Ready for a new beat? With the alt-rock and club-techno scenes taking up the major share of music headlines these days it would be easy to overlook the abundance of nu-soul, future jazz, and broken beat music that’s arriving on record-store shelves and download sites. Three famous labels in particular, renowned for their consistency, don’t let our thirsty ears down with these full schedules of new releases.
Southern California’s Ubiquity, home to Triple-P, Greyboy, and Ohmega Watts, scored a major coup last fall with the release of critically acclaimed Danish duo Owusu & Hannibal’s Living With… album, which was hailed by Gilles Peterson and Rainer Trüby as a “winner.” 2007 sees the label continuing its run of must-grab full-lengths from acts like (no-longer-signed-to-Kanye’s-label) Sa-Ra Creative Partners (pictured), superfunk orchestra Connie Price and the Keystones, and one of L.A.’s most talked about bands, rocksteady-soul act The Lions. Ubiquity is constantly in motion (you can see how they got the name) with creative t-shirts, messenger bags, and accessories rounding out a consistent catalog of excellent recorded works.
Also firing on all cylinders, L.A.-based Quango Music has a full release schedule this spring and summer. The label brought smiles in 2006 with quality albums from boy-girl duo Bitter:Sweet, the dubby Danes Djosos Krost, and New Zealand stoners Fat Freddy’s Drop. This year sees Quango offer a reissue of Real To Reel by German dub artists Noiseshaper. This killer downtempo dub platter features production from UK legend Adrian Sherwood and guest vocals from Ari Up (The Slits), New Yorker G.Rizzo, and crooner Jahcoustix. Quango also furthers their “lifestyle music” agenda with crossover sounds by Gecko Turner, as well as disco funk from Kraak and Smaak.
And what’s life without Afro-Latin rhythms? Mr. Bongo Recordings answers this question with a new installment of its Brazilian Beats series and the work of experienced production duo Mitchell and Dewbury. Brazilian Beats Brooklyn highlights the favorite floor-fillers at Bem Vindo club night in New York. DJs Sean Marquand and Greg Caz select a whopping 22 tunes for your samba-ing pleasure.
Meanwhile, The Mitchell & Dewbury Band’s Beyond The Rains is out April 23, 2007 on Mr. Bongo. Ben Mitchell is a producer, remixer, and DJ who records as Sao Benitez, and has remixed Masters At Work, Seu Jorge, and Hammond organ legend Jimmy Smith. Russ Dewbury is the man responsible for Brighton's world-famous Jazz Bops and is one of Britain's leading antiquarians of black music. Mitchell and Dewbury gather a star-studded cast, including jazz-blues vocalist Terry Callier, Navasha Daya and James Collins of Baltimore soul-jazz outfit Fertile Ground, pianist Mark Edwards, and Nigerian saxophonist Bukky Leo to flavor their lively rhythms. This album should keep us sweaty through the summer months.