• UK jazz star Moses Boyd announces new album Displaced Diaspora

    By | August 6, 2018

    Featuring his much sought after single ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’.

    Drummer and producer Moses Boyd will release new album Displaced Diaspora via his own Exodus Records label this September.

    Read next: Moses Boyd on the drummers that shape his sound

    A leading light of the UK jazz scene, who released his most recent EP Absolute Zero with The Vinyl Factory in 2017, Boyd’s new album revisits a number of recordings made from the same session that birthed ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ – the Four Tet and Floating Points-mixed 12″ that has since gone on to fetch large sums on the second-hand market.

    Displaced Diaspora features contemporaries Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, Nathaniel Cross and Zara McFarlane (whose 2017 LP Arise Boyd produced), as well as British soul vocalist Terri Walker, saxophonist and bata player Kevin Haynes and his Grupo Eleggua, and rapper Louis VI.

    Last year, Moses Boyd refreshed his Binker & Moses project for Journey To The Mountain Of Forever, which was our second favourite LP of 2017. In November, he won a MOBO for best jazz act.

    Boyd shared the album news via Twitter, with pre-orders now available for Displaced Diaspora, which will be released on 28th September.

    Check out the artwork and tracklist below.

    Tracklist:

    01. Rush Hour / Elegua
    02. Frintline
    03. Rye Lane Shuffle
    04. Drum Dance
    05. Axis Blue
    06. City Nocturne
    07. Waiting On The Night Bus
    08. Marooned In S.E. 6
    09. Ancestors

  • The 10 best new vinyl releases this week (5th February)

    By | February 5, 2018

    The ascent of London’s vibrant jazz scene, verdant hypno-rhythms, and slinky synth funk.

    The tundra endures outside, but inside the heat is on courtesy of this week’s record bevy.

    On the singles front, Lobster Theremin // Rhythm Section stalwart Hidden Spheres launches his own imprint, Emotional Rescue offshoot Emotional Especial serves up a sampler of its Covered in Gloria compilation, and psychedelic warped grooves emerge to fill 4am dance floor imaginations aplenty.

    In albums, the shining stars of London’s jazz scene unite under Gilles Peterson’s label, king of tropical drums Wolf Müller is back, Demdike Stare’s DDS label reissues Conjoint’s essential electronics and more.

    Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder and James Hammond with help from Norman Records. 5 singles and 5 LPs every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


    Hidden Spheres

    Wonders Of The Rainforest

    (Fruit Merchant)

    Listen / Buy

    After supplying sophisticated club sounds to the likes of Lobster Theremin, Rhythm Section and Distant Hawaii over the last few years, Manchester’s Hidden Spheres launches his own label of love with this four tracker of lush and verdant sounds. An homage to the nature documentary of the same name, Wonders Of The Rainforest draws in the tropical tones of new age, sultry pads of balearic and steady groove of house music to create expressionist vignettes of curious birds, dense foliage and the odd Colorado River Toad. A seductive fusion of intricate melodies and heady textures.


    DJ Oil

    Heritage

    (Les Disques de la Mort)

    Listen / Buy

    You can always rely on Ivan Smagghe’s label for quality. Operating on the outskirts of what we call house music, every release demands your attention and this is definitely no exception. DJ Oil’s ‘Heritage’ is a psychedelic warped groove – one of those classic builders drenched in speech that begins to thump before you’ve even realised what’s going on. Full of imagination and set for all 4am floors.


    Alex Augier

    Germination

    (DAC records)

    Listen / Buy

    A first solo EP for Alex Augier, but with several years in the audiovisual field under his belt, this one’s a pretty well accomplished workout across the dynamic range. With some keenly built up pieces and a flair for both the subtle and the brutal, this one will likely appeal to fans of Roly Porter’s explosive electronics, and the Subtext head honcho indeed shows up for a top-notch remix to cap this one off.


    Various Artists

    Covered In Gloria – Sampler 1

    (DEEK / Especial Specials)

    Listen / Buy

    Having sailed away with our hearts on Blue Pedro last year, Bullion returns to the good ship DEEK for a 12” sampler from his recent Covered In Gloria compilation, with recent VF Crate Digger Emotional Especial. A collection of sideways reinterpretations and double-takes from the over-looked history of pop-not-slop, highlights for us here are Joe Jackson’s ‘Steppin’ Out’, re-imaged as a wistful French new wave ballad, and Bullion’s shuffling rendition of J.J. Cale’s 1979 classic ‘Friday’. Stunning artwork to boot.


    Beak

    ‘Sex Music’

    (Invada UK)

    Listen / Buy

    Bristol psyche group Beak bring the fun with this track from their forthcoming album, plus a B-side remix by Arcade Fire’s Win Butler. Geoff Barrow takes time off Twitter to produce a wonderfully slinky few minutes of retro funk and kosmische synthwork guaranteed to get things moving at the discotheque.


    LPs


    Various Artists

    We Out Here

    (Brownswood)

    Listen / Buy

    Showcasing London’s vibrant and inspiring young jazz scene, Gilles Peterson imprint Brownswood assembles an all-star selection of the city’s finest musicians. Recorded over the course of three days, the 2xLP We Out Here collection features 9 new tracks from Moses Boyd (who released his Absolute Zero EP on VF in 2017), Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Triforce, Joe Armon-Jones, Ezra Collective, Theon Cross, Kokoroko and Maisha. Remember these names. Future’s looking so bright you’re gonna need some serious shades.


    Wolf Müller & Niklas Wandt

    Instrumentalmusik Von Der Mitte Der World

    (Growing Bin)

    Listen / Buy

    Hamburg’s Growing Bin bloom into 2018 with a majestic double LP from Düsseldorf’s king of tropical drums, Wolf Müller and Berlin percussion chief Niklas Wandt. As you might expert from such a rhythmic collaboration, ‘Instrumentalmusik’ is chock-full of danceable grooves, each beat meted out via pots, pans, bottles and cans, and even a mystical skull. Taking to their task like a pair of big kids in the kindergarten instrument tray, Müller and Wandt work up a modern day masterpiece of retro-futurist tribalism, interrupting extended hypno-heaters with shamanic library-style interludes. Snap up a copy and hear the drummers get wicked.


    Field Music

    Open Here

    (Memphis Industries)

    Listen / Buy

    If you haven’t come across Field Music yet then you are in for a real treat. The dynamic duo of Peter and David Brewis have been releasing solid records for some time now and this, their sixth, is easily the best yet. Open Here is kind of like the best album from the ’80s you’ve never heard. Like the soundtrack to a long lost John Hughes film, it’s got tunes galore, real ‘up’ melodies and hooks that will have you humming all day.


    Conjoint

    Earprints

    (DDS)

    Listen / Buy

    It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, and after some excellent releases in 2017 this remastered reissue of Conjoint’s second LP opens their 2018 account. There are some significant credentials in electronic music and jazz amongst the collective that put this one together back in 2000, and as a highly immersive listen from start to finish, Earprints is well worth a spin.


    Hookworms

    Microshift

    (Domino)

    Listen / Buy

    Leeds group Hookworms do the seemingly impossible and make psych rock fun with their third and most joyous record. Though in vogue synths are added copiously, the record only strays slightly from their signature sound, meaning that Microshift will gather a whole pile of new fans without alienating lovers of their previous misery sludge.

  • Our 20 favourite 12″s of 2017

    By | December 5, 2017

    From essential track IDs to crafted EPs.

    Having picked out our favourite 7″s and 10″s, we turn our attention to the 12″ in the second of our retrosepctive rundowns of the last twelve months.

