January 30, 2012

V4YS Album Review - Portico Quartet - Portico Quartet (Real World Records)

Portico Quartet are back with a self-titled groundbreaking new LP, out on Peter Gabriel's Real World label.

Since their beginnings in 2007 the London-based band has been associated with a mysterious nu-jazz signature sounding like no other. One of the reason is their mastering of the Hang a relatively unknown percussion instrument created 10 years ago in Switzerland and carring in some way an exotic caribbean drums flava. But their originality also lies in their ability to blend many influences into their music, reflecting their immersion into a bubbling London scene forbidding barriers between jazz, electro, broken beats or indie rock's worlds.

If the quartet line-up has changed with pianist Kier Vine replacing percussionist Nick Mulvey, the most important turn this time is the appearance of an electronic/digital dimension into their work.

This evolution hasn't been planned, it rather happened as a natural process that started on stage while touring following the release of their second LP Isla.
Sound effects, loops, samples slowly but surely appeared on these accoustic musicians's arsenal. One thing leading to another, these digital add-ons stimulated the band's creativity and became a major asset when they started to work on this third album.

As a telling example, their work on the "Hang" : if it is still present on this record, it is almost as a new instrument. Not recorded live anymore, it was mainly used through finely reworked samples, creating a totally different sound. More generally, besides the digital gimmicks, even the rythmic structure of several tracks borrows from the electro world with deep and regular drums and double-bass lines often reminiscent of the deep techno universe.

All in all here is another splendid effort by the quartet. A truly fascinating tribal feeling emanates from this record, as if jazz and trance were quietly dating to naturally end up getting married during a peaceful ceremony. Not to be missed live during their forthcoming european tour where the record should take all its dimension !

Below an extract, Spinner, as well as a little "making-of" video of the LP :

Retrouvez cette chronique en français sur le site WeGoFunk !

January 28, 2012

V4YS Concert Review - Stuart McCallum (Cinematic Orchestra) - Live at Sunset Jazz Club, Paris - 26/01/12

Stuart McCallum

Laurent Robin
Best known for his pillar status in Jason Swinscoe's Cinematic Orchestra, StuartMcCallum is also pursuing an exciting solo career.

Last November we reviewed his brillant second LP, Distilled, which he presented live  in Paris this week on a trio format (Laurent Robin on drums, Pete Turner on double-bass) in the cosy Sunset JazzClub.

On a cinematic-like ethereal frame made of beautiful synths and strings layers played by his laptop, the guitarist offered a a true moment of grace during two 45-mn long sets mainly focusing on the recent album.

Pete Turner

Perfectly supported by a rythmic section where I particularly enjoyed Laurent Robin's style, conveying both power and strength as well as delicacy and sweetness, Stuart once again proved he currently belongs to the most groundbreaking nu-jazz musicians of our time.

Icing on the cake, he confirmed me that a brand new Cinematic Orchestra album is almost written. Depending on the individual band members busy schedule, it should probably be recorded on Ninja Tune before the end of the year. It will feature singer Heidi Vogel and a new male vocalist as well.

Please find below two video extracts of this concert, Inflight and La Cigale, both featuring on the LP Distilled :

Retrouvez cette review en français sur le site WeGoFunk !

January 23, 2012

V4YS Concert Review - Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards - Koko, London - 210112

Now almost an institution, Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards party gathers every late January an astonishing host of independent artists and labels who make the bread and butter of his legendary radio show on BBC1.
Taking place for a second time in a row in Camden's baroque theater Koko, the evening exceeded once again all my expectations.
 If it would be too long to come back on each and every amazing live performance that took place during the we (including friday's great warm-up party at XOYO), let's at least focus on some of my favorite moments !

Les lecteurs francophones peuvent retrouver cette review en français sur le site WeGoFunk.

