There's reason to celebrate this fall with the release of the fourth installment of the fantastic Turntables on the Hudson series -- a long-running monthly party in New York that has spawned both a label (Rhythm Love), and a series of CD and vinyl releases highlighting quality downtempo and jazzy, world-influenced house music. As with every TTOH CD release, a number of limited (and consistently good) twelve-inches hit the racks offering the tastiest cuts.
One of said tasty cuts selected for TTOH Volume Four is a remake of Willie Colón's "Che Che Colé," done in a heavy Afro-beat style by Antibalas with vocalist Mayra Vega. There are two different mixes -- the "Makossa Version" is far superior.
Speaking of Afrobeat, for the love of God, run out and find the Bloods Haul soundtrack on Stones Throw subsidiary Now Again. Possibly filed under the Keystones, this incredibly deep record (featuring Malcolm Catto on drums) is as heavy as anything immediately out of Africa. The tracks to check are "Double Dutch" and "Attack of the Killer Penguins."
Influential UK DJ Gilles Peterson releases not one but two mix CDs simultaneously: The first, Trust the DJ Volume 4, is good, but Worldwide Volume. 3 on his own Talkin' Loud label is better. Among the selected artists are DJ Gregory, 2 Banks of 4, Koop, and old-schoolers Marvin Gaye and Jermaine Jackson (!). As always, Peterson manages to beautifully bring together seemingly unrelated music genres that somehow sound great as a continuous mix. DJs rejoice, as both these releases are available on limited (and mighty expensive) double vinyl. Snatch these up quick, as they'll probably disappear in a flash.
Fans of broken beat will want to nab "Movin' On," the latest twelve-inch from Albanek on Vienna's Ecco Chamber label, specifically for the insane remix by Ubiquity Records' Cuica. What a monster this track is! It starts off with a huge bass line that gives way to beats influenced by Brazilian percussion. The British would say it's an absolute "stonker," though I have no idea what the hell that means. I have a hunch it means "good."
On the vinyl reissue tip, go nab the underground self-titled Mexican funk classic by Bwana, originally released in 1972 on a Mexican label. Similar to classic Santana, but much funkier. Also, be sure and pick up the tasty jazz reissue of Mauricio Smith's Bitter Acid LP, worth the price of admission for the tune "Hot Peppers" alone.
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