Various Artists - The Essential Guide To FolkUnion Square Music
Another good 'Essential Guide' with this 3 CD set themed 'Roots' 'Folk Rocks' and 'Nu Routes'. So, to give a feel of each one, 'Roots' includes The Copper Family', Anne Briggs, Pete Seeger and Leadbelly. Folk Rocks includes Linda Thompson, Lindisfarne, Nic Jones and June Tabor while Nu Routes has tracks from the likes of Tim Van Eyken, Shooglenifty, Eliza Carthy and Salsa Celtica. There's obviously a huge range to cover but this neatly sets the ball rolling in what could be an extensive series.
Graham Radley, 05/07
Various Artists - The Far Out Monster Disco OrchestraFar Out Recordings
The Far Out Monster Orchestra is an amalgamation of soulful Brazilian Disco music created by an illustrious list of musicians from the Far Out roster. Contributors include Alex Malheiros Jose Roberto Brertrami and renowned arranger Arthur Verocai among others. That alone would've sealed the deal but they didn't stop there. By handing these recordings over too some of the world's foremost DJs they have knocked it out of the park. "Don't Cha Know" features a tasty grooves normally absent from most Disco recordings. Same goes for "Dead Dance" which features the sorely underrated Marcina Arnold on vocals and there's also a hypnotic Mark E remix as well. "Keep Believing" is classic disco with sexy vocals and strings. However you won't be able to resist the rhythmic drum patterns from the Theo Parrish remix. Not to be outdone, the John Morales remix of "Mystery" is also a floor filler. There's so much so to savor here that made a double album necessary. This project originated in 2008 and finally sees the light of day. Make no mistake you need this in your collection.
Reg Dancy, 11/14
Various Artists - The Kings Of JazzBBE Records
'The Kings Of .' series continues with this latest instalment delving into the world of jazz. The CD features 25 tracks spread across 2 discs. Disc 1, selected by Gilles Peterson, mainly concentrates on the 60s and 70s with nuggets such as Donald Byrd's 'Cristo Redentor', John Coltrane's 'Equinox' and Mark Murphy's version of 'My Favorite Things'. Other highlights include 'Quiet Fire' by drummer Roy Haynes, taken from his album 'Thank You, Thank You' (Galaxy 1977), Lee Konitz' modal masterpiece 'Five, Four And Three' and the haunting 'Moves' from Charles Mingus which features Honey Gordon and Doug Hammond (Tribe Records) on vocals. The second disc is compiled by Jazzanova and shines the light on the new breed of jazz artists. Although I'm not convinced by the inclusion of United Future Organization's 'Loud Minority', on the whole this is a great set. Opening with 4 Hero's 'Spirits In Transit' and ending with the beautiful Jamie Lidell fronted 'Everything's Changed' by The Matthew Herbert Big Band. In between we're treated to music from The Five Corners Quintet, Two Banks Of Four, Soil & Pimp Sessions and Sleepwalker's 'Into The Sun' featuring Bembe Segue. Bembe turns up again on a live version of 'Mother Of The Future' which is absolutely storming as is Jeffrey Smith's take on 'Afro Blue'. Also worthy of note are 'Inner City Life' by [re:jazz], Nikki O's 'Butterflies' and the Nicola Conte version of Sunaga T Experience's 'No Rhyme No Reason', which was previously only available on Japanese 12". The vinyl edition is split over 2 separate double packs and in total contains only 20 tracks.
Andy Allen, 03/06
Various Artists - The Kings of TechnoBBE Records
BBE have found a new formula and after the two successful "Kings of Digging" compilations, it's time to move into darker territory. Brought in are two of the biggest DJs: Laurent Garnier and Carl Craig, who certainly know a thing or two about the history of techno. This is more a lesson in influences rather than a collection of bangers. Garnier's top choices include The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Mills, Dabrye and Funkadelic, whilst Craig goes for Yello, Alexander Robotick, Back Dog, Art of Noice and the stunning Choice. If you've never heard "Acid Eiffel" before well be prepared to be blown away. It was produced by Laurent Garnier, Ludovic Navarre aka St Germain and Shazz and even though it's nearly thirteen years old, it still sounds as good as when I first picked up a copy. You need this for Choice alone.
Simon Harrison, 09/06
Various Artists - The Leopard Lounge at the MoviesWarner Jazz
Film tunes from the vaults of Warner & Atlantic with 21 classic tracks which include ‘Theme From Lawrence Of Arabia (Les Baxter) Batman Theme (The Markettes) A Taste Of Honey (Esther Phillips) Midnight Cowboy (Young-Holt Unlimited) Theme From Mash (Jimmy Smith) Our Mann Flint (Herbie Mann) and 77 Sunset Strip (Warren Baker). A good dose of nostalgia.
Graham Radley, 09/07
Various Artists -World Music Network
The Rough Guide series takes us straight into the feel of a Middle Eastern street café, you just want to there savouring the sounds, smells and atmosphere. Compiler Nili Belkind has picked 18 tracks which takes us from Morocco (Mayodi) across Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Greece and includes seven tracks from Egypt. My pick is Mokhtar Al Said & El Ferka El Masaya’s ‘Souhair’s Tabla’ - simple but evocative.
Graham Radley, 06/07
Various Artists - The Rough Guide To Calypso GoldWorld Music Network
Compiled by Jean Michel Gibert we get 20 glorious Trinidadian tracks that bring us from the orchestras of the 1920’s to the calypso boom time of the 1950’s. Featured artists include King Radio, Lord Kitchener, Calypso Rose, The Mighty Bomber and Houdini. Yes this is Calypso Gold.
Graham Radley, 07/08
Various Artists - The Rough Guide To Indian LoungeWorld Music Network
Compiled by the excellent DJ Ritu there's tracks from James Asher, Apache Indian, Bombay Dub Orchestra, Atif, Bally Sagoo & Gunjan, Tribali, Niraj Chag, Debashish Bhattacharya, Ajoy hakrabarty, Lopa, Sonorous Star and Karen David. Recommended, a nicely balanced collection.
Graham Radley, 09/07
Various Artists - The Rough Guide To Latin FunkWorld Music Network
Excellent dance floor filler with beaty, bouncing tracks fromj Jose Cone y Ola Fresca, Joe Bataan, Anitibalas, Quantic, X Alfonso, Los Amigos Invisibles, The Spam Allstars, Bobi Cespedes, Baku, Bitman & Roban, Nortec Collective, Ozomatli, Up, Bustle & Out & Los Mocosos. That'll keep your feet busy won't it?
Graham Radley, 11/07
Various Artists - The Rough Guide To Salsa ClandestinaWorld Music Network
This takes salsa away from the dreadful dance classes and back to the streets, raw and edgy. 15 great tracks which include Ozomatli, Spam Allstars, Alex Wilson, Cuban Cowboys, Los Amigos Invisibles and two for special note – Baku and ‘Desde Cuba Hasta Afghanistan’ and Roberto Rodriguez featuring Irving Fields ‘Wolfie’s Corner’ remix. Great compilation.
Graham Radley, 09/07