    And just as 7″s no longer represent the year’s biggest chart hits, so has it been some time since 12″s were exclusively the domain of the dance floor.

    From the simple 2-track club banger to EPs that border on mini-albums, we’ve demanded that each 12″ offers something more than just an aggregation of the year’s best tracks.

    Some though, like Objekt, Denis Sulta and Bufiman do represent the year’s most urgent dance music, or in the case of Bicep, Four Tet and Nathan Fake distil new albums in more forms.

    This year, the 12″ has also been the friend of the UK’s burgeoning grassroots jazz movement, capturing the nascent scene as it grows and evolves, whether on Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin’s Idiom, Moses Boyd’s Absolute Zero or the improvised voyages of A.R.E. Project.

    And finally, the 12″ was also home to several beautifully crafted EPs, cementing concepts and musical ideas – from Fatima al Qadiri’s provocative sexual politics to LAPS’ DIY dancehall – that circumvent generic boundaries for something true to the musical diversity of 2017.

    You may have also noticed that we’ve changed the emphasis of our lists this year away from the tired, arbitrary and frankly over-used ‘best’, to the more openly subjective ‘favourite’. We believe this more accurately reflects the fact that these rundowns are essentially recommendations of what we’ve enjoyed most this year, as selected by our weekly contributors Patrick Ryder, James Hammond and Chris Summers, alongside VF’s editorial team, Gabriela Helfet and Anton Spice.

    What were your favourites this year? Let us know in the comments below.

    See the rest of our 2017 review:

    Our 50 favourite albums of 2017
    Our 10 favourite 7″s of 2017
    Our 12 favourite reissue singles of 2017
    Our 30 favourite reissues of 2017
    Our 12 favourite soundtracks of 2017
    Our 12 favourite record sleeves of 2017


    20. Bicep

    Glue EP

    (Ninja Tune)

    Listen / Buy

    Bicep may have dropped their long-awaited debut album, taking first place as the most track ID-requested producers of the year by a country mile in the process, but the audio pinnacle from this Belfast duo actually came in the form of their final release of 2017. The Glue EP delivered one of the LP’s finest cuts on the A-Side, plus fresh tracks which included the delightfully acid-tinged ‘DLR’ on the reverse. – GH


    19. Dazion

    Don’t Get Me Wrong

    (Second Circle)

    Listen / Buy

    This curveball dropped right at the start of 2017 and hasn’t left the record bag since. Lead track ‘Be A Man’ sashays across the dance floor with jasmin-infused disco pizzazz, lush synths and a belly-dance bassline underpinned by sharp-as-brass percussive shuffle. Things take a step down to Room 2 on ‘Rigola’, the groove staying in the pocket, with vibraphones to the fore. A triumph for the Music From Memory off-shoot that was heard far and wide this year. – AS


    18. Carla Dal Forno

    The Garden

    (Blackest Ever Black)

    Listen / Buy

    A VF favourite coming off the strength of last year’s debut full length You Know What Its Like and its accompanying singles, this year gave us four new cuts from Carla Dal Forno which made for more essential listening. An artist who sets out an alluring sound world of mysterious and uneasy pop music, The Garden carried on where her debut left off in its sparingly affective structures and ability to craft distinctive vocal hooks that work their way in with repeated listens. – JH


    17. Denis Sulta

    Nein Forteate EP

    (Sulta Selects)

    Listen / Buy

    Glasgow homebro Denis Sulta launched his own label with two choice EPs this year, the highlight of which was its inaugural release, Nein Forteate, featuring ‘Dubelle Oh XX (JVIP)’. The kind of synthy club anthem that Sulta is rightly becoming known for, its greatness lies about 3 and a half minutes in, when the track, seemingly at its peak, suddenly cuts out… Is it a mistake, a DJ faux pas, a power problemo? Nah. It’s Sulta bringing in a silky smooth “ohhhh yeah” vocal, before dropping the ole hook in back again to maximum effect. – GH


    16. Beatrice Dillon & Call Super

    ‘Inkjet / Fluo’

    (Hessle Audio)

    Listen / Buy

    One of our favourite collaborations of the year also appears on one of our favourite labels in sweet symbiosis, as Beatrice Dillon unites with Call Super for this Hessle Audio affair. As with many of the 12”s gracing this year’s list, the A-Side ‘Inkjet’ is a legit slice of aqua electronics, but it’s the flip – ‘Fluo’ – that we’ve been rinsing since it dropped. A soundtrack for the robot takeover to come, with Blade Runner-esque dial tones making way for exquisite saxxy breakdowns midway through. Proof, if ever you needed it, that no B-side should be left unturned. – GH


    15. Avalon Emerson

    Whities 013

    (Whities)

    Listen / Buy

    Avalon Emerson returns to Whities for the follow-up to her Narcissus in Retrograde EP – one of our favourite 12”s of 2016 – on a different, but no less excellent, tip. With this catchy double-dose, she continues her well deserved ascent as one of the most exciting producers around: ‘One More Fluorescent Rush’ serves glitchy, spaced out feels, before ‘Finally Some Common Ground’ takes off on a Soichi Terada-esque, one-way trip to the intergalactic mothership. – GH


    14. Four Tet

    ‘SW9 9SL / Planet’

    (Text Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Aside from a couple of split 12”s last year, 2017 marked something of a return to the prolific output we’ve come to expect from Kieran Hebden, releasing a handful of 12”s, a load of material via multiple Spotify aliases, some brilliant remixes, the year’s most ID’d edit ‘Question’, and a new full-length infamously made using just a laptop and a view over some unspectacular woodland. Thankfully, the album’s two stand-out tracks were also collected on this limited 12”. Propulsive, melodic dance music for the headphones or the dance floor, ‘Planet’ is Four Tet’s finest since There Is Love In You. – AS


    13. Craven Faults

    Netherfield Works

    (Lowfold Works)

    Listen / Buy

    Elusive, evasive, but delivered with unerring authority, Craven Faults is one of this year’s wildcards. Arriving on a mysterious label with a soaring two-track EP of airborne krautrock, Netherfield Works pays its dues to ’70s Düsseldorf and the San Francisco Tape Music Centre and casts them to the English winds, forging two sprawling tracks from within a nest of patch cables in an old Yorkshire textile mill. A modular synth record that, like recent works by Kaityln Aurelia Smith seems to shed its machined origins to become something altogether more organic, Netherfield Works overflows across two sixteen minute tracks that will appeal to fans of Cluster, Steve Reich and the like. – AS


    12. Fatima Al Quadiri

    Shaneera

    (Hyperdub)

    Listen / Buy

    Few EPs set out to challenge norms and hegemonies like Fatima Al Qadiri’s Shaneera, which riffs on the English mispronunciation of the Arabic word for “outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul.” Reconstructing snippets of Grindr chats, online drag and femme comedy skits, and Iraqi proverbs into a hybrid vernacular built from Kuwaiti and Egyptian Arabic, Shaneera is an intoxicating listen – all menacing dubbed-out electronic arrangements – and a self-confessed “love letter to evil and benevolent queens around the world.” – AS


    11. Bufiman

    ‘Peace Moves’

    (Dekmantel)

