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Month: August 2018

Susheela Raman – Ghost Gamelan (feat. Samuel Mills, Gondrong Gunarto) (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Susheela Raman – Ghost Gamelan (feat. Samuel Mills, Gondrong Gunarto) (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz  | Time – 40:30 minutes | 472 MB | Genre: World
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Naive

Born in London to South Indian parents, singer Susheela Raman, alongside producer/guitarist Sam Mills, has released a chain of adventurous albums and is known as an intense, captivating live performer. Spirited encounters with musicians from a wide range of backgrounds has been a hallmark of her work.

Now a new ambitious collaboration with Indonesian musicians is bearing fruit. Raman has delivered an extraordinary album ‘Ghost Gamelan’, the body of which was which was recorded in Solo, Indonesia in 2016. The album is a collaboration with Javanese contemporary gamelan composer Gondrong Guanarto and his team of virtuoso gamelan players. Gamelan, for non-initiates, is the music of Bali and Java, played mostly on tuned gongs, which has long inspired smart western music makers from Debussy, Messaien, Philip Glass and Steve Reich to Sonic Youth.Traces of its shimmering, loopy DNA are over everything from modal jazz to electronic dance music.

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Supercharge – Real Machine (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Supercharge – Real Machine (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 40:28 minutes | 498 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © GAIN

Real Machine was created entirely at Sound Matters Cph. with bass player Karsten Dines Johansen as the main producer. Staying true to their roots with heavy riffs, mean beats and steel guitars along with their signature elements of blues harp and keys, this album also demonstrates the versatility and musical capabilities of this band by exploring new sounds with synths and samples.

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Sugar Candy Mountain – Do Right (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Sugar Candy Mountain – Do Right (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 38:40 minutes | 440 MB | Genre: Alternative
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © People In A Position To Know

Part travelogue, part response to the current, turbulent climate, “Do Right” gives voice to the deeply nested anxiety of modern times attempting to offer a balm. Nature, it seems, is where the band often goes to calibrate it’s moral compass so frequently upended by the daily news-cycle. Sugar Candy Mountain invites you to join them on this journey singing “There’s a quiet place I go when I need to find my way/ There’s a quiet place inside/ Come on in just knock and a door will open”. Musically, the band remains rooted in 60’s and 70’s rock, with their signature honey sweet vocals. “Do Right” leans more heavily on synthesizer than the band’s previous records, lending the album a more modern feel. The album pairs the ephemeral orchestral arrangements of The Beach Boys with the pop sensibility of George Harrison on “All Things Must Pass”. Oscillating between the hazy psychedelic pop of Mild High Club, the driving energy of Dungen and the danceable familiarity of The Supremes, “Do Right” is a perfect cocktail of old and new, imploring the listener to take a ride into the sunset with Sugar Candy Mountain.

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Still in the Woods – Rootless Tree (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Still in the Woods – Rootless Tree (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 49:57 minutes | 562 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Neuklang

Still in the Woods – that’s indie jazz. As relaxed as it is profound. As danceable as emotionally moving. As delicate and complex as energetic and captivating.

It was only in the fall of 2015 that Anna Hauss (vocals), Robert Wienroeder (piano, keys), Raphael Seidel (bass) and Jakob Hegner (drums) – four young, outstanding music students from three cities (Leipzig, Berlin Dresden) – came to Still in The Woods closed together. What connects them is their unconditional love for music itself and an almost intuitive musical understanding among each other.

Free-spirited, eager to experiment, open to the wide variety of musical stylistic devices and beyond any genre-drawers, the four exceptional musicians immediately find the “right tone”, a common, unmistakable language that lets the spark pass. On stage and in interaction with her enthusiastic audience.

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Steve Tibbetts – Yr (1988/2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Steve Tibbetts – Yr (1988/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz  | Time – 38:19 minutes | 730 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ECM

Yr is yet another fascinating peek into the Steve Tibbetts sound-verse. The feeling of open plains that so characterized his previous efforts remains, only now the production is more immediate, such that the 12-string intimations unlocking the doors of “Ur” set us adrift in our own mysteries. Percussionist Marc Anderson soars, seeming to grow out of Tibbetts’s hollow-bodied heart before the heavy thrum of the latter’s electric curls itself into a ball and rolls down a hill of unrelenting melody. After an explosion of beats and guitars settles us into the soothing reverie of “Sphexes,” we find our expectations blotted by an interlude of kalimbas before Tibbetts spreads his buttery axe over this acoustic toast with sweetness in “Ten Years.” Fantastic. “One Day,” much like the opener, rises from the ashes of a campfire, but not without leaving an aftertaste of the prairie. “Three Primates” is a pocket of sunshine that shifts masterfully between tones and timbres. Now darkened by shadow, now blinded by noon, it dives headfirst to a tabla-infused conclusion. “You And It” is another shimmering slice of life. Backed by strings and icy sleigh bells, it breathes life into a new day. This opens the doors even wider, letting in the dawn’s early electric and unleashing a torrent of dreams made real. “The Alien Lounge” traipses through tall grasses, weaving past abandoned foxholes and memories of warm nights toward the starlight of “Ten Yr Dance,” spun like a home movie rewound to one’s first days on earth.

