Beautiful sounds from Joe Claussell – a record that really reminds us of the things that set him apart from so many of his contemporaries! There's an open, honest, almost organic quality to this music – quite far from the usual club grooves at points, although some of the tracks do pick up the pace nicely – and filled with a blend of acoustic and electric instrumentation that reaches out with a pan-global energy that's mighty nice! The vibe is still in the same space that Claussell explored when making waves on the scene a decade ago – but there's also a maturity here that's really telling, too – especially given that most of these cuts are ones that have Joe collaborating with other artists, helping unify their sounds with his own musical vision. Titles include "Mainfestation Of Seasons" by Cosmic Ritual, "Home" by Con Apala, "Disorganized" by The Lower East Side Pipes, "The Sun The Moon Our Souls" by Mental Remedy, and "Oweyi" by X Panded Dimensions. CD
Wonderful wonderful wonderful – and one of the best albums we've ever heard of modern bossa and soundtrack grooves! For years, Nicola Conte has been a seminal force in the new Italian scene – working as a DJ, promoter, producer, and sometimes recording artist under the odd 12" single. This album marks his first full effort – and after years of bubbling under in the Italian scene, Nicola emerges as one of the most perfect-formed artists we've heard in years. The whole album's a breathtaking mix of 60s bossa, soundtrack, and easy themes – put together with never a dull moment, and always a focus on the kind of mid and uptempo grooves that have been pushing the Italian and German scenes for the last 5 years. The record features great mixes from a few of Nicola's 12" singles, plus a wealth of excellent new material that really expands his groove wonderfully – with a totally real, totally honest sound that pushes past the gazillion retro remix throwaway albums that you'll find stuffing the listening stations at the megastores! Tracks include "Fucco Fatuo", "Il Cerchio Rosso", "Dossier Omega", "Trappola Mortale", "Mambo De Los Dandies", "Jazz Pour Dadine", and "The In Samba". We only had this one out of the box for about 3 hours, and we'd already played it twice – that's how great it is! CD
A bold new chapter in the career of Nicola Conte – quite possibly his most collaborative record to date, and easily his most righteous as well! Although Conte looks cheesy on the cover, his style here is even deeper than before – still driven by the classic modal and bossa sounds of the 60s that you'll remember from earlier records, yet also infused with a sense of spiritual jazz too – a vibe that's perfect for the album's placement on Impulse Records, where Conte's got a way of linking together the best 60s and 70s aspects of the label's aesthetic! He gets plenty of help in the process – wonderful vocals from the likes of Gregory Porter, Jose James, Alice Ricciardi, and others – trumpet from Till Bronner, Fabrizio Bosso, and Flavio Boltro – tenor from Magnus Lindgren and Tim Warfield, flute and baritone from Timo Lassey, and loads of other groovy touches too! Nicola Conte's never let us down – and this record is a rich reward for all the faith we've had in him over the years – a bit like the way that Gilles Peterson's always changing and growing, yet still always keeps true to his roots. Titles include "Love From The Sun", "Here", "Black Spirits", "Quiet Dawn", "Shiva", "Ghana", "I'm The Air", "Ra In Egypt", and "All Praises To Allah". CD
Kirk Degiorgio Presents Sambatek —
Sambatek ... CD Far Out (UK), 2013. Used ...
Brazilian percussion mixed with 21st Century sounds – all served up sublimely in the hands of Kirk Degiorgio – one of the few artists we could ever expect to get a project like this just right! The album follows nicely off Kirk's previous collaboration with Azymuth – but has an even starker sound overall, as core acoustic percussion bits are worked into contemporary rhythm programs – then topped with some of the crackling electric touches that you'd expect – often with a warmer sound than other projects of this nature, but a groove that's plenty driving overall. Titles include "Babilonia", "Morro Da Formiga", "Dende", "Borel", "Vidigal", "Rocinha", "Prazeres", and "Complexo Do Alemao" – plus remixes "Babilonia (Rick Wilhite dub)", "Borel (Jonas Kopp my vision of samba rmx)", and "Borel (Nxi rmx)". CD
Some of Blue Note's hippest tracks of recent years get the remix treatment – in a strong set of modern hip-hop meets jazz grooves that are put together by DJ Smash! There's a total of 14 tracks in all – some exclusive to the set, a few others pulled from hard to find 12" singles – and titles include "Hey Jude" by the Bob Belden Project with Jhelisa remixed by Amalgamation of Soundz, "Raise" by Greg Osby with CL Smooth remixed by Ali Shaheed Muhammad, "A Brighter Day" by Ronny Jordan with Mos Def remixed by DJ Spinna, "Whatever Happened to Gus" by Medeski Martin & Wood with Guru remixed by Guru, "Rose Rougue" by St Germain remixed by Blaze, "London Lowdown" by Ronny Jordan remixed by Joe Clausell, "Voodoo Reprise" by Cassandra Wilson with Angelique Kidjo remixed by Joe Claussel, "So Special" by Richard Elliott remixed by Todd Terry, and "Tolon Willie" by Salif Keita remixed by Joe Claussell. CD
One of the hippest sets we've ever heard on the Still Music label – a massive blend of tracks that feel a lot more like classic disco than some of the contemporary work you'd usually expect from Still Music! CD1 is especially great – and features a set of killer edits and remixes by Jerome Derradji – work that really has the deeply soulful feel of the late 70s/early 80s underground, tweaked a bit towards contemporary dancefloors – but still filled with some wonderfully rich vocals and warm clubby instrumentation! Tracks on that CD include "Bass Is The Place", "Watchadoin", "Disconnect", "Always On My Mind", "Says Alright", "Adaptive Control", "SOS", and "Situation". CD2 features a wider range of work – remixes and original tracks by some of the contemporary underground geniuses that Still has introduced us to over the years – but still all artists who are really influenced by older club, house, and disco. Titles include "Mysticmerlin" by Al Kent, "Mozambique" by Shepp, "My Voyage" by Rick Wilhite, "Nocturnal Jam" by Be, "Blackeyedsoul" by Jamie Finlay, "Goin To Chicago" by Weekend Express, and "102Point7" by Ricardo Miranda. CD