JORDAN RAKEI & ELIZA REVIEW

Review by Jonjo Reliance

Jordan Rakei - Wildfire

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From the moment I sat on the tube and stuck on my headphones to listen to Jordan’s new song, it struck me that the song and its structure are free. Very free. That’s the beauty and charm of Jordan Rakei; You listen to his music and are instantly transported to some distant island where money and social media don’t matter and love, life, truth, happiness and health are everything...

Oh yes back to the song. Well it’s a beaut! The ooo’s take you to rotary connection freeness and the time signature drum-wise lets you float without a care in the world.

Rating: 5/5 (Or 6/5 if there was such a thing!!)


Eliza - Alone and Unafraid

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This song sees the return of Eliza, and right now it seems she is fully on the rise!

The intro starts with a weird vocal sample (hope it’s cleared!) that sets the tone and from there it’s ALL vocals - Eliza style. It seems that she has now found her stride recording independently. The bridge to the song takes you to something that Lauryn Hill would've done in her finest hour.

The chorus is correct!! This single needs to be heard by many and all. It needs radio play but without wanting it. Eliza is now here, she has arrived. Get ready. If the whole album is on this flex 💪🏿, then we are in for a treat.

It’s jazzy, it’s soulful, it’s electronic, it’s new wave. It’s US!! It’s you!!

Rating: 5/5

NUBYA EP REVIEW

Review by Rory Braitwaite

Nubya Garcia

When We Are

Nubya at the moment is one of the front runners of this scene. She is true to it in every sense of the word and having seen her live, a superstar. Now, do not think I am exaggerating here! Some have that quality without trying, and she has it. Superstar, written all over her.

It may take the mainstream music industry a minute to work this out of course. But by this time next year, you will find it very difficult to buy a ticket to one of her shows. When We Are showcases her signature sound. The main hook is beautifully raw, and most of all free. The playing drum-wise makes you skank without you actually realising. And the keyboard playing which I suspect is Joe Armon-Jones grabs you by the throat and leaves you on the floor. The sax keys and drums play with your mind until you realise that all the while the bass has been relentlessly killing it, holding down the groove that elevated your tired ass and made you move. Five stars for this piece of music.

Source

Once again, signature sax and drive from the bass and drums. A beautiful sax hook too! Keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones - the beast, slaughters it. The sax solo speaks whilst the drummer seems to answer the sax’s call, drums again beautiful answering the sax’s call to join in. This is like a set of mates going out on the town slightly drunk, merry and ready for what the night brings. Walking up the road together, joking with each other about times gone by... Drums then have a moment solo-wise. Femi is surely destroying all the space around him drums-wise! Yeah, this is violently beautiful. 6 stars out of 5, if there could be such a thing!

Remixes

“When We Are” K15 Remix

This is great for your feet and stays true to Nubya’s flavour which is great. The When We are K15 mix is like a night ride. The claps, when they eventually surface, are actually dance floor gold. The keys then have a moment. This feels like a mix that Nubya herself sanctioned as the parts felt replayed and not simply plonked on top of a new backing track. Lovely playing too. 

Maxwell Owin mix “Source"

This is an odyssey, sound-wise. Lots of effects taking the original song that step further into bliss. The bass, keyboards-wise and the conversation musically moves outwards and outwards some more until you are left at the end of the tale wanting more of course. Yep! Once more, Nubya scores with this. It feels like a remix that she likes better than one suggested in a record label board room.

ONES TO WATCH

Review by Lily Carr-Gomm

Nubya Garcia (When We Are)

London-based saxophonist and composer, Nubya Garcia, is one of the leading forces behind the resurgence of jazz-influenced sounds in the UK. Her latest EP, ‘When We Are’ was released in March 2018 and consists of four tracks, with 2 of them being remixes of the prior 2. The first noticeable thing is the immediate sound of the soulful drums, coming across almost as a rock-jazz hybrid beat, the rhythm sets the tone for the rest of the tracks perfectly and builds momentum from the get-go.

The stand-out track, for me, is the Maxwell Owen remix of ‘Source’. The mixture of the extremely obvious talent shining through the track paired with the level of ambience and relaxation is magical. It is equally enjoyable digested as a magnificent portrayal of talent as it is simply a relaxing, soulful, easy-listening track. I love all four tracks, however personally I find the K15 remix of ‘When We Are’ to be a little too busy. I found myself getting slightly fiddly and agitated as it went on and wanting to skip to the next track. It is obvious that there is immense talent behind the track but the execution felt a little too sporadic for me, whilst the other three tracks were perfectly executed. Saying this, I have still added it to my playlist so perhaps I am just trying to find fault in it…!

Throughout all tracks, Garcia has a stunning level of control, even in the parts that sound similar to  tuneful freestyles. Whilst there is such evident passion and power coming through her music, it is still so beautifully timed and in control. She is definitely one to watch in the upcoming jazz scene.