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Steve Tibbetts – Northern Song (1982/2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Steve Tibbetts – Northern Song (1982/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 48:28 minutes | 927 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ECM

With Nothern Song, Steve Tibbetts made his ECM debut and introduced listeners to what remains one of the label’s most enchanting, if slowly unfolding, maps. The cover seems to tell us everything: silhouettes of islands superimposed on the journey that takes us to them, as if the dream of arrival were potent enough to burn itself across the rearview mirror of our lives. Tibbetts leaves a trail of quiet footprints easily obscured by “The Big Wind,” yet whose direction is not so easily forgotten. With circumpolar affinity and a sensitivity that is for all intents historical, Tibbetts traces the borders of our lives in “Form.” His shimmering guitar finds spirit in Marc Anderson’s verdant whispers. “Walking” continues in very much the same vein, only this time with a more pronounced wash of 12-string steel that eventually lifts us into an “Aerial View.” And because so much of the Northern Song experience is above ground, we are able to slip more intensely into the meditations of “Nine Doors / Breathing Space,” throughout which strings creak like an old house, if not an old body.

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Steve Tibbetts – Life Of (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Steve Tibbetts – Life Of (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz  | Time – 50:37 minutes | 847 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © ECM

A member of ECM since the early 1980s, Steve Tibbetts is indivisible from the famous sound of the Munich label. And while his musical universe features all of its markers (space, silence, oneirism, ambient), the singularity of his guitar has always remained preserved. Life Of is the American’s ninth album for ECM, and a sort of sequel to his 2010 Natural Cause. With his 12-string Martin acoustic guitar, Tibbetts plays out an almost Zen ceremony featuring exotic and dreamy sounds created with his friend Marc Anderson (over 35 years of collaboration!), percussionist and Hang player, and cellist Michelle Kinney. An original soundtrack in line with his Midwest and more remote locations, such as Bali and Nepal, where he often spends time. Spirituality holds centre stage throughout this album, which is as contemplative as it is deep. A viscerally meditative jazz’n’world album that evades any attempt at categorisation.  – Max Dembo

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Steve Cole – Turn It Up (2016/2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Steve Cole – Turn It Up (2016/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 43:01 minutes | 886 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Artistry Music

Known for consistently cranking out chart-topping singles that deploy big vibrant pop hooks, contemporary jazz saxophonist Steve Cole conjures a sonic escapade with the hypnotic “Mirage,” the first single from his forthcoming eighth album, Turn It Up, which will be released July 15 by Artistry Music. Radio programmers were instantly spellbound, making the track from the David Mann-produced set of R&B grooves and soul-powered sojourns the No. 1 most added single on the Billboard BDS chart.

“I embarked on Turn It Up with the goal of making music with great musicians and great friends in great cities. This time around I wrote much of the music with Dave Mann in New York City. We recorded horns, guitars and vocals there as well.” (Steve Cole)

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Stephen Hough – Stephen Hough’s Dream Album (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Stephen Hough – Stephen Hough’s Dream Album (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:19:51 minutes | 1,26 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: | Booklet, Front Cover | © Hyperion Records

Few pianists today could devise such a recital—their own transcriptions and variations on well-known classics included as a matter of course—and seldom can these graceful, delightful pieces have had such consummate musicianship lavished on them. Such stuff as dreams are made on …

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Stephan MacLeod – 17th Century Sacred Music in Wroclaw (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Stephan MacLeod – 17th Century Sacred Music in Wrocław (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:17:45 minutes | 1,38 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Claves Records

Here is a superb inter-European artistic cooperation, with the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra from Poland, the Gli angeli ensemble from Switzerland and the Concerto Palatino based in Italy. It’s only “reasonable” for this album to also features composers from many horizons of 17th-century Europe, except all the rare (and unique in some cases) manuscripts and prints are kept at the Wrocław University Library – hence the album’s title, of course. Indeed, this library was, as early as the baroque era, an extraordinary collection centre for ultra rare publications, and despite the ravages and lootings brought by World War II, most of the collection could be retrieved. It clearly seems that despite never leaving their home country or even their region, some composers were well-known far beyond borders, and that their works found interpreters and amateurs in lands they only vaguely knew by name. This recording offers a generous range of vocal, instrumental and mixed personnel, for the most part Italian and German musicians, as well as a handful of Polish composers – who clearly studied in Italy! An opulent and extraordinarily varied repertoire, with a thousand sounds passionately performed by the three ensembles.

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