Triple R Soundscape: 10 August 2020

Soundscape is a weekly look at local and international releases making an impression on our musical radar. The list offers a cross-section of EPs and albums arriving at the station.

We have been busily scouring the Soundscape! Check out some of our favourite finds for this week 10 August 2020.

Gordon Koang - Unity (Music In Exile)**Album of the Week

A national icon in his home country of South Sudan, Gordon Koang had already released nine acclaimed albums and toured Europe and North America before civil war forced him to seek asylum in Australia, arriving with his cousin Paul Biel in 2013. Accompanied by Biel, Koang performs a blend of traditional Neur rhythms and original compositions in English, Arabic, and his native language, Neur. Each of the 8 tracks on Unity find joy and connection at their heart, with Gordon recently saying “All my songs [are] talking about love, unity and peace...There’s a lot of change, and when there’s no peace in this generation, you need to be a mediator between communities.”

Tkay Maidza - Last Year Was Weird Vol.2 (Universal Music Australia/ThinKIng Loud)

The ascendent 23 year old Adelaide rapper releases her debut recording on British indie label 4AD, following a prolific half decade of acclaimed EPs and high profile features with the likes of Killer Mike. On Vol.2 of Last Year Was Weird, Maidza hits her stride with a confident display of contemporary, slickly produced hip-hop. Throughout the 8 tracks, Maidza effortlessly mines the sounds of funk, house and trap into a broad pop palette, worthy of celebration and connection at clubs, parties and barbecues in a much less weird year than 2020.

Nayana IZ - Smoke & Fly (Different Recordings)

After teasing her abilities with a run of singles over recent months, the feverishly hyped 19 year old Londoner drops her debut album Smoke & Fly. Combining the sounds of the underground London electronic scene with fierce UK hip-hop, Nayana also deeply engages with her Indian heritage, creating a sound that is authentically and boldly her own. Speaking with Vice Magazine in January, she said of the album “It’s me pouring my heart out in the realest and humblest way possible: the anger, the love, the sadness, the power and all those other feelings that are too long and complex to describe.”

Jenny O. - New Truth (Mama Bird Recording Co.)

New Truth is the third studio album from the Californian folk singer Jenny Ognibene, her most personal and intimate release yet. Ognibene took control of the creative process, recording and performing much of the album herself, as she explores deeply personal experiences, such as a flawed relationship, and the sudden loss of hearing in her right ear. Far from expressing defeatism, however, the album explores this New Truth through a lens of acceptance and resilience: “I’m in mono now forever / It was there and now it’s gone.”

Loure - Outta 106 (Nothin Personal)

The latest release from the Melbourne based artist Thom Guida is the debut on his own new record label Nothin Personal. A deeply collaborative record, Outta 106 showcases some of the best talent from Melbourne’s thriving underground: Monique Araujo, Jon Di Napoli, Chris Jennings, Lochie Thompson, Don Glori, Rara Zulu & Asha Trip. Over 6 tracks, the record fervently explores the sounds of jazz, breakbeat and housecuts, faithfully representing the living and diverse sounds of contemporary Melbourne.

Grace Turner - 'Half Truths' EP (Independent/GyroPR)

The Newcastle raised singer songwriter recorded her new EP over two years throughout various locations in NSW and Victoria. Fittingly, the record has the sound of a talented musician and storyteller searching for meaning and grounding in a chaotic and constantly shifting world. Turner has said of this EP “I wrote the songs in a difficult period of my life… I was shedding expectations of who I was meant to be as a person, woman, musician, lover, friend….through writing these songs it has brought me closer to the ones around me and in turn reignited my love for life.”

Vintage Crop - Serve to Serve Again (Antifade/Upset The Rhythm)

The Geelong crew follow up last year’s post-punk attack of Company Man, with the more sculpted and restrained LP Serve to Serve Again. With sardonic and keen-eyed observational lyricism about modern Australian class, culture and identity, the album is driven by sing/yell vocal dynamics and angular Wire-esque guitar melodies. On Serve to Serve Again Vintage Crop prove themselves as one of the most relevant and dynamic local punk acts going around.

The Stooges - Live At Goose Lake: August 8, 1970 (Third Man Records)

Live At Goose Lake: August 8, 1970 is a previously unheard recording of the legendary and infamous performance found buried in the basement of a Michigan farmhouse. Not only is the last ever performance of the original godhead Stooges line-up, it is also the only known soundboard recording of that said line-up. This rare release may also rewrite the history books on one of the most infamous occurrences in the Stooges storied history.

Various Artists - Soul Jazz Records Presents: Kaleidoscope - New Spirits Known And Unknown (Soul Jazz)

The newest compilation from the legendary British label brings together a selection of ground-breaking artists from the UKs explosive new jazz scene. Featured here are the likes of Matthew Halsall, Yazmin Lacey, III Considered, Tenderlonious and many more. A key theme running through the 21 tracks is the pioneering spirit of these new artists in crossing musical boundaries, as well as celebrating artists who display a determination to independent practices and self-publishing.

More information here

Yo La Tengo - We Have Amnesia Sometimes (Matador Records / Remote Control Records)

We Have Amnesia Sometimes, the latest from the veteran art-rock trio, was recorded as improvisation with the three band-members performing around a single microphone in the center of the band’s Hoboken, New Jersey studio. Recorded throughout the early stages of the pandemic explosion in the US, this methodology was driven more by legal necessity than artistic merit. The final product, however, is an experiment in ambient egalitarianism and formlessness, at a time when such unity is needed as much as ever.