Cooking Ugali (feat Oren Gerlitz, Blinky Bill & Iso)
Fica Atento! (feat Ikonoklasta)
La Vai Maria (feat Ikonoklasta)
Chat With Mr Ochieng (feat Nelly Ochieng)
Ceu (feat Francois & The Atlas Mountains)
Review: Soundway fans should be more than familiar with Pedro Coquenao's Batida project, with the Lisbon-based Kuduro fusionist dropping a killer self-titled LP on the label in 2012. Supplemented by several 12" releases, this has laid down the groundwork of a relationship between Coquenao and Soundway which was always likely to result in further releases, such as the album. Dois is a fourth Batida LP overall and find Coquenao at his most confident, retaining the feel of previous albums but widening the stylistic remit, working with guests and utilising more live instrumentation. Afro house, benga, semba are thrown into the mix along with Kuduro, whilst Coquenao slips in the odd Clash sample as well as referencing his heritage with Angolan movies and afro-beat tracks plundered for usage.
Review: Turning heads a couple of years hence with their self-titled debut, Fumaca Preta (which means 'black smoke' in case you weren't sure) are dark magicians of a wild and volatile analgam of whatever musical ingredients they see fit to throw into their collective cauldron at any given moment - be it crazed tropicalia, incendiary garage-punk, hypnotic psych-rock, Sabbath-style riffage, Butthole Surfers weirdness. wayward cumbia or maudlin balladry. Yet more mysterious than ever, they've somehow crafted a manner in which to be both more adventurous and more focused on this second effort, arriving at something akin to a tastefully disorientating dream sequence on a glorious psychic wavelength somewhere between high-energy Brazilian carnival and the nameless void.
Review: A special summer-tuned dedication to two of Africa's most creative contributors who both passed away at the birth of the New Year. First up, South Africa's Shaluza Max's 2002 classic gets the revisitation it deserves; big accordions, honeyed Zulu vocals and a chugging groove that could plough into any dancefloor under the sun, it struts with a timeless sense of universal groove science. Flip for a rewind to the mid 80s as Soundway pays tribute to the hugely prolific Tabu Lay Rochereau. Complete with smooth, soothing synths, show-stopping harmonies and slinky bassline that won't quit, it's as heart-rending now as it was 30 years ago.
Review: Over the course of six inspired albums, the Meridian Brothers have carved out their own unique niche, somewhere between South American pscyh-folk, Brazilian Tropicana, lo-fi electronica and acid-fired early morning psychedelia. The Colombian band is at it again on this seventh full-length. While there are a few notable instrumental additions to their intoxicating sound soup - plucked and bowed cello motifs make an appearance for the first time, for example - for the most part the set is a kaleidoscopic, hard-to-pigeonhole romp in their usual superb style. Even so, the addition of strings is a bit of a step forward, adding another fine musical element to twist and bend to their will. That it works so well is not a surprise; after all, these guys haven't put a foot wrong over the course of their career.
Review: Vanishing Twin's recent explosion on the scene has been met with excitement and wonder from both ourselves and the rest of the industry. That's because it's made up of some serious talent: Innerspace Orchestra's Cathy Lucas is at the helm with her vocals, Raime's drummer Valentina Magaletti is on the percussion, the bass comes from Floating Points' collaborator Susumu Mukai, and Man From Uranus tweaks the knobs. As you can see, it's a rather eccentric collection of artists. This mysterious and, at times, spectral strain of high-powered jazz follows in the footsteps of Sun Ra's mythical work, where we're dropped into a dark and compelling world of percussion, Eastern chimes and progressive jazz grooves. There's plenty of moments of oddity, too, and that is exactly where this outfit thrive. It's the short moments of madness between the more composed shreds of jazz that make this album stand out among the crowd. Excellent.
Review: With so many archival labels putting out compilations of 1970s Nigerian funk and disco, Soundway has decided to change tack. Doing It In Lagos is a primer on the country's lesser-celebrated 1980s boogie scene. According to the superb liner notes, most of the music on show here - and, yes, it's universally brilliant - was created by a younger generation of musicians who wanted to move away from Afrobeat, and further towards an authentically American style electrofunk sound. As a result, many of the tracks featured on Doing It In Lagos - not least Hotline's brilliant opener, Livy Ekemezie's disco-funk slammer "Holiday Action" and Sonny Enang's superb "Don't Stop That Music" - are every bit as special as the American-produced records they were trying to emulate.