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Le Retour De Toto

Mythical Guadeloupe Group Les Maxel's Returns On Atangana Records
 

It's barely been a month since the new Marseille-based Afro-Disco imprint Atangana Records issued its very first release, a reissue of Haitian singer Fédia Laguerre's phenomenally reworked 1981 single "Divizion". [...]

It's barely been a month since the new Marseille-based Afro-Disco imprint Atangana Records issued its very first release, a reissue of Haitian singer Fédia Laguerre's phenomenally reworked 1981 single "Divizion". Now label head Déni Shain serves up another killer cut, being the long-awaited reissue of a classic track by the mythical Guadeloupe group Les Maxel's.

Remastered and fitted with an equally impressive B-side rework, the 1976 track "Le Retour de Toto" is a flat-out "dancefloor killer" blending zouk, latino music, beguine and calypso flavours just in time for the summer season. "When we discovered this gem with my friend Likkle Ben over a night of digging, it was mainly the keyboard break that drove us nuts ! We were already hearing the edit that we’d make for our gigs," says Déni Shain. 

The Déni Shain and Papastomp remix just premiered on Bolting Bits and you can stream the full track in the SoundCloud player above. The full release will drop on June 8th and can be acquired via Bandcamp. 

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Ana Mazzotti

Far Out Recordings Reissue Two Sensational Albums By Late Brazilian 'Super-Musician'

A few weeks ago we were caught off guard by an Instagram ad from Far Out Recordings, teasing two upcoming and now released re-issues of Brazilian artist Ana Mazzotti. The ad was accompanied by an incredibly catchy [...]

A few weeks ago we were caught off guard by an Instagram ad from Far Out Recordings, teasing two upcoming and now released re-issues of Brazilian artist Ana Mazzotti. The ad was accompanied by an incredibly catchy track that instantly struck a chord and led us to mark the release day in our calendars. As we now know, the track in question was "Agora Ou Nunca Mais", the opener of her 1974 debut album "Niguem Vai Me Segurar". We had never heard of Mazzotti before and so we rely heavily on the album notes, to be able to share some of the backstory. 

Hailing from Caixas in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul municipality, Ana Mazzotti came to music at an early age. At age five she started playing the accordion, then moved on to piano and by age twelve was already conducting her school's choir. "When rock and roll hit South America in the sixties, a young Mazzotti was one of the early adopters, fronting various guitar groups including an all female Beatles cover band, and an eclectic, eight-piece psychedelic group Desenvolvemento." And then she met drummer, producer and fellow music educator Romildo Santos, who later became her husband and who would introduce her to jazz. 

In 1974 Ana Mazzotti recorded her first album "Ninguem Vai Me Segurar", backed by cult Brazilian jazz-funk combo Azymuth's "original keyboard maestro" José Roberto Bertrami as well as Azymuth's bassist Alex Malheiros and percussionist Ariovaldo Contestini, with Romildo Santos on drums and production duties. The album was even recorded in the same studios that Azymuth recorded their very own debut full-length. Ana Mazzotti returned to the studio in 1977 to re-record her debut and release the album with a new title, running order and cover art, "ostensibly another crack at commercial success following the small scale of the independently funded first release."

Tragically, Ana Mazzotti lost her battle with cancer in 1988 at age 37, having never recorded another album, which was partly due to financial constraints as well as "the prejudice she faced as a female songwriter in a fundamentally sexist society." Brazilian icon, multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Hermeto Pascoal dubbed her a "super-musician" and rightfully so. 

While Ana Mazzotti's "two gems of spellbinding samba-jazz, lysergic funk and trippy bossa have remained relatively obscure" in the past, Far Out Recordings are now making sure these Brazilian treasures reach a wider audience. You can listen to "Ninguem Vai Me Segurar" (1974) in the player below and "Ana Mazzotti" (1977) on Bandcamp. You can also check out an Vinyl Factory exclusive on her life and work on Mixcloud.

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Obiaa!

The “Golden Voice of Africa” Returns With A New Album Of Ghanaian Highlife

Ghanaian highlife music is as alive as ever and so is the irresistibly charismatic and no doubt iconic "golden voice of Africa" , Pat Thomas. At 72 years and after approximately 50 years in music with the likes of [...]

