Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow
Emma-Jean Thackray from England is the acclaimed jazz musician, producer, trumpeter, keyboardist and singer of the moment. She just got her debut album Yellow published on her own label Movementt and made waves internationally. And rightly so: The way she approaches music and creates a mixture of disco and spiritual jazz is refreshing, exciting and funky.
On the first song Mercury A wall of sound builds up from whirling drums, synths and a trumpet, until Thackray speaks in spoken word manner “to listen is to know and to know is to love”. After almost six minutes, the piece gently comes to a standstill and the next number begins. It gets groovy here and you almost want to shake off the dance floor. Say something is cosmic jazz, which is underlaid with a straight beat in the first verse and changes so smoothly into new harmonies that you can’t imagine the piece any other way. Thackray sings here and is supported by a vocal arrangement. The strong female and male voices go with her to an a cappella finale, which is the same in the next song About That is replaced by a swirling drum solo.
About That can be interpreted as a two-minute interlude. The trumpet screeches, the singing starts about halfway through the piece and is repetitive. Thackray sings “How` bout that, about that ?! ”and you notice that the bass announced this vocal motif right from the start. Finally, the bass and vocals run in unison. Only occasionally does the bass deviate with virtuoso players. Exactly these details are great and make Yellow an exciting listening experience. Thackray wrote the arrangements so imaginatively that you discover something new in the songs every time you listen to it. This record will not only catch on in the short term!
Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow listen on Amazon
The Goon Sax – Mirror ll
Louis Forster – front man of The Goon Sax – stands out with the new album Mirror ll finally from the shadow of his father Robert Forster and his successful band The Go-Betweens. The Goon Sax with their poppy, female-male double vocals also have something of the Go-Betweens in a pleasant way. The Goon Sax stand out above all with their experimental songwriting, noise inserts and distorted indie guitars that sound edgy.
In the song In the stone Forster and drummer Riley Jones often take turns singing, but are also convincing when they sing the verse shifted in an octave. The song is characterized by a guitar riff, clapping, bell ring and a simple drum beat. A distorted guitar is added to the chorus, which underlines the pop vocals with a solo and thus changes the dynamics. The bass runs along melodically and even gets a solo moment in a break. It gets louder Psychic. Here noise guitars roar throughout the song and reflect the psychedelic in the lyrics.
The music on the album is so well-rehearsed and organic that you can be sure that no or hardly any autotune or click was necessary in the production of John Parish – this is proven above all by the song Bathwaterwhich abruptly changes the tempo towards the chorus and sounds like two songs in one. With experimental synth effects, a smooth solo saxophone and a spectacular finale in which Forster even sings in German, the song is one of the most interesting on the album. This is where the whole spectrum of the band reveals itself: wild, gentle and cool – they can definitely do all of that.
The Goon Sax – Mirror ll listen on Amazon
Rắn Cạp Đuôi – Ngủ Ngày Ngay Ngày Tận Thế
The collective Rắn Cạp Đuôi from Vietnam has existed since 2012 and is known not only for art but also for its experimental music. The international members of the collective often change and work with musicians they invite – just like with their new album Ngủ Ngày Ngay Ngày Tận Thế. Here Rắn Cạp Đuôi invited musicians to a 48-hour session, from which the album was then patched together. Improvising is in the foreground with Rắn Cạp Đuôi and they are incredibly productive at the same time. They have released several EPs since 2012 and, including the latest record, the collective has seven albums on Spotify.
The latest publication Ngủ Ngày Ngay Ngày Tận Thế Translated means “to sleep through the apocalypse” and thus leaves a lot of room for interpretation for sounds – because on the one hand the apocalypse is imagined as a loud noise arrangement and sleeping as a steady breathing of drawn out sounds.
In fact, you can find these opposites in the first song Images. The piece is divided into different sound passages, whereby the first begins with a looped “Aah” that merges into a meditative sound cloud and is broken up by synthetic beats that sound like sound effects from a science fiction film. Here it hisses and rattles in an industrial manner. But nothing is uncontrolled, because Rắn Cạp Đuôi have paid attention to clear structures in the arrangement. After just under 1:30 minutes, a mystical part begins in which an effect-laden male voice raps a text repeatedly. The voice is accompanied by bubbling sounds and a beat-setting brass. Rắn Cạp Đuôi bring this passage out again towards the end of the piece. The recognition value is so high that the section could be considered a chorus.
A similar patchwork of sounds with quick changes between individual passages can be found throughout the album. In Distant people the first transition from the electric-chirping intro to the clinking ambient world is initiated with a short pause, during which one only hears something like rustling cotton wool in the headphones. It is precisely these brief moments that announce a change that make the songs unpredictable and so entertaining.
Rắn Cạp Đuôi – Ngủ Ngày Ngay Ngày Tận Thế listen on Amazon