Funk’s answer to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Florida’s Montgomery Express stood at the crossroads of politically conscious soul and mystically awakened dance music. Comprised of two blind musicians in their 20s and a teenage rhythm section, their lone LP was cut in 1972 for Orlando’s Dove label, then reissued on Folkways two years later. Although the label usually steered clear of soul music and anything remotely commercial sounding, Montgomery Express tapped into Folkways’ Guthrie-cum-Chamber Bros. nerve. Available online at Numero Group
“My whole life, I heard music in the air, beautiful music. I’ve been involved in supernatural things,spoken with spirits. I have heard an orchestra up in the air. I know I’ve heard it.” —Paul Montgomery
Ryan Karazija has found inspiration in Reykjavik/Iceland. It’s this inspiration that epitomizes the sound of Low Roar, which Pigeons & Planes describes as ”wonderfully evocative music” and Acid Stag hails as the ”Icelandic version of Grizzly Bear”. After moving to the small Nordic community in 2010, Karazija wrote and recorded Low Roar’s debut, self-titled album. After releasing the album in November 2011, Karazija recruited drummer Logi Guðmundsson and the two toured Germany, Poland, Lithuania and a myriad of other European countries, eventually joining the Iceland Airwaves and ATP festival lineups, as well as supporting indie favorite Soko. Now with Leifur Björnsson on keys, Low Roar release their second album, ‘0’, on on Tonequake Records, which features Icelandic darlings Amiina on strings and is co-produced by Andrew Scheps and Mike Lindsay
Khruangbin is a three-piece band from Texas, formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald Johnson on drums. Mark and DJ’s roots are in R&B, Hip Hop and Gospel having played within the same gospel band for years. Both professional musicians, Mark began teaching Laura how to play bass in the summer of 2009. As such, Laura quickly developed a huge passion for the instrument and the aesthetic it brought to music she loved. Having worked studiously on developing her skills, both Mark and Laura were invited to tour with Ninja Tune’s YPPAH supporting Bonobo across his 2010 American tour.
The tour galvanised the two of them to start making music together more seriously, sowing the first seeds of Khruangbin. Taking influence from 1960’s Thai funk – Khruangbin literally translates to “Engine Fly” in Thai – the two took a trip to a barn deep in the Texas countryside and jammed for the entire weekend, developing a sound which was steeped the bass heavy, psychedelic sound of their inspiration. Khruangbin was formed, with D.J. the natural go to for drums. The band recently signed to LNT offshoot Night Time Stories, with an album planned in 2015. Get their first single ‘A Calf Born In Winter’ now on iTunes.
You can now listen to “Blue Moon”, the first song to be taken from Beck‘s forthcoming album “Morning Phase”, which is set for release on February 24. Speaking about the album previously, Beck told Rolling Stone: “I’m just fumbling around with chords and a mood. The songs are coming out of a California tradition. I’m hearing The Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Gram Parsons, Neil Young – the bigger idea of what that sound is to me.” He added: “There’s this feeling of tumult and uncertainty, getting through that long, dark night of the soul – whatever you want to call it. These songs were about coming out of that – how things do get better.” ‘Morning Phase’ is Beck’s first album in six years, coming after ‘Modern Guilt’ in 2008. Pre-order “Morning Phase” on iTunes.
We’ve recently discovered Khruangbin on Bonobo’s LateNightTales compilation. The boston based musician released his EP “เครื่องบิน”(means airplane) in 2011 on Debut Records. You can still stream the tracks below and purchase on iTunes,
The Hello, Again performance started with an idea – Beck would reimagine David Bowie’s classic, “Sound and Vision.” But it became more than another cover. It became an experience that presented a fresh take on the possibilities of the once familiar, for both the audience and the performers.
In collaboration with Beck and a “band” of more than 160 diverse musicians, Director Chris Milk created a concert experience that was fully immersive for both the audience and the performers. By capturing the concert with 360-degree cameras and binaural microphones, online viewers will have the opportunity to experience the show from any and every seat in the house. Visit the 360° Experience at www.hello-again.com.
Beck also recently dropped a new song called “Defriended” stream it here. According to rumours he is working on two new albums – a previously announced acoustic album, plus another album that the source describes as the proper follow-up to Modern Guilt.
Dans Dans are Bert Dockx on guitar, Fred Lyenn on bass and Steven Cassiers on drums. Their sound combines garage jazz, psychedelic blues and rock. Their second album “I/II” will be available from april 22th via Unday Records. We’ve the entire album-stream and a video of their Tom Waits reinterpretation “Yesterday is here” below. Pre-order now on iTunes.
Today ZZ Ward‘s full-length album debut “Til the Casket Drops” has dropped, and you can now listen to “Lil Darlin” recorded with Chicago soul outfit the O’My’s. Be sure to check out her website for more songs. Order the album on iTunes.
21 years old Willy Moon, producer, singer from New Zealand now released his third single “Yeah Yeah” via iTunes. Check out “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Railroad Track”. His music sounds like rock’n roll and you can hear the influences of Cab Calloway and the Ramones.