Maria Chiara Argirò x Closer

"Such a forceful collection of parts woven together that you kind of feel like you can just float on it" NPR 

“[Closer] wraps existential concerns of inner peace and connecting with one's surroundings inside of a tense, gentle ascendent ballad.” The FADER

“super chill and kinda takes you on this dreamy journey” BBC

Maria Chiara Argirò’s Closer is an album to get lost in. The rising electronic luminary and classically trained pianist presents a journey of self-exploration, and a manifestation of her profound connection with music. Rooted in an indescribable feeling that compelled her to create, the album transcends boundaries and tranverses the spectrum of electronic music with unparalleled depth and clarity. On the album, Maria says: 

“It is about a feeling, a dreamlike feeling in motion, a feeling that we cannot describe, a dream I’m sort of walking through. Emotions/dreams/feelings that sometimes you can just imagine, a dreamlike world where we walk through to get to the core of ourselves a bit more, even if things are completely undefined and blurry. While working on the music there was this strong feeling - at times blurry and at times more defined - of getting, with every single note, closer and closer to the person I want to be. Free. Curious and consequently Aware, Connected and Closer to the people I love. There is so much noise in this world, I think being direct, gentle, light, open and connected is the key.”

Argirò has been a central figure in the UK electronic, jazz and classical worlds since she moved to London from Rome over a decade ago. A skilled pianist since childhood, she’s collaborated with everyone from These New Puritans to Jono McCleery to Jamie Leeming alongside output with Moonfish. Closer comes as the follow up to her stunning electronic jazz-fusion record Forest City, which received widespread critical acclaim across the globe and earned her fanship from Four Tet and Gilles Peterson, with the latter describing her music as “absolutely crazy good”. 

The result of this journey, both sonic and personal, can be keenly felt on Closer. While it is definitely not a concept album, the record does mirror the path of inner self-exploration that Argirò has been on. Albeit moving in unpredictable ways, as it traverses the spectrum of electronic music spanning ambient to dance music, while also retaining light touches of jazz with a leaning towards experimental pop via Argirò’s more central and up-front vocals. 

Closer sees its release alongside a new official video for album centerpiece “Time”. The live performance was filmed at The Cross London (King's Cross) and was directed by frequent collaborator Raoul Paulet

Purchase / Stream Closer

Read more about the album on Line of Best Fit


Jonah Yano x portrait of a dog

On his sophomore album, Jonah Yano shares the single co-produced by BADBADNOTGOOD. The track, "the ordinary is ordinary because it ordinarily repeats" opens with fleet-footed base notes into a cresendo of jazz prowess from Jonah and the BADBADNOTGOOD crew, with space for each instrument to shine.

Portrait of a Dog includes the previously-released singles "song about the family house," "Leslianne," "always," "the speed of sound!," and "portrait of a dog," which is at the confluence of his love of folk and jazz music. The album is a family affair in every sense, meticulously pieced together by Jonah and frequent collaborators BADBADNOTGOOD, while also deeply rooted and written from Jonah's personal experiences as he rediscovers his Japanese heritage and the importance of archiving family memories.

Beyond the co-production of BADBADNOTGOOD, Portrait of a Dog features additional guest work from Slauson Malone, Sea Oleena, with string arrangements by Eliza Niemi, Leland Whitty, and Yano himself. Yano's forthcoming second album follows his stint supporting Clairo for the last leg of her North American tour and the entirety of her European tour dates, which wrapped up last November. He also closed the live run with a headline show of his own at Servant Jazz Quarters in London. 

See Stereogum for more about it.

And NPR's New Music Friday for a featured album piece.


Nick Waterhouse x Monterey

 "His style is all his own" - NPR

"Brisk, self-contained, a little mysterious, and catchy enough to revisit again and again" - Paste Magazine

"Waterhouse remains as spirited as he is studious, crooning and belting at all the appropriate moments with a little bit of swagger." - All Music

After a sold-out European tour and ahead of the release of the documentary As The Wind – The Enchanted Life of Eden Ahbez, Nick Waterhouse releases ‘Monterey’ – a song long considered lost to the public by the legendary composer of the popular standard ‘Nature Boy’.

“There existed only a demo acetate recording of a member (John Harris) of the cult Los Angeles doo-wop group the Rivingtons which made its way to my ears via my Californio brethren Matt Correia (Allah-las),” says Waterhouse.

“In a way, it feels divined to have been delivered to me by these means, cut at the historic Western 2 studios in Hollywood, and played with such esteemed and familiar musical company - the rhythm section of Brian Lang on bass and Eric Jackowitz on drums, pianist Lee Pardini, second guitar John Anderson, and lead tenor saxophonist Mando Dorame. Pay close attention to the undertow pull as the band crests and the pre-solo bars drop into Mando’s loamy lead. I hope it takes you far away, but not too far from shore…”

A new documentary is set to release later this year, and this feels like an excellent time to join the pantheon of artists who have cut Eden’s material. ‘Monterey’ will be released digitally and on a limited 7” pressing.

More about the film.

Listen to the new Nick Waterhouse single "Monterey."

Mapache x Roscoe's Dream

"Easy like Sunday Morning… Roscoe's Dream drips with escapist charm." — Mojo Magazine ★★★★

Today, Mapache — Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci's cosmic-folk band best known for their “quintessentially laid-back” tunes (UNCUT) and  “grooves so strong you can basically hear the sunshine” (NPR Music) — releases Roscoe's Dream on Innovative Leisure / Calico Discos. Brimming with the best of golden state folk, the band’s third LP of originals captures the sheer joy of sloppy face-kisses and sunny mid-afternoon walks between sweet harmonies and blissed-out guitar licks.

Listen to Roscoe’s Dream here. 

Roscoe's Dream included in NPR's Notable Releases for June 10, 2022 here.

