Paraphrasing the Soul Sonic Force and sorting through today`s releases for tunes that could have graced Alfie & Leo`s Amnesia dance floor.
There seems to be a bit of an East African theme this month.
Soundway have reissued African Vibration`s Hinde. Repressing the Kenyan band’s sole 45, from 1987, as a 12. Adding a sterling rework by New Zealand artist and Red Bull Academy alumni, Julien Dyne, on the flip. Reducing the BPM from 97 to 88, and augmenting the OG with gentle electronic counterpoint. To be honest, I can’t decide which mix I like the most, so if you hear me DJ I am very likely to play them both.
From neighboring Ethiopia there’s Gigi`s superlative Illuminated Audio (90-108BPM), forthcoming on Time Capsule. Hopefully I`ve already convinced you to put in a pre-order. The Bill Laswell-produced beauty is pretty much prefect from beginning to end. Intricate ambient JuJu. Timeless, with Dub`s respect for space.
Across the border, into Sudan and Wolf Muller teams up with The Nile Project as part of the Santuri East Africa arts initiative. The results, on Nouvelle Ambiance, find Mr. Muller welding the Nubian musicians to his instantly recognizable Kosmische groove. Kasiva Mabomba Dance (110BPM) joining the musical dots between a Nyabinghi drum ritual and Neu!`s Motorik.
Moving North, Music Take Me Up have reissued Zohra`s Badala Zamana (112BPM). While not strictly Algerian, this is a superior piece of Pop Rai that was released on a French 7, in 1977. Singing, and shrieking, its orchestrally strung way into your heart.
Also hailing from France is the Reggae band, Cap`tain Creole. Beaumonde Records have rescued their Fre Moin (108BPM) from a 1985 forty-five. Re-cutting it over a 12. Their brass-y Funk possessing a No Wave edge, and reminding me of Lester Bowie`s Defunkt. The repress comes with extensive liner notes, which unfortunately are beyond my school-boy French.
Handily, Apiento has Clare Huss recite a French Lesson over his latest single. Signed to Ari Goldman`s World Building, in part of the cultural exchange while Beautiful Swimmers prepare to release their Sounds Of Love International 002 compilation via the festival`s label, and Test Pressing. The stripped bare Techno Soul of Things You Do For Love (100BPM) kind of follows on from Apiento`s Golf Channel classic ESP. Still carrying a torch for that bass-line Pal Joey gave The Orb`s Little Fluffy Clouds, but, perhaps, also taking new influence from Bo`vel`s super minimal R`n`B, and Winsome`s pared down modern Lovers (Rock).
I reckon DJ Speedy Boarding must have also had a listen to Pal Joey before tackling his remix of Cantoma`s Kasoto (115BPM), for Phil Mison`s Highwood Recordings. Replacing the Gambian chant of the original with something that’s part Ultraworld Excursions and part Deeelite`s What Is Love? With ecstatic synths, drum rolls, and Def Mix strings. Bleeping like Sweet Exorcist shacking up with Where Love Lives, in a cute homage to Sheffield / WARP and LFO.
A more forthright Techno homage comes in the form of Ciao`s Gemini Month E.P., on Mood Hut. The title track tear arses along at 133BPM. The “dream-ier” Hits From The Bongo, drops to 123. Giving a shout out to Cypress Hill, and referencing Motor City’s machine innovators. Mayday`s rhythms, and C2`s abrasive synths and abstract Funk. Think Transmat taking a hit of Televised Green Smoke. Has its Synclavier angels throw away their hymn books and get tribal instead. The slower still Trance Breaks (Dub Mix)(110BPM) starts out like something from Buzz` seminal Panic In Detroit comp, but evolves into the kind of epic pitched-down House that Derrick Carter once excelled at. Acid twisting about a beat reminiscent of The Freaks` classic Will Powers-sampling Journeys Though Happiness.
Bringing the tempo back down again, Best Records Italy reissue Countach`s 1990 cover of Santana`s Aquamarine. Their electronic update, Aqua Marina (104-108BPM), sets Trance-y sequences to a skanking bass-line. Mixes Rock guitar with Jazz piano chops. Unable to decide if it wants to be Sueno Latino, or Mandy Smith`s I Just Can’t Wait. Listening now, I’m guessing that this was the inspiration behind the sought-after DMC remixes of Malcolm McLaren`s Call A Wave. I was hoping there’d be an Ambient rework within the reissue package, but instead there’s Carlos` original. A bona fide Cafe Del Mar Classic.
Lulling you into a false sense of security is Thunder Tillman`s Creation Discotechque (Part 1)(90-92BPM), from their Condor Sunflower E.P., on ESP Institute. Getting you grooving to its quality Afro / Cosmic chug before Part 2 hits its Motorik gallop.
You can listen to the mix here, care of Hamon Radio (I don’t seem to be able to embed from Mixcloud any more – assistance would be greatly appreciated).
Thank you Grant, and Electics!!!
African Vibration – Hinde (Julien Dyne Remix) – Soundway
Thunder Tillman – Creation Discotechque (Part 1) – ESP Institute
Gigi – Tew Ante Sew – Time Capsule
Apiento – The Things You Do For Love – World Building
Captain Creole – Fre Moin – Beaumonde Records
Countach – Aqua Marina – Best Records Italy
Zohra – Badala Zamana – Music Take Me Up
Wolf Muller Meets The Nile Project – Kasiva Mabomba Dance – Nouvelle Ambiance
Ciao – Trance Breaks (Dub Mix) – Mood Hut
Cantoma – Kasoto (DJ Speedy Boarding Remix) – Highwood Recordings