SHANDY WILL & GRUFF - ISLAND TIME
New Mastersounds bassist and veteran independent music producer Pete Shand finds an outlet for his Jamaican roots with this sun-drenched pop-reggae album, a collaborative studio project recorded between Menorca (where he is now based), Yorkshire (where he hails from) and New York City (where he regularly records & performs) - an international collaboration featuring vocal performances from Brian J (Pimps of Joytime, Brooklyn), Aoife Hearty (Rodina, UK) and Kirsty Rock (Easy-Star All Stars, NYC). Perfect laid-back summer sunshine music.
Pete explains how the album came about:
"Since I relocated to the island of Menorca some seven years ago, the ambience and cool Balearic pace has been a constant inspiration, so it wasn't too long before it started to be reflected in my music. The formation of SWG as a music-making team occurred quite naturally, with William Woodlock - the musician/producer responsible for introducing me to the island - and Gareth Colley, my long time production partner in UK. Having set out just to have fun and make beats in the sun, as an album began to take shape we consciously decided on a feel-good vibe: holiday music; nothing too challenging or intense. To keep the good times rolling we have featured vocals from our very talented friends on both sides of the Atlantic - respect! We hope you enjoy having our soundtrack in your lives."
SHAWN LEE PRESENTS GOLDEN AGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
A whole new side of Shawn Lee's talents – an album that mixes his great ear for funk with rhymes from a series of guest MCs – all at a level that really takes us back to true school productions of the 90s! Lee's got plenty of 60s and 70s funk and jazz elements in the mix – and a number of tracks are instrumentals, which showcase his deft instrumental creations without any lyrics at all. The vocal tracks are great, too – and feature performances from Ohmega Watts, Braille, Think Tank, MC Shawny Shawn, Princess, Earl Zinger, and others – on tracks that include a great remake of "We Got The Jazz", plus "Wake Up", "Back To The Future", "Stay On Course", "Forward To The Past", "Ashes To Ashes", "Schoolhouse Funk", "Baby Breakin", "Marimba", "Hip Hop Harp", and "Big Bad Wolf". ~ Dusty Groove
DEBRUIT & ALSARAH - ALJAWAL
Weirdly wonderful sounds from Debruit & Alsarah – a duo who offer up their own take on older Sudanese modes – but with a very stripped-down style overall! Most numbers feature just Alsarah's lovely vocals atop beats and keys from Xavier Thomas – used in modes that evoke older folkloric sounds, but with a very contemporary level of expression! The mix is almost a more global version of some of the more inventive projects from the early years of 4AD – and titles include "Khartoum", "Jibal Alnuba", "Alhalim", "Loulia", "Alsahra", "Hawya", and "Jamilla X.O". ~ Dusty Groove