On Mapache’s third LP of originals, the band’s 14-year-old Boston Terrier Roscoe takes center stage, scampering through a collection of deconstructed golden-age sketches, gentle rippers that pay homage to the DJ Art Laboe, and loving covers of Bo Diddley's "Diana" and Gabby Pahinui's "Kauai Beauty."

Having honed their distinct folk-western musicality on 2020’s From Liberty Street, Mapache’s Roscoe’s Dream proves that Blasucci and Finch’s chemistry, cultivated since they were young schoolmates, is alchemic. Calling in a handful of friends to play additional parts — including Farmer Dave Scher of Beachwood Sparks on melodica and lap steel plus Spencer Dunham of the Allah-las on bass — has allowed Mapache to expand their distinct style through the full-bodied musicality of a bigger band.

“Roscoe's Dream drips with escapist charm,” says Mojo in an all new four star review, while Shindig praises the duo as "wayfaring strangers with a penchant for evoking beloved sounds and moods of the past, Mapache have matured into an entity with its own accomplished sound." 

Roscoe’s Dream follow’s last year’s 3, a lovingly crafted collection of covers that Aquarium Drunkard praised for being “curated in the best possible way: tracks that still sound quintessentially Mapache." Mapache will be hitting the road for a string of West Coast shows this May and June — full dates below.

Upcoming Mapache Shows

6/15 - Costa Mesa - Wayfarer

6/18 - Bolinas - Smiley’s Tavern

6/19 - Sacramento - Harlows

6/21 - Albany - Ivy Room

6/22 - Sonoma - Sebastiani Theater

6/23 - Nevada City - Crazy Horse Saloon

6/25 - Chico - Duffys

7/12 - Phoenix, AZ - Rebel

7/13 - Tuscon, AZ - Hotel Congress Plaza

7/15 - Fort Collins, CO - The Aggie

7/16 - Denver, CO - Globe Hall

7/17 - Salt Lake City, UT - Commonwealth Room

7/19 - Boise, ID - Neurolux

7/21 - Seattle, WA - Sunset

7/22 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge

7/23 - Vancouver, BC - Wise

7/24 - Eugene, OR - Sessions Music Hall

7/26 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel

7/28 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy & Harriets

7/29 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon

7/30 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon

Ben Marc x Glass Effect

“Often classified as a jazz artist, though obviously when you listen there’s a whole lot more going on in his music than that. On Glass Effect he keeps pushing the boundaries, he just keeps pushing out and stretching.” - NPR

"swirling arrangements—which synthesize jazz, hip-hop, neoclassical, and electronic" - PITCHFORK

“The music swirls and floats past like a multi-coloured cloud” - STEREOGUM  

"It’s one part Four Tet to Freddie Hubbard, the intersection where Bonobo meets Blue Note, reflective of the contemporary UK jazz scene’s penchant for modern club sounds as well as traditional jazz performance.” - TREBLE    

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Marc, a key figure of London’s cutting edge jazz scene, has just released his debut full length, Glass Effect, via Innovative Leisure. A follow up to last September’s acclaimed Breathe Suite EP, the album is an assured and accomplished 13-track realization of a singular vision that unifies a multitudinous profusion of influences (from free-jazz, to broken beat, to hip hop and beyond) into a sublime whole, underscoring his quest for a distinctive sound: lambent and low-key, yet dizzyingly intricate. The album is rounded out by stunning LP artwork and packaging by accomplished designer Vlad Sepetov (Kendrick Lamar, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Brittany Howard). As a counterpoint to the album’s meticulously layered production, the last couple of weeks Marc has shared a pair of raucous and soulful live studio videos by his crack six-piece band performing album highlights “Mustard” and “First Batch,” underscoring just how potent his songwriting is.

It’s a rare talent that can link Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, Afrofuturists Sun Ra Arkestra, and grime legend Dizzee Rascal, but Marc has long blurred musical worlds and criss-crossed boundaries. On double and electric bass, he flits between jazz, classical, and electronic music, whether playing on Greenwood’s award-winning score for the film The Master or touring with Astatke for over 10 years, as well as working with the likes of Matthew Herbert, Charles Mingus, China Moses, and Soweto Kinch – and even joining Tina Turner onstage.

Marc, the alias of Neil Charles, has quite the musical pedigree. While studying classical double bass at the prestigious Trinity College of Music in London, Marc had a chance meeting with Gary Crosby, linchpin of Tomorrow’s Warriors (the crucial London jazz educators that connect the UK new wave luminaries, from Nubya Garcia to Moses Boyd) after which the possibility of jazz shone like a beacon. This began a game-changing journey that led him to play with the jazz group Empirical and then to form the free-jazz trio Zed-U, alongside Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming) and drummer Tom Skinner (The Smile), whose collaborations ignited a new passion in Marc for electronic music. 

One of the reasons that he started writing Glass Effect, says Marc, was going to nightclubs in Ibiza and experiencing the heady sun-dappled euphoria of a summery dancefloor, as well as the beat-driven production of artists like Four Tet, Bonobo, Machinedrum, DJ Shadow, and Madlib. But the album also wears its London influence prominently - on “Jawbone,” there are echoes of broken beat, the genre that came out of house and 2step in the early-2000s, while the Mike Skinner of the new UK scene, Joshua Idehen, intones over the brass-led “Dark Clouds” about the resilience of being a Black man in the city. Ultimately, Glass Effect is an uplifting record. “Keep Moving,” a track Marc wrote in Japan in a hotel room at 4am after a show with Jose James, and which again features Attica Blues singer Midnight Roba on stunning vocals, feels like it’s beckoning a bright future over daintily dancing flute. “It’s hopeful,” says Marc of the album. “We all need as much of that as we can get.”