MAGIC MIX

world . african . latin

WEEK STARTING 18 Jan

Genre pick of the week Cover of Señorita by Youkounkoun.
Youkounkoun is a new French duo, formed by Jeff Lasson (Get A Room) and Gaëtan Rossi (The Elricks). And what a debut! "Señorita" immediately grabs our attention through its cool deadpan suaveness, pogoing disco-not-disco grooves accompanying catchy vocal chorus and picked, tight melodies - it's the anthem-not-anthem you never realized you wanted so bad! The kinda track that'd find favour from Ron Hardy to David Mancusso to Harvey and Alfredo. Universally high quality music and worth the entrance fee alone!

"A Quoi Tu Danses Quand Tu Penses" keeps the bar high with a rolling bass, dancing xylophones and French spoken word section, before some truly lush, call-response chorus passages sweep in. It's another flawless cosmic disco number primed ready to pop the lid off any dance!

"L'Homme Animal" concludes, if you needed anymore reason to be cheerful, with a strange and otherworldly dub-disco workout which utilizes rattling glockenspiel lines and tension-wrought brass to devastating effect!



STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: The Plaisir Partagé team (well Tanguy) continue to promote the freshest sounds out of Paris this week with a killer edit offering from Get A Room! and The Elricks (heard here as Youkounkoun). Deeply dug disco-not-disco, Balearic grooving and tropical pop - en français maintenant!

Issued in 1975, this is the articulation of Zambia’s Zamrock ethos. While other albums - Rikki Ililonga’s Zambia, WITCH’s Lazy Bones!! - are competitors, it’s hard to best this album as it covers each major quadrant of the Zamrock whole: it came from the mines; its musicians were anti-colonial freedom fighters, it envelops Zambian folk music traditions, and it rocks - hard. Amanaz were serious, and they made a serious stab at an album. They titled their album Africa, according to original band member Keith Kabwe, “because of how it was shared and how its inhabitants were butchered and enslaved, its resources stolen… all the atrocities slave drivers committed.“ Thus, their “Kale,” a blues sung in Nyanja, that traced the continent’s arc from slavery to Zambia’s independence closes the album. Kabwe and rhythm guitarist John Kanyepa have a winsome softness to their vocals, which sit politely aside the feral growl of drummer Watson Baldwin Lungu, bassist Jerry Mausala and bandleader/lead guitarist Isaac Mpofu.

Africa’s vibe ranges from anxious (“Amanaz”) to escapist (“Easy Street”) to straight-up pissed-off. On the “History of Man,” his voice whiskey-burned, his distorted guitar buzzing like swarming hornets, Mpofu indicts his species. There’s a darkness to Africa not found on any other Zamrock records, and a melancholy drifts throughout, specifically on Mpofu’s more restrained “Khala My Friend,” which stands as an effective, bleak situation for the Zambian everyman, the average citizen of a struggling, new nation, who might have had relatives in conflict-torn countries on the horizon, who might have been struggling to find his next meal, who might have seen a bleaker future than his president promised. Then there’s the clear Velvet Underground-influence on the nostalgic “Sunday Morning,” which, as Kabwe recalls, was the first song written for the album, back in 1968, when Velvet Undergound and Nico was a new release - and the underground funk of “Making The Scene.” The album also tackles traditional Zambian music and early-‘60s rock – punctuated, of course by Kanyepa’s wah-wah and Mpofu’s fuzz guitars. But every time Amanaz get too deep, too violent, they come back with an accessible song and woo their listener back to the groove. “Green Apple” is a civil song, featuring Kanyepa’s sighing guitar. It is a perfectly arranged album, from the dichotomy of Mpofu’s and Kanyepa’s lead and rhythm guitars, to the vocal harmonies, to the rhythm section’s sense of space and time, which allows Africa’s funk to build. Inexplicably, Africa was given two separate mixes and two separate presses: one version is dry, with the vocals and drums mixed loud, the other slathered in reverb, with the vocals and drums disappearing into the mix, and with the guitar solos mixed much louder. We’ve presented them both here as they each have their appeal: it’s up to the listener to pick the one he or she prefers. This is a highpoint of the Zamrock scene and we hope that this can be seen as its definitive reissue

This is Erlon Chaves e Orquestra Saint Moritz - "Procura-se uma Virgem" OST (1971), supposedly one of the most sought after Erlon Chaves LP. This OST was recorded to a Brazilian soft porn movie with killer organ funk instrumental tracks and several funky, erotic & modal tracks, arranged and directed by maestro Erlon Chaves. Original copies fetch big, big bucks 2nd hand, but burgeoning Brazilian reissue cartel, Mad About, have repressed this elusive epic beautifully for your listening pleasure.

