Out now - - ‘Inside’ is the debut solo album from Kiwi composer, producer, mixing engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Serebii. Having mostly worked on collaborative projects in the past, the record reflects his innate connection with music as a vehicle for communication and expression. For Serebii, ‘Inside’ is an introspective body of work and an invitation for listeners to take a glimpse inside the artist’s musical prowess. Written, recorded, and mixed himself in 2022, it was birthed between the artist’s home studio in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and his travels in Germany. Beginning with a series of groove-ridden upbeat tracks, the album effortlessly transitions into slower, longer, and textured offerings, Serebii’s smooth vocals taking the listener on a journey into the depths of his song writing.
Serebii resides in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand,) and nspired by the Japanese concept of Komorebi 木漏れ日 which encapsulates sunlight leaking through trees, Serebii is a portmanteau that embodies the essence of serenity. For the artist the intention of this alias is to conjure up a feeling that represents the glistening light dancing in nature’s seasonal cycles through his musical offerings. In blending elements of meditative sounds, soul, folk, electronic and R&B, Serebii generates a production that invites listeners to a soundscape where they have the freedom to shape what the mix reflects to them. By centring dance and the sensuous physicality of movement, the composer considers the role that sonic sound plays in creating an experience that belongs to the listener. Whereby they can get lost in a world of their creation. Primarily known for his unique and creative production style, Serebii has worked alongside artists such as Leisure and Ayaluna. He has played the festival and touring circuits in New Zealand including opening for Moonchild & Allen Stone. In 2021 and 2022 he released collaborations with long-time friend and co-producer Arjuna Oakes through LA-based record label Innovative Leisure (BADBADNOTGOOD, Allah-Las). Their 2021 release ‘First Nights’ debuted at #5 on KCRW's top 30 Albums chart and has had extensive play on BBC6 and BBC1xtra.
By producing ‘Inside’, Serebii creates an oeuvre that intends to be a space holder for the experiences and moments listeners flow through. His provocation is for listeners to feel the expansiveness of the contours of their body as they move to the album’s chords, melodies, and tones, feeling into the power of their personal truth and connection to the sonic vibrations. Set for release on September 15th via Innovative Leisure, ‘Inside’ is a deeply personal debut packing an emotional punch.
To continue teasing his forthcoming debut album WORK due March 10th, London multidisciplinary artist Rarelyalways shares the new single "REVIEW." With a twinkling synth-laced, bass heavy beat complementing Rarely's strategic and cheeky lyrics, "REVIEW" continues to showcase the chameleonic qualities of the artist.
Rarely explains the meaning behind "REVIEW," stating, "I believe water is only one of many of the Divine creator’s inventions. In the chorus I disclose my action plan confirming 'water, hand on my waist before they wither away, rejuvenate.' I honestly felt that 'REVIEW' brought more life back into the hip-hop culture."
"REVIEW" follows the previous WORK offerings "URGENT," a haunting and surreal track, the playful lead single "LET'S," and the jazzy b-side "Voice note 0142," all of which arrived paired with videos directed by frequent collaborator MadeInEden.
WORK will follow Rarelyalways' collaborative Manic EP with Hanni El Khatib, featuring the stand out single "Lamenting" as well as his 2020 EP Baby Buffalo. His debut EP was described by The FADER as, “a concise exhibition of his minimalist swagger," with Pitchfork adding, "though Rarelyalways comes out of the London jazz scene, his music has its own distinct flavor."
Rarelyalways learned from a young age that music had functions beyond entertainment. Born in London to a West African family, he was raised by his single father, a drummer who played mainly gospel tunes during hours-long services and would bring Rarely along for afternoons in practice spaces where the young musician learned the power of playing for playing's sake. Rarelyalways went on to attend The BRIT School and eventually entered the South London gig circuit where he would play trip hop and heavy rock in the orbit of artists like King Krule, Henry Wu and the Tomorrow's Warriors jazz collective. With his music often taking on a dark, mysterious tone, Rarely is able to roam freely outside the prescribed structures of hip hop, jazz or anything else, by creating a conversational abstract style that can mold according to a song's message.
Already at the leading edge of the UK jazz scene, producer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Marc steps into the spotlight with his upcoming ‘Breathe Suite’ EP, set for release via LA imprint Innovative Leisure on 1st October. As premiered on Wonderland, poet-performer Rarelyalways and saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings add their freeform flourishes to first offering ‘Breathe Suite B’. A swirling climax is reached as the vocalists chorus “breathe” over and over, then fading out as a police siren whirrs – a powerful “pause for reflection,” says Marc, on the tumult of the past year. Marc was finishing the EP during lockdown when the death of George Floyd shook the world and, as a result, he and vocalist Midnight Roba steered the release in a more contemplative direction:
“We wanted to make something meditative to help people through this traumatic time. The video shows a day in a life of a young black girl. At the start of the film it shows her struggles, a panic, then a sense of hiding and running away from daily problems. As the film develops it progresses into this girl finding peace, using contemplation and individual thought processes. The later part of the film, especially in the club, it brings together a sense of collective thoughts, struggles, happiness and up-rising.”
Marc, the alias of Neil Charles, has quite the musical pedigree. He grew up splitting his time between Birmingham and Carriacou in the Caribbean: at school in the English city, he started taking classical music lessons aged 10, while back on the island, he got into guitar thanks to the street performers who’d play soca music at family events and with whom he ended up playing as a young boy, going from house to house. At home, his musical upbringing was just as varied. “My dad would be playing Bob Marley and my mum would be playing Blondie. That and classical music was normal.”
After touring the world in school orchestras, Marc moved to London to take classical double bass at the prestigious Trinity College of Music, where Fela Kuti once studied, under the tutelage of double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku. “I knew I had to come to London to study with her,” he says. “There weren’t many people who looked like me in classical music. I got stopped by the police all the time in central London, on my way to Trinity.” But despite his conservatoire training, he was never able to professionally puncture the stuffy world of orchestras. “I stopped playing double bass for four years because no one was employing people like me,” he says. “I knew I was good but I wasn’t even getting auditions. Eventually, I stopped practising.”
It wasn’t until a chance meeting in Brixton 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 – that the possibility of jazz shone like a beacon. “He was Black and holding a double bass, so I went up to him on the street and tapped him on the shoulder to find out what he was doing,” says Marc. It was the start of a game-changing journey that would see him play first with smart jazz group Empirical and then led him to forming the free-jazz trio Zed-U, alongside Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming) and drummer Tom Skinner. With Zed-U, Marc’s passion for electronic music began to bubble up. He and Hutchings would frequent London nightclubs together, soaking in the sounds of garage, broken beat and drum’n’bass at iconic former spots such as The End and Plastic People. He even took Hutchings to his first house and techno night, where DJs like Sven Vath and Ricardo Villolobos would man the decks – influences that led Marc to produce a house EP for the London-based label Atjazz. His work with other key figures has been building up, too: last year, he joined keysman Ashley Henry on the latter’s track ‘The Mighty’, which Marc wrote and produced.
In his new music, Ben Marc has unified these influences into a sublime whole. Now signed to LA’s Innovative Leisure, he’s found a home alongside similarly future-thinking artists like Badbadnotgood, Nosaj Thing, Rarelyalways and Jimmy Edgar. ‘Breathe Suite’ a lustrous EP of sweeping strings, rippling piano and meditative vocals: two suites that show off Marc’s gift for composing and arranging, bookended by two stirring improvisations.