A Welcome Short Sharp Scratch from Jak Chantler

 

If you can expect quality new music from anyone today, Jak Chantler is certainly someone you can trust. Cutting his teeth in the alt-grunge band ‘Kingskin’ and tipped as Kerrang’s “best new unsigned band”, Chantler is changing his musical direction and the change is more than welcome.

His new single ‘Shell Suit’, crafted by him and producer George Shilling is a joyous dance through a world of sunlight and soul that calls on the old school funk vibes of Chic and Chaka Khan. The groove and feel of the song is undeniable and the lyrics talk of love and life in a nuanced and poetic manner that will tug at the heartstrings of any human being that knows what it is to dive head first into love.

As the ultimate combination of songwriter/producer, Jak is perceptively aware of the current trends in this contemporary age of music where there is so much choice. The new project seemingly has no limits as he aims to meet the demands of the savvy modern day listener.

More on Jak and Short Sharp Scratch here!

Links

https://twitter.com/Short_Scratch

https://www.facebook.com/shortsharpscratchmusic/

https://soundcloud.com/user-700614968/sets/shell-suit-release/s-3Fii1

 

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Introducing: Luna Blue

Introducing Brighton’s next big thing in the world of indie-pop – Luna Blue.

yHaving formed whilst studying at the University of Chichester, the band are embarking on the release of their debut EP Nightjar, along with the new single ‘Borrowed Words’ which is out 28th July.

Borrowing sounds from their inspirations such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Don Broco, Luna Blue create a funk-infused indie pop sound that bounces carelessly, flows seamlessly and always gets your foot tapping.

Consisting of Tom High (vocals/rhythm guitar), Ryan Wellman (lead guitar/backing vocals), Nick Davie (Bass/backing vocals) and Seb Bowen (drummer/backing vocals), Luna Blue’s ‘Borrowed Words’ exhibits the band at their funk-rock best, with driving, upbeat instrumentation and the wild, soaring vocals of front-man Tom, which focus on the intriguing topic of saying or doing something in order to please someone and fill another fantasy – in another sense – borrowing words.

Unfortunately, bassist Nick’s best friend was hit and killed by a drunk driver in 2015, but in her dedication, Luna Blue put on a spectacular live show, backed by a live orchestra where the band performed a number of their own tracks as well as memorable covers.

Coming from varying musical backgrounds, the boys join together a vast array of influences from all over the musical world. Whilst Ryan is strongly inspired by blues and progressive rock, particularly Pink Floyd, Seb and Nick enjoy delving into the seemingly contrasting realms of metal and jazz, and Tom considers legendary singer-songwriter, Jeff Buckley, his idol.

FFO: Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975, Foals

You’ll have to wait a little while for ‘Borrowed Words’ to come out, but in the meantime, check out Luna Blue on social media:

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/weareLunaBlue/

https://twitter.com/LunaBlue_Music

https://www.instagram.com/lunablueofficial/

https://www.lunablueofficial.com/

 

https://soundcloud.com/lunablueofficial

https://open.spotify.com/artist/71jXlesSMotAtJXLCWpvzo

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVkV54sLs9_A9tc93CzIx9A

The Korvids set to release self-titled album

The Korvids is the musical vehicle of Gordy Goudie and James Grant, the latter of whom you may recognise from 80s band, Love and Money, the ‘group who never were.’

Championing a retro sound based on the ethics of funk, soul and disco, The Korvids are creating an up-to-date form of an older sound that many will be glad to see come round again. ‘Bad Faith’ from the Korvids new self-title album exhibits a catchy dance-floor groover that those of the slightly older generation are sure to appreciate. However, it would be rude to insinuate that their music is simply for older people, as this is not the case. Within the new album, the Korvids express an experimental side too, exploring a number of electronic soundscapes that may just appeal to younger listeners.

After the success of their debut release ‘Beach Coma’, which was picked up by Sirius US radio and remixed by Balaeric legend Jose Padilla, the duo released ‘Bad Faith’, a beauteous cut of late 70s disco remixed by Love and Money and Steely Dan’s producer, Gary Katz.

The Korvids is out 28th April.

Links:

https://twitter.com/TheKorvids

http://jamesgrantsongbook.com

https://twitter.com/jamthrawn

Rising stars Row Z get set for ‘Green Penny’ EP

Much anticipated 3 track release out through GHOSTNOTE Records, June 9th

Tapping into the recent boom in British funk music, Row Z are a Liverpool based five piece with a taste for moody blues. Their new EP, ‘Green Penny’  is due June 9th and is currently one of the most eagerly awaited releases in the world of new UK Blues.

Led by the incredible Richard James Smith, the band specialise in sprawling jazz spiced funk tracks, full of intricate rhythms and virtuoso musical performance throughout.

