Reviewed this week
Hailing from Lyon, and fronted by the remarkable Peter Solo, Vaudou Game, is an act that have take the world by storm. The band perform a pretty unique fusion of analogue Afro-funk and a rarely heard 70s style that was specific to the vaudou culture in Benin, Togo. This particular strain features rhythms and melodies, intended to be sung in honour of their divinities, and not heard elsewhere in Africa. Here "On Se Pousse", a raw and brassy chant-along, gets remixed into a cool and jazzy soft-house rework by Osunlade (here operating under the collective name of Yoruba Soul).



Banana Hill is a London-based party helmed by Cervo, and it's built a sterling reputation for embracing all manner of global grooves. Now the party is spreading its wings by starting a record label that kicks off in fine style with the sound of multi-instrumentalist Majid Bakkas, a Moroccan musician with many strings to his bow. Both tracks on this EP have been given a delicate shove in the direction of the dancefloor thanks to Cervo, who pitches his kicks and claps just right to make for utterly natural sounding party fodder of the highest order.
Matanza member Rodrigo Gallardo has long been interested in the "folkloric traditions" of South America, and in particular his native Chile. El Origen is his attempt to incorporate these traditional sounds, rhythms and instrumental tropes into a contemporary electronic music setting. His original productions - all fluttering flutes, gentle acoustic guitars, warm electronics and evocative vocals - are showcased on the A side, with pal and fellow Chilean Nicola Cruz providing his own interpretations on the B-side. Naturally, his revisions tend towards the more cosmic and dancefloor-friendly, but also retain enough elements from Gallardo's original tracks to not be too revolutionary. Crucially, all Cruz's versions are superb.
Optimo Music have long been tastemakers extraordinaire but this latest project was too big and mighty for Optimo alone. Cue Brazilian duo Selvagem who have joined forces with JD Twitch to form the label Selva Discos. The impetus for this unification is a mutual desire to reissue the rare as hen's teeth LP "Brasileira" by singer Maria Rita Stumpf. The record was first released back in '88, and has been rediscovered following the recent DJ frenzy over tracks like "Cantico Brasileiro No 3 (Kamaiura)". Now after all this time, all of the record's 13 electronic-Latin-folk tracks are available again to a wider audience.