Life Elsewhere Music Vol 320

King Isis – I’m Fine, Thx 4 Asking

This sixty minutes of carefully curated new music begins with King Isis from Oakland, California who says they are, “The queer, Black genre-bending afrofuture.” I’m Fine, Thx 4 Asking from the album, Scales should prompt you to want to hear more. Plus, King Isis explains, “Scales is the beginning of an eternal journey of introspection. It’s an attempt at beginning to peel back the layers to start the journey of becoming whole through duality. Scales for balance, scales for practice, scales for beginning. Scales for the serpent, the shadow selves, for embracing the unknown”. This is hardly an unassuming body of work, yet there is a class and style here that should be not be overlooked. Excellent!

Laura Wolf – Calligraphy and Calculations

Cellist, singer, and producer Laura Wolf says this about her second LP, Shelf Life is about life after trauma and what we do with the decay we’re dealt”, the Brooklyn-based artist also curiously states, “I’m the moth in your sweater”. Clearly, Laura has a delightful sense of humor coupled with a keen ability for creating intriguing new music. Shelf Life is on Whatever’s Clever Records.

Withered Hand – Crippled Love

Originally from London, now based in Edinburgh, singer-songwriter Dan Willson presents as Withered Hand. Crippled Love a cut from his album, How To Love is Dan’s first new music in nine years. Already into his thirties, following the birth of his son and the death of a close friend, Wilson says he started singing and writing songs, which could explain the obvious maturity of his music.

This Is The Kit – Inside Outside

Here is an artist we have featured on the show before, not least of all because the distinctive style of Kate Stables who performs under the moniker of This Is The Kit makes unique music. And, not unexpected, Kate offers her commentary on her LP, Careful Of Your Keepers, “The album chronicles a world of mistakes and mishaps, cruel circumstances, and universe-driven surprises. It’s a record that embraces the concept of outrospection – the idea that you get to know oneself by developing relationships and empathic thinking with others.” Do not miss out on This Is The Kit, available on Rough Trade. 

Fatima Al Qadiri – Fidetik (I Lay Down My Life)

Kuwaiti musician Fatima Al Qadiri with fellow fellow Kuwaiti vocalist Gumar give us, Fidetik (I Lay Down My Life) from a four track EP, also titled Gumar which is Arabic for moon. This EP is delicious listening, ruminating on the subject of unrequited love, arguably the most common theme in Arabic music past and present. Oh, and a tip of the hat for the sleeve artwork, quite splendid. And, make sure you check out Fatima’s website.

Latrama – Knot To Knot

Out of Madrid, Spain, producer, multi-instrument player, and DJ, Latrama who is also known for his collective Chandra Sound System as one of the key global mixers of traditional world music sounds with electronic breaks. With Knot To Knot, Latrama skillfully performs magic to full effect with samples. Slightly retro in the ambience, yet one of those cuts you’ll want to hear again, and again. Nice.

Mounika – I Looked Into Her Eyes (ft. Ural Thomas & The Pain)

Samples are to the fore in Mounika’s work, and how splendidly she uses them on her LP, Don’t Look At Me. To get a an audio-visual take on her work, pop on over to Mounika’s site and check out the videos. It’s like pages of ID magazine’s street reportage coupled with overtly sexual tableaus. As Mounika is based out of Poitiers, France, I hope you’ll understand when I mention her work is decidedly, well, French. And, that’s a good thing.

Break feat. Lorna King – Wait For You

Break feat. Liam Bailey – Gunshot Love (Dub Mix)

Over on the west coast of England, you could easily say the venerable seaport of Bristol is decidedly English, albeit with a healthy dose of immigrant patois and beats. Charlie Bierman AKA Break, one of Drum & Bass’ hottest talents has the Bristol pedigree which he displays on his own imprint, Symmetry Recordings. Wait For You featuring Lorna King and Gunshot Love (Dub Mix) featuring Liam Bailey are dazzling Break productions. Here is a man deftly working the mixing consul like a priceless Stradivarius. 

Quasar – For Your Love

From the EP, British Tapes, Italian producer Quasar lets us know with For Your Love that he’s in control as he reigns in the almost off-kilter mix. The acapella beginning could be a tease if it were not for the clever and surprising production. Play this one at number 11 or on the biggest sound system you can find. Glorious.

Tim Easton – Sliver of Light

Nashville-based songwriter, Tim Easton is not shy about sharing that Sliver of Light was inspired by a personal event and the thin line between life and death. “I wrote the lyrics on a Dutch train during a European tour. I had just heard tough news from home. A friend who had fallen down was suddenly on life support. The words poured out fast and, when I arrived at my hotel, I immediately set the lyrics to music” says Tim, adding, “May this song bring comfort to those who are right on the edge, barely hanging on. You are not alone”.

The Age Of Colored Lizards – When I Saw You

The Age Of Colored Lizards – Tell Me Why

The band are Christian, Anders, and Cato, they hail from Oslo, Norway. Hang On is the their 4th album and about themselves they insist, “We are the band with the weird name. Yeah, that pretty much covers it”. We want you to know this is an enjoyable LP with songs that lean into different styles at every opportunity. Good stuff.

Jah Shaka – Far I Ship Dub

Just as we were about to record the voice-over for this volume, the news came in that the legendary dub master, Jay Shaka had passed. Originally from Jamaica, Shaka settled in London and gained massive attention with his sound system parties and then with his own record label, issuing a seemingly non-stop catalogue of critically-acclaimed dub masterpieces. Curiously, Jah Shaka’s real name and actual age, appears to have become lost over time – we believe he was around 70 when he passed. His legacy and influence will live on with his incredible archive of recordings, while his son Malachi, a musician in his own right will continue on as flag-bearer for the great Jah Shaka. RIP Shaka.

Listen to the Podcast here



Artwork by Eugenia Rondell-Koos “Unmade bed” 2009 36″ x 36″ Digital print on archival paper. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection