Here are some of the more interesting albums that crossed my desk in the past 30 days. There aren''t a lot of common musical threads, but all of them do share creativity, a willingness to mix styles, originality, and excellence.
The Raga Bop Trio: Raga Bop Trio (Abstract Logix)
Featuring the dynamic drumming of Steve Smith, the stellar sax playing of George Brooks, and the amazing and original guitar stylings of Prasanna, this album features a unique blend of jazz with elements of Indian classical music.
This is an excerpt from the song "Miss Oma" from the Raga Bop Trio's new album, Raga Bop Trio.
Cloud Cult: Light Chasers (Earthology)
The eighth album for the Minnesota-based indie group contains 16 songs that combine electronic, acoustic, and rock elements. Strong material throughout.
This excerpt is from the song "The Exploding People" from the album Light Chasers.
Spoek Mathambo: Mshini Wam (BBE Records)
A mix of electronic and hip-hop with a strong South African influence on this album from Mathambo, who was born in Soweto. Check out the unusual synth work on many of the tracks.
Here's a free download of the Spoek Mathambo song "Mishini Wam" from the album Mishini Wam.
Paul Manousos: C''mon C''mon (Shock and Fall)
Excellent songwriting and sparse, evocative production highlight the latest effort from singer/songwriter Manousos. His distinctive voice provides the glue.
Here's a free download of the song "Getting Better" from Paul Manousos' new album, C'mon, C'mon.
Bishop Morocco: Bishop Morocco (Hand Drawn Dracula)
This Toronto duo weaves dark and reverberant songs that combine influences from Brit pop to indie rock to electronica to Roy Orbison. Very unusual and very good.
Here's a free download of the song "Last Year's Disco Guitars" from Bishop Morocco's album Bishop Morocco.