Jaga Jazzist & Britten Sinfonia

Watch a spectacular rendition of Jaga Jazzist’s “One-Armed Bandit” with a chamber ensemble

Jaga Jazzist: Live with Britten SinfoniaJaga Jazzist: Live with Britten Sinfonia (Ninja Tune, 5/14/13)

In September of 2012, Norwegian jazz-rock crossover outfit Jaga Jazzist recorded a special performance with the UK chamber ensemble Britten Sinfonia. Now the band is releasing a live recording of the event, titled Live with Britten Sinfonia, on May 14 in the US via Ninja Tune.

Watch a spectacular rendition of “One-Armed Bandit” below, with its multi-layered repetitions leading into cascading melodies and beautiful chase sequences. Pre-order the album here, and prepare to get out of your seat.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

ALARM’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

Another year, another torrential downpour of albums across our desks. As always, we encountered way too much amazing music, from Meshuggah to The Mars Volta, Converge, Killer Mike, P.O.S, and many more.

Kid Koala

Review: Kid Koala’s 12-Bit Blues

Kid Koala: 12-Bit BluesKid Koala: 12-Bit Blues (Ninja Tune, 9/18/12)

“2-Bit Blues”

Kid Koala: “2-Bit Blues”

Canadian DJ/turntablist Eric San, better known as Kid Koala, has long been known for his eclectic collection of records. Cartoon TV specials, old comedy sketches, bodily functions — you name it and he has chopped, scratched, or spliced it into his work. Now, for his latest studio album, he takes on the blues.

The Invisible

Video: The Invisible’s “Wings”

The Invisible: RispahThe Invisible: Rispah (Ninja Tune, 6/12/12)

On Tuesday, London-based pop-rock trio The Invisible released its sophomore album, Rispah, which finds guitarist / vocalist Dave Okumu in an existential crisis following the loss of his mother, the album’s namesake. The video for “Wings” contains kaleidoscopic imagery of butterflies trapped in flight, with their glass-jar prison shattering — liberating them —near the end.

The Invisible

Review: The Invisible’s Rispah

The Invisible: RispahThe Invisible: Rispah (Ninja Tune, 6/12/12)


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The sophomore album from London-based pop-rock trio The Invisible opens with thick, mournful swirls of keyboards intended as a send-off for guitarist/singer Dave Okumu’s deceased mother. Evoking a painful separation at the shore between life and the afterlife, the keyboards give rise to the contrasting buoyance of traditional Kenyan folk singing. Within seconds, Rispah (named after Okumu’s mom) announces itself as a work of rich ambiguity.


Review: Blockhead’s Interludes After Midnight

Blockhead: Interludes After MidnightBlockhead: Interludes After Midnight (Ninja Tune)

“Never Forget Your Token”

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Now five albums into his solo output, TonyBlockheadSimon is still more known as a hip-hop producer to the stars — well, perhaps the underground stars, producing for notables such as Del, Murs, and Aesop Rock. But ever since being asked to create a fully instrumental album, Simon has proven just as interesting on his own, offering down-tempo, sample-heavy, and (mostly) rhyme-free rap tracks (all while increasing brand awareness).

Record Store Day 2012

ALARM’s guide to Record Store Day 2012

Tomorrow is the third Saturday in April, which means that independent record stores across the world will face an influx of limited-edition vinyl, avid fans, and rabid audiophiles. With myriad releases hitting shelves, we’ve provided you with some of our most anticipated picks to make Saturday’s shopping (relatively) quick and painless.

50 Unheralded Albums from 2011

50 Unheralded Albums from 2011

In just one more trip around the sun, another swarm of immensely talented but under-recognized musicians has harnessed its collective talents and discharged its creations into the void. This list is but one fraction of those dedicated individuals who caught our ears with some serious jams.


The Groove Seeker: Slugabed’s Sun Too Bright Turn it Off

On a biweekly basis, The Groove Seeker goes in search of killer grooves across rock, funk, hip hop, soul, electronic music, jazz, fusion, and more.

Slugabed: Sun Too Bright Turn it Off EP (Ninja Tune, 11/8/11)

Slugabed: “Sun Too Bright Turn it Off”

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It’s appropriate to say that London is a breeding ground of zeitgeist-changing musical talent when it comes to the instrumental beat scene. In the city, you’ll find dubstep, grime, and drum-‘n’-bass nights every day of the week. And like many other UK cities, including Brighton and Bristol, London is on the forefront of current styles and approaches to beat-making. It’s also the residence of DJ and producer Slugabed, whose new EP, Sun Too Bright Turn it Off, sounds like the East London and Los Angeles beat scenes coming into one.

The new release marks back-to-back EPs for Slugabed, a.k.a. Greg Feldwick, as he makes a strong and steady buildup to his debut album for Ninja Tune. Parallel to the Moonbeam Rider EP, Sun Too Bright Turn it Off builds a spacey, multi-dimensional soundscape filled with chopped-and-screwed break beats, wobbly bass drops, and wild 8-bit synths. But the two releases are unquestionably different in terms of spacing and pacing. Sun Too Bright is a substantially more down-tempo affair, which in fact better establishes Feldwick’s ability as a composer.