Ancient Astronauts Explore New Territory On We Are To Answer + MP3 Download

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Marking a foray into new frontiers of D.C.’s ESL Music, Ancient Astronauts‘ debut We Are To Answer is a melting pot of funk, dub reggae, and pure unadulterated hip hop. Featuring vocal collaborations with Bootie Brown and Imani of legendary hip hop group the Pharcyde, Azeem, Tippa Irie, Bajka, Phat Old Mamas, Ulf Stricker, Raashan Ahmad and Entropik, it’s a block rockin’, boom-bappin’ sonic tour-de-force.

Their very name, Ancient Astronauts, implies a mash-up of the distant past and the far future; traits exemplified in their melding of genres with forward-thinking flair and production technique. The artists behind Switchstance Recordings, Kabanjak and Dogu hail from Cologne, Germany…via outer space! Coy with their true origins, the duo can only confirm that they returned to planet Earth in 2001 after traveling the musical cosmos for thousands of years.

“I Came Running”

Click here to download “I Came Running” and stream more tracks from the album.

Márcio Local Says, ”Don Day Don Dree Don Don”: Adventures In Samba Soul + Free MP3 Download

With Márcio Local Says, ”Don Day Don Dree Don Don”: Adventures In Samba Soul (out now on Luaka Bop), he stands at the crossroads of two great traditions in modern Brazilian music: one foot in samba (the heavily percussive Afro-Brazilian dance music that took its modern form in the early twentieth century) and the other in soul.
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Scotty Barnhart’s Solo Debut: Say It Plain

albumcoverFeatured trumpet soloist with The Count Basie Orchestra for 17 years, Scotty Barnhart records his debut album Say It Plain out May 19th.

On it, he has assembled an incredible lineup of musicians including Wynton Marsalis and Clark Terry to perform his arrangements of six originals and six standards. From a radically new arrangement of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” complete with whistle and its danceable New Orleans groove, to a duet with Wynton Marsalis on Dizzy Gillespie’s Latin standard “Con Alma” and the rocking church feel of the title track complete with tambourine, the music contains a variety of styles from early jazz to straight ahead 4/4 swing, ballads, blues, medium Latin grooves, and up tempo burners that will satisfy any listener regardless of particular taste.

Barnhart “possesses one of the loveliest trumpet tones I’ve ever heard, can be playful, a deep thinker, virtuosic, adventurous, and a down home summoner of the sort of soul from which jazz comes,” says Stanley Crouch in the liner notes.  “This recording is well thought out and superbly executed.”

More info here.

Jesse Boykins III Interview + MP3 Download

jb3The Beauty Created: An Interview With Singer Jesse Boykins III
By Mawuse Ziegbe, Photo (c) J. Shotti

No one has more swoon-worthy finesse than Jesse Boykins III. With his breathy intonations, boyish hustle and collaborations with artists like Melo-X and Theophilus London; he’s making noise in a soul music scene aching for something classic and new. In an age where vocals course through vocoders and double-clicks rule the DJ booth, Boykin’s New School-bred production and arrangement skills are both novel and necessary. His second album The Beauty Created is awash in richly textured instrumentation and driven by Jesse’s lyrical adoration of a woman’s quirks. Giant Step spoke with the Miami native about ’90s boy bands, working out with Bilal and, of course, the fairer sex.
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Mojo Morgan’s got Mojo? Available At iTunes Now + MP3 Download

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Reggae alpha-male Mojo Morgan’s debut solo album got Mojo? is out today via iTunes.  Heavily influenced by reggae rock, hip-hop, and R&B, it’s a new hybrid of Morgan’s sound as part of the Morgan Heritage super group, with his own personal message and style.

Son of the legendary reggae artist Denroy Morgan, Mojo carves his own niche in Rasta-rock style. got Mojo? includes a cover of The Police classic, “Roxanne,” recreated with reggae; the mellowed-out and sexy “Till the End” featuring vocals Mischu Laikah & Laza – perfect for soul lovers; and the standout party track “Tonight.”

Download “Tonight” here.

Buy from iTunes here.