Latin America: Reviews
Wednesday 22 June 2011Amon Tobin - ISAM
Fans of Amon Tobin will be used to expecting the unexpected when it comes to new releases but even for the Brazilian born maverick, ISAM is a step into the unknown.
Friday 13 May 2011V/A - The Rhythms of Black Peru
New Afro-Peruvian compilation of undiscovered gems comes out on vinyl and download.
Friday 3 December 2010Gilles Peterson/Stuart Baker - Bossa Nova
With most of the UK covering in snow, what better week to launch a book dedicated to the cover art of Bossa Nova albums released in Brazil in the 1960s?
Wednesday 13 October 2010Dominic Miller - November
Dominic Miller is the Argentinean guitarist is best known for his work with Sting and even though he’s done loads of session work, it’s his own albums that showcase him the best but his latest is the exception - in a very good way.
Monday 13 September 2010Marcos Valle - Estática
One of the titles of the year but can veteran Marcos Valle produce one of the albums of the year - you bet as he’s estatic about this!
Saturday 31 July 2010V/A - Far Out Spaced Oddyssey (Vols. 1 & 2)
Sub-titled “Psychedelia Folk, Rock, Electronica & Jazz from the Out There Edges of Brazil” this is so much more than a trip into the mid 60s to 70s as Far Out Recordings bring you a trip of a lifetime.
Thursday 22 July 2010Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno - Dog With A Rope
Get this, Will ‘Quantic’ Holland brings dub and reggae flavours to his Afro-Latin American Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno project; who much better can it get?
Monday 19 July 2010V/A - Palenque Palenque: Champeta, Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975-91
In short, its a compilation album on Soundway called Palenque Palenque: Champeta, Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975-91 - I’d say that was enough information to rush out and buy it, but if you need more…
Sunday 13 June 2010The Ipanemas - Que Beleza
Radio 1’s Gilles Peterson played a track this week from the fifth Os Ipanemas album on Far Out Recordings and although it’s a busy week, these new recordings from “the original Afro-Brazilian Kings” have rarely sounded better.
Thursday 10 June 2010V/A - Ginga: The Sound Of Brazilian Football
It’s here at long last! The World Cup coincides with the return of the much missed Mr Bongo label with a fantastic Brazilian football themed compilation - let the drums ring out.
Wednesday 9 June 2010Luísa Maita - Lero-Lero
It is probably a coincidence that the European release of Luísa Maita’s album chimes with the opening of Southbank Centre’s multi-arts celebration, Festival Brazil.
Saturday 17 April 2010Joyce & Donato - Aquarius
Now spring has sprung, welcome to the new age of Aquarius from the Brazilian music stars Joyce Moreno and Joao Donato; “beautiful and understated” is an understatement.
Wednesday 3 March 2010V/A - Garrincha!! Estrela Solitaria (The Lonely Star)
Far Out release the Original Sound Track to the brilliant film Garrincha ‘Estrela Solitaria’ on CD and they couldn’t have timed it better.
Monday 8 February 2010V/A - Kings Of Drum & Bass (Compiled by 4Hero & DJ Marky)
We have loved every single BBE compilation in the Kings Of series as their formula is simple, two ‘Kings of’ a genre select tracks for a double CD/LP set; nothing can go wrong and the Drum & Bass selection is no exception.
Sunday 29 November 2009V/A Panamá! 3 - Calypso Panameño, Guajira Jazz & Cúmbia Típica on the Isthmus 1960-75
Wow! Those boys at Soundway are really too good for us folks as here’s the third release in the Panama! series and there’s a hell of a fire down below.
Thursday 26 November 2009Alex Malheiros & Banda Utopia - The Wave
The Brazilian jazz equivalent of “dolphins, seals, birds, fish, sharks, cliffs, moonlight, glassy water” is The Wave; that means it’s another Far Out Recordings slab of excellence.
Monday 2 November 2009Brazilian Groove Band - Anatomy Of Groove
We’ve got Leo Gandleman to thank for this as it was his foresight to make the call to his musician chums in 1999 to record some Brazilian inspired boogie as the Brazilian Groove Band as they got down to explore the Anatomy Of Groove.
Sunday 1 November 2009Omar Puente - From There To Here
Omar Puente is a regular on the pages of FLY, but From There To Here is actually his debut album and it couldn’t come soon enough; produced by a certain Fitzgerald Courtney Pine OBE no less.
Tuesday 6 October 2009Sabrina Malheiros - New Morning : Deluxe Edition
I can’t believe the original New Morning was released back early last year as it still sounds fresh as a ‘new moring’ so what’s with the Deluxe Edition re-issue? We’ll it’s lots more than a new sleeve, DON’T over look this one!
Wednesday 30 September 2009Forro In The Dark - Light A Candle
The well informed will know that the literal translation of ‘forro’ is ‘party’ where like minded folks get together to have a good time and dance; so can Forro In The Dark light a candle to past masters?
Saturday 29 August 2009Bomba Estéreo - Blow Up
Forget everything you know about Colombian popular music. Erase Juanes from your playlist. Bury Shakira CDs in a ditch. Bomba Estéreo’s second album Blow Up is everything that Colombian pop should sound like: an amalgam of influences that still retains enough originality and danceability to knock you off your seats.
Friday 24 July 2009Luaka 21 - Twenty First Century, Twenty First Year
Luaka Bop started life as the pet record label of David Byrne as an outlet for his Brasilian musical discoveries but it wasn’t long before it developed into one of the finest independent record labels on the planet, defying pigeon holes, albeit with a fondness for all things Brasilian, to become a home for interesting music rather than any particular genre.
Friday 24 July 2009Black Rio 2 - Original Samba Soul 1971-1980
The Strut records revival continues apace under the guiding light of K7 records as they release another sterling compilation this time focussing on the music of Brasil that was under the influence of the soulful, funky sounds of their North American cousins.
Friday 24 July 2009Ceu - Vagarosa
Ceu is one of the new wave of Brasilian female vocal talents and two years after her 2007 debut comes another collection of well-crafted, lazy, occasionally edgy, soulful grooves. The album title actually translates as ‘slow, easygoing and leisurely’ so you get the idea, it’s more sofa than party time.
Friday 10 July 2009V/A - Gilles Peterson Presents Brazilika
With Gilles Peterson celebrating 10 years at the BBC and Far Out Recordings having a 15th birthday celebration, what better party animal partnership is there to bring you this compilation of the finest Brazilika there is?
