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What is a Qobuzissime? It’s an award presented by Qobuz for a first or second album.

Pop or Reggae, Metal or Classical, Jazz or Blues, no genre is excluded. More often than not the award is presented to a newly discovered artist.

Sometimes it might be a particularly quirky or a crossover album from a discography.

The important aspects are uniqueness, sincerity and quality. We look for these things in the recording, the project and the sound identity.





Albums

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LP1

Electronic - Released March 6, 2020 | Shall Not Fade

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Having produced several EPs over the past few years that have placed him firmly in the category of artists to keep an eye on, the eclectic and prolific Polish producer Bartosz Kruczyński aka Earth Trax has now released his first long format, with the rather understated name LP1. Originally noticed for his dreamy deep house created with his fellow countryman Newborn Jr (the alias of Adam Brocki) which attracted comparisons with trailblazing British group Orbital, Earth Trax displays his versatility, talent for arranging and the full spectrum of his electronic culture: acid house (Full Throttle, Pandora’s Box), electronica (Adhocracy), breakbeat (Squawk Box), drum’n’bass (Fade Away or the single I’m Not Afraid), ambient/psychedelic (Your Fading Other) and atmospheric deep house (the languid Mechanisms)... They are all coherently injected in one way or another into this project, a real demonstration of musical intelligence. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released February 7, 2020 | Gondwana Records

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Sunda Arc, the project started in 2018 by brothers Nick and Jordan Smart (from folk/jazz band Mammal Hands) with the EP Flicker on Manchester label Gondwana Records (GoGo Penguin, Portico Quartet) takes its next big step by releasing its first full length album, which would not have appeared out of place in the Erased Tapes catalogue. Like Nils Frahm, the two brothers harmoniously blend electronics with acoustics and are obsessed with “finding the ghost in the machine”, a concept dear to Terry Riley. The ghost must be floating around Vespers, a beautifully ambient track to be listened to curled up in front of a fire, the closing piece of an album which is perfectly on trend, somewhere between Jon Hopkins, Max Cooper and Rival Consoles. But although the ambient contemplations have got a special appeal, the Smart brothers don’t recoil from a dancing atmosphere – without crossing the line into club music however – on the hypnotic Cluster, the obsessive Dawn (which reminds you of certain Caribou productions) and Daemon, a nod to Moderat. They also know how to go lighter, almost into pop, like on the single Hymn which demonstrates their ability to make this project evolve into something very promising indeed. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released July 5, 2019 | Transgressive

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After two EPs and a breakthrough European tour, this Kinshasa combo now face their biggest challenge yet: a full-length album. KOKOKO! consists of two DIY musicians (with instruments made from cans, typewriters and junkyard scrap), the vocalist Makara Bianco also known as the Lingwara Devil, as well as French producer Xavier Thomas, aka Débruit (author of the mini-hit Nigeria What?) who was immediately attracted by their “experimental side”. He says, “It’s not your stereotypical African music. They want to break with the past and the traditional Congolese rumba. There are no limits, they’re not afraid of anything”.It’s this freedom and creativity born from constraint that can be heard in Fongola, with its sonic collision of polyrhythms, Western harmonies, guitars and mbiras, jerry cans and a TR-808. The formula is designed for live performances, but it is just as effective here: street samples, a 4/4 techno beat, catchy lyrics and earthshaking base lines all have an entrancing effect. The album was recorded in makeshift studios in Kinshasa and Brussels and was then put together in Anderlecht by Débruit, who describes it as “a giant electronic puzzle with no blueprint and pieces that don’t fit”. He couldn’t have put it any better - by combining so many sounds and letting them clash together, KOKOKO! have achieved a state of permanent chaos. And that’s exactly what makes this project so exciting. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released October 5, 2018 | [PIAS]

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Following a fallow period in 2017, the German producer of Italian origin David August launched his own label in 2018 (99CHANTS), on which he this year released an ambient album called DCXXXIX A.C., as well as this album, D'ANGELO. Inspired by Italian master painter Caravaggio, David August uses the light-dark technique throughout the six tracks (+ an interlude). The 9-minute-long THE LIFE OF MERISI  starts with a 90s techno/trance beat, a Moroder synthesiser and a deep, hollow voice, before dying off and coming back to life with the clear harmonics of an acoustic piano, his favourite instrument.The ballad 33CHANTS and the title song D'ANGELO were composed with the same electro/acoustic approach. An approach David August has embraced since his very first album Times, in which he reconnected with the piano following a few “functional” maxis for Diynamic Music, Solomun’s label. Prior to D’ANGELO August showed off his talent with two exceptional live performances at the Boiler Room in 2014 and 2016 (accompanied by the Berlin Symphony Orchestra for the second performance). This album envelops us in a bubble that feels just right. If we were to remain trapped in this bubble for eternity, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. © Smaël Bouaici
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House - Released August 31, 2018 | Neverbeener Records - Grand Musique Management

