and Willie’s various experiences and influences is what informs and influences one another. “It still feels to me like a mystical adventure when we play,” said Abbott, “but there’s a musical language developing between us, we’re starting to make more sense together.”
August may seem like a long way away but we can already hear the phenomenal ‘Constellation’. Serving as the record’s first single, it only heightens our anticipation for what is to come. ‘Constellation’ is being offered with a video directed by Sam Wiehl. Watch it now.
To celebrate the release of New Hymn To Freedom, Szun Waves are playing at London’s Space Gallery on August 30th.
Kamaal Williams, who’s been making a serious mark on the UK jazz scene in recent years, is releasing The Return, the first album under his own name. With the record’s release just around the corner, first single ‘Salaam’ is now being offered with an accompanying video filmed in Marrakech by Greg Barnes, who had this to say about it:
“After working together on ‘Catch The Loop’, Kamaal and I knew we wanted it to be a part of a larger whole, and that the tracks on the album would become chapters, or scenes, from a bigger picture – that the upcoming album, ’The Return’, was in essence, the soundtrack to an unmade, and epic film.
It was almost without conversation that we decided Morocco should set the scene for ‘Salaam’, a place of real connection and meaning to Kamaal and his music. The rest, with the help of the people of Marrakech, fell into place very naturally.”
Kamaal also offered some words about it:
“Marrakech is a special place for me, both spiritually and creatively. Every time I go, I feel alive again and it’s a huge inspiration for my work. There is no art scene in Morocco without Hassan Hajjaj, so I couldn’t make this film without his blessing. He introduced me to Amine Bendriouich who introduced me to Yazid and we made the film in two days. Working with local people in the medina and sharing our story with the community made this experience real. Greg Barnes captured the essence of my relationship with the city as well as the colours and the energy of everything in it. The series will continue. A special thanks goes out to Yazid, Hassan Hajjaj, Amine Bendriouich, Ahlam Triki, Mouhcine Zoutina, Abdul Razzaq and the umma of Marrakech”
Watch the video for ‘Salaam’ below and grab The Return when it’s out on May 25th through Black Focus Records.
Following last year’s utterly sublime AL-‘AN ! الآن, which was one of our Album Picks of the Year, Oiseaux-Tempête will be gifting the world with a new live album, TARAB. Recorded entirely live while the band toured AL-‘AN ! الآن in Europe and Canada, TARAB encapsulates the free improvised spirit that permeates their live shows, and the multitude of genres they explore, from free-rock and free-jazz to electronica and Arabic music. The album, “far beyond the vibrant testimony”, says the press release, “is a generous invitation to experience, to meditate and to share”.
Founding members Frédéric D. Oberland and Stéphane Pigneul created TARAB with longtime collaborators Mondkopf, Sylvain Joasson, G.W.Sok, As Human Pattern and Lebanese musicians Charbel Haber, Abed Kobeissy and Ali El Hout. Set for release on June 15th through Sub Rosa, Oiseaux-Tempête’s upcoming album also comes with a special bonus track featuring Jerusalem In My Heart’s Radwan Ghazi Moumneh.
The French outfit first teased the record with a live video for the arresting and entrancing ‘Carnaval’. Now, to get us even more excited, Oiseaux-Tempête have shared another tremendous cut, ‘Tuesday And The Weather Is Clear’, featuring a poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
High-energy duo ZA! have been garnering something of a cult following in their native Spain, owing to their ecstatic and unpredictable live shows and the wild experimental nature of their music spanning genres far and wide. Two years removed from the release of Loloismo, the pair are dropping its follow-up, Pachinko Plex, this Friday. Entirely self-recorded in their practice space, the record sees Spazzfrica Ehd and Papa duPau, the two multi-instrumentalists who make up ZA!, embrace and experiment with new sounds and instruments. “The band breaks free of the guitar and the amps to focus on electronic textures, synthesizers, randomized computer loops and drums processed live through triggers”, describes the album’s blurb. “The result generates an equally forceful and polyrhythmic style, but unclassifiable, highly influenced by their tours in Japan and Mozambique.”
For a taster of the what they’ll be throwing at us, check out their single ‘Ochate’. It comes with a fitting kaleidoscopic video, originally fruit of a collaboration with Berlin-based visual artist LASAL during a recent residency at Keroxen in the Canary Islands.
Pachinko Plex is co-released on May 11th through ZA’s own imprint Gandula as well as A Tant Rêver du Roi (France), Valve (Australia, Fun in the Church (Germany, Austria Switzerland), The Audacious Art Experiment (UK), Lovers & Lollypops (Portugal), Moorworks (Japan), Keroxen (Canàries).
We have eagerly been waiting for a new album from Luke Wyland for a long time and news of his return have finally emerged. The Portland, Oregon based multi-talented and inventive artist is back with a new solo project called LWW and an album of improvisations entitled 3PE.
Under AU, his previous duo outfit, Wyland last released Both Lights, which was an Album Pick of 2012 and remains an active favourite. He may not have released an album in six years, but he has been busy with a multitude of other unique projects and stellar collaborations, including film and dance and most recently composing and performing with the 155 singers of the Camas High School Choir.
3PE will see the light of day on July 20th through The Leaf Label. Unlike his previous efforts, the compositions on the record “are spontaneous, otherworldly explorations in repetition”, describes the press release, “alternate tuning systems and, for the most part, tempered minimalism.” Wyland explains:
“There’s a certain fleeting magic to capturing unselfconscious improvisations to tape. A quality that is often lost when tracking an album you intend to release to the public.”
The wonderful news comes paired with a staggering single, the epic opening track ‘CTP’, which is the only improvisation that Wyland “dissected and evolved into a more maximalist composition”. Clocking in at almost ten minutes and seamlessly moving through different sections, ‘CTP’ begs for repeated listens.