Michael Kiwanuka :
His debut LP to be relased very soon will surely be one of 2012's musical highlights. In the meantime british soul/folk artist Michael Kiwanuka keeps affirming himself not only as a brillant songwriter but also as a remarkable live performer.
Offering a shortened version of the live set he currently performs  all around Europe (see here a full broadcast of his recent Rennes Transmusicales festival concert) he mesmerized the audience with his sensitive singing.
His band provides a perfect frame for his acoustic guitar with a special mention to the impact of live percussions (congas, bongos) that give an exotic "world-soul" flava to the ensemble.

Please find below a video extract from his songs Out There Alone :

Thundercat feat. Austin Peralta :
A phenomenal 6-strings bass player as well as an outstanding singer and producer, Thundercat perfectly symbolizes a futuristic groove scene that has been blooming for the last few years in California.
His first LP The Golden Age Of Apocalypse was definitely one of 2011 most groundbreaking productions, fitting perfectly on Flying Lotus's ambitious Brainfeeder label. Playing live for the first time in the Uk, he delivered a spiffy show helped by several world-class artists like 21-year old pianist Austin Peralta (whose first three jazz albums are all must-have), singer Andreya Triana (famous for her multiple collaborations with Bonobo) or singer Heidi Vogel from Cinematic Orchestra.

Catch a glimpse of it with the videos extracts below, For Love I Come and Seasons :

The Pyramids :
As he likes to describe it, Gilles Peterson's worldwide radio show consistently joins the dots between many musical worlds. But it also bridges the generational gaps by constantly mixing brand new productions with old-school sounds that are a part of our musical heritage.
Illustrating this approach his idea to invite legendary spiritual/afro jazz band The Pyramids to perform during the evening in anticipation of the release of a new album in te coming months.
Led by their charismatic founder Idris Ackamoor the band offered a priceless spiritual moment and demonstrated how timeless their early 70's work are.

Below an extract of their classic track Memory Ritual with a phenomenal sax solo from Mr Ackamoor :

BadBadNotGood :
A few weeks ago I highlighted here the first self-produced Ep from this very young canadian trio. Blending a groovy nu-jazz sound with live hip-hop-inspired drums their sound recalls many treats we enjoy (from Jay Dilla to the Robert Glasper Experiment..).
Seemingly very happy to be offered the opportunity to play for the first time in Europe, the trio confirmed through their enthusiastic and energetic sets at XOYO on friday and Koko on saturday that they are a name to watch in coming months.
Below an extract from their XOYO gig :

Next to these jazz/soul/beats live acts, the uk electro scene was very much in focus.
Among the highlights a very convincing live act from Sbtrkt and Sampha whose 2011 self-titled LP definitely is one of my favorite 2011 records. Adding live drums and percussions to their deep dubstep songs is a tasty soulful recipe. Such was the beautiful song performed with the support of Little Dragon's singer Yukimi Nagano.
Finally I can't end this post without mentionning the stunning slo-mo house DJ set by Julio Bashmore who definitely is becoming a cornerstone of the current underground house scene.

I was about to forget, some awards were given by Gilles during the evening...but who cares won what right? The real winner of the night was Music with a capital M !
That's it for this year. If you now (hopefully) wish you had come to this amazing night I strongly suggest you contemplate visiting the Worldwide Festival that will take place the first week of July in Sète (south of France). The line-up should be as good !

Thanks again to Gilles, Peggy, LeFtO and all the crew at Brownswood/Bbc for setting up this amazing night of music !

January 17, 2012

V4YS Selection#17 - (Always) In The Mood For Folk

From time to time I enjoy departing from the blog's regular jazz/groove/electro focus to share with you some soothing folkish sounds that I also enjoy digging.
So welcome to (Always) In the mood For Folk which is our third folk-oriented podcast (find the first two here and here).
Gathering several overlooked gems dating back from the hippy 70's or recently released by artists from the contemporary underground scene, the podcast reflects various shades of folk music from classic indie flavas to soul and world-music influenced tracks.

I hope you'll enjoy it !

