Kweku of Ghana – Zone 6, Agege (Heavenly Sweetness)
So Kweku is the frontman of my #1 Afrobeat band of 2021: Onipa. This year, he released a new album under the name Kweku of Ghana, and so I was immediately drawn to it. Zone 6, Agege has a more traditional, folkloric, funky, reggaeish Afrobeat sound than the Afrofuturistic synthy Onipa. That’s neither a pro nor a con, as I love both sounds equally, but that’s just to set different expectations for when you listen to this. This is a beautiful, intimate, inspired, authentic album that truly speaks of Kweku’s… Read more
What if you mixed wonky beats hip-hop, jazz, and AAL-style compositions and technique? Well, you get Sinularia. The unique character of the music that’s shown on Subwater Beats is utterly fascinating. The band consists of a drummer, a double bassist, and an electric guitarist. All of them seem very fond of effect pedals and post-production shenanigans. Regarding the composition, the songs move from one section to the next like tides ebb and flow, and it’s a real rhythmic challenge at times to decipher what’s going on. It’s real fun when bands make rhythm their main focus,… Read more
Number Five: Honne – Let’s Just Say the World Ended a Week from Now, What Would You Do?
I know next to nothing on Honne, but I was really hooked by 2018’s Love Me / Love Me Not, and here I am, in 2021, starting my top 5 of the year with this album! It’s the most straightforwardly pop album of the bunch, but it’s great, dynamic, and has a lot of interesting ideas! So, you should definitely check it out!
Nu jazz is a fuzzy category. It’s based on jazz, loosely or strongly, and usually features electronic music influence, and can also have hints of R&B, hip-hop, and other genres. I think it’s a fantastic genre, and here are my favourite albums of 2021!
Number Five: Portico Quartet – Monument
Art in the Age of Automation was one of my favourite albums from 2017, and Portico are back with yet another really strong album in Monument. This electro-jazz album is full of highlights and filled with delights, and if you missed it (what are you doing?), now’s the time … Read more
Fusion, in this case, is when multiple genres blend together to form something new. Jazz fusion, then, is traditionally jazz mixed with rock, but I’m more generous than that, and I’m including any sort of genre-crossing in this list!
Number Five: Cory Wong & Dirty Loops – Turbo
This might be more cheesy than a Swiss raclette, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have a ton of fun listening to this collaboration! As always with Dirty Loops, you can expect to throw your instrument in the trash and consider finding yourself a new hobby, but in the end it’s … Read more