For a taste, check out the EP’s lead single/title track ‘Green Penny’ – complete with a raw sound reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXvo0OdIslY

Row Z first made a splash with Ska/Jazz single ‘Stalemate’ in 2006, released to universally good reviews and – improbably – a huge chart success in Germany.

Now though, this new material sees them hitting new heights with great crossover potential, pulling together their roots sensibilities with sound that is instantly accessible. It’s the kind of music that can (and has) turned small, impromptu gigs into full on dance parties, bringing in elements from breakdance to swing.

It comes as no surprise to learn that Richard James Smith comes with something of a reputation. After receiving Masterclasses from Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Joan Armatrading, Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Yngwie Malmsteen and José Feliciano, Richard had the honour of being awarded his degree by Sir Paul McCartney; but this was just the start.

Since then, Richard has featured as a finalist in ‘Young Jazz Musician of the Year’ and ‘Acoustic Guitarist of the Year’, and featured on Oscar winner Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds To Mars track ‘Up in the Air’ (Remix). Fans include Jools Holland, who swapped numbers with Guitarist Richard after a performance for ITV.

However, Smith isn’t the only band member with pedigree.  Drummer Jay Irving has toured with Tony Christie/The Christians,  while Keyboard player John has toured with the Seahorses, John Squire, DJ Vadim, Cinematic Orchestra,  and played and composed for Lily Allen hits ‘Smile’ and LDN. He also played on the acclaimed debut album from Corinne Bailey Rae.

Meanwhile, Alto sax player Alex Harris has performed for Richard Branson, Prince Charles and Kate Middleton, as well as numerous television shows, radio shows and short films including BBC’s Call the Midwife and BBC Radio London. He has also performed with Kevin Spacey at Ronnie Scott’s, London.

Row Z’s killer combination of skill and experience is what makes their music so brilliant and their EP so highly sought after. And when The Beatles’ first manager Allan Williams asks to book your band for parties after watching them at the Cavern Club, it’s clear you’re doing something right.

You can listen to the other two tracks from the ‘Green Penny’ EP here –

Arthur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HibIVgB7Ow

Blues for Buddah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6luu4Fon4k

Links:

Row Z Official website: http://www.rowz.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rowzmusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Row_Z_Music

YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/rowzmusic1

Reverbnation:  http://www.reverbnation.com/rowz

Soundcloud:  https://soundcloud.com/rowzmusic

Highly anticipated Fjokra EP ‘Thoughtsteps’ arrives June 9th

Fi_head_shot_tunnel_purple_eye low resVersatile Irish songwriter looks to build on a growing reputation with brand new release

Influenced by a list of genres and artists taking in classical, metal, funk, jazz and more, Fjokra is an artist who is nigh on impossible to pigeonhole.

Born in Dublin and now living in London, he is a multi-instrumentalist whose music takes in so many different ideas and angles that to tie him down to one genre or style is a fool’s errand – just as it seems you have his sound sussed, a new idea will come and slap you in the face. And that’s just the way Fjokra likes it.

You can see the video for EP track ‘Infinite Loops’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5FrW1UyVyY

‘Thoughtsteps’ is an EP that tantalises and astounds. With the album name, artwork and musical content designed to demonstrate alternative, free and independent forms of thinking, the varied style is all tied together by the consistent high quality of the recordings. Even more impressively, the EP is primarily self-produced but for one track from producer Donald Clark (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Muse).

It’s little wonder that Fjokra counts Mick Jones (The Clash), Duran Duran, and Beardyman amongst his fans – and this range of musicians gives you a glimpse into the wide audience demographics the music is connecting with. Peanut Baines of the Kaiser Chiefs put it his own way, labelling Fjokra ‘sex music for metallers’.

With a fan base that is widening thanks to a unique live show (performed with his eponymous band), Fjokra has already graced the stage at Beach Break Festival and Liverpool Sound City. They also performed at a very special concert which saw Tyondai Braxton (of Battles) premiere his new orchestral piece ‘Central Market’ – a truly inspiring experience for the band. And now, with ‘Thoughtsteps’ only a few weeks away and a slot at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer, he is using that inspiration to fuel his forward momentum.

And if you’re still not convinced that this is an artist with a unique approach, then perhaps his unusual approach to promoting the EP will help. In addition to releasing the songs and music videos, Fjokra has also recorded for each track a cookery show, punning on the song titles from the EP. Due to be posted on YouTube and fjokra.com shortly after the songs themselves are released, the tasty teasers will make this EP a truly multi-sensory experience.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for acoustic versions of the EP tracks, recorded in a guitar shop and due on the Fjokra YouTube channel soon.

‘Thoughtsteps’ will be available from June 9th.

Links:

www.facebook.com/fjokraofficial

www.twitter.com/fjokra

Instagram: fjokra

www.youtube.com/fjokra

www.soundcloud.com/fjokra

Phil Collins, Alan Sillitoe and jazz; new album from jazz composer and musician John Aram

John Aram to release single ‘EDT (Envie de Toi)’ on 20th May ahead of album ‘You and I’ to be released on 3rd June. 

