MAGIC MIX

latin . african . world

WEEK STARTING 18 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of Soufwans by Esnard Boisdur Vs Frankie Francis & Simbad.

Esnard Boisdur Vs Frankie Francis & Simbad

Soufwans

The ever reliable Sofrito come correct once again with this superb spiritual groove courtesy of Guadeloupe legend Esnard Boisdur and London duo Frankie Francis and Simbad. The production partnership make their return to the imprint after 2009's essential zouk refurb "Fiesta Angola", and have somehow bettered their previous effort. Pairing the melancholy tone and tribal rhythms of the Gwo Ka master's 1991 release "Soufwans" with metallic Detroit pads and a techy bassline, Messrs Francis and 'Mbad have created the best spiritual house track I've heard in a long time; dense, deep and as dope as you like.

Masaaki Yoshida aka Anchorsong has been winning friends here in the UK and internationally throughout Europe with his live shows, and yes we do mean live: Yoshida’s music is created with a sampler and a keyboard, from scratch at his gigs.

Sometimes these sounds are augmented by a string quartet. With a couple of releases for Lastrum in his native Japan, Anchorsong relocated to London and soon hooked up with the Brighton-based Tru Thoughts label, who put out a four-track CDR called the 'Darkrum EP'. That, an appearance on Boiler Room TV last year, and support from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens have all helped this young man begin to garner attention. We are hoping this release for BBE will be the one that transforms him from a name bandied round by the electronic music cognoscenti, to a high-profile artist/producer.

Previously characterised as being a maker of downtempo beats, the 'Mawa EP' is an altogether more upbeat affair. The opener rattles along with African tribal chants, dense percussion and a fuzzy near-analogue ambience; the African vibe is continued on track 2 with a looped marimba before we suddenly switch to some sparse, dreamy 4/4 stuff that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Nu-Groove way back when. The third track is altogether busier, interweaving more chanted vocal snippets and tinkling percussive figures over a sensuous bassline, and the closer increases the bottom-end action with some near sub-bass anchoring layers of shifting, swirling bleeps. This release puts Anchorsong firmly in ‘minimal’ territory and demands attention from electronic music DJs everywhere.

FORMAT INFORMATION

10" Info: Clear vinyl pressing.

Throughout the late 70s and early 80s Indian artist Babla & His Orchestra created a musical revolution throughout India, and then the western world. Covering famous Bollywood movie title tracks of the time and giving them the new disco touch, Babla created the 'Disco Dandia' movement which saw him tour the world and become a household name in India. Pressings of this album have become incredibly rare over the years as they were never seriously collected or preserved in India… you can rarely find this album for under £150! Babla's famously diverse musical arrangements, heavy sitar funk and moog bleeps have won him a whole host of fans from breaks collectors to modern disco beardo's. Metro Area used "Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi" on their recent Fabric mix CD!

Flamingods

Hyperborea

    Flamingods are a five piece multi-instrumental experimental band originally started by Kamal Rasool in late 2009, now comprising of Kamal, Charles Prest, Sam Rowe, Karthik Poduval and Craig Doporto. Their sound has been described as ethnic pop, with elements of noise, tribal and freaked folk. They use a number of percussion instruments, some of which were collected during Rasool’s travels to places like Tanzania and the Amazon. The album was written after new Visa laws forced founding member Kamal Rasool out of the UK. The album deals with themes of identity, belonging and alienation whilst also day dreaming of leaving to foreign far away lands such as the mythical island of Hyperborea. The album was made with none of the band members in the same room, sending audio files back and forth across the internet.

