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Digital Digger’s Choice: Jazzsoon keeps cassette tape culture alive with his new project

Creatives are a rather odd bunch – characterized by unpredictability, spontaneity and a quirkiness that often details a childlike innocence. What would the world be without creatives? Dull and boring. Dull and boring is what the world would be. Creatives provide a different palette of colors that beautify human existence and we all know how human existence can a roaring beast that brings more pain than peace to the earth.

After a very rigorous and fun session of digging all the internet corners that we dig from, we came across a creative based out in New York called Jazzsoon – a collector of music in the form of vinyl and cassette, a collector of vintage Hip Hop/street fashion and a collector of comic books he grew up reading. It is rather an odd joke that our artist/creative selection for the return of #DigitalDiggersChoice is a die-hard collector of all things analogue and tangible.

Jazzsoon is a typical New Yorker – the accent, the fashion sense, the humor and the personality. A producer who releases mostly jazz-influenced instrumentals which he releases digitally and on cassette. If you haven’t noticed, cassette tape culture is on a surge – a rise that is genuine and owned by the creatives.

“You got to live your life on the weekend, you know what I am saying. Steak and shrimp on the weekends”, a quote that stands out in the video provided above, which goes to display the carefree-nature that Jazzsoon projects. Now take that personality and charisma, and bottle it up into music. Jazzsoon has released three projects through strictlycassette(make this a link), namely Beastie Brown, Taxi and his most recent release ’84 Doctor K. ’84 Doctor K is a musical representation of his love for the New York Mets and on this particular project he pays homage, sonically, to one of the greatest baseball players to ever live – Dwight Gooden aka Doctor K. Music and sports has always had a way to influence each other in popular culture and this project is a perfect example of the influence sports has on music and vice versa.

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Digital Digger's Choice Reviews

Digital Digger’s Choice: A look at James Tillman’s album Silk Noise Reflex.

If you thought that RnB died or has changed into something that is unpleasant, you might just be mistaken or simply just unaware. Rhythm and blues, as we most us grew to love growing up, is still alive and well. In a popular culture setting, there is a certain type of RnB that is being propagated which is, in many instances, overly vulgar and explicit and does depict the images that we grew up seeing from the genre and the artists that pushed it. Sure, times have changed and we can’t really expect the genre not to respond to the times, be it the faces that represent it and sonically. Fortunately, there are some individuals that sticking to the conventions upon which the genre was founded and in the same breath, innovate accordingly.

James Tillman, an American singer, is bringing an eclectic new sound to RnB and this seen or rather heard in his 2016 album called Silk Noise Reflex. A blend of psychedelia, jazz, RnB, Hip Hop and soul. A sonic journey of different sounds accompanied by the soothing vocals of James Tillman.

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The project carries the common themes one would expect in RnB, but what sets the project apart is the songwriting and its delivery, how the album sounds and the general music creates for the listener.

Listen/stream the project below:

Buy the album on Bandcamp

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Digital Digger's Choice Reviews

Digital Digger’s Choice: Otis Junior & Dr.Dundiff release ‘Hemispheres’

As a follow up to our last Digital Digger’s Choice where we focused on the German record label, Jakarta Records, we bring you a review of the Jakarta-released project called ‘Hemispheres’ by American artists Otis Junior & Dr. Dundiff. The album is a result of the creative collaboration between the Louisville based singer, Otis, and Dr. Dundiff a producer who also hails from Louisville. Hemisphere is a 12-track project which can be easily characterised as a throwback to 80’s soul music with a touch of alternative Hip Hop influences.

Otis sings over Dr. Dundiff productions expressing and conveying messages of modern day living, love and relationships. The songs are packed with emotion and that emotion is showcased in Otis Junior’s laid back and uncanny style. The instrumentals made by Dr. Dundiff add a cinematic feel to the every song and to stretch even further, the songs can be seen as different characters in a story or an novel which is themed around love and relationships. The perspectives shared in Hemisphere are clearly from an organic and genuine place which also hints at how much Otis Junior had to vulnerable in his songwriting to give a real and hard-hitting feel to the music.

