Guide to the Week of Music: Mr Scruff, Imarhan, new sounds and visuals

Welcome to the Guide to the Week of Music, a round-up of music news, media and releases from the wide musical world. This week, Imarhan producer Patrick Votan provides some insight into how Imarhan achieved their new production sound on Temet track, Alwa. We take a look at a new short film about Mr Scruff and delve into new music and visuals from Ezra Collective, Yussef Dayes and Yves Tumor.

Mr Scruff features in new Dekmantel documentary

Mr Scruff’s Keep it Unreal will celebrate twenty years in Manchester next year, making it one of Manchester’s longest running club events. Its longevity and success boil down to Andy being one of the most passionate and committed DJs you’re ever likely to meet. An audio geek who can talk tech with any sound engineer, an artist who incorporates illustrative design into the club experience and a record collector whose selections are made to please committed musos and new-to-clubbing novices alike. As part of their selectors series, Dekmantel made a short film about Mr Scruff’s clubnight and party ethos, interviewing a few of nearest and dearest in the process! It’s a wonderful short film and we recommend checking it out below. Mr Scruff next appears at Band on the Wall with DJ Irfan Rainy for Felabration Manchester.

Imarhan producer Patrick Votan on the sound of Alwa

With their sophomore album, Temet, Algerian rock outfit Imarhan made, ‘a huge leap forward in production, as well as creatively.’ Producer Patrick Votan helped the group to realise their sonic ambitions, as he had previously with North African rock outfit Tinariwen. Revealing more about the recording of the single Alwa, he explained to us that the group were thinking of ‘a kind of White Stripe sound, with a more funky and psyche mood,’ for the track. Addressing the arrangement and processing, Votan also explained how he, Eyadou Ag Leche of Tinariwen and the group worked on the song structure and instrumental sounds together, before making subtle use of ‘compression, fx (reverb, delay, harmonizer)…’ Votan’s insight reinforces the quality of the production and allows us to appreciate its detail with fresh ears. Check out the lyric video below and catch Imarhan at Band on the Wall tomorrow.

New sounds

Severn Songs, the recently-established label of Ishmael Ensemble leader Pete Cunningham, premiered a track from their second release this week. Tunnels is a piece inspired by the rivers and landscape of Cunningham’s native Bristol – a hypnotic piece of electro-jazz featuring a number of talented musicians. Check it out below and find out more via Complex.

Dunham records, an imprint of the famous Brooklyn label Daptone, is to release a posthumous LP by the late “screaming eagle of soul” Charles Bradley. It’s almost 12 months since the vocalist’s passing at the age of 68, following a career resurgence that saw him go from James Brown impersonator to internationally-acclaimed solo artist. The November release, entitled Black Velvet, comprises ten studio recordings never before included on an LP, including the gorgeous I Feel A Change and an electric version of Victim of Love.

Awesome Tapes from Africa, the label behind the resurgence of ethiojazz pioneer Hailu Mergia, announced the reissue of a rare 1975 album featuring his organ playing, this week. Asnakech is the work of famed Ethiopian vocalist and krar player, Asnakech Worku, an iconic figure in post-revolution Ethiopia. Find out more and hear a track from the record here.

Ezra Collective released a new track featuring the inimitable Jorja Smith this week. The London-based five piece lay down a smooth, D’Angelo-inspired groove on Reason in Disguise, drawing a performance both gentle and powerful out of the Walsall-raised vocalist, currently taking over the RnB scene. A match made in musical heaven!

Finally, New York-based jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman releases his new album, Ask for Chaos, today. Two new trios feature on the ten track album: his gHex Trio featuring bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Jonathan Pinson, plus electric trio ZuperOctave, which brings together keyboard wizard Aaron Parks and electro-acoustic drummer Kush Abadey. Check out the exhilarating album cut, Tokyo Cookie, below.

New Visuals

London-based drummer Yussef Dayes released a remarkable track and video, recorded and filmed at Abbey Road studios, this week. Joining him for the recital of Love is the Message, the first release on Dayes’ new Cashmere Thoughts label, were keys player Alfa Mist, guitarist Mansur Brown and bassist Rocco Palladino. If you’re wondering who supplied Brown’s gorgeous salmon/rust coloured cord jacket and Dayes’ multi-patterned suit, garms and styling are credited to Nicholas Daley.

Manchester’s hip-hop scene came up with the goods again this week, giving us new visuals from Ellis Meade and The Mouse Outfit. Meade appears live with The Mouse Outfit in Manchester this December and is the sole focus of his new visual for Dreaming Big.

Yves Tumor, whose new album is described as, ‘a benchmark in experimental music.’ by Pitchfork, released a new video for Licking An Orchid ft. James K last week. The visual is a dark piece in which the cast are bathed in red light, Tumor’s features being stretched and warped as he interacts with masked individuals. The experimental track will no doubt appeal to fans of trip-hop and artists such as Dean Blunt.