Review: Since launching in May 2020, Frappe Records has released a string of multi-artist EPs, each with its own conceptual theme. They've continued this approach on Afrodisiaque, an attempt to join the dots between Afro-house and "the French sound of the early 2000s". Floyd Levine's opener, 'Creda Mutwa', offers a perfect encapsulation of this, combing jacking Chicagoan acid house grooves and wild TB-303 lines with densely layered African style percussion, while Mr Raoul K's superb 'Raining Love' is authentic West African deep house rich in fluid xylophone melodies, melancholic chords and foreboding electronic riffs. Elsewhere, Saudade hits the heights on the luscious 'Bougarabou', Ten Fingerz doffs a cap to the disco-house/Afro-house futurism of DJ Gregory's Africanism series ('Blow de Conga') and Basile de Surneses rolls out some rave-ready Afro-acid ('Bastoss AfroK47').
Review: Hamburg-based Ivorian Mr Raoul K has long been one of the best producers of Afro-infused house around, a fact confirmed by last year's terrific "African Paradigm" album. Here he delivers the the third volume in the accompanying EP series,which features a trio of previously unheard collaborations and remixes. To kick things of he joins forces with Pablo Fierro and vocalist B'Utiza on "Ancestral", a deep, tech-tinged chunk of Osunlade style Afro-house that strikes a near perfect balance between percussive power and melodious dreaminess. Fierro returns to action on the track that follows, offering a dark, hypnotic tech-house take on Manoo collaboration, "Bara". That comes accompanied by an arguably even better Dub Mix, which includes some fantastic stereo panning and haunting snippets of Ahmed Sosso's intoxicating lead vocal.
Review: Five cuts here that, as the name suggests, will appeal to Afro-house lovers, though which of side of that equation they lean more towards varies from track to track. The M&R Action Mix of 'Bara', for instance, is more or less your standard-issue prog/tech house throbber except for the African vocal, whereas the M&R Slowmotion Mix of the same has tribal drums and a more 'Afro' feel all round. Auztin Pauers & Ezrael's remix of 'O Mera Dil' is the best bet for more generalist house floors, while the Tenek Dash Shake On Da Beach Mix takes the same track into Balearic/leftfield pop territory, with the Kuniyuki Remix of 'African Paradigm' completing the EP on a more abstract, world music-ish note.
Kele Bila (Stop Fighting) (feat Ahmed Sosso - dub) - (8:45) 118 BPM
African Paradigm (All Chapters) - (28:27) 72 BPM
Review: With three previous long-players under his belt in a production career that dates back over 10 years, Mr Raoul K should need little introduction to Afro-house lovers by now. That said, though, for this latest album the emphasis is very much on the 'Afro' side of that equation, as he explores an assortment of tribal rhythms and vocal chants. As a result, you're unlikely to hear many of the tracks here cropping up in house sets; you can, on the other hand, expect the likes of Gilles Peterson, Rob Da Bank or Mr Scruff to be in raptures.
Review: Munich label Compost presents five top producers on an outstanding new EP - installment 146 to be precise! Hamburger Mr Raoul K takes on New York City legend Timmy Regisford on the spiritual raindance vibe of "MP" (Gongon Alt mix) ,Italian disco legend Claudio Coccoluto (The Dub) getting deep down and dirty on "Funky Now" as well as as ascendant Venetian Lehar (Diynamic) delivering some of his moody and melodic dancefloor drama on "Everything I Ever Did" and Sicilian Musumeci (Innervisions/Kompakt) doing his usual majestic thing on the gripping "Mr Q".
Review: The producers making the most interesting electronic dance music are usually the ones who come at it from an unusual angle. This is certainly true of Mr Raoul K. Hailing from the Ivory Coast, he moved to Germany in the early 90s and since then has slowly but steadily honed his art. "Teachers" starts with a hypnotic drum intro before welcoming a hypnotic series of chants and warm, dreamlike chords. It's understated, organic and a million times more authentic than the mnml producers who use obvious drum samples. This guy is the real deal - no wonder Henrik Schwarz and Jerome Sydenham support his work.