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Kiddy Smile wants to bring house to the masses. While vintage house has come roaring back over the last few years, and twenty years have passed since French Touch conquered the charts, this totem of the ballroom scene and Parisian voguing makes no secret of his ambitions for this first album. After putting audiences on notice with 2016's Let A B!tch Know, Kiddy Smile, on the much-publicised label Defected, is aiming higher and brings in Robin S, Armand Van Helden and Mojo, his points of references for songs, aiming perhaps for a career like that of Sylvester, American gay icon who wrote the global hit You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) in 1978.But that doesn't mean he's giving up on house, which forms the foundation of almost all the tracks on this album, in particular the vocal house of Ron Trent and Frankie Knuckles in particular, who sent the genre mainstream in the US of the 1990s, with their remixes of soul/pop hits. Can the model work in France? We'll see. But Kiddy Smile, assisted by Julien Galner of Château Marmont on production, brings all his talents to the table, like on Be Honest featuring Rouge Mary, a superbly soulful track, or One Trick Pony, produced by Boston Bun (Ed Banger), an alluring pop/R&B crossover. Two tracks with great potential, accompanied by club hits that are sure to fill dancefloors (House of God, Burn the House Down), and the single Dickmatized, which recalls the powers of the Italian fidget duo Crookers. All the elements of success are brought together here. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released July 27, 2018 | Brainfeeder

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
His second EP You’ll Understand, released in 2016 on Distant Hawaii, a sub-division of the London label Lobster Theremin (spearhead of lo-fi house) and his melancholic yet rousing track Talk To Me You’ll Understand made it clear: Ross From Friends has gold at his fingertips! He has spent his time over the past two years fine-tuning the tiniest details for this 50-minute album that is sure to satisfy those who have fallen for the charm of his silky house, as well as ensure him a new base of devout fans.Ross From Friends’ music is somehow addictive, as confirmed by Thank God I’m A Lizard, a shamanic house with Pink Floyd-like guitars, while Wear Me Down sounds more fluid and reminiscent of the Argentine Ernesto Ferreyra and Luciano's sweaty dancefloor label Cadenza. In addition to the hypnotic aspect of his minimal techno, Ross From Friends adds an extra touch of soul, drawn from his family history. His parents were keen travellers, the kind of Englishmen to roam around Europe in the 80s with a sound system to diffuse the first electronic experiments (hi-NRG, italo-disco…). The Knife offers a kind of soulful synth-pop that plunges us straight back into the atmosphere of the 80s, before he switches up the BPM for the techno track Project Cybersyn. "Every time I started working on a song, I was immediately caught up in the most emotional aspect of things," he explains. It's certainly one of the most important parts of the work around the album, trying to tap into those emotions, that emotional instability." This approach is reminiscent of that of another British producer of the new generation, Leon Vynehall, who built his latest album Nothing Is Still around the history of grandparents with an equally moving result.The superb track Parallel Sequence and its breakbeats also show that the Englishman is not fixated on the kick and that, unlike so many others, he does not put the drum machine at the centre of his music. It would be difficult to define a rotary axis, as his songs seem to emanate from an idea, from a concept. The rest of the album is just as bewitching, and we let ourselves be carried from one end of the twelve tracks to the other in this cotton blanket that Ross From Friends has wrapped us in. It's only summer, but this is probably already one of the albums of the year and for sure a perfect Qobuzissime record. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released March 9, 2018 | Ed Banger Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
A specific and a lasting reading disorder that occurs during childhood and adolescence, dyslexia is recognized as a dysfunctional learning disability. No doubt that 10LEC6 just learned ... differently? The Afro-post-punk collective has first and foremost digested a number of influences quite impressively. From funky post-punk like ESG and Liquid Liquid hailing from New York in the 80's. But also disco, house, punk from Bad Brains, afrobeat, high-pitched electro and very solid tribal rhythms. Since 2004, the group of varying geometries formed around the street artist Simon and the producer and DJ Jess (a member of the duo Jess & Crabbe) and they make fusion like no other! A fusion that was formed with the arrival in 2014 of a new voice, Nicole, who sings in Bulu, a Bantu language which is spoken in the south of her native Cameroon. With Bone Bame, rhythm takes control of the body and the brain. This third album that appears on Ed Banger, the label of Pedro Winter, is above all a long percussive and electronic trance where the heavy bass and the incantatory voice of Nicole makes it totally elusive. All that is left to do is to let yourself go with delight on this singular and cosmopolitan dancefloor that is like no other. An all round Qobuzissime! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released September 22, 2017 | Houndstooth

