Review: This officially licensed 12" sees prolific British disco producer Ben Gomori take a scalpel to two cuts from veteran African musician Amadou Balake's 2015 album, In Conclusion. On side A you'll find a fantastic, eight-minute extension of the breezy shuffler "Bar Konon Mousso (Musicien C'est Pas Quelqu'un)", where snaking saxophone solos and sun-kissed, juju style guitars rise above a hot-stepping, bass-heavy groove. Turn to the flipside for a thrillingly epic take on "Massa Kamba", a deeper and slightly more musically intricate cut blessed with a blissful; Pat Metheny style jazz guitar breakdown, memorable chorus vocals and evocative horn lines.
Review: hree time's the charm: Legendary African music house Sterns project with long-standing London DJ Ben Gomori has been buy on sight so far. These Balla et ses Balladins edits are likely to go the same way as Gomori takes two of the Guinean orchestra's releases on the state-run Syliphone label and once again turns in two exceptional and respectful revisions; "Nyo" is a slow-and-low chugger with cosmic ripples and cleverly echoed vocal layers while "Wilikabo" is an instant party call to arms with a bell-bottomed bassline and a raw street kicking carnival feel. Already big with the likes of Skream and Horse Meat Disco, this won't hang around.
Review: We can't praise the Sterns Edits series enough. While the concept is simple - London producer Ben Gomori tweaks cuts from the vast vaults of world music label and distributor Sterns Music - the resultant re-edits are rarely anything less than inspired. On this seventh installment, Gomori initially turns his attention to "Denya" from Djessou Mory Kante's 2014 album "River Strings - Maninka Guitar". Gomori's version is breezy but club-focused, layering Kante's evocative lead guitar and smooth fretless bass atop a gently bouncy Afro-house groove. Arguably even better is his jaunty, life-affirming revision of Senegalese Afro-Cuban band Orchestra Baobab's brilliant but hard to find gem "Sibou Odia", which sees him make merry with punchy horns, glistening guitars and infectious rhythms.
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: In 2017, Ben Gomori teamed up with Sterns Music, a legendary London retailer and distributor specialising in African and Brazilian music, to launch the 'Sterns Edits' EP series, in which Gomori beefs up forgotten nuggets from the Sterns back catalogue for contemporary dancefloors. Now, three years down the line, the best of the series so far gets repackaged in album form, resulting in a collection that will suit Afro-house floors down to the ground. Check it even if you're NOT normally a great lover of African grooves, though - there's a slinky, infectious energy to cuts like 'Sigi Sele' that's hard to resist.
Review: We'd argue that the Sterns Edits crew is doing the world a favour by breathing new life into the work of Afrobeat revivalists Yaaba Funk, whose two albums - released in 2010 and 2014 respectively - remain frustratingly overlooked. The cuts reworked here were originally featured on their debut, "Afrobeast". Contemporary broken beat hero Danvers steps up first, turning in a punchy, rolling revision of sun-kissed juju number "Oman Foa" that adds just the right amount of modern dancefloor clout to an otherwise perfect Afro-soul workout. Ben Gomori provides two versions of "Hwe Hwe Mu Na Yi Wompena": a spacey Afrobeat/Afro-disco style peak-time "Message of Love Edit" and the arguably superior - and certainly impressively bass-heavy - "Message of Love Live Dub".