Debut Album: Yussef Kamaal – Black Focus (2016/11/04) / New Track ‘Yo Chavez’

:: Stunningly beautiful!


The lineup: Yussef Dayes, Kamaal Williams (Mansur Brown and Tom Driessler)

The borders between London’s musical tribes have always been porous. For Yussef Kamaal, the sound of the capital – with its hum of jungle, grime and broken beat – has shaped a self-taught, UK-tipped approach to playing jazz. In the states, the genre’s long-running to-and-fro with hip hop – from Robert Glasper to Kamasi Washington – has reimagined it within US culture. On Black Focus, Yussef Kamaal frame jazz inside the bass-saturated, pirate radio broadcasts of London.

Taking inspiration from the anything-goes spirit of ‘70s jazz-funk, on albums by Herbie Hancock or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it’s a loose template with plenty of room to experiment. The pair, made up of Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu), have had little in the way of formal training. Instead, their musical tastes – and approach to playing – are indebted to Thelonious Monk’s piano as much as the drum programming of Kaidi Tatham.

“It’s all about the drums and the keys,” Williams says. “Not to take anything from anyone else, but that’s where it all originates from: the chords, the rhythm of the chords and the drums.” Born out of a one-off live session to perform Williams’ solo material for Boiler Room, it soon became a project in its own right. Coming together as Yussef Kamaal, they played a series of live shows where little more than a chord progression would be planned before taking to the stage

Bringing that unspoken understanding to the recording sessions (engineered by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics), the unplanned, telepathically spawned grooves retain the raw energy of their live shows. “It’s not so much about complete arrangement, it’s more about flow,” Dayes says. “A lot of the tracks are just made spontaneously – Henry will be playing two chords, I’ll fill in the groove and we’ll just leave the arrangement naturally.”

Both hail from South East London, crossing paths in 2007 as teenagers playing their first pub gigs around Peckham and Camberwell. Dayes drums for cosmically-inclined, afrobeat outfit United Vibrations, while Williams – on top of drumming and playing keys in different incarnations over the years – has made waves with his solo, synth-draped house 12″s for much-fêted labels like 22a and Rhythm Section. [Press release]

Cover Art:

Artist: Yussef Kamaal
Title of Album: Black Focus
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Label: self-released

1. Black Focus
2. Strings Of Light
3. Remembrance
4. Yo Chavez 
5. Ayla 6. O.G.
7. Lowrider
8. Mansur’s Message
9. WingTai Drums
10. Joint 17

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Sep 09 // The Jazz Cafe // London, UK
Sep 23 // Roscella Bay // La Rochelle, France
Nov 17 // La Machine du Moulin Rouge // Paris, France
Nov 19 // Prince Charles // Berlin, Germany

Follow ‘Yussef Kamaal’ on:
Facebook | Bandcamp


New Album: Empire of the Sun – Two Vines (2016/10/28) / New Single ‘High and Low’

:: Excited for the duo’s new single!


Cover Art:

Artist: Empire of the Sun
Title of Album: Two Vines
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Label: Astralwerks

01 Before
02 High and Low
03 Two Vines
04 Friends
05 There’s No Need
06 Way to Go
07 Ride
08 Digital Life
09 First Crush
10 ZZZ
11 To Her Door
12 Keystone
13 Lend Me Some Light
14 Welcome to My Life
15 Walking on a Dream

Follow ‘Empire of the Sun’ on:
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter


Debut Album: Noname – Telefone (2016/08/17) / New Track ‘Shadow Man’

:: Gonna be listening to her album for a while this week.


Cover Art:

Artist: Noname
Title of Album: Telefone
Release Date: Aug 17, 2016
Label: Noname

1 Explicit Yesterday
2 Sunny Duet (feat. The Mind)
3 Explicit Diddy Bop (feat. Raury & Cam O’bi)
4 Explicit All I Need (feat. Xavier Omar)
5 Explicit Reality Check (feat. Eryn Allen Kane & Akenya)
6 Freedom Interlude
7 Explicit Casket Pretty
8 Explicit Forever (feat. Rayvyn Lenae & Joseph Chilliams)
9 Bye Bye Baby
10 Explicit Shadow Man (feat. Saba, Smino & Phoelix)

Follow ‘Noname’ on:
Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud


Debut Album: Honne – Warm On a Cold Night / Official Video ‘Coastal Love’

:: 100% Love

Cover Art:
Honne - Warm On a Cold Night

Artist: Honne
Title of Debut Album: Warm On a Cold Night
Release Date: Juli 22, 2016
Label: Tatemae Recordings

1 Warm On a Cold Night
2 Til the Evening
3 Someone That Loves You (HONNE & Izzy Bizu)
4 All In the Value
5 Treat You Right
6 Out of My Control
7 Coastal Love
8 Explicit It Ain’t Wrong Loving You
9 The Night
10 Good Together
11 One At a Time Please
13 Take You High
14 Baby You’re Bad
15 Gone Are the Days
16 3am

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Aug 15 // Webster Hall // New York, NY, US
Aug 18 // 2016 FM4 Frequency Festival 2016 // St Pölten, Austria
Aug 19 // Artlake Festival 2016 // Lichterfeld, Germany
Aug 20 // MS Dockville Festival 2016 // Hamburg, Germany
Aug 26 // Leeds Festival 2016 // Wetherby, UK
Sep 02 // Soundrive Festival 2016 // Sopot, Poland
Sep 28 — Oct 01 // 3. Way Back When Festival 2016 // Dortmund, Germany
Sep 30— Oct 02 // Austin City Limits Music Festival 2016 // Austin, TX, US
Oct 03 // Aisle 5 // Atlanta, GA, US Tickets
Oct 04 // Cat’s Cradle Back Room // Carrboro, NC, US

