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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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Before I Die

박혜진 park hye jin

Electronic - Released September 10, 2021 | Ninja Tune

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
After making a splash in 2018 with her debut EP If U Want It, which included the hits ABC and I DON'T CARE, Park Hye Jin went on to attract attention with live performances during which she would grab the mic to sing/rap over what she was mixing on the decks. Hastily branded the new prodigy of lo-fi house, on her first album the South Korean demonstrates that her palette is actually a lot broader than that. Coming from her base in Los Angeles, you can feel the laid back spirit of Californian rap hovering over this record, which starts with a UK garage vibe (but with a powerful kick) on Let's Sing Let's Dance. Park Hye Jin raps throughout the first half of the album, with moody choruses like on Good Morning Good Night with its muffled boom bap and reverb guitar that serve to accentuate the sunny side of the track. In the same vein, note the hypnotic I Need You or Where Did I Go, as well as the artist’s gift for simple and catchy choruses with a nonchalant flow that goes back and forth between the front and the back of the sound stage.While there's a very rap flow to the record, house is never far away. You can hear small elements of it on tracks such as Whatchu Doin Later or Can I Get Your Number (which is set to be remixed very soon); you hear it in the phrasing of the choruses, or in the effects on her voice. The second part of the record is more straightforward with 4/4 beats on Sex With Me (DEFG), which follows the principle of her hit ABC with slightly more daring lyrics, and Where Are You Think, a model of lo-fi house that is much too short. Hey, Hey, Hey and Never Die raise the BPM and move towards techno, the latter brightened by a looped piano chord and a voice that disperses like steam. It all ends in a steamy trap-style fusion on Sunday ASAP and i jus wanna be happy, a track that's as cottony as they come. Out of nowhere, Park Hye Jin has built a new bridge between hip-hop and electronic music; a more than deserving Qobuzissime. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Aspects

STR4TA

Dance - Released March 26, 2021 | Brownswood Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Time machine effect guaranteed! With STR4TA, two old hands of British groove join forces to relight the flame of 80s British funk (think Beggar & Co, Light of the World, Lynx, Atmosfear, Hi-Tension, Freeez and others like Shakatak) and the acid jazz of the 90s: Mauritian guitarist Jean-Paul Maunick - Bluey to his friends - and the Franco-Britannic Gilles Peterson, DJ, producer and head of the Acid Jazz, Talkin’ Loud and Brownswood labels. It’s impossible to talk about their STR4TA project without looking back at the group Incognito who, since 1980, have been the Rolls Royce of British soul; a no nonsense groove machine made up of intergalactic brass and choruses of hooligan-like voices in silk robes with relentless melodies. At the helm of this soul cruise, Bluey concocts a mix of perfectly sweetened ballads and the most sensual dance floor anthems. The guitarist has such a good ear for funk that names as big as Chaka Khan and his idol, George Benson, have called upon him for various productions and sessions.At the start of the 90s, Gilles Peterson introduced the UK to a type of soul that was part jazz and part R&B called acid-jazz. These were the glory days of The Brand New Heavies, Galliano, Young Disciples, Jamiroquai and Incognito, signed of course to Talkin’ Loud. This whole scene was merging Curtis Mayfield with Gil Scott-Heron and Roy Ayers with Stevie Wonder, helped, in the case of Incognito, by the voices of soul goddesses Jocelyn Brown, Carleen Anderson, Maysa and Sarah Brown… Now, in 2021, STR4TA has brought this sound back to life, infused with a dose of smooth jazz, textures worthy of the best Blaxploitation soundtracks and some big fat funk, all complimented by the modernisation of the production. Gilles and JP are joined in their studio by a gang of ex-Incognito groove virtuosos, whether permanent members or passing faces, such as bassists Randy Hope-Taylor and Francis Hylton, keyboardists Matt Cooper and Ski Oakenfull, drummer Pete Ray Biggin, saxophonist Paul Booth and Italian percussionist Francesco Mendolia. Throughout Aspects, all of them allow their sincere joy of playing to shine through, creating a live feel that makes this album all the more enjoyable. With its slapping bass, powerful vintage synths and pin point percussion to punctuate it all, STR4TA ticks all the boxes to set the dancefloor alight and get bodies moving. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Ostriconi

