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Cotonete – Victoire De La Musique [Heavenly Sweetness]

Parisian eight piece band Cotonete unleashes their second full length release and their first in fifteen years. “Victoire De La Musique” is filled with funky samba infused fusion compositions. French DJ/Producer GUTS has a strong body of work of hip-hop and soul recordings for the Parisian label Heavenly Sweetness. He knows a thing or two about aligning lyrics with a tight infectious sound. “Venezuela” exudes summer vibes, transporting you somewhere on a beach in the Caribbean. Jean-Claude Kebaili’s thumping bass aligned with a tight brass and rhythmnic electric guitar receives high marks. There’s a number of superb vocalists on board as well. “Babete Vaobora” is a simmering mid-tempo samba that features Sabrina Malheiros. “What Did You Run For?” is a toe tapping soul burner taken to another level courtesy of the UK don Omar. The finale “Cinq pour |’aventure” is a fourteen minute cinematic jam session. The track pays tribute to the band affinity for 70s French movie soundtracks. Strong production, great musicians, it all adds up to a marvelous recording you shouldn’t miss.


Casa Bonita – Casa Bonita [Aquário Records]

Casa Bonita is a five piece band from Lisbon Portugal. Their self titled lp showcases a band that is comfortable laying down funky instrumental dance grooves. The album features cuts like “Lobster”, a sizzling enrgetic slap anchored by a deep pocket and bass rhythm. “Arrabiata” follows up with funky disco rhythms, mind bending synths and infectous percussion. “Vian” is a mellow soul burner that comes at the right time when you want to give your feet a rest. Casa Bonita explores the space between soul, jazz and electronics. The musicianship is on point and embodies an organic seventies soul sound. Put your dancing shoes on and get ready to party.


Erin Buku – Self Titled [Inner Tribe Records]

Austrailian Vocalist, DJ/Producer Erin Buku delivers an engaging self titled debut. The nine track album is a laidback array of tasty RnB soulful hip hop grooves. “Dreamers” is a mid-tempo hip hop track that showcases her tender vocals. It’s an uplifting tune where Buku artfully encourages everyone to follow their dreams. “Ley Lines”, co-produced by Inkswel is awash with serenading horns and melodic textures. “The Way” erupts with ebulient electronic rhythms aligned with Buku’s emotive vocal harmonizing. Buku is just another example of the bottomless well of talent from Austrailia that’s well worth checking out.


Go.Soul.Map – Peaceful Sound for Broken Minds [Space Echo]

“Peaceful Sound for Broken Minds” is the debut from Sicilian producer Salvo ‘Dub’ Bruno aka Go Soul Map. The twelve track lp is filled with dreamy soundscapes layered over warm melodic grooves. “Back In The Underwater”, the opening track features the sultry vocals of Reiwa Pia. It’s a downtempo gem heighthened by warmsynths. London based vocalist Derane Obika appears on nine tracks. “Fall Into The Flame” features Obika’s dreamy falsetto aligned with heavenly synths. While the tempo picks up on “Right Of Me”, Bruno’s production along with Obika’s vocals ensure that the mood remains the same. Bruno has created a marvelous record filled with warmth and is certain to put your mind at ease. I’m instantly transported to a place free of stress and full of engaging grooves.


Tess Hirst – HERstory [Jazz Re:freshed]

Tess Hirst first came to my attention during her collaboration with Bassist Daniel Casimir. Their joint album “These Days” showcased her ethereal vocals and songwriting. In addition, she was accompanied by some of London’s premiere musicians who are at the forefront of UK club culture. Hirst’s solo debut “HERstory” picks up where that album left off. The disc kicks off with the simmering “This Is Her”. Hirst’s emotive vocals intertwine seamlessly with the Tomorrow’s Warriors string section. The finale “Magic” is a tribute to their ability to rise to any challenge. This high energy tune is spearheaded by Richard Spaven’s propulsive drumming and Casimir’s driving bass rhythms. Pianist Sarah Tandy completes the band and their cohesion is notable. London based label Jazz re:freshed continues to be the place for superb Jazz recordings. This marvelous lp is no exception.


Mario Luciano & Lauren Santi – Shades of Mauve [Madlib Invasion]

The Madlib invasion Music Library series continues with Producer Mario Luciano and vocalist Lauren Santi. “Shades of Mauve” is a collection of breezy jazz samples. Luciano’s keyboard arrangements take center stage while guitarist Gerson Zaragoza and drummer Ayepee play big roles. Santi’s vocal phrasings are spread throughout the fifteen track disc. “Inner Search” is layered with hazy synths and wordless vocal phrasings. “Psych Impression” is a cinematic offering highlighted by Santi’s opera styled vocals. “Blue Miles” captures the spirit of the Mountains with warm guitar and spacey rhodes. If you’re into laidback beats and dreamy soundscapes you’ll no doubt enjoy this one.


VA – Family Affair Vol.3 [Razor-N-Tape]

New York based label Razor n Tape continues to deliver essential House and dance tracks with the release of “Family Affair Vol. 3”. “2gether” by Yuu Udagawa instantly grabs your ear with a neck snapping beat and infectious chords. DJ/Producer Cody Currie, a frequent contributor to the label delivers another banger with heart pounding “Ghost”. Other notables such as the boogie tune “Doctors Orders” make this essential listening for house heads and dance enthusiasts. The third installment of this series is just as enjoyable as Vol.1 & 2.


New Visionaries – Roadmaps [Love Monk Records]

Australian artist Joel Sarakula and Dutch musician Phil Martin are New Visionari
es. The duo first met in 2019 and the following year began working on tracks. “Roadmaps” is an eclectic collection of cinematic compositions and contemporary soul grooves. “Desert Disco Nights” has a seventies soundtrack aesthetic ignited by electric guitar and organ rhythms. “Summer Rain” is a mellow tune that features Hannah Williams on vocals. “Brasiliance” exudes warm vibes with percolating percussion and fender rhodes. This ten track release will keep your eardrums on lock and your head nod on non-stop.


Dina Ogon – Orion [Playground Music]

Swedish band Dina Ogon return with their third album. “Orion” radiates with soft psychadelic soulful vibes. The vocal harmonies combined with dynamic rhythm section creates a wave of positive vibes felt throughout the disc. “Hall Avstand” is a dreamy tune aided by mediatitive electric guitar rhythms. “Glitter” comes in with a soft thumping beat that aligns perfectly with the vocal harmonies. This four piece group has built an underground following and it’s easy to see why. They have nailed the formula for melancholy blissful soul. The result will seduce you to repeated listens.


Sababa 5 – Aspan [Batov Records]

“Aspan”, the sophomore lp from Sababa 5 dives deeper into psychadelic rock than their impressive debut. The combination of psychadelica and middle Eastern rhythms results in a wave of intoxicating compositions. “Wembley”, the opening track erupts with mind bending synths layered over a hypnotic groove. “Tri Li Li” carries the baton with the same formula with bassist Amir Sadot laying down a simmering groove. “Aeolus” is a laidback mediative composition filled with dreamy soundscapes. Guitarist Llan Smilan’s explorative playing is certain to take you for a ride. Eitan Drabkin’s wizardry on keys is deeply satisfying. There’s plenty of reason to enjoy this disc. The playing is exuberant and the compositions will lift your spirits.


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