Blue Lab Beats are NK-OK, aka 18-year-old electronic beats programmer Namali Kwaten, and Mr DM, aka multi-instrumentalist David Mrakpor, 23. A double act with a combined love of hip hop artists J. Dilla, Public Enemy and a Tribe Called Quest; jazz heroes Herbie Hancock and Roy Ayers; soul legends Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.
They pair fuse minds as well as genres. Their new Society of Sound release, Xover, captures their sultry mish-mash, with its American source and London attitude - the duo neatly side-step the clearance problems that beset so many of their hip hop heroes by cutting up live music made especially for them, effectively sampling themselves.
The album was recorded at Real World Studios.
"We just do what we love doing," says NK-OK of Xover. "Whenever we're together the work flows really fast."
Described this week by the Independent as "an elegant, understated pop masterpiece", the new album by Loney dear is released today.
Self-titled, the album is the first from Emil Svanängen, the artist behind Loney dear, for six years and also his first for Real World Records.
The ten songs display the new found, or perhaps re-found confidence of Svanängen, emboldened and powerful simply by the new music he is making; "I'm moving into a more bold state, I'm confident, powerful, I became a singer, I learned from my darkness and discovered my magnetism."
The album includes the songs Sum, Hulls, Humbug and Lilies, and is available on CD, LP and all streaming / download services.
We're really looking forward to the start of new BBC Two series 'Russia: with Simon Reeve' on Thursday at 9pm, which uses music from quite a few Real World Records artists, including Dimitri Ensemble, Ashkhabad, Severa Nazarkhan, Mamer, and Terem Quartet. Be sure to tune in.
The September release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is a sneak preview of the new album by Loney dear.
The album is released commercially for all on Friday 29 September, but as a member of Society of Sound you could grab yourself a download from today.
Loney dear is Swedish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanängen, a purveyor of elegantly crafted, deeply stirring music, which led The Quietus to describe his work as "…the obsessive work of one man, albeit one that can sing with the vulnerable delicacy of an angel and makes bedroom recordings that sound like God's own orchestra".
Joseph Arthur is currently in Los Angeles working on new material for a brand new album to be released in 2018, but he's also trying out new material (and playing old favourites and rarities) during a residency at Hotel Café.
Joseph plays tonight (20) and next Wednesday 27 September, starting at 8pm.
Taken from the forthcoming self-titled album on Real World Records, Loney dear's 'Lilies' is now available to stream and download. The track features fellow Swedish indie artist Jay-Jay Johanson.
"I'm not sure how I came to think of it, but I realised I really wanted Jay-Jay to sing the second chorus of Lilies, and when it was just a few days til the album master deadline I sent him the song. Also appearing is the sensitively fantastic vocalist S Carey singing lush backing vocals. I wish we had done collaborations on this song and the album, but the future is still wide open." ~ Emil
Real World Records was very sad to hear of the death of Salah Dawson Miller. Dawson, on the right, performed with JuJu's Justin Adams and Juldeh on the Real World album Tell No Lies. Of his long time friend and early mentor Justin Adams says:
"When I was gigging as part of a trio with Juldeh Camara and Salah Dawson Miller, people often asked me about the mysterious wizard on percussion onstage with us. Salah, or Dawson as I originally knew him, cut a regal and enigmatic figure onstage, with his customised percussion instruments, otherworldly outfits and his touch, so particular, never bombastic, always supple and melodious… Dawson's overview of music showed connections that encompassed the whole world, from the point of view of someone who had physically internalised the "claves" or rhythmic keys unlocking the pulse of so many African or Asian derived musics. His travels in Brazil, Cuba and Algeria, as well as his life in multi-cultural London, gratefully accepting lessons from great African, Arab and Latin American musicians there, imbued him with a passionate love of cultures where music is a communal, dancing experience. Wherever there was rhythmic interest, Dawson was there to investigate; he was one of the founding members of the London School of Samba, and as "Isfahani Mustapha", he was one of the 3 Mustaphas 3, a wild and virtuosic band whose riotous mix of Global styles was ahead of its time"
Salah Dawson Miller, 22 August 1950 - 25 August 2017
'Humbug' is the latest single from Loney dear's new self-titled album, out on 29th September and their first for almost six years.
To complement the release of Humbug, Emil Svanängen and fellow Swedish musician Klabbe Hörngren filmed a beautiful and haunting acoustic piano version at Real World Studios in July.
The official promo video for the album version of 'Humbug' deals with some weighty issues, comprising copyrighted images in a politically-themed response to, amongst other things, an arms trade deal in Sweden.
"It's more of a stream of consciousness, but I like to see how the story becomes visible even through the madness of just following the brain," explains Emil. "I began experimenting with the unreliable narrator, and I really like the tone we created there because it was the first time I was able to convey the feeling of don't trust Emil. I don't want to be the artist that you'd want to buy a car from."