Ubiquity, Six Degrees, Environ, and others plan top flight first quarter.
Nu-jazz, nu-soul, broken-beat, leftfield jazz, and downtempo music galore will fill your record racks, hard drives, and music players this spring. New release announcements have begun, with a variety of labels and genres gearing up for a musically resplendent first quarter (in music biz slang, that’s January through May).
Ubiquity Records kicks off 2008 with eccentric funk/rare groove mystery man Clutchy Hopkins’ Walking Backwards. His February 5, 2008 album might as well be the crackly soundtrack to a vintage spaghetti western crossed with a '70s porno. Then, on February 19, Ubiquity issues L.A. reggae-funkers The Lions’ Jungle Struttin', described as “a unique, Jamaican-inspired outfit, featuring members of Breakestra, Rhythm Roots All-Stars, Orgone, and Madlib’s Sound Directions.” March 4 sees heavy funk/hip-hop project Connie Price & The Keystones’ Tell Me Something, with cameos by Big Daddy Kane, Percee P, Aloe Blacc, and Mykah Nine. Lastly, check the Dilla-esque hip-hop, soul, and crunchy electronic beats on Eric Lau’s New Territories, out March 18.
Other forthcoming jazzy electronic titles include Compost house and downtempo duo Eddy Meets Yannah’s In A While, dropping January 25, and the Compost ’70s-’80s soul boogie compilation (featuring Roy Ayers, Norman Connors, and Cameo), Maiden Voyage, out on February 5. Also in February: releases from Israeli Afro-funker Kutiman (Kutiman, on Melting Pot, February 5) and SonarKollektiv’s double-disc label retrospective, 10 Years, Who Cares? (out February 26).
On the world beat and global electronic tip, January 2008 brings Middle Eastern and global downtempo dub from Up, Bustle & Out's Istanbul's Secrets album (Collision, January 25). Cheb I Sabbah’s lush Indian-classical electronica album, Devotion, is out January 29 on Six Degrees, as is Somali-Italian chanteuse Saba’s Jidka, on Riverboat. Jazz drummer Steve Reid explores Senegal on the forthcoming Daxaar (Domino, February 12), then Africa’s greatest contemporary artists tip hats to U2 on Africa Celebrates U2 (Shout Factory, April 5).
Pictured, left to right: Eddy Meets Yannah, The Lions.