latin . african . world


Genre pick of the week Cover of Digital Zandoli by Various Artists.
After the success of ‘Kouté Jazz’, Heavenly Sweetness comes back with a dancefloor compilation, something keep your feet moving through the whole summer! 13 disco, boogie and zouk tracks recorded in the 80's in the West Indies.

This is a dancefloor album compiled by Digger’s Digest and is a great project for fans of the Tropical music movement and electronic music with 12 tracks that have never compiled before.

The advantage of this selection is that it reveals a broader spectrum to the Zouk music style that is poorly defined. Consider the tracks hidden gems, despite previously being interpreted by some big names in Caribbean music (Pierre-Edouard Decimus / Patrick St. Eloi / Eddy La Viny). These Tracks reveal this will of singularity, this merger between traditional and other rhythms genres (funk, disco, afro-beat, Latin Brazilian), with the addition of new instruments such as synthesizers and drums machine in the creative process.

In many Zouk's albums, this period often included one or even several tracks that were qualified as "proto-zouk" and "funky-zouk" or the "boogie-zouk" to emphasize the fusion of genres. But these tracks have remained unknown to the general public...

Mark Ernestus' Ndagga Rhythm Force

Walo Walo Version

Three killers heralding the next phase of this dazzling expression of a dream Dakar-Berlin nexus. All instrumental - though the opener has snatches of singing - with the vocal versions held back for the new album, out in the Autumn.

The music just gets deadlier and deadlier - harder-boiled and deeper; more focussed, confident and dubwise.

Evoking the ancient cultural legacy of the griots, 'Walo Walo' is also the name of the sabar rhythm underlying the opener, which features Ibou Mbaye's percussive synth-work, Mangone Ndiaye Dieng's kit-drumming, and Bada Seck's rigorous jolts of lower-pitched Thiol drum. The 'Groove' version is tough as nails; well and truly gnarly. A tribute to the Baye Fall leader, Ndiguel Groove is a sparse, mellow interpretation of the most traditional cut on the album, showcasing Assane Ndoye Cisse’s insinuating guitar lines, Laye Lo’s super-elasticated snare-drumming, and Bada Seck playing the khine drums associated with the Baye Fall. (Short and wide; lightweight but low-pitched.)

Pretty awesome.

Autonomous Africa are back in the company of the Green Door All-Stars, dropping four remixes of tracks from 2015's "Youth Stand Up!" LP. This phat remix wax sees the collaborative recording project between Glasgow’s Green Door Studio, Lebeha Drumming Center in Hopkins, Belize, and the Tafi Cultural Institute based in Tafi Atome, Ghana fall under the spell of dancefloor luminaries JD Twitch, Midland, Auntie Flo and General Ludd. Optimo legend JD Twitch opens the EP with a dark and deep rework of "Come With Me", which sets the track's echo-laded vocals over blasts of live drum and brooding bass, resulting in a proper heads down heater. Next up, Highlife mainstay Auntie Flo offers a spiritual dub of "Beat The Drum", extracting a hypnotic and organic groove from the original and rehousing it among detuned synth keys and post-tribal percussion. Chanted vocals and circular mallets lend an expansive feel to proceedings while the steady kick keeps us nicely grounded. Midland enters the arena on the B1, bringing his bass fuelled tech house styling to LP cut "Tsorna". The Leeds' producer establishes a pitch bending bassline and trippy drum program early on, locking the dancefloor in before unleashing the techy keybaord vamps, bleeps and siren squelches which take this cut to the next level. Techno eccentric General Ludd closes the EP with his totally disorienting reheat of "Tuteme Meets Tafi Atome At 58 Ft Mocco", a body moving blend of fucked up vocal snippets, burnt toastin and tremulous bass. As ever all proceeds will go to Tafi Cultural Institute, Tafi Atome, Ghana and Lebeha Drumming Center, Hopkins, Belize - Philanthropic floor fillers, surely the way forward!

Tim Maia

Nobody Can Live Forever - The Existential Soul Of Tim Maia (World Psychedelic Classics 4)

In the early 1970s, Brazilian popular music was approaching a high water mark of creativity and popularity. Artists like Elis Regina, Chico Buarque and Milton Nascimento were delivering top-shelf Brazilian pop, while tropicalists Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes were entertaining the college set with avant-garde fuzz-pop poetry.

Enter Tim Maia with a massive cannonball into the pool. It was the only dive Tim knew. Standing just 5'7 (6' with the afro) Tim Maia was large, in charge and completely out of control. He was the personification of rock star excess, having lived through five marriages and at least six children, multiple prison sentences, voluminous drug habits and a stint in an UFO obsessed religious cult. Tim is also remembered as a fat, arrogant, overindulgent, barely tolerated, yet beloved man-child who died too young at the age of 55.

Sebastiño Rodrigues Maia was born in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, on September 28, 1942. In 1957, at the age of 17, the singer went to America. He left home with $12 in his pocket and no knowledge of English. He adopted the name 'Jimmy' and lied to the immigration authorities, saying that he was a student.