    Already receiving BBC6 radio plays from Lauren Laverne, Tom Ravenscroft, John Kennedy, Huw Stephens Stuart Maconie and press reviews:
    “The London/Dubai soundclashers create global-minded psychedelia with their dance-party-ready new album Hyperborea” DAZED
    “African rhythms and soundscapes cribbed from across the world music remit" 8/10 NME
    “A record of superb scope, vision and energy” 8/10 Loud & Quiet
    “An eclectic mix of tribal-esque chants and hypnotic harmonies” The Line Of Best Fit


    Nana Love

    Disco Documentary - Full Of Funk

    Though the iconic imagery of disco feels distinctly tied to the United States, the style had a wide-reaching influence that made it’s way to Africa. While Africa was already no stranger to the pulsing rhythms of funk, Afro-beat, and highlife, the rise of disco added a slick sheen to the music, with musicians from all over the continent incorporating elements of the genre into their sounds. Would there ever have been a Studio 54 in Ghana in late 70s, these would have been the recordings that would have packed the dancefloor with their deep root in disco, soul and funk!

    The third instalment of BBE's “Masters We Love” series, the label's crate-digging journey led them to the original producer Reindorf Oppong and what could possibly be one of the most ‘mysterious’ Afro-disco records produced in the late 70s; Nana Love’s “Disco Documentary – Full Of Funk”. The original master tapes were uncovered (and luckily in great shape) and in the process of restoring the tapes, un-released material was discovered, enriching this very special package. Nana Love’s work, is a testament to the music’s most redeeming qualities: great musicianship, funky basslines and killer breaks. As a singer / songwriter in the leading role throughout, she (with production by Reindorf Oppong) lends a wonderfully balanced approach to the arrangements. The result is a set of tracks that are positioned carefully at the forward thinking crossroads of disco, boogie and soul and funk… Her band included 6 of the original Boney M members as well as the legendary Harry Mosco and was recorded in London in 1978, in the same studio as Boney M recorded alongside David Bowie.

    This album makes us think; would there ever have been a Studio 54 in Ghana in late 70s? If so these would have been the recordings that would have packed the dance floor with their deep root in disco, soul and funk!


    Niama Makalou Et African Soul Band

    Kognokoura - Inc. Daphni Edit

    Disco Mali! Sofrito present a unique slice of Afro-disco from the celebrated griot, Niama Makalou, recorded in the late 70s.

    Descended from a family of griots (traditional Malian praise singers), Niama Makalou moved to France in the mid 70s where she cut this, her one and only vinyl release. At the time Paris (like much the rest of the world) was swept up in disco fever, so along with a group of Malian musicians the date was set to cut a piece of disco, griot style. The resulting mixture of off kilter hand claps, raw string arrangements, Balafon flourishes and Bambara vocals combine with a heavy disco groove to produce a one-off piece of cross-cultural dancefloor mayhem.

    On the flip Daphni (aka Caribou) crafts an extended version that distills it into a stripped down and dubbed-out groove.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Philippa says: Loving both sides of this Afro-disco 12", but especially Daphni's (Caribou) stripped-down flipside edit. Grab it while you can!

    Limited vinyl reissue of the amazing ‘Rock Africa’ album from 1977 by Malinga Five, a short-lived group made up of French, Caribbean and African artists. Released in France by Barclay, this hard-to-find afro-funk LP spawned a number of disco hits including an exhilarating up-tempo version of Black Blood’s ‘Marie-Terese’, plus the unstoppable bubbling funk magnificence of ‘Kalimbo‘ later remixed by Bob Sinclar and the superb ‘Kaloule Woman’, a beautiful joyous track laced with intricate guitars and percussion with a great soulful vocal. Standouts aside, the whole album is fantastic from start to finish including hi-octane percussion workout ‘Tambouye’, laid-back funk groover ‘Good Time’ and blissful sensuous ballads such as ‘Song For My Lady’, the elegant jazz-funk of ‘Vin Eve Nou’, afro bubblers such as ‘Kou Ma Ho’ and Mankchine DouDou’ and the synth-heavy ‘Malinga’.


