Lucas Arruda - SolarFavorite
"Solar", the sophomore release from Brazilian keyboardist Lucas Arruda demonstrates significant growth from his debut, "Sambadi. Arruda skillfully blends fusion and Brazilian rhythms over his warm and sublime arrangements. "Uma Onda" is laid back hazy fusion that features Alex Malheiros of Asymuth on bass. On "Melt The Night" Leon Ware's vocals blend perfectly with Arruda's compositions. It would've been nice to feature him on another track or two here. "Aqua" is a pretty ballad influenced by Arruda's love for RnB and soul music. With another solid album under his belt it's clear that Arruda is one of the shinning stars on the Brazilian music scene today.
Reg Dancy, 12/15
Lucky Brown & The SG's - Mesquite SuiteTramp
Joel Ricci aka Lucky Brown returns with his third full length release for Tramp records. "Mesquite Suite" is filled with dusty instrumental analog tinged funk. The disc opens with "Lone Heart", a slow burning funk tune in the tradition of the Menahan Street Band. "Justice" has an infectious organ grinding groove layered with sweet flute rhythms. "Glancing Meteors" is driven by funky drumming and tasty guitar licks topped off with swaying horns. A solid recording filled with inspiration from Mulatu Astatke and the aforementioned Menahan Street Band. Lucky Brown's third lp may very well be his best.
Reg Dancy, 11/18
Lucky Dube - The Best OfPhantom Sound & Vision Records
Such a sad loss last year but here’s a timely reminder of how great he was. 17 tracks which give a popular flavour of his 22 studio albums and includes tracks like ‘Slave’ (the Slaves was the name of his brilliant live band) ‘Victims’ and my own favourite ‘Feel Irie’. Excellent.
Graham Radley, 06/08
Ludivine Issambourg - OutlawsHeavenly Sweetness
“Outlaws” is a tribute to Hubert Laws performed by fellow flutist Ludivine Issambourg. Issambourg has been a fixture in the French jazz scene for years and has also performed with the Paris based band Antiloops. The compositions here capture the spirit of Laws music during the late seventies and early eighties. Which amounts to mellow instrumental jazz inspired rnb. Among the highlights are the opening track “Undecided”, a sun drenched track filled with gorgeous Rhodes from Eric Legnini who also chips in with arrangements. Issambourg’s phrasings layered on top of Legnini’s keys is pure bliss. Issambourg and company does Harvey Mason proud with a flawless cover of “Modaji”. A classic that Laws also performed on. An impressive tribute that should meet Laws approval and will certainly satisfy his fans as well.
Reg Dancy, 04/20
Luka Bloom - TribeBig Sky
Good new album from Luka, which sees him collaborating with Simon O'Reilly, who also produces. Tribe reflects Luka's roots and has an overall relaxed feel but is not without a bit of bite where it's needed. Excellent collection of musicians helping out as well including BJ Cole, Elmear O'Grady and Robbie Perry.
Graham Radley, 11/07
Lulu Rouge - Bless YouMusic For Dreams
Lulu Rouge consists of Danish DJs Buda and T.O.M., long-time cohorts of Denmark’s other well-known House-master, Trentemoller, who contributes here on ‘Lulu’s Theme’. Unsurprisingly then, the music on ‘Bless You’ is, for the most part, techy, minimal (in the meaningful sense of the word) House music, under-pinned by big, reverberating bass-lines that are the result of a strong Dub Reggae influence. ‘Melankoli’, with vocals from Alice Carreri, is much like Eva Be’s Best7 productions, whilst the aforementioned ‘Lulu’s Theme’ has a definite Basic Channel meets Get Physical vibe about it. ‘Bless You’ certainly isn’t happy, sunshine music; it’s haunting, eerie music for the night, but, with Winter well and truly on its way, this could be just what you’re after.
Tom Breslin, 10/08
LyricL - UnequiVocalTokyo Dawn
"UnequiVocal" is an aptly title, for there may be no equal for the lyrical dexterity of poet and hip-hop lyricist Nkechi da LyricL (aka Lyric L). LyricL has performed with everyone from Mark De Clive Lowe, Bugz In The Attic and Aroop Roy just to name a few. "UnequiVocal" is her follow up to her smash debut "Amazed". Although that record dropped over six years ago she has seamlessly picked up where she left off. That means there's a myriad of rhythms tailored to her exceptional rhyming skills enhanced by a number of talented guests as well. On "Dreamstate" LyricL is joined by rapper 3rd Person and Breakplus to trade verses over a laid back boom bap beat. "Juxtapose" is an intoxicating Afro house number featuring Rachel Huggins and Shaun Ashby. "Expected To" featuring Daz-I-Kue is a wicked bruk beat track reminiscent of her work from the London broken beat scene from over a decade ago. That's just a sampling of the amount of gems spread across this record. I can easily go on but you need to listen for yourself, you won't be disappointed. Highly recommended.
Reg Dancy, 02/18