Working Men’s Club sign with Heavenly recordings

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Manchester-based four piece Working Men’s Club announced that they have signed a deal with Heavenly recordings, this week. The band will release their new single, Teeth, with the label in August, midway through a UK tour which sees them playing at Manchester Psych Fest on 30th August. The group features guitarist and vocalist Giulia Bonometti, who performed solo material under her Julia Bardo moniker at Band on the Wall in May, as well as singer and guitarist Sydney Minsky-Sargeant, drummer Jake Bogacki and recently-recruited bassist, Liam Ogburn.

Check out the video for Teeth below and keep up with the band on social media.

Pieces of a Man and Electronic Empires join Karen Gabay on festival square broadcast

Broadcaster and Band on the Wall board member Karen Gabay delivered her BBC Radio Manchester show with co-host Mr V from the MIF festival square on Sunday. The special episode of The People saw Jaydeev and Clive of Electronic Empires drop by, discussing how Nitin Sawhney’s 1999 Session 72 residency informed the vision for their project. Also involved was Pieces of a Man frontman Tolu Ajayi, who sang live and spoke about the creation of the band’s new album, which was recently released on Tru Thoughts. 

Listen back to the full broadcast here, which also featured EVABEE, the House of Gospel Choir and Cleopatra.

The Repeat Listen: Sarathy Korwar – More Arriving

Tasting notes: Emanative – Earth, The Comet is Coming – Channel the Spirits, Collocutor – Instead, Melt Yourself Down – Live At The New Empowering Church, Swadesi – The Warli Revolt

London-based percussionist and composer Sarathy Korwar made an astute observation ahead of his 2018 Church of Sound performance, which resulted in the triumphant triple album, My East is Your West. He recognised that the elements of Indian classical music present in a selection of post-bop and fusion era recordings could be differently articulated, in order to better portray the musical heritage they drew from, and creatively rebalance those compositions through the lens of an ensemble with different skills and experiences. The result was a joyous collection of music, as powerful on record as it would’ve been for the audience in the room.

On his follow up album, More Arriving, Korwar has again been observant and adventurous, reflecting various perspectives on migration and socio-political issues, while also tapping into the thriving hip-hop scene emerging in various Indian cities, at present. The result, as he explains in the album’s mini-documentary, “serves as a snapshot of a plethora of brown voices in 2019.”

The first of those voices heard is that of MC Mawali, whose lyrics in Hindi and Marathi speak of poverty in India, and the power structures that keep people in the gullies. The sprightly instrumental behind him hears Korwar using the full range of the drum kit: rimshots, tom tom strikes, raised hats and a booming bass drum, with saxophonist Tamar Osborn layering a punchy bass riff and wandering lead line. Dramatic synth chords bring emphasis to each spiralling chorus, as Mawali chants “Dekha gully to sikha tareek” (“I learnt my ways from the street”.) A funky street recording serves as an interlude into Coolie, which hears New Delhi-based MC Delhi Sultanate (a member of The Ska Vengers,) deliver a history lesson in the illicit practices of companies in the colonies, exploring the historic connections between South Asia and the Carribean through indentured labour which brought that Cannabis seed to Jamaica, of course becoming vital to the Rastafari movement and associated reggae music which he cherishes. Prabh Deep also hops on this cut, which has distorted, Melt Yourself Down-esque saxophone playing and a New York State of Mind-esque organ rhythm. He, like Mawali, addresses the socio-political situation in India.

Bol, the album’s nine-minute centrepiece, draws from Qawwali music associated with Sufi Islam — brooding harmonium swells underpinning Zia Ahmed’s cutting poetry and Aditya Prakash’s extraordinary and articulate carnatic vocal work. An epic, far-reaching track, Bol has undeniable spiritual weight: its hard-hitting wordplay, soaring melodies, shifting textures and frenzied crescendo taking the listener on a dizzying, deeply felt journey.

Zia Ahmed saves his most acerbic, tongue-in-cheek poetry for Mango — his despair in the face of political xenophobia and societal contradictions articulated in plain truths and disarming humour, with lines such as “I know in the old days, everything was OK / saw it in a documentary called Mary Poppins.” Singer Mirande contributes beautiful, dynamic Hindustani singing to Good Ol’ Vilayati, conveying deep emotion without distinct lyrics, instead, with expert control of pitch and tone.

More Arriving gives the listener further insight into Korwar’s artistic outlook, uniting artists based in different countries in an open, sensitive and creative way. Korwar has allowed each artist he has worked with to express their feelings and unique abilities, harness the band and the platform this record will receive, to speak to a listenership they might not otherwise connect with. It is a rich, beautifully produced and mixed album, with daring and diverse musical content that genuinely helps to convey the varied experience of South Asian people in various walks of life.

More Arriving drops next week via The Leaf Label.

New sounds and visuals:

House of Pharaohs MC Blaze YL has hopped on the new Kiing production Bossed Up, which premiered over at Complex, this week. The three minute trap joint comes with a fresh video, seeing Kiing and Blaze hitting up a vintage game arcade. Check it out below.

Manchester-based producer Kill Miami returned with Back in Action this week: a hard trap beat with verses from 67’s Liquez and Trinidadian artist Jay Nahge, Grizzle and Manchester’s own Trigga. Check out the new cut on SoundCloud.

PJ Morton returned with a new video for his uber-soulful RnB jam Say So, this week. The track hears Morton dueting with feature vocalist JoJo, their complementary voices locking together beautifully during the verse, and JoJo cutting loose with some vocal runs as the instrumental intensifies. The simple, slow paced visual matches the vibe nicely, with Morton telling NYLON: “I really love how the simplicity of this video matches the simplicity of the song. There are no deep lyrics. No big words. If you love me, just say so. It’s such a simple sentiment that we can all relate to.” Check out the video below and catch PJ Morton at Band on the Wall in October.

Moon Hooch’s new single Give Yourself to Love landed earlier this week, with saxophonist Wenzl McGowen commenting: “We wrote and recorded the song at the same time. We set up our equipment and started playing without any preconceived ideas about what will happen. I think when you give yourself to love, you trust that the future will unfold beautifully, although you aren’t sure how. But the song also received its title spontaneously…” Check out the wonderfully melodic, organic EDM cut below, and catch the band here on Tuesday night.

Terry Crews, one of the coolest cats in show business, stars in the new video for Brittany Howard’s solo single Stay High. The Alabama Shakes frontwoman pens a gentle and soulful cut, which accompanies Crews as he punches out at the factory, hits the road in his SUV, picks up some groceries, soaks up the joyous vibe of his community and heads home to his family. The Kim Gehrig-directed video is one of the more wholesome visuals you’re likely to see this year, with a true feel good factor and warmth. Check it out below.

Brisbane-based punk trio DZ Deathrays released a second single from their forthcoming album, Positive Rising: Part 1, this week. Year Of The Dog features guest vocals from Matt Caughthran, frontman of the well-known L.A. punk outfit The Bronx, alongside characteristic overdriven electric guitars, snarling bass and punchy drums. The single is accompanied by a lyric video, directed and edited by Eileen McDonald Sparks, which you can check out below. The tune can be bought and streamed here.

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