Recommended music

Ben Mono: Dual

  • Artist: Ben Mono
  • Title: Dual
  • Genre: Trip-hop/Nu-jazz
  • Released: 2003

German Paul Beller’s first album consists of complex beats behind layers of sounds, with beautifully strange female vocals by Marzenka and Bajka. The music is hard to describe, but if you take a bit of Jazzanova mixed with some Morcheeba, and add a sprinkling of Moloko, you get the general idea. And it’s really good. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Ben Mono: Dual.

Posted on December 4, 2004

Breakestra: Live Mix 2

  • Artist: Breakestra
  • Title: Live Mix 2
  • Genre: Funk/hip-hop/jazz
  • Released: 2001

Prepare yourself for some really serious grooves before you listen to this album. I’ve seen these guys live, and they are incredibly intense on stage. Just like this album, their live performance is a long mix of extremely funky music, mixing hip-hop with funk and jazz. Wow. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Breakestra: Live Mix 2.

Posted on October 20, 2004

Dead Can Dance: 1981-1998

  • Artist: Dead Can Dance
  • Title: 1981-1998
  • Genre: Gothic/Classical/Medieval
  • Released: 2001

The definitive collection of the best Dead Can Dance material available. If you’ve heard Lisa Gerrards beautiful voice on soundtracks like Gladiator and The Insider, you know what to expect. Some tracks are instrumental, and Brendan Perry sings on a few, but the same mysterious, haunting sound that made the music of Dead Can Dance so great is there. Visit Amazon.com for more details on 1981-1998.

Posted on October 17, 2004

E.S.T.: Seven Days of Falling

  • Artist: E.S.T.
  • Title: Seven Days of Falling
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Released: 2004

The latest album, originally released in 2003, from this excellent Swedish jazz trio (E.S.T. = Esbjörn Svensson Trio) has a slightly dirtier sound than their previous releases. It combines soft, beautiful ballads with rougher tracks. Very interesting stuff. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Seven Days of Falling.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Groove Armada: Best of

  • Artist: Groove Armada
  • Title: Best of
  • Genre: House-hop
  • Released: 2004

As of this writing, this album has not yet been released. I just need to take a look at the tracklist to know that I can recommend it though. Groove Armada have some great material to choose from for this compilation, and it contains upbeat dance tracks as well as slow relaxing tunes. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Best of Groove Armada.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Jamiroquai: Dynamite

  • Artist: Jamiroquai
  • Title: Dynamite
  • Genre: Funk
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Dynamite.

Posted on August 24, 2005

Jestofunk: The Anthology

  • Artist: Jestofunk
  • Title: The Anthology
  • Genre: Funk/house/techno/dance
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on The Anthology.

Posted on August 24, 2005

John Coltrane: Coltrane for Lovers

  • Artist: John Coltrane
  • Title: Coltrane for Lovers
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Released: 2004

Much of John Coltranes music, while technically very impressive, tends to make me feel very stressed. There’s something about the rapid flurry of notes that I can’t handle. Luckily this album contains none of that. A great selection of soothing, superb jazz ballads, this is perfect music for when you’re sitting in your favourite armchair, sipping a cup of good, strong coffee. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Coltrane for Lovers.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum

  • Artist: Kraftwerk
  • Title: Minimum-Maximum
  • Genre: Electronic
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Minimum-Maximum.

Posted on August 24, 2005

Mark Rae: Into the Depths

  • Artist: Mark Rae
  • Title: Into the Depths
  • Genre: Nu-Hip-Funk
  • Released: 2004

This second solo album from Mark Rae, part of Rae & Christian, brings together soul, funk, and hip-hop. The beats and basslines on some tracks remind me a lot of the stuff on the Rae & Christian album Sleepwalking, which is great. This album both rocks and swings, and contains a nice mix of instrumentals and vocal tracks. Oh yes, the vocals. Very impressively performed by Veba, Pete Simpson, and Mark Rae himself. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Mark Rae: Into the Depths.