Ghanaian highlife music is as alive as ever and so is the irresistibly charismatic and no doubt iconic "golden voice of Africa" , Pat Thomas. At 72 years and after approximately 50 years in music with the likes of Ebo Taylor, Fela Kuti and Tony Allen, he just delivered his second album alongside Accra's Kwashibu Area Band on Strut Records, proving yet again that age is but a number. And just like its self-entitled, 2015-released predecessor, "Obiaa!" (which translates to "Everybody!") will be sure to have everybody on board in no time. 

Produced yet again by the team of multi-instrumentalist/bandleader Kwame Yeboah (Cat Stevens) and saxophonist Ben Abarbanell-Wolff (Ebo Taylor "Love and Death" and "Appia Kwa Bridge") at Lovelite Studios in Berlin, "Obiaa!" is described as "a deep and soulful journey into the heart of Ghana's indigenous highlife music." But don't let the laidback vibes and smooth arrangements distract you from the mastery and musicianship on display from start to finish, led by Pat Thomas' extraordinary vocals and guitar.

"Obiaa!" is highlife performed in a modern-day context, or as Ben puts it: "Playing highlife around the world taught us what we had to do to move our sound forward.” No sooner said than done, the nine track strong album includes "the modern parables ‘Onfa Nkosi Hwee’ warning against arrogance and ‘Odo Ankasa’ about the value of real love and trust as well as a great new cover of Thomas’ Afro-disco favourite ‘Yamona’." You can listen to the full release in the player below.

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band are currently on tour across Europe. The following dates remain:

Oct 8th Schlachthof, Wiesbaden, DE
Oct 10th YAAM, Berlin, DE
Oct 11th BERLIN – PR DAY
Oct 12th Alice, Copenhagen, DK
Oct 13th Atlas, Aarhus, DK
Oct 16th 0osterport, Groningen, NL
Oct 18th Grounds, Rotterdam, NL
Oct 19th Paradiso, Amsterdam, NL
Oct 20th Doornrosje, Nijmegen, NL
Oct 25th Biko, Milan, IT
Oct 26th Moods, Zurich, CH

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Grup Doğuş

Long Forgotten 1975 Cassette By Turkish Guest Workers Gets Reissue Treatment

Istanbul's Grup Ses is back at it. This time the avid digger, DJ and producer resurfaced an obscure 1975 one-take album by the should be and maybe soon to be legendary Grup Doğuş, aka the brothers Tufan and [...]

Istanbul's Grup Ses is back at it. This time the avid digger, DJ and producer resurfaced an obscure 1975 one-take album by the should be and maybe soon to be legendary Grup Doğuş, aka the brothers Tufan and Muhittin Aydoğan, guest workers, who emigrated from Turkey to Germany and in 1974 formed their group.

Tufan Aydoğan, playfully dubbed "Hammond Tufan, the Conqueror of all organs" by none other than Barış Manço, was, as you may have guessed, the organist and vocalist of the group, while his brother Muhittin manned the bass alongside Koray Dikmen on drums and Sedat Ürküt on guitar and vocals. While performing in a nightclub in 1975 the band received an offer to record a cassette album, which they did, boasting a remarkable Anatolian pop repertoire, decked out with extensive guitar and Hammond solos, "progressive movements" and indelible psychedelic grooves. Sadly, the album faded into oblivion – until now, that is.

Remastered and released via Ironhand Records back in August, eight brilliant Anatolian pop tunes from the fabled album have now made it onto vinyl for the very first time. The selection mainly features covers of originals by renowned composers and performers such as Barış Manço, Cem Karaca, Üç Hürel and Selda, while Grup Doğuş curiously find multiple ways to outshine their predecessors. You can listen to the full self-entitled album below or click on the teaser video, in case you're in a hurry.

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Vanrock

Kalbata Teams Up With Israeli Five-Piece Tigris On Fortuna Records

We've been a fan of Fortuna Records label boss Kalbata and his production wizardry ever since his "Congo Beat the Drum" release alongside fellow producer Mixmonster. That being said, we were all the more intrigued [...]

We've been a fan of Fortuna Records label boss Kalbata and his production wizardry ever since his "Congo Beat the Drum" release alongside fellow producer Mixmonster. That being said, we were all the more intrigued when he dropped his latest six-tracker on Fortuna about a month ago, which we share with you today.

On "Vanrock" Kalbata joins forces with Israeli psychedelic afro-pop five-piece Tigris on a deeply mystical affair. The album draws inspiration from Africa and Caribbean percussive traditions, adding recurring guitar loops, ethereal analog synths and "roaring voodoo drums" to mesmerising effect, including "techno and balearic undertones." 

