Collage - Fifty Four Minutes Twenty SecondsWool Recordings
The meaning behind the name Collage is exactly what you might expect, a diverse collection of musical elements. In the case of Collage the group hailing from Estonia , they have assembled an infusion of pop, folk and classical music aptly called Estonian Folk, a nod to the group’s homeland roots. The amazing thing here is that this is a reissue, a recording from the late 60’s that would easily fit in with any current recording of today. Estonia is located on the outskirts of the Soviet Union and is also the location of the Talinn Conservatory School of music, where a group of students was recruited by Ravio Dikson. The results are a peaceful blend of world music. Some of the standout tracks are “Petis Peiu”, a Brazilian flavored tune. “Vastalaul” begins with collective harmonies that would make the Manhattan Transfer proud and then glides into a folk flavored samba. “Ehted Kadunud” is a mid-tempo soul groover with funky rhythm guitar licks. ”Tutar Nubab Ema” is a warm modal jazz ballad that features superb flute playing over a seductive piano melody. Never mind that the tracks here are sung in Finnish. The melodies of the music and the vocal harmonies provide a pleasant listening experience no matter language barriers may exist, not to mention an insight into the musical Estonian musical history. This is certainly worth checking out.
Reg Dancy, 03/10
Colm O Snodaigh - GivingKila Records
From Kila, this is his second solo release (although you have to go back to 1994 for the first!) and very good it is too. My favourite track ‘Uaireannta’ has Lisa Hannigan on backing vocals with the Gaelic lyrics bringing a little magic all of their own.
Graham Radley, 08/08
Colman Brothers - Colman BrothersWah Wah 45s
The debut by the duo known as the Coleman Brothers is a melting pot of bossa, bebop and Latin jazz that harkens back to days when dancing shoes were required and folks would shake their hips and work up a sweat in a jazz club. Brothers Mat (trombone) and Andrew (trumpet) capture the big band sound with superb production, mixing tasty beats combined with their own strong performances with impressive results. This album is a result of the ascension of the single “El Nino”, originally released in 2007. The single received rave reviews and was given proper spins by DJ’s worldwide. This isn’t just a one hit album however; there are other gems like the bossa flavored “Mr DG”, which is dedicated to Dizzy Gillespie is filled with vibrant horns and tasty percussion. In addition the spirited samba tracks “Sem Amor” featuring their sister Sara and “Another Brother”, are floor burners that would add spice to any party. The brothers slow things down with help once again from Sara on the slow burning elegant bossa “Some Other Wonder”. Overall this is a superb disc where each of the ten tracks is worthy and a satisfying listening experience. Mat and Andrew can expect their services to increase mightily based on this quality recording.
Reg Dancy, 12/11
Coloma - DovetailKlein Records
When i sit and write reviews the hardest part for me is the comparisons with other music i've heard. It's not that i think everything sounds like something else and has little originality, i just feel that if the reader has something to compare it too then it makes thing a little simpler and more understandable. Well, with this Coloma album on Austria's Klein label i'm not even gonna think who they sound like for one second because they sound like no one else. Two Brits now based in Germany recording some elegant vocal tracks backed with some sublime music throughout the whole album. It's definitely pop music, it's definitely electronic music, it's definitely electronic pop music. 'Dovetail' is the duo's third album outing and they're most mature to date. Likeable to the fact that the vocals are clean, the production is simple and tight and the combination of both provides a stunning piece of music from two musicians who deserve more credit outside their adopted land.
Colombiafrica - The Mystic Orchestra - Voodoo Love Inna Champeta StyleRiverboat Records
Wildly good this one, Champeta is the vibrant Afro-Colombian sound from the street’s of Colombia's Caribbean coast with Congolese soukous, Ghanaian highlife, and Nigerian Afro-beat meeting Latin and exploding in rhythms. The project took 3 years to put together and has Colombian champeta stars Viviano Torres, Luis Towers and Justo Valdez jamming with African legends Dally Kimoko, Diblo Dibala, Sékou Diabaté, Nyboma and Rigo Star.
Afro-Colombian grooves meet Africa and I’d buy it just to hear Diblo & Rigo fingers caressing those guitar strings into life. Highly recommended.
Graham Radley, 09/07
Colonel Red - Blue Eye BlakPeople Records
This has been a long time coming and it's great to have the finished copy. Things kick off with the amazing title track, which has been on playlists for well over a year and still sounds fresh. 'Blue Eye Blak' will satisfy the broken beats head with tracks like 'Gotta Be A Place For Us' and 'Movin On' and also for people just on the lookout for a damn good album, this has it all. This is a fantastic debut and yes, all the production was done by the man himself. Top marks to People Records
Simon Harrison, 06/05
Comfort Fit - Forget and RememberTokyo Dawn Records
There is such a lot of fantastic hiphop around at the moment, it's great to hear an album full of mostly instrumental beats. Written and produced by Boris Mezga from Stuttgart, he is one name you will need to keep an eye out for in the future. Within the first few tracks you can see Boris is being influenced by the right kind of producers; from Madlib to Sa-Ra, but creating his own sound. With twenty tracks totalling over 70 minutes, this is a joy to listen to. Even better you can download the full album for free on Tokyo Dawns website
Simon Harrison, 06/05
Confection - ConfectionSoulchoonz
Australian duo Confection (Josh Beagley and Juanita Tippins) follow up their debut single with a very tasty long player. Although this is all brand new material you’d swear it was a long lost soul set from around 1984. Both ‘Fantasisin’’, a killer down-tempo groove very much in the vein of Juicy’s classic ‘Sugar Free’ and the mid-tempo boogie outing ‘I Choose You’ from the 12” are present plus other boogie bombs in the shape of ‘I’ve Gotta Thing (4U)’ and ‘You Got The Love’. If you’re a fan of Paul Laurence, Lillo Thomas, Kashif etc then you’re going to love this album.
Andy Allen, 02/08
Connie Price & The Keystones - Tell Me SomethingUbiquity Records
Two albums to their credit, Connie Price & The Keystones have established themselves as masters of the funk. While their first record was an instrumental offering, this release showcases a list of some of the most hardest working mc’s in the game today. Percee P starts the disc off the powerful “International Hustler”. This track has everything, a thumping bass, funky horns and an inspired Percee P. It makes you wonder, "Why did it take this man so long to get a deal?"
“Masters At Work” features Ohmega Watts spitting over a soul drenched track complete with the wah-wah guitar and strings. Aloe Blacc fits perfectly on “Tell Me Something”, the only vocal track featured here. Connie Price is bringing the funk that takes you back to the Stax era. If you like your hip-hop dipped in hot buttered soul then you can’t pass on this.
Reg Dancy, 04/08
Cookin On 3 Burners - Lab Experiments Vol. 1 - MixinSoul Messin
Hailing from Australia, Guitarist Dan West, Drummer Ivan "Choi" Khatchoyan and Organist Jake Mason make up the organ grinding trio known as Cookin On 3 Burners. "Lab Experiments Vol.1" is filled with 60s-influenced funk and soul compositions certain to get your groove on. Among the highlights are "Real Life Baby", a laid back tune with bluesy guitar rhythms from Dan West and soaring vocals from Emmi. "Wind Up" is a funky instrumental filled with wicked organ rhythms and funky guitar riffs. Veteran soul singer and native New Zealander Kylie Audist adds her strong pipes to the sun drenched mid-tempo "More Than a Mouthful". An engaging album that would easily fit into the crowded classic soul arena and hold it's own. These cats indeed know how to burn.
Reg Dancy, 08/17