Ezra Collective (Juan Pablo: The Philosopher)

Ezra Collective’s second album, ‘Juan Pablo: The Philosopher’ was highly anticipated from their growing fan-base and did not cease to disappoint. The seven tracks flow on beautifully from each other, starting off with a live introduction to each of the band members, by name and instrument. The title track comes straight after the introduction, setting the pace for the rest of the album, involving beautifully clean rhythmic drum beats with a sharp, tight finish, making it the perfect fit for a Wes Anderson film track. Track Four, ‘Dylan’s Dilemma’ acts as a refreshing break from the rhythmically intense prior tracks and this lilting trumpet interlude acts as a perfect ‘half-time’ track for the album.

The highlight of the album comes from track number 5, ‘People in Trouble’, which starts off with a strings ensemble in a much slower pace than the usual up-beat Ezra Collective sound, yet builds momentum as the rest of the band gradually enters, sounding as though they are reflecting the improvisational roots of jazz music and just soulfully jamming. Nearing the end of the song, the slow string start has evolved into a grooving, energetic symphonic piece, showing Ezra Collective in their absolute best light.

All aboard the Soul Train

Review by Lily Carr-Gomm

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If you are heading out to a ‘Soul Train’ night you are guaranteed a good time. I’ve known this for a while, as it’s pretty much a legend that gets passed on from friend to friend, but boy I was not expecting to have as good time a time as I did last Saturday.

On the first, second and third Saturday of each month the CLF Art Cafe takes over Bussey Building in Peckham and holds one of the most spectacular, largest soul nights in the country. Spread over multiple floors, each a slightly different vibe, the levels of serotonin pumping through each room are utterly unparalleled. When I got a call from my friend telling me that the upcoming Soul Train night was in tribute to A Tribe Called Quest, there was no doubt that we were going to be on that dance floor. The day arrived and nothing could shift my mood, not even travelling from Earls Court to Euston and then from Euston to Peckham beforehand… if anything this made the suspense build and the wait even more exciting. I would usually recommend going in a large group to a Soul Train night because there’s no better feeling than seeing a different mate every time you look around the room, usually when I go I know roughly 20/30 people there but this time it was different as I was in a group of about 8… it was even more fun.

Most of our time was spent on Level 1 with Jazzheadchronic and DJ BOBAFATT on the decks. This was by far the most buzzing room in the building. The sheer excitement that flooded our bodies after hearing the first few beats of each song was absolutely relentless. From James Brown to Sly and the Family stone to Dr. Dre & Snoop, right back to the Jackson 5, no matter what the DJ put on, the crowd reacted with yelps and cheers and dance moves like I’d never seen before. Not only was the music selection perfect, but everything else about the night was up to parr. Enormous industrial-looking fans were dotted around each room, meaning the familiar ‘I’m about to pass out-I’m too hot, let’s go outside for a fag’ line was pretty much completely absent the whole night. The drinks were about average price but the bars were seemingly un-crowded and peaceful, unlike any other club where you spend most of your night trying to get the barman’s attention. Above all, the element that really tied it all together was the lights and projections on the ceiling and walls. This was something that all of my friends picked up on and a really important factor of the night. The vibrant colours and soulful patterns flooded the rooms and completely changed the mood of each level, making the environment even more magical.

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After about an hour of non-stop grooving we decided to check out the other floors so made our way upstairs. Admittedly, I was so infatuated with the first floor that I didn’t properly give the second floor a chance, yet I heard that it was similar to the first floor but just on a smaller scale with a different DJ. However, what caught my attention on this floor was a small room at the back… I wandered through the crowd to find the most magical microcosm of intense Northern Soul lovers. The unique 70’s high-kicking dance is a wonder to behold and being vaguely un-educated on the genre I assumed I would be shunned away as a newcomer, but instead the proper Northern Soul dancers warmed to us idiots aiming to imitate them and took us under their wing, showing us various steps and egging us on. The room was about a quarter the size of the other rooms, making the space feel much more intimate and personal, which was a lovely contrast to the other larger rooms.

My night was spent running between intimate Northern Soul step classes and mass euphoria, grooving to Tribe. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Level 1 brought out a new MC. British rapper and Mercury Prize nominee, TY just pumped up the energy to the next level. I read somewhere that he has ‘the intellect, talent and ferocity of an MC destined to become a legend’ and I could not agree with it more. His infectious energy spread through the room, resulting in his having the audience completely in his palm, going crazy when he went crazy and being silent and respectful when he was talking. He was totally magnetic and the perfect MC for the night.

I’m not sure if you can tell by my hyperbolic language but this was one of the best nights I have had in a long time, so as a piece of advice from me to you, if you ever get the chance to tag along to a Soul Train night, accept the invitation without hesitation. Do it and I promise you, you won’t regret it.