This trippy and no doubt tropical affair evades being pigeonholed as the musical journey runs the gamut, ranging from festive, to trance-inducing, from clubby to playful and from strutty to ominous. You decide. Simply listen to the full release in the Bandcamp player below.

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In Living Colour

The Jewish Monkeys Release The Official Live Video To "All the Great Things"
Greedy

Earlier this year back in March, Tel Aviv's Jewish Monkeys returned to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic for a string of live shows, where they also performed the lead single "All the Great Things" from their [...]

Earlier this year back in March, Tel Aviv's Jewish Monkeys returned to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic for a string of live shows, where they also performed the lead single "All the Great Things" from their forthcoming third full-length "Catastrophic Life".

It just so happened that they decided to record their kickoff concert at the state theatre of Mainz and turn their performance of "All the Great Things" into an official live video. Recently released to the general public, the subtly animated clip shows the Jewish Monkeys on stage and in action, swaying the crowd with their catchy ska grooves and witty lyrics, which we've included below for further reference.

"All the Great Things" was written by the band's very own Omer Hershman. You can watch the official live video below. "Catastrophic Life" releases on November 8th and will be accompanied by a tour. Check here for a list of all shows

Lyrics "All the Great Things"

All the great things happen / When you least expect them to happen /
They happen to distract you from the shit that happens in your life /
All the bad things happen / Cause’ you’re waiting for them to happen /
They happen when you open your arms and Invite them into your life /

But all these things don’t matter / If you put on a happy face
No matter how your enemies, or friends or family think you should act like /
Cause’ all the great things that happened through your life /
have made you realise that you should have, could have, would have done it all over again /
And again, and again and again and again...

Let’s sing a song tonight / Let’s drink till morning’s light /
This is not paradise / Take what’s wrong and make it right /
No need to justify, regret or analyse /
Just open up your eyes / Do what makes you satisfied!

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Phosphenes

Berlin's Wanubalé Unveil Their Jazz-Driven Debut Album On Agogo Records

Back in May, the young Berlin/Potsdam-based nine-piece Wanubalé (Swahili for "Brothers") dropped a sizzling two-track EP on Agogo Records, which was right down our alley. The same two tracks now  feature on their [...]

Back in May, the young Berlin/Potsdam-based nine-piece Wanubalé (Swahili for "Brothers") dropped a sizzling two-track EP on Agogo Records, which was right down our alley. The same two tracks now  feature on their brand new eight-track debut album "Phosphenes", recorded in the Jazzanova Studios alongside Axel Reinemer. And so the musical circle comes full turn. 

Wanubalé met in school and, drawing inspiration from the Berlin's jazz and club scene, set out to forge their own danceable style incorporating elements from jazz, neo soul, broken beats, dub and funk – a style that the legendary Jazzanova crew pioneered in many ways. Though Wanubalé's journey began as a live band. Working from a basement, their compositions were originally arranged to be performed live. And it is on stage that Wanubalé really unleash the proverbial beast.

When recording their debut album, the challenge was to rearrange their existing tracks to fit the studio mould, without sacrificing their inherently complex, jazzy nature. And so Wanubalé begann writing polyphonic, brass-driven arrangements, while remembering specific crowd reactions from their concerts.

A phosphene is the sensation of seeing light, shapes or movement without light actually entering the eye. This common human phenomenon can be produced by stimulation to the eye, including sound, and verges on what some might consider hallucinations.

"Phosphenes" then are most definitely the result of listening to Wanubalé's energetic, groove-ridden instrumental bouts. In other words, this album simply sounds incredibly good and we can't wait to get our hands on a copy. You can listen to the full record via the Bandcamp player below. And, if you happen to be in Berlin, swing by Club GRETCHEN tonight for the official record release!

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Mizik Soley Sa Bon

Atangana Records Launch 3-Year Residence On Guadeloupe To Work On Tribute To Henri Debs & Release Vol. 1
 

We were there to cover the imprint's first release in 2018, alias Fédia Laguerre's "Divizion", and we continue to be impressed by the body of work DJ/producer Déni-Shain and his friend/label parter Thomas Vicente [...]

We were there to cover the imprint's first release in 2018, alias Fédia Laguerre's "Divizion", and we continue to be impressed by the body of work DJ/producer Déni-Shain and his friend/label parter Thomas Vicente have been putting out on Atangana Records since.

