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WAGRAM

Various Artists

Sly & Robbie Presents Reggae Masterpieces Vol. 1. - A Taxi Records Anthology

    The best tracks of the mythic label Taxi Records, founded in the 70’s by musicians and producers Sly & Robbie.

    The Wailers

    Dub Marley

      The Wailers cover Marley songs, recorded with the guitarist Lloyd « Guitsy » Willis at the Harry J Studio in Kingston, Jamaïca in 1976.

      Hot on the heels of their ‘Sampled Funk’ selection, the folks at Wagram apply the same approach to soul, lounge and easy listening, raiding the crates for those smooth grooves, gospel scorchers and tearjerkers that generations of producer have flipped for high quality hip hop and house. Perfect for wax nerds, sample spotters and bar DJs, this collection features jamz from Ray Charles, Timmy Thomas, Dusty Springfield and Etta James.

      Those reliable chaps at Wagram drop another essential bit of wax for the nerds, bar jocks and sample spotters here - putting together a flawless collection of funk killers (both classic and otherwise), which have become better known in their sampled form. Take a quick peek at the tracklist and you'll find nothing but gold from the likes of Eddie Johns, Ike Turner, Gwen McCrae and Bob James, all of which come approved by a who's who of contemporary hip hop and dance music. 

      Various Artists

      Noël Crooners

        How can you resist a bit of Deano "Let It Snow!" or Ol' Blue Eyes jazzin' up "Jingle Bells"? Surely everybody loves Louis Armstrong, right? Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles are all in there, and you've got a choice of a white or blue Christmas from Elvis. Sam Cooke has sneaked on there too, with "Wade In The Water" - not exactly a Christmas song, but good none the less.

        Brisa Roché

        Father

          With Father, her sixth album, American Brisa Roché delivers her most personal and accomplished album to date. A gem of minimalist folk, haunted by the unique voice of the singer and produced by the grand John Parish- who directed among others the magic To Bring You my Love of PJ Harvey, a record with which Father shares common points: a twilight ambiance, fantomatic, something of Gothic Americana, a disquiet climate underlined by mythic Jean Babtiste Mondino’s cover photos.

          In this album, written half in Paris where the singer lives and half in the small town in Northern California where she grew up, the timbre of Brisa Roché reveals itself more bewitching than ever. She inscribes herself in the line of great folk singers of the 60’s such as Karen Dalton or Vashti Bunyan and artists today like Alela Diane, shaman-singers, daughters of water and fire, capable of reviving the dead and reminding us of family operas, passion and the passing of seasons.

          As its title indicates, Father is an out-of-the-ordinary project. In it Brisa Roché sings the immense, impossible quasi-incestuous love she lived, as a child and teen in Northern California, for her father (who died when she was 16), a dealer who recited poetry and lived at a hundred miles per hour, a charismatic and sulphurous adventurer, a man of endless conquests.

          Far from being too personal or too centered around the artist’s own story, these songs reveal themselves to be universal, exploring all facets of love: longing, fascination, sadness, seduction, the desire to save the beloved. Songs everyone can see themselves in. And in them Brisa plays all roles: the tearful child seeking to hold her wildfire of a father back from death (the poignant Trying to control and Carnation), the role of a mother/wife (the marvelous Patience), or even the role of the unsettling dealers surrounding her pater (Holy Badness and its powerful refrain like an impious canticle).

          Each sketch takes us further, into cabins lost in the forest (48) or onto backseats of cars parked in front of liquor stores, as Brisa Roché proves herself an accomplished songwriter, capable of the most beautiful texts, stories magnified by the work of John Parish. We rediscover the spare, pure production that is the signature style of the English musician: folk chords rough as old pieces of wood, strident electric guitar riffs (Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs lent a strong hand), a few epic bass drum hits… Midnight full of Nature’s rustling, where rises the lustral voice of the Inconsolable.

          If Dean Moriarty, the hero of On the Road, by Kerouac, had had a daughter, SHE would have recorded this album. Curled in the back of the Buick, criss-crossing America she would have scribbled these lyrics while watching the tanned neck of her “badass” father. In the career of every artist, there’s a piece of work that brings us into the depths of his/her heart, into its internal womb, where is crafted the need for expression, the very desire to sing. “Father” is of this kind. We are the closest one can get to lava. And, fuck, how it burns.

          Nina Simone strikes again with the spectacular reissue of ‘The Jazz Diva’ which is what she is crowned as, known for her incredible vast releases of jazz albums, she really does own it! This album includes some of her greatest songs such as the legendary ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ and countless others such as ‘Love Me Or Leave Me’ and ‘Exactly Like You’ the list goes on. This is the complete capsule album that captures her array of talent and sass, she is the Jazz Diva after all!

          Brigitte Bardot

          La Madrage

            Perfect French pop from actress, singer and Serge Gainsbourg muse Brigitte Bardot.

            Marilyn Monroe

            I Wanna Be Loved By You

              Great compilation, featuring classic Marilyn songs including “I Wann Be Loved By You”, “Some Like It Hot” and “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend”.

              Rock solid and timeless selection of reggae classics from Wagram here. Featuring a who's who of JA talent alongside THAT lovers rock collab between Gregory Isaacs and Simply Red and the chart topping Sister Nancy anthem. We go right back to 1971, with a variety of moods and styles explored. From the feel good stomper of Toots' "54-46 Was My Number" to more dancehall flavoured offerings from Max Romeo, and to the riotous dread of Black Uhuru. This is a wonderfully varied and ridiculously strong collection of hits! And look at the price tag! A no brainer surely...

              Various Artists

              Wanted Hip Hop

                The always affordable Wanted series returns this week with another set of beautifully presented, expertly selected comps covering a variety of genres. Here we have a set of overlooked and under the radar Hip Hop heaters including the lyricism and flow of De La Soul, Bubba Sparxxx and RZA & GZA from Wu Tang Clan and the production talents of Pete Rock, Jazzy Jeff and Timberland. Beats to make your head nod til your neck snaps.

                Manu Dibango

                Wakafrika

                Soul and Makossa. "World Music", a two-word universe, was born in the early 70's. For the first time Africa, in the form of Cameroon Makossa, nosed its way into soul, the heir to jazz and rhythm'n blues. As is often the case, this particular stage in musical evolution, which today is considered as capital, was at the time nearly missed, the B-side of a single which should never have got further than the suburbs of Douala. Among Westerm audiences, Manu Dibango is best known for "Soul Makossa," a highly infectious blend of African music, soul-funk, and jazz that became a major pop hit in the early '70s. The African artist revisited his signature tune on 1994's "Wakafrika", which boasts an all-star cast that includes Peter Gabriel as well as Haiti's Papa Wemba and African heroes Ladysmith Black Mambazo, King Sunny Ade, and Youssou N'Dour. As you'd expect from such a stellar bunch of guests, "Wakafrika" is an outstanding LP, featuring the reggae-influenced "Em'ma," a remake of Gabriel's "Biko," and the "Makossa"-ish jams "Wakafrika" and "Jingo." 


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