'Oh my gosh one of the true holy grails of brazil I’ve after this for too long… just the correct side of lounge thank you for re-releasing this gem'.
- Gilles Peterson.


FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: Deluxe reissue in super nice thick carton cover + OBI.

Armed with a bottle of patchouli oil, a wrap of mushroom powder and an A&R masterplan, Multi Culti man Dreems charted a course for Berlin. Upon arrival, well, after a three day rave at Berghain, GHB romp at Cocktail D'Amore and falafel at Khartoum, Dreems tracked down MC affiliate Sascha Funke and hatched his plan. The seasoned producer was sent to a sub zero warehouse space, where he found percussion hero Niklas Wandt finalising his collaborative Growing Bin LP with Wolf Müller and debut single with NWD upstarts Neuzeitliche Bodenbeläge. In the longstanding DIY tradition of balls out experimentation, Funke had him record a variety of slapped, bowed and scratched percussions (congas, talking drum, prepared cymbals played with a bass bow) over his tracks. These first efforts were later expanded into joint sessions at Sascha's home studio and, within a few weeks, the journey reached it’s destination: Wibe strasse, Deutschland.

At first glance, they seem an odd couple: a techno veteran of almost thirty years meets a side-burned upstart socialized in Free Jazz and Krautrock. but the shared sonic influences come through in the hypnotic, dubbed-out sound, perhaps rooted in the close connection the two share to the Rheinland region in West Germany, Funke as part of the Kompakt family and Wandt by origin and socialization in the Cologne and Düsseldorf music scene centered around the Salon des Amateurs. Regional flavours, global appeal.

Multi Culti, promoting local collaboration, one freaky record at a time.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Proper post kraut weirdness here from Funke & Wandt, who fuse blurry synthwashes, unpredictable percussion and spoken vocal into bleeping NDW pop - perfect for daytime sessions or nights on the pipe.

Khana Bierbood

Strangers From The Far East

    This is their first full length LP. Produced by Go Kurasawa (Kikagaku Moyo) in Tsubame studio in Tokyo. Starting with the track ‘Rustic Song’ from the jet sound at the beginning you will realise you have arrived in Thailand. ‘Starshine’ has the surf vibe but different to the West coast surf music. The topnotch is the B1 track ‘Badtrip’ where you can hear lo-fi garage with heavy doomy fuzz jam. For fans of: Oh Sees, La Luz or Thai’s morlam music and Dengue Fever.

    Deep, entrancing solo kora music. Senegalese traditional harp by a hereditary master. Audiophile sonics, recorded in a former chicken coop studio in 1984, originally mastered at EMI. Koité has European tour dates this fall and winter. Sourakata Koité is born in 1955 in Malème, Senegal. As Sourakata says, "All the Koité are musicians!" His musical life began early: at age three he began to play kora (a 21-string harp) with his uncle and brother; at 11 he performed with four members of his family as Les Griots (two koras, one bala, one djembé and one singer) in a piano-bar named Thiosan. In 1977, a six-month engagement at a restaurant in Fréchencourt, France brought him to Europe, leaving Dakar where he had lived since 1975, having experienced the auspicious launch of mbalax music. He moved to Paris in 1978 to visit his brother. In Paris he began to play in different bands, including Les Lézards, Les Ballets Kodia, La Kola, Le Griot de Paris, among others, and for different musicians like Manu Dibango, Jacques Higelin, Touré Kounda, Manfeï Obin, Mangala, Luther Allison, Mah Damba and more. He also performed alone and in a duo with a bala (traditional xylophone) player. Koité, newly situated in Paris, soaked up the new sounds he heard there and expanded his musical repertory.

    He began to compose his own songs and build koras, allowing him to play and experiment with different tunings. Koité is a true innovator in that regard: he conceived of two 37-string koras (including a double handle one), and another with 22 strings (some of which are metallic guitar strings, and that enhance that characteristic buzzy sound). Additional strings expands the possibilities, he says, and also the sound of his instrument. “Kora usually has very little bass: it seems that there's a kora, but also a piano in there; they are two, four... or even five!” Koité links this idea to his use of overdubs on some tracks during the recording of en Hollande. During a festival in the Netherlands, music producer and record shop owner Martin Kollaart form Plexus Records heard him and asked to make a recording. In 1984 in an old chicken coop near Delft, Koité recorded the entire album in a single day, all first takes, including overdubs. The rich sonics and deep sound beautifully presents Koité’s virtuosic and entrancing renditions of traditional and original tunes. Very curious and eclectic in his tastes, Sourakata listens and plays a wide range of styles—jazz, rock, reggae, funk, blues, classical. Relaxing in his apartment close to la porte des lilas in Paris’ 20th arrondissement, he listens to Bob Marley, James Brown and the online Malian music station Radio Wassoulo, excited by his recent return to international performances. “People should participate during the show!,” he says. “They won't be able to hide, and it will give me courage!” 

