Alto saxophonist and composer Robin Kenyatta made a slew of records in the 1970s that have been terribly misunderstood, to say the least. It was obvious by the time that Kenyatta released Terra Nova in 1973 that he was revisioning jazz as the perfect integration point for many – if not all – forms of popular music; Terra Nova had explored Caribbean rhythms (in particular reggae and calypso). But on his 1974 album Stompin' at the Savoy, Kenyatta took the revered jazz tradition and inserted it right into the heart of then contemporary styles of funk, soul, and pop, and even early club disco.
Michael Crétu's attempt at fusing everything from easy listening sex music and hip-hop rhythms to centuries-old Gregorian chants couldn't have been more designed to tweak the nose of high art, a joyously crass stab straight at a mainstream, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. The result is something that shouldn't exist, but in its own way results in as much of a cultural scramble and explosion as anything Public Enemy were doing around the same time, crossing over the Euro-disco and new age spheres with style…
Le Peuple de l'Herbe is a French band playing electronic music, afrobeat and dub.
Emigrés from the British underground hip-hop scene, Wiseguys Touché and Regal made some of the most intense productions in the world of upfront big-beat techno. Releasing their material on Wall of Sound Records.
40 Break Beat, Drum'n'Bass & Trip Hop Burners. Compiled by Jake Stephenson.
50 Big Beat, Breakbeat and Hardcore classics - a collection of tracks from the Jumpin' & Pumpin' stables (1990-1995).
Covering 50 Cent, Cat Stevens, Faith Evans, and more on steelpan drums should not sound this gimmick-less. It helps that the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band is, first and foremost, a strong funk ensemble. The Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band is a pet project of the German instrumental group the Mighty Mocambos, a practiced collective that makes versatile deep funk. Bacao is a vehicle for bandleader and guitarist Björn Wagner's dedicated enchantment with the steelpan drum, which he and three other band members play on a new debut full-length called 55.
On his 2013 release The North Borders, British producer Simon Green (aka Bonobo) continues along the organic-meets-electronic path that his 2010 release Black Sands followed, but this walk takes place as it's turning to dusk, and there are varying degrees of mist and chilliness along the way. Opener "First Fires" with Grey Reverend (singer/songwriter L.D. Brown) sounds like it could be quite warm, but it's entirely autumn-minded sweater music that wistfully wonders what to do with "faded dreams" as Green allows bits of glitchy sunlight to shine through his cloudy synth construction. "Emkay" is the clangs and echoes of a seaside port at night that wonderfully shuffles its way up to a lighthouse tune, then there's majestic songstress Erykah Badu wonderfully vibing ("We don't need no truth/Got plenty/Now it grows on trees") on "Heaven for the Sinner" over Bonobo's deep version of the broken beat. "Towers" suggests sleepy urban buildings in twilight with a vibraphone representing the little bits of life and light that will sparkle through the night, while "Don't Wait" is just before the dawn, as innocent chimes chase away the eerie things that lurk in the darkness.