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
At first glance, post-rock and techno were hardly made for one another. Guy Andrews would beg to differ. By fusing his two passions, the two major influences on his music, the young British producer has created his second album, Tåke, which means fog in Norwegian. This is an atmospheric journey, viscerally linked to nature. Andrews says plainly that the single Fjell was inspired by a walk on Cadair Idris, a Welsh mountain. It was inspired by the climbs. The challenge of the ascent. And the pride in reaching each peak... Another escapade, this time in Norway, offered added fuel for his record. It gave a power that has influenced this captivating work from beginning to end. Guy Andrews plays with atmospheres (his first works were very much rooted in ambient music) and alternates between Northern Lights and violent hurricanes. Each composition on Tåke is in fact a kind of miniature sonic documentary, inspired by the writer's many wanderings. Here, even more than on his 2016 debut album Our Spaces, Andrews is a painter. He is sketching out an electro landscape with diverse textures and hypnotic effects. No surprise that the Londoner's art has been hailed by big names such as Massive Attack, Scuba, Bonobo, Max Cooper and others. Tåke depicts a vast sound tapestry, mottled by rhythms and lit up by the colours that Andrews offers. Fog has never looked so radiant. © MD/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released March 4, 2016 | Because Music Ltd.

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Ambient - Released November 27, 2015 | Intuitive Records

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Electronic - Released April 6, 2015 | Combien Mille Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Qobuzissime
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Electronic - Released February 27, 2015 | Parlophone (France)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
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Electronic - Released April 7, 2014 | Olsen Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
After a decade of releasing singles, remixes, and edits to large amounts of acclaim among in-the-know dance music fans, Norwegian whiz kid Todd Terje finally made an album of his own in 2014. It's Album Time is a pretty self-explanatory title, though it could have been called "I Love Many Different Styles of Dance Music and Will Proceed to Put My Warped Spin on All of Them." Well, that one would have been a mouthful, but it does sort of explain what was in Terje's head as he whips from one style to the next over the course of the record's 12 tracks. Stylish neo-disco is what he's best known for, and if any one style dominates, it's that. Bouncy dancefloor fillers like "Strandbar," "Inspector Norse," "Swing Star, Pt. 2," and the light-as-a-feather "Oh Joy" set the dials for the heart of the disco ball and form the shiny center of the album. Terje's unerring grooves and the sophisticated and melodic sounds he lays over the beat make them the easiest tracks to love. He's less successful when heading off the floor and into the chillout lounge ("Leisure Suit Preben"), the tiki room ("Preben Goes to Acapulco"), or whatever strange place the impossible-to-describe (or listen to more than once) "Svensk Sås" resides, though he does get lucky with a guitar-strumming electro '80s style ("Delorean Dynamite") that begs to have some vocoder vocals over the top. The sweeping, ice-colored synths get the job done fine anyway, and it seems like a path Terje would be wise to follow on future releases. The same can't be said for the one vocal feature on the record that finds a sepulchral Bryan Ferry croaking a version of Robert Palmer's "Johnny and Mary" that Terje decides to take at "Chariots of Fire" tempo and with the same level of portentous drama. It's a huge misstep that threatens to derail the album and wipe away all the good that exists. Take it out, along with a couple of filler-y tracks, and It's Album Time is a solid debut. As it stands, it's a hard album to get your head around and it's a hard album to fully embrace. Terje should set aside the experiments and just focus on making sleek and shiny electro-disco tracks; the rest only gets in the way of a good time. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Electronic - Released February 3, 2014 | InFiné

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Electronic - Released November 4, 2013 | InFiné

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Electronic - Released April 8, 2013 | naïve

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3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he French duo are as synonymous with hazy Parisian grooves and dreamy vocals as central London is with artisan coffee houses." © TiVo