Review: When discussing his new album, Auntie Flo producer Brian D'Souza has promised that it would be a far more expansive, complex and densely layered set than its' predecessor. With Theory Of Flo, he's made good on that promise. Produced with regular collaborator Esa, it features an impressive cast-list of vocalists and musicians from around the World, including Red Snapper drummer Rich Thair, Ghanaian singer Anbuley, Noisettes' Shingai Shoniwa, and a swathe of Cuban players recorded during a trip to the country last year. Musically, it's similarly rich and expansive, blending D'Souza's usual global influences - primarily from Africa and South America - with a smooth, attractive and melodious take on house music.
Gods Of War (Von Party's Peace Pipe dub) - (5:58) 115 BPM
Review: London's Auntie Flo has been pushing pseudo balearic Afro-electronica as of late, and along with the gigs he's been doing with the Highlife crew the producer has truly impressed us, both on the decks and in the studio. This time he lands on the young Multi Culti imprint for the label's 13th instalment, bringing with him a tasty new but backed by a remix. "Gods Of War" is a chuggy, far-out piece of tribal psychedelia filled with plenty of grizzly low-ends and boasting a distinct outernationalism in its groove. Von Party turns in his "Peace Pipe Dub" of the original, stripping back some of the jagged percussion and replacing it with a laid-back and hazed-out kind of air.
Review: Auntie Flo really pushed the boat out during the making of this album, which brilliantly fuses studio-created sounds with field recordings of vocalists and musicians made during almost seven years of journeys to the four corners of the globe. The results are uniformly excellent, with the Glasgow-born musician distilling a myriad of global rhythms and musical styles - Afro-Cuban jazz, souk, highlife, juju, ambient, synth-wave, South African house, soul, electrofunk, jazz and much, much more - into a breathtaking collection of breezy, life-affirming tracks. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the luscious Cuban soul of the Andrew Ashong-voiced "Havana Rhythm Dance" and the percussion-and-synths bliss of "Lights In The Northern Sky", to the joyous release that is "Cape Town Jam". In a word: brilliant.
Review: To build on the critical and commercial success of his superb sophomore set, Brian D'Souza AKA Auntie Flo has decided to release a collection of reworked versions. It boasts reworks from friends and collaborators - see Mehmet Aslan's low-slung, trippy, Persian-tinged take on "Cape Malay Prayer", Dixon's Innervisions style "Beat Edit" of The Revenge's remix of "Waiting For A (Woman)", and Africaine 808's standout rework of "Dance Ritual II" - alongside revisions from well thought-of producers from across the scene. In this category you'll find a chugging, analogue-rich Mark E version of "Madla In Space", a glacial, eyes-wide-shut re-make of "Dreamer" by Throwing Shade, and a suitably elastic, warehouse-friendly house remix of "So In Love" by man of the hour Kornel Kovacs.
Review: Given his passion for fusing contemporary dance music with a giddy array of global sounds, it's little surprise to see Brian D'Souza AKA Auntie Flo popping up on Moscoman's Disco Halal label. There's something particularly alluring about "Baba", a suitably deep, woozy and intoxicating house cut that sees him wrap heady hand percussion, exotic flute lines and sun-kissed chords around a Middle East inspired rhythm track. He explores similar sonic territory on the slightly bolder - but no less melodious - "Kabsa", while "Ras" sounds like an unlikely Arabic fusion of Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" and the intoxicating "ethno-house" of Nicola Cruz. Speaking of which, Cruz pops up to deliver a typically sparse but percussive take on "Kabsa" that helps lift the EP to even greater heights.
Review: Early in 2014, Highlife regulars Auntie Flo and Esa traveled to Cuba to play at the country's biggest music festival. While there, they hooked up with a string of local vocalists and musicians to lay down the first installment of Highlife's World Series. Predictably, it's something of a triumph, with both artists gleefully joining the dots between Afro-influenced drum machine rhythms, traditional Cuban instrumentation and the kind of skewed synths that are such a feature of their work. Auntie Flo's effort is a 13-minute epic featuring the rambling vocals of Eric Eleindro and some snaking trumpet action. It's Esa who steals the show, though, with a dreamy, Balearic-minded cut that sounds like a contemporary update of Hugh Masekela's mid 1980s work.
Review: Huntleys & Palmers and Highlife resident Auntie Flo has long been at the forefront of the Afro-electronic movement (alongside German specialists Africaine 808), delivering intoxicating blends of original African music and modern drum machine rhythms. Here, he makes his first appearance on Permanent Vacation with the feverish "Hey Don't Make Trouble" - a sweaty blend of wonky electronics, shimmering synths, African chanting and dense, floor-filling African percussion. The kuduro-influenced "Woman of Your Boss" takes a slightly different approach, mixing rave-era breakbeats and skittish bursts of percussion with wonkly synth horns and chopped-up African vocal samples. An essential EP is completed by the Esa Afro Acid Remix of the title track, a thrilling trip into ragged 303 territory in the company of some long-lost African tribe. Recommended.