In June, they released the first volume of"a tribute to the great Guadeloupean producer Henri Debs" in collaboration with the latter's legendary label Henri Debs & Fils, one of the most prolific French Caribbean labels of all time. "Mizik Soley Sa Bon" is the result of "a meeting which led us to listing to over 1400 hours of music, exploring the discography of a visionary inside his very own mythical studios," Déni-Shain recounts. The collaboration aims to "restore and re-edit" some of Debs' rare releases. In order to realise this ambitious 3-year project's full potential, Atangana records will actually resettle in Pointe-à-Pitre starting in September.

Volume one includes four sun-kissed tracks by the likes of Ti Seles, Les Maxel's, Lewis Meliano and Daniel Dimba. You can listen to the full release via the SoundCloud player above or stream/buy "Mizik Soley Sa Bon" on Bandcamp. 

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Catastrophic Live

The Jewish Monkeys Take Their Forthcoming Album On The Road
Greedy

If you thought life couldn't possibly get much worse, then brace yourself, for "Catastrophic Life" is upon us! After "Mania Regressia" and "High Words", Tel Aviv’s grandfathers of punk are back to present their [...]

If you thought life couldn't possibly get much worse, then brace yourself, for "Catastrophic Life" is upon us! After "Mania Regressia" and "High Words", Tel Aviv’s grandfathers of punk are back to present their third album, to be released via yours truly on November 8th. Wait a minute. Grandfather's of punk?! We beg to disagree. In fact, several talented young bloods joined the ranks of the Jewish Monkeys over the past years, flashing polyphonic brass and shredding guitar riffs to keep the older band members on their heels. 

The ten new, self-written tracks see the band venturing into unfamiliar territory, moving beyond their trademark blend of popular shtetl tunes and ska rhythms to add afrobeat, reggae and funk licks, Caribbean flair, wild guitars and a pinch of Balkan sauce to their effervescent mix. And of course, the Jewish Monkeys wouldn't be the Jewish Monkeys if they didn't top that off with their biting, satirical verses as well as a healthy dose of social criticism and self-effacing humour. But let's not give "All the Great Things" away. 

The band recently announced its return to Germany, along with a short (p)layover in the Czech Republic, Israel and France to present "Catastrophic Life" live on stage. Their upcoming tour will take them to Fürstenwalde, Teplice (CZ), Dresden, Wiesbaden, Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Worms, Munich and on to Tel Aviv and Paris starting November 8th, the same day the album releases. We will keep you posted as the date approaches. Until then, feel free to check out the short album teaser below. And yes, we postponed the release date from October 25th to November 8th. Why? Because we can.

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Seitō {青鞜}

Akuphone Compiles Seven-Track Experimental Album Of Contemporary Female Artists From Japan

Paris-based label Akuphone, created by Fabrice Géry (aka Cheb Gero) in 2015, has made a name for itself with an abundance of rare and striking releases of global pop and folk, including Praed's "Doomsday Survival [...]

Paris-based label Akuphone, created by Fabrice Géry (aka Cheb Gero) in 2015, has made a name for itself with an abundance of rare and striking releases of global pop and folk, including Praed's "Doomsday Survival Kit", Mushapata's "Saba-Saba Fighting", Balinese funerary music on "Gamelan Beleganjur" or Kink Gong's "Tibetan Buddhism Trip". 

Back in June, the label released a fascinating compilation of contemporary "Japanese female artists from various electronic and experimental music fields", featuring a selection of seven tracks all recorded between 2017 and 2019. "Seitō: In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun" derives its title from "a cult feminist magazine printed in Japan in the 1910s" and presents a trip-inducing cross-section of the Japanese underground music scene with a host of trailblazing female protagonists.

This far-out compilation kicks off with a "gloomy folk song" by Fuki-Yuki, which almost seamlessly merges into a "haunted dub tune" by Kiki Hitomi, then moves on to more danceable realms behind a formidable deep house cannon by Mikado Koko, only to be followed by a spacey "electroacoustic performance", the noisy avant-garde folk vibes of Kakushin Nishihara, an trance-inducing "oriental psych blend" by Kuunatic and finally "Keiko Higuchi's 9-minute cover of classic Japanese folk song Okesa Bushi." You can watch the album preview or stream the full release below.

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Alefa Madagascar

Strut Records Drops Compilation Of Salegy, Soukous & Soul From The Red Island (1974-1984)

Strut Records continues its essential compilation series of Indian Ocean sounds with "Alefa Madagascar", the first compilation to document the unique culture of salegy, soukous and soul on the island during the [...]