    Listen / Buy

    Dekmantel celebrated a decade as a champion of left-field, dance floor meditations by delivering its strongest year yet, hosting an annual sell-out festival in Holland, a smaller soiree in Croatia, and releasing some of the label’s finest music along the way, including Dekmantel 10 Years 04 EP and Juju & Jordash’s Sis-Boom-Bah LP. However, it was Bufiman aka Wolf Muhler’s Peace Moves EP that best represented the weird af and wonderfully off-kilter sonics which have come to define the Dutch imprint. A seemingly bizarre combination of growling vocals and cranky, bent out of shape jack-in-the-box effects that sounds so wrong it’s right. – GH


    10. Moses Boyd

    Absolute Zero

    (The Vinyl Factory / Exodus)

    Listen / Buy

    Drummer and producer Moses Boyd exploded into the wider musical consciousness with ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ in 2016, and this EP, co-released between VF and his own Exodus imprint, was his much-anticipated follow up. Ditching the horn stabs for shimmering krauty synths, Absolute Zero was born out of Boyd’s solo live shows but has since been reintegrated into the Exodus band with which he has sold out the likes of Corsica Studios and Jazz Café this year. Underpinned by his live-wire drum sound, this EP swells with a restless ease, referencing influences as broad as grime, ambient and hip-hop, rooting this new jazz mode in an urban context. One of the year’s breakthrough artists, expect to hear much more of Moses in the coming months. As objective as we can possibly be, the soft-touch laminate artwork by Optigram may also make this one of our favourite sleeves of the year. – AS


    9. Agnes Obel

    ‘Stretch Your Eyes (Quiet Village Remix)’

    (Phonica Special Editions)

    Listen / Buy

    You don’t need us to tell you how great it is to share a building with a record shop, let alone one as consistently on point as Phonica. So when manager Simon Rigg called us into his office one afternoon last summer with news of an extra special 12” on one of the shop’s in-house imprints we knew it was going to be good. Here Quiet Village pull apart Danish singer Agnes Obel’s ‘Stretch Your Eyes’ into a dark and dubby chorale, backed by an eerie a cappella imbued with the same haunting longevity of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrops’. – AS


    8. SW. / SVN

    ‘Sued 18’

    (SUED)

    Listen / Buy

    Who needs things like track names when the music can do the talking? Not SW. that’s who. The producer follows up a close-to-perfect 2016 LP (appropriately called The Album) to team up with SUED co-founder SVN. SUED 18 kicks off with Pepe Bradock-esque house heaviness on the A-Side, plus a knockout, subdued techno ride on the reverse. – GH


    7. Floating Points

    ‘Ratio (Deconstructed Mixes)’

    (Pluto Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Though Floating Points debuted versions of the slow-rolling, emotional synth-filled ‘Ratio’ via live shows and DJ sets last year, it finally saw a long-awaited official release this October. Well worth the wait, ‘Ratio’ is a shimmering number that harkens back to Floating Points’ supreme ‘Myrtle Avenue’ and ‘ARP3’ fare. And though it may seem like a mere sales gimmick to release the track in ‘deconstructed’ parts, as he did on the B-side, it’s not. If you caught his live set this year, this seemingly fractured 12″ actually makes perfect sense because no live version of ‘Ratio’ was identical. An exciting hint that the best of his new material is yet come. – GH


    6. Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin

    Idiom

    (YAM Records)

    Listen / Buy

    A record that captures the jazz routes and roots coursing through London at the moment, tying together the convergent legacies of broken beat, house, 2-step and fusion that having been coalescing south of the river for some time. Aside from being assembled from a quintet of fiercely accomplished musicians (Armon-Jones & Owin are joined here by Nubya Garcia, Oscar Jerome and Jake Long), Idiom is a refreshingly playful record that never takes itself too seriously. With discrete improvisations woven into the fabric of each track, Idiom is greater than the sum of its parts, and a testament to the community that has helped elevate it. – AS


    5. Nathan Fake

    Providence Reworks – Part I

    (Ninja Tune)

    Listen / Buy

    A primer on how a track, in this case Nathan Fake’s ‘DEGREELESSNESSS’ from his Providence LP, can be turned into (two times the) greatness, thanks to formidable edits. A-Side sees Overmono assuming the rework duties to craft one of the anthems of 2017’s festival season, teasing out the most euphoric moments of ‘DEGREELESSNESS’ across seven and half minutes. Meanwhile, a no less worthy of rotation revamp from Huerco S brings a psychedelic, Middle Eastern-hued séance to send you into a zen-filled trance. – GH


    4. LAPS

    Who Me?

    (MIC)

    Listen / Buy

    LAPS are Ladies As Pimps, the Glasgow duo and Golden Teacher affiliates forging an industrial dancehall sound that’s unlike anything else we heard this year. If there’s one big hit here it would be title track ‘Who Me?’, which finds a sweet spot between the sensual, the confrontational and the surreal we had no idea existed. It’s a trick ‘Edges’ manages too, before rounding off the EP with the fragmented “pyjama house” of ‘Lady Bug’. A charismatic record that pulls no punches, and a fine first foray into new music for 2017 label newcomer MIC. – AS


    3. Objekt

    Objekt #4

    (Objekt)

    Listen / Buy

    If in January someone had told us one of the biggest tracks of the year would be a slowed-down two-step garage beat-meets-techno superjam, we would have been rather confused about what the year held in store. But so it was. TJ Hertz’s first release since 2014, a 12” on the club-focused white label series under his Objekt alias, stormed dance floors far and wide thanks to its unexpected B-Side. ‘Theme From Q’ is the kind of track that works in sets of all shapes, speeds and sizes, because it’s just that great. – GH


    2. Hieroglyphic Being, Sarathy Korwar & Shabaka Hutchings

    A.R.E. Project EP

    (Technicolour)

    Listen / Buy

    Arguably one of the UK’s most prolific and inspiringly creative musicians, Shabaka Hutchings leant his saxophone touch to a number of contenders for our favourite releases of the year, including the Comet Is Coming’s psychedelic jazz 12” Death To The Planet 12”. That said, A.R.E. Project, a unique and forward-thinking, improvised collaboration between Hutchings, Hieroglyphic Being and Sarathy Korwar was the obvious choice. Captured during a completely live, two hour performance aboard a studio moored inside a ship along the Thames, the EP sees cosmic sax merging with Indonesian folk music and space-age electronics for a truly one-of-a-kind result. – GH


    1. Sudan Archives

    Sudan Archives

    (Stones Throw)

    Listen / Buy

    One of this year’s most enchanting debuts came from violinist, producer and vocalist Sudan Archives, whose self-titled EP on Stones Throw takes the award for our favourite 12” of 2017. Channelling the bedroom RnB production that sustained her early forays into music into an outward-looking hybrid sound, Archives draws as much on North African melodies and instrumentation as Stones Throw’s storied left-field hip-hop tradition.

    A self-taught violinist, she weaves finger picking rhythms into the fabric of her productions, and uses its sawing melancholy to lend a gorgeous nostalgia to each song. And while ‘Come Meh Way’ might be the track you’ll have heard most, ‘Oatmeal’ and ‘Goldencity’ exude the same singular clarity, marking out a route between the percussive, earthy RnB of opening track ‘Paid’ and the syncopated folk musings of final track ‘Wake up’. A modest record, both utterly new yet uncannily familiar, we revisited this EP time and again this year, and can’t wait to hear what comes next. – AS


    Illustration by Patch D Keyes.

  • Brownswood to release compilation showcasing London’s bright young jazz scene

    By | December 5, 2017

    With musical director Shabaka Hutchings at the helm.

    Gilles Peterson imprint Brownswood has assembled an all-star selection of London’s finest jazz musicians for a new 2xLP collection called We Out Here, released this February.