Review: The 72nd installment of Speicher marks the first release by Ostgut boss and Panorama Bar resident Nick Hoppner for the Cologne operation. Thankfully, his contribution has been well worth the wait, and "Ipso Facto" is a heavy, pulsing groove, where spacey synths wash in and heavy claps provide the basis for a series of more subtle bursts of percussion. It's the kind of woozy but robust techno and house that characterise Hoppner's DJ sets. On the flip, Auntie Flo aka Glasgow producer Brian D'Souza drops "Sun Ritual", a loose tribal groove, underscored by seductive, oriental bells and chiming guitar riffs - a more laid back alternative to Hoppner's approach.
Review: JD Twitch's Autonomous Africa series is something of a rarity. Each annual EP, which features modern electronic music influenced by African rhythms, sounds and styles, is used to raise money for a different African charity. Proceeds from this third in the series are destined for Tanzania's Mtandika Mission, a charity run by Midland's parents. It seems fitting, then, that he kicks things off with "Safi", a heavyweight slice of future voodoo that expertly blends analogue electronics and bombastic African rhythms. General Ludd go deep, psychedelic and off-kilter with their brilliant "Burning Mack", while Auntie Flo delivers a stripped-back vocal cut with echoes of his recent material on Permanent Vacation. Finally, Twitch steps up to deliver "Maya", which sounds like LFO's "LFO" re-made by African musicians.
Review: The excellent Autonomous Africa series returns for a second release sporting cuts from label founder JD Twitch and the like minded Auntie Flo and Midland. Launched last year, the series intends to highlight the problems that outside interference from other countries has on African countries and their people with all the proceeds from each EP donated to a different charity in Africa. The inaugural EP raised funds for Medecins Sans Frontieres operations in Africa, while this year's EP will raise funds for the Mtandika Mission in Tanzania. Midland offers some of his best work to date with the thumping, scratchy 4/4 of original production "Checkbob" which is matched by JD Twitch's "Olaiya" which adds a devilish sub bassline to the jittery JBs style funk of the uncredited source. Elsewhere, Auntie Flo is in more contemplative mood with "Water Of Life" whilst Twitch's second edit "Juju" is a percussive delight.
Review: Having recently dabbled in the artist album format, Comeme turn to matters of a compiled nature with this fine collection of tracks presented under the banner Gasoline. Fans of the label will be pleased to see that Ana Helder contributes the title track, whilst Argentinean selectors Djs Pareja appear twice with one track a collaboration with fellow Comeme mainstay Alejandro Paz. It's also great to see the label introduce a few new names, with the self-styled GlasGoan Auntie Flo a perfect fit for Comeme given his previous output for Huntleys & Palmers, Permanent Vacation, Mule and Kompakt Extra. The presence of Mexican duo Zombies In Miami, Portuguese 'Bachelor House' advocates Voxels and Chileans Vaskular and Valesuchi suggests Comeme's A&R skills for uncovering new talent remains as keen as ever.
Review: According to those behind the label, Toy Tonics' Mushroom House compilation was inspired by "the new wave of weirdo house" that's inspired by "ethno, Afro and psychedelic music". The collection's 15 tracks include a swathe of new or previously unheard cuts from the likes of Auntie Flo, Daniel Avery & Justin Robertson, Daniel Haaksman, Hyenah and Drrrtyhaze. With such a strong line-up, it's no surprise that the music is uniformly excellent. Highlights include, but are not limited to, DJ Koze's superb Hudson River Dub of WhoMadeWho's eccentric "Keep Me In My Plane", the epic build-ups and trippy, dubbed-out riffs of Munk and Rebolledo's "Surf Smurf", and the psychedelic acid attack of Massimiliano Pagliara's remix of Barotti's "She Once Knew".
Review: The Munich based deep house and nu disco institution returns for their fourth safari and it is quite the trip if we do say so ourselves. The landscapes.. the wildlife.. be prepared for an epic journey! Highlights on here include the gutsy analogue punk of Drvg Cvulture's "Night Time Is The Right Time", prog house don Henry Saiz teaming up with sometime John Talabot cohort Pional on the dreamy "Uruboros" and Sweden's always reliable Axel Boman with the dreamily hypnotic "Die Die Die!" which despite its title is summery and lush: a potential anthem of Summer 2017. Hidden treasures, lost classics and exclusive tracks through the deepest house valleys and the highest disco mountains of the label's catalog.
Review: The second volume in Toy Tonics' ongoing Mushroom House series gathers together more Afro-influenced dancefloor jams from an impressive selection of producers. Zut and Kapote kick things off with the bouncy house rhythms, chanted African vocals and heavy dub disco bass of "Afro Rico", before Gomma regular Munk pays tribute to Afrobeat on the excellent "Nigerian Jam". Elsewhere, Freerange and Objektivity regular Hyenah throws down a typically tactile chunk of atmospheric, Afro-tinged tech-house ("Fire"), and Glaswegian genre-bender Auntie Flo layers up indigenous instrumentation and hand-held percussion on the standout "Kampala Boda Boda Ride".