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Last Call | Five Albums You Should Hear Before They Get Lost In The Shuffle

Check out these excellent recent releases before they vanish into the rear view.

Between self-isolation and my usual anti-social tendencies, you’d think I’d have more than enough time to write about all the albums on my weekly to-do list. But as usual, I ran out of hours before I ran out of music. And since there’s a whole new crop of shiny new tunes to deal with Friday, I figured I should share these five recent gems before they vanish into the ether. You’ve got everything from Austrian indie-pop and Nigerian Afro-futurism to Belgian speed-punk and British neo-psychedelia. Check them out while you can. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

My Ugly Clementine
Vitamin C

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This supergroup from Vienna is damn serious about one thing: having fun! It’s the brainchild of Sophie Lindinger (who won awards and made waves with her band Leyya) — the songwriter and producer gathered people around her that she always wanted to work and play with. The group now features Mira Lu Kovacs (of 5k HD), Kathrin Kolleritsch (aka KEROSIN95) and Nastasja Ronck (Lucid Kid, Attic Giant) — all of them quite well known figures in their respective scenes locally, some way beyond. Their first show got sold out within 20 hours, whilst no one had even heard a single note of their songs. Finally someone is brushing all the dust from those old rock guitars and is fitting them right into the world of 2020.”

We No Be Machine

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Afro futurist sensations ONIPA unleash their debut album, combining afro grooves, electronics and fierce energy for an effervescent celebration of cultural and musical encounters. ONIPA means ‘human’ in Akan, the ancient language of the Ashanti people of Ghana. It’s a message of connection through collaboration: from Ghana to London, our ancestors to our children, Onipa brings energy, groove, electronics, afrofuturism, dance and fire! Born out of deep collaboration between long-time friends KOG and Tom Excell, the four-piece live show features KOG on vocals, balafon and percussion, Excell on guitar, percussion and electronics, Dwayne Kilvington on synths and MPC and Finn Booth on drums. “As we chase the morphic resonance of African art, sound and movement into new worlds, we find stories of the past answering riddles of the future. Tales of existence and resistance, of our innate ability to positively connect, express, share and create. Tales of extending our natural abilities beyond our own survival, to the survival of the planet, reminding us that our ancient connection with the earth must not be traded for technology and materials.”

Sons of Disaster

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Fostered in the back alleys and underground clubs of the Belgian capital since 2011, Sons of Disaster are one of Brussels’ best-kept secrets. For the quintet — fuelled by a hearty dose of high-octane riffs and a lust for hard living — their brand-new sophomore album, Cursed, marks a first. Unforgiving in its interpretation of classic rock, speed metal and brutal punk, a run of five hundred copies were pressed with every copy finding a home soon after, from sold out gigs in Belgium, France, Germany and Eastern Europe. While relentless touring may have led the band on to a path of creation it also caused countless line-up casualties and even a brief break in proceedings (naming their new album Cursed seemed particularly fitting). But now, in 2020 the band are back and testament to what awaits those who strive through hard graft and determination. “

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela

THE PRESS RELEASE:Rejoice is a very special collaboration between Tony Allen, the legendary drummer and co-founder of Afrobeat, and Hugh Masekela, the master trumpet player of South African jazz. Having first met in the 70s thanks to their respective close associations with Fela Kuti, the two world-renowned musicians talked for decades about making an album together. When, in 2010, their touring schedules coincided in the UK, the moment presented itself and producer Nick Gold took the opportunity to record their encounter. The unfinished sessions, consisting of all original compositions by the pair, lay in archive until after Masekela passed away in 2018. With renewed resolution, Allen and Gold, with the blessing and participation of Masekela’s estate, unearthed the original tapes and finished recording the album in summer 2019 at the same London studio where the original sessions had taken place. Rejoice can be seen as the long overdue confluence of two mighty African musical rivers — a union of two free-flowing souls for whom borders, whether physical or stylistic, are things to pass through or ignore completely. According to Allen, the album deals in “a kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew”, with its roots firmly in Afrobeat. Allen and Masekela are accompanied on the record by a new generation of well-respected jazz musicians including Tom Herbert, Joe Armon-Jones, Mutale Chashi and Steve Williamson.”

Wax Machine
Earthsong of Silence

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brighton’s Wax Machine are a band so steeped in the kernel of psychedelic seep that there’s every indication they may have slipped through a side door in space-time and sprouted anew a few years back on the UK coast. However, for all intents and purposes it’s best to believe that they truly sprang from the fertile mind of Brazilian-born, Italian/English-raised Lau Ro (Guitar/Vocals). Lau’s international upbringing served as the wellspring for some of the eclectic taste that informs the core of Wax Machine’s sound. On Earthsong of Silence, that eclecticism incorporates Spiritual Jazz, Krautrock, Tropicália and Library Music while filtering them all through a psychedelic lens. Per Lau, “The album is an exploration into paradoxes, meditation and magic, predicated on the underlying idea of becoming one with nature and in harmony with the environment.” It borrows from dreams and trances to give life to a psychedelic experience that feels hauntingly familiar, yet strikingly new. On his journey Lau met up with fellow Brighton musicians and birthed Wax Machine with members from local bands Rokurokubi, Hill, Strange Cages and singer-songwriter Woody Green. Ro’s fellow travelers include Isobel Jones, who adds soaring vocals and provides Wax Machine’s entrancing flute work alongside Toma Sapir who locks down a groove on the kit that keeps Earthsong of Silence from floating into the ether.”

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