    Read more: Beyond Borders: How immigration shaped British jazz

    Recorded over the course of three days, the album features 9 new tracks from Moses Boyd (who released his Absolute Exodus EP via Vinyl Factory earlier this year), Maisha, Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Triforce, Joe Armon-Jones, and Kokoroko.

    “Surveying the way that London’s jazz-influenced music had spread outside of its usual spaces in recent years, this album bottles up some of the vital ideas emanating from that burgeoning movement,” shares the label.

    “Giving a platform to a scene where mutual cooperation and a DIY spirit are second-nature, it’s a window into the wide-eyed future of London’s musical underground.”

    The musicians will also be bringing the album to life during a special 3-day event at Total Refreshment Centre 25th – 27th January, which will feature performances, panel discussions, and debut screenings of a documentary film about the making of the album and the scene that inspired it.

    We Out Here is out 9th February on Brownswood; pre-order a copy here, and check out the track list below.

    Tracklist

    1. Maisha – Inside The Acorn
    2. Ezra Collective – Pure Shade
    3. Moses Boyd – The Balance
    4. Theon Cross – Brockley
    5. Nubya Garcia – Once
    6. Shabaka Hutchings – Black Skin, Black Masks
    7. Triforce – Walls
    8. Joe Armon-Jones – Go See
    9. Kokoroko – Abusey Junction

  • Moses Boyd wins MOBO for Best Jazz Act 2017

    By | November 21, 2017

    The South London drummer does it again.

    Moses Boyd has won the MOBO for Best Jazz Act 2017, taking the award for a second time following his previous triumph in 2015.

    Read next: Moses Boyd on the drummers that shape his sound

    Posting on Instagram, Moses said: “This music is so much bigger than me, and this award represents so many more people than just me.”

    It’s been a particularly busy year for the young drummer and producer, releasing his second album as Binker & Moses, Journey to the Mountain of Forever on Gearbox Records, producing Zara McFarlane’s new LP Arise on Brownswood and, of course, releasing his second solo EP Absolute Zero, with The Vinyl Factory.

    Boyd was short-listed for the gong at the MOBO Pre-Awards (which raises the curtain on the main event) alongside Cuban vocalist Daymé Arocena, Terrace Martin, Mr Jukes, and Clevland Watkiss.

    Congratulations from everyone here at VF!

  • Yo Selector! with Moses Boyd

    By | November 7, 2017

    The London drummer and producer inaugurates our new short film series.

    Yo Selector! is here and ready to take you into the deepest corners of your favourite DJ’s record bag.

    From the weirdest bargain bin finds, to the juciest slow jams, rarest samples and stone-cold floor-emptiers, every DJ has his or her own individual approach to building a set. It’s these records that we’re setting out to discover and share with you.

    To get us underway, we teamed up with Dimensions Festival over the summer to meet a handful of the selectors and artists who helped shape the eclectic and open-minded line-up.

    First up, it’s jazz drummer, producer and South London all-rounder Moses Boyd, who shot to prominence in 2016 with his Four Tet and Floating Points-mixed ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’, before releasing his follow up EP Absolute Zero with The Vinyl Factory this summer.

    Add to that his Binker & Moses project, which is one of our favourite albums of the year so far, and production work on Zara McFarlane’s new Brownswood LP Arise, and it becomes clear that Moses’ musical output is as varied as the records he DJs with.

    Touching on everything from Bulgarian choir music to Ginuwine, get your track IDs at the ready for Yo Selector! with Moses Boyd.

  • Scientists with soul: Moses Boyd on the drummers that shape his sound

    By | July 27, 2017

    What happens when you grow up on Max Roach, Wiley and Aphex Twin?

    It’s no secret that London has one of the most exciting young jazz scenes in the world right now. Driven by an open-minded, pluralistic spirit keen to reassert jazz’s roots as urban music, musicians like South London drummer Moses Boyd embody the city’s multi-faceted creative identity. Taking the music from recital halls and exclusive sessions to night clubs and festivals, the music formerly known as jazz is becoming more fully integrated with grime, hip-hop and dance music than ever before.

    And when you’ve grown up on a diet as diverse as Max Roach, Wiley and Aphex Twin, it’s no surprise that what comes out speaks a wholly new language. The follow-up to his Four Tet & Floating Points-mixed breakthrough ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’, Moses Boyd is back with his second solo EP Absolute Zero on The Vinyl Factory. To mark the release, we caught up with the drummer and producer to find out what’s got him where he is today.


    Take us back to your first steps in music. Where did it all start for you?

    I didn’t come from a particularly musical family, so I started drums at about 13 or 14. Prior to that I hadn’t really played much or done anything serious on instruments. I didn’t go to a great school but luckily they had a really great music department. Initially I wanted to play saxophone, but I couldn’t play saxophone because they had too many in the school band at that time, so they gave me a euphonium, which is like a small tuba, which is not what anybody wants to play. And I was actually quite good at it, but I remember walking one day with it to the practice room and seeing somebody play drums in another room and was like ‘why am I playing this thing? I want to do that!”

    What were the things that really took your interest at that age?

    For me, I don’t know if there was one particular thing, but my teacher had loads of drum students and they were all trying to be Travis Barker. I spotted the difference early on between him and his students, basically the difference between a jazz drummer and a rock drummer in terms of technique and touch. When he stared showing me records by Max Roach and Philly Joe Jones, I gravitated to that a lot more. And the more I got into it, the more it opened me up to other things. Getting into Tony Williams, tracing it from Tony Williams to Lifetime to John McLaughlin, and John played with Miles Davis, and then I was up to fusion, checking out Return To Forever, Lenny White, Alphonse Mouzon, all sorts of things. I spent years not really watching TV, just listening to records, soaking it up.

    There’s obviously also a lot of influence coming from outside of jazz too?

    From the very beginning I was interested in music technology and while I was playing drums, I was learning alongside that how to use Qbase, how to sequence, and I had another really good teacher, who was also in the field. Alongside learning how to be Max Roach, I don’t neglect the influence of just being from South East London around that time. Grime is happening, people like Wiley, Roll Deep and P Money. I’d go to my drum lesson and get my jazz and then I’d come out and someone would show me a video of Southside Allstars.

    I was getting them both at the same time, while also learning how to record drums and sequence beats. People were showing me all sorts of producers, like Madlib, J Dilla, my teacher is putting me onto Jeff Buckley, Nine Inch Nails, Russell Elevado, learning why a drum kick sounds like that, how they used tape machines. I was getting into people like Björk and Aphex Twin, as well as the Soulquarians thing, and my teacher was really into Cuban percussion so showing me that too.

    In short, a really broad palette…

    I’ve always written music from the moment I started playing drums, so I’m soaking all these influences. I was getting such a wealth of music, that when it came to me creating my own thing, it wasn’t so much even about individual influences. I’m getting information from a drum perspective, from a mix perspective, from a production perspective. So I think that’s why when I put something out on Exodus I’m so interested in how it actually sounds.

    From a production side of things you’re actively working on your own stuff too?

    I prefer analogue, but that’s just me. I love things that have character and that aren’t quite right. The new EP Aboslute Zero is mainly built around analogue gear. If it’s slightly weird and it feeds back every now and again or you have to hit that key to make it work, beat it or leave it some time to warm up, I really like it!

    Where does this new music fit into the work you’ve been doing? I imagine a lot of people quote ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ at you a lot as the breakthrough moment…

    For me my process has been unchanged. I always write music with no initial idea of where or how I’m going to put it out. Even something like ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ I wrote in its raw form when I was like 17 but didn’t decide to record it until two years ago. Similarly with this music, some of it came together more recently and some were old ideas that I had floating about but never really found a space for.