Sunday 28 June 2009V/A - Black Rio 2 (Original Samba Soul 1971-1980)
Here’s a winning combination, the Strut label is one of the UK’s leading record labels dedicated to unearthing the lost gems of dance music and DJ Cliffy, is one hell of a DJ that’s dedicated to finding dusty samba grooves for today’s dancefloor; say no more, it’s Black Rio 2 (Original Samba Soul 1971-1980).
Sunday 28 June 2009Quantic And His Combo Barabro - Tradition In Transition
Quantic has just made his best album so far. Now a resident in Cali, Colombia he is developing his sound with the help of some great Colombian musicians and Brasilian Arthur Verocai, who has scored the strings on several of the tracks.
Sunday 28 June 2009V/A - Comfusões 1 - From Angola To Brasil
Brasil owes a large debt to African music and numerous artists have explored the connections between the two countries, Cheik Lo’s great Lamp Fall album being just one example. Now Mauricio Pacheco has taken Angolan music from a time gone by and given it a spruce up for 2009 and the results sound great
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
Friday 19 June 2009The Revolution - Revolution
If you’ve read the latest edition of Jungle Drums you’ll have spotted we’ve review all the album they have apart from this one which they didn’t like too much; will the Cubanistas fare any better on the FLY sound system with Hectic?
Friday 12 June 2009Clara Moreno - Miss Balanço
Don’t let the cover fool you, this is a heavy CD for those jazz dancers; this is sambalanço!
Tuesday 9 June 2009A Bossa Elétrica - Praia Do Futuro EP
Their first album Eletrificação was released in 2004 and as good things come to those who wait, this is a 12” three track “teaser” for the new A Bossa Elétrica album.
Sunday 31 May 2009V/A - Panama! 2 Latin, Funk and Calypso on the Isthmus 1967-77
Yet another essential compilation album that concentrates on the 60s-70s but this time it’s hot out of Panama on the always excellent Soundway label.
Sunday 31 May 2009V/A - Nicola Conte Presents Viagem 2
Viagem 2 is the next in a series of DJ compiled albums celebrating 50 years of Bossa Nova (circa 1962-1970) selected by Blue Note & Schema recording artist and all round man of cool, Nicola Conte.
Sunday 24 May 2009Joe Bataan & Los Fulanos - King Of Latin Soul
The King is still on his thrown but there’s a new crew in the Spanish court and all without a revolution; what is Hectic on about?
Sunday 24 May 2009Vitor Ramil & Marcos Suzano - Satolep Sambatown
Satolep Sambatown is a meeting of two Brazils, pitching the folkloric traditions of the south with the samba rhythms of the center
Sunday 24 May 2009V/A - ZZK Sound Volume II
As tropical electronica goes global, the Argentine pioneers at ZZK records release their second compilation.
Saturday 23 May 2009Bossacucanova - Ao Vivo: Celebrating 50 years of Bossa Nova
Tapping into retro cool and jazzy modernity, Bossacucanova pays tribute to bossa nova with a CD and DVD celebrating the genre’s 50th anniversary
Monday 18 May 2009Dani Casarano & Felipe Valenzuela - Never Dies EP
Hard to keep the lid on the box of this EP as our favourite Chilean’s of the moment give us another 4 great tracks.
Friday 1 May 2009V/A - Daniel Haaksman Presents Funk Mundial
Admirers of Daniel Haaksman will know that anything on his Funk Mundial imprint is baile funk quality and this album is a compilation of 16 of the best of them.
Thursday 30 April 2009Onda Vaga - Fuerte y Caliente
Onda Vaga roughly translates as “vagabond stlye” and their sound evokes campfire singalongs on the beach, travellers tales and cherished memories
Sunday 26 April 2009Vanessa da Mata - Koko, London (Live Review)
Koko was packed to the rafters with an impatient Brazilian crowd, keen to get past the DJ and onto the fabulous Vanessa da Mata, who burst onto the stage with such vibrancy and life that the already excited venue cranked up to notches rarely seen outside of Brazil
Saturday 25 April 2009V/A - Rich Medina and Bobbito Present The Connection Volume One: Modern Explorations In Afro-Beat and Afro-Latin
When it comes to Afro Latin grooves and music of black origin Rich Medina and Bobbito are two of New York’s top tastemakers. They are also long time friends and DJ collaborators so you know this compilation is going to be “un poco caliente”
Sunday 19 April 2009Jose Roberto Bertrami and his Modern Sound - Aventura
José Roberto Bertrami is a legend as a musician and as member of Azymuth so this guy just doesn’t do back albums, he doesn’t brilliant albums and his modern sound adventure is a trip for sure.
Tuesday 7 April 2009Vanessa da Mata - Sim
If you want to be one of those impossibly smug folk who have tired of new discoveries before the rest of the world has even heard of them, this is the album for you. Vanessa da Mata is going to hit in a big way: think Bebel Gilberto with bass and attitude
Monday 6 April 2009Francisco Allendes & Felipe Venegas - Espiritu
Andes Music hits the holy ghost of Afro-deep techno house minimal dancefloor action with a new classic track, ‘Espiritu’ as played out by Agoria, Danny Tenaglia, Josh Wink, Karotte, Butch, Shinedoe, Laurent Garnier, Ramon Tapia and Gerry Hectic!
Sunday 22 March 2009Joyce, Nana Vasconcelos, Mauricio Mastro - Visions Of Dawn
You don’t have to be Carlos Niño or Gilles Peterson to get excited about news that Far Out have a new CD coming out of a previously unreleased 1976 project recorded in Paris by three giants of Brazilian music, so get excited and rush to purchase a collection of 33 years old ‘new’ recordings!
Friday 20 March 2009Chango Spasiuk - Pynandi - Los Descalzos
The versatile accordionist from Argentina delivers his most alluring set of chamamé tunes yet
Sunday 15 March 2009Novalima - Coba Coba
Novalima’s third album poses an interesting question: to what lengths should a release be praised solely on its innovation?
Wednesday 4 March 2009Ariel - Camará
Cuba is the inspiration for the music on this album called Camará so expect some percussion dominated techno from London based DJ/producer, Ariel.
Wednesday 25 February 2009Dani Casarano & Felipe Valenzuela - Tia Anita EP
This is a big one from Dorian Chavez’ Superclub, ‘Tia Anita’ is Chilean house and it’s so FLY, Dani Casarano and Felipe Valenzuela are now our favourite South American duo.
