Eurojams Part 1 – Amsterdam Edition: My Baby, Jungle By Night & Jacco Gardner

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My Baby: Mounaiki – By the Bright of Night

You know how we love to travel around here. So for the next few weeks we’re going to be poking about abroad, on the hunt for great new music and maybe a little sightseeing in between, starting in Europe and then we’ll see where the tunes take us. Our first stop is in the Netherlands, starting off in Amsterdam with My Baby. These guys have been RecommNeds regulars, with their exotic, irresistible grooves, but their newest album, Mounaiki is their most ambitious yet. A sort of concept album, the band hasn’t lost their steel-guitar-meets-dancehall sound, but here they’re using it to tell a story and reach a bit further than they have in the past. Great record, check it out!

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Jungle By Night: Livingstone

While we’re in Amsterdam and still have our dancing shoes on, we should check out the latest and greatest from Jungle By Night. This collective has been featured here before and I’ve always dug their take on the afrobeat thing. But their newest record, Livingstone, is an evolution in sound, taking that more traditional afrobeat sound and building on it with more synthesizers and updated grooves. It’s not a huge leap, but it’s a leap and thankfully they nail it, easily their most interesting and best album yet. They haven’t lost the ability to get you moving, but now there’s much more for the ear to feast on. Give it a listen, I think you’ll dig.

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Jacco Gardner: Somnium

Beyond Amsterdam, we find some different sounds in the form of Jacco Gardner’s Somnium. Gardner creates incredible soundscapes that feel both old and new, past, present and future, and out of time altogether. The instrumental tracks weave together to tell a story, compelling action with a brain-twisting narrative. At times it rocks, at times it grooves, it will keep your mind moving, but it’s easy to listen to and easy to love. Gardner has put out some wonderful music in the past, creating a genre of his very own that’s both familiar and exotic, but Somnium is another level, top in class. Highly recommended … enjoy it while we’re still in the Netherlands, but get ready for more travel next week.

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