Words: Gavin Kendrick.
Artist: Zaki Ibrahim, Kid Fonque & DJ Whisky
Label: Atjazz Record Company
Release date: Friday 12th July
More info: My top pick this week comes from the Atjazz Record Company who are not only turning out pristine dance floor grooves on a regular basis but also committing them to wax. The digital release of ‘Be’ drops in a fortnight, but you can find the 12″ at your favourite record store today. In its original state, ‘Be’ is an Afro-tinged deep house track with spirited lyrics from ‘Zaki Ibrahim’. Straight out the tracks comes Atjazz & Julian Gomes who flip the drum into a shuffling UK/SA hybrid groove with fizzing chord stabs and shivers of those trademark Atjazz atmospherics. London talent Jonny Miller weighs in with a leftfied rework, taking aim in more experimental territory with a spoken word static-filled intro that unfolds into a haunting bruk-meets-bass workout, its textured synths pricked by razor sharp drum hits.
The looped chord intro of ‘2sides’ could be a dusty 90s hip-hop number, but a jazzy 4/4 rhythm soon enters the fray before ‘V The Vowel’ from The Layders delivers its infectious melody. This standout instrumental forms the backing track for none other than Theo Parrish who talks the listener through his DJ philosophy, expounding the importance of the art of selection in light of a ubiquitous obsession amongst DJs with technical proficiency.
Artist: Yosi Horikawa
Label: First Word Records
Release date: Monday 1st July
More info: I featured ‘Whispers From An Angel’, Yosi Horikawa’s previous First Word release in a earlier issue of this round up, and since then the Cheba-based producer has completed his debut album, about to drop from the same camp. Listening in full for the first time, I was caught off guard: a far-reaching sample source that embraces found sounds and field recordings is woven tightly around his own musicianship to craft a record quite unlike anything I’ve heard for some time. Challenging yet gripping, with echoes of dance music, hip hop and musique concrete, ‘Vapor’ is not for the faint hearted but will surely find favour amongst those who revel in unfamiliar sonic lands.
Artist: Eric Lau
Title: One Of Many
Label: Kilawatt Music Limited
Release date: 17th June 2013
More info: An ability to list Phonte (Litte Brother), James Poyser (The Roots) and 9th Wonder as fans should be enough to attract the undivided attention of any serious hip hop head, and it’s just such an audience that the productions of London-based beat maker Eric Lau command.
His new album sees a familiar group of artists assemble, including singers Rahel, Tawiah, Fatima, Olivier St. Louis and Georgia Anne Muldrow. Lau’s soulful sound beds, featuring extensive collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Kaidi Tatham, provide here the golden platform for the artistry of his guests to truly shine.
Words: Gavin Kendrick.