Review: Safely curating from Montreal a line up of disco, electro and dancefloor tracks to rise from the ashes of the early 2010s, Thomas von Party, aka Tiga's brother, has curated a discography that includes the likes of Zongamin, Golden Bug, Jamie Paton to Sascha Funk and Red Axes. Hybridism presents a second record for Cruz in 2020 and this five-track drop sees the French-Ecuadorian drum up a dubby and jazz-tipped assortment of lo-fi, exotic percussion and space rhythms that remain slow-mo while maintaining their chuggings pulses. 5 stars.
Review: The 1990s Afro-Cosmic scene, highlighting on Munich's The New Morning project, is the focus of an in depth reissue, collected across 3 six-track EPs.
As the influence and cult of Baldelli's Cosmic sound spread out across Italy from the late 1970s, the music expanded, mixing new wave, African, funk, electro, space rock, Brazilian, jazz and dub, all delivered in a freestyle playing that became Afro.
Adding percussion, samples and effects, the music spread north to Austria and Southern Germany, where DJs, producers, labels and parties flourished. In 1994, DJ Otti and Jay Pee started Global Rhythm Records and with friends DJ Thilo and DJ Fred released 1O EPs and 1 LP over 4 years.
The 3 EPs select the best of this output, including unreleased tracks, mixing a love of funk, disco, hip hop and house with syncopated analogue beats and live percussion. The 90-110 bpm sample heavy tracks, often running for only 3 to 4 minutes, showcase their eclectic sound collage.
More than DJ tools, the EPs were warmly received by aficionados and clubbers alike, becoming mainstays at the afro-tribal gatherings taking place throughout the scene. Secret plays for taste-making DJs since, their scarcity and value have increased considerably, bringing a new appreciation of their Afro-Funky sound.
Review: 2020 marks the 25th year of !K7's acclaimed DJ-Kicks series with Mr Scruff following contributions of late from Leon Vynehall, Laurel Halo, Peggy Gou and Kamaal Williams! Mr Scruff's adventures in sound brings to DJ-Kicks more than 30 tracks of wildly varying styles featuring highlighted music from Equiknoxx, Tiger, Errorsmith, Max Graef and Zongamin. Scruff brings to his edition an exclusive collaboration with CyberPunkJazz ("3001: A Space Disco Remix") and an unreleased track from Andy Ash to boot. Alexander Robotnik makes in there with the wild New York post-funk of "Love Supreme" alongside a heavy Tony Allen percussion session in "Gbedu B". DJ Nervoso for the win too!
Review: This thirty eighth release by Resense is actually a split EP, divided between Switzerland's Bandura who fly in Trinidad's The Duke for their first 'calypso mash-up', "Calypso Invasion" and the label's own Sono Rhizmo who updates that cool 50s voodoo jazz sound on the appropriately named "Voodoo". Hot stuff!
Review: Henrik Schwarz's surprise remix of "Ene Nyame Nam 'A' Mensuro' - a suitably obscure collaboration between Ghanian highlife legends Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas, originally released somewhere round the turn of the '80s on a ridiculously rare LP - has arguably been one of the underground dancefloor hits of the summer. A ten-minute chunk of loose and languid, Highlife-deep house fusion, Schwarz has cleverly combined sections of the sweet-as-you-like original with his own atmospheric electronics and tech-house influenced beats. The veteran German producer also provides a dub, which strips out the vocal and allows his electronics, Taylor's delicious guitars and the original's punchy horns a little more room to breathe.
Review: Legendary compilers Strut continue their celebration of Ghana's indigenous highlife by
converging the voice and modern African sounds of Pat Thomas and the Kwaishibu Area Band with the alt-contemporary-isms of Detroit Swindle's house and disco. The pair reinforce the skipping, lighter and feel good rhythms of KAB's original instrumentation of "Yamona" and pitch the timeless and iconic voice of Pat Thomas central to the mix, resulting in a peak time number of mass appeal.
Review: It was high time for a new instalment of Lego Edits, the new frontrunner in our favourite disco reincarnations, and this is especially true when the tunes in questions are already among our ist of absolute classics! The infamous "African Rhythms", by a certain artist that we can't specify on here, is reworked into a tasty, jazzy sort of stepper carrying a chunky groove full of sweet, kinetic percussion for the dancefloor. The Lego Funk Touch version is reserved for the "Yeah Alright" edit, a more intricate funk nugget taking into account everything from samba through to jazz and even a little bit of that house edge that we all need right about now. Party tools for all!
Review: Last year Greek label Carnibal took a risk and released a compilation featuring not their electro-swing and hip-hop sounds, but tunes with a Latin American influence. The risk paid off and now we have a new EP from DJ Inko. Originally one of the artists featured on the aforementioned release, here Inko has the freedom of four tracks to showcase his talents. It's a healthily, varied listen too, covering chirpy party anthems ("Te Quiero"), brassy Mexicana romps ("Abekabe"), feisty Brazilian house ("Mi So Bailar") and best of all the darkly hypnotic jungle body music of "Zulu".
