Thursday 23 June 2011V/A - Invasion Of The Mysteron Killer Sounds
In the finest traditions of a dub stylee sound clash, in the red corner it’s Ninja Tunes’ The Bug and in the blue corner, its Soul Jazz Records very own Stuart Baker who fight it out for the 3D Dancehall Digital Dub Belt of the worldddddddddddddddddd!
Monday 6 June 2011Hollie Cook - Hollie Cook
It may be 30 years since Bob Marley passed away but reggae’s pop flame is still going strong and he’s Hollie Cook is a hot name for the summer.
Wednesday 24 November 2010V/A - Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space
Wow! Yes it really is veteran Jamaican dub expert at the controls of Tectonic’s dubstep compilation with cover by Tony McDermott and you can’t get much better than that.
Thursday 4 November 2010Afrocubism
According to World Circuit folklore, this was the album that got away. Apparently, what eventually became the iconic Buena Vista Social Club (BVSC) record was originally conceived as a Mali/Cuba collaboration.
Saturday 18 September 2010Jolly Boys - Great Expectations
The original Jamaican Jolly Boys are back and who the dickens would have thought that the sound of mento would be big with the kids in 2010?
Saturday 21 August 2010Toddla T feat. Wayne Marshall - Sky Surfing
Toddla T signing to Ninja Tune shows that even as they celebrate their 20th anniversary this year, they are still a force to be reckoned with and party with a bit of Sky Surfing.
Monday 14 June 2010Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: Remixed
Does Peterson ever stop? Clearly not as he’s recently returned from Cuba recording a new album with Danay plus this new release on his own Brownswood Recordings label with a launch party in London and Roberto Fonseca live with the New Cuba Sound at the Barbican on the 6th July - phew!
Tuesday 4 May 2010Sound Iration - Sound Iration In Dub
Dub has come a long way since Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby, Scientist, Mikey Dread and such legendary knob controllers from the echo chambers pioneered the sound in Jamaica but over the years the UK has had its own stars and here’s one of the best kept secrets.
Monday 3 May 2010Irakere - Cuba Libre
Once again Joe Davis at Far Out Recordings does it again, this time with a re-issue of a very highly sort after album that feature some of the best, if not greatest, Cuban musicians of all time! Irakere’s Cuba Libre is fantastic to say the least!
Friday 15 January 2010Gilles Peterson presents Havana Cultura - New Cuba Sound
This project represents a significant undertaking for British DJ, producer and all-round global beats guru, Gilles Peterson.
Friday 2 October 2009V/A - Tumbélé! Biguine, Afro & Latin Sounds - French Caribbean 1963-73
As this is on the Sound Way label with a sub-title of “Biguine, Afro & Latin sounds from the French Caribbean, 1964-74” can you imagine that this CD is totally excellent from start to finish? Well, I think I can say that it’s even better than that!
Saturday 22 August 2009V/A - Tropical Funk Experience
Following on from Nu-York, Brazil and Cuba, Nascente Records’ fourth “Funk Experience” concentrates on the genre’s influence in the Caribbean.
Friday 10 July 2009V/A - Cuban Funk Experience
Subtitled ‘Funky sounds from Cuba & Miami 1973-1988’ DJ John Armstrong’s compilation does exactly what it says on the tin
Thursday 25 June 2009V/A - Sound of the World Presents: Otro Mundo (Another World)
Charlie GIllett scoops up yet again the tracks you loved but never got round to owning and those that would otherwise have entirely slipped past you unnoticed like so many logs floating down the Niger in the middle of the night
Thursday 18 June 2009Roberto Fonseca - Akokan
If the young standard-bearer of Cuban music Roberto Fonseca was once recognised chiefly for his performances with the Buena Vista Social Club, it’s surely now his work as a composer and bandleader that earns him his considerable reputation. A rhythmically-charged and beguiling set that displays Fonseca’s remarkable musicianship and myriad influences, Akokan, picks up where Fonseca left off with debut album Zamazu
Saturday 23 May 2009Various Artists - Beginner's Guide To Cuban Music
Yet another compilation of Cuban music? Check out if DJ Lubi Jovanovic’s selections are worth your time
Monday 20 April 2009Los Van Van - Havana Sí! The Very Best Of
Condensing four decades of Cuban dance hits onto two CDs, Havana Sí! proves to be an appropiate showcase for the genius of Los Van Van.
