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Reviewed this week
Invisible City Editions have a deserved reputation for unearthing and reissuing genuinely overlooked gems. Oluko Imo's "Praise Jah" is arguably a little better known than some of their releases, having become a sought after item amongst collectors of off-kilter Caribbean disco. Trindadian Imo recorded it in 1978 following a move to New York, and it offers a brilliantly far-sighted combination of soca-disco and the kind of bubbling analogue synthesizer electronics that pre-date the Chicago acid movement by six years or so. Choose between the vocal mix, which boasts a fine lead vocal from Imo alongside celebratory female backing vocals, and an instrumental that gives every musical element space to breath. The jammed-out electric piano solos and intergalactic electronics are particularly thrilling.
David Hanke is a man known for his wild and illustrious array of aliases. Through the years, he's appeared under the names Black Soyls, Madball Scientists, Mankoora and Rengades Of Jazz, among many others. Dem Juju Poets is his latest creation and, needless to say, it is perhaps his most accomplished and mature project to date. We don't want to take anything away from his previous productions but there's just something utterly fluid about this latest reincarnation. Matasuna is the new label to launch this new Liberated Thoughts album, and we're sure this will go down a storm with all the jazz-funk crew, particularly the followers of Giles Peterson's DJ sound. Hanke's approach is playful and diverse, branching out into all sorts of jazzy vibrations that are tied together by funky, off-kilter outernational vibes. Plenty of breaks, bass bumps, and party moves for all sorts of vinyl playaz - oh boy, check those horns on the masterful "People's Republic"!