We start the new year with a fresh selection from the crates of Bucharest based records shop Two Sides Records. This time we take a walk through jazz and electronic as we keep an eye on the ever soulful hip-hop. We have selected artists such as Planet Batagon, Shafiq Husayn, Da'asa, Abu Obaida Hassan, Gabriele Poso, Jeff Parker, and others.

Listen to our Spotify playlist and get acquainted with the artists featured.

01. Planet Batagon – Trans-Neptunia

Planet Battagon’s ‘Trans-Neptunia’ was recorded over the course of two days by Tugg, on live drums, synth bass, drum synths & FX, in almost full improvisation with associates, Martin Slattery (bass clarinet, alto sax and FX), Oli Savill (percussion), Mickey Ball (trumpet) and Jack Baker (acoustic drums). Avoiding the many pitfalls and cliches of both jazz and electronic music, the group jammed around a number of themes, whilst synth lines were triggered by Tugg making the machines partners in the group jams that laid the foundations of this album.

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02.  Various Artists - Freedom Jazz Dance Book II
Schema Records / 2020 (Reissue)

Extending the heritage left from the first chapter of the homonymous collection, Schema Records presents "Freedom Jazz Dance Book II". The concept comes from an idea of Luciano Cantone aiming at offering "New Standards" that can be understood and responsively absorbed by young generations.

The title deriving from a composition from Eddie Harris describes precisely the project's essence: the intuition of something overcoming hurdles laid by rigid market rules. From this, the artistic meaning of "Freedom", solid funded in "Jazz", from which spawns subsequently the natural impulse to movement, manifesting in "Dance" in fact. With "swing" setting the right pathway without hesitations, the objective of the project remains capturing younger people inside the magic of Jazz. The only possible way it's organic: by leaving the music to free up the spirit within themselves.

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04. Shafiq Husayn - The Loop
Eglo Records / 2019

'The Loop' is the new LP by Los Angeles based polymath Shafiq Husayn, an epic project which saw its inception in 2012 through a series of studio sessions at Shafiq’s home, including collaborations with the likes of Thundercat, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, Bilal and Anderson Paak. Amongst a close knit circle of friends and family the golden tones of The Loop were created, deeply rooted in ideas of song, story, history, guidance and spirituality. The album bumps, jumps and jangles through progressions in jazz, hip hop, soul and funk, following on from his debut album ‘Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka’ and adding further to his rich history of timeless, unique music.

On 'The Loop' past, present and future are brought together through a psychedelic concoction of time traveling drum machines, celestial string sections and trails of synthesizer vapour. Inflections of Sly Stone, Pharaoh Sanders and Earth Wind And Fire traverse with Marley Marl and Dilla-esqe drums making for an organic yet LA-trifying experience.

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05. Da'asa - The Haunting Sounds of Yemenite-Israeli Funk 1973-1984

Fortuna Records deliver a stellar compilation of real-life magic created by immigrants from Yemen, in Tel Aviv, from the mid seventies to the early eighties. Ranging from extremely rare to previously unreleased, these tracks are a result of a unique scene which blended funk, soul, jazz & disco with traditional Yemenite rhythms & sounds.

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06. Abu Obaida Hassan & His Tambour: The Shaigiya Sound of Sudan

Abu Obaida Hassan and the wonders of his five-string tambour remained largely a mystery. In the early 2000s, a prominent Sudanese newspaper declared him dead. Internet forums confirmed his passing. Many in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, said he had indeed died. But rumors that he was still alive persisted.

What was always certain is Abu Obaida Hassan’s mercurial talent. His command of a modified tambour, backed by a chorus and two drummers, unleashed swirling melodies alongside complex Nubian rhythms and hypnotic Sudanese call and response. His bands roster constantly changed, but he remained at the helm, playing for sold out shows in cities across the country and capturing the dancefloors and youth of 1970s and ‘80s Sudan.

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07. Gabriele Poso ‎– Batik

Future Afro-Latin jazz house from Italian master percussionist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Gabriele Poso. The entirely self-produced album features guest vocalists Nailah Porter, Nina Rodriguez, Quetzal Guerrero & Sofia Rollo.

Following a long-term collaborative partnership with Osunlade / Yoruba Records, as well as albums on BBE and Agogo Records, on 'Batik' Poso further develops and matures his sound - exploring his extensive roots in Afro-Cuban percussion, while delving into the realms of jazz and soulful house.

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08. VA - Tokyo Dreaming
WEWANTSOUNDS | 2020

A major 2-LP exploration of Tokyo's cutting edge 80s sound through the music of cult Japanese label Nippon Columbia and its Better Days imprint, selected by British radio presenter and DJ Nick Luscombe.

For the occasion, WEWANTSOUNDS have teamed up with journalist and Japanese music expert Nick Luscombe who was granted rare access to the much-guarded Nippon Columbia's vaults for a masterful selection encapsulating the fascinating sound of Tokyo in the late 70s and 80s.

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09. Fujimaru Band - BGM 
Light in the Attic | 2020 (Reissue)

Yoshino Fujimaru’s substantive leader “BGM” is finally reissued for the first time in 40 years!

The only one in the 77th year of the Fujimaru band ‘BGM’ by the unusual guitarist Fujino Yoshimaru who led the hot AB’S who is also popular from the direction of Japanese BOOGIE, SHOGUN who worked on the theme song of the TV drama “Detective Story.” It’s finally an analog reissue 40 years after its release.

Formed around tour members of Hideki Saijo who backed up at that time. The fusion-funk color that is adopted extensively later is slightly suppressed. A resort instrument “Paper Machine” where talented musicians trained in numerous sessions spun grooves into mellow. Includes urban city pop tune “I Know It’s Gonna Last” with a scent of Yoshino’s manly and moody singing.

It is a charming piece of relaxed air that is also transmitted from the artwork.

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10. VA - Door To The Cosmos

‘Door to the Cosmos’ expresses On the Corner’s adventure; future sounds referencing the source, be it Detroit, UK bass culture, New Orleans or the Niger delta. The title riffs off of the otherworldly, afro-futurist jazzer Sun Ra’s infamous chant ‘dare to knock at the door to the cosmos’. Sun Ra’s sound and narrative bending inspires us to kick at the rules and push at the infinite, the ecstatic and the unknown through music by knock, knock, knocking at the door to the cosmos.

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