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VA – Reference Point [BBE Music]

Mark GV Taylor and George Arthur are the curators for Reference Point. Since 201
2 Reference Point has hosted events that have attracted listeners and musicians
world wide. The twelve track lp features a global menu of glorious music old and new. “Palavras” erupts with warm Samba vibes courtesy of Caixa Cubo. “We Don’t Have To Talk About It” is classic rock with a touch of mellow jazz from the NYC based band Bell Helium. “A Place In Space” is a laid back seventies boogie tune from Joe Thomas. “Factory Rhythms” is sublime modal jazz from the JR Quintet. Once again BBE delivers with another marvelous compilation certainly worth checking. A great combination of reuniting with familiar tunes as well as an introduction to something new.


Illa J – No Traffic [BBE Music]

Rapper Illa J has consistently built his reputation as one of Detroit’s premiere MCs with a number of projects over the years. The former member of Slum Village and younger brother of the late great J Dilla has cemented his own place in hip-hop. “No Traffic” is his first release for BBE. The nineteen track lp is well represented by some of Detroit’s veteran MCs along with a number of MCs on the rise. Along the highlights are the cosmic funk of “Off The Tap”. The banger includes fellow lyricists Zay Bcuz and Nicx Rhett. Detroit native Amp Fiddler applies his signature brand of funk and vocals on “Get Down”. UK vocalist Harleighblu adds her distinctive vocals to “Not Ever”. Illa J serves up a heavy dose of mid-west boom bap while showcasing a plethora of talent. As evidence here, real hip-hop runs deep in the Motor City.


Vince Watson – Another Moment In Time [Everysoul]

It has taken nearly twenty years but finally we’ve been treated to a new full length release from DJ/Producer Vince Watson. “Another moment in time” glides with rich heavenly chords and sublime house rhythms. “Rendezous” is a ten minute cascade of ambient melodies and seductivee rhythms. The track first appeared on Carl Craig’s Planet E label in 2006. “Piece of Mind” is another floor burner aided by the sweet piano rhythms from Detroit’s own Jon dixon. With Dixon’s gentle touch and the unrelenting house rhythm, you’ll no doubt get swept away. “Lost in the Deep” is exactly what title implies. It’s seven minutes of gorgeous synths and atmospheric chords certained to transport you to another moment in time. Watson’s marvelous release takes you on a cosmic journey. The grooves are infectious and the chords will warm your soul. All along the way your feet will never stop moving.


Divorce From New York – Sausalito [High Praise Edits]

Producer Alvaro Granda aka Divorce From New York returns with his sophomore LP “Sausalito”. You may be familiar with Granda as one half of San Sebastian based production duo Reykjavvik606. They’ve worked with the likes of Tenderlonious and Ishmael Ensemble among others. “Sausalito” is filled with rugged broken beat rhythms layered with mind bending chords and harmonies. The opening track “Sausalito” kicks off with euphoric chords before easing into a sparse, edgy hypnotic rhythm. “Paralelo66” erupts with heavy bruk rhythms and wobbly synths. “Last Day of Sunset” oozes with infectious Summertime energy and good vibes. The pulsating Disco rhythms make this a worthy highlight. “Mapacho River” is a sonic journey aligned with a rough edged drum kick and jungle rhythms. Short and sweet with only seven tracks, Granda delivers a banger with each track packing a big punch. Granda is someone to keep an eye on. With beats like these I can’t wait to hear what he does next.


John Beltran presents Sol Set – Ola de Novo [All Good Music Label]

“Ola de Novo” by Sol Set evokes images from Sao Paolo. It’s one of the latest projects from Detroit native DJ/Producer John Beltran. Beltran emerged in the late nineties Detroit techno and house scene and later would release recordings on Ubiquity records. With “Ola de Novo” Beltran reunites with Guitarist/producer John Arnold and songwriter Jeremy Ellis among others. “Aztec” originally written by Beltran twenty years ago kicks the disc off. A percolating samba tune with a gorgeous piano melody. Beltran revisits this track and in turn becomes the springboard for the entire album. “Sugarloaf” simmers with infectious percussion. “Rhythm Of The Sun” is a sun drenched Samba tune oozing with hypnotic percussion and emotive vocals from New York based artist Sofa Knezevic. Sol Set is the first release from Beltran’s label All Good Music. It’s a nine track delight with grooves to dance to or simply vibe out to. This is essential listening and a welcome return by Beltran.


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