Japanese jazz invasion
There's no rest for the Japanese "death jazz" wicked, as Tokyo's supercharged Soil & Pimp Sessions have followed up 2006's badass Pimp Of The Year album with the new three-song Mashiroke (Victor) EP.
It clocks in at just under 17 minutes, but it's quality material. Opening joint Mashiroke is a characteristically aggressive horn-led stormer, but they slow down for a wonderfully mature Strata-style spiritual turn on a cover of Hannibal Marvin Peterson's Mandela's Dream before closing with an all-out studio jam on Session 061003. Better grab the EP while you can, since the last two tracks won't appear on S&P's much-anticipated Pimpoint (Victor) disc due out March 7. www.soilpimp.com.
Also watch for the German Infracom! label issue of the critically acclaimed Upstairs disc by Japanese soul-jazz quartet Native , which caused a stir upon its initial release late last year. There's a snazzy four-track 12-inch EP making the rounds boasting a Nicola Conte club-ready reworking of the song Prussian Blue, which actually improves on Native's original. If you're going to hire Conte, prepare to get schooled. www.infracom.de .
Third Eye opener
While we're on the subject of Nicola Conte retouches, Jazzanova's Sonar Kollektiv label has just put out a brilliant overhaul of Dusko Goykovich 's Macedonia by a group called Third Eye who cleverly rearrange the complexly grooving 5/8 original to a more dance-floor-friendly 4/4 without sacrificing any of the original's brooding Balkan charm.
Although the limited label info credits Daniele Scannapieco , Pietro Lussu , Lorenzo Tucci and Pietro Ciancaglini , Conte's fingerprints are all over the production and rearrangement. As a bonus, you get the proto-triphop of Joe Haider 's No Way and Erich Ferstl 's dangerously dubwise All My Love Is Gone. www.sonarkollektiv.com.
With Gothenberg goddess El Perro del Mar at the Mod Club Monday (March 5), Mats Sundin breaking records every time he hits the ice and the sweet sound of Peter Bjorn and John rockin' iPods up and down Queen West, it seems like Toronto's in the grip of a full-on Swedish takeover. So don't fight it, pick up a copy of the stupefyingly genius third volume of Who Will Buy These Wonderful Evils? (Virgin) and give yourself over to the mind-melting beauty of the late-60s and early-70s Swedish psych underground.
If you thought compilers Ismail Samie , Jonas Engqvist and Fredrik Hallberg would be completely tapped out of flute 'n' fuzztone freakouts after the first two splendid collections, guess again. They've dug up some wicked flower-power DIY foolery, frothy peacenik protests and holy blooze-rock pounding from the likes of After Life , Gå Runt Show , Harambee , Fruit , Candle , Uppåt Väggarna and the cleverly named Drugs . Charming.