Another month gone by and a new feature of music worth sharing is upon us with more new music for your ears. While January gave us the impression of being a very fertile month for solid album releases, February seems to have been quite a slow one in comparison. That’s not to say quality wasn’t to be found and what follows is a selection of singles, albums, and free mixtapes that we discovered during the past month and should be in everyone’s music collection.
February 2013 Playlist
There were a few notable singles during the past month, but none more captivating than James Blake‘s ‘Retrograde‘; the first single off of his forthcoming album, Overgrown (available for pre-order here). Elsewhere, there were other excellent cuts; such as Lapalux‘s ‘Guuurl‘, Drake‘s ‘Started From the Bottom‘, Matmos‘ ‘You‘, and Autre Ne Veut‘s ‘Counting‘. As usual, we’ve collected all of our favorite tracks on a spotify playlist, accessible by clicking here or by pressing play below.
February 2013 Favorite Albums
Thanks in part to Gilles Peterson’s (digital) crate diggin’ efforts we stumbled upon a brilliant Dilla tribute mixtape by american saxophonist Darryl Reeves titled ‘Dillaquarium’, which in turn led us to do our own diggin’ and we came up with an impressive full length, released by Reeves’ in 2012, called ‘Mercury‘. Equal parts jazzy and funky, the album takes you on a trip reminiscent of the good old Headhunter days of Herbie Hancock and is a must listen for any serious music lovers. Also, from last year is the fantastic afro-latin-futuristic funk of Chico Mann‘s ‘Manifest Tone The Best Of Volumes 1-3‘ on the ever-excellent Soundway Records. Jumping forward to records released in 2013, we came across solid efforts by dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner, LA based siblings Inc., and australian legends Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
February 2013 Favorite Mixtapes
Each month usually brings a couple of standout free releases that are worthy of repeat listens. February was no different, with the previously mentioned ‘Dillaquarium‘ release by Darryl Reeves and the elevated rhymes & vibes of Flatbush, NY duo The Underachievers and their ‘Indigoism‘ tape on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. Download both releases for free by clicking on the covers below.
February 2013 Music Videos
Videos wise, February was probably not the strongest month. Regardless, here’s a couple of enjoyable ones for the aforementioned single by James Blake and the lead single off of Jamie Lidell‘s new and dare we say a bit disappointing self-titled album.
A Timeless Album Worth Revisiting
On the subject of timeless music, we have to turn to an album by the legendary Donald Byrd, whom we sadly lost this past month. We have revisited a lot of his music in the subsequent weeks, but one album we have kept coming back to is A New Perspective. His later electric period is incredibly important, in particular his five groundbreaking albums with the Mizell Brothers (Black Byrd, Street Lady, Stepping Into Tomorrow, Places And Spaces and Caricatures). However, A New Perspective; which also features Herbie Hancock, Hank Mobely, Kenny Burrell and the arrangements of Duke Pearson; captures Donald Byrd at the height of his creativity and compositional ability, pioneering a unique and immaculately beautiful combination of hard bop and gospel, and creating a soulful and spiritual classic. A New Perspective also features the massive hit, and future classic, in the first recording of Pearson’s beautiful Cristo Redentor; and to top it off there’s also the iconic, Jaguar-featuring cover by Reid Miles. (Written by music editor Oliver Brunetti)