Review: Thanks to increased interest in South African dance music of the late 1980s, original copies of this obscure album from little-known trio The Bees have been changing hands for large sums online. Happily, Johannesburg-based label Afrosynth Records has decided to give it the reissue treatment. It was first released in 1988 and offers a near perfect example of the early Kwaito style blend of "bubblegum" South African synth-pop and contemporaneous U.S house. Highlights include the chanted vocals, sun-bright synth melodies and rubbery bass of "She's A Witch (Tikoloshi)", the glassy-eyed mid-tempo Kwaito richness of "Mjondolo (Bus House)" and "Mathatha", an anthem in waiting rich in country guitar riffs, positive lyrical messages and jangling house piano.
Review: Another fine deep spiritual Jazz reissue on Japanese label P-Vine that came out on Strata East originally in 1974. Soaring vocals are charismatic of this album and it features the track Optimystical which Andres previously sampled.
Review: Musical blog and house party "Craft Music" from Saint Petersburg launches a new label.
For the first release they've invited talented musician Funkyjaws from Grodno. His music has been releaseed by labels such as Kolour LTD, Shadeleaf Music, Pusic (Austria) and others.
Review: The fourth vinyl release from Banana Hill comes from Kenyan producer Jinku, with the deeply personal 'Vagabond' EP. Through sound textures and patterns, the waning lights of a relationship are exemplified through tension, discordant sound layers and African polyrhythms examining the damage caused through infidelity and repercussions faced for one's own actions.
Vagabond's remixes come from El Buho and Sooma, both purveyors of polyrhythmic multicultural music. El Buho's remix of A2 brings his Latin American music rhythms warping and twisting Loa Myst's vocal around accordion stabs and a constantly bouncing bass. Sooma's remix of A1 leans towards her house roots, layering complex polyrhythms, creating a hypnotic groove, majestically tied to a hypnotic tribal call.