Review: Welcome to the World Of Blundetto, stick around and familiarise yourself with the delightful charms of this third album from Frenchman Maxime Guiget. With a sound spanning reggae, Latin, African, Jazz and more established on the first two Blundetto albums, World Of... finds Guiget expanding this vision for perhaps his finest work to date. Vocals naturally play a big part in World Of... with some of France's foremost Reggae voices like Biga Ranx and PupaJim featuring amongst the 12 tracks, whilst Marina Peloso's contribution to "Last Broken Bones" marks it out as an album highlight. Look out for the cover of Bob Marley's "Work" too which features New York rapper Jahdan Blakamoore and Ubiquity's ubiquitous Shawn Lee.
Groove Ma Poule (feat Djeuhdjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson)
Daddy Sweet (feat Pat Kalla)
Li Dous Konsa
Sa Ce Kado
Shake It & Rise Up
Nosso Carimbo E Do Mundo (feat Pinduca & Nazar Peirera)
Se Nou Menm
Boug Bagay La
Penda (feat Emma Lamadji & Kandy Guira)
Review: Under the Guts guise, instrumental hip-hop beat-maker turned tropical soul enthusiast Fabrice Franck Henri has become one of Heavenly Sweetness' most reliable artists. "Philantropiques" is Henri's first album for three years and could well be his most expansive and adventurous to date. The set's 15 tracks are as colourful and musically rich as you'd expect, with the storied producer and a range of vocal collaborators conjuring up tracks that draw influence from a myriad of Central American, Caribbean, South American and African styles. The results are uniformly excellent, with highlights including the tropical shuffle of "Mucagiami (feat Vum Vum)", the sun-kissed French Caribbean funk of "Daddy Sweet (feat Pat Kalla)", the Afro-Tropical rush of "Kenk Corner" and the synth-powered brilliance of "Shake It & Rise Up".
Review: Anthony Joseph is a poet, novelist, musician and lecturer described as 'the leader of the black avant-garde in Britain'. For his latest outing, he presents an album that had long lurked inside his mind. He formed a band in Trinidad's capital, Port of Spain (the aptly named Caribbean Roots) and they began recording - soaking up the intense effervescence of the local music - past and present. They locked themselves in a house that they converted into a studio in the earlier part of 2017, where among them were practitioners of the steelpan, soca and rapso right, alongside lovers of more contemporary R&B, soul and rock flavours. The steelpan's metallic overtones are the album's guiding musical thread throughout, helping to highlight Joseph's political lyrics, social commentary and conscience of black identity. The grooves are strong and they bring both the players and listeners together in a collective trance. People Of The Sun is sure to push Trinidadian music to new listeners, far beyond its sandy shores.
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: Heavenly Sweetness has described this sophomore full-length from genre-straddling musician/producer/vocalist Leroy Thomas as being like "Miles Davis meets the Beastie Boys". While that's partly accurate - several of the tracks blend hip-hop beats and crunchy rock guitars with jazz instrumentation and spacey electronics - Cliquish is awash with other influences, too. Some will hear the influence of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the energetic funk-rock of "Asako", while "Mandy Jo" and "Snicka Bar" feel similar in sound and ethos to the work of Outkast and Plantlife. As for "Calm Down", it's classic soul-jazz with a smoky, contemporary twist. Yet for all the genre-fusing eccentricity, Cliquish holds together impressively, thanks in no small part to Thomas' distinct vision.
Edmony Krater & I Live - "Tijan Ka" (2017 version)
The Mule - "You Party Too Much"
The Rongetz Foundation - "Hip Hop Muse" (Lefto remix)
Anthony Joseph & Hanyo - "Be The River"
Florian Pellissier Quintet - "Fuck With The Police" (feat Roger Raspail & Nawer)
Edmony Krater - "Tijan Ka" (Hugo LX remix)
Review: Over the course of the last decade, Parisian label Heavenly Sweetness has done a terrific job in releasing both inspiring new music from around the globe and reissuing overlooked gems. For this celebratory compilation, they've decided to focus on the former strand, gathering together an exclusive collection of previously unheard tracks, collaborations and remixes from the label's extended family. There's naturally much to enjoy throughout, from the head-nodding bi-lingual hip-hop of Guts's "In Slence" and breezy sunshine Afrobeat of Edmony Krater and I-Live's "Tijan Ka (2017 Version)", to the languid jazz of the Florian Pellissier Quintet's "Fuck With The Poilce" and Blundetto's "Have a Little Faith", a terrific reggae-soul collaboration with singer Ken Boothe.