Saturday 7 February 2009Rabotnik - Lounge Ass
If you thought Joe Davis (he of Far Out Recordings) had samba’d off his leftfield trolley with the genre defying Binario, well he’s gone and done it again with this lot that call themselves Rabotnik.
Friday 5 December 2008Curumin: A Fresh Spin on Samba Funk
Hailing from the crowded streets of Sao Paulo, Curumin serves up a Brazilian sound with a markedly urban undertone. A mecca for ground-breaking musical talent, Brazil has given birth to a new artist with a fresh sound, global view, and charm. Pronounced KOO-roo-mean, the samba funk star recently released JapanPopShow, his second album of feel good party music to a receptive international audience.
Tuesday 2 December 2008V/A -Tropa De Elite (The Soundtrack)
Quite who would want to recreate the fear, torture and sexual violence of Tropa de Elite is a mystery but if you’re strong enough to banish its harrowing images from your mind then the soundtrack provides a good snapshot of Brazilian music
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
Thursday 20 November 2008MIlton Nascimento - Royal Festival Hall '08 (Live Review)
He is no longer the beautiful young man he once was but the voice can still charm the birds from the trees and the gentle humour of the man can keep them entertained once they are sitting on his shoulders
Wednesday 19 November 2008Juana Molina - Un Dia
A sonic evolution for for the Argentine actress turned songstress
Tuesday 4 November 2008Sambistas - Sambistas
Names like Jair Rodrigues, Elza Soares and Luciana Mello should be enough to the grab the attention of any committed Sambista - for those that are new to the sound, the music itself will do the trick
Monday 3 November 2008Celia Mara - Santa Rebeldia
With messages like ‘No more pain for our people’ and ‘For all the women who live and fight for a more just society’ splashed across the album artwork you could be forgiven for expecting a lecture in political sensibilities and discrimination. In fact that is exactly what you get but it is delivered with a smile and backed by playful beats
Monday 3 November 2008Karrin Allyson - Imagina: Songs of Brazil
A Jobim-heavy celebration of Brazilian music from the American singer Karrin Allyson.
Saturday 1 November 2008Binaro - Binario
Hey! This is something a bit different from Far Out Recordings, Ipanema Beach bad boys Binario turn up with their self-titled debut, Binario
Saturday 25 October 2008Murcof - The Versailles Sessions
A special commission for Mexican electronic composer Murcof and collaboration with a viola, cellist and trombone players from Spanish classical ensemble BCN216, has produced a rather special piece of work.
Wednesday 15 October 2008Mexican Institute Of Sound - Méjico Máxico
Here he is again! The one-man institute that comes from Mexico with a massive of 23 tracks on one CD; Méjico Máxico as they say south of the boarder.
Monday 29 September 2008ZZK Sound Volume 1 - Cumbia Digital
Cumbia, that must be from Colombia, right? Wrong. Welcome to “a new language to dance to.”
Sunday 3 August 2008V/A - Cafe de Los Maestros
The CD of the film of the meeting of many of the great Latin-American music stars of the past. Sound a bit familiar? If there is a touch of the tango Buena Vista about the idea of getting together some of the greatest purveyors of the ’40s and ’50s era of this dark and dramatic Argentinian dance form for a re-recording of their past material, there’s nothing contrived or trend-following about the approach.
Sunday 20 July 2008Lawson Rollins - Infinita
If ever there was a record that truly deserved the ‘world beat’ label then this is it. Latin America and the Middle East collide on this Spanish guitar driven jazz medley
Sunday 20 July 2008Carlinhos Brown - The Barbican (Live Review)
A bizarre display of Brazilian carnival fervour brought to London’s Barbican
Friday 18 July 2008V/A - I Like It Like That (Fania Remixed)
Once again the vaults of Fania have been plundered by the remixes that know their Fanias from their elbows to produce another dance floor friendly summer hot one.
Monday 7 July 2008Céu -- Céu
With the UK release of Céu the spate of young Brazilians trying to take their country’s musical traditions and morph them into something new continues. While most fall far short of the music they cite as inspirations, Céu clearly has something special to offer
Tuesday 1 July 2008Sabrina Malheiros - New Morning
Despite its opening bars sounding like the backing to a black and white TV advert Sabrina Malheiros’ New Morning is actually rather pleasant.
Friday 30 May 2008Sabrina Malheiros - New Morning
Don’t let the predicable cover of beautiful girl on a beach and glorious sunset put you off getting this new album from Far Out Recordings; the best yet from Sabrina Malheiros as you wake up to her new morning
Saturday 24 May 2008Ponto de Equilíbrio - Abre a Janela
Formed in a Rio de Janeiro hippy refuge in 1999, Ponto de Equilíbrio blend traditional aspects of roots reggae with musical flavours from across Brazil into an utterly distinctive and highly refreshing individual sound
Wednesday 21 May 2008Seu Jorge and Airto Moreira - Royal Festival Hall (Live Review)
While the host nation to this gig was tuned into a football match, the mainly Latin audience danced, roared and sang their way through an exceptional evening of music
Saturday 17 May 2008Jackson Conti - Sujinho
Students at the FLY academy will immediately recognise Jackson Conti as the combined talents of Otis Jackson, Jr (aka Madlib) and Ivan (Mamão) Conti (he of Azymuth); lets face it, that makes Sujinho indispensible in itself.
Thursday 15 May 2008Velha Guarda da Portela - Tudo Azul
It is hard to go wrong with an album that has Paulinho da Viola, Moreno Veloso and Zeca Pagodinho on board — with Marisa Monte’s backing it is well-nigh impossible
Tuesday 13 May 2008Os Racionais Live - The Coliseum
A lot of rubbish is said and written about ‘real hip hop’ but it doesn’t get much realer than Os Racionais MCs. Hailing from Sāo Paulo’s slums they were earlier pioneers of rap Brasileiro; since their very conception, controversy has never been far away and their recent London show was no different
Tuesday 13 May 2008Gilberto Gil Live - The Barbican (Live Review)
Returning to the city that once served as his home, Gilberto Gil was introduced as the man who has ‘provided the soundtrack to five decades of Brazilian life’. Twenty-two songs later we realised just how true that was
Friday 9 May 2008Paul Bryan - Listen Of
Whistling and cool have never been the best of bedfellows. At worst there’s Roger Whitaker (ask your grandparents) and at best, Peter Bjorn & John’s ‘Young Folks’? Paul Bryan’s title track falls somewhere between the two of these so be prepared for a tough start to this one
Monday 5 May 2008Natalia Clavier - Nectar
Born and raised in Argentina, Natalia Clavier lived and breathed all sorts of music from an early age and she’s developed into a woman with a voice that sounds like Nectar itself
Saturday 19 April 2008Mexican Institute Of Sound - Escribeme Pronto EP
All of a sudden, you can hardly move for huge EPs and this is another one from Camilo Lara aka Mexican Institute Of Sound; and just for a change, he gets the remix treatment this time.
