Ezra Collective – Juan Pablo: The Philosopher

Having already broken into the local jazz consciousness with last year’s Chapter 7 EP and the Sun-Ra informed Space Is the Place single, London five-piece Ezra Collective have dropped their anticipated Juan Pablo: The Philosopher EP, a heady collection of new wave jazz tunes.

Ezra Collective are a good emblem for the revitalised London jazz scene that has become highly conscious of the interplay between the roots that soul and hip-hop have in jazz, including the late 2000s broken beat scene and the rediscovered (for the second time since the early 2000s) West African funky heritage.

The EP opens with a sunny, psychedelic keyboard trill that composes itself and morphs into the afrobeat-style brass refrain that forms the centrepiece of opening track ‘Juan Pablo’. It continues throughout its blissful 23 minutes with a full-throttled dissemination of funk, atmospheric disco-esque rhythm and late night post-bop.

The dynamism and craftsmanship on display here speak for an inner love of rhythm and jazz that’s been lacking in a scene saturated by real book purists and faux-pas cocktail bars. Juan Pablo: The Philosopher is bold, colourful and, dare I say, breakthrough: it’s something to get excited about. Ezra Collective are sure to be a solid reference point in UK jazz for the years to come.

You can get Juan Pablo: The Philosopher on Bandcamp. 45turns tip: keep an eye out for a repress before the end of the year. 


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Bruxas – Más Profundo [DKMNTL049]

I tried to catch Bruxas’ Más Profundo when it first came out in June, but it had already eluded me. This week, Dekmantel have pressed another batch of this transatlantic gem, a balearic Lusophone disco hybrid that is already going down as one of the best releases of the year.

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Title track Más Profundo recalls Ibiza beach whispers in sultry Portuguese female vox reels. This track, like the rest of the EP, manages to build itself around balearic sensibilities without ever dropping the tempo. Tropical birds perch on synthesisers; nature floats by in 4/4 time.  Sizzling, swirling and psychedelic, by the time it fades out, you wish it could go on forever.

Luckily, Tropicaçovas kicks it up a notch with the filthiest rhythm section this side of Bahia. Bruxas marry these traditional elements of Lusophone dance music with classic disco-era keys and arpeggiators to dazzling effect.

On the flip, Selva Cósmica stomps and trips along under Baldelli-style synthscapes, whisking you to the darkest of leaf-strewn Amazonian hideaways. Finally, Plantas Falsas digs into a cunning nu-disco workout as the sun drops low.

In 25 minutes of fuzzy balearic disco bliss, ‘Más Profundo’ sums up the entire 45turns ethos. An essential of 2017.

You can pick up ‘Más Profundo’ on 12″ vinyl at Dekmantel. Also like 45turns on Facebook for tons more next-level wax. 

 

Balearic Social – Mushrooms Project [BSR007]

Balearic Social really have built up a reputation with consistently excellent releases that run like water. It was only a matter of time before downtempo psych masters Mushrooms Project made it onto the imprint, and it’s as lucidly head-spinning as you’d expect.

Emerge, sun-dazed, from the baking humidity of Motolani into the Chillin’Dretti night, where vagabonds wander the steppes in search of little circle-shaped relief. Truly as balearic as you could want.

BSR007 will be out in late 2017. It might be tricky to find online- ask your record dealer. You can keep up to date with Balearic Social on Facebook

Common Edits 012 [CE-012]

Common Edits are a label from Canada entirely dedicated to the art of the edit. As the name suggests, they only release edits, and every time they do, they throw a massive party.

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If you find yourself in Edmonton, Canada this October, there’s a definite party going down.

As A1, ‘How About’, shows, Common edits goes beyond the standard chop and smash usually needed to constitute an edit these days. It’s an electro-boogie beast that flits around the room in an orange burning light, but never veers off track.

Eddie C, known for his Latin-themed work on labels like Barefoot Beats, stays true to his style and delivers an airy,  downtempo rework of some tasteful Brazilian jazz ballad.

‘Space Up Your Life’ is swirling New York disco-funk with all the slap bass and filter fun you could want on one quarter of a 12” plastic disc.

One can only imagine where ‘Sunny Days in The Chocolate Factory’ came from- it reminds me of Disco Halal’s Brazilian outings, dark, pulsating undercurrents somehow meshing with breezy, tripped out guitars. At some points you could even be on Kraftwerk’s Autobahn- like being thrown out into the atmosphere, disengaged completely yet fixated on a single star while the slow mass of existence moves around it. The 45turns tip.

These Common edits tend not to be so common, so get it from your local vinyl dealer, record shop or online outlet ASAP. 

Nu Guinea – Amore (Ng Records)

Nu Guinea’s Tony Allen remix album from last year has just left the turntable, so it’s lucky that they’re putting out a jazzy little 7” this week on their new record label.

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‘Amore’ is the one song on this single-sided disc. Apparently, the only copy before now was a privately pressed wedding present. It would have been a real shame to keep it that way (but still a great present).

‘Amore’ is a tribute to love that winks cheekily through the trees on a tropical beach, puts you on your tiptoes and leaves you hanging there feeling light, lazy and free. A woozy disco/jazz/funk killer, ready to be deployed with equal traction by the pool or on the discerning dancefloor.

Amore is available now, limited to 350 copies. You might find it at Phonica


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Jaz – Geisha (Passport To Paradise)

Our good friends at Passport to Paradise continue their winning streak with an exclusive release from man of the cloth, digger extraordinaire, John Zahl / Jaz. If you’ve seen his video for Thump, you’ll know that Jaz and his works are weird, wrong and wonderful: in a word, the ethos of PTP is alive and kicking in this release.

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First up, Geisha chugs along in the cosmic dust of 80s synth assortments and flourishes of koto. Scatter-brained brilliance from the deepest of Osaka basements. A2, Move to the Beach, heralds a sleeker, sleazier side to Jaz’s episcopal offering. It builds itself out from a latent groove that ushers in the end of the night, carrying you to the empty seafront just before dawn, where a breeze ruffles the palm trees as you dig your eyes into the moon.

Turning the page, we have a rework from the same post-Kraftwerk heritage, but this one is more potent synthpop roller, a straight-up, no frills edit for the toughest of dance floors. The final track, Twin Theory, is a lofty affair from the outset, its arpeggiated bass holding the track to ransom: it is playful yet very serious, sublime and sarcastic. This is what PTP are bringing to your homes and dancefloors.

Check out Geisha over at Juno, where you’ll find the rest of PTP’s excellent releases.

Lost Propert Edits Volume 4

The mysterious Lost Property imprint returns for another round of enigmatic disco edits.

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‘Ganu Ganu’ is a sweeping, swirling belter of a track that chugs along with dizzying industrial intensity. Perfect for midnight temperature rising . A2, ‘Financial Times Dub’, pulls back a little for a smooth, sunny disco-funk escapade.

‘Don’t Come Runnin’, on the flip, has that rising bassline stomp characteristic of the Lost Property edits. It’s flecked with jazz sensibilities and a female soul vocal track. The last track, ‘Princess of Persia’, is a straight-up headmash conga brass party with a Middle Eastern vibe – the 45turns tip.

Overall, a serious set of edits from a consistently solid imprint, which may or may not be PBR Streetgang in disguise.

They don’t have a website, but you can order Lost Property Volume 4 at Juno.