Living with distant cousins in Tarrytown, New York, he worked odd jobs and committed petty crimes. Having a prodigious ear he quickly learned to speak, sing and write songs in English. He formed a small vocal group called The Ideals who even recorded one of Tim's songs, "New Love." Intent on starting a career in America, Tim never planned on going back to Brazil, but like a badass Forrest Gump, he also had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In a 1964 early pre-cursor to Spring Break's modern debauchery, Tim was busted in Daytona, Florida for smoking pot in a stolen car and served six months in prison. U.S. Immigration caught up with him and he was deported.

Tim's first commercial records showed that a black Brazilian singer could assert his identity with confidence and power. His music helped to build the Black Rio movement, a new Afro-Brazilian music culture influenced by the US civil rights struggle. As a result, Tim Maia's soul music described a modern Black Brazilian identity that blew the doors off mass culture's tightly circumscribed role for Afro-Brazilians. A funny thing happened when Tim Maia launched his career in Brazil: he kept on writing and recording songs in English. Every album (all self-titled, with only the copyright years to differentiate) included at least one, if not a few songs in English. Obviously, Tim "Jimmy" Maia's teenage dreams of international soul success didn't die when he was deported from the US.

In 1971, fresh from the big hit of his first album, Tim went to London and spoiled himself. He smoked, inhaled, drank, traveled on acid, listened to music, argued with his wife and returned to Brazil with 200 doses of LSD to distribute amongst his friends. As soon as he arrived, he went to (recording company) Philips' offices, which he called "Flips," where he visited various departments, beginning with those he considered most "square," like the accounting and legal departments, where he acknowledged the boss and repeated the same introduction, in a calm and friendly voice: "This here is LSD, which will open your mind, improve your life, and make you a better and happier person. It's very simple: there are no side effects. It is not addictive and only does good. You take it like this . . . " He would place the acid in his mouth, swallow it and leave another at the front desk. Since he was one of the best-selling artists for the company, everyone thought it humorous. In the production and journalism departments, the gifts were a success. Even Andre Midani, the president of the company, received his.

In 1974, he converted to a religious sect, the cult of Racional Engergy. The sect was based in the faith that we are perfect beings from a distant planet, exiled on Earth to suffer but able to purify through the reading of a single book and to finally be rescued by flying saucers of our original home. It was a perfect fit for someone like Tim.

Airto Moreira / Gilberto Gil

Celebration Suite / Maracatu Atomico

Just in time for the Olympic Games the $tateside label celebrates the music of Brazil with this double A-sider 7” single.

On side A we have Airto Moreira's jazz-fusion / samba batucada anthem 'Celebration Suite'. A classic at the likes of Gilles Peterson's Sunday afternoon jazz-dance session at Dingwalls back in the day, and still filling floors today, nothing screams SUMMER or CARNIVAL more than this!

On the flip we get the more mellow, slinky bossa samba track 'Maracatu Atomico' by Gilberto Gil, lifted from his 1975 album 'Viramundo'. It's another amazing track, and another sizzling summer sensation!

Piccadilly Records

Slipmat - Cityscape

    Piccadilly Records logo and white 'Cityscape' print on black felt slipmat. Designed by Mark Brown (, the design is a features a graphic representation of the Manchester cityscape, which also looks like an electronic waveform created by music.

    Piccadilly Records

    Slipmat - Cityscape / Half Record

      A pair of Piccadilly Records slipmats including one each of the 'Cityscape' and 'Half Record' designs.

      Slipmat 1: Piccadilly Records logo and white 'Cityscape' print on black felt slipmat. Designed by Mark Brown (, the design is a features a graphic image of the Manchester cityscape, which also looks like an electronic waveform created by music.

      Slipmat 2: Piccadilly Records logo and white 'Half Record' print on black felt slipmat. Designed by Mark Brown (, the design is a features a graphic representation of the Manchester G-MEX Centre combined with half a vinyl record.

      Piccadilly Records

      Slipmat - Half Record

        Piccadilly Records logo and white 'Half Record' print on black felt slipmat. Designed by Mark Brown (, the design is a features a graphic representation of the Manchester G-MEX Centre combined with half a vinyl record.

        Various Artists

        Africa Airways One & Two (Funk Connection 1973-1980, Funk Departures 1973-1982)

        First released in 2015 as two separate vinyl compilations, “Africa Airways” is a deep exploration into the furthest parts of 1970’s and early 1980’s. 

        The last decade has seen the un-tapping of an apparent endless well of music from the mother continent and this compilation (in our not so biased opinion) uncovers some of the cream of the crop and stands as one of the finest exponents of the African take on the music that it directly influenced, that being the funk and disco from the USA.

        Featuring music from Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa and the international African diaspora with artists including Manu Dibango, Jo Tongo and Jake Sollo this a truly pan-African affair, full of analogue synths, polyrhythms, rich vocals, jangling guitars and production slicker than oil. For lovers of music to get down to, this will make your rubber soled shoes burn.

        The original pressing of the vinyl compilations sold out so quickly that another two represses had to be made to keep up with demand. For those not to latch on to the vinyl resurgence and prefer the old school CD format, this compilation is the one for you!!!

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