Review: Although not widely known, Daniel Dimbas's 1985 album "La Diferencia" is regarded in some circles as one of the greatest Caribbean zouk records of all time, and certainly the heaviest. Rush Hour co-founder Antal is a fan, and here heads-up a double A-side of fresh edits of key cuts from the sought-after set. First up Antal expertly rearranges "Carnaval Soca", delivering a warm, humid and sweaty interpretation rich in driving soca-disco grooves, punchy horns, heady harmony vocals and mazy, Zouk style analogue synthesizer solos. Palms Trax takes a similarly light-touch approach on his edit of the breezier and more sun-kissed "La Musique", occasionally opting for filter trickery on an otherwise traditional style scalpel edit.
Review: Far Out has decided to pay tribute to one of Brazilian music's most overlooked - and, let's face it, obscure - talents, Ana Mazzotti. She recorded just two albums in the 1970s before passing away from cancer in her early 30s a few years later. Both of those album have become sought-after, particularly 1974 debut "Ninguem Vai Me Segurar". This first ever reissue proves why. Warm, breezy and effortlessly soulful, it sees Mazzotti and her backing band sashay between languid samba-jazz, intergalactic bossa, soft-focus Brazilian soul and the kind of attractive jazz-funk/fusion that would later become the hallmark of Azymuth (not much of a surprise since two of that band's founder members were part of Mazzotti's backing band).
Review: For Brazilian music collectors, the two 1970s albums by sadly departed vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ana Mazzotti have long been must-have sets. Listening to Far Out's new reissue of the second of those, 1977's self-titled "Ana Mazzotti", it's easy to see why. The album is warm, woozy and groovy, joining the dots between slick and summery samba-jazz, synthesizer-laden bossa-nova, Azymuth style jazz-funk/fusion (see the delicious and laidback "Sou") and the kind of atmospheric, otherworldly deepness rarely heard in Brazilian popular music during that period. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with "Cordao", the spacey and up-tempo "Eta Samba Bom" and languid "Bairro Negro" among the many standout tracks.