Albums like this are a rare-find, especially in the times which are synonymous with monotony and abundance. The project serves a purpose of taking it back to the basics by sticking to true music ideals which have a core intention of speaking to the heart and soul.

Listen to the project below:

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Digital Digger's Choice Featured

Digital Digger’s Choice: Jakarta Records

Jakarta Records is a Berlin/Cologne based record label which has been blazing the trail when it comes to putting out independent, or rather alternative music, from Europe. Their work is not limited to Europe though as they have put out work from artists based in North America, artists like Pac Div’s Like who released the innovative and wonderfully compiled album Songs Made While High.

The record label has been around for about 12 years and have been releasing projects which are in line with the label’s vision and passion since 2005. The label has an impressive roster that stretches beyond one genre as they have released work from acts like Tom Misch, Kaytranada, Sango, IAMNOBODI, Mura Masa, Suff Daddy, Ivan Ave, Ta-ku and other great acts. The label has been secretly, or silently rather, shaping the way Europe sounds and more so pioneering and bringing forth talent that shifts the musical landscape.

The way the label is set up is sort of similar to Stonesthrow Records particularly how both labels are not genre specific, but are inherently independent. Jakarta records definitely sets a standard in the independent music industry by making sure that all releases are quality and also building up a roster that is enviable. With the music being released by the label and the label’s track-record, there is no doubt that Jakarta records has staying power and longevity in music.

Check out all their releases here: Bandcamp
Follow them on Facebook here:Facebook

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Digital Digger's Choice Music

Digital Digger’s Choice: MelodySoul, an international music collective and record label out to disrupt the beats scene

MelodySoul describes itself as a publishing and distribution platform that has its sights on releasing music digitally and in physical form, having formed a global network of beats and electronic musicians from different corners of the world, the record label has its sights on shaking the world up. The record label is only 2 years old but it has already left a lengthy digital footprint on the internet which makes it difficult to ignore they presence and the work that they have put in. The record label easily masks itself as a music collective that came together to innovate within the electronic beats scene with members from America, France, Germany, Canada, the UK, Japan and Switzerland, it’s quite clear that their vision is in line with taking over the global beats scene.

The record label is essentially a result of creative collaborations between like-minded people that share a love for music, connecting people and creative innovations. The way the collective is set up is a representation of good vibes and energy. The record label includes impressive acts like the 20 year old, Coubo, who has a unique style of crafting beats and has taken the electronic beats scene by storm. The label has notable names like ChromataData, Miles Bonny and Ian Ewing who are strong names in the North American beats scene. Another talent that has been impressive and having started making beats not so long ago is CYGN, a french producer who has taken the beats scene by storm with his release of his innovative and genre-bending digital drum kits.As the record label approaches a full 2 years of existence, it has 63 original songs on Soundcloud and six releases on Bandcamp which are available for purchase. The most recent releases from the label are Savour by Coubo and X ESSENTIAL by The Xtraordinair$, a production duo which has a name that holds weight in its own right.

With a solid team and the amount of releases that the label is pushing out, MelodySoul is poised to create a long-lasting legacy.

Buy their on music on Bandcamp.
Listen to their releases on Soundcloud.

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Digital Digger's Choice Music

Mutual Intentions: Oslo-based record label re-imagines creativity and music in Europe

Collaboration has been a catalyst for a lot of human triumphs throughout history. Most of the breakthroughs that humans have made came about through collaborative efforts. The saying “no man is an island” holds a powerful truth which, if you dig deeper in its significance, hints at the role collaboration plays in human progression. The year 2010 was a defining year, and this is arguable, for youth collaboration across the globe as crews like Odd Future and Progressive Era started hitting the internet by storm. The most fascinating aspect about the two respective crews, which consisted of mostly black American youth, is how they took advantage of the variety of talents and creative skills within the friendships that they had cultivated throughout their childhoods to create something the world would swallow up and replicate. In this case, replication is not a bad thing because it gave birth to a lot of different crews and collectives that realized how capable they were in solidifying their names in history. You could go anywhere in the world to witness what collaboration brought to the global creative landscape.

