Big range of stuff from hip-hop-inflected jazz (or is it free-jazz-based hip-hop) through post-classical, experimental electronics, noise and even dark drum'n'bass...
Makaya McCraven - Halls [International Anthem]LeFtO - McCraven on the Mic (feat. Soweto Kinch) [International Anthem]Makaya McCraven - Wise Man, Wiser Woman (feat. Shabaka Hutchings) [International Anthem]Makaya McCraven - Tall Tales (feat. Tomeka Reid) [International Anthem]
So happy to be bringing you some sounds from the brilliant Chicago-based drummer and producer Makaya McCraven to start tonight's show. His new double album Universal Beings is the culmination of a couple of years honing his craft with his organic hip-hop stylings - taking joyful live jazz performances from around the world - Chicago, New York, London, Los Angeles - with like-minded new-generation jazz musicians, and chopping and re-arranging them into beautiful hybrid performances. Some are clearly very cut-up and groove-oriented, like the superb opening at the top of the show from his CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape, while others feel more like lovely gentle treatments of live performances - like the exquisite cello soloing of Tomeka Reid on the last selection. Whatever McCraven's found here, it's both a tribute to a world community of great musicians (including the international remixers invited to work on the intervening mixtapes) and also to his skill in organic groove edits.
Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker - Scene 7 [Zoharum]Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker - Scene 5 [Zoharum]
Emphpasising (unsurprisingly) the digital and artificial far more than McCraven, here we hear Dutch producer Machinefabriek working with longtime collaborator Anne Bakker on some Short Scenes for violin & electronics - vignettes which bring out the expressive tendencies of the violin, sometimes leaving the sounds mostly alone, sometimes warping & twisting them and overlaying them with electronics. Lovely stuff.
Julia Kent - Imbalance [The Leaf Label]
I feel like Julia Kent has gone from strength to strength on her last few albums, alongside some really interesting experimental collaborations. She's always been one of the most freely melodic cello-layerers around, but now she's happily pitch-shifting her instrument to create dark netherworlds, and programming subtle rhythms along with her instrument... This is the first single from a new album to be released in January - looking forward to it!
Resina - Round 
Poland's Karolina Rec has released two albums as Resina on Fat Cat's sister label 130701 which flow between ambient soundscapes and angular rhythmic layers of cello. She makes full use of multi-channel looping, creating full compositions live - it's an impressive setup she has and I'm super excited that she'll be playing in a few weeks at Unsound Adelaide!
Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch - What Remains Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch - Ultramarine 
Originally from France, pianist & composer Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch moved to London in 2006 to study music at Uni. It's very interesting reading her biography to see that Kate Bush was an early influence, along with Björk. Neither of the tracks I played tonight really show that, but in some of the less obfuscated, more obviously classical works, Kate Bush's piano really is audible. In any case, the sound-art aspects of Levienaise-Farrouch's work, along with the string arrangements around her own piano playing, take her into some quite unique territory. She fits only uneasily into the current mould of post-classical pianist-producers, and really stands out for it. The first track here comes from the same compilation as Resina's track above, The Sea at the End of Her String, bringing together three adventurous female artists on 130701.
Ian William Craig - TC-377 Poem Ian William Craig - Mass Noun Ian William Craig - Idea for Contradiction 1 
It's been 18 months since the incredible first album that 130701 put out from Ian William Craig - by no means his first album but the first to broaden his base through Fat Cat's audience. Once again this album is powered by IWC's two killer drawcards: his incredible voice and his amazing tape contraptions looping and processing the sound into ultra-saturated, grainy, shimmering sonic jelly. It's exquisite.
Padma Newsome - Fell off my perch [New Amsterdam]Padma Newsome - All Hollowed Out [New Amsterdam]
Australian composer, violinist and vocalist Padma Newsome comes out from within the ensembles he's best known for - Clogs, and frequently The National - with a solo album that's a sonic essay about the town in the south-eastern corner of Victoria where he's lived for the last 14 years, called Mallacoota. Newsome's always had an international outlook - this album is released on the excellent New York new classical label New Amsterdam - and it's always felt to me like Australia doesn't appreciate his talent nearly enough. This is a spooky, intriguing and beguiling work worth sinking into.
Vessel - Torno-me eles e nau-e (For Remedios) (feat. Olivia Chaney) [Tri-Angle]Vessel - Sand Tar Man Star (For Aurellia) [Tri-Angle]
Seb Gainsborough has proven to be one of the most versatile and restless producers in the last few years - member of Bristol collective Young Echo, and of various sub-groupings doing variants of dubstep/grime, techno, industrial-influenced beats, ambient/grime/beat poetry and who knows what else... and in between he's also collaborated with contemporary classical group Immix Ensemble. On his new album his interest in classical music is foregrounded, with string arrangements and extraordinary multi-tracked vocals from Olivia Chaney. There are also maximalist tribal percussion and electronics on plenty of tracks - very different in mood from the twisted industrial electronica of his previous album, but nevertheless drawing some kind of line between past & current Vessel. It's a fascinating album and strangely to me it gets better as it progresses - the second half is well worth the price of admission.
Camila Fuchs - Battlefield [ATP Recordings]Camila Fuchs - One on One [ATP Recordings]
Camila de Laborde and Daniel Hermann-Collini are from Mexico & Munich and together make up Camila Fuchs; Heart Pressed Between Stones is their second album together, with a nice feel of dubby post-punk, with echoes of Björk, Jenny Hval and more. Really lovely.
Zaïmph - Removing Bits of History [Drawing Room Records]Zaïmph - Reality of Nothingness [Drawing Room Records]
Marcia Bassett's Zaïmph is a long-running noise project of hers, alongside various collaborations and her blistering work for many years with Matthew Bower in Hototogisu. In Rhizomatic Gaze, her new LP, it's great to hear a classic noise/experimental sound-art album in the vein of the best solo albums of Burning Star Core, something I don't feel we hear as much of anymore. It's superb, dense, free-wheeling, everything you need.
Christoph de Babalon - Harakiri [Alter]
Veteran dark drum'n'bass/digital hardcore producer Christoph de Babalon has released three albums of archival material over the last couple of years, so it's nice to now get some new material from him. The Hectic Shakes EP will be out in January, and this first track shows us his preferred modus operandi still has plenty to offer - murkily orchestral dark ambient textures shattered by ragged drum'n'bass breaks. It's both primitive and sophisticated, harsh but (for me) comfortingly nostalgic.
This is an Australian track.