Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall [Live]World Circuit Records
Oh just listen to ‘Chan Chan’ kick in on CD one and they’ve got you in the palm of their hands, pure magic. Produced by Ry Cooder, from a concert in 1998 as the group made their American debut, even though they were in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. This is very much a moment in time as they never all played together again and sadly members like Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González and Company Segundo were soon to pass on. Double CD, 16 tracks, music just doesn’t get any better than this.
Graham Radley, 12/08
Bugz In The Attic - Back In The Dog HouseV2
After years of production and remix work the nine strong collective finally deliver their debut album. As you would expect it's largely a broken affair and features a whole host of guest artists such as Bembe Segue, Sharlene Hector, Vanessa Freeman, Michelle Escoffery, Yolanda Quartey, Alex Lattimore, Izzi Dunn, I.G. Culture, Colonel Red and Mark de Clive-Lowe. The singles 'Booty La La' and 'Sounds Like / Once Twice' are present along with the monster 'Redhanded' with Bembe and Don Ricardo on vocals. The vocal hook, "I caught ya you stupid motha f**ka" is absolutely devastating. Other highlights include the Vula fronted 'It Don't Work Like That' and 'Consequences' both of which have an 80s boogie flavour, the P-Funk influenced 'Knocks Me Off My Feet', 'Happy Days' and the conscious message of 'Worla Hurt'.
Andy Allen, 08/06
Bugz In The Attic - Got the Bug 2BBE Records
The new Bugz in the Attic disc “Got the Bug 2” contains many of their favorite remixes in recent years from house to broken beat. While playing this disc for the first time I didn’t realize that the Bugz in the Attic team was responsible for all these quality remixes, which immediately boosted my appreciation of this record. Some of the highlights are the remix of Amy Winehouse’s “In my bed”. The first “Got the Bug” album (essential listening if you don’t have it) contained the vocal version but the dub version here is bangin’ as well. Daz-I-Kue’s “Rockstone” featuring Colonel Red is another winner worthy of repeat. There’s also a few of the Bugz own tunes such as the scorching “Flappy dayz” and “Put it out”. And if that wasn’t enough, there are several unreleased tracks that will wet your appetite like “Sow into you” by Roisin Murphy and Basement Jaxx’s “Oh my Gosh”. In the end, it will be the well known crowd pleasing tracks like Simbad’s huge hit “After the dance” and Reel People’s “Upside” that will keep this disc in rotation. “Got the Bug 2” contains the broken beat gems you have come to expect but the killer dance tracks make this an album that you shouldn’t miss.
Reg Dancy, 10/09
Buika - Mi Nina LolaWarner Jazz
Absolutely gorgeous this one, vocals, full of passion and emotion, against a backdrop of equally intense but fluent music. Concha Buika's parents are from Equatorial Guinea but she grew up alongside the Gypsy community on Majorca and it's flamenco to the fore here. As you might expect the influences filter through (she's also had success on the Euro house scene) so jazz and funk melt easily into the Spanish vibe but to be honest that voice could take you anywhere. Recommended.
Graham Radley, 06/07
Buika - Nina De FuegoWarner Music
Flamenco with a superb, gritty voice described as a blend of Tina Turner, Lola Flores and Sarah Vaughan. That voice teases its way through the roots and passion of flamenco bringing to it the jazz of Vaughan and on a couple of tracks the funk of Turner to create a subtle new take on the style, great piano too from Ivan Gonzalez Lewis. Excellent.
Graham Radley, 07/08
Build An Ark - DawnKindred Spirits
Spirituality runs deep in the music of Build An Ark. Their previous cd, “Peace With Every Step” embodied elements of folk and jazz with excellent results. With their new cd “Dawn”, they take it up another level. “Dawn” is a wonderful record that appears to be inspired by the impulse recordings of Pharoah Sanders. Incorporating elements of Indian and African music to create what is known as Spiritual Jazz. Where Pharoah had Leon Thomas on vocals, Carlos Nino has the talented Dwight Twible by his side. “Love Sweet Like Sugar Cane” is a folk inspired song that is uplifting and melodic. “Morning Glory” is the kind of record that evokes all sorts of positive vibes not found every day in music. This is the kind of disc that nurtures the heart, mind and soul. Simply a listening pleasure that shouldn’t be missed.
Reg Dancy, 03/08
Build An Ark - Love Pt.1Kindred Spirits
When you listen to the music of Build An Ark, you are truly convinced that music can inspire those who are in need of spiritual healing. It is their mission to spread peace and unity through the music. It is because of tragic events such as the Rodney King beating and riots that took place in band leader Carlos Nino’s hometown of Los Angeles and 9/11 that moved him to deliver the fantastic “Peace with every step” and that follow that one up with “Dawn”. As impressive as those releases were “Love Pt. 1” is without a doubt their best yet. Carlos and the ensemble blend elements of 60’s soul, jazz and even a little folk that captures the spirit of John Coltrane’s latter work, as well as Pharoah Sanders and Joni Mitchell. One of the many reasons that make this record so enjoyable is the musical arrangements are a thing of beauty, considering that the collective membership has grown to more than 40. As a result the live instrumentation reaches symphony proportions. It doesn’t hurt that most of the songs were recorded live and it evident upon the first listen. There are many songs here to savor but standouts include “Celebrate”, featuring long time contributor and baritone vocalist Dwight Trible. “Sunflowers in my Garden” is simply a beautiful tune is written and sung by Waberi Jordan . Waberi, whose voice may remind you of Roberta Flack brings tenderness to this serene recording. Another long time contributor is Miquel Atwood-Ferguson and on “World Peace Now” he sits in the piano chair, provides Flute arrangements as well as playing the violin and Viola to this warm and peaceful instrumental. If you’re spirits aren’t lifted after listening to “Love” check your pulse. This is one record you shouldn’t miss.
Reg Dancy, 02/10
Bukky Leo & Black Egypt - Afrobeat VisionsMr Bongo Recordings
It’s been quite some time since we heard from Bukky Leo, so top marks to Mr Bongo for getting him back in the studio. Having worked with a number of the greats- Tony Allen and of course Fela- he has also been flying the flag for the British jazz scene for a number of years. Ben Mitchell has been brought in to produce and has given Afro Funk a more dancefloor feel but still keeping an old skool feel to all the tracks. Mixing Afro beat and electronic beats exactly how it should sound.
Simon Harrison, 12/05
Busy People - Never Too BusySunshine Enterprises
Somehow Busy People’s debut single ‘The City/‘Someday’ passed me by but thankfully both of these superior broken-soul nuggets are included here. With a whole host of top performances from guest vocalists such as B-Zar, Aminata, Yann, Justin Chapman, Lisa C, Lai Cheun and Jen (all of which are new names to me) ‘Never Too Busy’ continues the broken-soul vibe with other strong moments such as ‘Make It Happen’, ‘Bling Bling’, ‘Get Out’, ‘Not Me’ and ‘Final Words’. This has got to be one of the most consistent albums I’ve heard for sometime so don’t delay, pick up a copy today!
Andy Allen, 06/08