Pablo Zuazo – ‘Macaco Nu Jazz’

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Pablo Zuazo is a Brazilian-born jazz pianist, singer and songwriter who’s genre-defying sound zigzags between bossa nova, MPB, jazz, samba, hip hop and electronica.

This genre hopping approach is demonstrated expertly and with precision by single ‘Macaco Nu Jazz’. An astounding and meticulously crafted affair, it is a lavish exploration of genres, styles and eras. Macaco Nu Jazz’ is a super cool, gloriously smooth and funky head nodding adventure, spliced and diced into an infectious beat filled jam. You will be lost in a sea of breathtakingly lush layers, choice samples and irresistible beats and groove. Maintaining chillout and feelgood vibes, Zuazo has created a sound which oozes nostalgic feelings for all manner of hazy summer days and nights. An exemplary display of his deft skills.

Fall in love with ‘Macaco Nu Jazz’ below:

Introducing: Kneecap

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Regular patrons of the site will be aware of my fondness for music of Welsh origin, and especially that performed in their native tongue.

Given this predilection, it gave to wondering about Ireland’s own native language and the comparatively scarce amount of contemporary music performed as Gaeilge. Now, that is a topic for another day and deserving of more attention and further examination (thesis anyone?) but it did bring my attention to Kneecap; a satirical hip-hop trio from Belfast who perform in Irish.

The three members; Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Provaí combine a fluency in Irish with an amazing delivery and a wry sense of humour to produce one of the most unique homegrown records of 2018.

Over eight tracks, their mixtape 3CAG offers a satirical take on life for young people, with a particular west Belfast slant. If like me, your command of Irish leaves a lot to be desired, it doesn’t matter a jot. The beats are superb and so infectious, and the flow and lyrical skill on show is second to none, with plenty of laughs thrown in for good measure – anyone who might be skeptical to begin with will be easily won over, just press play on ‘Amach Anocht’, ‘Cearta’ or ‘Tá na Baggies ar an Talamh’ below.

You can listen to mixtape 3CAG in full here; and like mentioned above, it is one of the most unique homegrown records of 2018.

Kneecap have also announced an Irish tour for February 2019 – you can check the dates near you here.

Catching Flies – ‘New Gods ft. Jay Prince and Oscar Jerome’

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London producer Catching Flies is busy prepping the release of a new album and the first fruits of that labour come in the shape of new single, ‘New Gods’.

Joining forces with rapper Jay Prince and multi-instrumentalist Oscar Jerome, together the trio create ‘New Gods'; a warm aural feast of jazzy, soulful and slow-slung, hip-hop grooves. Sweeping electronic textures coalesce with soft drum rhythms, twinkling keys, flourishes of strings and bright flecks of guitar and are smoothly intertwined around the natural spoken rhythms of Jay Prince’s eloquent and thought provoking ponderings. An elegant, beautiful and dreamy blend of perfectly balance sounds, textures and pallets – ‘New Gods’ is a jazz-fueled hip hop lullaby.

That so far unnamed album is expected in late 2018 or early 2019 – for now feast your ears on the wonderful ‘New Gods’.

Introducing: Pomona Dream

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Pomona Dream are Swedish duo comprised of singer/composer Sandra Bang and producer Ribbs, and fully fledged jazzy, synth laced hip-pop enthusiasts.

There is a delicate fusion of jazzy hip-hop with contemporary, dreamy indie pop, brewed to create an infectious, fresh and gorgeous smooth sound. Take the pair’s most recent gift to the world, ‘Easy Raider’, imbued with an airy, sunny disposition and snazzy, jazzy textures with a beat that keeps popping and bassline that just won’t let you go – you’ll have it on repeat. It’s predecessor, ‘Tropicana’ is no less irresistible. With some amazing chillout bossa nova and jazzy vibes, this one brings some serious summer vibes and a fabulous flute solo to the fore. Here are but two of many, many solid reasons to let a bit of Pomona Dream into your life – and you know what? You’ll be all the better for it.

You can sample some of Pomona Dream’s finest offerings below now:

BarryGruff’s Albums of the Year 2017

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Yes, it’s that time of year again, lists, lists and well, more lists – and from every angle possible. That said, compiling an annual list of my favourite records from throughout the year is one of the most enjoyable aspects to the blog.

There was lots of great music in 2017 (as with every year) but here are my 20 favourite records from the year. Also, I’m hoping the festive period will provide time to catch up on some records I’ve missed throughout the year, so feel free to recommend some listening material.

Without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2017:

20. Czarface – ‘First Weapon Drawn’

For album number four, Czarface (Esoteric, Inspectah Deck and 7L) teamed up with Marvel Comics to create a soundtrack to an actual hardcopy comic of the same name. The previous installments have featured rapping from Esoteric, Inspectah Deck and other guests, however, on this occasion it’s just the superbly evocative instrumentation, with narration tacked on throughout. In fact, 7L’s production is some of strongest found throughout all the releases. Not quite at the level of albums 1 – 3, it provides an excellent little stop gap while we await a new album proper.

[Stream on Spotify]

19. Nouveaunoise – ‘Nouveaunoise’

Galway duo Nouveaunoise – Conor Gaffney & Niall Conway – had earned themselves a rep for finely crafted electronic productions, intricately weaving crackling samples, jazz-sampling percussion and warm melodies and crisp beats a la Four Tet or Boards of Canada. The pair released their debut back in 2010 and their self-titled follow-up sees them continue to shine when it comes to elegant, lush and intricately produced pristine electronica. Eight years is a long time but it was worth the wait!

[Stream on Spotify]

18. The Courtneys – ‘The Courtneys II’

With their 2013 debut, The Courtneys peddled lo-fi fuzzy slacker garage-pop with the ’90s casting a pretty long shadow and for the follow-up, the Vancouver trio have repeated the trick. Endearingly ramshackle, the dreamy vocals and laid-back sunkissed vibes are pumped with fuzzed-up distorted guitars, sweet licks and heavy, driving bass lines. Rarely has ramshackle indie been so appealing and so pretty damn irresistible. This is the sound of long, hot summers.

[Stream on Spotify]

17. Girlpool – ‘Powerplant’

Girlpool’s sound gets bigger on their second LP, beefed up with addition of a drummer crafting that classic alt-rock loud-quiet-loudness throughout but Girlpool know where their true power lies: Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad’s voices still sit front and centre. The unsettling magic that exists between makes them Girlpool distinct, lending their patented fragility and vulnerability. Powerplant is sparse and explores the energy and shape of contrariety and emptiness.

[Stream on Spotify]

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Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #30

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After a couple of weeks absence, ‘Something for the Weekend’ returns with a relatively short Spotify playlist featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears over the course of past while.

Clocking in at just over an hour, it’s an easily digestible slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share even more crackin’ tunes. Well, without further ado, here’s #30 – Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist. Get stuck into the tunes & enjoy the weekend!

You can follow me on Spotify here.

 

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #28

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A regular slot on blog, a relatively short weekly Spotify playlist featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears over the course of past seven days.

Clocking in at just over an hour, it’s an easily digestible slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share even more crackin’ tunes. Well, without further ado, here’s #28 – Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist. Get stuck into the tunes & enjoy the weekend! You can follow me on Spotify here.