    Initially I was writing it for a solo set where it’s just me and a laptop in a club and I was basically trying to write a new set with no preconceived ideas. I was really getting into the sounds I could make with these pieces of gear and mixing it with drums and as I got a couple of tracks in it began to have a really cohesive sound because I was using the same gear and the same approach. It formed its own body of work.

    It’s interesting that you talk already in terms of making music for a club environment, which is not somewhere traditionally associated with jazz. The success of Rye Lane Shuffle has been particularly instrumental in or indicative of how jazz in London is crossing over to a new audience. It feels like an integrated strain of urban music again, on a level with grime, hip-hip and dance music.

    I’ve noticed it definitely change since I started playing drums and entered the “jazz world”. There’s always been great music happening but I think the scenes were very insular and separated. You either went raving, or you want to late night jam sessions. I can’t really explain why it’s happened, but I’m glad it’s happened, whether it’s someone like Nubya Garcia doing XOYO, or (what was) Yussef Kamaal, people like Dego & Kaidi doing Church Of Sound, myself doing Corsica studios.

    At least for my part I’ve always been very aware from the start of where I chose to do gigs and how to push it in a certain market. Nowadays creators are more aware of how they market and brand their music and I think the infrastructure has caught up so there are more outlets for them to do that.

    In the states, also having people like Kamasi Washington playing on Kendrick’s album is so present in such a mainstream way…

    There was definitely a defining moment when To Pimp A Butterfly came where everyone realised that this is true. Nothing was the same after that, and I’m glad. And there were always questions like, why isn’t Kaidi like a UK Herbie Hancock, because he is. Why is this not seen as cool as the latest pop star? It’s changed and it’s great.

    Let’s duck back a moment and catch up with your roots on the drums. Talk us through your five most influential drummers…

    Max Roach

    Max Roach was one of the first for me, early on. My drum teacher was showing me loads of drummers, and I’m sure I’m sure I’m not alone, but when you’ve never heard be-bop before aged 14, to me it didn’t make sense. That was until I heard Max Roach albums like Drums Unlimited, and I really understood it because he’s like a scientist with soul, if you know what I mean. It’s so clear, structured and precise and leaves no room for ambiguity and it’s amazing. Max was such a good foundation and it was what I needed, someone to structure that style of music for me to transcribe and learn from. He still is a massive influence. His records with Clifford Brown are amazing. Him and Clifford had such a synergy. Or on Sonny Rollins’ Saxophone Colossus.


    Vinnie Colaiuta

    Vinnie Colaiuta has kind of done everything under the sun. I had mad aspirations to be a session drummer, and I really respect the fact that he could throw the beat in any situation. He’s played with Frank Zappa, and everyone from Herbie Hancock to Joni Mitchell. I love and respecte his diversity and his fluidity to move between gigs. Not to mention he’s an insane drummer. It’s similar for me, I was getting the jazz and I wanted some of the fusion aspects to my playing too. He was a massive influence on me early on. His discography is so immense it’s hard ignore. I never liked doing the same thing twice and Vinnie to me was the embodiment of that.


    Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts

    Coming straight out of the Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey school of thought but from a fusion angle, Tain redefined the drum sound really. Playing with Wynton and Brandford Marsalis for years he defined the modern jazz quartet drum language. He is still such an archetypal figure, especially when you listen to how drummers play nowadays. I think Marsalis Standard Time, Vol. I by Wynton Marsaillas was the first jazz album that I bought for myself and I remember listening to ‘Autumn Leaves’ and not understanding how he was doing this metric modulation. It’s really complicated, but he makes it groove, changes time signature every bar up until the bridge and it fits perfectly in terms of the maths. When you’re listening to it you’re like, “There’s something crazy going on here”. He’s another one, who with Max, made the science of it funky. He’s so complex as to how he chooses to displace beats, but he always grooves. I don’t think I try to sound like Tain, but it’s definitely in there.


    Roy Haynes

    Roy Haynes is interesting because he’s a bit older than Max but he’s still alive now and still playing great drums. And if you look at his discography he’s played with everyone from Louis Armstrong to Jimi Hendrix. The amount of music that man has seen, it’s insane. What is interesting to me is how his drums sound. You listen to his records with Andrew Hill like Black Fire and Smoke Stack. Rudy Van Gelder man, he smashed it! But Roy’s drums still sound like that today. The way he tunes his bass drum to have its own resonant tone, it’s like a note that just penetrates through the mix constantly. And his touch on the snare drum is so crisp. His cymbals are so bright, which is interesting for wa jazz drummer because jazz drummers are always trying to be dark and cool. He was so loose and fluid and electrifying at the same time. I don’t know whether I’ve got that yet, but I want to have my own voice with the drums.


    Ed Blackwell

    Ed Blackwell played with Ornette Coleman and he’s from New Orleans where they’ve got a great tradition of amazing drummers. Him and Vernel Fournier, who played with the Ahmad Jamal Trio, have very similar sounds. They’re from the street, man, they know how to do parades. The rhythm is so in there. Coming out of the jazz canon from be-bop til Coltrane the rhythm section was hinged around that “ting ting te ting” and walking bass hook-up. What stood out for me about Ed Blackwell is how on ‘T. & T.’ from the Ornette! album he does it but never does it. He almost uses the toms as his “ting ting te ting,” but he’s not playing “ting ting te ting,” if that makes sense? He’s adding his own grid of how to propel the groove, but not using the high end, using the mids and lows. It’s weird, on a phonic level you’d think playing mid and low end would muddy the bass, but it never feels unclean.

    To me he’s one of the unsung heroes of polyrhythmic playing. People talk about Elvin [Jones] a lot, and as much as I love him, when you really analyse Elvin, I can’t really say it’s polyrhythms. He’s got triplet feels going along, which is amazing, but it’s not really like a polyrhythm. Whereas when you listen to Ed Blackwell on ‘T. & T.’ you’ve got like four independent rhythms happening at once. He went and studied somewhere in West Africa and you can hear how he’s mixed that in with his New Orleans street drum tradition, as well as taking Max Roach solos and making them as angular as he can. He really opened me up to the way you use the snare drum and the kick drum and the high-hat. There’s no reason why the snare drum has to be where it is in the mix or on the two and four. It doesn’t have to be how everyone does it. You can mix it up, so why not try something different?


    Moses Boyd’s Absolute Zero is released on 12″ vinyl on 5th August. Pre-order your copy here.

    Moses Boyd portraits: Eddie Otchere

  • The 20 best albums of 2017 so far

    By | June 30, 2017

    The year’s essential new albums for your collection.

    Having rounded-up the 10 best reissues of 2017 so far, we turn our attention to new albums, rounding up the twenty titles that have been on rotation at VF HQ in the last six months.

    Taken from our weekly recommended releases lists or from artists regularly covered on the site, this list should give a snapshot of what we believe are the most interesting and prescient new albums available on vinyl to add to your record collection.

    As ever, this is a broad church and given that we dig widely, don’t be surprised to find new music from Mali alongside major film soundtracks, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. next to independent jazz from South London’s young pretenders.

