≡ Menu

Downtempo master mind and regular philosophy PhD Tristan de Liège has spent the long Los Angeles winter in the studio, producing fresh new pieces of music. Building on his characteristic electronic sound, he took on a more diverse view of life and times on his new album, relying more on jazz influences and a fine selection of guest vocalists.

Exhibit A comes in the form of Hawa, a striking Poule d’Or exclusive and a carefully layered track combining Tristan’s full range of instrumental talents with the soothing vocals of Carly Barnette, of funk pop duo KiSMiT fame who themselves had a debut out last year.

Tristan de Liège’s new album Maisha is set to be released on May 31st via Manchester’s brilliant label and visual arts platform first light.

Denmark’s city of Aarhus played host to SPOT Festival last weekend, May 2-4th, an event, like the birthday of Justin Bieber, being celebrated for the 25th time this year. What’s most beautiful about the former rather than the latter then, is the range and depth of musical styles on display. Because in times of abundant information and pretty much unlimited access to music, it is rather refreshing to hand your fate to the group of very talented people curating the various showcases over the course of the two festival days. The musical selection included local heroes Liss playing a packed concert hall, the uncompromising soul and funk vibes of D/Troit, as well as Danish grandmasters Efterklang and their newest writings, pasted below.

One of the talented curators is a Danish collective putting together a stage called Roots & Hybrid, celebrating international variations of jazz and funk, creating a truly global sound. They invited Belgian group Black Flower who played their beautiful melding of Ethiopian jazz and more traditional afro-beat, carried by an all-encompassing brass pairing. Their driving single Maqam Tizita Saba is attached right here.

Another fine moment in Roots & Hybrid booking came in the form of [continue reading…]

British group Ten Fé have a history of carefully constructing sun drenched riffs and lush summer vibes, serving their hungry audience in style. With a debut album under their leather belts, the five of them have now put out their luring second album titled Future Perfect, Present Tense, via Some Kinda Love/PIAS.

Won’t Happen is the first single and a prime example of the kind of open road and sky slitting horizon type of pop music these guys excel at producing. The group is already half way through a full-on European tour, taking their new writings for a spin across the continent. They are penciled in to arrive in Berlin, May 11, Hamburg, May 13, Cologne, May 14 with Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam after that.

Photo credits go to the talented Eleanor Hardwick.

Exciting tunes coming in by way of the Republic of Niger of all places. Multi-instrumentalist Hama just released his second album Houmeissa via the West African/Portland Oregon collective and music label Sahel Sounds. On it he neatly combines a sort of mid 90s techno vibe with traditional Tuareq folk sounds and North African synths, creating a catchy and futuristic soundscape that is hard to resist. Attached below is Yeta Yeta, a bonus track off the LP, that nicely showcases his unique talent for creating deep melodies and grooves to get lost in. Houmeissa is out now, on the usuals.

Photo credits go to Christopher Kirkley, photographer, movie director, and label head at Sahel Sounds.

What’s most beautiful about SPOT Festival in Aarhus this week is the sheer range of different styles and sounds they keep adding each year. Dutch producer duo YĪN YĪN here sport a very fine sense for rhythms and vibes that they curated and refined when recording songs in a ballet school in a remote village at the foot of the Plateau of Doenrade near Alpaca Mountain, about an hour outside hilly Maastricht, by bike.

The festival pitches them as “a modern take on the Thai-funk of 60s and 70s, easy Thai-riffs fusing in a sound that stretches towards the South East Asian trance party through disco, funk and rock.” Point made. Their trademark single Dis Ko Dis Ko that came out via Bongo Joe Records as a 7inch last year, is smoothly embedded below. With their live setup including a double-neck guitar, their gig will be one not to miss. They are scheduled to play Friday May 3rd, 22h30 at Den Rå Hal, Godsbanen.

Denmark is a land of the seas and as such a land of the ports and commerce. Copenhagen’s trio Ecstasy In Order then call a very industrial and busy sound their own. They have got a handful of singles under their belt dating all the way back to 2015 and now dished up an all new and wavey offering in the form of an EP titled Girls Boys & Brothers.

The on-point opener Material Girls is attached below, and bursts with g-force. They are scheduled to take the stage at SPOT Festival in Aarhus this Saturday May 4th, 20h40 at A-Huset, in a show presented by the brilliant Limbo Collective.

Photo credits go to Ljubov Dzhuzhynska.