    Silvetti / Bataan

    Spring Rain / The Bottle (La Botella)

    Silvetti was born Juan Fernando Silvetti Adorno and was a Grammy award winning Argentinian pianist, composer and arranger / producer. But, he is best known to music fans for his 1977 disco instrumental “Lluvia De Primavera” (aka “Spring Rain”). Peppered with Latino pianos, luxurious strings and breathy oohing and aahing, it's the perfect example of Salsoul's expansive orchestral disco sound.

    Bataan, born Bataan Nitoliano, was raised in Spanish Harlem, New York, where he ran the Dragons street gang before being sent to a correctional facility. Upon his release he turned to music and after a successful run with Fania Records he co-founded the Salsoul label which spawned his 1975 Latin-fused interpretation of Gil Scott-Heron’s immortal “The Bottle”.The perfect mix of disco, jazz-funk and Latin, this instrumental version of "The Bottle" is a classic.


    One hot and eclectic crew, put together in 2012 by Puto Márcio. A strike team of guys he got in touch with via internet over the years. Apart from himself (Loures, North of Lisbon), all the others were living south of the river Tagus (dividing the greater Lisbon area), so Tia Maria was not born of a neighborhood bond as other crews were. Puto Márcio and Lycox are currently based in Rennes and Paris, respectively, and it’s precisely at this point that the EP is happening. The title "Tá Tipo Já Não Vamos Morrer" (‘It's like we won't die anymore’) is a strong statement aiming for posterity. "7 Maravilhas (Damas Da Cor Do Pecado" is a wonderfully synthetic afrohouse torch song, if such a thing exists. A simple, effective structure contains all the essentials of a seriously moody dancefloor spectacle. It floats along while we imagine who might the ladies in the title be - "7 Wonders (Ladies The Color Of Sin)". "O Tempo Da Vida", meaning something close to ‘Life's Time’, starts off with a classic mellow ambient intro before the now familiar marimba rhythm kicks in. With the right circumstances this one will drive you to joyful tears. Add other layers of ambience, plucked strings, an extremely discrete percussion roll in the background and a moving sense of melody and you've got a love affair in the tropics. One of B.Boy's specialties is tarraxo, that hypnotic, druggy slow groove. A sort of trance is built up from the heavy beats, helped by repeated vocal snippets and a shower of blips making this a strange hybrid even for those familiar with all the fusions tested in dance music during the 90s and early noughties. Enter Lycoox with a tense mood, skipping beats and a complex web of melody. "Underground" barely has words but there is a sense of dense messages coming through. B.Boy returns with crew founder Puto Márcio, "Hino Da Noite" kills softly, in some ways contradicting the title (‘Night Anthem’). It's useless to translate "Tia Maria Da Vida", which we interpret as a deeply felt hommage to the crew. Most weird and sad tarraxo, working its way under the skin. Congas, flute, a slow but jacking beat, a sort of melodica and keys that double as bassline. An enormous pulsing heart for maximum emotion and boldness. The styles showcased here are testament of the awesome creativity happening in this loose community of countless bedrooms, spawning a network of music production and parties largely off the coast of established scenes. We are still scratching the surface.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: AMAZING new future world music from Lisbon. On a similar tip to Al Dobson Jr but taking it from the back garden's of south London and into into the clubs of Portugal! RIYL Auntie Flo, Alejandro Paz and all things tropical! HOT!

    Afro and rock; now that's a pretty good combination any day of the week. But in the hands of John Cameron (founder of prog outfit CCS, composer of cult soundtracks "Kes" and "Psychomania") and Alan Parker circa 1973, the juxtaposition of these two words kicks up a boat load more breaks and funky atmospherics than can safely be navigated via the Zambezi, with or without Audrey Hepburn in tow. A quick word of warning; if you're the kind of crate digger whose heart misses a beat at phrases like 'repetitive forceful riffs' and 'aggressive Afro rhythms', you had better pre-book an ambulance before slipping this baby on to your record player and dealing with the ensuing onslaught of nasty wah wah guitars, fiery conga work outs, heavy harps (really), spacey electric piano, far out flutes and lots and lots of drums.


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