Review: Spanish label Rocafort started 2019 by releasing their first dub reggae "45", so it's fitting that they are ending the year with a sequel from the same act, The Circle of Confusion. Like its' predecessor, "Yesterday Was History" features lead vocals from Studio 1 singer Cornell Campbell. His soulful intonation works wonderfully above the band's hazy, heavy and ear-pleasing digi-dub backing track. Arguably even better is the band's own flipside "Dub" mix, which is as weighty, spaced out and intoxicating as the largely digital dubs pioneered by British scene stalwart Mad Professor. It's worth buying the seven-inch just to get your hands on it.
Celia Cruz Y La Sonora Matancera - "Mi Bomba Sono" (2:37)
Joey Pastrana Y Su Orquesta - "A Bailar Oriza" (2:54)
Review: In a bid to celebrate the widespread influence of Afro-Cuban music - and in particular the work of one of Cuba's most storied songwriters, Silvestre Mendez - the Rocafort Records crew has decided to dig into the archives and offer up two stone cold classics from the golden age of Cuban music. On side A you'll find Celia Cruz and La Sonora Matancera's 1963 version of "Mi Bomba Sono", an infectious dancefloor number in which Cruz's fantastic vocals rise above a Tito Puente style rhythm, squealing horns and cheeky pianos. Over on the flip you'll find the killer salsa vibes of Joey Pastrana and his Latin orchestra's superb version of "A Bailar Oriza". Even more percussive than the A-side, it's absolutely essential.
Review: Destination 1970: after a string of heartfelt cuts on the likes of Expo, Bobby Jones makes himself known on little known Detroit label Kack Records. Lost in midst of times and long forgotten crates, he's not enjoyed the microscopic revival like so many Chicago crooners of the time. Until now. "Welcome Back A Foolish Man" is a full of orchestral drama and just a little northern stomp while "Lovin' Hard Livin' Good" hits with a wider sense of emotion with prominent strings, rolling percussion and dreamboat backing harmonies. Welcome back for good.