MAGIC MIX

world . african . latin

WEEK STARTING 20 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Lait De Coco by Maya.
“L’ombre des oiseaux caressait sa peau, elle bronzait au lait de coco…”

Come summer, it’s time to get a tan, a caipirinha in your hand. To complement these delectable moments, Attic Salt Discs hit us with an official reissue of the modern classic that is “Lait De Coco” by Maya. I first heard this digger's delight at a Les Yeux Orange afterparty in Paris. It was about 7am and daylight had just begun to creep through the venetian blinds, and even though I was doing my best to quietly die in darkened bedroom, the warm sax, mellow groove and sound of 50 Parisians singing along prompted a Lazarus-style recovery. It's a classic spin for Growing Bin chief Basso as well, and has since gone down in history thanks to a cheeky Good Plus edit. Now remastered and pressed on a 10″, it comes with the original artwork and a postcard, because souvenirs and sweet words to your loved ones are everything.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: My favourite Balearic smoocher-Francais, as edited by my good friends at Good Plus, lands in officially repressed form, and on a 10" no less. Smooth sax, silken vocals and that cover photo! #uberBalearic

Strut continue their essential work with the “Godfather OfEthio Jazz”, MulatuAstatke, with the first official reissues of his early classics ‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 from 1966, recorded as The Ethiopian Quintet.

Arriving after Astatke’s life-changing years studying at Berklee College in Boston, the albums were the first experiments in his pioneering sound, fusing Ethiopian cultural music with Afro Latin and jazz forms. “I have always felt a deep connection between Latin and African music,” he explains. “I travelled to Cuba and listened to their musicians; the tempo, rhythm and feeling was very similar to different African forms. In the mid-‘60s, I formed a band called The Ethiopian Quintet in New York comprising Ethiopian, Latin and Afro-American musicians - the band included trumpeter and pianist Rudy Houston who later played with Yambu and Felix Torres who played with La Sonora Poncena.”

Supported by Worthy Records’ Gil Snapper who offered to record the quintet, Astatke began to experiment during two separate sessions: “We created a different feel and different arrangements. On the first recording, I played an adaptation of an ancient Ethiopian warrior song, ‘I FaramGami I Faram’ - the lyrics were translated so that the singer could sing it in Spanish. Some compositions were important steps for me: ‘MascaramSetaba’ (‘Summer Is Coming’) ‘Shagu’ and ‘Almaz’. With the second album, a personal favourite is ‘Girl From Addis Ababa’ which worked very nicely as a fusion of Ethiopian modes and R&B rhythms.”

Astatke would start to perfect his Ethio jazz sound on his later album for Worthy in 1972, ‘Mulatu Of Ethiopia’ (STRUT129) but the two volumes of ‘Afro Latin Soul’ stand as important recordings documenting his early career. “It was a very interesting time to be in New York during the mid-‘60s. I was there at the same time as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and FelaKuti and we each tried to play our part in putting Africa on the map of contemporary jazz.”

‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 come in their full original artwork and are painstakingly remastered by The Carvery. All formats feature personal liner notes by MulatuAstatke.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Slinky and seductive, Mulatu Astatke's uniquely Ethiopian take on jazz splits the differential between exotica and Afro-Latin perfectly. It's a total classic that I come back to time after time.

Strut continue their essential work with the “Godfather Of Ethio Jazz”, Mulatu Astatke, with the first official reissues of his early classics ‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 from 1966, recorded as The Ethiopian Quintet.

Arriving after Astatke’s life-changing years studying at Berklee College in Boston, the albums were the first experiments in his pioneering sound, fusing Ethiopian cultural music with Afro Latin and jazz forms. “I have always felt a deep connection between Latin and African music,” he explains. “I travelled to Cuba and listened to their musicians; the tempo, rhythm and feeling was very similar to different African forms. In the mid-‘60s, I formed a band called The Ethiopian Quintet in New York comprising Ethiopian, Latin and Afro-American musicians - the band included trumpeter and pianist Rudy Houston who later played with Yambu and Felix Torres who played with La Sonora Poncena.”