Please find below the tracklisting, track-by-track streaming, podcast format stream and dwnld link.

Tracklisting :
Batteaux - Living's Worth Loving
Ned Doheny - Get It Up For Love (3'06'')
Better Daze - Golden Brown (The Stranglers cover) (8'06'')
Lani Hall - Love Song (12'27'')
And The Giraffe - Welshrats (15'12'')
Loch Lomond - Water Bells (18'14'')
Broken Social Scene - Let's Get Out Of Here (Live) (20'25'')
Map Of Africa - Bone (24'29'')
Stuart McCallum - Inflight (28'10'')
Patrice - Nile (34'44'')
Taj Mahal & Toumani Diabaté - Queen Bee (39'58'')
David Crosby - Song With No Words (44'59'')

De temps à autre j'aime à départir un peu du focus jazz/groove/electro qui caractérise ce blog pour partager avec vous quelques unes de mes découvertes indie/folk, univers musical qui fait aussi partie intégrante de ma vie.
Voici donc (Always) In the mood For Folk troisième podcast entièrement consacré à la musique folk sous toutes ses formes (retrouvez si vous le souhaitez les deux premiers épisodes ici and ici).
Rassemblant quelques perles souvent injustement oubliées cette balade vous fera voyager dans le temps, depuis les "hippy" seventies jusqu'à notre époque digitale. Depuis des sonorités folk classiques à des titres ou les influences soul voir world pointent le bout de leur nez, j'espère que la sélection vous plaira !

Tracklisting, streaming et downlad link ci-dessus.

January 16, 2012

First extract from Quantic & Alice Russell forthcoming LP - "Look Around The Corner"

Next April the outstanding UK label Tru Thoughts will release the highly anticipated first collaborative LP of two heavyweight artists of the modern soul/funk scene : musician/producer Quantic (aka Will Holland) and british singer Alice Russell.
With the help of Quantic's south-american band The Combo Barbaro with whom he recorded his reference 2010 latin-soul LP Tradition In Transition, the duo has been working from Cali, Columbia where Will has been living for the last 3 years.
As an appetizer the label is offering a first promessing soulful extract titled Look Around The Corner. Enjoy !


Voici un bien joli cadeau offert par l'incontournable label anglais Tru Thoughts avec la mise en ligne d'un premier extrait du premier album associant deux des poids lourds de la scène nu-funk actuelle : Quantic (aka Will Holland) et Alice Russell
Le disque, qui sortira en Avril prochain, a été enregistré dans le home studio de Will à Cali en Colombie avec l'aide de son groupe sud-américain le Combo Barbaro qu'il nous avait fait découvrir en 2010 avec son excellent album latin-soul Tradition In Transition
Une tournée européenne suivra au printemps, en attendant voici donc Look Around The Corner, petite sucrerie soul prometteuse!

January 7, 2012

V4YS Ep Review - Don Da Done - Nébuleuse(s) Ep

For the last 10 years underground French Hip-Hop has been struggling to live up to the high standards set up in the 90's by now legendary groups like IAM, NTM, early MC Solaar/Jimmy Jay, Soon-E-MC etc...

Still, off and on, green shoots are erratically blossoming out thanks to underground artists trying to innovate while making a point of honour and principle to keep on writing and singing their texts in French.
Today I wanted to mention one of those courageous warriors, Normandy-based producer and MC Don Da None, who just self-released a very interesting Ep titled Nébuleuse(s) ("nebulous" in english).

Nébuleuse(s) is first and foremost a remarkable piece of trip-hop/abstract beats music.
Through its heavy bass layers, its very slow tempo and its kaleidoscope of jazzy samples, the record conveys a fascinating dark and melancolic atmosphere. Not only a  "rapper" per se, Don Da None is a complete artist putting as much emphasis on music that he does on words. It contrasts sharply with the average commercial french rap production that too often offers only a meager handful of basic loops as a rythmic support for an overrated MC to deliver his empty speech.
Talking about words, no politically-consicous message in this Ep, rather a poetic journey delivered through a deep tone and a calm flow. As a long-time IAM fan I cannot help but think of the band main MC, Akhenaton, while listening to Don Da None vocal style.

