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Kutiman - Wachaga

Kutiman celebrates the release of his fourth album 'Wachaga' - and what an achievement it is too. An absolute emersion into a world of all-inclusive, harmonising sound; transporting you into a world of Spiritual Jazz dreams, ancient folklore, and escapism with percussion spiralling across borrowed rhythm patterns, Chagga chants and bells by the choirs of the Wachaga nation.


People have been living around the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro for millennia. One day in 2014 another jeep pulled up, in a rural neighbourhood where many people from the Wachaga nation live, work and play. This jeep contained Ophir ‘Kutiman’ Kutiel, the producer, multi-instrumentalist and filmmaker who is famous in his home country despite being terminally shy of the spotlight.

Kutiman carried microphones, video recording equipment, and a request for creative collaboration to Tanzania – and he left Wachaga with a set of recordings. Some of these were of everyday sounds and some contained special sounds: school children from the city of Arusha playing drums or the dancers who wore bells to add a percussive element to the movement, like the metal plate in a tap dancer’s shoe.

Returning home from his trip to the self-organised kibbutz community where he lives in the western Negev desert, he began dipping into the recordings to see how he could use them as a starting point for his own musical and visual explorations.

Fast forward six years, and we have ‘Wachaga’, an audiovisual feast which contains nine tracks and nine kaleidoscopic video pieces, named after the 2.4 million Tanzanians who live mostly on the southern and eastern sides of Mount Kilimanjaro. If ever there was a need of reassurance on how much music is part of the essence of life, look not further than 'Awake in the Rain'.

IsraeIi pioneer breaks new ground with a genre-busting masterpiece...

Bluey - Tinted Sky

A man who needs no introduction, Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick - founding member of Light of the World and Incognito, composer and record producer brings us his much anticipated 3rd solo album.

Since 1979, Bluey has been at the forefront of much of the most important Soul-related music movements, being the link between Brit-Funk and Acid Jazz. and since, much beyond. As important as ever in 2020, the new album features 11 killer cuts constructed with the musical genius of his co-writer Richard Bull.

The inspirations are best summed up by Bluey himself :

‘Writing this against the backdrop of the Global Pandemic which we all face, I find myself thinking about coping mechanisms-of which we all draw upon and hold on to. For me its music. Throughout my life , I have turned to music for comfort, to remember, for inspiration and to celebrate. It is the constant that has been there from my first memory on planet earth and will probably be my last'

The new long-player arrives on 12 June.

Leon and NiCe7 feat. Sam Threadgold - Please Don't Leave

Italian maestros Leon and NiCe7 join forces for the next release on Crosstown Rebels. Released in May Please Don’t Leave features a remix from label affiliate Serge Devant, providing his signature after hours groove.

“Back in 2018 when we were at our label showcase at BPM Festival in Mexico, we met up with Damian who invited us to his Day Zero party in Tulum. The atmosphere at Day Zero was magical and inspiring, and it was that night that we were able to create a track that represented our shared experience. Once back in Italy we spent three days in the studio to create that particular event and atmosphere.” Leon and NiCe7

Please Don’t Leave opens with a striped back vocal courtesy of Sam Threadgold, it develops with a hypnotic melody and layered percussive sounds. The vocal hook hints at a long lost lover whilst the pulsing beat draws the listener in. New York’s Serge Devant is on remix duty and it’s a typically minimal affair with an acid-tinged bassline and a nod to the early hours. Up next NiCe7 provides a club friendly edit, and Leon concludes the package with an analogue dub mix.

 

A mainstay in the house scene for over ten years, Leon has produced a number of recognised tracks on labels including; Saved Records, Defected, VIVa, ReBirth whilst event highlights include; Sunwaves, Pacha and Ministry Of Sound. NiCe7 are famed for their chart topping hits and high energy shows. The duo have performed at Space, Watergate and Ministry of Sound with releases on; Snatch!, Noir Music, Get Physical, Gruuv and Mother. Rising the ranks from an early age, Serge Devant’s breakthrough was in 2005 with ‘Fearing Love’ on Emerald City. A firm favourite on Damian’s imprint, Serge Devant last featured on the label in 2018 featuring an Archie Hamilton remix. A regular on the global scene, Devant has toured with Music On, Circoloco, Day Zero, Paradise and Black Coffee.

Quadrant 77 (feat. Udi Levy) - The Funk Room (EP)

A prolific artist carrying the torch for Synth-Funk of the highest quality, Mr Reeno (under his pseudonym Quadrant 77) released a four-track EP earlier this year on his NYC/Spazzoid Records. In addition to his own keyboard mastery and an array of analogue synthesisers and drum programming (resembling the Linn, Roland, Simmons sounds of the era), James invited Jazz/Rock guitarist Udi Levy to contribute, dovetailing to produce this foursome. Three of these tracks came from their self-titled album, while the other track first appeared on "Movie Music, Vol. 2". Four tracks of mellifluous melodic funk lie herein - bookmarked by the title cut and the mid-tempo, shuffler, 'Slow Burn'. Out now on Bandcamp with a limited run of vinyl.

Tokyo Dawn Records - The Heart Vol.5 (Various)

A label that has stood proudly for over 20 years as purveyors of deep, soulful, adventurous R'n'B, World, Jazz, Electronica, Boogie and Hip-Hop. 2020 brings another instalment to one of their enticing series: The Heart, volume 5.

From AfriCali's fusion of shuffling Funk and High-Life to JaZzz's minimal, downtempo, stirring 'Silly Love Affair', Carolyn Samuelson's Norah Jones-like 'Doesn't Get Better Than This' to Spikey Tee's sublime midtempo, classy 'Rain' supported by Suff Daddy and Jim Dunloop.


