At the tail end of 2018, tuba player and composer Theon Cross, a big player in London’s vibrant contemporary jazz scene, teased his debut album with ‘Panda Village‘. News of the album have now been confirmed and we’ll only have to wait till February 15th for Fyah to be out through Gearbox Records. The album “encapsulates the culture and influences that have surrounded Cross growing up in the city, incorporating elements of Caribbean music, hip-hop, grime, jazz, club and electronic music”, describes the press release. “The new album perfectly exemplifies the future-facing magnetism of the current scene in London. Full of powerful tuba-driven basslines, fervent jazz soloing, raw yet precise rhythm sections and the introduction of synths, the album is all at once danceable and masterful.”
And there’s more reasons to get excited, with ‘Activate’, the explosive new track Cross has just unveiled, featuring fellow adventurous jazz musicians, saxophonist Nubya Garcia and drummer Moses Boyd. Take a listen now.
Coming out of the vibrant London jazz scene that flourished in recent years, tuba player and composer Theon Cross has lent his talents to a multitude of stellar artists. Busy performing with the likes of Moses Boyd, Makaya McCraven, Kano, Jon Baptiste, Pharoe Monch and Emile Sande, Cross is also a member of Sons of Kemet and a permanent fixture in South London based collective Steam Down. He has also been busy with his own trio featuring Nubya Garcia and Moses Boyd, and ‘Panda Village’ is one of the fruits we can now get a taste of. There’s plans for more to come in 2019 and if ‘Panda Village’ is anything to go by, we just can’t wait!
French composer Yann Tiersen has a new album on the way, titled ALL and due in February. The forthcoming record is the first recorded in Tiersen’s The Eskal, an abandoned discotheque in the island of Ushant turned into studio, venue and community centre. As with previous efforts, ALL is mostly sung in Breton, and it features vocal contributions from guests Ólavur Jákupsson, Denez Prigent, Emilie Tiersen and Gaëlle Kerrien. Swedish artist Anna Von Hausswolff also collaborated with Tiersen on one of the album’s tracks, ‘Koad’, now available to stream with an accompanying video. ‘Koad’ features field recording of a redwood forest in Devon, near the Schumacher College, an institution cited as an important influence on the album which “helped to shape ALL’s overriding theme: ecology, environment and our connection to nature.”. Tiersen has described the institution as “a concentration of hope in a small place”. Watch the video below.
Last week, and following two 12” single releases, Glasgow’s AMOR unleashed their wonderful and jubilant debut album, Sinking Into A Miracle, through Night School Records. A stellar collaborative disco project, AMOR is made up of multi-instrumentalist and improviser Richard Youngs, Turner nominated artist Luke Fowler, drummer Paul Thomson (Franz Ferdinand) and Norwegian composer and double-bassist Michael Francis Duch (LEMUR).
The album “retains the elastic grooves of Paradise and Higher Moment, the group’s previous single releases, but relinquishes the classic Philadelphia International tinged sound in favour of more looser rhythmic patterns”, describes the press release. “There are new depths to the compositions; a more free-flowing approach to percussion and deft experiments in hybridity, making for a full and rounded, emotionally tinged record.”
‘Glimpses Across Thunder’ serves as a marvellous taste from Sinking Into A Miracle. Take a listen now.
Early last month, Welsh electronic outfit Underworld launched their Drift series, a project that sees them releasing new material through their website every Thursday over the course of one year. Using film, music and stories, amongst other media forms, Underworld are publsihing material recorded in a multitude of spaces and featuring some collaborations. They have already released the first instalment of the series called A Very Silent Way featuring five parts. Part 5 is an improvised track in collaboration with revered experimental jazz trio The Necks, fruit of a two-day recording session. Underworld’s Rick Smith had this to say about it:
“Karl and I spent two glorious days with The Necks at AIR studios in London exploring long improvisations based on our music for Drift and I had the time of my life with these incredibly talented, beautiful people. This initial release represents just a small part of that body of work.”
The track comes accompanied by a video by tomato’s Simon Taylor using film and stills shot from that session. Here it is.