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Reviews: Future Jazz / Soul


Review: Referenced For Your Safety

Label: Pork

My introduction to "Pork and the Future Sound of Hull" was at a house party in LA. Somewhere between those quaint coastal towns, the label happened upon Bloomington'ndiana and the music of Referencered. For Your Safety takes downtempo formulas and gives them a vigorous shake. Hauntingly beautiful at times, disorienting and goofy at others, the album coaxes smiles either way. Even the song titles ("Electronic Beats Made Easy") get to poke fun. Even "Tribute to the PSS-140" (named after an old Yamaha keyboard) wears this lo-fi aesthetic on its sleeve. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Panoptica: The Tijuana Remixes

Label: Certificate 18

Mexico's Panoptica enlists his boys from the Nortec Collective to plunge their very capable hands into his slippery downtempo tracks. With rimshots gleaming discretely in its smooth expanse, The Tijuana Remixes is a smooth lounge experience in Panoptica's signature slim-luxe style. The Tijuana Remixes ripple between minimal house, techno and slower, and at times can be a maddening listen: the tracks are sleek and supple, but one can't help but desire more of the richer thickness that the final track, "She's in Fiestas," approaches. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Mosh Moshi-Nu Sounds From Japan

Label: Fueg

Japanese releases are often extortionately expensive and extremely rare in the West. Nik Weston, an infamous collector and promoter of Asian electronic music, has come to the aid of the listening public with this collection. The 'Soljazz instrumental' of the gorgeously named Gagle's "Practise & Tactix" is stylish jazz-hop, with a distressed string workout, disjointed rough-and-ready percussion and an overzealous reverbed bass. Read more » 

Review: Universal Funk Streets of Havana

Label: April

Denmark's premier nu-jazz/Latin band delivers some tight Cuban house (think Matt Bianco in Colombia) whilst Swell Sessions's version drops it deeper courtesy of girlfriend Elsa's vocals. Meanwhile, new track "Four To Five" changes from cosmic jazz midway into deep rolling hip-hop...nice... Read more » 

Review: Black Mighty Orchestra Ocean Beach

Label: Irma

BMO's Cesare Cera and Ricky Rinaldi lift angelic strings from Henry Mancini's "Lujon," which add a touch of beatific cocktail jazz to their sturdy 100-bpm beats on "Ocean Beach." Allesandro Meroli's live flute plus 'nuff percussion recall NY DJ Sasha's Organic Groove ethno-downtempo excursions, a sound furthered on the flip's airy Brazilian ode "Rua Escondida." And to keep you guessing-English IDM misfit Metamatics is in the mix here as well. Globally germane. Read more » 

Review: Cuica City to City

Label: Ubiquity

Brazilian music is by nature propulsive and alive; those who try to synthetically replicate the fervent rhythms often miss the point. Not so here-Cuica succeeds by embracing the sexy elements of electronic music that most match steamy traditional rhythms. Following on the success of their "Trommell Monster" single, the full length City to City travels through broken beat, nu-jazz and house to render something like a troupe of cutting-edge analog-synth junkies infiltrating a Brazilian percussion ensemble. The end result is infectious and fully club-worthy. Read more » 

Review: Metro Area Orange Alert (DFA Remix)

Label: Source

An electronic disco beauty given the remix treatment courtesy of DFA, the production genius behind LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture. The result: hypnotic disco trash funk with relentless tight-ass drums. Includes the stupendous album cut "Dance Reaction" on the flip. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Alex Attias Presents The Chromantic Universe

Label: Vision

Alex "Mustang" Attias should need no introduction to followers of West London and Munich's syncopated dancefloor licks and jazz-based downtempo groovology. Chromantic profiles Attias's own Visions imprint, containing a host of his own erudite productions to date, as well as some collabos and a few guest cuts from fellow Londoners Domu, Dego and I.G. Culture. Read more » 

Review: Fennesz Field Recordings 1995-2002

Label: Touch

A compilation of Fennesz's past work released in the wake of last year's masterful Endless Summer, the Austrian guitarist's paean to '60s surf culture might seem destined to disappoint. But, thankfully, destiny isn't everything, and Field Recordings is a first-rate collection of vintage Fennesz in all his hazy, fuzzed out glory. The disc collects unreleased and previously released pieces from various compilations and EPs. Read more » 

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