A Year Of Music (part03)
It’s the end of the year and time to highlight the significant records of 2023.
Third list with TOP 10 REISSUES & COMPILATIONS
1/ Jura SoundSystem – Transmission Three [Isle Of Jura]
The third and concluding edition of the Transmissions compilation series curated by Isle Of Jura label boss Kevin Griffiths aka Jura Soundsystem. The LP once again focuses on rarities no longer available on vinyl and touches upon reggae & dub, ambient house, downtempo and leftfield Disco.
I’m a longtime follower of Isle Of Jura records imprint and it’s a new beautiful compilation work. A perfect peaceful soundtrack for the summer especially with reggae-dub tracks selected.
2/ Les Abranis – Amazigh Freedom Rock 1973-1983 [Les Disques Bongo Joe]
Les Disques Bongo Joe return to the scorching Kabyle rock of Abranis, the pioneering Algerian band that blended traditional Berber music with western rock, folk, disco, and funk, all the while proudly celebrating their Kabyle heritage and taking the Maghrebi music scene by storm, from Algeria to France, the latter becoming a new creative center for the Kabyle diaspora.
3/ Various – Borga Revolution! (Ghanaian Dance Music In The Digital Age, 1983-1996) (Volume 2) [Kalita Records]
Kalita unveils the second volume in their ‘Borga Revolution!’ compilation series, focusing on the phenomenon of ‘Burger Highlife’, a crossover of West African melodies with synthesizers, disco and boogie that took over Ghanaian airwaves during the 1980’s and beyond.
4/ Jantra – Synthesized Sudan: Astro – Nubian Electronic Jaglara Dance Sounds from the Fashaga Underground [Ostinato Records]
Known in some circles as Jaglara, this mysterious cosmic dance music is being innovated by one man, named Jantra, which translates as “craziness,” a moniker bestowed to celebrate both his personality and sound. Jantra cuts a mysterious figure, a rather unknown quantity even in Sudan, outside of the select few circles which have granted him cult status to perform at their humble gatherings or at street parties far from the gaze of the wider world.
5/ Wildflower – same [Ill Considered Music]
Sometimes the reissue of a 2017 album is very useless. The UK modal jazz trio Idris Rahman (flute), Leon Brichard (double bass) and Tom Skinner (drums) takes you on an intense, meditative and spiritual musical journey that embodies the spirit of freedom. Based around hypnotic grooves laid down by Brichard’s unswervingly solid bass lines, drummer Skinner plays around artfully with the beats, grooving hard in constantly shifting, unexpected turns of rhythmic play. Rahman’s contributions range from subtle conversational interplay to loudly expressed angry passion to the most delicate of whispers, conveying a depth of emotion and a deep sense of musical structure withIn an ever changing sea of musical conversation.
Using simple, arresting melodies as a starting point, the trio create freely improvised waves of emotion ranging from powerful climaxes to hauntingly beautiful breath-like passages and everything in-between, creating unique forms and structures that react to the acoustics and the atmosphere of the situation.
Taking inspiration from the spiritual jazz pioneers such as John and Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Yusef Lateef and Sun Ra, compositional influences range from Gnawa music to modal jazz to Bengali folk music but the scope is wider still and the important unifying factor is the spontaneous communication and interplay between the three musicians. Rather than having a tight rigid structure, the tunes are allowed to breathe and develop into new unexplored forms, allowing fresh interpretations that make each performance a unique experience.