Left Ear Records revive Respuesta Alternativa’s cassette only ambience and synth-wave

Australian label Left Ear take their musical excavation to Spain and have compiled five deep and immersive compositions by Respuesta Alternativa on vinyl. Respuesta Alternativa, or ‘alternative response’, was a backlash production to traditional music at the time resulting in the cassette only album Grata Compania.

Jesús Mª Catalán (former keyboardist of Clandestine Modes) played keyboards and percussion, while also enlisting the help of Julián C. Pérez on guitars, bass and production. There were also collaborations by Fernando Largo and Carlos Redondo, the EP is dedicated to their memory. It was recorded and mixed at Estudios Frassinelli, in Oviedo, Spain, in 1985 and 1986.

The record is out now and is to the usual high standards of this trans-nationally orientated label.

Kerem Akdag drops impressive LP for the ever evolving Dimensions label

Istanbul native Kerem Akdag delivers a fantastic debut album today for the Dimensions label – an imprint born from the supreme festival staged in Croatia.

Kerem’s self titled album follows several other essential 12″s featuring club ready weapons by artists from around the globe. The selection of familiar names and up and coming producers has been varied and expertly curated so far on the label. And in tandem with the festival – which is also continually bringing a wide musical spectrum and unique vision – 2018 looks like it will be a huge year for Dimensions. This year’s festival line up is again bursting at the seams with world class bookings and an intuitive programming that sets the collective apart from all others. WTM will be bringing more on what’s to come on the label’s next releases, but expect that consistency and high standard that the brand is famed for. Where the label will go next is an exciting prospect. The first release on the label featured two of the highlights of last summer: Mim Suleiman’s Pole Pole and Alma Negra’s Onga. It was on this first Dimensions Recordings release, An Introduction Part 1, where many first heard Kerem on the cut Getdownsoclose. The whole EP was a showcase of the international sounds that the label, as well as the festival, continues to champion.

Between the first release and Kerem’s, the label has covered electro, dub techno, house and more, featuring European and American artists that have impressed at Dimensions festival and numerous events. Now it is the turn of the Turkish artist to shine. This fifth release has already pricked the interest of influential fans such as Gilles Peterson and similarly minded selectors. Understandably so, as Kerem’s music trips through jazz, soul and funk through to house techno and left leaning electronica.

It’s been flying out already since its release – for a listen and to grab one, visit Kerem’s bandcamp.

Guy One’s debut album for Philophon is unmissable and globalises Frafra music

Guy One has released a sensational debut for the Polyphon label called #1.  His story is a truly inspiring ‘rags to riches’ tale –  growing up in remote northern Ghana with no schooling, herding cows and goats, building his own instruments and teaching himself to sing. Guy One’s Frafra music is a style that originates from a small area in the north of Ghana and can be heard at weddings and funerals.

Two choice cuts from the album are featured on this WTM radio show from 41m. 58s:

Frafra music “made in Germany” is how drummer and producer Max Weissenfeldt has described it. The album is diverse and inspiring and features a range of elements including choirs, trumpet, organ, bass, drums, synthesiser, vibraphone, saxophone and piano.

Check out these great videos featuring Guy One below also:



Jazz and Milk Recordings drop sublime Brazilian selection by Tahira

Tahira is a name that many will become more familiar with now – after hearing his superb selection of Brazilian music for Jazz & Milk.

This is the first Afro-Brazilian compilation for the German label, which has specialised in jazz and funk influenced productions and reworks. It’s an insightful decision to team up with one of São Paulo’s most active DJs and music collectors.  While many DJs tend to play Brazilian music that has more cross-pollination with jazz, soul, funk and disco, Tahira’s has selected tracks from the past four decades that display more wide ranging influences and roots – Levanta Poeira expertly encompasses Brazil’s various regional musical styles influenced by African and Amerindian forms and that is what makes it so special.

Most of these tracks will be made available on vinyl for the very first time with a highlight certainly being Tahira’s A Toda Menina Baiana remix (vinyl-only) of one of Brazil’s absolute musical heroes, Gilberto Gil.

Below is a video featuring Tahira discussing the project, with more words from the label underneath. More from Tahira and Jazz & Milk Recordings label boss, Christoph Doepke, can be read from their interviews, click here to access the WTM labels section.

“Tahira is a well known character and good soul of São Paulo’s music and digging community, regularly searching through record shops, private collections or dusty attics around the country. The passionate DJ dedicated the past four years extensively researching Brazil’s broader spectrum of musical styles and slowly started to introduce more and more African and indigenous elements in his DJ sets. Encouraged by the great acceptance and success during his shows he decided to curate his first compilation project to share his discoveries with the world. “Levanta Poeira” is a popular Brazilian expression meaning “kick up dust.” This is a phenomenon that can be found throughout the country, a cultural manifestation that exists where people gather to play, dance and party. Earth is hit by the foot of the dancers raising a cloud of dust. It is a sign that the heat of the Brazilian spirit is present!

