MAGIC MIX

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Hotter than a midsummer Piccadilly, Disco Hamam deliver their 4th serving of Turkish & oriental killer disco edits, featuring the deep digging expertise of Tokyo Matt and Afacan Soundsystem. Showing up any obvious editors out there, Tokyo Matt kicks off the A-side with the majestic "A Fistful Of Dollars", a sample heavy splice of one propulsive synth disco smash, and a delicate Turkish acoustic number. Perfectly balanced, the track rages into the sunset, blazing guitar licks and overdriven vocals leaving trails across the sky. On the A2, "Tales Of The Orientale" is big winner for the Balearic dance floor, giving us coastal groove and psychedelic attitude as Matt works his magic on a Turkish-tinged slice of Italian pop. Flip the pancake to feel the force of the Afacan Soundsystem, who knock us dead with two totally different takes on the Anatolian sound. Awash with organic instrumentation and tumbling percussion, the cinematic "Ya Sabir Disco" is your more traditional Anatolian edit, nicely spiced with those mystical tonalities. "Biz Salkimiz" on the other hand is a cosmic boogie killer of the highest order, bouncing through slick bass work, wah guitar and funked up clav until those deeply dramatic vocals drops. Chuck in some Spaghetti Western whistling and you'll be wondering why this wasn't called "A Fistful Of Dollars". Before we hit the run out there's just enough time to luxuriate in the symphonic sweetness of Afacan Soundsystem's Turkish AOR bonus "Az Disco", a fitting end to a fine record.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: The Disco Hamam copysheet remains unblemished here as Tokyo Matt and Afacan Soundsystem bring the goods all over again. Eastern spiced goodness from start to finish here, but I'm gonna pick out "A Fistful Of Dollars" and "Biz Salkimiz" as the ones to watch/hear...

Harold McKinney

Voices & Rhythms Of The Creative Profile

    One of the most righteous albums ever issued by the always-righteous Tribe Records label of Detroit – a really collective effort, one that features ensemble vocals and spiritual jazz – all pulled together by pianist Harold McKinney! The album showcases a group named Voices Of The Creative Profile – formed by McKinney to accompany his Creative Profile instrumental group – and the overall style is a great blend of spiritual soul jazz that gives equal time to the voices and instruments in the set. Gwen McKinney heads up the vocal ensemble, and other players on the set include Wendell Harrison on flute, Marcus Belgrave on trumpet, Billy Turner on percussion, and Ed Pickins on bass. Also features some cool moog from Darryl Dybka (Dusty Groove, Inc.)

    Harold McKinney was one of Detroit's jazz legends as both an artist and as a cultural figure. His Voices and Rhythms of the Creative Profile was issued on the city's cooperative independent Tribe label -- which also boasted outings from Marcus Belgrave, Doug Hammond, Mixed Bag, Wendell Harrison, and Phil Ranelin -- in 1974. McKinney's approach to jazz in the 1970s may have been funky and electric, but it was also idiosyncratic and vocal. Harold and Gwen McKinney handle the lead vocals, while a backing chorus of seven helps out on other pieces. This is an adventurous set, and along with his deep, funky electric piano grooves is a killer alternately swinging and soulful horn section fueled by Harrison and Belgrave, drummer Ron Jackson, percussionists Charles Miles and Billy Turner, as well as bassist Ed Pickins and Daryl Dybka on Moog! The highlights of the set are the stunning "Out of These Blues" with McKinney's Rhodes underscoring beautiful head and solo work by the horns, the stomping bop meets science fiction of "Corner Stone," and fine covers of Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance" and Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance" (with a set of lyrics by McKinney). Voices and Rhythms of the Creative Profile walks many tightropes: between hard bop and soul-jazz, between vanguard jazz and fusion, and between swinging blues and raw adventure. It's true that the vocals can be a bit excessive at times, especially on the opener, "Ode to Africa," but they are more than compensated for by the phenomenal playing of the ensemble. Ultimately, this is a solid recording that embodies the entire spirit of the Detroit jazz scene at the time. Thom Jurek/AMG.

    Manford Best

    I've Been Loving You

      “I’ve Been Loving You” sees Manford Best finally laying the ghosts of The Wings to rest and emerge as a serious player in the glittering new world of Afro boogie. Recorded in London, with Nigerian super producer, Jake Sollo, at the desk, it is a highly polished collection of disco classics, guaranteed to fill any dance floor in the world. The title track gets the party started with an irresistible bass line and chirpy horn section. Written by Best while he was still in The Wings, the song is unrecognisable from the one that topped the Nigerian charts in 1973. ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ has a groove that suggests Manford has the dance floor on his mind, not the bedroom. ‘I Feel Like Dancing’, written by Jake Sollo and featuring the vocals of Nigerian diva, Pat Henry, is sophisticated and sexy and a stone cold classic of the era. “I’ve Been Loving You” is an extraordinary metamorphosis. Manford Best, the rough and ready guitarist from the back blocks of eastern Nigeria, emerges as a glittering ‘disco’ butterfly, ready to strut the dance floors of London – and the world. 

      Benis Cletin

      Alpha & Omega

        In the mid eighties FM radio stations took over the airwaves in Nigeria. They wanted fresh new styles to play andin creasingly radio personalities like Bisi Olatilo, Ruime Effetie and Shea Martins were turning to reggae. Nigeria’s Freak Father Number One, Benis Cletin, saw the writing on the wall and created his deeply philosophical roots reggae opus, ‘Alpha & Omega’. Benis delivered a set of songs that tapped unashamedly into reggae’s message of peace and love. The title track is a philosophical opus on the state of the world and how to live in it. ‘Unqualified’ warns against letting others tell you how to live. ‘Guns for Freedom’ is more militant call to arms, undercut by a lilting flute line from the legendary Eji Oyewole. Benis didn’t completely abandon his freaky, funky roots. ‘Soul Fever’ is a slab of synth-driven boogie and ‘Get Up And Dance’ is pure funk with that typical Benis freak edge. But overall, ‘Alhpa and Omega’ is designed to soothe the minds of the oppressed in this unjust world - an African roots reggae classic that sounded great on FM radio.


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