It would have been far too easy if John Forté — a Grammy nominated artist at the age of 21 from his participation on The Fugees‘ “Staying Alive” to a convicted felon — made his documentary, The Russian Winter purely a self-referential piece. Instead, he has created a documentary about his opportunity to soujorn the land of Russia in a quest to have his music heard. Organising shows across the country and performing for various charities with a host of other Russian musicians, viewers are given the opportunity experience a musicians world of learnings and challenges. The Russian Winter debuted at the recent Tribeca Film Festival and the next step is for it to be picked up. Check out the trailer below.
After releasing her self-produced EP Chameleon towards the end of 2009, Dezaray Dawn has been steadily building her catalogue. Last year she collaborated with UK producer Marc Mac(of 4Hero) on her second EP Deep. Now with “Over It,” the first single from her forthcoming album TheDawning, set to release in June, stays close to her musical sensibilities in funk soul, adding a little broken beat flare to it. It’s fresh. Check it out below and head over to her bandcamp fordownload.
It’s finally here, Seeing Her Naked, which is written, produced, and performed by Mar! Hauntingly delicious vocals, where Mar‘s range and falsettos give such emotion. Seeing Her Naked sounds like Mar actually bared all for us; a truly emotive strong collection of down- to mid-tempo songs, drawing on the styles that are current in sound, such as the opening track “Some to Remember” then to “Understand the Game” which brings in an 80s groove with a 2012 flare. What Seeing Her Naked illustrates is Mar‘s talent not only as a singer, but also a composer. We will definitely be hearing from from this artist as he spreads his wings wider in the field.
You can stream the entire EP below or visit his website to downloadSeeing Her Naked. Also to learn more about Mar, read the Loop 21 interview where Muphoric Sounds‘ editorial director, Vanessa Warren talked with him about his work and creative process.
Detroit techno/house musician, Kenny Dixon Jr, better known by pseudonym Moodymann, never steers us wrong! Picture This, a release through Scion A/V— an initiative that supports the development of passionate artists as they explore infinite possibilities —is classic Moodymann! It’s soulful, funky, and best of all, moody — providing those continuous dance-laden beats, with a smoothness synonymous with jazz, Brazilian, funk, and soul. The standout on this 8-track album is “Pray for Love,” which has these incredible music changes in tempo, in feel, and in funk. To get you started, check out the video for the opening track, “9 Nites 2 Nowhere.” Again, another track with a ton of surprises. Then head over to Scion A/V to get your download of Picture This.
Thundercat‘s official video for “Walkin’” is obscurity at its best. From the Eric Wareheim influence, with juxtaposed visuals and a gallant unapologetic style, the cameo surprises are more than welcomed. Walking through a suburban neighbourhood, Thundercat tenderly sings to video vixen Havana Ginger, who is on his arm, and each house they pass — in Dadaist form — we are shown the world is a vibrant, crazy, circus. Obscure…but we like it!
If you’re a late one, who still has not purchased Thundercat‘s The Golden Age of the Apocalypse, you can get it from any of the following links of your choice.
Now here’s a blast from the past – Neneh “Buffalo Stance” Cherry! She’s been off the radar for a while, only lending her voice on a song here and there. Now, collaborating with Scanadavian jazz ensemble, the Thing on forthcoming album called The Cherry Thing.
“Dream Baby Dream” is the first single from the album, and is a cover of 70s/80s punk rock band, Suicide‘s song of the same title. In its original construct, ”Dream Baby Dream“ has these church-like organs that hum along in the background, while Neneh Cherry & The Thing remove the keys altogether and add drums and wind instruments, as Cherry‘s words ‘dream baby dream,’ gently echo and massage to your temples. Great vibe and energy on this track. Check it out below.
If you’re not familiar with Jessica Lauren, you need to be! This multi-instrumentalist has been a staple in the UK’s alternative jazz scene for quite some time. From releasing her own recordings, gracing tracks with prominent soul/jazz funk artists, such as Jean Carne, Tom Browne, Dexter Wansel, and James Mason, and being a key member of Nick Woodmansey‘s spacey jazz group, Emanative, Lauren‘s work is pretty bad arse!!
Now with Jessica Lauren Four, she blends her diverse musicals influences in blues, soul, Afro-Cuban rhythms, creating these incredibly relaxing tracks that soothe your soul but also make you want to dance. Using the help of bassist Andrew Kremer, percussionists David “Booie” Gallagher and Paul Gunter, and power soul singer Jocelyn Brown on a couple of tracks, they all come together to create beauty.
Jessica Lauren Four is scheduled to release April 14 on Freestyle Records. Check out the snippets below!! It’s pure fire!
You know that excited feeling you get when you kiss someone for the first time? Or when you find a record that is just so unquestionably fresh? That is probably this whole LP by Shuggie Otis called Inspiration Information, and the specific track “Island Letter.“ Can’t remember for the life of me where I bought this record but I know it’s one of those records I was actively looking for. One of my most favorite groups Digable Planets sampled this track on “For Corners“ that is featured on their Blowout Comb album.
Shuggie Otis is an incredible multi-instrumentalist, who started playing at the young age of 12 in Los Angeles. Coming from a musical family, Shuggie started playing in his father’s band and began recording at the age of 16. He released three studio LPs on Epic Records, and played on several other artists’ albums such as Frank Zappa, Etta James, Billy Preston, BB King, Leon Haywood, and Bobby Blue Band – such a wide array of artists. A treasure in the hip hop community, his dreamy guitar riffs have been sampled by The Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, Madlib, and the legendary J Dilla. In 2009, it was mentioned on Jeff Duran‘s radio show (FM KLSX) that Shuggie Otis is still playing and is working on new music.
The chords on this song are so inviting; it feels like a welcome home engagement from a man to a woman. Romantic! The riffs and melodies are warm embraces on a cold rainy day. I love how the track is slow, steady, and momentous in the sense that it is very quiet and subtle, then all of a sudden blossoming and deliberate. It is said that Shuggie played all instruments on this LP; the direction and mood of the entire song is sure ’nuff funky. And the breakdown?! Whew! Can’t wait to hear what else this cat has in store for us.
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