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Reggae Roast - The Music EP (Trojan Reloaded)

Legendary reggae label Trojan imprint Trojan Reloaded proudly announce their newest musical offering (and debut signing) ‘Keep It Bouncing'’,  a brand new single from one of the UK’s leading sound system collectives- Reggae Roast. Comprised of 2 tracks, the record features an all-star lineup of musical greats with features from the likes of  Brother Culture, Jah Screechy, Natty Campbell, Shumba Youth, Donavon King Jay, and Clapper Priest. Since forming in 2007, Reggae Roast have forged a reputation as the leading light in the resurgence of the UK Dub / Reggae scene. This release breathes new life into a sound system classic affirming Reggae Roast as key players in the new wave of British Reggae all whilst keeping the original spirit of the genre alive. The 2 tracker features the 'None a Jah Jah Children No Cry' riddim, originally recorded by Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus in 1975, and remade by Fashion Records in the late 1980's for the track 'We a Blood' by Junior Delgado, both of which went on to become classics in the reggae and sound system world.


Reversions of these tracks give them space and cultural relevance within the 21st century, with a brand new vocal cut from some of the most talented MCs and vocalists around featuring a brilliant all-star line up of Reggae Roast Soundsystem vocalists, each on their own verses, collectively offering a real fusion of mix and sounds. A dub remix from Reggae Roast completes the package. Reggae Roast are signed to Trojan records imprint label, Trojan Reloaded with the collectives debut album to be released via the new label in 2020. Out on 20 December 2019.

Reggae and Soundsystem big hitters come together for something special.

Various - Kinshasa 1978 (Originals and Reconstructions)

And so it fell upon a French producer and technician, living in (then) late 70s Zaire, on a voyage of musical discovery and a quest to record live bands, to happen upon an underground hive of musical alchemists. Bernard Treton was the man, Konono No.1, Orchestre Bana Luya, Sankayi and Orchestre Bambala were the four bands and the electric 'likembe' (thumb piano) was the key instrument.

It took until 1986 for the '78 recordings (produced by Bernard) to surface on the Ocora label when he returned to France.
Fast forward to 2019 and fellow West African music advocate and Radio France employee Martin Meissonnier was asked to remix eight tracks by the afore-mentioned groups and in so-doing, delivers some wonderful, full-fat, engrossing releases from 'Kinshasa 1978'.
These fresh reconstructions supply dancefloor goodness as well as food for thought with Belgian label, Crammed Discs, once more, surpassing itself. It should be added that Msr Messonnier was the man behind a TV show called 'Megamix' which ran for 220 episodes and celbrated global music as well as directing over 20 documentaries.

Konono No. 1 are arguably the best known outfit : the punk-like DIY approach was some way ahead of its time with full appreciation and recognition achieved with their 'Congotronics' LP back in 2004.
Recording such avant-garde music from the region showed how much the Democratic Republic of the Congo contributed to music during these fertile times. The Reconstructions are accompanied by the spontaneous combustions of the originals. Out now on LP and CD.


Fela Kuti - Mr. Grammarticalogylisationalism Is the Boss (Blond:ish Remix)

The coming together of two leaders in their fields doesn't always produce the expected outcome: alas, what one would hope to find will be more than satisfied with Blond: ish 's take on a 42 year old Nigerian anthem.

Bringing her own subtle four/four beats to the arena, she weaves the remix in and out of Mr Kuti's call-and-response vocals,  horns percussion and guitar to dub effect and onto an expectant (and ultimately triumphant) dancefloor. Abracadabra Records host this scorcher which will be on turntables near you to the end of the year and beyond.

James Ure and the Fridge Doors - Egg on My Face

It is always a pleasure to learn of a new artist; independently moving forward without compromising the sound in the name of success.

James Anture a musician based in Manchester, presents the third single of his food-themed LP 'Banquet', due for imminent release, produced by William Yates from Huddersfield, 'Egg on My Face',  just released. The single has a raw downtempo vibe: subtle key touches iced with horn stabs and a meandering early-80s-Ska-like baritone sax sound. James' voice reminds this listener of Dublin-based, Sonar Kollektiv singer Stee Downes.

Watch out for the new collection.

Ihsan Al-Munzer - Belly Dance Disco

Ihsan Al-Munzer’s first release as a solo artist, ‘Belly Dance Disco’ aimed to fuse ‘Western’ modern music and bellydance to make it more accessible to the local audience in the late 1970s. “I wanted to put a mixture of European beat with Arabic percussion, but I made the European rhythm and harmony very easy to listen to for the Arabic ear – soft and understandable” says Al- Munzer. Today, the composer’s music has made the return journey back to the West; with tracks on the album featured by hip hop artists such as Mos Def, who sampled Al-Munzer’s composition ‘Joy of Lina’ on his 2009 song ‘The Embassy’.

The 10-track album was released in 1979 on the legendary Voix De L’Orient label, which was also home to pioneering Lebanese composers The Rahbani Brothers. One of the earliest artists to introduce the synthesizer to Middle Eastern music, Al-Munzer leads the band, playing the main melody lines on the Kawai Organ and Solina String Synthesizer. Three of his original compositions feature on the album, alongside creative re-imaginings of Turkish and Arabic folklore and modern classics, pushing the boundaries of bellydance music to chime with the international scene.

Al-Munzer’s five titles from the 1970s and 1980s are part of BBE’s ‘Middle Eastern Heavens’ reissue series, a collection of groundbreaking productions from Lebanon, curated by Lebanese DJ, compiler and music researcher Ernesto Chahoud.

