Avi’s Weekly Windup #3

Weekly Windup #3 features a rather interesting, worldly mix of music. Motif Records‘ labelmates Zaki Ibrahim and Reason are reppin’ South Africa (and in Zaki’s case, Canada also!) with their hip hop and house/r&b/soul sounds, respectfully. We’ve also got some sweet acoustic music from two local singer/songwriters and some melodic trance tunes from two of my favourite DJs, one of which is a remix by a fantastic electronic duo and the other, also a remix by an Aussie DJ who is making his third blog post appearance, the first two being on my May and June Tour Playlists.

Reason– “Walk On Water” (Listen)
I feel like I can walk on water, touch the sky and go further
Spread my wings because I wanna
Rise above these clouds and see the whole world

I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with social media, but the following story shows the beauty of social media. Having been introduced to South African radio station 5FM by my cousins, I happened to stumble upon a tweet from Tumi Molekane (of Tumi & The Volume) about a live performance by singer Zaki Ibrahim and a rapper named Reason. Naturally, I had to tune in! I’d never heard Reason’s music before, but was blown away. While “Do It Like I Can” has been making waves in South Africa and beyond, this song caught my ear and had me grooving along in no time. Reason delivers strong, empowering rhymes about ambition, wanting to essentially reach the point of being able to walk on water, which fits well seeing as this song is off the soundtrack for Otelo Burning, a film about surfing. From the infectious drum beats to the layered synths, Reason has created a hip hop all his own, a neat fusion of genres and is a force to be reckoned with musically. Both these songs are off his album Audio 3D, which I hope to get my hands on soon!

Zaki Ibrahim– “Something In The Water” (Listen)
Maybe they’ve got something in the water, 
Maybe they’ve something for me
This soulful singer has an interesting journey of sorts musically. Splitting her time between Canada and South Africa and having been influenced by her travels, Zaki is back with a new album, Every Opposite, which I highly suggest everyone take a listen to and buy it (so glad it is available online!). It’s always interesting to watch how a musicians’ sound evolves and changes, and I’m so glad that Tumi (whose music I’m a fan of) has lent his support to Zaki, helping her craft this album. The whole album is innovative and has got a groovy, worldly sound to it. You can’t pinpoint it, genre-wise, that’s the beauty of it because it’s a cool fusion of house, electronic, soul and r&b, with an edge. It’s also so hard to pick just one track and you’ll likely see Zaki featured on here again, but this song, also off the Otelo Burning soundtrack, is one of my favourites. I fell in love with it after first listen. It’s a soulfully dark, bassy track with minimal beats, allowing Zaki’s vocals shine and has a sense of mystery about it, calling to the spirits within. It showcases what I think her whole album embodies, something new, fresh, innovative and cool.

Ben Somer– “Lies In July” (Listen)
And each city that we’d go to I’d buy post cards for the road
But you know all that pretty scenery’s got nothing on the beauty that’s back home
I’d met Ben last summer at Max Wray’s CD release party, but my first time seeing him perform live was at HECFI’s second show as part of their Folked Up Friday series. This song, presumably about a love affair whilst on the road, was one of the highlights for me. I like the simplicity of the song, just Ben and his bango, strumming along and singing about two people who’ve fallen in love and the difficulties that follow knowing they’ll have to part ways, and further appreciated it seeing him perform live. Ben has a certain ease that allows him to convey the emotion in his songs without it ever seeming contrived. Check out his album The Last One for more.

Andain– “Turn Up The Sound” (tyDi Remix) (Listen)
So turn up the sound now, make it feel louder
Who is it playing? Are you still here?
The fact that tyDi (real name Tyson Illingworth) is making yet another blog appearance (his first and not last here) is only a testament to how much of a fan I am of his music. I’ve been hooked since hearing his song “Acting Crazy” and his album Shooting Stars and have been following him since. tyDi is on remix duties yet again, taking this already chilled out song by Andain to another level (I also love their song “Promises“) and reworking it by adding in those unmistakeably tyDi-esque drum beats that work well with the wonderful tabla (Indian drum) beats and give this track a more upbeat, yet still mellow sound. The twinkling piano compliments singer Mavi Marco’s beautiful vocals well and along with the synths give the track a more well-rounded sound. This is probably one of my favourite remixes by him yet and a magical one at that.

Matt Paxton “Till The Sky Begins To Change” (Listen)
Let’s hit the rail with a head full of gold
We can race the sun back west
A reason to keep moving on
A musician that Kristin has featured on her Tour Playlist, Matt Paxton has also made an impression on me with his beautiful tune “Shore Pine Walk.” I also quite like this older tune, off his album How The Land Lies. Matt’s voice has a Bob Dylan-esque feel in this song, as he sings about wanting to run away with someone, to a place and time where things seemed brighter. The banjo line fits nicely with the theme of the song, of trains, of a journey. Stay tuned for a new single from Matt, Factory Town, out on July 31st.

Tritonal feat. Jeza– “I Can Breathe” (Original Mix) (Listen)
So long as I can breathe, it’s you who shakes me
So long as I can breathe, you’re still the one who wakes me
One of the first words that comes to mind when I think of Tritonal is timeless. Their songs have a way of staying with you and I’ve found myself going back and listening to their tracks, enthralled by the intricacy of their songs. This dynamic duo create magical pieces filled with depth, musicality, beautiful melodies, and on their vocal tracks, poetic vocals to compliment the melody. This track, featuring the singer/songwriter Jeza is no exception. Jezas’ stunning vocals both compliment and contrast the darker, haunting synths (I especially love her harmonies and her vocals in the chorus) which echo the story of two people feeling uncertain and lost, and finding each other in the dark of night. You can picture standing with someone, your heart beating fast, sharing this confession of the effect they have on you. Musically, it’s a solid track, with fantastic synths and a driving drum beat, and it’s not hard to get lost in this song.

Tritonal feat. Cristina Soto– “Piercing Quiet” (Listen)
Your quiet pierces through me, there’s freedom renewed
It takes me to a place where a solace drops right through
In striking contrast, this Tritonal song brings a huge smile to my face and makes me want to get up and dance without a care in the world. Seriously. Pretty sure that’s what I did when I first heard it. I love this song because it’s such a fun, uplifting track. Cristina Soto’s enchanting vocals float seamlessly along with this driving melody, her laughs just before the chorus only allude to the uplifting feel of being with someone who makes you feel so wonderful, like you’re floating on air. Fitting since these guys have a record label called Air Up There. Again, you can hear the thought that’s gone into the track, from the bright, layered synths to the melody and how they utilize the vocals well to give this song, like their other vocal tracks, an ethereal, air up there feel.

Perfect way to end up the WW, as I hope you’re all feeling “air up there” now that’s the weekend! Happy Friday friends 🙂


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