    Kokoko!

    Liboso EP

      KOKOKO!'s debut EP Liboso - meaning “forward, straight ahead” - for Transgressive Records features new tracks showcasing more of their sonic universe. ‘Blvd Lumumba’, named after the road which leads you into Kinshasa, has a delicate wistful feel, set by a giant cross-shaped sculptural ‘Jesus Crisis’ harp - and when played over an 808 kick, sounds akin to homemade early house. ‘Affaire A Mbongo’ - Money Problems - has an early 80s No Wave vibe that would have surely rattled the concrete at Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage... had it not been recorded in 2018. ‘Longola Ye Kupe’ is a hypnotic number, meanwhile, highlighting Makara Bianko's impassioned and idiosyncratic vocal, over instrument-maker Dido’s rhythmic guitar and a steady, pulsing bassline, sounding like it’s coming from a 'Detroit Congolese' neighbourhood. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 12" Info: White label, limited to 200 copies.

      Record store owner, DJ, producer, and Wet Play fave Tom Noble comes to RNT with a superb EP of sought-after Caribbean and African sounds, edited up for the most discerning of dancefloors. The A side burns hot right out of the gate with the explosive and percussive Soca-disco pulse of "They Came To New York", then settles into the laid back lilt of "Zouk Pour Esa".

      On the flip, "Disco Massamba" is a wild Afro-disco burner while "Parang-A-Teng" brings it back to the Western hemisphere for some Latin-tinged funk from Barbados. Well worth it for the value of the original source material alone, this 12” is nothing short of dance floor destruction!


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Tom shows off just why he's one of the best of the new school with four mesmerizing edits that should captivate anyone who caught his two mindblowing MCR appearances; there's a reason he's one of Wet Play's most rated!

      The Patchouli Brothers

      Tugboat Edits Volume 13

      Star Creature sub label, Tug Boat Edits enlist the omnipresent Patchouli Brothers for some top drawer edit action. "PFS" may well allude to the source material contained with, but it's left this particular reviewer scratching his head. What I can tell you is that it's an uptempo, soul number with light conga / bongo flurries that put it alongside more famous contemporaries like Marvin Gaye however the vocal is much lower, hitting the baritone registers as it marches forth.

      On "Ford Freak" The Patchouli Brothers concoct a searing upbeat disco number from more obscure stems. A particularly heady, and late night affair this one that'll find favour at the more excessive and exuberant disco-themed events.

      "Mass Belief" is bustling, brass-led disco; and I can't help thing TPB are trying to make it easy for us with the Mass Production reference... I'm not 100% though! Finally "People's Jewellers" ensure a white wash for the Tug Boat crew as they achieve a 4-0 result again me on identifying these jams. If it's the obscure and unknown you're after, whilst still possessing that undeniable dancefloor hook - then look no further than the Tug Boat! 


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 12" Info: Hand-stamped 12"

      Dhafer Youssef, the great Tunisian Oud player, returns to his traditional roots on his new masterpiece. Together with the Turkish clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici, the Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset as well as the Indian tabla player Zakir Hussain. The Sound Of Mirrors is an ode to friendship and fraternity; a fascinating musical work full of meditative beauty, tonal splendour of colour and fascinating harmonies.

      Various Artists

      Those Shocking Shaking Days - Indonesia Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock And Funk 1970-1978

      Now-Again deliver the first ever compilation to assess the incredible psychedelic rock, funk and progressive scene of 1970s Jakarta!

      Whilst some collectors fiend for the incredibly rare LPs from the likes of Sharkmove and their later incarnation Giant Step, very little is known about Indonesian rock music - until now. Now-Again Records has teamed up with local musicians and experts to provide a fascinating in-depth look at the flourishing of progressive psychedelic music in early 1970s Indonesia, where fiercely independent musicians criticised the military dictatorship, raised awareness of drug abuse and much more - all to the glorious sound of the fuzz guitar and some of the most ambitious arrangements you’ll ever hear.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      3xLP Info: Limited triple vinyl pressing in six-panel triple gatefold sleeve with 16-page full colour booklet.


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