SJO Resistance album cover small

The Souljazz Orchestra Returns With New Album ‘Resistance’ September 2015

Canada’s powerhouse Afro / Latin / Tropical collective, The Souljazz Orchestra, return in September 2015 with a powerhouse new album […] Read More…

Pat Thomas 2 w_o glasses cropped

Stream “Me Ho Asem” By Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band

“Best thing I’ve put on the stereo in some time” – Marco Werman The self-titled album from Ghanaian legend Pat […] Read More…

Sun Ra Planets final cover

Record Store Day 2015: Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra: Planets Of Life Or Death

In celebration of Record Store Day 2015, Strut and Art Yard join forces once more for the first release anywhere […] Read More…

Pat Thomas final lo res

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band

“I’m an afrobeat drummer but Pat Thomas is highlife. That is what he does so well.” -Tony Allen Coming in […] Read More…

kanaku3

Get To Know Peruvian Psychedelic Folk Collective Kanaku Y El Tigre

Strut in association with Tiger’s Milk proudly present the latest artist signing to the label: Lima, Peru’s Kanaku Y El […] Read More…

Dance Mania Cover Illustrator James Wilson_crop

An Interview With ‘Ghetto Madness’ Cover Illustrator James Wilson

Our second foray into the incredible catalog of Chicago’s Dance Mania Records focuses specifically on the hyper-sexualized “Ghetto House” strain […] Read More…

Strut Worldwide Awards photo square

Strut Wins “Label Of The Year” At Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards!!

BBC 6Music DJ Gilles Peterson celebrated the global music underground with a feast of great music on Saturday at his […] Read More…

Next Stop Soweto 4 final cover

South African Disco, Rock & More On Next Stop Soweto Vol. 4

This March, we return to the rich archives of South African music to spotlight the fertile era of the late […] Read More…

600x600

Afro-Beats Digital Collection

Here at Strut, we’ve been captivated with African music of many varieties ever since we first dipped our toes into […] Read More…

StrutBestof2014

Strut’s Favorite Releases Of 2014

To mark the end of the year, we thought it would be worth asking Strut’s Quinton Scott to pull out […] Read More…

The Souljazz Orchestra Returns With New Album ‘Resistance’ September 2015

The_Souljazz_Orchestra_Resistance_front_coverCanada’s powerhouse Afro / Latin / Tropical collective, The Souljazz Orchestra, return in September 2015 with a powerhouse new album that sees the ensemble exploring some new sonic territory.

“We approached this album with a fresh ear,” explains bandleader Pierre Chrétien. “We were keen to build on the band’s sound and message, bringing in some of the French Caribbean and Francophone West African influences that we’ve loved since our youth, so the new album brings in French language tracks and elements of coupé-décalé, zouk and cadence to the overall mix.”

The Souljazz Orchestra remain one of the most solid units in their scene, retaining their original line-up since they were first formed back in 2002. On Resistance, they showcase their continuing versatility with saxman Ray Murray, percussionist Marielle Rivard, drummer Philippe Lafrenière and keyboardist Pierre Chrétien all taking on lead vocal duties on different tracks.

Resistance is released on 8th September on CD, LP & digital formats, and the band embark on a major new international tour, hitting up Europe during September and October 2015, followed by a Canadian run in November 2015.

souljazz_orchestra_lores3

 

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band Perform “Gyae Su” In Accra

Rehearsal photo 3 cropIt’s not every day that you get to observe a master at work, but that’s exactly the feeling we get watching Pat Thomas rehearse with his all-star Kwashibu Area Band at their studio in Accra. The nimble playing of each musician adds its piece to an intricate puzzle, providing the perfect bed for Thomas’ expressive vocals.

With their self-titled debut album available now, Thomas and Kwashibu Area Band will be hitting the road this fall. Confirmed dates below.

02.10.15 London, UK: Richmix
07.10.15 Brussels, Belgium: AB Club
08.10.15 Paris, France: New Morning
09.10.05 Zurich, Switzerland: Stall 6
10.10.15 Lyon, France: Le Sucre
17.10.15 Utrecht, Holland: Rasa
18.10.15 Amsterdam, Holland: Paradiso
20.10.15 Berlin, Germany: Bi Nuu
22.10.15 – 24.10.15 Budapest, Hungary: Womex showcase

 

Strut Comes To Bandcamp

StrutBandcampWe’ve been fans of Bandcamp for years now. It’s a great place to discover new music and to directly support artists. When the service announced that they would be adding label profiles, we knew we wanted to get on board. Starting this week, every Strut release will be available digitally at https://strut.bandcamp.com/. Stop in, take a look around, and give us a follow for updates on new releases and special promotions.