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/johnaram/sets/edt-envie-de-toi-new-single

Background

John Aram is a well known name among jazz musicians. He has worked extensively with legends like Tim Garland, Kenny Wheeler and Scott Stroman along with huge names in funk like Bob Babbit and the Funk Brothers Band. In addition, Aram is Musical Director at the International School of Geneva, where he now lives, and also regularly conducts the Swiss Jazz Orchestra.

Probably his closest collaborator is Phil Collins. John worked closely with him on Collins’ album ‘Going Back’ (2010), writing many arrangements, booking musicians, supervising recording and going on tour. Daryl Stuermer, also of Genesis, plays guitar on ‘Stuck on You’ from Aram’s forthcoming album ‘You and I’. Aram and Phil Collins are in fact close friends and Collins has contributed to many of his musical projects over the years.

It is a busy spring period for Aram. Aside from his album (see below) he is also due to release “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ Suite’; his ode to Alan Sillitoe’s post war classic novel of the same name, featuring Kenny Wheeler. Aram, hailing from Nottingham like Sillitoe, was in close contact with the author during his writing of the jazz suite in 2010. Tragically, Sillitoe died in the same year just before it was finished so never heard it, as a result Aram decided not to release ‘The Suite’ as a physical disc. He had now taken the decision to release it on vinyl with artwork from Video artist Joss Sessions.

You can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/johnaram/sets/saturday-night-and-sunday

‘You and I’

Aram therefore has a huge wealth of experience in the worlds of jazz and funk, which he has used brilliantly in his new single ‘EDT (Envie de Toi); due to, be released 20th May. The track takes his jazz influences and puts them in a funk / disco context giving the track popular potential beyond its appeal to 70s soul connoisseurs. In has the feeling of a Chic comeback track, a Bruno Mars disco revival number of even of a latter day Michael Jackson. Half way through, however, we get a taste of Aram’s jazz background with a hefty Rhodes solo played by Jason Rebello. It’s a solo reminiscent of Roy Ayers on the vibes or a George Benson guitar solo on one of his funkier numbers.

The rest of ‘You and I’ follows similar themes whilst trying to stretch them in different directions. Very much a concept album, all music is heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder, even down to the artwork used for the album. Tracks like ‘Stronger’ and ‘Stuck on you’ follow the soul disco revival route featuring some brilliant vocals and irresistible solos on each. ‘In the Air’ and ‘You and I’ slow the pace down and move closer to a soul ballad in the mould of Earth, Wind and Fire or even Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. ‘In the Air’ features beautiful vocals from Amy Keys  and from cult Swiss hip-hop artist Rootwords. ‘In the Air’ is particularly close to Aram’s heart as it was written for his wife who was suffering from breast cancer at the time.

There is a great feeling of fun and spontaneity in the album, which reflects the way it was made and thought up in the first place. It wasn’t originally planned at all. Aram and his band were on tour in the UK (London in fact)  and had a gig cancelled so, realising he was still paying them, decided they might as well have some fun and make an album! Not all jazz quintets are this productive. They decided to make music which they loved but didn’t always get a chance to play: funk, soul, Motown, Stevie Wonder, which you will find on the bonus tracks of the album; material Aram had played with Phil Collins before and not had the chance to make himself. The full album did, however, take over a year to complete in recording studios all over the world, from New York to Switzerland, ensuring only the very best musicians were to be featured that fit the style of music that Aram wanted to create.

Website http://www.johnaram.com/

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/johnaram

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JohnAram

YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/johnrogeraram

Ways & Means – ‘The Microphone Fiend EP’

Bristol beat masters Ways & Means are back once again with a collection of multi tempo bass music spanning Glitch Hop, Hip Hop Breaks and Tech Funk. Featuring Bristol rappers Chattabox from Three Kings High and K*Ners.

Ways & Means have had over 70 releases in the breaks and bass music genre for a number of years under a variety of labels such as LOT49, Bombtraxx and their own imprint audio23 but their recent musical exploits have really opened their sound up to a new audience and have put their musical size 9s into glitch hop and urban bass music.

The Microphone Fiend EP is a collaboration with 2 of Ways & Means favourite Bristol wordsmiths. First up is K.Ners who is the latest in a succession of musical lyrical innovators from Bristol who has gained much respect from the music industry since releasing his debut Hip Hop album “K In Da Flesh”

Second up is Chattabox, vocalist of indie funksters Three Kings High, signed to Reel Me Records. Chattabox’s humour through his lyrics make great listening and when both rappers and joined by the dirty beats and filthy bass that has become a trademark for Ways & Means, they deliver a varied and heavy EP of glitch hop and electro.

http://www.reelmerecords.com/artists/

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