Strut Records continues its essential compilation series of Indian Ocean sounds with "Alefa Madagascar", the first compilation to document the unique culture of salegy, soukous and soul on the island during the ‘70s and ‘80s. The selection, made by Réunionese DJs La Basse Tropicale and Percy Yip Tong (Mauritius) reveals the enormous diversity of sounds produced on the East African island from 1974-1984, many of them by the influential Charles Maurin Poty. 

"Originating as far back as the 15th Century through folkloric ceremonial music and an a cappella chanting style called antsa, salegy emerged as a fast- tempoed local dance style based on 6/8 and 12/8 rhythms. By the ‘60s, radio was bringing in new sounds from the Congo, Mozambique, South Africa and Kenya and Jean Francois de Comarmond’s Discomad label championed a new generation of artists breaking the mould with their own new fusions of styles as electric instruments replaced the traditional. The strong call-and- response dialogues, rich vocal choruses and rolling triplet feel in the rhythm sections all boasted a unique Malagasy sensibility and singles started selling tens of thousands of copies, rivalling any foreign music at the time," the album notes read. 

"Alefa Magagascar! Salegy, Soucous & Soul from the Red Island" presents 18 energetic tracks from a prolific era that shaped much of the popular  Malagasy music heard today, pioneered by artists and bands including Roger Georges, Jean Kely et Basth, Los Matadores, Mahaleo, the Terak'Anosy Group and many more. You can stream the full release via the Bandcamp player below. 

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Poli-ritmo

Internal N.Y. Rhythms' Debut EP On Optimo Music Is A Deeply Polyrhythmic Affair

Apparently there is a story to every song. Not just a story that reveals how the song came to be, but also a story that explains, how or when the song was first heard. For us it was about two months ago, on a bike, [...]

Apparently there is a story to every song. Not just a story that reveals how the song came to be, but also a story that explains, how or when the song was first heard. For us it was about two months ago, on a bike, listening to the Worldwide FM playlist, when we first heard of Portuguese producer/DJ Bruno Deodato's Internal N.Y. Rhythms project. 

It turned out, that the mesmerising, shaker-ridden firecracker of a tune we had just listened to was "Poli-ritmo II" off the "Poli-ritmo EP" released on JD Twitch's Glasgow-based imprint Optimo Music back in April. The EP consists of three, "dubbed out rhythm & bass tracks" that are sure to wreak havoc on the dancefloor. 

"Poli-ritmo I" and "Poli-ritmo II" are deeply satisfying polyrhythmic pursuits in tropical attire. While the first leads the way with a killer bassline and iMessenger-style 'pling' effect, the latter is an even niftier matter: "The EP sashays from the shakers, snaky bass and psychedelic electronics of ‘Poli-Ritmo I’ to emphasise the clipped clave patterns in ‘Poli-Ritmo II’, and then follow a rugged tribal hunch into the crunchy drums and nagging drone of ‘Futurismo’," the Boomkat review reads. You can stream the full release via the Bandcamp player below.

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Chimera

The Gökhan Sürer Quartet Presents A Fresh Take On Oriental Jazz

It's all about that jazz! Our most recent find comes by ways of Lausanne, Switzerland-based label Rocafort Records, whom we last covered a few weeks back for Kokoro Disco-San's "Isla Fantasià", a two-track [...]

It's all about that jazz! Our most recent find comes by ways of Lausanne, Switzerland-based label Rocafort Records, whom we last covered a few weeks back for Kokoro Disco-San's "Isla Fantasià", a two-track sun-drenched 45 that instantly struck a chord with us. Their latest release is a truly international affair, led by young Turkish pianist, composer and arranger Göhkan Sürer. 

The Gökhan Sürer Quartet consists of musicians from Mexico, Serbia, Catalonia and Turkey and is currently reshaping the oriental jazz genre. Their brand new "Chimera EP" sounds "like the soundtrack to a modern mythological journey across all sides of the Mediterranean and beyond. Anatolian magic is woven throughout the four titles, most of them filled with an elegant urgency and tension in the rhythmic composition with the intention of giving a modern jazz twist to Turkish and Armenian melodies along with elements of rock, funk and reggae." 

As the four tracks unfold behind Gökhan Sürer's inventive keyboard explorations in the vein of Chick Corea, attentive listeners will find themselves constantly questioning their whereabouts on this stimulating journey across time and continents. "It’s not a three-minute listen, but rather a sumptuous aural adventure complete with chirping crickets and Byzantian mystery," the EP notes read. You can listen to the full release below. 

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