Future Bubblers 3.0 Compilation Announced featuring Blind MIC and Aaliyah Esprit
The Brownswood record label have announced a third installment of the Future Bubblers compilation series, featuring material from Manchester-based artist Blind MIC and vocalist Aaliyah Esprit, both of whom have previously performed at Inner City Waves at Band on the Wall.
Future Bubblers, described as a ‘new music discovery platform and a mentoring scheme’, began back in 2014, and has helped four year groups of artists to build their musical base and capitalise upon their unique skill sets. Yazmin Laceyand Skinny Pelembeare amongst the artists to have made waves during and after the scheme, and current artists involved in the program include Manchester’s HMD and KinKai.
Wilroy’s beautifully produced, space-age RnB cut 4F3D63Hex is streaming now and you can find more about the 3.0 compilation here, ahead of its release on 11th October.
The Repeat Listen: Ashley Henry – Beautiful Vinyl Hunter
With his impressive Easter EP, the blossoming London-based pianist Ashley Henry demonstrated a penchant for beat-driven contemporary jazz and an arranger’s ear that enabled him to transform rap and indie classics into laid-back small-ensemble pieces that perfectly suited his aesthetic. His debut LP, Beautiful Vinyl Hunter, is very much a continuation of those ideas: Henry including an inventive interpretation of Solange’s Cranes (In the Sky) for piano trio, while further exploring a bright and energising style of hip-hop-inflected contemporary jazz through his own compositions.
The record opens with STAR CHILD, featuring the first of two raspy, encapsulating vocal performances from fellow Londoner Judi Jackson. The slow groove laid down by drummer Eddie Hick is warmly punctuated by Daniel Casimir’s upright bass work and Henry’s expansive chords, setting a light, dynamic trio template that succeeds throughout the record.
A friendship that began during Henry’s Leeds University days and continued through a Mouse Outfit collaboration last year yields great results on third track Between the Lines— Henry and MC Sparkz crafting a chilled hip-hop groove, with a shimmering electric guitar lick fluttering like butterfly wings, and cultured horn work by Keyon Harrold (whom Henry toured with last year) bringing a sense of downtown New York jazz to the instrumentation.
For his rendition of Cranes (In the Sky), Henry opts to increase the tempo, injecting a brighter and fizzier feel into the Solange composition. Eddie Hick shows his command of the kit with patterns on the ride cymbal and snare rim never settling into a constant phrasing, while Casimir’s lyrical lines unfurl subtly beneath Henry’s playing, as he solos with conviction, accessing the pianos high regions and meandering in and out the key signature expertly.
Closing cut THE MIGHTY, which was the album’s first single, is another highlight amongst this fifteen-track collection, which altogether proves Henry to be a receptive leader, willing collaborator and fine writer. His calming blend of contemporary styles and understanding of when to cut loose and when to keep things simple is endearing, and that balance will hopefully see him creating impactful music for decades to come.
New Sounds and Visuals
Contemporary folk quartet Lankum returned with an astonishing rendition of The Wild Rover this week, accompanied by a beautiful video from director/producer Ellius Grace. Their arrangement sheds new light on the Irish standard, with droning strings and remarkable vocal harmonies conjuring a sense of depth and darkness, reflecting the vagrancy of the character depicted in the song. For the video, Grace, picturing an Ireland of antiquity, opted for uninhabited landscapes and a colour grading style that reflected Irish landscape in old paintings. The combination of music and visual is nothing short of enrapturing.
Loraine James’ energisingnew single London Ting // Dark as F**k hears the Hyperdub artist arranging a multi-faceted track, with abrasive bass, spur-of-the-moment lead lines, and hard-hitting bars from feature wordsmith, Le3 bLACK. The video, directed by Pedro Takahashi, depicts James’ ends from all angles: with ground-level shots of Le3 before blocks of flats and a ruckus on the concrete, to super-wide angles of the estate, various stills of hidden details and grainy CCTV-style footage. The tune and visual are a perfect artistic match and each leave the appreciator collecting their thoughts from all over the floor.
Hive Mind records have announced the forthcoming Los Siquicos Litoraleños album Medianos Éxitos Subtropicales Vol. 2with a crazy collage visual from Marina Di Milta and Salvador Cresta. Described as ‘The psychedelic gauchos of El Litoral’ — the band’s far-out sound is on display in the trippy infomercial-style visual, which contains shots of old manuals and adverts, radios, and much more. Mad in the best possible way!
Portico Quartet this week published a new video for Offset, which sees the band playing in a diamond configuration on a spotlit stage, feeding off each other’s energy as they deliver a meditative post-jazz instrumental laden with interesting instrumentation. It was directed by Duncan Bellamy with the assistance of a small crew, and you can check it out below.
Richard Dawson’s remarkable new track Two Halves places candid lyrics, written from the perspective of a youth playing football and shouldering in the pressure of his father and teammates, at the fore. The daring and unusually-structured track is accompanied by a video created by Lesley-anne Rose and a modest team, which explores a more rustic, folkloric aesthetic to mirror the lyrics, with stop-motion animation and natural materials. If you like the Whack-bat scene in Fantastic Mr. Fox, you’ll love the video.