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: 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: 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: 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: African influences have played a huge role in shaping the 'now' sound of house music in the last few years, just as Latin styles did in the mid-00s. But right now there are just as many interesting fusions going on at that point where house and techno collide with the musics of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent - and this excellent four-tracker from Nour, a female producer from Palestine who's now based in Mexico, is a case in point. Head for the originals if you're a lover of Eastern sounds generally, or the remixes from Rayko and Sinchi if you want something that's more easily programmable.
Review: Ghetto Kumbe are a three man band. Their music is a unique blend of house beats with traditional west African rhythms such as the lambam, soli, sofa, kassa and makru among others. These are merged with Afro-Colombian rhythms such as cumbia, bullerengue, son palenquero and the chalupa del rio. Their forthcoming EP "Soy Selva" (translated as "I'm Jungle") is about the ancient people of Colombia, their traditions, their relations with mother nature, universal respect and ritual dancing. The high-octane spiritual life music of "Ware Warrior" for instance reaches neat tribal moments while Dagbani Dance (feat Zongo Abongo) goes for a more traditional and ritualistic vibe with its hypnotic rhythm arrangements and vocal chants. Sublime music for proper trance induction sessions. However, there's much more about this EP than the ultimate innovative act from the emerging Colombian melting pot.
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.