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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.


Stro Elliot – La Villa [Def Pressé]

DJ/Producer Stro Elliot is the latest Def Pressé member to dive into the vaults of the London based KPM/EMI record library. You may be familiar with Stro’s hip-hop samples through his affiliation with the Roots. The KPM libary spans seventy years of music across a myriad of genres. The arrangement between KPM and Def Presse was a benefit to fellow labelmate Damu the Fudgemunk and his recent projects. Based on this release Elliot came away with some hidden gems with a seventies soul vibe. Specifically they would feel right at home in a James Brown catalog. The opening track “Monday’s Generation” is a prime example. The drum kit snare lays down the beat while the uplifting flute and guitar rhythms round things out into form. “Bamboo” is a mid-tempo hypnotic boom bap tune. The Asian cinematic soundscapes would easily fit into a Wu Tang recording. It must have been a daunting task for Elliot to narrow down his selections. That being said the ten tracks he came up with certainly have hit the mark.


Tommaso Cappellato – Dancing Around Fire [Pavimento Fertile]

LA based drummer/composer Tommaso Cappellato teams up with the Italian Collective Pavimento Fertile to deliver the infectious dance EP “Dancing Around Fire”. Cappellato’s latest features dynamic dance flavored compositions certain to inject instant body movement. The opener “Made of Golden Light” gets its hooks in you with a wicked bass line aligned with spacey synths. Latin St Juste’s feathery vocals adds a warm touch. The title track is filled with cosmic funk. Cappellaro demonstrates his dexterity not just on the drums but on the keys as well. While the dance tracks instantly pop out the gate, the mid-tempo tunes provide an equal amount of energy. Although there’s only seven tracks here, Cappellato’s latest is a high octane spacey funk deluxe that definitely hits the mark and is worthy of repeated listens.


Gabriel Da Rosa – É o que a casa oferece [Stones Throw Records]

Vocalist Gabriel Da Rosa grew up in Cruz Alta, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil listening to a variety of music that eventually would serve his quest for a music career. A quest that came to life when he moved to Los Angeles. He would find a like minded lover of Brazilian music in Stones Throw founder Peanut Butter Wolf. Da Rosa’s full length debut “E o que a casa oferece” is blissful bossa nova highlighted by Da Rosa’s tender vocals and acoustic guitar. The opening track “Bandida” sets the mood for a collection of sublime bossa. “Jasmin Parte 1” is a mellow tune riped with warm keyboard and flute melodies. “So You Can See Me” is a moving ballad swaying over a feathery percussion. Da Rosa’s debut will put you in touch with nature and will transport you to Rio. A blissful bossa recording that will warm your heart.


Moonchild – Starfruit [Tru Thoughts Recordings]

“Starfruit”, the fifth album from Moonchild demonstrates a band that’s hitting it’s stride. Their signature sound of soft melodic tones and heartfelt songwriting has resonated with audiences around the globe during their worldwide tour. The vocals of Amber Navran have certainly struck a chord, no pun intended and her vocals are recognizable from the first note. The new release supplies more of their musical good vibes, this time with an array of superb artists in their own right. The opener “Tell Him” aligns Amber with the velvet vocals of Lailah Hathaway. It has a noticeable groove not often found in their compositions yet still embodies the lush texture you’ve grown to love. “You Got One” is equally divine. Alex Isley’s heavenly vocals alongside Navran’s is like two Angels in a versus match. “Get By” is filled with joy and exuberance due in large part to the up and coming band Tank and The Bangas. Despite the large amount of guests on hand here their authenticity remains true to form. Overall it’s another marvelous release that you shouldn’t miss.


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