Toe: Our Latest Number
The RecommNeds are getting a little corporeal with some excellent new music from bands from around the human body. We’ll start all the way at the bottom, with Toe, an instrumental outfit from Japan. Their music is some math-y, er, toe-tapping, brain teasers. Earlier this summer they released a four-song EP, called Our Latest Number, which is both a good introduction to their rhythmical whimsy and surprisingly emotional pull. Check it out!
The Buttshakers: Sweet Rewards
Working our way up the legs, and around the world, we get to that glorious posterior, the aptly named The Buttshakers. These guys are a super-funky, old-school R&B group out of Lyon, France, of all places. Their record, Sweet Rewards, came out stateside this winter, but it just as easily could have come out decades ago. A big voice, big horns and big grooves, this one is legit. Enjoy!
Mammal Hands: Becoming
How about them hands? The next rec comes to us from the U.K., which, as you all know, has been the epicenter of a serious jazz renaissance, with several bands creating a new modern sound based on compelling compositions and emotional interplay. Mammal Hands is a prime example of the greatness coming out of England and they’ve got a new EP, Becoming which is three tracks of gorgeous, ecstatic music – saxophone, piano, bass and drums in a unique-but-familiar pocket. The release is a companion to their previously rec’d Shadow Work LP and both are well worth digging into if you haven’t already.
Blesst Chest: Casual Corner
Seems like this week’s set has doubled as one of our around-the-world editions, but the next pick is from closer to home. Casual Corner is the newest release from Portland, Oregon’s torso-rific Blesst Chest and if you’re a fan of fun, intricate, rock-meets-groove instrumental music, then you should definitely get involved with this one. There is so much going on inside each of these songs, complicated curlicues of guitar, chunky bass-drum rhythms, straight-up thumpers and more. Get Blesst Chest on your radar.
The Necks: Body
Finally, we reach the almost-top of our bodies with The Necks and their appropriately named new record, Body. If you are not familiar with The Necks, this is probably as good an entry point as any. The Australian piano-bass-drum trio is made up of true masters of improvisation, creating slow-shifting soundscapes that will hypnotize, inspire and, frankly, blow your mind. You will not need any body parts more than your ears and brain to appreciate the magic on this single, nearly-hour-long track. While not for everybody, if this is for you, you will be hard pressed to find a better release this year. It’s breathtaking.