    As well as affirming what’s already known, hopefully you’ll discover something new along the way too.


    sampha

    Sampha

    Process

    (Young Turks)

    Listen / Buy

    Sampha returned to his roots after a year of high-profile collaborations with a tender, vulnerable solo debut for Young Turks. Process is a coming-of-age record born of difficult circumstances that is all the more beguiling for the hurt that’s on show. While the lyricism is as poignant as ever, Sampha’s experience as a producer shines through strongest here with tracks like ‘100% Plastic’ and ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ manipulating the silence and space between his words to devastating effect. A redemptive record bursting with ideas, confidence and the odd left turn.


    Josef Leimberg

    Astral Progressions

    (World Galaxy Records / Alpha Pup Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Stepping out from behind a who’s who of RnB and hip-hop collaborations that has seen him work with Erykah Badu, Funkadelic, Snoop Dogg and snag a credit on Kendrick Lamar’s masterpiece To Pimp A Butterfly, trumpet player Josef Leimberg released his debut solo work last autumn. Flying below the radar, Leimberg’s afro-futurist manifesto Astral Progressions has finally made it to vinyl and for-the-love-of-Sun Ra was it worth the wait. Featuring a cast of stellar musicians including Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Georgia Anne-Muldrow, it steers a gentle path through neighbouring galaxies of deep soul, tempestuous jazz fusion and buoyant hip-hop that will make fans of Robert Glasper, Sa-Ra Creative Partners and any of those mentioned above very happy indeed. Look out for the cover of Miles Davis’ ‘Lonely Fire’ and Tokio Aoyama’s Bitches Brew-referencing artwork too.


    awesome-tapes

    Awa Poulo

    Poulo Warali

    (Awesome Tapes From Africa)

    Listen / Buy

    Having notched up 10 years in 2016, Awesome Tapes From Africa kicked off its second decade with a reel of enchanting songs from the Mali-Mauritania border. Unlike many of the label’s projects, this release showcases Peulh singer Awa Poulo’s newest work, a dexterous pop-folk collection that weaves her incantatory vocals with acoustic flute riffs, shuffling percussion and the odd moment raking guitar distortion.


    jackie

    Mica Levi

    Jackie OST

    (Milan Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Mica Levi’s Bafta-nominated Under The Skin OST was a sensation for horror, a genre rediscovering its creative vim amid a flood of reverential reissues. For her second major soundtrack gig, the polymath scored the Jackie Kennedy biopic with a similarly stirring control. A hugely sophisticated and moving soundtrack from an artist growing into herself and shaping the form as she goes. Essential.


    Visible Cloaks

    Reassemblage

    (RVNG Intl.)

    Listen / Buy

    Everything RVNG Intl. put out is worth paying attention to. Their latest turn sees Portland duo Visible Cloaks explore high-res ambient tones and Japanese musical influences, heard on their popular series of Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo mixes. With guest spots from Domino artist Motion Graphics, Matt Carlson and cult Japanese act Dip In The Pool’s Miyako Koda, Reassemblage was the brittle soundtrack to the late winter and well worth revisiting.


    Vangelis Katsoulis

    If Not Now When

    (Utopia Records)

    Listen / Buy

    In 2014, Into The Light records released an acclaimed collection of early synth works from Greek composer and electronic avant-gardist Vangelis Katsoulis. Followed by an enchanting remix EP, the reappraisal catapulted Katsoulis to the top of the diggers directory. On If Not Now When we get a snapshot of where Katsoulis is currently at, combining a minimalist sensibility with an organic instrumental flair, whether on the motorik opener ‘All The Blue Skies’ or the Gigi Masin-esque dreamscape ‘Liquidity’. A rich record that should appeal to soundtrack heads and adventurous dance music fans alike.


    Fabiano Do Nascimento

    Tempo Dos Mestres

    (Now-Again)

    Listen / Buy

    The Brazilian guitarist behind one of our favourite albums of 2015, Fabiano Do Nascimento returned to Egon’s Now-Again Records to stretch his virtuoso chops once for another melancholic, uplifting snapshot of contemporary Afro-Brazil as passed down from the elders. As with his debut, there’s so much to fall in love with here, with the gentle rhythmic majesty of tracks like ‘Baião’ and ‘Canto de Xangô’ vying with the yearning melodies of ‘Oya Nana’ for top spot in our affections. A stunning achievement, and one which we’ve returned to time and again.


    Kelly Lee Owens

    Kelly Lee Owens

    (Smalltown Supersound)

    Listen / Buy

    Fleshing out the previously released 12″ homage to Arthur Russell ‘Arthur’ and a sublime collaboration with Jenny Hval on ‘Anxi’, Kelly Lee Owens’ self-titled LP glides effortlessly between baroque techno arrangements, soaring Björk-like hyperballads and sparser club tracks, before alighting at the gorgeous closer ‘Keep Walking’ (Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ anyone?) Knitted together by Owens’ astute, fragile vocals, this is about as poised a debut as you’ll hear all year.


    Les Amazones D’Afrique

    République Amazone

    (Real World Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Few records have blown us away this year quite like the high-octane debut from all-female west African group Les Amazones D’Afrique. In the first instance, République Amazone is a protest record targeting the repression of women both on the continent and around the world – or as they said in a recent interview, “a love letter to men” – and one where the music is as fresh and urgent as the message. Produced by Mbongwana Star affiliate Doctor L (Liam Farrell), it seamlessly crafts a contemporary sound from fragments of the region’s traditional heritage, desert blues, syncopated synth-heavy funk and stack-rattling bass music. Quite possibly one of the most under-rated party records of the year, political or otherwise.


    Luka Productions

    Fasokan

    (Sahel Sounds)

    Listen / Buy

    A tip-off from someone close to VF, we might have missed this first time round in January, but it’s been a record we’ve kept coming back to. Fasokan veers between Balearic dreamscapes, cosmic mantras and a fourth world weirdness that’s practically impossible to place in space or time. Afro-cosmi-ambient-new-wave? No combination of hyphenated genres really gets close.


    Jlin

    Black Origami

    (Planet Mu)

    Listen / Buy

    In an explosion of skittish percussion and tremulous bass, Indiana’s Jlin returned with sophomore offering Black Origami via the evergreen Planet Mu. Keeping rhythm right at the forefront, the producer delivers a complex set of bass-heavy body music which sees the footwork framework refracted through the prism of globalised club culture. Boasting the aggressive exoticism of Lisbon’s batida and Durban’s gqomu alongside the shimmering sound design of trap, Black Origami is the vital sound of today…and tomorrow…and probably ten years in the future. You’ll not hear nothing like the mighty Jlin…


    Ryuichi Sakamoto

    async

    (Milan)

    Listen / Buy

    Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 16th solo record is well worth picking up for hardened fans and newcomers alike. Drawing upon the vast sound palette of piano experimentation, Satie-like motifs, pulsing synth and notions of ambient and fourth world sounds that he’s developed over the past four decades, here such ideas meet the influence of Andrei Tarkovsky as a soundtrack of sorts to an imaginary Tarkovsky film. A wide-ranging effort with many a hidden depth this one already sounds fitting amongst some of Sakamoto’s finest works.


    Binker & Moses

    Journey to the Mountain of Forever

    (Gearbox)

    Listen / Buy

    Prodigious young drummer Moses Boyd returned for his second full-length of deep spiritual improvisations with saxophonist Binker Golding. Heirs to the Coltrane sound, the pair are just as content to groove in the pocket as soar to incantatory heights, as they do on the album’s superb ‘Intoxication From The Jahvmonishi Leaves’. Both powerful and extraordinary agile, Journey to the Mountain of Forever is one of the most exciting jazz records to emerge from the UK’s young scene.


