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Okovi

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by Zola Jesus

Feature Records for the week beginning Mon 4 Sep 2017

Zola Jesus - Okovi (PBS Feature Record)

Okovi is the fifth full-length album from American artist Nika Roza Danilova, better known as Zola Jesus. Returning to the Sacred Bones label for this record, Zola Jesus again draws upon the myriad stylistic reference points that have been heard throughout her extraordinary career. It is clear that Danilova looks for beauty amid the shadows but it would be an over-simplification to call this album ‘dark’. Through history so many great composers have drawn inspiration from tragedy, despair, unrequited love and even death to create timeless works of heartbreaking clarity and almost transcendent grandeur. And so it is with Okovi, an album that begins with a multi-layered choral hymn that acts as an introduction to a record where the human voice will be the core component of a vastly complex web of instrumentation and textures.

Zola Jesus has been releasing music for less than a decade. In that time all manner of genre descriptors have been appended to her music, and indeed she clearly draws sonically from all sorts of musical influences. Rather than sounding like a disjointed collection of sounds and layers however, on Okovi we hear an album that is a coherent work of remarkable clarity. In the very best way Okovi is one of those albums that seems to end all too soon. Nothing is wasted, and everything is in its place. Danilova clearly understands how to make music that engages and excites, and with Okovi there’s enough hooks to take Zola Jesus into the ears and minds of new listeners keen to enjoy the richness and warmth of this magnificent record.

Bicep - Bicep featured on The Breakfast Spread

Bicep - the Belfast-born, London-based duo of Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson - are pleased to announce their self-titled debut album, a record that truly encapsulates their history and the distillation of their passion for music and club culture since their first release in 2010, via Ninja Tune.

The album “Bicep” is the perfect summation of the duo’s career to date - it’s a sonic tour of their history touching the cornerstones of underground club culture. Matt and Andy have pulled off the rarest of feats, to make a singularly unique electronic record founded on the blueprint of classic house, techno, electro and Italo disco, but flipped and morphed into a fresh design bearing the unique Bicep sonic signature. It’s a perfectly succinct album: loose, raw and energetic enough for the dancefloor, yet refined, artfully composed and contemplative enough for home listening.

Their spirited, daring approach brings them into the Ninja Tune fold. “For us it’s important to be part of a label that looks broadly at music,” Matt says. “We felt no restrictions at Ninja to be pigeonholed,” continues Andy. Displaying a theme of technical experimentalism and a deft melodic touch which runs throughout the entire record, it’s this openness and no-rules approach to music making which has allowed Bicep to establish a unique position all their own on an increasingly crowded global dance stage.

This week's Top 10: 
Zola Jesus - Okovi
Bicep - Bicep
Papaphilia - À L’état Brut
Neck Grip - Choke
Max Kohane and Alex Macfarlane - Replica Town
Escape Artist - Lost Time
Widowspeak - The Dream
30/70 - Elevate EP
Tony Allen - The Source
Mogwai - Every Country's Sun

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