Habanot Nechama

September 13th, 2007 by Julija

israeli acoustic indie reggae

Clapping my hands and swaying from side to side, I enjoy listening to the sunny sounds of Habanot Nechama. Warming and comforting, as Hebrew word nechama indicates to consolation, the trio of experienced Israeli singers combines soothing and joyful tones in their music. The nechama girls’ soulful vocals, minimalist arrangements of acoustic guitars and drums, carrying reggae infusions, and the overall vibe of optimism, deliver more than a lovely reminiscence of fading summer. (Thanks dirkhaim!)

Uplifts the spirit, and makes it summer anytime.
Habanot Nechama – Hakol Kashura (Everything’s Alright)
Habanot Nechama – So Far Lihiot (To Be)
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November 26th, 2010 by Sjoerd

Beats // Latin // Souldiesler-tie_breakers-uniq175-2

Jonathan Radford a.k.a. Diesler creates vibes that make you want to move. The sounds are warm and full of rhythm, hence the title of his previous album The Rhythm Station (on Freestyle Records). The warmness of Diesler’s sound is reflected by a clear influence of latin music, with some beats and twists added for good measure, all keeping a positive and fresh style, to which another album title is testament: Keepie Uppies (on Tru Throughts). He is also one of the masterminds behind retro-funk outfit Laura Vane & the Vipertones. There is certainly a lot of music out there by this producer, but let us first point our attention to this summer’s Tie Breakers, released on Social Beats / Unique Records. Check it out for yourself with album track “Deepest Cuba” and the reggae remix dub of “Samba Magic”, reworked by Grant Phabao.

Positive vibes for your mind.
Diesler – Deepest Cuba
Diesler vs Grant Phabao – Reggae Magic (dub)
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Lhasa De Sela

August 3rd, 2005 by Andrew Ladd

nomadic latin // world folk

I first heard Lhasa’s name spoken among the crumbling foundations of an old building in Lithuania. That was a year ago. But now, having finally heard her sing, heard those torpid words crawl from her throat, I’m right back there in that blown-out courtyard. And like last year, it’s filled with sunken faces disguised by smiles and with quiet, deferent chatter, as a woman sings atmosphere from a plastic chair on a rickety stage. The album’s called The Living Road, and it evokes just that; a series of beautifully alive places, linked by a single, winding thread.
Beth Gibbons with an accent; intense and breathy.

Lhasa – Con Toda Palabra
Lhasa – Pa’ Llegar A Tu Lado
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November 3rd, 2004 by Paul Irish

acoustic britpop // quiet piano rock

Solemn sobriety. A boy of definite talent. At age 16, Matt Hales was awarded a scholarship at Winchester to study composition; by 17 he’d had his first symphony “Life Cycle” performed by a 60-piece orchestra, with Matt himself conducting. With “Strange & Beautiful”, Matt creates a mood — like a desolate and wet field with an overcast sky. You see her a quarter kilometer away, she looks warm, though you’re shivering. Take a couple steps towards her…
Pick one or the other: the original for an incredible song; the rework to delve deeper.

Aqualung – Strange & Beautiful
Aqualung – Strange & Beautiful (Cassan Vae Ambient Rework)

DJ /Rupture

January 24th, 2005 by Paul Irish

afro-spanish pop // minimalist electro-ragga

Despite the absolute frigid temperatures this morning, my ride to work was warm because I had the sizzling island flavor of this tune to keep me moving. What at first intrigued my ears as odd spanish rap, soon matured its sonic sound as a dubbed-out dance track where you choose your level of involvement. You can let it be the backdrop for your utterly fascinating conversation of say, folksonomies; or conversely, you can crank it up, clap your hands, and make the other drivers on the road wish they had the CD, too.
A squeeky clean tropical production of deliciously organic sounds.

DJ /Rupture – Musquito (club foot remix)
Rupture (Jace Clayton)’s blog
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Electric Guest

March 5th, 2012 by Kyle

indie pop // eclectic

Cruising toward widespread status, Asa Taccone & Matthew Compton are the scrumptious and charming Electric Guest from L.A. A Dangerous Mouse is the secret ingredient in their addictive confections; giving us a catchy, carefree, Motown-tinged strut on “This Head I Hold” followed by a 9-minute capsule of slow-release, pop ballad pleasure in “Troubleman” – morphing around curves on a summer’s coastal drive lending twilight to moonlight. Adding the uncanny trip-hop-esque “American Daydream” piques my interest for the unboxing of their Mondo debut on April 24th. (thx, Divya)

Contemplative pizazz.
Electric Guest – This Head I Hold
Electric Guest – Troubleman
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El Ten Eleven

November 11th, 2007 by Anne Cloudman

post-rock // instrumental

While post-rock fans have been enjoying El Ten Eleven‘s textured, atmospheric instrumentals since their 2004 self-titled debut album, it wasn’t until I saw Helvetica, which heavily features tracks from 2007’s Every Direction is North, that I discovered this creative duo. The music meanders and crescendos, calms and invigorates, adding layer after layer to an emotional journey. You can’t help but want to go along for the ride.

Double neck bass guitar, electric drums, and effects pedaling delight.
El Ten Eleven – My Only Swerving (stream only)
El Ten Eleven – Living on Credit Blues
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Yoko Kanno

May 6th, 2007 by Paul Irish

jazz // funk // anime soundtrack

Yoko Kanno is the mind behind some of the finest anime music out there. Lucky for me, in college I lived down the hall from an anime fan. As the horns from the intro theme song to the popular Cowboy Bepop blared out, I crept down the hall to investigate. After falling in love with a dynamic and unpredictable arrangement, I delve deeper into the songwriter. I found a breadth of vocal and melodic writing in a wide span of genres. Below is a good sampling of her work:

A masterful execution across musical worlds.
The Seatbelts – Tank!
Yoko Kanno – Dreams In A Pie
Yoko Kanno – The Egg and You (ID’d by Tony Cabrera in Name That Artist #1)
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Rebirth Brass Band

September 2nd, 2005 by Paul Irish

big band // new orleans brass band

Every song starts with a tuba. Not just your standard oom-pah oom-pah ploppy tuba, no sir – this comes at you ferocious. Following after the famed Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the ReBirth crew throws together a vivid concoction of loud, bright brass slamming you from all angles. You can immediately hear how much they love the music they’re making – the invigorating energy just streams right out of their horns. They don’t stress about slipping a clam, they just let it all hang out.
Listen in on the New Orleans brass band jam session.

Rebirth Brass Band – You Move Ya Lose
Rebirth Brass Band – Chameleon
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September 6th, 2006 by Paul Irish

bossa nova // old Hollywood swank //trip hop

Word has it this duo met from a Craigslist ad. Now I bet you’ll be surprised of that fact when you listen. An indie rock group looking for a drummer—Craigslist, I’d expect; but this tasty concoction of classic spy film score, 50’s cha-cha, 60’s pop and modern electronica surprises. It’s the type of music you swear you’ve heard before; the production well-crafted by beatmaker Kiran Shahani, formerly of the Supreme Beings of Leisure. I’ll warn you in advance: this album will draw the passion-poised lover out of you.

Bossa nova evolved for the jet-set socialite.
Bitter Sweet – Dirty Laundry (track 1 on the Aurgasm Summer Soundtrack)
Bitter Sweet – Heaven
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