Tuesday 7 April 2009Har You Percussion Group - Sounds of the Ghetto Youth
On paper this is all wrong. A government funded programme in response to social unrest in Harlem, a group of mostly non-Latins making a Latin record, a huge cast of non-professional musicians. And what did they produce? Only one of the top 5 Latin records of all time
Sunday 5 April 2009V/A - Real Authentic Reggae Vol.2 (Compiled by David Rodigan)
Original, soulful recordings that are fresh and and direct from Jamaica that have been hand picked by the one and only David Rodigan makes the second edition of Real Authentic Reggae as essential as the first.
Saturday 4 April 2009Soothsayers Meet The Red Earth Collective - One More Reason
Soothsayers’ third album sees them teaming up with the The Red Earth Collective in an old skool reggae ‘Meets’ connection but delving into the roots ‘n’ jazz with loads of afro-funk that’s really FLY.
Sunday 22 March 2009Mungo's Hi-Fi - Sound System Champions
Mungo’s Hi-Fi is a dub reggae, dancehall and dubstep soundsystem in the original roots tradition based in Scotland so don’t be surprised that the 12-track album features some of the finest old and new MC talent.
Sunday 8 February 2009Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band - Bird Head Son
Anthony Joseph was called Bird Head Son when he was growing up in Trinidad. Now it’s the name of his second album with his mates from South London, the Spasm Band, that find all of them in a unity of poetry and music; and that means, album of the year candidate!
Sunday 30 November 2008V/A - Ibimeni. Garifuna Traditional Music from Guatemala
An awakened interest in the unique music of a small Central American community has led to this fascinating re-release of traditional Garifuna music from the Gulf of Honduras
Saturday 29 November 2008Buena Vista Social Club - At Carnegie Hall
Ten years ago, with the help of Juan de Marcos González and support of Ry Cooder, a bunch of elderly Cubans dusted off their instruments, cleared their throats and, with seemingly effortless ease, delivered arguably the most acclaimed album in world music history
Wednesday 19 November 2008Billy Cobham and Asere - De Cuba y De Panamá
The first recording of the ongoing collaboration between the legendary drummer and the innovative Cuban group is a testament to the success of fusion music.
Friday 3 October 2008Alex Wilson - Salsa Con Soul
On his sixth solo album, the award-winning Wilson looks more towards commercial influences than previous work
Wednesday 24 September 2008Madera Limpia - Loco (Daniel Haaksman Remix)
Madera Limpia is a young Cuban band with a rhythmic groove sound inspired by hip hop and reggae; so how eager do you think Daniel Haaksman was to get the remix out?
Wednesday 3 September 2008V/A - Ziggy Marley In Jamaica
How hard can it be to pick 16 of your favourite reggae tracks for a compilation album? Well if your after a Primer 101, look no further than Ziggy Marley’s selction on this new CD for the near perfect choice.
Wednesday 25 June 2008Roberto Fonseca - Zamazu
Roberto Fonseca’s most recent album, Zamazu, grooves seamlessly from start to finish as his sound at once nods to his musical roots and speaks in the original voice he set out to find many years ago
Thursday 15 May 2008Ska Cubano - Ajiaco! The Remix Album
Named after a hearty Cuban root vegetable stew, Ajiaco is itself a hearty stew of rootsy influenced remixes from a host of worldwide DJs and producers, each putting their stamp on the sound of Cuban ska.