As a special welcome gift, we’re offering a free download of the summery Highlife anthem “Me Ho Asem” from Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band, out this week. Head to the release page for your free track. You can also hear an interview with Strut’s own Quinton Scott on Bandcamp Weekly podcast.

Vinyl & CDs will still be available directly via the Strut Store.

Stream “Me Ho Asem” By Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band

Pat Thomas 2 w_o glasses cropped“Best thing I’ve put on the stereo in some time”Marco Werman

The self-titled album from Ghanaian legend Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band is something of a reunion, re-uniting Thomas with past collaborators that include Ebo Taylor and Tony Allen. Brimming with authentic West African highlife and afro funk, the album highlight “Me Ho Asem” is streaming below.

From the album’s liner notes:

An “Africo” crossover style typical of early 1970s Accra in the style of Osibisa and Alhaji K Frimpong. It’s one of the most funky tracks on the album and features some superb harmonic and melodic touches. Thomas’s lyrics are defiant: “This is my life, my turn. You can talk about all my problems and dance in my misery. But it’s not going to be like that forever. You can talk all you want but things will always get better for me.”

The track features a yearning trumpet solo from another Ghanaian legend, Osei Tutu. Osei was a member of Hedzolleh Sounds and also played alongside Ebo and Pat in the Sweet Beans.

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band is released June 16th on Strut. Pre-orders are available on iTunes, Amazon & the Strut Store.

 

Watch Kanaku Y El Tigre Perform ‘Pulpos’ Live In Their Studio

kanaku3 Kanaku Y El Tigre are experts at using the recording studio as an instrument. Their records are densely layered, to the point that discerning the players or instruments responsible for specific sounds can become a pleasant challenge. This live video, recorded at Kanaku Studios in Lima pulls back the curtain on some of the mystery. Performing with precision, the band delivers a flawless rendition of the song ‘Pulpos’ from the upcoming album Quema Quema Quema.

Quema Quema Quema is out June 15th on Strut / Tiger’s Milk. Pre-orders are available now on iTunes and the Strut Store.

Record Store Day 2015: Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra: Planets Of Life Or Death

Sun Ra Planets final cover
In celebration of Record Store Day 2015, Strut and Art Yard join forces once more for the first release anywhere of a live Sun Ra performance from Amiens, France in 1973, Planets Of Life Or Death. Recorded direct from the soundboard and mastered from first generation reel to reel, the title is exclusively available for Record Store Day 2015.

Sun Ra and his Arkestra had just completed a residency at the legendary Gibus in Paris in October before traveling to Amiens for a visceral Sunday afternoon concert. “Sun Ra’s use of the Arkestra as his instrument in an onslaught of sound, colour and movement stimulated and even shocked the senses and the shakras of audience participants onto a higher plane of spirit consciousness,” explains the Arkestra’s Knoel Scott.

On Side 1, the session kicks off with the theatrical overture, ‘Enlightenment’ as Sun Ra and vocalist June Tyson invite the audience to “be of our space world.” Ra then moves into a rare instrumental version of ‘Love In Outer Space,’ transforming the perennial Arkestra classic into a raw, ritualistic experience.

Side 2 of the album opens with the glistening ‘Lights On A Satellite’ led by the spiritual tenor sax of John Gilmore. Closing track, the epic, chaotic, anxious ‘Discipline 27-II / What Planet Is This’ features Sun Ra and June Tyson take a thinly veiled psychedelic swipe at life on earth: “If this is a planet of life, why do people die here?”

Planets Of Life Or Death follows 2014’s landmark compilation presented by Marshall Allen, In the Orbit Of Ra. The release features rare photos from Sun Ra’s 1973 European tour by photographer Jan Persson with sleeve notes by Knoel Scott.

Stream a track from the album below. Information on participating stores for RSD 2015 is available here.

