Guide to the Week of Music: Sunny Jain, Loraine James, New Sounds and Visuals
Welcome to the first Guide to the Week of Music article of the new decade! As always, we’ve some exciting new music to bring you, from artists situated in other continents, to here on our doorstep in Greater Manchester. We take a look at the new collaborative release from Loraine James, a new cut from MSC Big Band, and explore Sunny Jain’s new project for Smithsonian Folkways.
Sunny Jain Discusses Migration and Connecting Sound Worlds in Short Film for Smithsonian Folkways
New York City-based drummer, percussionist and composer Sunny Jain featured in a new short film for Smithsonian Folkways, last month. Sharing its title with his first studio album for the record label — which is a nonprofit organisation and part of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage — Wild Wild East explores how the ‘first-generation South Asian–American’ has worked in and outside of the studio to combine sounds of various origins, explore his heritage and reflect upon his upbringing.
Watch the film below and find out more about his album, Wild Wild East, here.
Repeat Listen: Loraine James – New Year’s Substitution 2
London-based producer Loraine James has followed her debut album for Hyperdub with a self-released project that buzzes with spontaneous energy. One of the first digital releases of the new decade, its eight tracks were created over the course of seven days with eight different collaborators, resulting in eight varied and exciting pieces of experimental electronic dance music.
As might be expected from tracks created under these circumstances, the music on New Year’s Substitution 2 is — for the most part — busy and freeform, with an energising fluidity and roughness. Layers of programmed beats, chopped-up pads and vocal samples often collide in fun and frenzied ways, yet there’s a focus to every tune, with deep hooks and inventive arrangements.
The release kicks off with New Year New Meh, in which breathy pads and vocal samples, skipping hi-hats, and throaty kicks jostle for position. I’m Feeling explores an experimental grey area between DnB and footwork, with manipulated breakbeats, distant chords that modulate up and down a semitone, and processed vocal samples. LPJ1 plays like a deconstruction of ‘90s dance music, with sounds and textures familiar from classic house and rave music, but daring structures and juxtapositions of those elements that make the track feel fresh.
New Sounds and Visuals
A number of our favourite MCs and vocalists feature on what is expected to be the final Foreign Beggars LP: MATRIARCHY. From newcomers like Mali Hayes and Greentea Peng to established names like Liam Bailey and DRS, it’s a far-reaching collaborative effort. The opening cut with ms. Hayes and Maverick Sabre is a bright hip-hop cut with feather-light melodies and hard bars from its two featured contributors. Check out the video below and find the album here.
Corto.alto, the Glasgow-based nu-jazz outfit featuring keys player Fergus McCreadie, have dropped a new studio video for their track Lysithea. The dreamlike nine-minute instrumental features meditative rhodes playing, warm horn harmonies and some tasty bass work from Seb Read.
Isobel Campbell of Belle & Sebastian fame is to return with a new solo album in February. On recently-released album cut The National Bird of India, written about her homesickness for Scotland, Campbell sings in hushed, delicate tones, as gentle acoustic guitar, minimal percussion and gliding strings weave beneath her.