Saturday 12 April 2008The Ipanemas - Call Of The Gods
The gift of the samba is an answer to a calling from the gods of rhythm. Or to put it another way, The Ipanemas are at it again with their new album on Far Out Recordings.
Sunday 10 February 2008V/A -Nicola Conte Presents Viagem
From its graphic comic, Lichtensteinesque, cover through all of its 15 tracks Viagem is a piece of pure history, and one that everyone should own
Tuesday 29 January 2008DJ Dolores - 1 Real
“Musicians don’t know how to classify their own music and leave this dubious task to marketing managers and journalists. Musicians want to make music not worry about which bin the record will be placed. So let the dogs bark while the caravan dances.”
Wednesday 2 January 2008Sparo - 'The Falling'
Sparo may have his head in the clouds but the arrival of ‘The Falling’ (released on 3 Bar Fire) is just the thing to turn up the heat
Monday 12 November 2007Bajofondo Tango Club - Roundhouse (Live Review)
You know when you’ve been Tangoed . . . Chances are that while you probably haven’t heard of the Bajofondo Tango Club you’ll almost certainly have heard their music. As well as providing the backing for a couple of adverts, members of the electronic tango collective from Buenas Aires has been involved in the soundtracks for Babel, Brokeback Mountain and The Motorcycle Diaries
Sunday 11 November 2007Federico Aubele - Panamericana
An album inspired by a motorway is probably not the most exciting prospect. The Via Pan-Americana however is no ordinary highway; it runs from Alaska to Cape Horn in Argentina and Federico Aubele has attempted to capture some of the musical traditions from the countries it dissects
Sunday 11 November 2007Lula Cortes & Ze Ramalho - Paebiru
Paêbirú is probably the strangest album to have landed on my desk, ever. If it didn’t have the Mr Bongo logo stamped all over its cover I doubt I would have got past track two
Monday 29 October 2007Arthur Verocai - Encore
When it comes to handing out compliments, Arthur Verocai deservedly gets some big ones. Find out why on this new album
Sunday 28 October 2007LeLeo - Maravilhas
The latest in a long a long line of projects from LeLeo — Maravilhas sees the one-man musical institution team up some of his rather talented friends and play some dusty sounding laid-back Brazilian grooves
Thursday 25 October 2007Valentina - La Valentina
The debut album from the worldly Mexican songstress, Valentina Gonzalez, is an intriguing journey of vocal exploration with Valentina’s evocative voice at its core
Wednesday 26 September 2007Los Mono - Somos Los Que Estamos
Los Mono are producing some of the most soulful, eclectic music coming out of South America - and they’re worth the hype.
Wednesday 26 September 2007Mo' Horizons - Sunshine Today
Mo’ Horizons have been there or thereabouts in musical circles for the last eight years. Now it’s time for them to break through with their fourth LP, on their own imprint Agogo.
Friday 21 September 2007V/A - Bottletop - Sound Affects: Brazil
To put it simply Sound Affects: Brazil is a good idea for a good cause and contains some mighty fine music as well
Wednesday 19 September 2007Antonio Adolfo, Brazil & Brazuka - Destiny
Slick bossa beats combine with the voices of not one but two girls from Ipanema in this celebration of 70s funk
Saturday 15 September 2007Louie Vega Presents Luisito Quintero: Percussion Madness Revisited
A certain record store in London’s Berwick St. environs has had the cover of the first edition of Percussion Madness in their shop window for over a year now. Now if you haven’t got the message yet, Revisited just reinforces the fact that you need both albums in your collection
Sunday 9 September 2007Essence - Marcus Pereira
Delicate, intelligent jazz with a touch of Brazil from the guitarist and composer Marcus Pereira
Saturday 25 August 2007Antonio Adolfo, Brazil & Brazuka - Destiny
Gale force winds of funk and heavy bossa nova rain turn up with this killer from the label whose destiny is to supply our ears with the pride of Brazil
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
Wednesday 25 July 2007V/A - Bottletop Presents Sound Affects: Brazil (The Drum 'n' Bass Remixes)
Before the Sound Affects: Brazil album comes out later this year, this 12” gets us in a d’n’b groove
Wednesday 25 July 2007Orquestra Imperial - Carnaval So Ano que Vem
Carnaval Só Ano que Vem is the first recording by eighteen-piece Orquestra Imperial since they appeared as a live collective some five years ago, electrifying audiences from the Brazilian carnavals to the London Barbican. Brazil’s neo-samba super group offer a fresh retrospective on the Big Band Gafieira sound, transporting Rio’s 1950’s dancehalls to the modern age. The outcome is an album of infectious, melodic samba, which has the carnaval spirit at its heart, while at the same time acting as a cornerstone for the new wave of Brazilian reinvention
Sunday 8 July 2007AfroReggae - Favela Uprising
It might be 30 years since the release of Exodus but if there was any further proof that reggae is now the heart beat of the world, here’s AfroReggae from the favelas of Rio to put forward their gospel
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.
Saturday 23 June 2007Palenke Soultribe - Tropic N Heaven
Out of Colombia, LA’s Palenke Soultribe blend traditional music with electronic beats to match the tropics and heaven
Thursday 21 June 2007OST - El embajador y yo
Groovy, baby, groovy.
Wednesday 20 June 2007Rabbits & Carrots - Soul Latino
The latest from Vampi Soul is “an anthology of Mexico’s No. 1 instrumental combo” and so it’s all about the Latin soul
Tuesday 19 June 2007Yerba Buena - Follow Me
Now I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, or a CD for that matter, but it’s hard not to get excited by an album that boasts a bikini-clad lady leading a sombrero-wearing donkey down the road on its cover
Wednesday 13 June 2007Funk Mundial #3 Presents Crookers - 'Para De Gracinha'
Crookers have taken bonkers to the next level with their brilliant 12” of electrified baile funk mundial.
