A new Manuva

• RAPPER Rodney Smith, better known as Roots Manuva, releases his fourth album, Slime And Reason, next month.
The British MC’s new LP, already being hailed as a career-best, sees Roots exploring his individual, bass-heavy sound.
Summing up his approach to making music, he said: “You got to sing like no one’s listening. You gotta fart like there’s no one there to smell it.”
• It’s all systems go for Go:Audio on August 25, when the band release their debut album.
The LP, Made Up Stories, is, according to a spokesman for the band, “bristling with melody and energy, infectious, exhilarating and inventive”.
• The “24-carat voice” of jazz singer Christine Tobin, as captured on the album Secret Life Of A Girl, has been awarded the Best Vocalist award at the BBC Jazz Awards 2008.
The album, which was met with critical acclaim on its release last Spring, is a mixture of Tobin compositions and covers of artists including Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright.
• German contemporary composer Hauschka again pushes the boundaries of the piano with his new album Ferndorf.
Out on September 8, Ferndorf, named after the village he grew up in, sees string backing used by the Dusseldorf-based artist alongside his use of a ‘prepared’ piano for melody, percussion and a basis for electronic overdubs.
• Toronto’s Ten Kens are set to release their self-titled debut album on September 15.
Remiscent of Liars, Black Mountain and Amusement Parks On Fire, the 11-track LP is an overdriven tour of the group’s honed bittersweet alt-rock.
• Dishevelled ‘80s-influenced rockers The Mystery Jets release a new EP, Half In Love With Elizabeth, on August 25.
As well as the live favourite title track, the release also includes the London band’s collaboration with Kat Nash, remixes, live versions and two new tracks.
• The legendary Southside Johnny has teamed up with the even more legendary Tom Waits to perorm an album of Tom Waits tracks with La Bamba’s Big Band.
The album, Grapefruit Moon, hit the shelves on September 8.
• Originally commissioned for Derby Jazz Week 2007, jazz guitarist Phil Robson’s Six Strings And A Beat has since been labelled as “world class”.
The album, out last month, sees the guitarist teaming up with a string quartet and drummer to explore influences from cool jazz to classic strings to acid rock to Afropop.
• If all of this is music to your ears, log on to Isaac Ashe’s Sound Advice for more from the pop world.

Bonham’s blues is back

• KEEPING in in the family, Led Zeppelin drummer Jon Bonham’s sister Deborah Bonham has released a gutsy album of blues-soaked rock.
Titled Duchess, the 13-track collection is Deborah Bonham’s third offering, and is a real belter to boot, featuring contributions from her cousin, Jon’s son Jason Bonham, Fairport Convention mandolinist Dave Pegg and Free, Bad Company and Queen frontman Paul Rodgers.
• Having been going for four years, the music world is on pins for Phantom Limb’s long-awaited debut single, Don’t Say A Word.
The track, out on August 11, is a superb warm, acoustic track mashing together soul, blues and gospel featuring Yolanda Quarty on vocals, and will be a taster for their forthcoming eponymous album.
• Norwegian rocker Ida Maria’s debut album, Fortress Round My Heart, is released on July 28.
Featuring 10 tracks – half of which are already singles – the album is a perfect showcase of the Scandinavian singer songwriter’s edgy pop talent, and features Oh My God and new single I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked.
• NME pleaser Joe Lean and his backing band The Jing Jang Jong release their self-titled album on August 4.
With expectation at fever pitch, it’s no surprise that the 13-track LP is a winning collection of infectious chart-troubling indie rock.
• Up-and-coming pop talent Natalia releases a new single, Perfect Day, on September 15.
The single, featuring a Florida-based rapper, coincides with tour dates supporting Girls Aloud, the Sugababes and Kano.
• Eclectic Los Angeles-based five-piece Iglu & Hartly release their debut single and album this September.
Expect big things from the band, who mix hook-laden indie with trademark synth work and distinctive rapping.
• Promising power punk peddlers Go:Audio release their sophomore single on August 11.
The track, taken from forthcoming debut Made Up Stories, is a tasty slice of the band’s melodious rock pie.
• Wahey! It’s Ray J. The American R&B sensation releases his new album, All I Feel, on July 28, which features guest spots from Styles P, The Game and Shorty Mack.
The heart-trobbing teen smoothie also releases a download only single Sexy Can I on the same day.
• If you like your music with a kick, then Cansei de Ser Sexy – better known as CSS – have released a new album of indie disco classics, Donkey.
The album features the Brazilian band’s latest single, Left Behind.
• If all of this is music to your ears, log on to Isaac Ashe’s Sound Advice for more from the pop world.