Helmed by producer and saxophonist Pete Cunningham, the Bristol-based Ishmael Ensemble’s announced themselves as a new force in UK jazz with their 2019 debut A State Of Flow, a record I completely missed as I am vehemently opposed to anything jazzy, or jazz-related. Until now it seems, as I absolutely love their new album Visions Of Light, and Feather in particular which is amongst the more beautifully chill things I’ve heard for ages. It would actually be easier if this record didn’t exist as I was quite happy in my jazz-ignoring bubble, but here we are.
Flying Lotus occupies one of my many blind spots for artists I should really know about and be listening to a lot, but never seem to get around to. My thought process goes something like: Flying Lotus is really good / everyone seems to love him / I expect I’d really enjoy it if I dedicated a bit of time to exploring his catalogue / that seems like hard work / I’ll just listen to Nation of Language again. So it’s odd that what’s essentially a soundtrack album is the one that’s caught my attention, but here we are. Mind Flight is taken from Yasuke – which is a six-part Anime series for Netflix – and the entire thing is brilliant. But I guess you already knew that, didn’t you?
The big news today is: commas are back. Specifically; commas in album titles, which I am bang into. Earlier I posted a track from Pale Honey’s Some Time, Alone, and now I’m getting all excited about Infinity Knives new album Dear, Sudan, which is so weirdly exquisite I’m not even sure how to describe it. In The Mouth Of Sadness is heavy on both reverb and emotion, and transitions from a gushing electro pop banger into a gently tinkling jazz ballad. And it’s probably one of the more ‘conservative’ records on there.
I have tried hard to love græ, the new album by Moses Sumney. It’s clearly brilliant, and the scale of it is pretty staggering, but I’ve found it almost overwhelmingly impenetrable on the many occasions I’ve sat down to listen. This is a failing on my part. However, there is a three-track run at the start of the second side of the double LP that is utterly sublime, kicking off with Two Dogs. I just wish I liked the rest of the album as much as these 10 minutes or so. I’m sorry, Moses: I have tried, and been found wanting.