Next Friday the biggest indoor jazz festival of the world is back in town. They might just have already started with building up some stages or something, or maybe they haven’t. For me, these next 10 days are about Rock Werchter starting today and North Sea Jazz next weekend. Traditionally I start preparing ahead of the festival by going through the entire schedule, listening to just about every artist that is playing and making a little compilation of the things that sound very interesting to me. Some sort of personal advice from me to anyone visiting the festival, whatever your musical taste is. Looking back at previous editions of this, I’ve just realized this is the 5th time I’m writing this. Go me!
Based on the schedule as found on the NSJ-website here’s how I just might spend my Friday on the festival. I try to stay away from the pop artists and big jazz names, I prefer to be surprised (except for the closing concert by Lenny, off course).
17.00 Hudson: Flat Earth Society ft. Ernst Reijseger - a Belgium jazzcombo that always surprises
17.30 Darling: Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio - an unusual combination that works extremely well
17.45 Yenisei: Dhafer Youssef Quartet featuring Husnu Senlendirici & Aytac Dogan – if it’s anything like the video, it’ll be great!
19.15 Congo: Sam Yahel Trio
20.00 Maas: Michael Kiwanuka - one of the finest singer-songwriters of the past 12 months
20.15 Madeira: Uri Caine Trio
21.15 Congo: James Carter Organ Trio - great relaxed oldschool Jazz
21.45 Maas: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue - always a party with Trombone Shorty
23.30 Mississippi: Blitz the Ambassador - top notch hiphop from a unknown rapper
0.30 Maas: Lenny Kravitz - perfect ending to a perfect day of great music
I'll be off to Rock Werchter (Belgium) in 30 minutes, so the Saturday & Sunday previews will be posted next week. Have a great weekend, enjoy the tunes!
Swedish folk was never as pretty as this. Tender, sweet music from 6 Swedish musicians that create little masterpieces together. It was instant love when I heard this the 1st time and it gets more intense everytime I listen to the record. This is Holmes.
"Vinter" is a perfectly fragile song. It was made for the Winter, I just have to close my eyes and I can easily picture myself walking in the park on a cold Sunday morning, through the snow, with no one around. Just me and my mp3-player. A tiny slice of heaven on earth, if you know what I mean.
For some reason the last track of an album is usually something special. The final moment to win the listener over, the last chance to make him or her fall in love with your music. Bands and artists seem to feel this way and go all out once more. Holmes does exactly that on their 8-minute closing song. It starts beautiful and soft, gets nice and friendly instrumental with you and builts up to an eruption that'll leave you breathless. I'm in love!
Finally a great hiphop-album this year, I was on my way to becoming a little worried. Last year the phenomenal Jalin Roze released an album I still enjoy at least once a week. In 2012 I've heard some nice things (The Wurxs), but nothing yet that I can listen over and over again. Untill now!
No Threat by Atherton is a fresh album. The beats are easy on the ears, the lyrics are good, even brilliant at times. With lines in there I wish I'd written. The kind of songlines that really makes you wonder how the hell he came up with that. It's almost crazy, but it comes out brilliant.
The diversity on this album is amazing. Some tracks are dark, others are light and easy. Which is something that is not easy to produce and usually works very well. Especially on a hiphop-album. For some reason hiphop-albums have a bigger risk of getting monotonous.
With these 4 tracks you can clearly hear how creative this album is. The beats take a little of a lot of different styles and each style mixes great with the other. Final track "Paul Simon Songs" is my favourite, and a great example of the fun this album holds. Atherton clearly enjoyed writing this, and I sure as hell enjoy hearing it. On a daily bases for a few weeks now.
Ten fine tracks on a great 3rd album by this talented rapper. Go listen to the other 6 tracks on his bandcamp and get yourself a copy for only 5 Dollars. Worth every penny!
A few weeks ago I received SEESAW. After writing a little something sweet about two of their songs last year, The Rest emailed a digital copy of their new album for me to hear. With the weeks passing by they went on releasing a new song every week, while I was falling madly in love with their album a little more everytime I heard it.
"Always on my Mind", was the 1st track I heard last year and is still one of my favourite songs on this album. A year ago it was just a good song, this time around it's a good song on a great record.
The Rest has created a record that slows down and speeds up from time to time, but never slows down too much, and too much speed is pretty much impossible. lead singer Adam Bentley sometimes sounds a little like U2's Bono, which usually is not a good thing, but he gets away with it. Since it's not a constant reference, but only at certain moments, it is acceptable and luckely this band writes songs that outscore U2 any day of the week, so any slight U2-reference I had, was easily overcome.
Just like the best albums out there, there is really no point in just posting four songs here, as this album is best enjoyed from start to finish. You've heard the opening and finishing tracks and two of my favourite 8 songs stuck in between, now get yourself over to their bandcamp-page and listen to The Rest, because this is one release you don't want to miss out on!
Catchy as hell, this new video by San Cisco. Together with their previous single 'Awkward', this is taken from their recently released EP Awkward. The Australian band is just loaded with fun and easy sing-a-long tunes. Not all brilliant, but probably great on a Summer festival with a cold beer and a pretty girl.
Renaud Garcia-Fons usually shares the stage with several others, but this Spring he released a solo album called Solo -- the Marcevol Concert. Kalimbass is one of the songs on this album and it's not only a great track, but also pretty incredible to see what one man with one instrument can create. It's not easy to find more music from this solo album, but you can hear some more excerpts from the album on his website www.renaudgarciafons.com.
So this album had me in doubt. As I discover great music and share this with you, I usually skip the big releases that you will most likely read about of hear from without me writing about it. This is why I haven't written anything on that beautiful album by Michael Kiwanuka or that amazing debut album by my 2011-sweethearts Dry The River. They were both in my newspaper at some point over the last few months, so despite having listened to both albums A LOT, I haven't written a single word on it, and probably never will.
With that out of the way, let's look at Beach House, a Baltimore trio that has released their new album Bloom a few weeks ago. And I'll just tell it right now, it's perfection on a disc. It's a trippy Summer-record that'll make me want to walk around with sunglasses on all the time, nevermind the rain, thunder or snow. For the last week I've woken up everyday with this on my mind. I took showers with the door open, so I could hear the music, I went to work with it on my headphones and I ignored stopsigns because I was too far into the music to notice the rest of the world. Especially final track "Irene" is hypnotizing.
As I said this album had me in doubt, because Beach House has 260.000 fans on facebook, a decent record label behind them and I can buy the vinyl in my local online record store. There's a reasonable chance you've heard of them before. But some things are too good to ignore, too beautiful not to share and it would be such a waste if you'd miss out on this great record.