Various - Ennio Styles' Stylin' 900

​After 18 years and 900-plus episodes, Ennio Styles continues to break the waves, pushing boundaries in soulful and ground-breaking music from a vast universe. The host station of these shows has been Melbourne-based 3RRR FM and is now also broadcast on Gilles Peterson's Worldwide FM along with Japan's J-Wave. Current delectables and new angles on old abound over 32 musical adventures.

With his finger constantly on the pulse of a global underground, Stylin' 900 includes some of Ennio's favourite upcoming artists and musicians in the world right now, and their credits include work with heavyweights like Kaidi Tatham, Theo Parrish, Kamasi Washington, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Manny, Fatima, Floating Points, Frank Ocean, Kamaal Williams, Kokoroko, Dego, Mndsgn, SiR, Rejjie Snow, Kelela, Photay, Underground Resistance, Byron the Aquarius, Ibibio Sound Machine, Makaya McCraven, Sharon Jones, Yusef Lateef, Hugh Masekela, Lauryn Hill, Mulatu Astatke, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, SZA, Frankie Knuckles, Mike Dunn, 30/70 and Machinedrum.

Within lies Zapp-like Funk from MADMADMAD on'Mouse Rock', ethereal, stripped riff-led Soul from Asal Hazel via 'UTMT' and a slice of percussive, instrumental euphoria by Dany Rodriguez on 'December'. Oh, there is also the refreshing scatting Jazz of Entremundos Quartetto on 'Vestido Longo' while Astralblak deliver a harmonic, synthesised delight in the form of 'Sand Houses'. Kahlil Cummings' big, soulful Hip-Hop beats morph into Reggae and into classical orchestration, accompanied by Jimetta Rose for 'Black Loves Me, Dudu Femi' ,


Just a few of a priceless collection available on Ennio's Heard and Felt label page on Bandcamp and enough to keep us occupied before Stylin' 1000 in a few years' time.

Louie Vega presents Leroy Burgess & The Universal Robot Band feat. Patrick Adams Barely Breaking Even - 500th BBE release versions

A label of such standing deserves a soundtrack for a momentous occasion: 499 releases just became one more with the fitting 'challenge' of BBE founder, Peter Adarkwah to sorcerers of their genres: namely Msrs Louie Vega, Patrick Adams and the man behind the original 'Barely Breaking Even', Leroy Burgess, to come up with an update.

BBE (the label) have been and remain one of the strongest, global, independent labels in the fields of Soul, Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop, House and pioneering music from the wider world: 500 releases later, it is the song that spurred the label's name that takes BBE over the landmark.

Featuring live strings by The Apple Hill String Quartet arranged by Adams and Burgess, Vega’s ‘Boogie Mix’ stays faithful to the Universal Robot Band original, with potent vocal performances and a tough new groove for 2019.It was at the string recording session for the boogie version that Louie Vega unveiled his ‘NYC House Mix’ to the assembled musicians, at which point he and Leroy Burgess quickly arranged a brand new horn section and re-wrote the song’s melody to compliment the track’s accelerated pace. Congratulations to Barely Breaking Even - song and label - both as relevant as ever in 2019.

Floating Points - Crush

Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points offers us another insight into his second long player 'Crush', released on 18 October on Ninja Tune.   2015 debut album “Elaenia” was met with rave reviews – including being named Pitchfork’s ‘Best New Music’ and Resident Advisor’s ‘Album of the Year’ – and took him from dancefloors to festival stages worldwide. 

Fresh from the release earlier this year of his compilation of lambent, analogous ambient and atmospheric music for the esteemed Late Night Tales compilation series, Floating Points’ first album in four years, “Crush”, twists whatever you think you know about him on its head again. 'Anasickmodular' is a terse, purely electronic, instrumental, in contrast to the many epic journeys he has taken us on over the last 10 years though no less impactive. His new album feels similarly instantaneous – and vital. It’s the sound of the many sides of Floating Points finally fusing together. 

It draws from the "explosive" moments during his sets, the moments that usually occur when he throws together unexpected genres, for the very simple reason that he gets excited about wanting to "hear this record, really loud, now!" and then puts the needle on. It’s "just like what happens when you’re at home playing music with your friends and it's going all over the place," he says.
Don't miss the next chapter of a musical alchemist.

Back to Mine - Jungle (Various)

Until the beginning of 2019, it had been eleven years since the last of the 'match-winning' compilation/mix series, Back to Mine, returned to celebrate; appropriately choosing taste-meister and authority, Nightmares on Wax for the relaunch.

For part 2 of the new B T M generation, it is Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland who make their ways to to the mixtable. Leaders of the septet Jungle, they made their formal announcement to the music scene in 2014, the impact made was comparable to that of Zero 7, 15 years earlier: revered debut albums; reputable spinners and tastemakers in equal measure.

Here, they take the eclectic approach, absorbing many dancefloor categories, aimed at the connoisseur and seasoned nightlife afterhours family with music of considerable class.
Barabara Moore's 'Steam Heat', a melting pot of vocal harmony, Bluegrass and Funk, breaks the waves, as we step into Jungle producer, Inflo and a slice of full-fat, Dubstep-inflected Afrobeat. As time passes, we are escorted into exotic Future Soul territory with Mocky on 'How it Goes' before blending perfectly into the Trip-Hop era, sophisticated Pop sound of 'Cariño' by The Marías. Kamaal Williams is a perfect choice (watch him go over the next few years) before Jungle themselves offer something new: the ethereal Shuggie Otis-like Soul of 'Come Back a Different Day' leads us into an exhilarating climax of Psychedelic Soul and mid-tempo shuffling, highlighted by Sault's 'Masterpiece'.

A tremendous set, worthy of the badge with selection and mixing so good that it is easy to lose which track you are listening to. What the heck, this is what mixes are meant to be about isn't it?
Out now.

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