Supported by Worthy Records’ Gil Snapper who offered to record the quintet, Astatke began to experiment during two separate sessions: “We created a different feel and different arrangements. On the first recording, I played an adaptation of an ancient Ethiopian warrior song, ‘I FaramGami I Faram’ - the lyrics were translated so that the singer could sing it in Spanish. Some compositions were important steps for me: ‘MascaramSetaba’ (‘Summer Is Coming’) ‘Shagu’ and ‘Almaz’. With the second album, a personal favourite is ‘Girl From Addis Ababa’ which worked very nicely as a fusion of Ethiopian modes and R&B rhythms.”

Astatke would start to perfect his Ethio jazz sound on his later album for Worthy in 1972, ‘Mulatu Of Ethiopia’ (STRUT129) but the two volumes of ‘Afro Latin Soul’ stand as important recordings documenting his early career. “It was a very interesting time to be in New York during the mid-‘60s. I was there at the same time as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and FelaKuti and we each tried to play our part in putting Africa on the map of contemporary jazz.”

‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 come in their full original artwork and are painstakingly remastered by The Carvery. All formats feature personal liner notes by MulatuAstatke.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Mulatu Astatke's second set of snake hipped jazz workouts upped the intensity a little, flirting with swing, bop and ragtime for a more uptempo mood.

Strut continue their essential work with the “Godfather Of Ethio Jazz”, Mulatu Astatke, with the first official reissues of his early classics ‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 from 1966, recorded as The Ethiopian Quintet.

Arriving after Astatke’s life-changing years studying at Berklee College in Boston, the albums were the first experiments in his pioneering sound, fusing Ethiopian cultural music with Afro Latin and jazz forms. “I have always felt a deep connection between Latin and African music,” he explains. “I travelled to Cuba and listened to their musicians; the tempo, rhythm and feeling was very similar to different African forms. In the mid-‘60s, I formed a band called The Ethiopian Quintet in New York comprising Ethiopian, Latin and Afro-American musicians - the band included trumpeter and pianist Rudy Houston who later played with Yambu and Felix Torres who played with La Sonora Poncena.”

Supported by Worthy Records’ Gil Snapper who offered to record the quintet, Astatke began to experiment during two separate sessions: “We created a different feel and different arrangements. On the first recording, I played an adaptation of an ancient Ethiopian warrior song, ‘I Faram Gami I Faram’ - the lyrics were translated so that the singer could sing it in Spanish. Some compositions were important steps for me: ‘Mascaram Setaba’ (‘Summer Is Coming’) ‘Shagu’ and ‘Almaz’. With the second album, a personal favourite is ‘Girl From Addis Ababa’ which worked very nicely as a fusion of Ethiopian modes and R&B rhythms.”

Astatke would start to perfect his Ethio jazz sound on his later album for Worthy in 1972, ‘Mulatu Of Ethiopia’ (STRUT129) but the two volumes of ‘Afro Latin Soul’ stand as important recordings documenting his early career. “It was a very interesting time to be in New York during the mid-‘60s. I was there at the same time as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Fela Kuti and we each tried to play our part in putting Africa on the map of contemporary jazz.”

‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 come in their full original artwork and are painstakingly remastered by The Carvery. All formats feature personal liner notes by Mulatu Astatke.

Just in time for summer, RNT drops a 3-tracker of tropical heat from Brazilian outfit Balako. Although relative newcomers, their production prowess has been known to their Rio de Janeiro musical community and beyond for some time, and is on full display here. The A-side showcases their knack for modernizing the canonical Brazilian MPB sound, from the deceptively demonic build of "Batuque", to the acidic-leaning lilt of "Deixa Acontecer". The flip side takes a hard turn left of field with "Honey Honey Honey", a 9 minute opus of Afro-Brazilian disco insanity, primed for those balmy summertime roof parties.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Beguiling, mysterious and enchanted additions to the new disco / nu cosmic camps here. RIYL: Acid Arab, Ptaki, Sputnik or Black Bones.

