The received wisdom is that nothing happens in August. People slip away on holiday and refuse to make any decisions until September comes and the slow trudge towards Christmas begins. The gigs drop off as bands roll around the festival circuit and releases slow from a flood to a trickle.
Whilst that is the case to an extent, I'm here to bust through the Autumn-is-coming-where's-the-heatwave-gone cynical mindset and make the case that there's still been a whole host of quality pushed into the ether. Further to that, that the slight increase in musical breathing space has allowed some tunes from the last couple of months to get a proper hearing and float to the top of the groove pond.
Here's some tracks which have been released, announced or have otherwise made it to my ears this month.
1. Dur-Dur Band - Yabaal [Analog Africa, drops September 14th]
Ostinato Records put out a wonderful release last year of Somalian music called Sweet As Broken Dates (check it) which has set the bar for 1980s Somali reissues very high and increased (at very least my own) interest in music from that place, time and culture. So it's great to hear that the first two albums of one of the era's biggest bands and purveyors of Mogadishu funk, are getting a new outing. There are some extensive liner notes if you click through on the Bandcamp link above which are well worth a read - and if you can get your hands on a copy of Straight No Chaser #98, there's a great interview with Analog Africa's Samy Ben Redjeb on his archive digging trips to Somalia. (Also, if these two volumes are still not enough for you, Awesome Tapes From Africa put out another a few years back)
There's also going to be a live show to launch the album in London on September 15th at Redon with a new incarnation of the band formed around their two longest serving members. Don't miss.
2. Allysha Joy - Know Your Power [Gondwana Records, drops September 21st]
Melbourne's 30/70 have had a great couple of years, and for me are scratching that jazzy-neo-soul itch that Hiatus Kaiyote created and will be the monkey on my back forever. I digress. Allysha Joy sings and plays keys for 30/70 and she has, what promises to be, an incredibly powerful solo album coming soon on Matthew Halsall's Gondwana Records. Great vocal delivery with a rawness that contends with the horns during the tuff jazz section and evolves into a courier of sweet melodies for the RnB finale.
Catch her playing as part of Gondwana 10 at the Roundhouse, October 20th.
3. Animanz - Exotic Other [Tru Thoughts, drops September 28th]
A London quartet led by Argentinian-Congolese vocalist Juanita Euka, they've been knocking about London for a few years but this is their first full length release. Doing a little digging, it seems they played (the late, great) Passing Clouds a few times, and I can see that this fascinating blend of latin vibes and fusion would fit perfectly there. There's a lot of promise with this record and I've only heard the one track. Incoming next month.
4. Sampology - SMILE [Middle Name Records]
Sampology came on my radar with a huge tune called Thicker Than Water a while back which I played out relentlessly and shows no signs of getting old. So I'm very happy that a little under two years later, the Brisbane producer is back with another beautiful set, aptly titled Mt Glorious. No matter what mood you're in, you'll be in a better one as soon as this track gets rolling.
5. Lokkhi Terra meets Dele Sosimi - Cubafro [Funkiwala]
I've had the joy of seeing Dele Sosimi a few times, most recently when I was over in the Brecon Beacons for Green Man Radio. Dele is famously a former keys player for Fela Kuti but he has been leading his own band in the UK for a long time, most recently releasing on Wah Wah 45s. Here he combines with pianist Kishon Khan's shape shifting 'fusionistas' Lokkhi Terra, for a record combining (the title gives it away) Cuban music and afrobeat. Tasty.
6. DjuehDjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson - El Niño [Hot Casa Records]
This is a slight cheat as this record came out at the start of the summer. However, it's been on heavy rotation and stuck in my head for the last two months so I feel it's justified. Tune of the summer for me from the French production duo. Rock solid, funky disco smash. Guaranteed uplift. Full album to come this November on Hot Casa - keep an ear out.
These are just a handful of the tracks I've spun on Deeper Cuts recently, so if you're after more, do check out my shows for August.
Thanks for reading and I'll leave you with a couple of gig tips..
Tuesday 28th August - The Onyx Collective - Shacklewell Arms - Free
Exciting jazz collective out of NY, a trio of great releases on Big Dada this last year alone, free show in a nice venue. Sold.
Wednesday 12th September - Binker & Moses - Jazz Café - £13.20
MOBO winning, prolific and immensely talented duo. Binker Golding on sax with Moses Boyd on drums and a whole host of skilled collaborators from across the generations. Jason Yarde supports. Going to be a special one.