Tuesday 5 June 2007V/A - Putumayo Presents Latin Jazz
Putumayo World continues its exploration of the Latin sound with its début jazz release. It opts for the obvious rather than the surprising (Ray Barretto, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri all appear) but provides a good introduction to the world of Latin jazz
Tuesday 5 June 2007V/A: Brazilian Beats 'n' Pieces
With 32 tracks squeezed into just over 57 minutes ‘Brazilian Bits ‘N Pieces’ acts as a crash course in contemporary Brazilian music and, according to its promoters at least, is the world’s first officially licensed all-Brazilian cut-and-paste mix
Monday 4 June 2007Bebel Gilberto - Roundhouse (Live Review)
It has been almost a month since Bebel Gilberto performed live at the Roundhouse and I still can’t make up my mind; brave artist, lacklustre performer or spoilt diva…
Wednesday 30 May 2007Chris Frank and Nina Miranda - Zeep
You may recognise Chris Frank and Brazilian vocalist Nina Miranda from Da Lata (Prá Manhã and the brilliant ‘Serious’), Smoke City (‘Underwater Love’) and Chris & Nina’s ‘Mash Banana’ on Especial Records. Well you can forget most of that, as Zeep takes on a far more relaxed and organic form
Wednesday 30 May 2007Pablo Ziegler Quartet - Tango & All That Jazz
Former pianist of the Astor Piazzolla Quintet, Pablo Ziegler continues to combine his love and talent for tango with the traditional aspects of jazz
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.
Saturday 19 May 2007CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy
As these lot are poking their heads above the parapet in the press this week, it’s a good time to check out why folks ain’t getting tired of “I’m tired of being sexy”.
Sunday 13 May 2007Nilo Espinosa - Shaken, Not Stirred
The album title made me think of the early James Bond score music - all show and style but with no real substance if taken out of context from the on-screen action
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
Wednesday 18 April 2007Ray Barretto - Latin Soul Man
Fania’s re-issue campaign continues with this homage to the work of Ray Barretto, who first made a name for himself in New York’s Latino barrios and, as the sleeve notes put it, “is one of the true originals of New York Latin Music.”
Wednesday 18 April 2007Clara Moreno feat. Celso Fonesca & Joyce - Meu Samba Torto
There is something about Brazilian music that makes it sound better in the sunshine and Clara Moreno’s Meu Samba Torto is no different.
Thursday 12 April 2007Funk Mundial #2 presents Sinden + Count of Monte Cristal - 'Tamborzuda'
This is going to blow Funk Mundial minds as two of London’s biggest DJs reinvent worldwide baile funk
Tuesday 10 April 2007Quarteto Brasil - Bossa Nova Delicado
Bossa Nova Delicado is not traditional Brazilian music nor does it attempt to be; it’s light, breezy Bossa, erring on the jazz side rather than the samba vibe
Tuesday 10 April 2007Toco - Otro Lugar
Nova bossa with an international tinge
Sunday 25 March 2007Edu K - Frenétiko
As Europe’s indie kids have taken Brazil’s CSS to their collective hearts, it’s only a matter of time before they get into the baile funk b-boy, Edu K
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
Saturday 17 March 2007Various - Colombia! The Golden Years of Discos Fuentes
Colombia may be famous for many things but among lovers of big, fast bold Latin sounds, it is above all the music that shines through
Sunday 11 March 2007Kassin +2 - Futurismo
Fresh, contemporary, avant-garde, soulful and bossa-based — not an impossible (but admittedly unlikely) combination as this album proves
Friday 9 March 2007Martin Buscaglia - El Evangelio Según Mi Jardinero
Straight from Montevideo, Uruguay comes this modern fusion of Latin American flavours (spoken in Spanish and Portuguese), with the melodic wit of OutKast and the smoky vocals of Paolo Nutini but which also speaks with the voice of the Spanish underground, layering Casio keyboard-esque melodies and flamenco beats.
Friday 9 March 2007Bugalú Tropical - ¡Gózalo! - Volume 1
First there was mambo, pachanga and cha cha cha. With the arrival of the 1960s, influenced by James Brown and Marvin Gaye, boogaloo burst forth.
Tuesday 6 March 2007Sirius B - Bagunca (The Very Best of Sirius B 1998 - 2006)
Bagunca charters the discography of British-based Brazilian jazz dance band, Sirius B. Marvellous relentless energy and sumptuous grooves delight the listener, charging feet and hips
Monday 5 March 2007Azymuth - Azimuth (Remastered & Remixed)
This is the incredible, seminal debut album from Azymuth that sounds nothing like it was recorded in 1975 and if the re-mastering doesn’t do it for you, there’s a bonus CD of newly commissioned remixes and re-edits by all your favourites
Tuesday 27 February 2007V/A - Our Latin Thing 2
A Fania sampler offering a bite-size chunk of the history of salsa
Tuesday 27 February 2007V/A - What's Happening in Pernambuco
Has Brazil’s North-East finally caught up with Rio and São Paulo? This showcase of Pernambucan talent would suggest that it has…
Tuesday 20 February 2007V/A - Putumayo Presents A New Groove
If the origins of the artists on Putumayo’s A New Groove are diverse, the connecting theme is laid-back jazz fuelled songwriting - lounge jazz for a new generation
Friday 16 February 2007Tutty Moreno feat. Joyce - Magica
This album was originally called ‘Tocando Sentido Suando’ but I tend to agree with those wise samba heads at Far Out Recordings, Magica is an apt title.
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
Thursday 1 February 2007Diego Figueiredo - El Colibri
Diego Figueiredo is a Brazilian guitarist and a half. His fingers fly improbably about the fretboard whether his subject is classical or jazz all delivered with unmistakable Brazilian style and influence.
Sunday 21 January 2007Chico Mann - Manifest Tone Vol.1
Manifest Tone Vol.1 generates images and feelings that originated in Lagos during the 70s but which have been splendidly re-produced in 21st Century New Jersey.
Friday 12 January 2007DJ Hell - Misch Masch Vol III
This is third Misch Masch compilation and it’s international DJ Gigolo Hell who takes the controls from Tiefschwarz and Freeform Five.
Monday 4 December 2006Tamy - Soul Mais Bossa
Not just another Brazilian best of…
Wednesday 29 November 2006Alex Wilson - Inglaterra
Inglaterra is the fifth offering from Alex Wilson and his twelve-piece power Latin band. Although predominately containing traditional salsa beats there are a few pioneering tracks; bringing together more than one long-established musical sound
Monday 27 November 2006V/A - Radio Latino
Putamayo Presents Radio Latino is a collection of 11 upbeat tracks taken from across the Spanish speaking world — a cocktail of contemporary artists at the forefront of the Latin alternative scene in their respective countries, but who have yet to make their mark internationally
Friday 17 November 2006Seu Jorge - Carolina
Currently on his UK tour promoting, just enough time to check out his pre-Cru album
Wednesday 8 November 2006Tanghetto - Emigrante (Electrotango)
Argentina continues to re-explore and reinterpret its musical heritage, as a new release follows in the footsteps of Gotan Project to bring the distinctive sound of tango to a beat-hungry global audience.