Follow ‘Honne’ on:
Official WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | SoundCloud


More ‘Honne’ on Music Pickings:
2015, Dec 21 – New Album: Gone are the Days (2016/01/22)
2015, Mar 22 – New EP: Coastal Love (2015/05/04) / Track ‘All In The Value’ [Free Download]


New Album: Bon Iver – 22, A Million (2016/09/30) // New Tracks ’22 (OVER S∞∞N)’ and ’10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠’

:: Seeing Bon Iver live is a real treat and always magical. Can´t wait to see him again!


Cover Art:
Bon Iver

Artist: Bon IverTrevor Hagen
Title of Album: 22, A Millon
Release Date: September 30, 2016
Label: Jagjaguwar

01 22 (OVER S∞∞N)
02 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠
03 715 – CRΣΣKS
04 33 “GOD”
05 29 #Strafford APTS
06 666 ʇ
07 21 M♢♢N WATER
08 8 (circle)
09 ____45_____
10 00000 Million

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Oct 18 // Fox Theater // Oakland, CA, US
Oct 19 // Fox Theater // Oakland, CA, US
Oct 20 // Fox Theater // Oakland, CA, US

Follow ‘Bon Iver’ on:
Official Website | FacebookTwitter 


More ‘Bon Iver’ on Music Pickings:
2013, Apr 30 – The Flaming Lips & Bon Iver – Ashes In The Air / New Album ‘The Terror’ (2013/04/16)
2012, Feb 18 – Bon Iver at AIR Studios (4AD/Jagjaguwar Session)
2011, 02 Dec – Bon Iver’s 10 Videos Deluxe Edition Release
2011, 6 Nov – Bon Iver LIVE TONIGHT
2011, 25 Aug – James Blake & Bon Iver – Fall Creek Boys Choir
2011, 19 Aug – Bon Iver – Holocene


New Album: The Robert Glasper Experiment – ArtScience (2016/09/16) / New Single ‘Find You’

:: ArtScience (Blue Note) is available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon. Those pre-ordering the download will instantly receive lead track “Find You,” which is also available as a single on streaming services.

Cover Art:
The Robert Glasper Experiment

Artist: The Robert Glasper Experiment
Title of Album: ArtScience
Release Date: September 16, 2016
Label: Blue Note Records

1. This Is Not Fear (D. Hodge, R. Glasper, C. Benjamin, M. Colenburg)
2. Thinkin Bout You (R. Glasper, D. Hodge, M. Ayers)
3. Day To Day (C. Benjamin)
4. No One Like You (R. Glasper, C. Benjamin)
5. You And Me (R. Glasper, D. Hodge, C. Benjamin, M. Colenburg)
6. Tell Me A Bedtime Story (H. Hancock)
7. Find You (C. Benjamin, D. Hodge, R. Glasper, M. Colenburg)
8. In My Mind (R. Glasper, M. Colenburg)
9. Hurry Slowly (C. Benjamin)
10. Written In Stone (C. Benjamin, J. Lake, R. Glasper, R. Coleman)
11. Let’s Fall In Love (R. Glasper, M. Vorzimer, A. Niambi)
12. Human (J. Harris, T. Lewis)

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Aug 18 // Vorterix Theater Buenos Aires, Argentina
Aug 20 // SESC Pompei Sao Paulo, Brazil
Aug 21 // SESC Pompei Sao Paulo, Brazil
Aug 22 // Teatro Nescafé de las Artes Providencia, Chile
Oct 03 // The Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Nov 01 // Kägelbanan Södra Teatern Stockholm, Sweden
>> The full touring schedule is available here

Follow ‘Robert Glasper’ on:
Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter


More ‘Robert Glasper’ on Music Pickings:
2013, Oct 15 – New Album: Black Radio 2 (2013/10/25) / Calls ft. Jill Scott [Official Video]
2012, Jan 08 – New Album: Robert Glasper feat. Erykah Badu – Afro Blue / “Black Radio”
2011, Nov 22 – The Robert Glasper Experiment announces Feb, 28 release of “Black Radio”


New Album: De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody (2016/08/26) / New Track ‘Drawn’

:: After 12 years since an album release, De La Soul is back!


Cover Art:

Artist: De La Soul
Title of Album: And The Anonymous Nobody
Release Date: August 26, 2016
Label: Aoi Records

Genesis (intro) feat. Jill Scott 1:38
Royalty Capes 3:50
Pain feat. Snoop Dogg 4:44
Property Of Spitkicker (feat. Roc Marciano) 5:27
Memory Of… (Us) (feat. Estelle & Pete Rock) 5:09
CBGBS 1:22
Lord Intended (feat. Justin Hawkins) 7:17
Snoopies (feat. David Byrne)4:14
Greyhounds (feat. Usher) 5:23
Sexy Bitch 1:53
Trainwreck 3:21
Drawn (feat. Little Dragon) 5:36
Whoodeeni (feat. 2Chainz) 4:29
Nosed Up 4:01
You Go Dave (A Goldblatt Presentation) 1:22
Here In After (feat. Damon Albarn) 5:35
Exodus (Outro) 3:17

Follow ‘De La Soul’ on:
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud