Falling That You Know – JIM

Essential new EP from ‘JIM’ that’s James Baron of Crazy P, a move away from the dancefloor into singer / songwriter territory. Out now via Bandcamp, see link below to listen & buy.

‘Since first emerging as part of Crazy P in the late 1990s, James Baron has released a lot of great music. However, he’s previously put out very little quite like the Falling They You Know EP, his first solo outing as JIM on NuNorthern Soul.

As those who’ve followed his career closely will tell you, Baron has worked on a number of lauded projects outside of Crazy P, including Ron Basejam (his nu-disco focused solo alias), Secret Stealth (a sample-heavy collaboration with Nottingham stalwart Bob Sadler) and White Elephant (a Balearic-minded outfit featuring Crazy P partner Chris Todd and old friend Benjamin Smith).

The FALLING THAT YOU KNOW EP sees Baron exploring an explicitly stripped-back, sensatory and soft-focus sound. It features a quartet of hazy home recordings created using little more than an acoustic guitar, piano, keyboard and some toy instruments belonging to his children. The music stretched across the EP is warming, wide-eyed and picturesque, with Baron showcasing his rarely heard singing voice as well as a finger-picking guitar style he’s spent the best part of 18 months perfecting.

Those with a wide-ranging musical palette will spot subtle sonic references to some of Baron’s lesser-known musical inspirations, including singer-songwriters Ned Doheny and Nick Drake. There’s a folksy, homespun charm to the campfire-ready bliss of loved-up opener ‘Falling That You Know’, where Baron delivers his own thoughtful lyrics atop shuffling shaker percussion, layered acoustic guitar, smooth bass, synth-strings and sustained piano chords.

Arguably even more impressive is ‘Phoenix’, a swelling, simmering and sweeping semi-acoustic cover of the Cult track of the same name featuring backing vocals from Crazy P chanteuse Danielle Moore. Magical and mesmerizing, Baron’s version takes the goth-rock classic in a stunning, sunset-ready new direction.

Baron’s dedication to the finger-picking style long associated with British and American folk music comes to the fore on ‘Whisper in the Wind’, a future early evening singalong that gently builds across six spellbinding minutes. From a delicate and pared-back start, Baron layers up instrumentation including additional guitar by White Elephant’s Benjamin Smith, drums courtesy of Crazy P sticks-man Matt Klose, and his own mazy, spacey synth lines.

Then there’s closing cut ‘You Know What To Say’, an effortlessly emotive, tactile and atmospheric affair that cannily distils all that is good about Baron’s latest solo venture into three magical minutes. It offers a near perfect end to an EP of rare pastoral beauty.’

Celestial Hike EP – Mike Salta & Mortale

To round off another year of sun-kissed, soul-soothing musical adventures, NuNorthern Soul has turned to studio partners Mike Salta and Marty Mortale, a Denmark-based duo with decades of production experience behind them.

A superb four track EP from Mike Salta & Mortale on Phil Cooper’s NuNorthern Soul label. It might be grey and damp here in the UK right now but this release in pure Summer and sunshine, flawless quality from first to last. Get on the pre-order now via Bandcamp link below…

Cosmic Sailing – My Friend Dario

Another top quality release from Phil Cooper’s NuNorthern Soul label drops 27/11/20, ‘Cosmic Sailing’ from My Friend Dario is a beauty. Channelling vintage 90’s Italo dreamhouse for a contemporary Balearic audience, it’s a shimmering, Summery slice of rythmn and melody. Available on vinyl and digital pre-order now. Turning my rainy corner of southern England into a mediteranean dream with echoes of Sueno Latino and Mr Marvin, it’s a yes from me 🙂

Selected Works 1982 to 1989 Joan Bibiloni

Phil Cooper’s NuNorthern Soul label has secured another classic re-release, this time a five track collection of early works from iconic Mallorquin guitarist and composer Joan Bibiloni. ready for release on September 12, 2020 both on vinyl and digital

Culled from a period beginning in 1982, with the release of his debut solo album ‘Joana Lluna’, to 1989 and his ‘Born’ album, both released on Bibiloni’s own Blau label, and taking in the staggering 1988 album ‘For A Future Smile’ (issued on Polygram sub-label Theta), these recordings offer a glimpse of Joan Bibiloni at his most musically adventurous. What’s more, they offer a bonafide reflection of the island of Mallorca and a genuine sound of the Balearic isles.

There’s a real breadth to his musical range shown here, taking in classical, folk, funk and jazz influences, all brought together into a definitively Balearic sound. It’s a joyful release from first to last, make sure to add it to your collection. Check the Soundcloud sampler below for a flavour of this superb release.