So let's sum-up : an ambitious and remarkably produced sound, subtle lyrics, well everything I wish the french hip-hop scene could offer us more often. Let's hope 2012 will bring more of it!

Give it a go with his bancamp page streaming link below :

Retrouvez cette review en français sur le site WeGoFunk.

January 5, 2012

Robert Glasper Experiment - extracts from forthcoming LP "Black Radio"

Robert Glasper Experiment new LP's Black Radio is the record I'm most eagerly waiting for on this new year.
Featuring Robert's inseperable mates Chris Dave (drums), Derrick Hodges (bass) and Casey Benjamin (sax, vocoder) it should offer another round of jazz/groove/hip-hop fusion with an impressive line-up of guest singers such as Eryka Badu, Bilal or the amazing trio King.
It will be released on February 28th but in the meantime a few tracks are already available for listen on the web.
Below you'll find a remarkable cover of Mongo Santamaria's classic tune Afro-Blue (also made famous by John Coltrane's version) featuring Eryka Badu and a sweet nu-soul cut titled Move Love where soul trio King is at its best.

Le nouvel album du Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio est sans aucun doute le disque que j'attends le plus impatiemment en ce début 2012.
Toujours entouré de ses inséparables compères Chris Dave (drums), Derrick Hodges (bass) and Casey Benjamin (sax, vocoder), Robert s'est offert pour l'occasion une impressionnante pléiade de guests singers comme Eryka BaduBilal ou encore le superbe trio de chanteuses King révélé l'an passé.
Le disque sortira le 28 février prochain mais on trouve d'ores-et-déjà sur la toile quelques extraits comme les deux titres présentés en streaming ci-dessus. Le premier, Afro-Blue est une remarquable cover d'un classique jazz de Mongo Santamaria repris plus tard par John Coltrane. Le second Move Love est une perle jazz/soul ou l'on appréciera les voix chaleureuses du trio King.

January 1, 2012

Vibes4YourSoul 2012 Greetings!

Hi everyone,

let me wish you all a fantastic new musical year !

May 2012 enchant us through groundbreaking productions, breathtaking live shows and many great unforeseen sounds.

For a third year in a row on Vibes4YourSoul, I'll do my best to share with you my musical discoveries to help promote the eclectic underground sounds I keep on digging.

Records and live shows reviews, regular podcasts and mixes as well as special reports on various musical topics, I'll try to update you as often as i can.

I hope you'll keep on enjoying the blog and am more than happy to receive your suggestions and comments to keep on improving it !

Yours musically,

JM / Vibes4YourSoul


Bonjour à tous,
laissez-moi vous souhaiter une très belle nouvelle année musicale ! 
Puisse 2012 apporter son lot de productions épatantes, de concerts enflammés et d'émotions sonores en tout genre.
Pour une troisième année consécutive sur Vibes4YourSoul, je ferai de mon mieux pour partager avec vous mes nombreuses découvertes musicales et ainsi promouvoir les artistes et producteurs indépendants qui ne cessent de m'émouvoir.
Chroniques de disques ou de concerts, podcasts et mixes réguliers, articles sur des évènements musicaux particuliers, j'essaierai d'animer le blog aussi souvent que possible. 
Si vous êtes un lecteur francophone régulier vous aurez remarqué la collaboration débutée il y a quelques mois avec le site WeGoFunk, celle-ci continuera et la version française d'une partie des articles du blog sera ainsi publié en exclusivité sur le webzine.
J'espère que le blog continuera à vous plaire, je suis évidemment toujours à l'affût de vos suggestions ou commentaires pour l'améliorer, l'enrichir ou réfléchir à des idées de partenariats et développements.

Musicalement votre,

JM / Vibes4YourSoul