Review: Paris' Heavenly Sweetness label is rightly proud of this 30th volume in the Ethiopiques series. It's a cross-generational collaboration between legendary Ethiopian singer and keyboardist Girma Beyene - best known for his jazz work in the late 1960s - and contemporary Parisian band Akala Wube. Given that the latter is dedicated to creating music inspired by Ethiopian music of the '60s and '70s, it's little surprise to find that Mistakes On Purpose is a hugely enjoyable and authentic-sounding set (think funk, soul and jazz with an East African twist). To add an extra level of authenticity, Ethiopiques founder and East African music specialist Francis Falceto acted as producer.
Groove Ma Poule (feat Djeuhdjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson) (3:54)
Daddy Sweet (feat Pat Kalla) (6:18)
Li Dous Konsa (5:59)
Kenk Corner (3:50)
Sa Ce Kado (6:25)
Shake It & Rise Up (4:05)
Nosso Carimbo E Do Mundo (feat Pinduca & Nazar Peirera) (3:53)
Se Nou Menm (4:06)
Boug Bagay La (4:23)
Penda (feat Emma Lamadji & Kandy Guira) (3:48)
Review: Under the Guts guise, instrumental hip-hop beat-maker turned tropical soul enthusiast Fabrice Franck Henri has become one of Heavenly Sweetness' most reliable artists. "Philantropiques" is Henri's first album for three years and could well be his most expansive and adventurous to date. The set's 14 tracks are as colourful and musically rich as you'd expect, with the storied producer and a range of vocal collaborators conjuring up tracks that draw influence from a myriad of Central American, Caribbean, South American and African styles. The results are uniformly excellent, with highlights including the tropical shuffle of "Mucagiami (feat Vum Vum)", the sun-kissed French Caribbean funk of "Daddy Sweet (feat Pat Kalla)", the Afro-Tropical rush of "Kenk Corner" and the synth-powered brilliance of "Shake It & Rise Up".
Nuit Douce (feat Jacob Desvarieux & Patrice Caratini) (3:56)
Bossa De La Plage (feat Alain Jean-Marie & Vincent Segal) (3:25)
Ballade A Ilet Perou (feat Alain Jean-Marie & Vincent Segal) (3:51)
Papa Yaya (4:21)
Kalypso Ka (feat Anthony Joseph) (3:39)
Oui Ce Vous (4:16)
Anty Kaz La (feat Alain Jean-Marie & Vincent Segal) (4:55)
Dalva (interlude) (1:33)
Missier Woje La (5:10)
Baye La Vwa (feat Dao) (4:37)
Kalypso Ka (feat Anthony Jonseph - version Carnanale - bonus track) (3:39)
Review: French percussionist Roger Raspail has been active on the Parisian scene for decades, releasing his debut album - the CD-only Fanny's Dream - way back in 1997. This belated second set is a deliciously vibrant and internationally minded affair, with the 13 tracks variously touching on Afro-cuban grooves, jazz-funk, zouk, calypso, tango, samba and hard-to-pigeonhole musical fusions. A range of guest vocalists swing by to lend a hand, while Rapsail's brilliant drum work - which encompasses all manner of different percussion instruments - providing the glue that holds everything together. While there are a few deeper moments, for the most part Dalva is a joyous celebration of global rhythms.
Review: Following the success of the first volume which sold out in 2017, Heavenly Sweetness decided with Francis Falceto to give a follow up - in the form of this box set of Ethiopian singles. It's a tribute of sorts to the music producer Ali Tango, who produced most of these EPs across 6 X 7". Falceto plunged into his impressive collection of records and there are great names of the golden age of Ethiopian music such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete, Ali Mohamed Birra, alongside less known artists to be rediscovered such as Muluquen Melesse, Alayew Mesfin and Seyoum Gebreyes. Including original artwork and labels, plus a poster and six stickers of all the covers. Limited edition, 2000 copies.