After building up their reputation via a string of deliciously percussive EPs full of tasty Afro edits, Alma Negra switched to original production last year with quietly impressive results. Here, the Basel-based trio continues that approach with another three chunks of Afro-house fusion. While we're rather enjoying the sampled chanted vocals, drum machine kick drums and layered tropical percussion of "Capoeira" and the more musically expansive (and deeper) "Berimbau", it's "Visions" that will get all the plaudits. A tough but rolling chunk of life-affirming samba-house brilliance, it sees the duo make brilliant use of jangling piano loops and ghostly, cut-up freestyle vocal samples.
For the latest excursion on their eponymous label, the Alma Negra crew is in full remix mode, in turn reworking tracks from contemporary Maloya combo Lindigo and lesser-known French Afro artist Salem Tradition. Their vocal and dub interpretations of the former's "Tany Be" are particularly special. While the dub is little more than a killer spaced-out percussion track with added delay-laden vocal and instrumental snippets, the "remix" is a near perfect fusion of woozy, spacey deep house and traditional maloya - all half-chanted vocals, snaking sax lines and warm bass. Those looking for heavy and druggy, kick-drum driven tribal Afro-house vibes should head straight for the remix of Salem Tradition's "Kabare", which is little more than loads of drums with an evocative vocal atop.
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