Friday 18 April 2008The Garifuna Women's Project - Umalali
The Garifuna communities of Central America’s Atlantic coast are beginning to seem like the new Cape Verde — there is so much good music coming out of there. The truth is that it has as much to do with the love of Belizean producer Ivan Duran for the music and the people as any one musician breaking it big
Sunday 4 November 2007V/A - Nueva Vision
If you’re new to the Nueva Vision or an old hand of the Afro-Cuban rhythms, here’s a fantastic compilation full of tunes for the dancers in all our souls
Tuesday 18 September 2007V/A - Music From Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba is at the heart of the country’s dance music or, as the album subtitle puts it, it is ‘the cradle of son’. Part promo for the restaurant Floridita, part compilation, the album serves up 14 distinctly Cuban cuts
Sunday 9 September 2007Reggaetoson - Sangre Latina
Reggaeton plus son equals reggaetoson or so we are told…
Sunday 19 August 2007V/A - Sound of the World 2007 (Charlie Gillett)
Charlie Gillett mixes the well-known with underground discoveries, crosses continents, sifts thousands of songs, balances the sexes and blends contemporary and traditional on this year’s crop
Friday 29 June 2007V/A - Salsa Carnaval
This CD is one of three new compilations in a ‘Carnaval’ series released on a new label Resiste this week at a bargain price. Definitely worth another look.
Tuesday 5 June 2007V/A - Los Soneros: Voices of Fania
The Def Jam of Latin music is back with the latest in its series of re-issues. This time it’s the voices of the Fania stable that get the digital treatment
Tuesday 29 May 2007Jose Conde & Ola Fresca - Revolucion
In Cuba they have a stew called ‘agiaco’ into which anything can be incorporated, Revolucion is the musical equivalent. It mixes son Cubano, jazz, funk, Latin dance and reggae, it has tracks in both French and Spanish and owes as much to New York as Cuba.
Monday 30 April 2007V/A - Fania DJ Series Gilles Peterson
The prolific compiler and taste-maker Gilles Peterson delivers his first Latin compilation after digging through a few hundred Fania albums
Sunday 29 April 2007V/A - Jazz Cuba: The Finest Latin Music
Jazz Cuba is a nifty little sampler showcasing some of Warner’s plans for 2007 which, if you haven’t guessed yet, is a series of Cuban jazz albums
Saturday 28 April 2007Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band - Leggo De Lion
The debut album by Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band lives up to everything that the ‘Buddha’ 12” promised. Yep, it’s that good
Friday 23 March 2007Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective - Wátina
Wátina is where the ancient and modern worlds meet, where African rhythms blend effortlessly with Latin flavours. It is full of loping rhythms (familiar yet new), warm, powerful voices and perfectly blended percussion
Friday 23 March 2007Ibrahim Ferrer - Mi Sueño
How fitting that Ibrahim Ferrer’s last release should be devoted to the melting sound of the bolero - a style he was never allowed to sing in his youth on account of his un-macho voice
Saturday 17 February 2007Beats of the Heart: Roots, Rock, Reggae - Director: Jeremy Marre, 1977 (DVD)
Jeremy Marre’s landmark music documentary series began 30 years ago in 1977 in Jamaica with Roots, Rock, Reggae
Thursday 15 February 2007Beats of the Heart: Salsa - Director: Jeremy Marre, 1979 (DVD)
Salsa is and was a controversial term for music that escaped between the edges of definition. It wasn’t simply Puerto Rican, Cuban, commercial, from New York, black etc and yet it wasn’t possible without all of these things
Wednesday 24 January 2007Candido Fabre y Su Banda - Cubano Soy
In the Buena Vista vein Candido Fabre’s Cubano Soy is a catchy
Wednesday 24 January 2007Cuarteto Cedrón - Elogio
Traditional Tango with a contemporary twist and a personal touch.
Saturday 13 January 2007Tumba Francesa - Afro-Cuba
Sub-titled Afro-Cuban music from the roots, “percussion and voices traditional and experimental” it’s vastly different to some of the other Cuban-inspired music we’ve featured recently.
Saturday 13 January 2007Pitbull - El Mariel
I love the cover to this album, it’s as if Pitbull - dressed in his boxing robes - is just having a paddle but contemplating how he’s going to take Cuba from Mr Castro single-handed.
Sunday 10 December 2006Robert Mitchell & Omar Puente - Bridges
Robert Mitchell and Omar Puente have worked together for sometime now and this album proves there’s a magical connection between the duo
Wednesday 29 November 2006Raul Paz - En casa
At the heart of this album is Paz’s return to his homeland, Cuba. Sounding like a young, more charming and less cheesy Julio Iglesias, Paz manages to get the right balance between the effortless coolness so easily possessed by the artists behind the Cuban music revival and a real depth and philosophy in lyrical content
Saturday 11 November 2006V/A - Mary Anne Hobbs Presents The Warrior Dubz
The latest thing is still Dubstep and the warrior queen leading the charge on Radio 1 is Mary Anne Hobbs (not pictured).
