Last weekend we hit up the Sofrito 10th Birthday Party at Shapes in Hackney Wick, London. Now for those who haven’t been, Sofrito is hands down one of the best parties in town, made all the better for the fact they only come around once in a blue moon.  As it was the 10th Birthday Party, the line-up was particularly special including Alma Negra – who has just released a solid 12″ on the Sofrito label; John Gomez – one half of the fantastic night Tangent and Berlin-based Dirk Leyers and DJ Nomad aka Africaine 808.

The duo recently released their debut album ‘Basar’ on the fantastic Golf Channel label to widespread critical acclaim. The title for the record comes from the ancient term “oriental marketplace” – a melting pot of sights and sounds, a meeting place of various influences from far and wide and the perfect name for an album that takes it’s lead from the likes of West-African funk, Shangaan electro, Angolan semba and New Orleans jazz, all under-pined by a Japanese drum machine.

Whilst there are plenty of tracks we could have written about from the album, it is their first release, and indeed the first track they played on Saturday, that is still our favourite – ‘Tummy, Tummy’ – released in 2013 as part of the DJ Muscle series on WT Records.

Italian buck Fab Mayday turns out on a tour de force for Porn Wax. Here’s four cuts squeezed onto the notorious pink marble vinyl which ring equal in bang town and subtle-ton. A real sparkling job here from Mr. Mayday, who you can catch spinning intermittently on MCR’s Beatwolf Radio apparently.

As the 10th release on Porn Wax, it’s heart warming to see series coming full circle and it’s inaugural producer being welcomed back with a warm and Tusky hug… it’s almost cutesy actually.

So. Slandered sentimentality aside, this is a great record.

‘Viaggio in Gambia’ – A soulful, sample fuelled banger with a twisting bass machine underpinning the whole smeared and glorious affair.

‘Una Storia’ is a dark and melting bass test. Dub echo and the cold march to battle… subtle acid lines over far away sirens. A momentary pause before another rise. Deep and smoke filled techno.

If ‘Una Storia’ is the war party on its way, ‘Me Africa’ is a the optimistic sound at the end/start of the night… lovely

 

British born, native Korean, Berlin resident Peggy Gou is a bit of a cultural melange. With her debut “Art of War EP” on Matt Edwards’ Rekids imprint this year making waves, Peggy is following up with a two track single on Phonica’s White Label.

“Six O Six” is the quirky b-side, and a lesson in Korean counting. Subsurface live bongos patter beneath the robotic rotation of a 606.  Hi-hats have been charged through desk pres to the point of white noise, while dueling 303s take on blip and blop duties. All very text book, all very fun, but what set’s the tune apart is the deadpan vocals, and interacting pad parts that give a softer touch to the hallmarks of acid tuffness.

Keep eyes and ears open for a forthcoming release on Rekids, plus Ms. Gou’s illustrations, which are hotly tipped to be released as a new range of tees on Love Hangover.

In a recent trip to excellent Hoxton vinyl store Love Vinyl we were delighted to be pointed towards Joes Bakery, an emergent Leeds label putting together some proper lively cuts.

The A side of this label showcase, put together in February for Italian-by-way-of-Berlin José Manuel features the straighter of the tracks – Mantra is an eastern dance floor track, whilst Mauntra (that’s what it says on the label so we’re sticking with that) the Joe’s Bakery remix is a more contemplative look at the same sample.

Meanwhile on the B, Ganas is a weapon full of wierdness and you will bloody love it. Screwy bass, and what must be the sound of an elephant roaring have been combined to fill out a voracious low end. Meanwhile, the alluring and repetitive sample ‘Ganas’ which gives the tune it’s name rings out in ceremonial, sacrificial style. Remember: if this does get played and you need a little sit down, it’s best enjoyed with a cold Singha. Brilliant and brutal stuff José.

Itching and magnificent stuff from Romare, the Ninja Tune artist. This one’s a sly builder and a great example of a track where great building blocks (sharp cymbals, muffled kick, ghostly vocals) are assembled with enough space so they let each and every other element breathe. Romare’s phrases are blocky enough to create the big builds and drops underpinned by padwork and reverb, but again, all the elements in the track link up nicely to deliver one big hitting number. It’s in the bag for tonight.

Romare’s YouTube Channel
Discogs

BLBC #3

Here it is, the third installment of our monthly mix series.  We’ve gone deep on this one with tracks from the impressive Max Graef and the infectious Black Madonna among others. The sounds of New York, Chicago , Detroit, The U.K and Berlin run strong throughout.

Track List :

Max Graef – A Tale Of Love
Genius Of Time – Juxtapose
Henry Wu – 117 Care Plan
Levon Vincent – Pivotal Moments In Life
Roland Tings – Tiger In A Tropical Storm
Black Fan – Hercules And The Beast
Genius Of Time – Tom Jam
Quell – Disregard
MCDE – Raw Cuts 5 A-Side
Marc King – Loquacious
Lil’ Mo Ying Yang – Reach(Little More Mix)
Erik Ericksson – Yuki
The Black Madonna – Who Do You Need
Normah Jean Bell – The Baddest Bitch(Moody Man Mix)