Review: With a primary focus on soul, disco and funk from around the world, London's Kalita Records are ecstatic to present the first ever official re-release of Cameroonian singer Jeannette N'Diaye! The 1981 disco hit "Makom Ma Bobe" has long circulated diggers circles as a sought-after Afro-disco number that originally appeared as one of three tracks from the Mut'a Mbamba single from back in the day. Now, some 40 years after its original release, enjoy a remastered version that brings a whole new level to its fidelity, coming packed with a sweet contemporary alternative b-side from Mr 'Edit' Mendel.
Review: The latest volume in Running Back's "Super Sound Singles" series of reissues is something of an eccentric treat. It comes from mystery Euro-disco eccentric Udytu Utzelturk (and "his male harem"), who released one two-track 12" way back in 1984. Both of those sought-after cuts are included on this EP. There's the exotic, tongue-in-cheek chunk of Italo-disco/synth-pop fusion that is "Kairo" - all jaunty synthesizer melodies, digital telephone dial noises, sleazy arpeggio style bass and impassioned Egyptian vocals - and the more laidback but no less zany synth-funk insanity that is "Kozak2000". There's also a neat dancefloor bonus in the shape of Boris Dlugosch's fresh edit of "Kairo", which concentrates on the sleazier, more club-ready elements and dispels with some of the more bonkers bits of the mystery man's '84 original version.
Review: When it comes to cheery, sun-soaked South American disco and boogie edits, few can match the happy-go-lucky thrills served up by Brazilian DJ/producer Joutro Mundo. For proof, just check this latest expansive collection of Brazilian disco and boogie "reworks" on Midnight Riot. Sadly, there's not enough time or space to name-check every highlight, but we suggest that you make a beeline for Joe Black collaboration "De Pe No Chao", a brilliant tweak of an elastic, synth-heavy, Portuguese language disco-boogie cover of the Jacksons' "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground"). Also worth closer attention are the horn-heavy, mid-80s goodness of "Mariana", the delay-laden afternoon shuffle of "Olhos de Sa" and the low-slung, rock-tinged dub disco brilliance of "Os Passaros".
Review: The late Jorge Reyes was a leading figure in Mexican experimental music, and this album recorded with Antonio Zepeda is one of his earliest and most striking works. Originally released in 1986, A La Izquierda Del Colibri is a worldly product of the era in the same way as the work of Jah Wobble and Brian Eno, rich in new wave funk but reaching to a higher plane thanks to all manner of sonic devices. From treated jungle sounds to swooping pads, the whole album feels like an exotic trek through the heat and mystery of Central America, at times leaving the Western world far behind and at other times embracing it. A captivating listen.
Review: Emotional Rescue is delighted to present a collection of works by the founding father of the modern drum movement, Glen Velez. Collated from his first 3 solo albums from 1985 to 1989, Sweet Season is a snapshot in to the pioneering composing and performance of this four-time Grammy winner. Born in 1949, of Mexican American ancestry, Velez grew up in Texas before moving to New York in 1967. Playing jazz on the drums he soon gravitated to hand drums from around the world (frame drums in particular), seeking out teachers from many different musical traditions.
Among the many instruments Velez favours are the Irish bodhran, the Brazilian pandeiro, the Arabic riq, the North African bendir and the Azerbaijani ghaval. Although these instruments are similar in construction they have their own playing techniques that open new possibilities.
Sweet Season highlights this vocabulary, mixing and adapting techniques from various cultures to develop new ones. The music, often composed as cross-cultural ensembles, has a particular fondness for polyrhythms - superimposing different meters simultaneously - while incorporating Stepping Split-tone and Central Asian Overtone singing to complete the global horizons.
This new genre of contemporary drumming has been hugely influential and seen Velez work with the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as teaching his virtuosic combinations of hand movements and finger techniques to many emerging players.
Review: Through the work of Awesome Tapes From Africa and others, we now know more than ever about South Africa's electronic music scene in the 1980s. Here, Rush Hour attempts to fill in the gaps in our education via a fine, double-album exploration of South African dance music produced at the tail end of the decade. It's an interesting and hugely enjoyable set full of tracks that fuse elements of local styles such as bubblegum (that's SA synth-pop, effectively) with sounds and grooves more often found in contemporaneous house music from New York, Chicago and Italy. It's a blueprint that resulted in music that was variously deep, dreamy, bubbly, warm, synth-heavy and loved-up, but never less than clearly African in origin. Pantsula, then, is a superb history lesson packed full of positive, sun-ripe gems.