View Peru Through The Eyes Of Young Skaters In Kanaku Y El Tigre’s New Video

Kanaku Y El Tigre’s new single “Si Te Mueres Mañana” is a life-affirming anthem with the message “If you die tomorrow, make sure you you’ve done everything you ever wanted.” After watching the song’s gorgeously-shot video (which premiered today on The Wall Street Journal), we might have to add skateboarding through the hills of Lima, Peru to the list of things to do before we die.

“Si Te Mueres Mañana” appears on Kanaku Y El Tigre’s forthcoming album Quema Quema Quema, which is the first internationally-released project from the Peruvian duo of Nico Saba and Bruno Bellatin. With a relaxed sound that bridges folk, indie rock, psychedelic music and electronics, the album is a perfect soundtrack to the spring. If you missed it, you can download the advance teaser track “Bubucelas” for free.

Quema Quema Quema is out June 15th on Strut / Tiger’s Milk. Pre-orders are available now on iTunes and the Strut Store.

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band

Pat Thomas final lo res“I’m an afrobeat drummer but Pat Thomas is highlife. That is what he does so well.” -Tony Allen

Coming in June, we are proud to announce the brand new studio album by one of Ghana’s all-time great vocalists, “The Golden Voice Of Africa”, Pat Thomas, in conjunction with the Kwashibu Area Band led by multi-instumentalist Kwame Yeboah (Cat Stevens, Patrice) and saxophonist Ben Abarbanel-Wolff (Ebo Taylor, Poets of Rhythm).

A regular collaborator with Ebo Taylor, Thomas was mainstay of the ‘70s and ‘80s Ghanaian highlife, afrobeat and afro-pop scenes, hitting big with the Ghana Cocoa Board-sponsored Sweet Beans band. Thomas’ new album marks over 50 years making music and reunites him with old friends: Ebo Taylor provides horn arrangements, Tony Allen contributes drums to several tracks, Osei Tutu (Hedzolleh Sounds) plays a memorable trumpet solo and prolific 1970s bassist Ralph Karikari (The Noble Kings) also features. Younger generation stars appearing include bassist Emmanuel Ofori, percussionist “Sunday” Owusu and Pat Thomas’ daughter Nanaaya, an acclaimed vocalist in her own right.

Pat Thomas and Kwashibu Area Band is released June 16th 2015 on CD, LP and digital formats featuring hand-drawn artwork by Lewis Heriz and full sleeve notes. The campaign will feature remixes released in conjunction with Absolut Vodka. Pre-order now on iTunes, and watch a video on the studio sessions below.

 

Get To Know Peruvian Psychedelic Folk Collective Kanaku Y El Tigre

kanaku3 Strut in association with Tiger’s Milk proudly present the latest artist signing to the label: Lima, Peru’s Kanaku Y El Tigre.

The band’s forthcoming album Quema Quema Quema (meaning ‘Burn Burn Burn’ in Spanish) is the product of two years honing the Kanaku sound at the band’s Lima studio HQ and the result is a record which is feverish in intensity and which screams with joy and cries for help in the same breath. The album is a testament to their new found approach with its euphoric, unapologetically feel-good hooks littered with electronic jitters, ghostly delays, serene Hawaiian slide guitars and a chorus of other-wordly vocal harmonies.

Take a look at a video for the track “Bubucelas,” featuring the album’s incredible hand-painted cover art, below. You can also download “Bubucelas” for free.

Quema Quema Quema is out June 15th on Strut / Tiger’s Milk. Pre-orders are available now on iTunes.

Video: Orlando Julius Performs “Aseni” Live With The Heliocentrics

As they make their way across Europe, it’s a full-on party when Orlando Julius hits the stage with The Heliocentrics. Recorded live in Brussels, this performance of “Aseni” shows the stage ablaze with synchronized dance moves and razor sharp musicianship. Make sure to catch this show when they come through your city!

European Tour Dates

11th: Ljubjana SLO / Kino Siska
12th: Rome IT / Teatro Quirinetta
13th: Bologna IT / Locomotiv Club
14th: Turin IT / Scuola Holden (General Store)
15th: Milan IT / Biko Club
19th: Arhus DEN / Atlas
20th: Copenhagen DEN / Global
21st: Stockholm SWE / Fasching

Orlando Julius’ collaborative album with The Heliocentrics, Jaiyede Afro is out now:
iTunesAmazonStrut Store