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.’

Sunshine Radio – Tommy Guerrero

Tommy Guerrero has just dropped a new album – ‘Sunshine Radio‘ and it’s a belter, with timeless, dusty, summery sounds soundtracking imaginary desert journeys. Sounding like a lost JJ Cale album covered by Kruangbin and remixed by Kamasi Washington it’s a ‘must buy’ item. Have a listen via the Bandcamp link below. Tommy had this to say about the album…

“Road to Knowhere is inspired by bits and pieces of Ethio-Jazz, Afrobeat, Highlife Spiritual Jazz and dusty funk 45’s. It’s what has kept this mortal vehicle fueled. I tend to take different paths each musical outing but this one is for the long haul, the one for the blue highways and forgotten byways. It’s the one to get lost to. It’s about the journey, not the destination… [If Road to Knowhere was about the long haul, TG’s new album Sunshine Radio is all about cruising on, dropping the top, and taking in a bit of fresh air]. Sunshine Radio hopes to spark a bit of joy as well as a moment to reflect and consider the fires of the world. Take a sonic respite from the endless noise.” – TG 

90s Anxiety – Jus Jam

The Broken District label brings you ‘90s Anxiety’, a maxi EP / mini album from label founder Jus Jam, who takes us on a deep exploration into his hazy musical world. His music is often described as dreamy and contemplative, with sharp beats and smooth bassline, ‘90s Anxiety’ does not disappoint in this respect. Heavily inspired by nineties underground club culture, the EP travels through UK garage to dreamy hip-hop, from early electro to new jack swing.

On opener ‘Daydream’ and its B-side sister ‘Ryoji’s Dream’, the producer delivers two dreamy compositions crafted with the forward thinking hip-hop head in mind, touching on manga soundtracks and David Lynch’s surreal cinema. ‘Neopolis Sound’ is a subtle ode to early electro and breakbeat, old sci-fi movies and 90s video games. ‘Higher Sense’ is a modern and dreamy vision of breaks and jungle with elements of jazz. Title track ‘90s Anxiety’ takes a contemporary angle on new jack swing mixed with elements of house and funk slap bass. ‘Wide’ goes full on two-step with its steamy atmosphere, syncopated beat and powerful sub.

This collection of tracks is Jus Jam doing what he does best, mixing many forms to create something completely new and visionary.

Releases January 22, 2021 – Pre order / Buy here

Sailing Ships – Perry Granville

Released today on Brighton’s reliably excellent Higher Love Recordings is this fine two tracker from newcomer Perry Granville. The menacing cover artwork give a clue to the contents, a dark, moonlit shot of the rusting wreckage of the old West pier hinting at some dark, twisted productions within. Reeking of smoke machines and amyl, the 8 minute acidic throb of ‘Sailing Ships’ sounds like a new beat echo from 1988 blasting from the Bocaccio’s infamous Klipschorns. It’s dark, disorientating and right on the money. Track two ‘New Arp4’ is even slower and sludgier, with old school break beats, tweaking acid lines and atmospheric vocal lines creating a soundtrack for dark after hours dancefloor missions. Out now via Bandcamp (see below) or Juno Download.

James Bright – The Zooniverse EP

Hot on the heels of his early Summer Betamax EP, prolific balearic producer James Bright is back with his new 5 tracker, the Zooniverse EP on Quattro Music. His trademark shimmering, summery sounds are showcased here, with those bubbling, hypnotic acid lines never far away.

Head nodding chuggers for headphone hedonism are the elements of this universe, rather than big room bangers. We can all extend our Summer season with these downtempo poolside classics.

The escapist ambience starts with opener ‘Timelapse’, a cinematic glide with echoes of the Thievery Corporation. Then onto title track ‘Zooniverse’, with it’s brooding acidic throb. Track three is ‘Patchouli’ a deeper, swirling trip of psychedelic dub, and a personal favourite for me. ‘Freq Out’ is next, a mid tempo dancefloor cut with nagging 303’s and atmospheric synth lines. Finally JB lets us down gently with closer ‘Cosmos,’ a slo-mo tropical journey, with ringing guitars, merimbas and yes, that essential squelch.

Top drawer balearic business, an essential purchase, download or stream.

BUY / STREAM HERE 🙂

This Unspoken Love (Questo Amore Segreto) – Leo Mas & Fabrice feat. Sally Rodgers

Just in time for the last of the Summer sun it’s here, the Balearic anthem we’ve all been waiting for! Sally Rodgers from A Man Called Adam joins forces with Leo Mas & Fabrice on Kenneth Bager’s Music for Dreams label for this relentlessly euphoric house anthem. Available in a string laden full vocal version or driving, acidic after hours dub, it’s a joyful package. Track it down here as a matter of urgency

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.

Back To Bahia – John Beltran

John Beltran is welcomed into the MotorCity Wine Recordings family with his sun-drenched and soulful debut entitled “Back To Bahia”. Titled after his MCW residency of the same name, the release combines Deep House, Jazz, Boogie, and, of course, música popular Brasileira flavors to welcome the sunshine into your life. All tracks on the EP are top quality, with my personal favourite being ‘Entardecer’ with it’s slo-mo latin guitar being a perfect Summer soundtrack. Available here in digital, or if you’re quick you can pick up a ltd 7″ single from Juno