Wednesday 20 September 2006V/A - World Circuit Presents
To celebrate 20 years of recording, World Circuit will be releasing a superb double CD collection on the 16th October
Sunday 3 September 2006Mad Professor Meets Mafia & Fluxy - New Galaxy Of Dub, Part 2 Sci-Fi Dub Series
The Mad Professor has been a leader of dub for many years and this new CD follows the high standards of previous releases
Friday 4 August 2006Gentleman feat. Barrington Levy & Daddy Rings - Caan Hold Us Down
Here we go with some ‘authentic’ reggae sound on another big track for the summer
Sunday 30 July 2006Yellowman - 20 Super Hits
When they say, “they don’t make good reggae” anymore, Yellowman would be an example of both the maligned post-Marley ragga-come-dancehall and the “good” stuff of old.
Friday 21 July 2006V/A - Latinesque
The sound of summer is here again, courtesy of The Kemia Bar at Momo’s, a fresh and charming club in London’s West End that evidently knows how to have a good time. With new takes on old classics and somehow finding a rare middle ground between old and original, your heart will thank you for listening to this.
Thursday 6 July 2006V/A - ¡Baila! A Latin Dance Party
It’s from Putumayo — expect nothing less than for it to do exactly what it says on the tin.
Friday 23 June 2006DJ Andy Smith - Presents Trojan Document
The latest in the DJ Andy Smith Document compilation series is a departure from previous releases as he plunders the vaults of Trojan Records.
Saturday 20 May 2006Wilton 'Bogey' Gaynair - Africa Calling
A long-lost, hot and hard be-bop masterpiece from Jamaica’s legend of the tenor saxophone resurfaces to blow us back to the heady days of the 60s London jazz scene.
Friday 3 March 2006V/A - Panama! Latin, Funk and Calypso on the Isthmus 1965-75
Soundway Records are best known for their crate-diggin’ compilations of African music. So can they pull off the same trick of releasing meticulously researched and beautifully re-mastered records but of a Latin tinge? ¡Claro que si!
Saturday 15 October 2005Orishas - El Kilo
Don’t be too smug if you think you are the only person outside of Cuba that is hip enough to have a Los Orishas CD spinning in their entertainment system. The group from Havana are exploding onto the international music scene. Named after deities of the African Yoruba religion of Santeria, these gods of music are touching spirits all over the world
Tuesday 27 September 2005Sierra Maestra - Son: Soul of a Nation
Cuban son gets a simultaneous revisitation and a fresh kick in the form of Son: Soul of a Nation.
Sunday 28 August 2005The Rough Guide to Tito Puente
Sue Steward continues rifling through the Fania back catalogue for Rough Guide; this time she brings us a fresh selection from the Mambo King himself Tito Puente. With over a hundred albums to choose from, getting down to 21 tracks is no mean feat and any selection will inevitably be partial but we are treated to a wide selection of styles and collaborators including La Lupe and Celia Cruz
Thursday 11 August 2005Lotz of Music in Havana - Blues for Yemaya
Afro-Cuban chants meet the jazz stylings of Mark Lotz on this accomplished and fascinating fusion album.
Saturday 2 July 2005The Rough Guide to Salsa Dance: Second Edition)
Compiler Lubi Jovanovich has done it again with a fine selection of surefire floor fillers from the past decade. The emphasis is on salsa dura — the tight-to-the-beat style that dancers everywhere favour — on this well-chosen selection
Monday 27 June 2005Mark Lotz & Shango's Dance - Cuban Fishes Make Good Dishes
Cuban/Yoruba themes, chants and rhythms, jazz and a dash of the oriental come together in this striking outing from the Netherlands
Friday 24 June 2005Ska Cubano - ¡Ay Caramba!
Their first album was a joyously fresh combination of elements that could get the dancefloor heaving at a moment’s notice. Ska, a form of dance hardwired into even the most stiff British legs met son (the form of dancing you most want to move along to — but without Ska Cubano’s help could not hitherto). So how have they done with second album syndrome?
