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. 


If you’re that way inclined, like 45turns on Facebook for more cracking new music.

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. 

 

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. 

DISCO EDITS: SHMLL – OYE Edits 05 (OYE Records)

Berlin-based duo SHMLL serve up four sweet space-tastic disco cuts for the fifth editon of OYE Edits.

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Having previously put out left-of-centre releases from the likes of Jonny Rock and DJ Uffe, the fifth 12″ in the edition stays true to the OYE formula – or lack of it. A whacked out synth-guitar mutant screams to the heavens above a juicy locked groove on ‘Andong’, and ‘Arnis’ brings the dark Middle Eastern vibes to the fore in a semitonic work-out that wouldn’t be amiss on Disco Halal.

 

The flip side is full of spacey percussive headmashery for restless feet and half-open eyes, a tribal call and response to mirror your inner circuit trip into discoid overload.

Disclaimer: nobody knows where this source material came from. It may not exist in any knowable form.

Get OYE Edits 06 now at OYE Records or any decent purveyor of vinyl. 


For more international feel disco edits, check out the Korean cuts on Jongno Edits Vol. 5.

Marcos Valle – Marcos Valle (Preservation Norway)

Norwegian reissue crew Preservation Records have brought out Marcos Valle’s eponymous 1983 album (his 12th), now on vinyl for the first time ever.

As any YouTube disco surfer will know, ‘Estrelar’, the opening track, is a killer disco/boogie cut. The funky verse breaks are bolstered by a transcendent pop hook, elevating the song if only to break it back down in disco slap-bass euphoria.

Although the musicians on this record shine on feel-good, brass-heavy disco cuts like ‘Estrelar’ and ‘Dia D’, the synth-textured grooves found on popular Brazilian tune ‘Samba de Verão’ or ‘Naturalmente’ stay firmly put on the beach at sunset.

On tracks like ‘Para Os Fillhos de Abraão’, Valle gets himself into full Beach Boys pop crooner mode, complete with full band harmonies. There’s as many hooks as conga hits, just one of the reason why this a very special crossover album.

Valle is an extremely versatile singer, knowing how to work the inexplicable charm that Brazilian Portuguese has over pop ballads. He reaches out beyond the overdone disco formula and saccharine piano ballads common to lots of 80s Brazilian music. As a player on the album himself, this must have been important for Valle in his exposition .

The reissue of Marcos Valle’s eponymous album is available now at Preservation Records. Dig it.


If, like us, you have an appetite for soul and disco reissues from 1983, check out Letta Mbulu’s In The Music The Village Never Ends.

Letta Mbulu – In The Music… The Village Never Ends [Be With Records]

Letta Mbulu’s seminal 1983 effort is a landmark in South African musical development, and the kind of record you would pass over in a bargain bin.

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The first run of Be With Record’s reissue of this synth-funk classic in 2015 ran like water, and it wasn’t long before the Discogs stock exchange inflated with prices of the reissue resembling the original 1983 press. This September, Be With Records, in their great wisdom, have repressed the reissue of the original and you can buy it now. Lost? Then just listen.

The South African pop prodigy straddles the 45turns spectrum, from cosmic soliloquies echoing British New Wave (the oft-sampled ’Normalizo’) to hard disco boogie (’The Village’) and balearic odes (‘Down By The River’). Mbulu does all this without falling astray of her distinctly South African milieu: songs like the opener, ‘Juju’, with its chant-led energy and distinct bass guitar style. look forward to Paul Simon’s 1986 Southern African expedition, ‘Graceland’, released three years after ‘In The Music…’.

 

An extremely rare South African LP, ingeniously ahead of its time, once again available on vinyl and sounding as fresh as ever.

The reissue of ‘In The Music The Village Never Ends’ is available for a short time at Be With Records. If you’re strictly Discogs, skip the pirates and get it from disque72.

Jongno Edits Vol. 5

Jongno Edits return for round five of their admirable quest to beef up 1960s Korean pop, disco, jazz and psych for the modern dance floor. The label boss is on chopping duty this time round, taking over from Japanese edit maestro Mori Ra on volume four.

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A1, “42 Below”, revolves around a locked groove that takes root in jazz chords and patterns, escalating into a funk monster with the bass riff you’ve been searching for.

 

The B-side, lifted from ‘an obscure LP from a Korean percussion ensemble with Traditional Korean folk elements and tribal drums and chanting’ is the kind of cheeky mid-tempo disco chugger you’d slip into a set to start seriously heating things up.

 

Riveting stuff from an ever-impressive edit catalogue.

The 12″ of Jongno Edits Vol. 5 is available on the 8th Sep 17 from any respectable vinyl outlet.