Manu Louis’s new album, Club Copy, out now

Photo: Arnau Pascual Ledesma

Club Copy, the latest album from Belgium born, Berlin based Manu Louis, hit shelves last September and we may be a little late picking this up but we were clearly missing out. With a humorous and satirical tone, throughout the album Louis describes “a futuristic world dominated by standardisation, in which, your place on Earth no longer matters”, and ” everything is the same”, before throwing in a twist in a photocopy shop.

To bring the album to life, Louis enlisted the vocal talents of  Héctor Arnau (Las Victimas Civiles), Brussels experimental jazz vocalist Lynn Cassiers and performer Vicente Arlandis.

Zesty, danceable and entertaining in equal parts, Club Copy is out now through Igloo Records, and for a taste of what’s on offer, here’s a couple of tracks from the album, ‘Clone’ and ‘Economy’.

Fabiano do Nascimento & Sam Gendel team up for collaborative album, The Room

Incredibly ambitious and creative, and a mainstay in the Los Angeles’ contemporary jazz scene, Sam Gendel is both prolific and fluid in a variety of genres, constantly rolling out new solo and collaborative works. The multi-instrumentalist and producer’s latest venture saw him team up with LA-based Brazilian 7-string guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento and a 10-track instrumental album entitled The Room is the fruit of this union.

“In 2011 I was in a Latin jazz group called Triorganico,” do Nascimento explained. “We had a gig at a restaurant owned by Sam’s cousin, who invited him along. Sam brought his sax and sat in.” He continues, “We were making music that we had a real mutual appreciation for,I was always joking that Sam should play flute, and he tried multiple things before he got this unique [flute] sound out of his soprano. Most people don’t actually realise that it’s a saxophone.”

Each track on the upcoming The Room taps “into the rhythms and regions of a South America without borders”, as the press release describes, and some draw from indigenous melodies, and popular old Brazilian tunes.

We’ll have to wait until January 26th for The Room to be out through Real World Records but we can already hear the gorgeous and celestial first single, ‘Foi Boto’ . Here it is.

C. Diab shares video for first single, ‘Lunar Barge’, off upcoming new album Imerro

Following 2021’s In Love & Fracture, C. Diab (Caton Hower) has announced the release of a new album titled Imerro. The Canadian bowed guitarist and multi-instrumentalist recorded the album in a particularly hot summer in 2021 at Risque Disque Studio in Cedar, British Columbia. Speaking about the album, Caton comments:

“The idea behind this record was simply ecstatic improvisation, to place myself and engineer Jonathan Paul Stewart (Paul) in an area with minimal distraction and provide myself space for creation with little thematic pretence, with the belief that music “shows it’s face” as you move along, an instrument being a kind of lightning rod for sonics already existing, and any sonic subject in this session should present itself rather than composing upon hard preconceived notions.

That being said, we didn’t handcuff ourselves by disallowing old ideas, or throwing out melodic sketches from the past. Rather we made room for them to show themselves, or to lend themselves to anything happening in the moment. Over the six days in Cedar, we would work from early in the morning to late at night, with small breaks for food or to occasionally shower with a cold hose in an old chicken shed. The process was simple: I would pick up an instrument, whether I had experience playing it or not, and make a sound. If it wanted to be played, it would play, and we would go from there, laying down an idea and moving forward with more ideas and more instrumentation, until we felt the track was full.”

Imerro arrives on February 16th through Tonal Union and to get us enticed Caton has shared the first stunning and enveloping single, ‘Lunar Barge’. Of the track, he says:

“’Lunar Barge’ is a track for a dry, hot night in the forest (which it quite literally was). This was another case of “anything goes”, in that after the initial bass line was recorded, I roamed around the floors of the studio picking up any instrument standing out in the moment, and tried to see if it had anything to say. Some of the rhythm is played with a pair of chopsticks against a piece of wood, and some of the textures incorporate creaking noises from accidental movement. This track flowed easily and was recorded late at night, as we talked about the music of Huun-Huur-Tu, who became the inspiration for the rhythm. Most of our focus on this track was given to the wind instruments, of which we recorded far too much of, and had to whittle down to short, purposeful bursts in order to create the sound of a deep, open space. The title, ‘Lunar Barge’, is a combination of the 18th arcanum of the Tarot’s major arcana (which evokes desire and magical reality of the shadow world), and the Egyptian Solar Barge, on which the ancient sun god Ra was said to “travel through the sky…providing light to the world.”