“The compilation starts of with a key figure of Brazil’s music scene. Since the 1950s, the Genius Gilberto Gil has been gifting us with countless musical blessings. Very few artists were able to not only explore but embody the diversity of Brazilian music as well as he did. Gil’s endless row of classics include the wonderful track Toda Menina Baiana which has been revisited by Tahira himself. Adding Ijexá beats, as well as Afrobeat stlye guitars and a horn section on top of the original, Tahira managed to make this legendary song attractive to a young and modern audience. The remix starts of with a long percussion intro, builds up very slowly before finally introducing the first vocal verse – an arrangement especially designed for DJs who love to mix and blend Brazilian rhythms in their sets. This remix will be available on vinyl only!”

Click here for Jazz and Milk’s Bandcamp. To read more from the label and Tahira, click here to access the WTM labels section.

Africa Seven please collectors again with timely Eko reissue

Africa Seven continue their prolific output with a much needed reissue of this rarely found LP of disco and unique  funk from Cameroon.

Eko Roosevelt Louis has had a music career spanning more than  40 years. He was born the grandson of a Kribi tribal chief and his musicianship and artistry began with his village’s local church, before his formal education at the Senegal conservatoire and Paris’ Ecole Normale de Musique. Eko then cut his teeth making jazz funk and disco records in the mid-seventies before extensive touring in and around France.

In the 90’s Eko returned to Cameroon to take over his grandfather’s tribal chieftaincy, a role he still holds today. Eko also works with the Cameroon artistic societies and schools performing, teaching and even leading Cameroon’s national orchestra.

Funky Disco Music was Eko’s third LP. Africa Seven tracked Eko down in Cameroon and persuaded him that a re-issue was most definitely needed after a long dialogue.

Highlights include the LP opener and title track, jazz-funk-disco hybrid Ndolo Embe Mulemadolo and Une Chanson Sans Paroles, combining French power pop with African swing. belter to keep the LP tempo high. The uplifting Bowa’a Mba Ngebe  was also a recent highlight of the African Airways Volume 4 compilation.

To check out more music from the label, visit:

Africa Seven’s website

Nat Birchall charts new ‘Cosmic Language’ for Jazzman Records

The forthcoming release for Jazzman will feature Nat Birchall treading new paths towards spiritual communion on new LP Cosmic Language.

The legendary player connects jazz with classical Indian influences guided by his expert playing and flow of the harmonium. Fans will be ecstatic that the UK-based saxophonist, composer and arranger returns to the ever-trusty imprint Jazzman Records: exploring the parallel musical paths of jazz and Indian ragas. Birchall takes influence from spiritual jazz forebears, like Alice Coltrane and Yusef Lateef.

The idea for the album came from an inspirational one-off performance at a meditation centre, the Maharishi Golden Dome in West Lancashire, UK. Seeking to bring a band set-up that was fitting to the quiet-minded setting, Birchall brought the harmonium with him to the concert instead of the (comparatively louder) piano.

The harmonium – a small pump-like organ which sounds like an accordion – was common in the 19th century. It’s an instrument Birchall has been in possession of for many years, but hadn’t previously used in his music. Building on the spiritual context of the Golden Dome show, it led naturally to the musical approach undertaken on the album.

Both the album – and the show which preceded it – were recorded with the same tight-knit group of players which have featured on Birchall’s previous albums. The record was recorded at Manchester’s Limefield Studio as were his previous three.

All members of the group are part of the same like minded circle of Manchester-oriented jazz musicians, sharing stages and acquaintances with the likes of Matthew Halsall (a longtime collaborator with Birchall) and GoGo Penguin.

Nat Birchall’s Cosmic Language is expected to be released in early March on Jazzman Records.

Turkish legend Selda to perform in UK

The first lady of Turkish psych music and hero for the working class will perform and collaborate with Israeli surf-rock quartet Boom Pam – for her first headline concert in the UK for six years at Koko, in London, on February 18th.

Selda’s space age Anatolian music, progressive-protest songs and psych-folk-funk-rock spans more than 45 years. She was the first person to sing and release a Kurdish folk song ignoring potential reprisals. Her outspoken lyrics and pursuit of freedom of speech was spurred by her immense popularity and influence – but it led to her imprisonment three times by the Turkish government between 1977 and 1985. Immediately after the coup in 1980, Selda had her passport revoked and was not allowed to leave the country for seven years. Amid media blackouts and other crackdowns, she was forced to cancel a performance at WOMAD festival in the UK that year.

UK based label Finders Keepers brought Selda to new audiences with the reissue of her 1976 self-titled classic album Selda in 2005.  The use of the electronic saz (Turkish stringed instrument) and polyphonic synthesizers were cutting edge when it was released. Songs such as Meydan Sizindir and Ince Ince were viewed as calls to revolt by the working classes. Her music and songs soon became more available to a wider market with the introduction of the cassette tape format, selling millions worldwide.

Selda Bağcan and Boom Pam: at Koko, Camden High St, London, UK, NW1 7JE, on Sunday 18th February.

Advance Tickets: http://bit.ly/2EtaIHQ