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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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Music Reviews

Digital Digger’s Choice: Karriem Riggins brings us Headnod Suite

Karriem Riggins is a name that most people don’t know but has unknowingly made a lot of people fall in love with music made by groups like The Roots, Slum Village and solo artists like Talib Kweli and Common, with recent work on Common’s album Black America Again. The multifaceted producer has a strong background in Jazz as he is a renowned American Jazz drummer who was part of the Ray Brown Trio and the Mulgrew Miller Trio respectively. One can pick up a few stylistic influences which are influenced by where he is from, which is Detroit – home of the late great J Dilla, Eminem and newer acts like Big Sean. Detroit is known for a having a strong cultural background in Hip Hop and this is exemplified with the Stonesthrow records released instrumental tape – Headnop Suite.

Headnod Suite is a project that forms of a growing trend of beat tape releases where producers are confidently stepping out and releasing bodies of work that don’t need the help of a rapper or any other vocalist. As fans of rap music and its many sub-genres, we cannot complain about the influx of beat tape releases like Headnod Suite.

Headnod Suite is characterised by soundscapes that are reminiscent of the J Dilla era with a progressive twist which reflects the times we’re in. A clear style distinction can be seen as Karriems’ inherent drummer-capabilities do not escape any of the tracks. Each song weaves into the next beautifully – painting a beautiful picture of jazz-heavy sounds with a hint of Hip Hop’s rebellion-charged nuances. A great project to say the least.

Stream/Download the project below:

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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 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.