Sunday, 31 December 2017

Top 5 new discoveries of 2017

I've already listed my top 10 releases for the year here but now it's time to mention those Artists who either didn't release anything in 2017 or their releases didn't quite make my top 10 list but who still impressed me.
Without further ado and in no particular order here are my Top 5 new discoveries for 2017.

Ibrahim Maalouf is a trumpeter born in Beirut, Lebanon and living in France. He has been recording for other artists since the early naughties but released his 1st solo album in the mid naughties. His name is very well known in France and somewhat well known outside of France. Playing primarily Jazz and Funk his music will transport you or make you want to get up and shake your money maker.
This collaboration with Rapper Oxmo Puccino is the song that introduced me to his music. Thanks to my good friend Alex P. for putting it on in class earlier in the year. 

Electro Deluxe are another French band who were once again introduced to me by friend Alex P. (thanks for sending the link through buddy) Funk, Soul, Big Band, Nu Jazz call their music what you want but personally I call it happy music made for dancing, I'm sure you'll agree. Here's the song that introduced me to them:

Kelly Auty  is a name many Australian music fans will already be familiar with and while I had heard her name been mentioned by many people in the past it wasn't until a few months ago when I got my hands on her latest release simply titled Live 2016 that I heard her sing and what a voice she has been gifted with! Not only can she sing but her delivery has a swagger to it that is infectious. I have yet to see her perform live but I am hoping to remedy that in the not too distant future. Here is the lead song from her Live 2016 album which introduced me to her. 

With a name like Afrodyssey Orchestra it's not difficult to guess the style of music these guys play. This being said, while the Afrobeat elements are most certainly there this music is not straight out Afrobeat and incorporates various elements from the Jazz and World genres also which is perhaps what makes me like it so much. Hailing from Athens, Greece these guys are further evidence of the thriving music scene in Greece that is only getting better. Here is an interpretation of a well known traditional folk tune from Greece which is how I came to know of this band.

Los Petit Fellas hail from Bogotá, Colombia and are very similar in style to Electro Deluxe who I mentioned earlier. The Rap elements of the music for my personal tastes can sometimes be a bit much (just like with Electro Deluxe) but the instrumentation is drawing on classic funk which is right up my alley. Once again this is happy music made for dancing and I need to thank another friend of mine Mariana for putting me onto these guys. Here is the song that lead me to discovering this band:

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Top 10 full length releases of 2017

Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado
Change My Game

Released in early 2017 Thorbjorn Risager & Co. are one of the best Blues/Rock bands going around at the moment & are finally starting to get the recognition they're due. This album is the perfect mix of Guitar driven Blues Rock, Soul and Country. If you do not know this band track them down and everything they have released to date you will not be disappointed. They even won a Best Band award in this year's European Blues Awards

Tuber - Out Of The Blue
The band that introduced me to the "Stoner" genre Tuber released their 3rd full length album this year Out Of The Blue and it's everything I could have hoped it would be and more. For this album they have added some electronic elements and also stepped up their songwriting. It's a step up and beyond from where they were at with their last release Desert Overcrowded. Quite possibly my favourite instrumental band ever.

Petros Klampanis - Chroma
Petros Klampanis has come a long way since his 1st solo outing in 2011 Contextual. Chroma (meaning colour in Greek) further expands on the cinematic style of composition that Petros has been developing. The music on this release could be the Soundtrack to a movie that includes chases, nature and romance elements. The players that Petros has surrounded himself with on this release also deserve high praise as they are fantastic composers in their own right.
If this is what we can expect from Petros in the future then I am very much looking forward to what he comes up with next.

The Ivory Elephant - Number 1 Pop Hit

The Ivory Elephant are the "other" band of band leader Trent Sterling who is also the brainchild and driving force behind one of Melbourne's favourite afrobeat bands The Seven Ups.
A 3 piece Psych/Blues/Rock outfit that should be getting a lot more attention than what they currently are in my oh so humble opinion. This is their 1st full length release and is being distributed worldwide by the Kozmik Artifactz label who have also released albums by another Melbourne Psych Blues outfit Child if you are a fan of heavy blues psychedelia and are not familiar with this band then you should remedy this immediately.

OOLLUU - Deep Six
OOLLOU's music is very hard to pigeonhole/label. It has elements of Rock, Electronic, Prog and Retro Dance. Whatever label you choose to hang onto their music the one thing that is certain is that it will make you sit up and take notice as soon as you hear it.
Do not miss the chance to catch these guys live, their performances are a sight to behold

Electric Moon - Stardust Rituals

More overly long, self indulgent, psychedelic choonage here by a band who does it extremely well. Electric Moon are a band I only discovered this year thanks to fellow PBS-ian Chris Pearson who hosts Pojama People and who has been pushing their music onto an unsuspecting radio audience since he 1st started.
I may be slightly late to catch on but I have now caught on and am loving this band. The music presented on their latest release Startdust Rituals (and in fact on every other release of theirs) is about as far removed from your usual FM radio friendly pop music as you can possibly get and is probably best listened to in an altered state of mind

Banda Magda - Tigre
I absolutely love everything about this album. Clocking in at only around 35 minutes Banda Magda have released an album full of lush orchestration with Latin rhythms and Classic 60's era movie soundtrack like qualities.
None of the songs are sung in English but far from making the listening experience difficult I would say this just endears the music to the listener even further. Tigre is quite possibly the best world music release of 2017. 


My Dynamite - Otherside
Melbourne's very own version of The Black Crowes My Dynamite released their 2nd full length release this year roughly 5 years after they released their debut and it is everything you can expect. Catchy melodies, strutting choruses and more.
Immediately after the release of the album and the big launch show at Melbourne's Rock N Roll institution The Cherry Bar the band went on hiatus! Here's hoping the hiatus does not last too much longer and that they start playing shows again in the not too distant future.

The Teskey Brothers - Half Mile Harvest
The Teskey Brothers debut release Half Mile Harvest has been earning the band kudos from all over the country and with good reason. This album is a perfectly crafted Soul, Country, Blues record that is an absolute delight to listen to. They have been playing sold out shows all over the country in venues that international artists who visit our shores have struggled to half fill and their popularity shows no signs of slowing down.
Now that they have conquered Australia it's time for them to take on the rest of the world. UP THE TESKEY'S!

Samantha Fish - Belle Of The West & Chills and Fever

OK so I'm cheating somewhat with this one. Samantha Fish released 2 albums this year and each one is brilliant and unique. While Chills & Fever is essentially a feel good soul record Belle Of The West sees Samantha collaborating with Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars fame and has a definite hill country blues feel to it and she sounds right at home in both styles. See what all the buzz is about and track down either one or both of these releases and you will see that the praise that everyone has been heaping on Samantha is extremely well deserved.