London Brew is out today on Concord Jazz, a new album inspired by Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from a crème de la crème collection of UK jazz luminaries, available now on 2CD and digitally, with the 2LP release - available on black vinyl, limited edition opaque blue and indie-exclusive voodoo maroon vinyl - to follow on April 14.
Buy London Brew or listen in full here: https://found.ee/LondonBrew
Comprised of a veritable who's who of some of the most important and innovative musicians of the 21st century, London Brew features contributions from Benji B, Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Dave Okumu, Tom Skinnerand more, brought together by Producer and guitarist Martin Terefe and Executive Producer Bruce Lampcov.
Speaking of the album's release, Lampcov offers: "I can hardly contain my excitement now that London Brew is finally ready to be served to the world, after the idea for it was conceived more than three years ago. This record was inspired by Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, shaped by the trials of a global pandemic, and created with the exceptional talents of London's finest musicians. It is a testament to the creative ingenuity and collaborative spirit of these musicians, as well as the support of numerous allies who have helped bring it to fruition."
To tie in with the album's release, a new single from the album also sees release today, 'It's One of These': an abstracted, syncopated Afrobeat maelstrom that cooks up a storm at the heart of London Brew's running order and allows Hutchings ample space to shine.
Of the track, Terefe explains: "After choosing various pieces of the source material to work on, this is the one I finished mixing first. It’s starts with such a dirty groove and then comes Shabaka’s initial formula one race through and around the inner workings of the ensemble. Then all of a sudden it falls apart, new sections appear as trying to and rev it all up again but it starts and stops in the most magical way. I followed the melodies and loved what I found."
Listen to 'It's One of These' here: https://found.ee/LondonBrewYT
Two previous singles have been shared from the project previously, its incendiary lead single 'Miles Chases New Voodoo in the Church', which debuted alongside word of the album in January of this year, and its follow-up 'Raven Flies Low', London Brew's hypnotic closer, named for violinist Raven Bush who was fundamental to the track's gorgeous textures as he played his violin through electric pedals to stunning effect. The full-length versions of both tracks are now available to hear as part of the album.
Catch up on 'Raven Flies Low' (Single Edit) here: https://found.ee/LondonBrew_RavenYT
Since its announcement in January, London Brew has received support from publications as diverse as The New York Times, Pitchfork, The Observer, NME, Clash, The Line of Best Fit, Jazzwise, Loud and Quiet, Jazziz, The Fader, The Independent, MOJO, Crack, Stereogum and Uncut. Meanwhile at UK radio it's been championed by the likes of Craig Charles, Jamz Supernova and Mary Anne Hobbs on 6Music, John Kennedy on Radio X and Gilles Peterson on Worldwide FM.
Revisit 'Miles Chases New Voodoo in the Church' (Single Edit) here:
London Brew reflects an emotional journey through the period in which it was conceived, having been recorded during the pandemic and after many months of isolation and the inability to collaborate in person. Recorded in December 2020 at Paul Epworth's Church Studios in London, Terefe explains how the resulting music is "sometimes uncomfortable, other times it's familiar and joyous and other times it's like deep meditation."
What began as a plan for a live performance at the Barbican in honour of the 50th anniversary of Bitches Brew in early 2020 - an event that was sadly to be scuppered by the pandemic - would eventually blossom into so much more. London Brew is a collection of original recordings rooted in inspiration and celebration - not just a rapturous, moving tribute to one of the most totemic figures in modern music but equally a one-off moment in London's musical history captured forever on four sides of vinyl. As Lampcov writes in the album's liner notes, "London Brew is also inspired by... London. The city, the people, her creativity and her struggles. London Brew is primordial, born out of a year of trying to get to grips with what being human is about. The sounds and melodies cover the gamut of human emotion from delicate and caring to coarse and angry. Nothing is left unsaid."
An intelligent, dexterous assault on the senses from a group of artists united in their freewheeling vision, London Brew's eight tracks are unified by an experimental, improvisatory fire. "In all my years of recording, I'd never been involved in an improvisatory process on this scale," offers The Invisible's Dave Okumu. "It's ease and sense of endlessness is surely a testament to the calibre of each musician and the unique manner in which they've taken on the lessons Miles set before us through his recording and performances."
Theon Cross highlights how "the possibility of playing with a larger group of people [at the end of a year marked by the pandemic] with such an open and free approach was an incredibly powerful and moving experience," while Shabaka Hutchingscomments: "For me, that's what Bitches Brew is. It's a bunch of musicians making music because of the love of making music, as a social force and as a social construct. They are creating something that expresses unity and motion. That's what it is to be alive… you know, you have unity, you have motion, and you have vibration. You don't get any more alive than that. That's Bitches Brew." That's London Brew, too, and you won't have ever heard anything quite like it.