Thursday 26 October 2006Guida de Palma & Jazzinho - Atlas
This album nicely follows on from Sundays Afternoon At Dingwalls. Quality Latin jazz soul and funk all-wrapped up in a Dingwalls feel for today. This band would definitely be a live booking if Dingwalls was still a regular session
Wednesday 25 October 2006V/A - Sensacional Soul
Plucked straight out of 60s soul fever this Double CD compilation is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any Aretha Franklin or James Brown fan. Plugged as being ‘El Soul música, made in the USA, para las discotecas españolas’ or rather Soul music, made in the USA for Spanish clubs, this collection does exactly what it says on the tin
Sunday 22 October 2006Democustico - Democustico
Far Out recordings are the place to go if you want cutting edge Brazilian music, and they’ve come up with the goods once again with a sensual marriage of bossa nova and programmed beats (with just a hint of Indian folk) from this new London-based collective.
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
Friday 8 September 2006V/A - World 2006
In a world awash with free cover-mount compilations and triple CDs for a tenner, why on earth would you buy Charlie Gillett’s latest round up? Perhaps because you really do get what you pay for…
Friday 4 August 2006Ivete Sangalo - Ivete Sangalo
Ivete Sangalo is the reigning queen of axê music and a superstar back in her native Brazil. She’s the complete package: a fantastic voice, an impressive dancer and, just as importantly, she looks great
Friday 4 August 2006Marisa Monte - Universo au meu Redor
Despite a career spanning more than 15 years, Marisa Monte has yet to put a foot wrong. A string of perfectly-formed albums have brought both critical acclaim and international success, establishing her as the foremost MPB artist of her generation
Wednesday 2 August 2006V/A - 4hero Present Brazilika
It’s fair to say that we’ve had a happy period of some really excellent compilation CDs lately dedicated to the music of Brazil. Luckily, this one is a very special addition to the school of 2006.
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.
Monday 3 July 2006Bn Loco - Echo en Mexico
So into the world of ludicrous titles like ‘glitch-hop’ and ‘scream-o’ steps the new kid on the block - ‘bad ass border beats’. This particular newcomer to the genre market is fronted by ‘Bn Loco’ and the album Echo en Mexico
Friday 23 June 2006V/A - Beginner's Guide To World Music (World Cup 2006 Edition)
This special edition features 32 tracks from all the competing countries in the World Cup and it’s a right result.
Friday 9 June 2006Ed Motta - Aystelum
Nobody can accuse Ed Motta of lacking ambition. Since achieving pop stardom in his native Brazil at age 16, he has forged a unique recording career that has seen him move effortlessly from pure pop to funk to instrumental jazz — and back again. Now, 19 years later, Aystelum sees this prodigiously talented musician releasing his finest work yet.
Saturday 3 June 2006Moreno + 2 - Music Typewriter
Moreno + 2 is Domenico Lancellotti, Moreno Veloso and Kassin. Accomplished instrumentalists, respected producers, heirs to a family heritage of Tropicalia and Samba ( Moreno Veloso is the son to Caetano) the plus twos recently embarked upon a musical trilogy with each instalment directed under the leadership of a different member.
Monday 29 May 2006Juana Molina - Son
This is the fourth album from the former comedienne from Buenos Aires and probably her most accessible yet. Breakthrough time?
Saturday 27 May 2006Yuri Buenaventura - Salsa Dura
After a number of experimental releases, the “salsero Don Quixote” delivers up a nalbum of wholesome, undiluted hot salsa.
Friday 19 May 2006Domenico+2 - Sincerely Hot
It is a good time for Luaku Bop to re-release this CD as we seem to be ready for some Brazilian showmanship.
Saturday 29 April 2006Nação Zumbi - Futura
With the release of their first two albums, Da Lama Ao Caos and Afrociberdélia, Nação Zumbi and lead singer Chico Science revolutionized the Brazilian music scene of the 1990s. Have they still got it?
Saturday 29 April 2006Gal Costa - Hoje
Gal Costa was a key figure in the Tropicália movement of the late 1960s. Her collaborations with the key songwriters of the era produced a string of essential recordings and Gal became an icon of Brazilian countercultural femininity
Thursday 27 April 2006V/A - Paz E Futebol
Get out your wallcharts, get in the beers, put on your replica kits, it is now less than 50 days until the start of the 2006 World Cup. Hectic picks some essential listening for the beautiful game.
Monday 17 April 2006Luiz Eca y la Familia Sargrada - La Nueva Onda De Brasil
This is a fanatastic album! Described as, “the White Album that Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 never made.”
Sunday 16 April 2006The Ipanemas - Samba Is Our Gift
While the Black Rio bands combined American black power funk and 1970’s Brazil, The Ipanemas mix Afro-bossa and vocal samba of the 1950/60s
Sunday 16 April 2006Banda Uniao Black - Banda Uniao Black
The golden age of Black Rio Movement started in 1971 and the biggest band of them all was Banda União Black.
Friday 14 April 2006Che - Sexy 70
This CD is the latest on Vampi Soul and the first in a set of three releases giving us a closer look at some great Brazilian music.
Friday 14 April 2006V/A - The Sound of Club Brasil Sampler Vol. 2
With the shops filling up with replica Brazil footie shirts in readiness for the World Cup, it’s time for a little piece of Brazil in our ears.
Tuesday 4 April 2006Hamilton de Holanda - Samba do Aviao
If you have never considered the mandolin an instrument of interest, here’s where you can prove yourself entirely incorrect and make amends with a slice of Brazilian genius.
Tuesday 4 April 2006Kevin Johansen - City Zen
This slice of light-hearted pop-fuelled acoustica by Alaskan/ Argentinian bi-lingual chillster Johansen and his group the Nada is probably going to be running round your head all summer long.