San Francisco to New York, Brisbane, Lagos, Munich, Kingston, London and much further are represented here. Encapsulating captivating classics, alongside pulsating previews of forthcoming TDR albums, with special guest artists including Baatin from Slum Village, Liv Warfield from Prince's New Power Generation, Amy Winehouse's Back2Black band Personal Life and more.


Embracing the remedies and melodies needed, more so in a time of social distancing, to resonate, relate, help, heal, reveal and feel this now new way, as we warmly live, give and of course love, all from … ‘The Heart’. Out now.

Remembering TY RIP (feat. Durrty Goodz) - The Real Ones

Durrty Goodz pays tribute to his friend and collaborator TY (Ben Chijioke) in the heartfelt song ‘The Real Ones’, featuring cuts by Shortee Blitz.

TY was a foundation pillar of the UK Hip Hop scene, inspiring myriad artists. Whilst many knew TY for his lyrical ability, few are aware of his production skills, developed alongside longtime collaborator Drew Horley. It was for that very reason Goodz decided to highlight the fact by using the instrumental version of TY’s own song ‘Me’, taken from his 2010 BBE album ‘Special Kind of Fool’.

Durrty Goodz is a highly respected grime MC, rapper and activist from London, active in the scene since 2003. Under his ‘OG Roots’ alias, he collaborated with on 2018 track ‘Eyes Open’, which was featured on TY’s final album ‘Work Of Heart’.

Manfredo Fest - Brazilian Dorian Dream

Blind from birth, Brazilian keyboard player, composer and bandleader Manfredo Fest learnt to read music in braille and began studying classical music at a young age. By 17 he had fallen in love with jazz (particularly the music of fellow blind pianist George Shearing) before becoming swept up in Rio’s emergent bossa nova movement in the sixties.

 

Moving to the States in 1967 where he would go on to work with fellow countryman Sergio Mendes, Fest recorded and self-released Brazilian Dorian Dream in 1976, enlisting Thomas Kini (bass), Alejo Poveda (drums, percussion) and Roberta Davis (vocals).Like a turbo-powered, intergalactic elevator ride, Brazilian Dorian Dream builds on the principle of the modal diatonic scales of the Dorian mode, with influences of Brazilian rhythms, North American jazz and funk, and music of the European baroque and romantic era. The coming together of these intergenerational and intercontinental styles coupled with Fest’s visionary use of the Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Arp and Moog synthesizers (plus a whole load of effects units), makes for an album light years ahead of its time.The miraculous wordless vocals of American jazz singer Roberta Davis are nailed so tightly alongside Manfredo’s keys and mind-bending synths that it sounds almost alien.

 

On the album's liner notes, Fest preaches Davis’ ability highlighting how hard it is to sing such precise intervals so accurately. One of the tracks on which the vocals shine brightest is space funk stepper “Jungle Cat”, which features hard funky drums, freaky synth lines and expert Rhodes comping. The track builds up and up before releasing into the unmistakable scat melody in the chorus.A few years after releasing BrazilianDorian Dream, Fest recorded and released his Manifestations album in 1979, featuring ‘Jungle Kitten'’: a new dancefloor-focused variation on “Jungle Cat”. At around 140 BPM ‘Jungle Kitten’ was possibly deemed too fast for Stateside dance floors, which explains why it never got a US 12” release. However, the track became something of an underground hit at jazz dance clubs and all-dayers across the UK in the 80s and as a result it has probably become Fest’s most well known track since.Manfredo passed away in Florida in 1999, and his music never quite reached the audiences it deserved.

 

Due to the independent nature and limited run of the original release, Brazilian Dorian Dream has to this day remained almost impossible to find on vinyl. Far Out Recordings is proud to make this masterpiece available to new audiences with a remastered vinyl, CD and digital reissue in 2020.

DJ Vadim - Lost & Found

Releasing the unreleased is nothing novel in the music industry. Many pedigree artists release older material but most of the time its B sides and stuff that didn't make the cut. This, however, is not what we find here. Vadim has been sitting on a pile of music as high as the Himalayas for a long time and now its time for the world to hear some of these unreleased gems that never made it to official release.

 

These 10 tracks are an interesting window of how Vadim’s style has evolved from producing mainly indie Hip - Hop music in the late 90’s to encompassing Latin, Reggae, Dancehall, Soul music over those years and how he has been joining those dots internationally with many fantastic voices and visionaries.

Dee Dee Bridgewater - Afro Blue

If you collect vintage 70's soul-jazz vinyl, there is a good chance that you already own a record that features the amazing vocal talents of Dee Dee Bridgewater. Whether it be Roy Ayers, Norman Connors, Billy Parker or Carlos Garnett - Dee Dee is the glue that fuses these artists together.

Although best known for her jazz work, Dee Dee has had a wonderfully rich and varied career encompassing soul, musicals, gospel, and underground disco from the 70’s to the present day. She is still active as a vocalist, composer, and producer and remains one of our favourite vocalists at Mr Bongo HQ.

We take things back to the early years of Dee Dee's career with her debut album 'Afro Blue'. Recorded in Tokyo in 1974, the album was released exclusively in Japan via two different Japanese labels (Trio Records in 1974 and All Art in 1985 respectively). Each release had unique cover art and we have opted to present the album in its original 1974 form.

'Afro Blue' features an exquisite collaboration of American and Japanese musicians, such as Cecil & Ron Bridgewater, Motohiko Hino and producer Takao Ishizuka. The result is a sublime deep soul-jazz masterpiece with timeless versions of 'People Make The World Go Round', 'Love From The Sun', and 'Afro Blue’. It is arguably one of the finest albums in its genre.

This record has long been a sought-after item for DJs and collectors alike, so we are delighted to finally make this wonderful music from an understated great available to all.

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