November 3, 2023
Essential weekend listening.
This week’s rundown is by VF contributors Annabelle Van Dort, Emily Hill and James Hammond.
On their second outing as a collective, Reservoir—the collaborative project fronted by Chicago producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Will Miller—craft blissful jazz pieces informed by Miller’s beat-making sensibilities. Featuring a decorated ensemble of Chicago-based collaborators, such as Whitney, Elton Aura, and Akenya, Reservoir is a testament to the collective joys of collaborative approaches to composition. Miller revels in this spirit of hybridity: lustrous synths splice unexpectedly with lo-fi beats (“Robot Dreams|), hooky R&B vocals interplay with soul-jazz grooves (|Sunday Morning”) and spiritual jazz serenades soar heavenward (“First Light”). Another stellar release from International Anthem.–AVD
Tkay Maidza’s self-titled 2016 album burst into the world drenched in life with an unbeatable flow that matched the racing tempo of the music. Now, 7 years on, Sweet Justice is a tasty return to 4AD after a string of sensational singles. This 12 track album features collaborations with electronic producers Kaytranada, Stint, Flume and vocalists Lolo Zouia and Amber Mark. In a way, this is a break up album–a pallette cleanser for the talented artist, to rid her warped sense of self and open a new chapter.–EH
Far More Decentralised
The latest LP from Tokyo-based sound artist Akhira Sano brings forth a patchworked ambience of acoustic and electronic sounds. Letting static and noise textures ebb and flow as key parts of each work, Far More Decentralised holds off on the editing polish and looks “to touch the fragile and imperfect”. Full of serene sounds but all the more intriguing for its textural grit and ASMR qualities.–JH
UFO Forest +
Room 40 continue their exploration of Beatriz Ferreyra’s work with this third archival release of the Argentine composer’s trailblazing sounds. A female luminary of musique concrete in a male dominated scene, Ferreyra’s
compositions find ingenious ways to reanimate recorded sounds and explode their nuances into mesmerising and otherworldly narratives. Such narratives are in full force here as the electroacoustic ferment starts up with 1985’s UFO Forest and expands into three similarly sci-fi tinged visions..–JH
Party Time (Ode Ye Woo)
London-based archival record label Kalita presents the first-ever reissue of Papa Yankson’s 1989 disco-inflected highlife masterpiece, Party Time (Ode Ye Woo). Full of hypnotic guitar lines and deep percussive rhythms, alongside arresting call and response vocals and bleeping dub sirens, Party Time (Ode Ye Woo) continues Kalita’s exploration of burger highlife from their essential Borga Revolution! compilations from last year. Yankson’s innovative fusion of digital synthesisers and electronics with traditional highlife styles is a prime example of the ‘burger’ style that exploded in 1980s Ghana. Extremely hard to come by on the secondhand vinyl market, Kalita is fighting the good fight in making this gem accessible to audiophiles everywhere.–AVD
Parris & Untold
Parris and Untold come together on a magnetic two tracker. The A-side is a collaboration between the producers and on the flip untold makes a rare special lone appearance. The record has had some weighty backers since its dissemination into the world with Ben UFO and Marie Montexier doing the rounds in the club scene. Titular track ‘Lip Locked’ is a bouncy percussive heavy club hitter, stripped back and sitting on the faster side of things as the flip is brimming with crunchy breakbeats. Something for every dance music connoisseur.–EH