Sunday 2 April 2006Cabruêra - Proibido Cochilar
Inspired post-manguebeat fusions from the Northeast of Brazil
Sunday 26 March 2006Susana Baca - Travesias
Susana Baca came to international prominence doing her own thing and in so doing became synonymous with the Afro-Peruvian sound that is now recognised the world over. Travesias sees her gently exploring other directions in music and indulging herself with some inspired collaborations
Wednesday 1 March 2006Salsa Celtica - El Camino
Whiskey and rum are hardly the best partners in any drinking binge. More like the recipe for a hell of a hangover — but that’s the equivalent of the Salsa Celtica blend; Celtic tunes and a Cuban salsa backbone kick. And when something works so well, as any cocktail connoisseur will understand, you say sod the hangover — that’s for mañana.
Friday 17 February 2006Ingrid Laubrock / Ife Tolentino - Forensic in tribute to Chico Buarque
When Ingrid Laubrock visited Poole towards the end of last year, the saxophonist exposed her two musical sides to the packed house.
Monday 9 January 2006Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela
Kicking off with some superb flamenco rolls and running headlong into high octane jazz/flamenco/rock guitar, Rodrigo y Gabriela’s third and eponymous album picks up from where Live in Manchester and Dublin left off, with a live feel that leads the listener to expect well-deserved applause following each number
Monday 9 January 2006V/A - Explosivos: Deep-Soul From The Latin Heart
For a few short years from 1966-70, Latin Soul was the hip, young sound of Spanish Harlem. A riotous collision of Latin rhythms, late-1960s psychedelia and Afro-American R&B, the music was fresh, young and funky
Monday 9 January 2006Maria Bethania - Que Falta Voce Me Faz
One of Brazil’s greatest voices tackles the back catalogue of one of its greatest songwriters
Friday 6 January 2006Silverio Pessoa - Bate o Manca (O Povo dos Canaviais)
Forró (pronounced fo-hoe) is the sound of Pernambuco and its capital city Recife. It is a form that is close to the lives of ordinary Brazilians from the North East in its pure state and a resource to be plundered by the mixologists like DJ Dolores. Silvério Pessoa has stuck to the roots and captured the soul of the music on this release
Friday 30 December 2005Cibelle - About A Girl
Brazilian female singers signed to Ziriguiboom will automatically be compared with Bebel Gilberto. Especially when Paolista (São Pauloan) Cibelle Cavalli sings in her native tongue, but lets not.
Saturday 26 November 2005Siba - Fuloresta do Samba
Don’t be misled by the title, this is not the samba of Bahia, it signifies instead a party and throughout the recording it is as if one has been transported to a raucous street party in Pernambuco, Brazil
Saturday 19 November 2005Rex Riddem - Salvador Diaspora
Fans of the Fort Knox label are going to be a little surprised by their latest release, a jazzy samba with some serious remix action
Sunday 13 November 2005Zuco 103 - Whaa!
This is the sound of chaotic resistance to the bland world order of Coldplay and Coca-Cola. Whaa! is a subversive potion of dub featuring the Upsetter himself, Brazilian grooves, African borrowings and funky electronica
Friday 7 October 2005Los de Abajo - LDA V The Lunatics
Fast and furiously catchy, LDA V The Lunatics blends punk, ska, cumbia, reggaeton, mariachi and revolutionary politics to provide a fresh new soundtrack for the anti-globalista generation
Tuesday 27 September 2005The New Brazilian Music - Pernambuco
Brazilian music and culture is marked by its diversity, and its ability to incorporate, absorb and subvert new influences, not only in music, but in painting, dance, theatre and photography, and this is something that shines through on the compilation The New Brazilian Music
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 25 September 2005Sexteto Electronico Moderno - Sounds From The Elegant World
The 15 tracks are taken from four albums covering a period of four years. The ‘classic’ line up of the band was Armando Tirelli (Hammond), Daniel Podestá (Electric Piano), Julio Seoane (bass), Juan Olivera (guitar), Daniel Peña (Saxophone) and Juan Carlos ‘Juca’ Sheppard (drums).
Monday 29 August 2005Totonho e os Cabra - Sabotador de Satélite
From the unimpeachably perfect label Trama comes another gem after the excellent Rappin’ Hood release. In fact, if you fused the catholic hip hop stylings of Rappin’ Hood with the extra-terrestrial concerns of Sun Ra, this is what you would get
Sunday 31 July 2005Celso Fonseco - Rive Gauche Rio
Perfectly chilled and served with a style borne of learning from the best Brazilian musicians, Celso Fonseco comes through with this slice of acoustic pleasantry but ultimately offers nothing new.
Sunday 3 July 2005Ana Robles - Los Duendes del Agua
An accomplished début from London-based Argentinean singer-songwriter Ana Robles
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
Tuesday 28 June 2005Rappin' Hood - Sujeito Homen 2
Funky, conscious and packed to the gills with great samples and famous guests this will be huge in the Lusitanic world — but will it make an impact outside? Who cares, you heard it here and all your friends will be profoundly impressed when they hear your copy booming back at them
Saturday 25 June 2005Celia Mara - Bastardista
Fresh, punky, eclectic and sensual: Célia Mara’s new album has already stormed the World Music Charts Europe. Célia plunders musical forms from far and wide providing a refreshing antidote to the Bebel Gilberto release we are usually treated to at this time of year.
Wednesday 22 June 2005Tony Allen - 'Afro Black' Remix for Grupo Batuque
The legendary afro beat drummer Tony Allen has been mentioned a few times on Fly recently as he supported Dizzee Rascal as part of the Africa Remix festival in London and then he went to Paris for a show at the completely renovated 1950s cinema called L'Etage
Wednesday 22 June 2005Nery Bauer - Maharaja
The Fluid Ounce label has had some brilliant releases over the last couple of years. Dave da Gato's, 'El Diablo', Innocent Sorcerers', 'Believe & See' and 'Shoot The Pianist' by the Inverse Cinematics were all supported by Gilles Peterson on his Worldwide show.
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 15 May 2005Amaranta Wright - Ripped and Torn: Levi's, Latin America and the Blue Jean Dream
Sounds like a dream job: getting paid to spend a month hanging out with young people in cities up and down Latin America from Panama City to Buenos Aires, but things don't turn out quite the way anyone expected...
Tuesday 3 May 2005Yuri Buenaventura - The Best of Yuri Buenaventura
In the late 90s, a Colombian singer took the French charts by storm, his name was Yuri Buenaventura.
Tuesday 26 April 2005Steve Skaith Band - Empires and Us
When major artists, writers and musicians start making overtly political art which eclipses their art as a stand-alone piece it shows there is a lot of anger about, and with Empires and Us Steve Skaith launches a tirade against Blair and Bush, US foreign policy in general and continuing violence in the Middle East.
