April staff picks by Steppin'
Every month, new music reaches us. And with the overload of music on all streaming services, we’re here for you with a monthly selection of fresh music and older records found in the crates by the Steppin’ crew and the Steppin' Community.
Mo Wrights: Phantom Wizard - Visions from the Fourth Dimension (Kraaienest II) (Homegrown Session)
If you followed Steppin’ recently, you might’ve seen we linked with Phantom Wizard on several occasions. In March, during the movie screening of The Sun Rises in the East at the Melkweg. More recently, the Wizard did a performance for the second iteration of our Loyal to the Soil series with Amarte (this is undisclosed information so if you’re reading this, keep it between us). Every time he plays, it encapsulates the past and the future in the present by letting the instruments speak. As he describes himself, he’s forever guided by ancestors. A vessel (per)sonifying lineages that went before. This tune, recorded for the fantastic platform Homegrown in Rotterdam, is one that can be listened to on repeat. There is difference in repetition, while simultaneously having unique composition and phrases.
Kay Tee: Kassa Overall - Ready To Ball
The Seattle-based drummer, producer & emcee Kassa Overall has definitely been one of my favorite current artists lately. Really feeling the way he’s integrating the new with the old, blending styles and infusing jazz with hip-hop in such a unique, futuristic way. Observing his journey from the early rap days with Kool & Kass, to his magnificent ‘Shades of Flu’ mixtapes during the pandemic (healthy remixes for an ill moment), to last years performances at the North Sea Jazz festival, I’m continually impressed with his evolution. The track ‘Ready To Ball’ is the first single from his upcoming release on the legendary UK label Warp Records, and it’s been on heavy rotation along with the entire brand new Tiny Desk performance. *Chefs kiss*
Stijn: My Dreams - London Elektricity, Robert Owens
It's always a pleasure to hear producers have a musical plan that comes together, which is definitely the case with this track. Wavy, airy chord pads surrounded by heavily distorted drum sounds, topped off by smooth vocals by Robert Owens. In my eyes this comes from a strong vision to play (or fool) around with contrasting elements who unexpectedly do go well with each other. It's cool it showcases Drum 'n Bass and Jazz as nice complementing genres, but in the end it comes down to the fact artists at times should do what gives them creative pleasure and, maybe even more importantly, fun.
And oh boy, it must have been good fun in the studio inventing an intro like that..
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