Led by renowned jazz musician, clarinetist, saxophonist and composer Shabaka Hutchings, this is one of my favourite records of the year thus far. Your Queen Is A Reptile digs into the African roots of jazz, and meshes it with afrobeat heat, UK club culture and relentless Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Featuring players who have worked withMulatu Astatke and The Heliocentrics, this Mercury-shortlisted album is a must for fans of Kamasi Washington or Fela Kuti.
Freak Wave is my brand new podcast which features underground and experimental music from around the world, venturing into marginal music scenes from outside of the Anglo-American axis. Episode 1 kicks off with music from Portugal, Malaysia, Colombia, Italy, Angola, Spain and France.
A few months ago, I revisited Rabbit Island’s brilliant debut album, 2011’s ‘O God Come Quick’. With no sign of a follow-up, I idly filed it away as a ‘one and done’ moment of genius. In a joyful burst of synchronicity, I received an email about her follow-up the very next day. I can’t say that I willed this album into existence, but something about that timeline makes the dream seem very real. Perth’s Rabbit Island finds a new approach with ‘Deep In The Big’, her near-ASMR vocals and unvarnished story-telling now come layered under luscious reverb and elliptical, delayed piano.