London based 8-piece band Kokoroko released their debut album Could We Be More via Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings last week; an LP that deftly moves through afrobeat, highlife, soul, and funk across tracks, taking inspiration from a plethora of influences from within the West-African and Caribbean communities that the band grew up listening to. As with many of the tracks, Ewà Inú’s infectious energy is due to both its semi-improvised genesis and the passion of the players involved.
Taken from the new Bar Mediterraneo album by Italo-funk duo Nu Genea, Gelbi is a sparkling, effervescent delight, tripping merrily along on a rich, warm bassline with shiny synths and soaring vocals – performed by Marzouk Mejiri in their Tunisian dialect – keeping the pool party a poppin’.
The term “easy listening” has a fairly bad rep, and probably for good reason. It evokes mindlessly inoffensive music that seems to be almost wilfully devoid of character, and while I’m by no means arguing that Durand Jones & The Indication be reclassified into this vague sub-genre, one of the things I enjoy so much about their music is that it’s such an effortless pleasure to listen to. Latest single The Way I Do combines elements of funk, soul, disco and pop into an intoxicating blend that infects everything with its breezy, understated optimism, and I am fully here for everything it stands for.
A little peek behind the curtain of The Predatory Wasp: I have had a pretty testing week to say the least, for a variety of reasons – some of them heat-based, some of them not. So to wake up to a new album from one of my very favourite bands was a very welcome way to usher in the weekend. I’ve seen All We Are live a few times now and they are amongst the most compelling, energetic bands out there. Like a lot of their music, Beauty In Loss is strikes a brilliant balance between being poignant and funky as fuck, and I can’t wait to get back in a club/basement/field with them.
I’m not sure if I’m just paying more attention than usual at the moment, but the amount of amazing music cropping up in the last couple of months by artists I’ve never heard of before is really quite incredible. Another case in point: Temple by the wonderfully named Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, which – with its shifting rhythms and infectious, wandering bassline – is making me keener than ever to go and see some live music, like right now please.