‘Lunar Barge’ comes paired with a video by Ryan Gordon Flowers and you can watch it below.

Ben Lumsdaine’s new album, Murmuration Without End, out in December

LA-based producer, composer, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Ben Lumsdaine is gearing up to release a new album later this year. Entitled Murmuration Without End, it arrives on December 8th through International Anthem and features guest contributions from saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi (Bon Iver, Bill Callahan), trumpeter John Raymond (S. Carey, Sara Bareilles), and guitarist Drake Ritter (Durand Jones, Diane Coffee). The album is “a collection of rhythmic studies that began as meditative synth drones recorded by Lumsdaine”, as the press release describes, which “grew into multi-textural, poly-rhythmic sound worlds as he disrupted the meters and pulses implied by the synths’ inherent modulations with each instrumental layer added.”

Along with the album announcement, Lumsdaine has let loose the beautiful and absorbing lead single ‘Dallas’ and you can listen to it below.


Amaro Freitas announces new album, Y’Y, and shares lead single ‘Encantados’

Photo: Helder Tavares

Virtuosic Brazilian pianist and composer Amaro Freitas conquered our ears a couple of years ago with Sankofa, a sublime album of intricate compositions. We’re over the moon to know he is following it up with a much anticipated new album entitled Y’Y, which is pronounced eey-eh, eey-eh and is a word from the Sateré Mawé dialect, an ancestral indigenous code that means water or river. To bring Y’Y to life, Freitas enlisted a stellar cast of collaborators including Shabaka Hutchings, Brandee Younger, Jeff Parker, Hamid Drake, and Aniel Someillan.

An “homage to the forest, especially the Amazon Forest, and the rivers of Northern Brazil,” as Freitas puts it, Y’Y is “a call to live, feel, respect, and care for nature, recognizing it as our ancestor.” He adds that the album, “is also a warning about the need to be aware of the impact we cause, based on the concepts of civilization and modernity that keep us away from this connection, and its importance for the balance of life on the planet.”

Ahead of the album release on March 1st through Psychic Hotline, Freitas has shared the magnificent, wild and elevating lead single, ‘Encantados’, a song he hopes will make listeners “feel touched by the spirits, the enchanted spirits of the forest.” ‘Encantados’ features Hutchings on flute, Drake on drums, and Someillan on acoustic bass and you can listen to it below.

Trond Kallevåg’s new album, Amerikabåten, out this Friday

There’s a new album on the way from acclaimed guitarist and composer Trond Kallevåg, a stalwart of the Norwegian jazz scene. Entitled Amerikabåten, which means The American Boat, the upcoming album is informed and explores the journeys of many of Norwegians who crossed the ocean. Trond comments:

“Amerikabåten” explores my deep admiration and fascination for American culture and the transformative journey aboard the America boats, back when countless Norwegians traversed the ocean to America until the mid-20th century. It was a time when the sea provided a liberating sanctuary for individualists and those who didn’t conform, including the newly religious and lawless.

My grandparents shared stories of close relatives who ventured to America, resulting in cultural connections, particularly along the Norwegian coastline where I grew up.”

Amerikabåten taps on both traditional Norwegian and American music, drawing from Norwegian hymns, old broadside ballads and Americana, and saw Trond enlist a phenomenal ensemble of young Norwegian musicians, including Selma French, Daniela Reyes, Håkon Aase, Jo Berger Myhre, and Ola Øverby.

The album arrives on November 10th through Hubro and for a captivating taster of what’s on offer, check out lead single ‘Fargo’ below, it will take you on an contemplative and gorgeous journey of sound and emotion. The single comes with a live video recorded at Athletic Sound in Halden earlier this year.