At last year’s Love Supreme festival Kamasi Washington stuck around and enjoyed the festival, on his own, mingling with punters, and seemingly enjoying the experience, at odds with what many pro musicians – through either fame, reasons of itinerary, or just plain lack of interest – rarely bother to do. Despite the otherworldly spiritual Sun Ra meets Pharaoh Sanders bearing of the man, Kamasi is as close to an every-man as a jazzer could get. He revels in music, full stop. He also likes arcade games and people. He is not (god forbid!) the saviour, but he is, in short, helping to bring jazz back to the people.
Electronic ambient-dance duo Immersion are made up of Colin Newman, of Wire fame, and his partner Malka Spigel, of Minimal Compact. Following on from their previous album, Analogue Creatures Living On an Island, this is a similar series of instrumental workouts that ride along waves of enticingly percolating grooves and waves of mostly chilled out and immaculate textures.
A descent into sheer madness, Nine Inch Nails’ Bad Witch – the third instalment in their trilogy of releases since late 2016 – is chaotic, distressing and aims to capture the entirety of American politics and destruction in just six short tracks. To consider this to be an album and not an EP feels bizarre but, nonetheless, this is one record which will reach into the sickest parts of the human mind and make you question the very fabric of your reality.
Following a seven-year hiatus, one of New York’s most experimental and creative names are making a colossal comeback. Gang Gang Dance’s Kazuashita (Pronounced KAH-ZOO-AH-SHE-TAH) is vibrant, diverse and captures the very essence of what it takes to be creative in the modern world. This is one album which goes above and beyond expectation and could easily see the Gang Gang Dance trio reaching all new heights.
Experimentalism and rawness to its very core, The Wave Pictures’ triumphant return in 2018 comes in the form of Brushes with Happiness, a nine-piece DIY record which tells the story of one magical night the band spent improvising and recording this album in its entirety.
Criticising Call the Comet is upsetting because you don’t want to knock someone of such stature but Call the Comet is a firmly okay album. It stands in such firm middle ground with its sounds and songwriting that none of it really manages to rub off on you. Johnny Marr is known as an innovator of guitar music, he created a sound and changed how people thought about guitar playing. He was in one of the most influential indie bands of all time. Call the Comet is a baggy listen, a machine in need of a little oiling.
Melody Prochet first came to note with her extraordinary self-titled debut album. While not quite a full-on acid trip, its marriage of psychedelia, dream pop and art, was a multi-layered confection of effects delivered through dark reminiscences of heartbreak, and produced by psychedelic guru Kevin Parker, of Tame Impala fame.
Melbourne band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have been on the Brightonsfinest radar for the past year now. Their excellent The Great Escape performance, where we described them as “The War On Drugs but with more off-kilter guitars” enabled them to become a favourite over the last few months. The band, however, have pretty much been in place for a lot longer than that. Prior to forming the band in 2013, singers/guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White had played together in various garage bands, dating back to high school. “Over the years, we built up our own sound and style, guitar pop songs with bits of punk and country” says Keaney. “Then when we started this band, with Joe [Russo, Tom’s brother] on bass, Marcel [Tussie, Joe White’s then-housemate] on drums, we had this immediate chemistry.” This immediate chemistry is extremely evident on their debut record, Hope Downs, which exhibits everything we’ve loved about the band – ragged, but smooth nonlinear indie-rock – but with a much broader landscape than they’ve shown with their EPs.
Part three of Kanye West’s saga is here! After the excellent Ye produced DAYTONA – which is certainly in contention for album of the year – and last week’s ye, which we said “Triumphs in its beats and lyrics and, while short, is consistent and enticing”, Kanye is back with his old protege, Kid Cudi. No doubt better than ye, this is a project that packs its 23-minute runtime with as much energy, creativity and exciting ideas as a full-length project.
Soulful experimentalism accompanied by the vocal work of an angel, serpentwithfeet brings forth his debut studio length record, soil. This is one record which is redefining the meaning of ingenious sampling, hybridising genres and reinventing gospel in its own unique way.