From Africa to Europe to Asia to North and South America, incredible partnerships are happening which carry the potential of shifting conventional thinking. The notion of collaboration brings us to mention an Oslo-based crew called Mutual Intentions. Mutual Intentions properly popped up on a global radar in late 2015 with musical releases from Ivan Ave, Fredfades and Yogisoul. At the time it seemed as though the Norwegian creatives were plotting a complete European takeover, judging by the quality of the releases towards the end of 2015. With planned releases through the Cologne based record label, Jakarta Records, 2016 looked like it was going to be an interesting year for the collective which at the time was just that, a collective. But Mutual Intentions was not like any other crew as they extended their musical and overall creative footprint in Europe and North America. Let us not forget the 2015 release of the Fruitful LP, which was a collaborative effort between Fredfades and Ivan Ave. Mutual Intentions displayed its intent on shaking things up in the European space and how they were forming part of a new group of European artists that are changing the narrative of how music as a medium of entertainment and education was packaged and created. With globalization and internationalization happening at an insanely rapid pace, it is no surprise that a crew in Norway is relaying messages and art that have an inherent international appeal that supersedes borders and cultural boundaries.

The end of 2016 marked a time where the official solidification of the crew as a creative organization. Mutual Intentions then became a record label which would house all their creative endeavors under one roof. For the creative world, this is important. Not long after the announcement, another announcement followed which was about a new release from the impressive Norwegian lyricist, Ivan Ave. The release was to include a new visual drop. We have to note that this happened after a string of releases that happened from different corners of the Mutual I camp. Another impressive release came in the form of a compilation that was composed of work that the crew had worked on.

The work that Mutual Intentions has put in has been nothing short of incredible. The crew is cementing its name into history and the way things are set up, it seems as though we are in for a treat.

Follow Mutual Intentions on Facebook for updates. Follow them on Bandcamp and Soundcloud to listen to some of their musical work.

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Digital Digger's Choice Music Reviews

Digital Digger’s Choice: Nerija, an all-female jazz septet breaking down stereotypes in the male dominated jazz industry.

London is known for having an incredible jazz scene which attracts jazz enthusiasts from all over the world. The city has over the years had a habit of producing young and exciting talent which eventually breaks into the jazz limelight. In more recent times, particularly from 2014 to 2016, we have witnessed a rise in acts like Yussef Kamaal, Ashley Henry, EZRA Collective, Blue Lab Beats, Shabaka Hutchings, just to name a few. The London youth are carving their own way and expressing how they understand jazz and what it means to them and that obviously comes with a little bit of resistance from the jazz elders. This new generation of jazz artists is powered by a spirit of defiance which one can interpret as a youthful liberation and expression. One band that is not only defying general norms in jazz but also inadvertently breaking down stereotypes about women in jazz is Nerija. In many cases, women that are in jazz are quickly tagged as singers because that has been a common role that many women in jazz have played throughout the history of the genre. Women like Alice Coltrane, Terri Lyne Carrington, Carla Bley, just to name a few who are pioneers in their own right have laid the foundation for all-female bands like Nerija.

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The band consists of Sheila Maurice-Grey(Trumpet/Flugelhorn), Cassie Kinoshi(Alto Saxophone), Nubya Garcia(Tenor Saxophone), Shirley Tetteh(Guitar), Inga Eichler(Bass) and Lizzy Exell(Drums). Each band member is an incredible artist and this is seen in the way they compose and blend their respective musical skill sets.

Nerija released a self-titled 5-track EP on the 30th of September which acts as an interesting introduction into their sound. The project consists of lovely soundscapes which allow for a transcendence of different types moods and emotions-one can be start with head-nodding and dancing carelessly to being caught deep in thought in solitude or even vibing with friends or family. Yes, it’s that type of project, it can be enjoyed anywhere and everywhere.

You can stream and buy the digital album or purchase a physical copy(CD) below.

You do not need to break the bank with this musical treat.

You can keep up with the band here.
Tweet them here.
Catch them on the gram here.