Yeahman

Chill-out - Released January 29, 2021 | Wonderwheel Recordings

Distinctions Qobuzissime
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It's been four years since Jean Dasso alias Yeahman entered the scene, first with his bass music/tropical "Ghetto Sonido" nights in Toulouse, then with the track Miniyamba (featuring the sweet vocals of singers Mina Shankha and Hajna) in 2017, which allowed him to catch the eye of Wonderwheel Recordings. Led from Brooklyn by DJ Nickodemus, the label hosts big names of the "global bass" circuit such as Quantic, Chancha Via Circuito, DJ Khalab or El Buho, and offered its first long format to Yeahman, who, honouring the image of the adventurer, went to record in Dakar, Naples, Marseille and Toulouse.The Frenchman proves right from the opening that he's got something, on the catchy dreamy samba Deelahli, with the almost erased voice of Mina Shankha, then the ultra-smooth Baixi Baixi, accompanied by the two Portuguese sisters of Aluna Project on a charango and a dembow rhythm. But Yeahman also likes square rhythms, like on Soupe au Feu and its chopped string samples, Sakoneta (and its kora made in Dakar) or GLI-F4, all supported by a silky and hypnotic house beat. We find Mina Shankha and Hajna on a cover of the Peruvian cumba standard Cariñito, then Omar Zidia. Singer and guitarist of the Tuareg group Ezza on Ouloullou, before closing this Qobuzissime journey in the Ostriconi (a paradisaical Corsican region) with the folktronica of the British producer Robin Perkins, alias El Búho, Yeahman's new label mate and undoubtedly future travel companion. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Happiness Therapy LP01: The Coast

Jesse Bru

House - Released December 11, 2020 | Happiness Therapy

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
The name Jesse Bru first appeared in France in 2012. Spotted by Parisian label Karat, run by the DJ/production duo Alex and Laëtitia Katapult, thanks to his micro-house project Hot Keys (with his fellow countryman Ryan Trann), the Vancouver-based producer achieved great success the following year thanks to his club hit Psychedelic Brain Paint, taken from his debut EP Changing for You. The track was a lo-fi house gem, reminiscent of Motor City Drum Ensemble, featuring samples of crowds going wild and Janis Joplin praying (Work Me Lord, Woodstock version). Jesse Bru then set out down the DJ path which unsurprisingly lead him to Berlin where, to satisfy the bookers, he relentlessly produced EP after EP. Two years ago, tired of this cycle of work, he returned to Vancouver to take stock and to ponder something along the lines of a first album.The Canadian had already released an LP with 2012's Mid City, but it was more of a collection of tracks than an album. So, The Coast finally gives us the opportunity to enjoy Jesse Bru in long form, with 15 tracks full of small ideas and real treats. As a former hip-hop producer who fell into electronic music after a stint in Montreal, Jesse Bru has always maintained his taste for sampling. He has been doing more and more self-sampling alongside the cornerstone of his success: a warm palette of colours and sounds. Here that assortment of timbres results in a mix of soulful, New York style House - with jewels like All Day Bae and Workin (Should Be Livin), UK garage (Life's Alright), techno (Lucid Dreaming), jazz and drum'n'bass, as on Cmwtme, a sublime track mixing trumpet and amen break. The album is a sort of tribute to the 90s: "I really like electro, breaks, techno and jungle, and super-emotional music," explains Jesse Bru, who cherishes the liberation that this album represents. "I felt like I was doing the same thing all the time, just stringing EPs together to try and stay relevant on stage". With an album of such a high standard, you almost feel like locking Jesse Bru in his studio.  © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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LP1

Earth Trax

House - 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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Fongola

KOKOKO!

Electronic - Released July 5, 2019 | Transgressive

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
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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D'ANGELO

David August

Electronic - Released October 5, 2018 | [PIAS]

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
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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One Trick Pony

Kiddy Smile

House - Released August 31, 2018 | Neverbeener Records - Grand Musique Management

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
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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Family Portrait

Ross from Friends

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

Bone Bame

10LEC6

Electronic - Released March 9, 2018 | Ed Banger Records

Distinctions Qobuzissime
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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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Take

Guy Andrews

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

Idealist

Mind Enterprises

Electronic - Released March 4, 2016 | Because Music Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
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Brava

Brodinski

Electronic - Released February 27, 2015 | Parlophone (France)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
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It's Album Time

Todd Terje

Electronic - Released April 7, 2014 | Olsen Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
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If Looks Could Kill

Danton Eeprom

Electronic - Released February 3, 2014 | InFiné

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
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Blue Distance

Clara Moto

Electronic - Released November 4, 2013 | InFiné

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio