Tuesday, March 07, 2006

ZEEBEE / LOKA

It has been a while since my last update, and things have been moving on nicely. The one shelf in the office is practically full already, and we will probably be getting a second one in the next few weeks so I can carry on with the great CD unpacking operation. I am also putting a box together which will eventually be split up between e-bayable and non e-bayable stuff. Currently, I am not too sure what’s in there, but I know it is stuff I am not so keen on keeping: CDs that I’ve never listened and doubt I ever will, stuff that ended up in my record collection God know how, etc.

I have also been playing some stuff I haven’t heard for years, although so far, only a handful of albums have made it to the CD player. One of them was prompted by Stuart offering to review the new Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit collaboration, Secret Rhythms 2. I did get the first album some years ago and reviewed it for the site [link] but the CD had been buried in some box or another since, so it was very nice to rediscover the nice jazzy moods of this piece. I haven’t heard the new album yet, but from Stuart’s review, it is very much more of the same, so I should definitely try to get hold of a copy.

I have also been getting some very interesting records lately, too many to mention in just one post, so I will endeavour to update this a bit more regularly in coming weeks, although, obviously, themilkfactory takes priority.


ZEEBEE Priorities (Angelika Koehlermann, out now)

An album that has been entertaining me for a couple of weeks is the new opus by German-born songstress Zeebee. The album, , is the follow up to her debut, Chemistry, released two years ago. Zeebee lives in Austria and releases music on Austrian imprint Angelika Koehlermann. Her voice is similar to that of Nicolette, albeit possibly less soulful. Chemistry was a very pleasing record, but Priorities is extremely good indeed. Alongside regular collaborator Gherard Potuznik, she has worked here with a vast array of musicians, including The Bug on three tracks, one of them being a rather quirky arse-shaking version of Ella Fitzgerald’s A Tisket A Tasket. Highly recommended.


LOKA Fire Shepherds (Ninja Tune, rel. 27/03)

Another album that’s been blowing me away is the debut by Liverpudlian duo Loka. Apparently, Mixmag described what they do as "what Radiohead would do if they had balls". As interesting as this is (not), it hardly does Loka justice.

I’ve actually had this album on my desk for a few days and hadn’t found the time to play it yet, but one listen earlier today and I was hooked. The press release goes as follow: "Loka have created a music which at times sounds like Miles Davis jamming with Carl Craig and the Kronos Quartet. Only a lot more fun than that. Fire Shepherds is an album outside of time, immune to trend. You could argue that like Cinematic Orchestra the duo share an interest in the movie soundtrack as something to set our own lives to. You’d be on safe ground stating that like Jaga, Loka are concerned with the point where rhythms cease to be generic and just become propulsion. But neither of these references can fully do justice to Loka’s love of cascades of emotive strings and the jazz/rock experiments of the late sixties and early seventies."

All I can say is that Fire Shepherds is groovy in place, cinematic down to the last note, with jazz moods sweating out of every bar and that, at just under 45 minutes long, it is short enough to make you want some more. An impressive debut, and one of the coolest albums released on Ninja for a very long time.

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