    Arca

    Arca

    (XL Recordings)

    Listen / Buy

    Arca’s third full-length LP and the first to expose his sheer and brittle voice to record. Vulnerable and controlled, the album begins with the elegiac ‘Piel’, his voice echoing tenderly within the cathedrals of sound Arca-the-producer is so adept at creating. The track points to a shifting relationship that the voice adds to Arca’s work, where his maximalist, claustrophobic sonic structures appear somehow more distant and spacious, as if allowing his voice to physically inhabit them. As grandiose as Björk’s Vulnicura, to which Arca contributed, and heaving with operatic melodrama, it’s an album that somehow makes everything which came before seem incomplete. A self-titled rebirth, it’s as if we’re finally being introduced to the real Arca.


    Juana Molina

    Halo

    (Crammed Discs)

    Listen / Buy

    An absolute treat of a record from Argentine surrealist Juana Molina, who crafts a series of lush and beguiling miniatures for Belgian experiemntal outpost Crammed Discs. Built around the closely controlled softness of Molina’s voice, there’s a nostalgic, ephemeral air to tracks ‘Paraguaya’ or the drone-like ‘Lentísimo Halo’, in contrast to the live-wire electricity that courses through other stand-out ‘Cosoco’. A daring album, and essential for fans of Colleen, Stina Nordenstam or RVNG Intl.


    Brigid Mae Power

    The Ones You Keep Close

    (oscarson)

    Listen / Buy

    This Irish singer and multi-instrumentalist has the sort of swooping voice that could quiver at several paces. A lot of this short album contains nice traditional folk sounds backed by the lauded Peter Broderick but it’s when she stretches out to ‘Astral Weeks’ style sprawling jazz textures that the magic starts happening.


    LAPS

    Who Me?

    (MIC)

    Listen / Buy

    OK, cheating slightly, as this 5-tracker is more EP than mini-LP, but who cares? Golden Teacher’s Lady Two Collars and Sue Zuki from Organs Of Love unite as LAPS (aka Ladies as Pimps) for an anarchic slice of Glaswegian attitude, soaked in dubbed-out post-punk and industrial dancefloor machinations. While the heavyweight analogue production will appeal to fans of Optimo, Trevor Jackson et al. there’s a more soulful quality to the record driven by the pair’s lush vocal interplay, from the dread RnB of ‘Ode To Daughter’ to the clipped euphoria of ‘Lady Bug.’ Check out their recent VF mix paying tribute to Cosey Fanni Tutti too.


    Kendrick Lamar
    DAMN.
    (TDE, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope)

    Listen / Buy

    The vinyl release may not have dropped quite yet, but King Kendrick’s latest still qualifies, because, how could it not? There’s little more to add to the discussion at this stage, especially in under 100 words, but it’s safe to say this will go down as another classic, more varied in style and attitude than To Pimp A Butterfly, but no less urgent. Battle cry ‘DNA’ and the Steve Lacey collab on ‘Pride’ are our personal stand-outs. Do your future self a favour and pre-order this on vinyl, so that when it arrives you’ve got no excuses not to revisit it again.


    Yazz Ahmed
    La Saboteuse
    (Naim records)

    Listen / Buy

    This new record from British-Bahraini trumpet player Yazz Ahmed was one of the great surprises of 2017 so far, a controlled and unpretentious jazz album that puts Ahmed front and centre of the UK’s young jazz scene. Synthesizing eastern themes with funk-laced Return To Forever fusion and spacious, almost soundtrack-esque modes La Saboteuse adds a mystic depth to the contemporary conversation. For more context, read Yazz Ahmed’s urgent editorial on the challenges facing women in jazz today here.


    Laurel Halo
    Dust
    (Hyperdub)

    Listen / Buy

    The freshest entry into this list, sneaking in even ahead of our weekly 10 best lists, Laurel Halo follows up 2013’s Chance Of Rain for her third and most accomplished album for Hyperdub. Returning in part to her treatment of the human voice from debut LP Quarantine, Dust has an almost virtuoso quality, tip-toeing light-footed across avant-garde incantations (‘Arschkreicher’), buoyant pop fragments (‘Moontalk’) and estranged RnB (‘Jelly’). Refusing to settle, Dust already feels like one of the more ambitious records of 2017.

  • Moses Boyd announces new solo EP Absolute Zero

    By | June 29, 2017

    London jazz drummer unleashes scintillating 4-track 12″.

    At the cutting edge of London’s vibrant jazz scene, drummer Moses Boyd will release his second solo EP Absolute Zero via The Vinyl Factory and his own Exodus Records label.

    The follow up to 2016’s sensational Rye Lane Shuffle – mixed by Floating Points and Four Tet and one of our favourite 12″s of the year – Boyd stretches the limits of the jazz form again, lacing seared synths with his virtuoso poly-rhythmic drumming, that dips and dives between grime, jungle, and motorik influences.

    It follows the release of his second drums and sax LP as Binker & Moses Journey To The Mountain Of Forever which dropped on Gearbox Records last month.

    Alongside the likes of Shabaka Hutchings, Collocutor, Yazz Ahmed and Ruby Rushton, Moses Boyd has helped revitalise jazz as an urgent new form of urban music, tearing the genre out of elite spaces and taking inspiration from hip-hop, grime, and underground dance music, as much as the canon of spiritual jazz heavyweights.

    With matt soft touch laminate artwork by Optigram, Absolute Zero has been pressed to heavyweight 12″ vinyl will be released on 4th August.

    Click here to pre-order your copy and see the artwork in more detail below.

  • The 10 best new vinyl releases this week (5th June)

    By | June 5, 2017

    Industrial RnB, Turkish electronics and deep jazz.

    This week’s new singles span the musical as well as the geographical map, with new music from Glasgow’s dubbed-out warped boogie duo LAPs, industrial-meets-traditional musics from Turkey and a real banger of a 12″ on R&S from Italy’s Michele Mininni.

    In the album section we profile seminal work by New York minimalist Tony Conrad, a five year retrospective for forward-thinking French electronic label Antinote and a new Coltrane-esque manifesto from London jazz duo Binker & Moses.

    Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder and James Hammond with help from Norman Records. 5 singles and 5 LPs every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


    CitiZen of Peace

    Human Nature / Heart Dance Remixes

    (Music Conception)

    Listen / Buy

    While scarcity doesn’t necessarily equate to quality, it does tend to make a record all the more desirable. Lucky then that this latest limited offering from Calm’s Music Conception imprint lands with enough interplanetary magic to more than match its pre-release hype and hefty price tag. On the A-side the label head drinks deep from the ceremonial gourd to transform CitiZen of Peace’s ‘Humanature’ into a dreamy, drifting dance floor cut in tune with Claussell’s Spiritual Life releases. The flipside plays host to Kuniyuki’s zero gravity version of ‘Heart Dance’, a stunning fusion of the organic, synthetic and psychedelic which loves up the listener like their very first candy flip.


    LAPS

    Who Me?

    (MIC)

    Listen / Buy

    Golden Teacher’s Lady Two Collars and Sue Zuki from Organs Of Love unite as LAPS (aka Ladies as Pimps) for an anarchic slice of Glaswegian attitude, soaked in dubbed-out post-punk and industrial dancefloor machinations. While the heavyweight analogue production will appeal to fans of Optimo, Trevor Jackson et al. there’s a more soulful quality to the EP driven by the pair’s lush vocal interplay, from the dread RnB of ‘Ode To Daughter’ to the clipped euphoria of ‘Lady Bug.’ Unlike anything else out there and utterly essential. Check out their recent VF mix paying tribute to Cosey Fanni Tutti too.


