Exactly what it says on the cover: the best downtempo, nu jazz, chill out sound from the golden days of the genre. Supposedly these are some old recordings found and dusted from the G-Stone studio. Sounds like time travel, smooth as ever.
Hugo Kant – Far From Home
Nu jazz with a trip hop headspace, some dub, some cinematic vibe. Feels like all the classics but not a replay.
This is the kind of record where I feel sorry for having the lack of meaningful words because I’d think I’m just repeating myself, having my same old references, usual phrases, although it really is a refreshing and fantastic album. This is why I started this blog in the first place after 10+ years of music journalism: to be a memory keeper without feeling the pressure to write much, or anything specific for that matter. But sometimes it just feels unworthy not to write some words of praise and how something is really that good. Writing’s a bitch when you feel you’ve written a lot and
there’s not much else to say it’s hard to write something new or articulate differently.
And there’s also the why: why say it differently? Just so that I can say the same thing again and I can trick myself or others into thinking that it’s something new? I could perhaps have this mission to spread info about new music that’s good, and there might be new people all the time who get the message. So that could be a why. But then what’s real tough is that you need to keep your references updated for that. I cannot keep comparing a new trip hop record to Massive Attack forever, even if that’s the best point of reference I can think of, younger people just won’t know what’s that.
I guess this was the point in the evolution of this thought when I gave up writing about music “professionally”. I ralized after a while that I didn’t want to change anyone’s opinion, I’m fine with just listening to good music myself. My idea of myself being an educator of taste became something that I started viewing as obnoxious and arrogant. Working to change other people’s thinking would mean that I’m so perfect myself that I can spare my time and energy to educate others instead of improving my own self. So even if it’s just about music, I should spend more time listening to more music and learning more about music myself rather than trying to tell others what to think or listen to.
I know a music journalist can not only be this educator but they can simply be a reporter of current events, a chronicler of what’s happening. Adding an opinion of value but not for the sake of ultimately grading things but for acting as a curator of content, filtering the vast amount of music being created (more so since Internets), and telling stories that would otherwise be hidden. This very last bit is why I think music journalism is still relevant and I respect the people who work for this. I like to think that I did this, to some extent. Still, burning energy and effort into this means that you think this is where your efforst are best placed. And I think there are way more talented and dedicated people in this area than me.
So, at the end of the day my lack of words to express myself in a way that I feel keeps being fresh and relevant is because I just don’t find doing this expression is my calling to the extent that I work on improving myself. Once I had this realization that music journalism is dead, because in the world of aggregated data, user reviews and all that it’s just not important anymore. And here’s the rundown on why I was wrong about that. Music journalism is as relevant as ever, I just don’t think that it’s me who needs to do it. And that’s why I just need to be okay with not being able to add much more to Hugo Kant’s music other than it’s really-really good.
Michael Mayer – Mantasy
Easy listening mid-tempo house and lazy chillout music, which doesn’t strive to be in the foreground. Good for work, a run while you want to think about stuff and not focus on the music, and Saturday afternoon garden parties with sunshine.
Thievery Corporation – Symphonik
It was just recently that I revisited some memories of nu jazz and Thievery Corporation is definitely of the same era. This album is essentially a best of record for them with orchestral rearrangements. Honestly, this is not a big deal, the reworks are not earth shattering, but the tracks are classics anyway and it’s a nice throwback.
The Orb – Abolition of the Royal Familia
Ambient house, straight-up ambient, and dub-fused chill-out music, exactly something like made by The Orb. All sounds are coming from a happy place, it’s light-hearted, easy to listen, and high on delight, it just makes me happy. It’s hard to pick favorite tracks but right now I love the long soothing soundscape of Shape Shifters best with its city ambience and trumpet notes. Although I changed favorites quite a bit since this is my go-to record to listen to whenever I don’t have time or need to think twice for the past two monhts right from its very release. I’m quite amazed how Paterson can deliver such a great album after 30 years steady in the business.
It’s a bitch that sometimes I can least elaborate about my favorite music. There are certain stuff that you just have to listen to and feels mundane to write words. This is one of those.
Tobias – 1972
Four mid-tempo techno tracks from four angles, very different approaches and sounds, what connects them is the trippy feeling of them all. First it’s bouncing back and forth between ears in stereo, then it’s a phaser modulating all over the place, later it takes an epic hallucinogenic journey ala The Orb with a spoken word meditation guide. A more chilled and easy to listen choice for an Ostgut Ton release.
Calibre – Planet Hearth
Downtempo bass music for relaxation and early morning or late night walks.
Letherette – Brown Lounge, Vol. 5
Perfect Saturday music for yawning and staying lazy in bed.
Fjordfunk - Infinite Zest
Disco, funk, space rock, dub, chill out.
iZem – Hafa
It’s exactly like nu jazz today. Laid-back lounge music with some african elements mixed in.