Review: Three years on from the first volume in their ongoing Electropical series, long-time collaborators Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel are ready to drop part four. It's another sunny, summery and musically expansive affair, with the duo wrapping live instrumentation (guitars, flutes, bass, keys etc) around a variety of tropical-inclined grooves. The star attraction is arguably the energetic but mellow and colourful 'Amazonas Secret Kingdom', which is later turned into a flute-heavy dancefloor dub (featuring flautist Marcelo Andrade) via the haunting 'Drum & Flute Mix'. Elsewhere, 'Abstract Fragments of a Dream' is a mid-tempo samba-boogie treat featuring vocals from Andre Esput, 'Kalimba Vibrations (Oyobi Mix)' is a jaunty chunk of Latin house cheeriness, and 'Beyond Civilisations (featuring Kris Huston)' sits somewhere between tropical house, Afro-house and sub-heavy broken beat.
Review: Venezuela's Juan Laya and London's Jorge Montiel only put out their first 'Electropical' collection of Latin-infused jazz, funk and disco grooves last year and now here we are, up to Part 3 already! Across the EP's seven tracks, the pair - also known collectively as Los Charly's Orchestra - explore various musical pastures from the upbeat and summery ('Sexmachina', the Club Mix of 'Spacial Paradise') to the more contemplative and cinematic ('Kalimba Variations', 'San Juan' feat Grupo Madera), ending on an African-inspired note with the Afro-Funk Mix of 'Spacial Paradise'). Will no doubt be big for the likes of Gilles Peterson, Mr Scruff and Snowboy.
The Boogie Is Back (instrumental) - (4:21) 113 BPM
The Boogie Is Back (extended dub edit) - (6:18) 113 BPM
Review: One listen to The Boogie Is Back and you'll find it hard to argue with Juan Laya and pal Jorge Montiel. The song is a pure homage to the vintage days of classic boogie, with a repetitive bassline, tight guitar licks and electro tom pings in the style of artists like Cheryl Lynn. The icing on the cake is the classically soulful vocals of Mikie Blak, and essential release indeed.
Review: Los Charly's Orchestra (aka London/Venezuela production duo Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel) have been busying themselves for a few months now: toiling away at various styles in a darkened room somewhere before finally resurfacing with "Everlasting Love". The song betrays their well known affection for Salsoul and ahem, Jamiroquai, with sizzling female vocals married to a dynamic and elasticised live bassline - coming across like an immaculately produced lost '70s disco-funk classic in the process.
Review: Teniente Castillo's Madrid-based disco/nu-disco imprint Play Pal Music got off to the perfect start last year, delivering a sweet compilation of re-edits, reworks and original tracks that found its way into the playlists of many top selectors. This follow-up repeats the formula, delivering a wide range of goodness, from the string-drenched nu-Balearic goodness of Trip Guitar's "El Vuelto", to the baggy, horn-heavy, filter-sporting disco-funk revivalism of Disco Tech's "Let Me". Highlights are plentiful, from the superb re-edits of Get Down Edits (whose touchy-feely "Holdin' Me Back" is excellent) and Beaten Space Probe (check "Gotta Play Funk", with its woozy synth doodles), to the heavy electrofunk of Juan Laya and Thomass Jackson.
Review: Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel team up for this killer jam on Imagenes. "Funk Supreme" instantly evokes the memory of Herbia Hancock's finest work, with swirling organ stabs, layered percussion and a nice funk'd up bassline. The 'heavy breaks club mix' of the same track is the Juno favourite, with the speaker cone worrying drum break brought to the fore in wonderful fashion!