Review: Argentina's Doctor Stereo has been quiet for a few months now, but he's resurfaced with this, his first release of the year. He's clearly been working hard on his productions as his two new tracks "Zangano" and "Angelitos Negros" display a real maturity to his retro Latin sound; the former fusing familiar sounding brass with shuffling beats and 1960s organ licks, the latter a South American classic given a more percussive rejig. Good to have him back.
Review: Spain's Fabrice Henri, AKA Guts, returns to French label Heavenly Sweetness with a seven-track EP showcasing his trademark blend of world music, jazz, electronic and hip-hop influences. The title track is a sprightly Afro-funk jam that gets a light-touch house makeover on the Poirier Remix, while a rawer funk sound characterises 'L'Origine Du Monde'. Latin/Afro house vibes are the order of the day on the two rubs of 'Mucagiami', 'Corner' is a straight-up Afro workout, while last but by no means least there's 'Nou Menm', a jazzy funk/soul cut with Afro percussion and a spoken, French-language male vocal.
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: On this fine EP from the Sterns Edits camp, Ben Gomori and SMBD (AKA Gilles Peterson favourite Simbad) take it in turns to rework cuts from 1980s Nigerian star Segun Adewale. On the A-side, Gomori gets to work on "Atewo-Lara Ka Tepa Mo'se", wrapping Adewale's original vocals and glistening juju guitar solos over a rolling, Ron Trent style Afro-deep house groove. It's super-sweet and wonderfully summery, suggesting we'll be hearing it in more than a few DJ sets over the next few months. Simbad, meanwhile, serves up two versions of "Ojo Je": a hustling, polyrhythmic disco excursion (the "SMBD '85 Raw Disco Mix") and a far deeper and more trippy excursion rich in warm sub-bass, reverb and delay-laden vocal snippets and ricocheting synthesizer motifs (the superior "Rascal Dub").
Review: German funk-soul-Latin-jazz combo Bahama Social Club team up with Ethiopian-Cuban vocalist Arema Arega here, and the result is an EP that's purpose-built for sashaying around outdoor terraces as sweltering days turn inexorably into steamy nights. Three mixes to choose from: in its Original form, 'Mango' is a lounge-y, Latin-y soul/disco cut, the Club Des Belugas Bossa Remix takes us down the bossa nova route and TheEEs Reggae Mix similarly does what it says on the tin. We suspect the latter rub is likely to pick up the most non-specialist plays, while the other two are sure to find favour with the likes of Peterson, Scruff and Snowboy.
Review: Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, Steve Bird AKA Mr. Bird is the latest artist to land at Matasuna Records' nest. The label is run by the DJ / producer Alex from the SoulBrigada crew out of Zurich, in Switzerland. Beginning with the sweltering spiritual life music of "Dance Away" (feat Chief Commander Yaaba) this takes it cues from exactly the kind of Afrobeat we like! As does the splendid soul funk explosion of "Floating Funk" - now that definitely needed an edit! Well played too. He then merges said Afro aesthetics with the classic sounds of The Windy City's deep on the evocative jam "The Sasquatch" while "Carnival Beat" lives up to its name: working those funky and hypnotic Angolan polyrhythms that rise into a right frenzy. Bird has been based in Lisbon, Portugal for the last seven years and has released four albums and many other digital releases - including the album 'Low-Fi Classics' which was released by BBE Music in July 2014.