Review: According to the brief release information Shango provided, their latest compilation was inspired by the plight of the Sumatarn Tiger, which is Indonesia's last remaining sub-species of tiger. Musically, it's true that many of the tracks on When Tigers Used To Smoke in some way doff a cap to Indonesian musical culture whilst remaining rooted in chugging psychedelic disco, deep house, cosmic disco and hallucinatory slow jams. You'll both picturesque and formidably moodt cuts scattered across the 17 tracks on show, with highlights including the lilting strings and warming electronics of Zsis D's 'Calm Sea', the percussion-rich, echo-laden headiness of 'Frog' by Chalanga, the hard-to-pigeonhole trip that is Claudio Arditti's 'Amazonas Tropical' and the throbbing, eyes-closed hedonism of Caner Genc's 'Yakruna'.
Review: Artaria and Ukranian producer Jean Vayat are travelers of the cosmic world. This is their first offering for Tayi Bebba's Shango Records, where they serve up two tracks which will guide you to the mystic valleys of tomorrow's land. From the brooding, chugging tunnel vision of "Fatum" which nails that Life & Death/Afterlife kind of sound, and the equally ominous "Storm" which will also hypnotise you with its slinky style of groove. There are a bunch of brilliant remixes included too: Veytik's low slung slo-mo rendition ventures into cosmic disco territory and Zuma Dionys' dubbed-out vibe adds a psychedelic atmosphere.
Review: Greek label Shango Records invites you on an unheard world music trip, taking in disparate influences from across the globe 'into forbidden sounds of frenzied electronic dancefloor rituals.' Next up they have tapped Tel Aviv's Guy Maayan for his second offering, with tracks that 'will spread light and shine to the darkest night.' From the mesmerising tapestry of tones experienced on "Moments" from hammer dulcimer, sitar and tabla merging with humming sub bass and deep house beats, to the slow burning (and low slung) remix up next by Madrid's Ernest Oh. Another original offering comes in the form of "Open Your Arms", a moody and meditative yet exotic expression in tech house.
Review: This is sitting in our 'Balearic' section but if you're expecting laidback, mellifluous grooves and blissed-out loveliness then think again! Instead, Crete-based producer Karpouzakis takes influences from global music - primarily African music, but you can clearly hear Middle Eastern and Indian influences, too - and repurposes them for contemporary western dancefloors on four tracks that are presented in a total of nine mixes. If you like your beats on the esoteric and leftfield side, and served garnished with chanted vox, sitars and so on, you'll find much to enjoy here - even if the tempo never rises much above walking pace.
Review: If you like your house and disco druggy, percussive, psychedelic and smothered in African and South American instrumentation, you need this Ahau EP in your life. It sees the sometime Global Hybrid artist expertly fuse the traditional and cutting-edge in a number of thrilling, ear-catching ways. Check first opener 'Bienvenida En Shipibo', where haunting flute melodies, snaking sax lines and Spanish spoken word vocals rise above a percussion-rich, slo-mo house groove, before admiring the rainforest-fresh tropical chug of 'Viento Danzate'. For those seeking more up-tempo, club-ready excursions, we'd recommend the haunting, locked-in Colombian deep house flex of 'Agradecido' and the faintly foreboding, trance-inducing house bounce of 'Amanecer Repentino'.
El Punto (Renzo Zong & Ricardo Zavaleta remix) - (6:44) 95 BPM
Ocaso (Rodrigo Gallardo remix) - (5:22) 102 BPM
Review: Akuba's first outing for SHANGO deftly showcases all that is good about the producer's hard-to-pigeonhole productions, and in particular his ability to combine elements of deep house and slow-house with more traditional styles of African and South American music. Both drowsy, jazzy opener 'El Punto' - all melancholic trumpet solos, evocative chords and tactile beats - and 'Ocaso' offer subtle nods towards Argentinian tango music, though nobody could accuse them of being anything other than laidback deep house treats. The accompanying remix package is strong, with our favourites including Noble Spirits' ultra-deep take on 'El Punto' and Rodrigo Gallardo's chunky, trumpet-heavy rework of 'Ocaso'.
Review: Calling upon a deeper shaman from the inner exotics, producer from planet earth Leonor arrives on the Shango label following a run of impressive releases for others like Tom Tom Disco, Playground (Arg) and Ombra International. Sending in the sounds and field recordings of an alluring medina, "Curandero" and its atmospherics are underpinned by an industrial disco rhythm and wailing motifs that comes packed with a Feller remix channelling the spirits of Major Lazer, while Rabih Rizk's version opts from something '90s, tribal and trance. Alongside this is the slower, tropical motion and rainforest vibes of a slightly grungy "La Creacion", with Buddha Bar vibes abound in DBRA's remix, next to some horn-blowing, psychedelic acid funk in "Poder Cosmico".