    The Fireworks

    Dream About You

    (Opposite Number)

    Listen / Buy

    More indie pop but this time from veterans of the scene (inc former members of Aberdeen and Wedding Present). This is a confident three tracker of buzzsaw guitars and dreamy vocals reminding you that good tunes still make the world go round.


    Nene Hatun

    Metacommunication

    (Bedouin Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Nene Hatun is the pseudonym of Turkish Berliner Bestie Aydin, and this new 12” follows on from a cassette and 7” single in showing a keen ability for subtly solidifying a beat and bringing a broad sound palette into the mix. Utilizing prepared piano, samples and field recordings in combination with electronics and a pulse that takes in a certain industrial influence alongside the traditional rhythms of darbuka and davul, this one’s a very worthy cross-
    pollination of sounds and ideas.


    Michele Mininni

    Rave Oscillations

    (R&S)

    Listen / Buy

    This is easily one of the best electronic 12″s of the year so far. Italy’s own Michele Mininni strikes back on R&S (after releases on Optimo and Curle) with the two track magic of ‘Rave Oscillations’. The title track lifts some Silver Apples drums and twists them into some serious dance floor magic while ‘Vortex Stasi’ on the flip goes a little bit rougher. Both tunes are killer. Believe.


    LPs


    Binker & Moses

    Journey to the Mountain of Forever

    (Gearbox)

    Listen / Buy

    Prodigious young drummer Moses Boyd returns for his second full-length of deep spiritual improvisations with saxophonist Binker Golding. Heirs to the Coltrane sound, the pair are just as content to groove in the pocket as soar to incantatory heights, as they do on the album’s superb ‘Intoxication From The Jahvmonishi Leaves’. Both powerful and extraordinary agile, Journey to the Mountain of Forever is one of the most exciting jazz records to emerge from the UK’s young scene.


    Various Artists

    Five Years Of Loving Notes

    (Antinote)

    Listen / Buy

    France’s freshest imprint celebrate half a decade of unpredictable excellence this week with a well dressed double pack of brand new material from frequent collaborators and new friends. Keeping things as wide-ranging and forward thinking as ever, the set switches between the slow and low weirdness of Nico Motte and Tolouse Low Trax, the playful dub of Domenique Dumont and Alek Lee and the abstract electro of Iueke and Leonardo Martelli without ever losing its unique otherworldly identity. Here’s to five more years of one of the best labels around!


    Beach Fossils

    Somersault

    (Bayonet)

    Listen / Buy

    If you were to buy just one of the sunny indie-pop records on offer this year (Real Estate, Hoops, Horsebeach etc) then make it this one. The Brooklyn dreamers have hit a career high with an album of delicious jangling indie that makes you want to go and jump in the sprinkler.


    Tony Conrad

    Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain

    (Superior Viaduct)

    Listen / Buy

    Rejecting the status quo in equal measures of vehement dissonance and gleeful absurdity, conventional tunings were often a subject of Conrad’s scorn, and this lovingly presented 2LP set represents another Conrad masterwork in exploding the possibilities of sound. Recorded back in 1971 at The Kitchen in NYC with Rhys Chatham and Laurie Spiegel as choice collaborators, this one is certainly no crude bootleg and serves as yet another reminder of the “indelible mark” Conrad’s works made, and their continuing currency in the present. Much missed a year following his passing, his oft-understated legacy continues to bloom, and this release along with recent documentary Completely In The Present serve as essential voyages into Conrad’s vital craft.


    USA/Mexico

    Laredo

    (Riot Season)

    Listen / Buy

    USA / MEXICO are a devastating three piece from Austin, Texas made up of Craig Clouse (Shit And Shine), King Coffey (Butthole Surfers) and Nate Cross (Marriage). The whispers are true, their debut album Laredo (released here through Riot Season and there through 12XU) is a skull crushing blast of thunderous drums, heavy as shit riffs and in places, a tiny menacing voice. There really is nothing like this out there anywhere. Limited vinyl only.

  • Rising jazz stars Binker & Moses release new album Journey to the Mountain of Forever on vinyl

    By | May 3, 2017

    At the vanguard of London’s young jazz scene.

    Saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd have announced their new album Journey to the Mountain of Forever via analogue jazz label Gearbox.

    The follow up to the duo’s acclaimed Dem One album (and Moses Boyd’s sought after Four Tet-produced Rye Lane Shuffle 12″) Binker & Moses’ urgent, iconoclastic sound has built a fervent young following at the cutting edge of London’s vibrant scene, crossing over into grime, hip-hop, and dance music.

    For Journey to the Mountain of Forever, the sax and drums duo are joined by a cast of names – established and establishing themselves – from free jazz legend Evan Parker and trumpet player Byron Wallen, to tabla star Sarathy Korwar – who recently released on Ninja Tune – and Yusseff Dayes of Brownswood’s irrepressible fusion outfit Yussef Kamaal.

    Recorded live from Mark Ronson’s Zelig studio direct to a 1960’s Studer C37 1/4” tape machine at Gearbox’s studio with no edits, drop-ins or mixing, Journey to the Mountain of Forever will be released via Gearbox on doubel vinyl on 2nd June, with 150 signed copies available for pre-order now. Get them here.

    Listen to the explosive ‘Valley of the Ultra Blacks’ below:

  • Virtuoso jazz drummers mingle in our latest vinyl-only mix

    By | May 26, 2016

    jazz drumming

    VF Mix 48 traces the work of Art Blakey and others.

    We’re chuffed to follow-up our recent mix tribute to legendary drummer Idris Muhammad with a brilliant vinyl-showcase of jazz drumming greats.

    The mix has been put together to mark the forthcoming Moses Boyd show in East London, which sees the young drummer cover songs from the Art Blakey songbook. At just 24-years old, Boyd is one of the most striking jazz voices we’ve heard in some time. He just released his first 12″ featuring the absolutely electric afro-jazz explosion that is ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ – a tantalising taste of what to expect from his forthcoming debut album, which has been mixed down by Four Tet & Floating Points.

    Here, Moses jumps behind the decks with DJ Lexus Blondin to lay down an hour of records with exceptional jazz drum sections. From hard bop guru Art Blakey to the utterly prolific Steve Gadd to versatile rhythm master Norman Connors, lose yourself below and keep scrolling for the tracklist and artwork.


    Tracklist:

    Lexus Blondin

    01. Pee Wee Marquette – ‘Announcement’ from Meet You At the Jazz Corner of the World (Blue Note, 1959)
    02. Kenny Dorham – ‘Afrodesia’ from Afro Cuban (Blue Note, 1955)
    03. Art Blakey – ‘Ping Pong’ from Thermo (Milestone Records, 1973)
    04. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – ‘Recuerdo’ from Buttercorn Lady (Limelight, 1966)
    05. The Art Blakey Percussion Ensemble – ‘Cubano Chant’ from Drum Suite (Columbia, 1957)

    Moses Boyd

    06. Art Blakey & Buddy Defranco Sextet – ‘Kush’ from Blue Bag (VeeJay, 1964)
    07. Bruce Ditmas – ‘Side Looking Radar Image’ (Chiaroscuro, 1977)
    08. Herbie Hancock – ‘Ostinato (Suite For Angela)’ from Mwandishi (Warner, 1971)
    09. Norman Connors – ‘Morning Change’ from Dance Of Magic (Cobblestone, 1972)
    10. Chick Corea – ‘Night Sprite’ from The Leprechaun (Polydor, 1976)

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