Thursday 14 April 2005Susana Baca - Eco de sombras
Luaka Bop continue their series of re-releases with Susana Baca's second album, Eco de sombras. Baca's star has been in the ascendant since the album was released in 2000, with acclaim for subsequent releases, a nomination for BBC Radio 3's Awards for World Music and a growing international public eager to hear her music.
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.
Monday 28 March 2005Seu Jorge - Cru
He's a hell of a favela fella, this Seu Jorge. As founder of Farofa Carioca, he has been active musically for over a decade but it's acting that has made him a household name through his classic role as Knockout Ned in Cidade de Deus (City of God) and now as the guy who does Bowie covers in Portuguese throughout The Life Aquatic
Saturday 26 March 2005DJ Dolores - Aparelhagem
DJ Dolores, aka Helder Aragão, is like a one-man tropicalismo movement for the 21st century. Ska, drum and bass, traditional emboladas, brega, klezmer and a large dollop of hip hop sensibility are just a few of the pots that DJ Dolores rifles through for his unique sound.
Saturday 26 March 2005The Rough Guide to Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla was to the tango what Miles Davis was to the twelve-bar blues, Gustav Mahler to the symphony or Pink Floyd to the three-minute pop song. He took a local form jealously guarded by its Buenos Aires purists and pimped it out to scandalous encounters with jazz, avant-garde classical and electric rock.
Friday 25 March 2005Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical
At the end of the eighties, David Byrne came out of the closet with his love of Brazilian music. A series of compilations followed, covering Samba, Pagode and Forro but first off was this celebration of Tropicalismo or MPB.
Friday 25 March 2005Susana Baca - Susana Baca
Just over a decade ago, Luaka Bop put out a compilation of Afro-Peruvian songs and in that dark and wonderful firmament, Susana Baca's star shone so strongly that two years later she was in the studio recording her first CD for the international market. An instant classic, Susana Baca's eponymous debut assured her place in the Global Music All Stars.
Thursday 24 March 2005Ed Johnson - Movimento
With Movimento, Brazillian nylon string guitarist Ed Johnson and his band Novo Tempo have made a perfect summer album.
Thursday 24 March 2005Os Mutantes - Everything is Possible (Best of)
This deserves to be a bestseller all over again. The Mutants -- twisted rebel sambanauts that they were -- scandalised Brazil with their electronic sound in the late 60s. Encouraged by that reaction, they went even further out there and this collection covers their most fertile period before it all went a bit prog man
Monday 14 March 2005Rodrigo y Gabriela - Live: Manchester and Dublin
This lighthearted and playful yet complex offering from nylon guitar wizards Rodrigo y Gabriela is enough to make anyone want to take up the guitar.
Saturday 12 March 2005Azymuth - Brazilian Soul
This CD from Far Out is a double celebration. Ten years of Far Out and thirty years of Azymuth. That's lots of years to celebrate for Jose Roberto Bertrami (keyboards and main songwriter), Alex Malheiros (guitars) and Ivan Conti (drums and percussion).
Saturday 26 February 2005V/A - The Ipanema Set: Classic Grooves on Club Brasil
"The Ipanema Set surpasses all the expectations of the listener," claims the sleeve notes of this CD. That's probably pushing it a bit. Unfortunately for Club Brasil, this reviewer's expectations were at a very high level thanks to a couple of factors...
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.
Thursday 3 February 2005Acida - La Vida Real
Argentine singer-songwriter Alina Gandini and producer husband Tweety Gonzales are the husband and wife duo that make up Acida, and their debut album La Vida Real features a rare diversity of musical styles and is superbly produced from start to finish. Unfortunately, however, it loses its grip after an excellent start, with too many predictable melodies.
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 28 January 2005Che Trio - Tres al Toque
The first time I listened to the all-instrumental Tres al Toque, I was entranced by the urbanity and professionalism of the disc. The second time I began to wonder if it was a little too slick.
Friday 7 January 2005V/A - Essential Brazilian Flavas
Subtitled 'From Barrio Beats to Funky Bossa' the sleeve notes emphasise that there is not one single style of Brazilian music as, equally, there is not one particular style of [insert any genre you like]. And do these 14 selected tracks go on to prove the point? Yes they do but perhaps it tries too hard which is a shame.
Saturday 20 November 2004V/A: Putumayo Presents Music from the Chocolate Lands
After selling 300,000 copies of their blockbuster release Music from the Coffee Lands, Putumayo are hoping to pull off the same trick with this cleverly themed collection of tracks from Africa, Latin America and India. And let's not forget the influence of the Swiss and the Belgians when it comes to chocolate -- and so, for good measure -- their influence is felt here too.
Friday 19 November 2004¿Quién Sabe? (A Bullet For The General) DVD
Alex Cox, who knows a thing or two about film, puts ¿Quién Sabe? in his top three of Spaghetti Westerns up there with Sam Peckinpah's Wild Bunch. Shot in Almería at the tail end of the sixties, this is a tail of revolution, deception and redemption through violence. It is also a topical study of the less than altruistic adventures of some US citizens abroad.
Sunday 22 August 2004V/A - The Rough Guide To Brazilian Hip-Hop
Not so long ago Brazilian hip hop was a novelty, now -- as this album demonstrates -- it is as sophisticated, diverse and god-damn funky as any other hip hop scene you could mention.
Sunday 22 August 2004Favela Chic - Postonove 3
Favela Chic is a dangerous cult based in Paris, France. They promote musical miscegenation, drug use and wanton sexual license. Fortunately, they also have missions here in London, England and this CD can bend your brain in remote locations if you can't attend brainwashing camps in either of the chief locations.
Monday 16 August 2004V/A: The Rough Guide to Tango Nuevo
Tango like the blues, jazz, fado, son and flamenco is constantly veering between crisis and renaissance. Perhaps one of the unexpected effects of globalisation is that even if a country wants to forget its own music, the rest of the world will keep reminding them of it until sooner or later they decide themselves that it is too good to be locked away.
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 March 2004V/A - The Rough Guide to the Music of Argentina
This release is on a mission to expand understanding of the genre of tango while simultaneously asserting that there is a lot more to Argentinian music than just tango.
Monday 29 December 2003V/A - The Rough Guide to Brazilian Electronica
Subtitled 'evolution & revolution: the future sounds of Brazil', is it in fact the future sound of London?
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
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