Over the course of the last decade, Black Pepper label boss Jose Manuel has proved to be one of electronic music's finest contemporary alchemists, conjuring percussive, intoxicating and otherworldly musical treats for such labels as Tusk Wax, Kinfolk, Kill The DJ, Optimo Trax and Music For Dreams.
The genius of Manuel's productions lies in the Italian's ability to conjure cracking cosmic compositions out of a diverse range of global rhythms, instruments and influences. Rarely has this been more evident than on his debut release for NuNorthernSoul, a four-track serving of dancefloor mysticism that puts mind-altering rhythms and saucer-eyed instrumentation front and centre.
Track, for example, the light and dreamy wrapped sumptuous Balearic synthesizer chords and melodies around gentle hand percussion and drifting Zambian vocals on the sublime 'Journey in Lusaka' followed by the feverish, trance-inducing African rhythms, delay-laden chants, psychedelic acid lines and jangling Jew's Harp motifs of intense opener 'Journey in Lusanda', a ritualistic Afro-Cosmic onslaught ripe for peak-time plays. If the EP opener is all about being flat on your back and staring skywards, the follow up is all about druggy, heads down sweatiness!
Manuel's deep love of Indian music is explored on 'Journey in Mumbai', where exotic sitar lines, fluttering clarinets and echoing, densely layered female vocals rise above a thick, tabla-fired groove. It's naturally hugely evocative and atmospheric - a fine dose of emotion-rich spirituality capable of inducing hallucinations in the straightest of listeners.
To complete the EP, our hero travels even further east for 'Journey in Osaka', a fittingly percussive exploration of Japanese music's past and present that also includes audible nods towards the poly-rhythmic drums of West Africa. It's a superb combination of traditional instrumentation, 21st century electronics, heavyweight rhythms and mood-enhancing melodic flourishes.
Like the rest of the Journeys In...EP, it's both hugely alluring and impeccably produced.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: I've been a big fan of the mighty Jose Manuel for a long while now, and this four track debut for NuNorthern Soul sees the Italian continue his exploration of exotic electronics and outernational Balearic beat. There's plenty to enjoy here, but it's the acid tinged trance-dance of "Journey In Luanda" that's doing the most for me.

Official Mr Bongo reissue of the ultra-rare Nigerian disco-boogie, ‘Viva Disco’, album from 1980. Originally released on the Afrodisia label, this one is unknown to even the most knowledgable collectors out there.

Tunde Mabadu recorded two albums in the 70’s - ‘Viva Disco’ and ‘Bisu’ as Tunde Mabadu & His Sunrise. Perfect examples of golden-era Nigerian disco & boogie that still hold their own today.

Legalize Lambada step up for their 4th outing with four delectable Afro disco edits from Sputnik. Starting the party off right, "Superlove" sees Sputnik channel early garage house with a sublime kwaito recut - all Zanzibar groove, echo-laden vocals and tropical synths before melting and smelting "Feeling Fine", a reggae tinged, Afro boogie gem with major Balearic possibilities. On the flip side, "Groove Me" unearths some feel good Cameroonian disco gold complete with killer guitar solo, whilst 'Rick' closes out the e.p. dropping the tempo for a synth soul, slow jam. With early support from Hunee, Lexx and the likes, LEG004 is shaping up to be one of the summers standouts.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Summer sizzler from Sputnik and Legalize Lambada here, hitting us with four different flavours of Afro-disco brilliance. More refreshing than a Supermalt and tastier than chin chin, this should smash it for the Worldwide, disco and Balearic crowds.

Since they made their entrance on the reissue stage in 2016 (with the essential reissue of "Fire In My Heart" no less), Isle Of Jura have dropped nothing but fire, proving to have a formidible ear for an unheard hit. Now the crew come through with the first in a series of compilations which blend Dub, Ambient, Downtempo, Boogie and Proto House with a focus on music never before released on Vinyl, sought after out of print titles and some special versions edited specifically for the album.
The intention with this project was to delve deeper into the reissue pond and unearth some lesser known tracks and artists. Highlights include Smackos' (AKA Legowelt) ambient epic ‘We Can Watch Alf In The Hotel Room’, never before released on Vinyl, the dub / psych hybrid of Minus Group’s ‘Black Shadow’, Kash’s sought after ‘Percussion Sundance’ and special edits of Ken Dang and Tabou Combo. As if that weren't enough to tickle your pickle, then the four ambient tools the Jura Soundsystem have cooked up for the finale totally take the cake.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: After a string of excellent reissues over the past two years, Isle Of Jura drop their first compilation, a mega set of not-on-vinyl heat, out of print excellence and specially edited bangers for disco, house, downtempo and dub fans. Maximum respect!


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