Posted on December 4, 2004

Massive Attack: Blue Lines

  • Artist: Massive Attack
  • Title: Blue Lines
  • Genre: Trip-hop
  • Released: 1991

One of the first trip-hop albums, this is a classic. Songs like ”Unfinished Sympathy” and ”Safe From Harm” are examples of the delicate voices and sounds floating over heavy beats that characterise this album. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Blue Lines.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Medeski Martin and Wood: End of the World Party

  • Artist: Medeski Martin & Wood
  • Title: End of the World Party
  • Genre: Jazz-hop-funk
  • Released: 2004

Visit Amazon.com for more details on End of the World Party.

Posted on May 1, 2005

Miles Davis: Kind of Blue

  • Artist: Miles Davis
  • Title: Kind of Blue
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Released: 1997 (original release 1959)

One of the best jazz albums ever, this is a must have. Miles Davis assembled an amazing band for this album, and most will recognise names such as John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, and Bill Evans. Each song is a classic, and beautifully performed. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Kind of Blue.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Moloko: Statues

  • Artist: Moloko
  • Title: Statues
  • Genre: House/dance-pop
  • Released: 2003

Moloko’s music is very hard to describe. Vocal house/dance-pop comes pretty close. Whatever you call it, this album contains a lot of killer tracks that make it one of the duo’s best, and something you should check out. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Statues.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Morcheeba: Parts of the process

  • Artist: Morcheeba
  • Title: Parts of the process
  • Genre: Trip-hop
  • Released: 2003

Morcheeba is one of my favourite bands of all time. This album is a best of compilation. If I had compiled it, there are two or three songs that I would have replaced with others, but this is still an excellent introduction to the band for anyone who doesn’t know them. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Parts of the Process.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Mr Scruff: Mrs Cruff

  • Artist: Mr Scruff
  • Title: Mrs Cruff
  • Genre: Nu-funk-lo-fi
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Mrs Cruff.

Posted on August 23, 2005

Portishead: Portishead

  • Artist: Portishead
  • Title: Portishead
  • Genre: Trip-hop
  • Released: 1997

This masterpiece is not happy music, but it isn’t music that makes you sad either. It’s slow, dark, and powerful, and at the same time fragile and tender. Beth Gibbons’ thin, slightly scratchy voice suits the melancholic music perfectly, and the end result is an album that can really set a mood. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Portishead.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Roisin Murphy: Ruby Blue

  • Artist: Roisin Murphy
  • Title: Ruby Blue
  • Genre: House/dance/weirdo
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Ruby Blue.

Posted on August 24, 2005

Roots Manuva: Awfully Deep

  • Artist: Roots Manuva
  • Title: Awfully Deep
  • Genre: Hip-hop-dub
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Awfully Deep.

Posted on May 1, 2005

Stan Getz: Getz Plays Jobim

  • Artist: Stan Getz
  • Title: Getz Plays Jobim: The Girl From Ipanema
  • Genre: Bossa-jazz
  • Released: 2002

One thing that makes me really like Stan Getz is that his music is always relaxing and soft. He rarely freaks out in wild solos, unlike some other sax legends. This album contains the best Antonio Carlos Jobim songs that Getz recorded, and is an excellent, soft blend of jazz and bossa nova. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Getz Plays Jobim.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Stateless: Art of No State

  • Artist: Stateless
  • Title: Art of No State
  • Genre: Nu-jazz
  • Released: 2003

If you listen to this and think you recognise the beautiful female voice, you probably do. It belongs to Yukimi Nagano, who also sings on tracks by Hird, Swell Session and Koop. Andreas Saag, the man behind this album, has created an excellent blend of weird, backwards beats, groovy bass lines and lovely singing. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Stateless: Art of No State.

Posted on November 6, 2004

The Cure: Faith (Deluxe Edition)

  • Artist: The Cure
  • Title: Faith (Deluxe Edition)
  • Genre: Goth/rock
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Faith (Deluxe Edition).

