Terekke - Plant Age

In December of last year Terekke released 'Plant Age'  the album being the 100th release for the Brooklyn label L.I.E.S. - Terekke has demonstrated his ability through the regular quality music that he releases. His personal nods to the essence of the L.I.E.S. feels like a wise idea for a label that has had a huge output over the last few years. Having him on number 100 was a sound idea and a no brainer. 

'Plant Age' has a deep brew of ambient tracks and dubbed out house music. There are lo-fi chord changes that sit over off centre drums avoiding a club sound, in its place the album goes in the direction of detailed introspection and after-hours listening. 

What I really like about 'Plant Life' is that it sounds brilliant through a decent pair of headphones but also comes alive on a good sound system due to the warmth of the music and the intricacies of the beat programming, comparable to the compositions of Basic Channel and Demdike Stare, particularly the track 'JQM' which rolls along into an infinite horizon and eerie underwater mood, it's as if the music was always there. 

The twelves Terekke has released since 2011 are worth exploring too. He releases his next album on Music from Memory in March, it would be a good idea to have a dip into his back catalogue - tracks off this album - 'BB2', 'Swim' and 'Mix 91' get my vote especially. 

Ozo - Anambra

The good people at Isle of Jura have reissued another release this time going down the intoxicating spiritual route of Tibetan Buddhist Sanskrit mantra chanting from the band Ozo with a cosmic afro number. 

'Anambra' is a deeply spiritual record which has zoned out meditative 'om mani padme hun' chanting and loose hippie percussion, in a modern conversation perhaps you could call it an 80bpm chuggathon - depending on what type of angle you take.

'Anambra' was a track that David Mancuso (a practicing Buddhist) spun and would close The Loft with as his version of a one more to transcendent the dance floor and bring a conclusion to the night and morning of dancing. Cool shit for sure. 

Watch Ozo play another track 'Listen to the Buddha' live on British TV recorded sometime in the 1970's below. 

John Dimas - Riko's Trip & Ripperton - Eloigné

John Dimas has a new album coming out in February 2018 called 'One Against Time' and he shared a new track from the album just before Christmas. His music incorporates different influences, from Detroit techno to UK trip-hop. His knowledge of producing beats and the science of beat production is indicated in 'Riko's Trip' which could be on Third Ear as much as Mo Wax.

Ripperton goes deep seated with 'Eloigné' a droning melodic depth charge of introspection and celestial beauty. I am really excited to see what comes of 'Sightseeing,' his new album released on ESP Institute next year. I sometimes find the experimental/drone aspect of electronic music to be at times samey but this sounds unique, beautiful and different. 

if there was ever a track that optimised the music I love and want to feature on Half-Lights, Eloigné would be a perfect example. 

Nev Cottee - I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

2017 has been a wonderful year for music, truly brilliant. The amount of music that is being released on a weekly basis that hits a high-quality standard is really showing now and although choice can make things overwhelming there are many high standard records that jump out often and at the moment aren't that hard to find.

One of 2017's best was Nev Cottee's album - Broken Flowers an album that has string soaked production, cinematic mystery and all the inner wonder of a tripped out psychedelic session in a lighthouse on the West Coast, stoned and planning to head to Arcata. 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead' being a flawless case in point, a track which has Nev's gravelly vocals coming in at the conclusion of the track where he sings like it was made for the a one more moment, the sunrise has come up, the throat has a lump and all is well in the world. 

Check out his BandCamp on the link, also it is worth mentioning the vinyl pressing on WonderfulSound is also worth a purchase too, there is some gorgeous sleeve notes contained within the cover

RAMP - The Old One, Two and The James L'Estraunge Orchestra - See You Tonight

Peace, love and respect for RAMP with a double sided 7' that came out in 2007 as part of a reissue from the post 'Come Into Knowledge' era. Both tracks are perfectly re-mastered and are taken from the Roy Ayres - A Tear To Smile, it's the A-side which offers something brilliant, I've always loved RAMP and this track is a perfect example of the bands ability to make music which is soulful and sophisticated funk music. Shout to Ayres, but of course special props goes to Edwin Birdsong one of LA's finest keyboardists from the jazz-funk era. Essential. 

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The whole album 'Eventual Reality' from The James L'Estraunge Orchestra has some of the best strings I have heard in a long time, 'See You Tonight' being a perfect example. It's nice to have music that is shaped by The Cinematic Orchestra and 4Hero but ultimately this is a modern selection of records that has a stack of individuality to create an LP which is in my top 5 for 2017. It's romantic, dramatic and has just the right amount of uptempo, broken beats, jazz and soul to create the right shades and moments that are thoroughly emotional too. Like I say, those strings.