Tuesday 21 June 2005Coffee Makers - El Camino
Against all odds, a Colombian band has managed to début with a brilliant album which shows how Jamaican music should be played
Sunday 1 May 2005Celia Cruz - The Rough Guide To Celia Cruz
When Celia Cruz died in 2003, the Latin world went into mourning. Incredible scenes were witnessed in Miami and at her funeral in New York. Celia was always the voice of Latin America but she also represented the dream. A poor black girl with little more than a great voice and a knack of being in the right place at the right time had become immeasurably famous, respected as an artist and conspicuously rich. This is her story in song -- or at least fragments of it.
Saturday 23 April 2005V/A - The Rough Guide To Dub
For many, the seventies typifies the golden age of reggae, linking the vocal sweetness of the sixties with the harder-edged music that was to follow. Falling into this period is much of the excellent music to be found on this introductory disc to the joys of dub featuring some cracking cuts from the likes of King Tubby, Lee Perry and Errol 'ET' Thompson.
Saturday 23 April 2005V/A - The Rough Guide To Boogaloo
A cross-fertilisation of black US music, most notably soul and R'n'B, with Latin beats, boogaloo came from the New York areas of Spanish Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx, emerging for a few intense years at the end of the sixties. This CD charts the course the music took to make Latin mainstream.
Saturday 9 April 2005Silvio Rodriguez - Cuba Classics 1: Canciones Urgentes
If you have never heard the music of Silvio Rodríguez, then please do me a favour: do not buy this album. It's a deeply distorted survey of his output, favouring some of his worst mistakes over some of his most sublime successes. Even when first released in 1991, the selection was questionable. Fifteen years and half a dozen albums later it's an unpardonable offence to the artist's reputation.
Tuesday 8 February 2005Anga Diaz - Echu Mingua
Cards on the table: if a more exciting album comes along this year it will be a miracle. Like a first-time novelist, Cuban conguero Miguel 'Angá' Díaz has poured everything he has and is into his first album as a bandleader, and even the most jaded listener would have to admit that the result is a thing of wonder.
Monday 31 January 2005Alex Cuba Band - Humo De Tabaco
Humo De Tabaco is the dÈbut album of the Alex Cuba Band, fronted by Alexis Puentes, who at age 30 is already a veteran of the Cuban musical melting pot, having navigated his way in various combos through jazz, salsa, mambo, nueva trova and points in between.
Friday 17 December 2004Ska Cubano - Ska Cubano
A diabolical concoction of foot-popping ska, invocations to the ancient Yoruba gods, swinging Latin brass and the results of a fiendish extraction process performed on the kings of mambo make Ska Cubano's eponymous album an instant party classic.
Saturday 4 December 2004Inventos: Hip Hop Cubano (Film)
There's a great documentary that has been doing the rounds at film festivals and events recently, Inventos: Hip Hop Cubano. The brainchild of a young US film maker called Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi -- who interviews and shadows a number of the well-known artists -- he gives us an intimate look at what Cuban hip hop is all about.
Friday 17 September 2004Sly and Robbie - Version Born
Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and Bill Laswell: that is a heavyweight team if ever there was one and here they pull in collaborators to put down some dark, dark tunes. Deep bass exploration.
Sunday 20 June 2004V/A - Salsa Moderna V.2: Colombia Calling
Subtitled 'A taste of new wave Colombian flavours', Salsa Moderna v.2 does not disappoint anyone with itchy feet for salsa. Culled from the latest tracks coming out of Colombian label Discos Fuentes by Straight No Chaser Latin Don Lubi Javanovic, this is not cerebral salsa.
Saturday 13 December 2003V/A - The Rough Guide to Salsa Colombia
The album covers everything from classics by Los Golden Boys and La Sonora Dinamita to modern salsa romántico from the likes of Orquesta Internacional Los Niches
Monday 1 September 2003Celia Cruz and the Fania Allstars in Africa (DVD)
The music is blisteringly good, the filmography marks it out as mid 70s concert footage straight away but apart from Celia herself the real stars of the show are the audience.
Saturday 23 August 2003Cool Runnings (DVD)
Hit and miss documentary about Sunsplash, Montego Bay 1983.
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