Ricardo Marrero & The Group - "And We'll Make Love"
Koko Ateba - "Si T'es Mal Dans Ta Peau"
Sookie - "Tonight" (feat Jeannine Otis)
Raphael Toine - "Femmes Pays Douces"
Eboni Band - "Desire"
Robert J Riggins - "I Need You Now"
Salero - "Teardrops & Wine"
Momo Joseph - "Teardrops & Wine"
Claude Genteuil - "Dreams Of Love"
Gatot Soedarto - "Sayangilah Daku Kasih"
Synchro Rhythmic Eclectic Language - "Pasto"
Review: Since the Beach Diggin' compilation series launched a few years back, a number of its obscure, Balearic-minded selections have been given full length reissues of their own. We can probably expect a number of the tracks from this brilliant fifth volume to get the same treatment. As usual, the wide-ranging track list is thick with highlights, from the synth-heavy, French language reggae of Raphael Toine's 1986 bubbler "Femmes Pays Douces" (taken from the artist's frustratingly hard to find Ce Ta Ou album) and vibraphone-laden jazz-funk smoothness of Yasuko Agwa's sought-after "L.A Night", to the barely-known brilliance of Andre Maria Tole's Cameroonian gem "Sweet Dole". In other words, it's another essential selection.
Review: Over the years, Cesar Mariano and Cia's 1977 set "Sao Paolo Brasil" has achieved cult status, with dusty-fingered diggers regularly proclaiming it one of the finest jazz-funk/fusion albums of the period (a fact confirmed by the high prices that original vinyl copies often change hands for online). Remarkably, this timely Mr Bongo reissue marks the first time the set has been released outside of its native South America. Rich in glistening jazz guitars, fizzing, Azymuth-style organ riffs, spacey synths, warm bass and skittish drums, the album's eight tracks bristle with breeziness, subtle samba motifs, sumptuous dancefloor grooves, sunny downtempo workouts and effervescent arrangements. In a word: essential.
Special Occasion - "Flyin' To Santa Barbara" (12" version)
Parenthese - "Come Back"
Russ Long - "Never Was Love"
Pacific Dreams - "Mellow Out"
Miller Miller Miller & Sloan - "Key To My Heart"
Scott Cunningham - "Blues Take You Over"
Review: On his fourth exploration of the world of global "Adult Oriented Rock", French crate-digger Charles Maurice focuses on the period between 1977 and '86. That means a greater emphasis on synthesizers, dusty drum machines and the kind of sparkling melodies that would once have drifted from daytime radio at an alarming rate. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the dewy-eyed synth-soul of Arlana's "When You Call My Name" and the breezy boogie of Omega Sunrise's "Too Hip", to the sparse Balearic bliss of Isabelle Mayereau's "Orange Bleue", the flute-laden easy listening hum of Fernando Toussaint, the sax-happy '80s sleaze of Special Occasion's brilliant "Flyin' To Santa Barbara" and the jaunty Latino jazz-funk of "Mellow Out" by Pacific Dreams.
Review: The work of Northern Brazilian musician-turned-bandleader Mestre Cupijo has long fascinated record collectors. Much of the allure can be attributed to Cupijo's trademark sound, which fused African-influenced Brazilian dance music and traditional Amazonian rhythms with sounds from Colombia (notably cumbia), Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The results, as showcased on six albums during the 1970s, were exciting and enthralling; a cross-pollination of sounds heavy on jaunty horns, shuffling rhythms and celebratory vocals. Here, Analog Africa presents the first in-depth retrospective of Mestre's work, hand-picking the finest tracks from his six obscure 1970s albums and offering them up in remastered form. For anyone interested in either African or Brazilian music, it should be an essential purchase.
Review: Having spent much of the last few years offering up tropical grooves under their alternative Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band alias, the Mighty Mocambos have finally got around to recording another funk-focused album. Of course, this is not straight-up revivalist funk or soul in the strict sense, but rather a collection of inventive cuts rooted in bustling breakbeats, fuzzy basslines, razor-sharp guitar riffs and hazy horns. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the sweet soul shuffle of Lee Fields collaboration "Where Do We Go From Here" and the rasping dancefloor soul-funk goodness of Gizelle Smith hook-up "Take On The World", to the 1950s sci-fi soundtrack cheeriness of "Return To Space" (featuring legendary composer Peter Thomas), and the synth-fired intergalactic dancefloor goodness of "Golden Shadow".
Review: The latest reissue from the PMG camp comes from Steve Monite, an obscure Nigerian artist whose most famous track, the brilliant "Only You", was one of the highlights of Soundway's brilliant Doing It In Lagos compilation. Monite's sole album, recorded and released in 1984, remains something of an unheralded classic, with the Nigerian artist joining the dots between boogie, Beach Boys style dream pop, electrop and, on the previously mentioned title track, reggae-boogie. Arguably the album's most potent moments, a pair of instrumental wig-outs, pay tribute to the celebratory, hedonistic thrills of vintage New York disco.
Review: When popular 1950s singer Jaye P Morgan first released this eponymous album in 1976, she would undoubtedly have hoped it would reignite her career. Sadly it didn't, but the album - a curious but hugely enjoyable mix of saccharine, synth-laden slow jams, disco-fired dancefloor workouts, Broadway style torch songs and fuzzy funk - went on to become a cult classic amongst Balearic-minded diggers. As this essential reissue proves, much of the material has aged rather well. Check, for example, the laidback AOR disco chug of "Can't Hide Love", the Barry White style seductiveness of "Here Is Where Your Love Belong" and the spine-tingling rush of Morgan's killer disco cover of Detroit soul staple "You're All I Need To Get By". Don't sleep!
Review: During the early 1990s, British four-piece Mother Earth was one of the most active bands on the acid jazz scene. While they never had the runaway success of, say, Incognito or Galliano, they produced a string of quietly impressive albums. You Have Been Watching first appeared 22 years ago in 1995 and remains notable for its heady mix of psychedelic rock, Hammond funk, soul and jazz-rock influences. While much of the acid jazz music from that period hasn't dated well, Mother Earth's songs still resonate all the years on - a reflection, perhaps, of the weighty subjects and themes often covered in their politically aware lyrics.