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February 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.


This blissful 5-track recording has been on heavy rotation for me lately. Inspired by the blissful nature of one of the world’s most iconic nature reserves in Cali, it’s truly a spiritually uplifting sonic journey. Release presented in collaboration with Soulection, featuring Venna on sax, Rocco Palladino on bass, Alexander Bourt on percussion, and Elijah Fox on keys. Hopefully the vinyl copy arrives soon 🤞


Label: First Word Records

This one’s special! NSM is a project by West-London pioneer producer IG Culture, who debuted this moniker in 1997 and those first releases became essential in the rise of the broken beat (bruk) universe. It’s been more than 15 years since IG last released something as New Sector Movements, and all five tracks on ‘These Times’ continue his iconic blend of soul, jazz, hip-hop, house, funk influences. The EP features Allysha Joy, Mike City and Natalie May on vocals, who all delivered outstanding performances and completely fit to what IG has been doing with the previous releases in the late 90s and early 2000s.


Label: Self-released

SOULACOASTA II is a dynamic and colorful musical adventure that lasts for over 60 minutes, designed for lively club floors, but also suitable for personal listening on headphones or long car rides. With 14 tracks that traverse soul, house, broken beat, and other genres, the bass and beats propel the journey forward while synths, keyboards, and samples add intricate details to the soundscape.


Label: Self Released

After a streak of singles at the end of last year, Stan van Dijk returns with his first release of this year, a 2 track EP called Casque + Orchestra. The tracks are called Terres and Spectagau, with Spectagau being my favorite of the two. It perfectly soothes my need for swingy drums and bleeps and bloops.


Label: Kryptox

After playing with Carl Craig and Roy Hargrove as a keyboard player, musician/producer Joel Holmes combined all his musical communities and influences in one melting pot of a record, Into The Abyss, that came together in multiple continents. Second single The Universe seems like a prototype of what’s in store for us on the whole thing, with a centre-part that seems to cut the song in half like a sunset would flow the atmosphere into the dark naturally. After Tenderlonius’ enchanting flutework brightening up act I, acid bleeps and more accentuation on kicks and rhythm emerge; suddenly you find yourself on Berlin’s dancefloors instead of its numerous jazz bar stools.


While my former thesis supervisor and I initiallybonded over our academic interest in online conspiracy theories, when we hung out recently, we connected over jungle music (cf. Mark Fisher, Kodwo Eshun, Simon Reynolds, Kode9). I told him Ask Me Later put back the Jungle battery in my back when I saw them play at Doka. Super Sharp Shooter was de highlight of the last leg of their amazing set, so I had to include it. To complete this immersion into the Jungle, I’ve been reading Junglist by Two Fingaz & James T. Kirk. Concludingly, I can tel you, Jungle is, indeed, massive. Expect an article about it soon.


Til Next Month!


Steppin' Crew


 

Steppin' Into Tomorrow stands with artists & labels and encourages listeners to support by buying their music directly from Bandcamp. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to our monthly newsletter to stay in the loop.

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