David Brewis releases surprise concept record, generating donations to abortion rights and healthcare groups

— Features — Liam Cook

Yesterday, David Brewis of the Sunderland-based outfit Field Music surprised fans with the release of a new concept album. Entitled 45, it consists of ten funk-infused tracks informed by Donald Trump’s unlikely rise through the political ranks. Released under his School of Language moniker, the album sees £1 from each sale being split between the abortion rights and healthcare groups Alliance for Choice and Planned Parenthood. The latter organisation has been at the centre of an intensifying debate recently, as greater numbers of American states adopt a hostile abortion stance, with Missouri health officials going as far as to refuse the licence renewal of St Louis’ Planned Parenthood clinic.

The rifts in that debate are just one subplot to Brewis’ dense musical exploration of Donald Trump’s political journey. The album darts between various perspectives, encompassing the roles of his advisors and lawyers, the psychologists questioning his fitness for office, and the politicians of the opposition, flummoxed by his resilience in the face of mounting efforts to dislodge him. In an accompanying statement, Brewis expresses: ‘It feels like Trump’s success has rendered in perfect detail every fault line in Western democracy – how profile beats policy, how corporate interests overwhelm the needs of ordinary people and how ethics and the rule of law are at the mercy of partisanship.’

Brewis lists Bob Woodward’s book Fear and articles in the Washington Post, New Yorker and New York Times amongst the materials that informed his songwriting. Although the album was recorded, compiled and released quickly, it is far from sounding cobbled together, with Brewis’ assured funk arrangements referencing both the artists he cites as influences: James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone and The Meters to name but three, and those who others have recognised his sonic kinship with, including Talking Heads, XTC and the late great Prince.

Stream the new release below and find out more about the anti-abortion laws that have been passed during this year of Donald Trump’s administration via Quartz.

The Repeat Listen: Mim Suleiman – Si Bure

Tasting notes: Débruit – From the Horizon, Okzharp & Manthe Ribane – Dumela 113, Baloji –  137 Avenue Kaniama, Jazz-N-Groove – Jazzy Grooves Vol. 1, Waajeed – From the Dirt

The creative partnership between vocalist/percussionist Mim Suleiman and celebrated house producer Maurice Fulton dates back to their work on Suleiman’s 2010 debut, Tungi. On paper, the artists are an unusual pairing, but in practice, their complementary skill sets enable the creation of deep, soulful house music, imbued with playful energy and enriched by Suleiman’s command of African instrumentation and her distinctive voice.

Si Bure was recorded and mixed in Sheffield, yet as you listen through it, one could imagine it having been made in numerous locations. Aruka has the offbeat snare strikes, squelchy, resonant synth stabs and quirky samples you’d expect from a track by Golden Teacher or No Zu, whereas Usiogope is pure Chicago, but for Mim’s call and response vocals. Na Mia brings kalimba, shekere and bells to the forefront of a stirring Afro-house arrangement, while Uutu is a shimmering synth-pop track with harp and vocals from Claire Lousie McBride. Haki lays down a robust g-house groove with Egyptian Lover-esque vocoder lines and vicious drum programming, while Ama Kweli provides yet another stylistic twist, with a dub-punk, Public Image Ltd./ESG vibe achieved through live electric bass, dubbed out snare strikes and fizzy hi-hats. The invention and diversity on show in this fourteen-track, hour-long LP has to be applauded.

Stitching the record together are four Shukuru interludes, some of which are mixed into the tracks that bookend them, but ultimately serve to build a theme that culminates in the project’s final track. With its synth fanfare, cavernous drum strikes and Mim’s powerful voice, Shukuru is a perspective-altering, devotional end to one of the most diverse and enjoyable dance records you’re likely to hear this year.

New sounds and visuals

Record label Heist or Hit have released a video for Her’s track She Needs Him, commemorating the duo after they and their tour manager were tragically killed in a car accident in March. Directed by Sébastien Séjourné, the video features both musicians bathed in multicoloured light. A Friends of Her’s memorial has also been announced, taking place on Sunday 16th June at the Bombed Out Church in Liverpool.

London-based artist Sarathy Korwar has called upon fellow tabla player and Bandish Projekt leader Mayur Narvekar for a remix of his new single, Mumbay. The forceful flip brings dubstep and DnB elements to the fore, achieving a fine balance between the track’s original acoustic elements and MC Mawali’s lyrics, with hard-driving synth bass, frequency sweeps and breaks. Check out forthcoming record More Arriving here and stream the new Bandish Projekt remix below.

Drummer, producer and composer Myele Manzanza has shared a new track entitled Itaru’s Phone Booth. The uplifting, organic jazz cut will appeal to fans of Alfa Mist, Kamasi Washington and Ross McHenry Trio. Myele explained to Supreme Standards in a recent interview how he has developed his music-making process as he has discovered more about himself as an artist — something that shines through in this mature piece of music.

Combining the sitar with electronic textures and vocals, Ami Dang creates a calming and contemplative soundscape on Raiments. The track is the opening cut from the Baltimore-based artist’s forthcoming album Parted Plains and is accompanied by Nicole Ginelli’s art and animation.

Nev Cottee’s new single Roses is a delicate ballad, which hears the songwriter’s rich baritone blending harmoniously with the voice of the mysterious contributor, Veronica. Cottee’s new LP is inspired by Neil Young, Tom Waits and the late Scott Walker, blending well-wrought songs with what its accompanying literature terms the ‘cinema scope production values of Spiritualized and Morricone.’

The new video for Wand’s Thin Air is a sensitively-shot exploration of the equine form. The movements of horse and rider reduced to slow motion, accompanying an intricate and dynamic indie-rock track with fine electric guitar work. The visual was created by Gordon De Los Santos and can be streamed below.

Veteran grime MC Flowdan dropped another impactful project with Tru Thoughts records this week. The Roll Deep founder member spits hard bars on Full metal Jacket opener Level,  and is joined by Irah — a contributor to East Man’s outstanding Red, White & Zero project. With pitched down vocals, horror soundtrack-esque synth arpeggios and emphatic kicks and timpani strikes, it’s easily one of the heaviest tracks of the year thus far.

Images: David Brewis (via In House PR,) Mim Suleiman record cover, Wand, Sarathy Korwar 

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