Review: The Alma Negra collective are based in Basel, Switzerland and are made up of Miajica, Dario Rohrbach and Dersu Figueria. They have appeared on some great labels such as Lumberjacks In Hell, Basic Fingers and of course Heist - this will be their second appearance for Detroit Swindle's imprint since last year's Endless Summer EP. The new Conversation EP features more sweltering grooves by the trio: from the soulful and entrancing title track which is rich on the hypnotic tribal polyrhythms - it also receives a wonderful rework by Amsterdam's Awanto 3 later on too. Not to mention the sultry deep house of "This Is The Place" which takes it cues from the mighty Kenny Dixon Jr or the sexy late-night groove of "From The Heart" which is perfect to enjoy on what is left of these long summer evenings.
Review: Basel-based Alma Negra has been responsible for some of the finest re-edits of African music of recent years. Since first popping up on Basic Fingers back in 2014, they've released a string of solid singles, most of which boast seriously heavy percussion. This second EP in their Digger's Workout series sees the Swiss trio blur the boundaries between re-edits and original production. "Safari" is clearly based on an old Afro-disco record, but has been transformed into a bumping, percussion-rich deep house slammer. It's accompanied by an even more exotic and musically expansive interpretation from Osunlade under his Yoruba Soul alias, and a cheery chunk of Global house fusion entitled "Pilon".
Review: Basel-based trio Alma Negra has enjoyed a productive 2014, with their remixes and reworks of little-known Haitian and African jams appearing on Highlife Edits and Sorfrito. Here they deliver their first EP - a superb collection of edits laden with voodoo drums, dense percussion and tribal intent. Opener "Mao Negra" is particularly potent, and features a solid - but subtle - house kick-drum below all manner of loose and energetic African percussion and traditional chants. The more uptempo "Messa" is, if anything, even heavier - check the rubbery bassline and woozy chanting - while "Tribal Echoes" is the sort of darkroom deep house/African rhythms hybrid that you'd expect to hear on Huntleys & Palmers. Spellbinding stuff.
Review: Switzerland's Alma Negra are known for their deft, tasteful explorations of world roots, anchored in digging, sampling and sharing. On this brand new remix collection, Alma Negra invite a trio of equally curious producers to remix some three of their best-received musical endeavours. Hero of the Parisian scene Bambounou delivers a deeply meditative and hypnotic rework of "Kabare", Berlin dusty deep house merchant Glenn Astro injects his typically urban flavour into "Halete Lale Lalo" and "Tany Be" receives a deep balearic makeover by Music From Memory's Michal Turtle - which is perfect for the upcoming summertime vibes.
Review: Heist's annual "Round Up" release, in which label artists remix each other, is becoming something of a tradition. This fifth volume is, of course, every bit as essential as its predecessors. All six tracks hit the spot, though we're particularly enjoying the bumpin', bass-heavy and driving take on Hugo Mari's deep and bluesy "Change Ur Ways" by label chiefs Detroit Swindle, not to mention Adriyano's effortlessly celebratory and swinging revision of the Swindlers' own "Cut U Loose". Elsewhere, Hugo Mari brilliantly joins the dots between tribal house and tactile, loved-up grooves on a stellar rework of Alma Negra's "This Is The Place", while the Kassian revision of Pitto's "You Treat Me Like A Fool" sounds like a 21st century update of Todd Edwards' legendary remix of St Germain's "Alabama Blues".
Review: Predictably, the latest volume in Heist's Roundup series, in which label artists remix each other's tracks, is another must-heave collection of club cuts. Check, for example, Fouk's tasty interpretation of Nachtbraker's "Hamdi" - a glorious fusion of rubbery disco, sparkling electrofunk and percussion-laden deep house - the Afro-fired Alma Negra deep house remix of Nebraska's "Big Plate Chicken" and the toasty peak-time warmth of the latter's fine revision of Fouk's "With Lasers". Elsewhere, label bosses Detroit Swindle deliver a lusciously loved-up and melodious, peak-time take on Parker Madicine's "Heartbreaker" and Nachtbraker turns the Swindlers' "Can't Hold It" into a dub-fired chunk of hot-stepping deep house goodness.