December digging in the crates of Bucharest based records shop Two Sides Records is bringing a selection of hip-hop, jazz, and ambient from artists such as Makaya McCraven, Esperanza Spalding, Fazer, Moscoman, The Mystery Kindaichi Band, Tenesha The Wordsmith, Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids, Inoyama Land, and Pale Cocoon.

If you want a record that is not on their listening, drop a line or go to the store, if in Bucharest, they are nice people and will surely help.

01. Makaya McCraven - Universal Beings

Makaya McCraven is a beat scientist. As a drummer, producer, and sonic collagist he`s one of Chicago’s savviest cultural players and a multi-talented force whose inventive process & intuitive, cinematic style defy categorization.

I grew up studying jazz as a way to be masterful at my craft as a drummer. But as a young person, I was listening to A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Nas, and Biggie just like everybody else. That was just our generation.

His most recent release, Universal Beings, was recorded at 4 sessions in New York, Chicago, London & Los Angeles, featuring an A-list of “new” jazz players from those hotbed cities: Brandee Younger, Tomeka Reid, Dezron Douglas, Joel Ross, Shabaka Hutchings, Junius Paul, Nubya Garcia, Daniel Casimir, Ashley Henry, Josh Johnson, Jeff Parker, Anna Butters, Carlos Niño and Miguel-Atwood Ferguson.Grab it here

02.  Esperanza Spalding - 12 Little Spells

Native from Portland, Oregon, Esperanza Spalding began playing music professionally in her childhood, performing as a violinist in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at age five. She was later both self-taught and trained on a number of instruments, including guitar and bass.

12 Little Spells is her seventh studio album, released by Concord Records. The album is a decidedly significant departure from her previous work, utilising an experimental framing device in which each song correlates to a single body part. With this, Spalding stated she hoped to distance herself from the identity of a "musician" and associate herself with an unbound experimentalism that cannot be categorised.Grab it here

03. Fazer – Nadi

Fazer`s unique sound is cut from a miscellaneous range of influences from west-african polyrhythm and classical indian music to dub-techno and post-rock.

Hailing from Munich, a city rich with influential jazz labels like ECM, ACT or Enja, the young musicians want to take their own path by defying genre boundaries while maintaining the tension and the immediacy of improvised music.

Nadi comprises eight hypnotic compositions and follows the underground success of Fazer`s self-released debut Mara. Moving freely between composition and improvisation, the band’s spacious, organic sound pitches lyrical melodies from guitar and trumpet over double-drummer polyrhythmic grooves and dub-like basslines.

Garb it here

04. Moscoman – Time Slips Away

Moscoman`s music is defined by a certain unpredictability and enegry. With a background in indie and rock, he plays house, acid, tehno, dark disco, synth, all form a more alternative angle.

Time Slips Away shows Moscoman stay true to his roots, while exploring new sonic textures with more direct themes. The LP sees him collaborate with artists Tom Teleman, Vanity Fairy, Wooze, Niki Kini and Nuphar.

Moscoman says of the album: The best way to describe the album overall is a feeling of ‘happy sad’. It’s inspired by the highs and lows of my touring life–the amazing gigs, the shitty ones, the opportunity to see the world vs the crazy traveling schedules and lack of sleep.

Grab it here

05. The Mystery Kindaichi Band - The Adventures Of Kosuke Kindaichi

The Mystery Kindaichi Band presents us a collection of songs created based on the adventures of Kosuke Kindaichi, a detective book series, written by Seishi Yokomizo. We warn you that this is on many DJs wishlist.

All of the songs were instrumental image albums composed with the image of Kindaichi. Hirotaka Takada, Yutaka Narita, Kentaro Haneda are the three pillars that have worked on this and many other works in drama accompaniment.

This reissue is the album's first official release outside of Japan. Remastered from the original tapes, it features artwork by renowned illustrator Ichibun Sugimoto, OBI strip and a 4 page insert with a new introduction by British journalist Anton Spice.

Grab it here

06. Tenesha The Wordsmith - Peackocks & Other Savage Beasts

Tenesha says she comes from the place were revolutions are made. She comes from Oakland, a city with a long history of activism around issues of justice and equity. Both oppression and this resistance to oppression have shaped the city’s past and the lives of its residents to this day. Peacocks and Other Savage Beasts is a lyrically dense album where singles like Why White Folks Can’t Call Me N*gg* and Again were poignant and lyrically dense with racially charged wordplay, which is something that is prominent throughout the whole album. Musically, the album is heavy in raw, tribal percussion, with keys and heavy beats throughout.

Either is jazz, poetry or blues, this record is one you shouldn’t miss.

Grab it here

07. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids  - Shaman!
Strut | 2020

If we would be to judge a vinyl by its cover, for sure we would say that this a stoner record. The saxophonist Idris Ackamoor made a stellar record. He composed futuristic jazz that looks behind. The tautology is meant to emphasize the power of storytelling that Idris constructs with the help of the Pyramids. The band's influence resides in the African rhythms found in Dakar, Accra, Nairobi, and Ethiopia, testing the listener's attention for a Sun Ra memory.

Grab it here

08. Inoyama Land Commissions: 1977-2000

The last three titles were found in the Two Sides Records’ creates of ambient music. All three come from Japan and are exponential for what the island has to offer in this field of music.

With over forty years of music activity, Makoto Inoue and Yasushi Yamashita’s Inoyama Land project is still active. After their famed Haruomi Hosono-produced 1983 release Danzindan-Pojidon, the duo became involved in the budding environmental music business that was taking shape in Tokyo during the development boom of the asset bubble. They have worked directly with figures like Hiroshi Yoshimura (with whom they developed the sound design for the International Stadium in Yokohama) and Takashi Sekiguchi (Bamboo from Asia).

The record is a mix of the duo commissioned work installations, theater plays, stage performances, and music scores. With each track listened you will dive deep into chiming synthesizers, pastoral hues, childhood memory – all pulsing with a distant, emotional resonance.

Grab it here

09. Inoyama Land - Danzindan Pojidon

By far, WRWTFWW Records has the best name in the record industry. We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want!!! If you browse through their catalog you will see they stick to this standard.

The reissue of the 1983 album by Japanese duo Inoyama Land is a great leap in promoting the ambient music of Japan. The reissue marks the first time the records step out of Japan. For Inoyama Land, the album marks Makoto Inoue and Yasushi Yamashita's debut together.

Grab it here

10. Pale Cocoon - Mayu

Mayu is not the typical ambient album. You will hear vocals, rhythms, and melodies. It is a mix of ambient, post-punk, and experimental.

A reissue from a 1984 cassette release, Incidental Music put another brick in promoting Japanese electronic music. The music of Pale Cocoon was rediscovered and even became a cult in only recent years. His way of bridging European and Japanese references shroud the music in a perfect cocoon.

Grab it here