Posted on August 24, 2005

The Cure: Pornography (Deluxe Edition)

  • Artist: The Cure
  • Title: Pornography (Deluxe Edition)
  • Genre: Goth/rock
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Pornography (Deluxe Edition).

Posted on August 24, 2005

The Cure: Seventeen Seconds (Deluxe Edition)

  • Artist: The Cure
  • Title: Seventeen Seconds (Deluxe Edition)
  • Genre: Goth/rock
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Seventeen Seconds (Deluxe Edition).

Posted on August 24, 2005

The Dining Rooms: Experiments in Ambient Soul

  • Artist: The Dining Rooms
  • Title: Experiments in Ambient Soul
  • Genre: Nu-jazz-house
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Experiments in Ambient Soul.

Posted on August 24, 2005

Thievery Corporation: Outernational Sound

  • Artist: Thievery Corporation
  • Title: Outernational Sound
  • Genre: Dub-afro-brazjazz-lo-fi
  • Released: 2004

A mix of Thievery Corporation’s favourite songs, this album is a DJ set that spans multiple genres: downbeat, dub, brazilian jazz, funk, and more. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Outernational Sound.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Tomasz Stanko: Suspended Night

  • Artist: Tomasz Stanko
  • Title: Suspended Night
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Released: 2004

Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and his quartet have made an album filled with beautiful, fragile jazz ballads. I saw this band live this summer, and was very impressed. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Suspended Night.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Toshinori Kondo, DJ Krush: Ki-Oku

  • Artist: Toshinori Kondo, DJ Krush
  • Title: Ki-Oku
  • Genre: Trip-hop
  • Released: 1999

DJ Krush, known for his trippy, hard beats and Japanese rap, collaborates with trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. The result is amazing. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Ki-Oku.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Tricky: A Ruff Guide

  • Artist: Tricky
  • Title: A Ruff Guide
  • Genre: Trip-hop
  • Released: 2002

There aren’t a lot of sweet voices on this one. Tricky’s harsh, whispering song-rapping fits perfectly with the dark mood of the music. Don’t let that discourage you though – this is a fantastic compilation. Visit Amazon.com for more details on A Ruff Guide.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Unkle: Never Never Land

  • Artist: Unkle
  • Title: Never Never Land
  • Genre: Breakbeat-turntablism
  • Released: 2003

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Unkle: Never Never Land.

Posted on April 30, 2005

Various Artists: Nordic Lounge 2

  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Title: Nordic Lounge 2
  • Genre: Nu-jazz
  • Released: 2003

Collecting some of the best nu-jazz from Scandinavia, this album contains tracks from artists like Hird, Koop, Stateless, and Bugge Wesseltoft. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Nordic Lounge 2.

Posted on October 17, 2004

Various Artists: Verve Remixed

  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Title: Verve Remixed
  • Genre: Jazz-house-electronica
  • Released: 2002

Remixes of classic jazz tracks are often successful, and this is no exception. Contemporary house, downbeat and trip-hop DJs, producers and artists like Rae & Christian, Tricky, de-Phazz and dZihan & Kamien add their breaks and beats to the old tracks. The result is a blend that keeps the best of both worlds. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Verve Remixed.

Posted on November 10, 2004

Various Artists: Verve Remixed 2

  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Title: Verve Remixed 2
  • Genre: Jazz-house-electronica
  • Released: 2003

This follow-up to the first Verve Remixed album contains a new set of equally excellent remixes. This time around, some of the artists contributing with their remixes are Gotan Project, Mr. Scruff, Koop, Matthew Herbert and Jaffa. A different set of contemporary house, downbeat and electronica artists remix a different set of original jazz tunes, but the results are just as pleasing as on the first album. Visit Amazon.com for more details on Verve Remixed 2.

Posted on November 11, 2004

Various Artists: Verve Remixed 3

  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Title: Verve Remixed 3
  • Genre: Jazz-house-electronica
  • Released: 2005

Visit Amazon.com for more details on Verve Remixed 3.

Posted on May 1, 2005