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.

We’re heading back to 2011 with this one and the first installment in the adventurous Nublu Records’ quality Istanbul 70 series – which sees native Istanbul DJ and producer Barış K editing some obscure selections of psych, disco and folk from the gateway between Europe and Asia: Turkey.

As Turkey entered an era of prosperity in the ’70s, musicians in the country began looking outwards, incorporating elements of Western music with Turkish styles and Istanbul was a cultural hotbed. Osman Ismen, a resident of the city, was one such musician and pulls no punches on track Ara Muzigi, seamlessly melding an intense 80s boogie streak with Anatolian melodies and instrumentation. And thankfully Barış K has provided us with an edit of this incredible, and what is otherwise a hard to come by record.

With the likes of Barış K’s other successful project, Disco Hamam, and with artists such as Omar Souleyman becoming firm favourites in the west, we can’t help but feel that the west is in turn starting to look back east for inspiration. We certainly can’t wait to hear what else the Middle East has to offer. You can hear some of the tunes we’ve been enjoying from the region with a mix that BLBC’s Yusif did here.

This one has become a bit of a secret weapon for us over the last two months. Taken from the third installment of Freestyle Records’ popular ‘Black Feeling’ series and available as a limited 7”, The Manuel Azevedo Quartet deliver a rolling melange of irresistible Brazilian jazz and rhythms that will leave even the most stiff-in-the-leg leaping about to it’s bloco beats. The beauty of this tune is it’s raw energy allowing it to sit comfortably during peak-time hours – an absolute gem.

 

Arabian Nights

Taking you through the bustling bazaars of Marrakech and late night discos of Istanbul to the psychedelic movement in Iran. Showcasing some of the Middle East’s finest records, Arabian Nights is an eclectic mix from the BLBC vault.

Most of this music comes from Lebanon, Algeria, Turkey and Morocco with genres ranging from Jazz, Funk, Italo Disco and Breakbeat.

Tack List:
Pisi Pisi – Figen Han
Dance of Maria – Elias Rahbani
Nisyan – Ahmed Fakroun
Cantamilia – Tranquility Bass
Shashkin – Omar Faruk Tekbilek
Crystalline ( Omar Souleyman Remix) – Bjork
Der Bauch – Mc Sultan
Abu Ali – Ziad Rahbani
Yo Son ( Prince Language Edit) – Ahmed Fakroun
El Fen – Ait Meslayene
Dalkavuk – Senay
Aheste ( Baris K Edit) – Baris Manco
Love Words – Ahmed Fakroun
Edit d Algerie (Julian Horn) – Djamel Allam
Habibi ( Vocal) – Sahara Band
Zina – Ouiness
Nissim ( Feat. Amir Yaghmai) – The Gasslamp Killer

 

 

BLBC #4

The fourth instalment in our mix series. Warming up for our first party of the year with a few jams that we’ve been digging recently. Be sure to come down to the Yard Theatre on the 5th of Feb and join us for an evening of fun!!
BLBC @ The Yard

Track List:
1 – Long Island Wildin’ – De La Soul
2 – Stars For Jorge – Len Leise
3 – Angola – JM Edit
4 – Cigrik (FOC Rework) – Mogollar
5 – Algier Ego – Luvless
6 – Party Train – Funkyjaws
7 – Rießenglied 95 (Fuer Nano) – Axel S
8 – 78 To Stanley Bay – Chaos In The CBD
9 – Star Strike – Soundstream
10 – To The Love – Dan Shake
11 – Tricks On Wax – Ben Sun
12 – Coco Kane (Frasier Edit) – El Coco

Label: Banoffee Pies

Release: BPWS001

The first in Bannoffee Pies new “World” Series endeavor is pure fire- The A side is an instant attention grabber that does have some legs in terms of repeat listening. The African Disco edit brought to us by Philou Louzolo, “Afrofuturism Dance” is driven by playful drums and an intertwined organ that give the track instant ‘likeability’ for whoever is lucky enough to be on the dancefloor. All of the tracks on the EP have something special about them, which is oddly rare for a record, but when it does happen, sets it above the rest.

Though Wendel Sield’s addition to the record, “History of Black Music”  is also worthy of mention, we have decided to feature the first B side track by Mehment Aslam/ MMT*-Ton-a-ton (Cilli Bom). Super percussion and a deep centred kick put it well in the big room bracket- even if just as a novelty. A haunting and hypnotic flute leads us up to a fantastic vocal sample, which is the icing on the cake. Lale Belkis’ vocal is as sexy as it hypnotising and it is good thing to have a club ready version of Cilli Bom on hard wax.

All of the tracks on the release have a great DJ Tool quality to them, and as it was limited to 500 pressings; hand stamped, hand numbered, one per customer… la la la- it’s perhaps worth tracking down a copy just for that golden moment.

Mastered by: Ten Eight Seven

Pressed by: Disc Solutions

We were fortunate enough to be in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark last weekend and managed to duck out of doing your traditional touristy things for a few hours to visit some record stores.  There are quite a few dotted about the city but public transport is a breeze so if you have the time you can spend a day checking out a chunk of them. We were most looking forward to going to a store called Dorma 21 which specialised in new house and techno from local Scandinavian producers, unfortunately it had closed down recently so we weren’t able to. Even so we did manage to find two great record stores.

Insula Music

Location

Insula Music is a tiny shop located in south KØBENHAVN N with the closest metro station Forum being a 7 minute walk away.

Pricing

20DKK (£2) – 1000DKK (£100)

Selection

Folk, Rock, Afro, Asian, Scandinavian Jazz plus more

Listening

There is one turntable in the shop behind the counter but the owner is more than happy for you to come back and play some records

Vibe

Insula music is a very discrete shop, we only found it because there were boxes of vinyl put out on a table in front of the shop! Its very small with only two racks on either side and one in the centre. Insula sells both new and second hand wax with the owners eclectic and unusual taste in music really shining through in their collection. With that area of Copenhagen inhabited by a large Middle Eastern population there was quite a lot of arabian folk music to choose from. There was also quite a lot of Scandinavian and European Jazz. Most of the records are in great condition and there are definitely a few bargains in there.

 

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Purchases

Sidney Bechet And His Orchestra – 50DKK (£5)

Sly And Robbie – 40DKK (£4)

 

Sound Station

Location

The closest metro to Sound Station again is Forum but this time its a twelve minute walk in the opposite direction. It is in the Frederiksberg area on a main road called Gammel Kongevej.

Pricing

25DKK (£2.50) – 2000DKK (£200)

Selection

A lot !!! Mostly Rock, Jazz, Soul, Folk

Listening

There is one turntable in the shop at the counter that has quite a dodgy connection so listening was testing at times but nothing a wiggle of the wires wouldn’t sort out.

Vibe

Sound Station is a beautiful record store with a massive collection. Its warm wooden decor was very comforting coming in from the cold Copenhagen weather. Each genre takes up a huge amount of space in the shop with floor to ceiling shelves meticulously alphabetised. The guys working there were very accommodating and were more than happy to help point us in the right direction in this otherwise daunting shop. We recommend spending a whole day there as you will need a lot of time to go through just one shelving unit!

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Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

 

 

 

 

Purchases

Afrique – 150DKK (£15)

Buddy Miles – 25DKK (£2.50)

 

Ata Kak – Daa Nyinaa

Awesome Tapes From Africa

Label founder Brian Shmikovitz started Awesome Tapes From Africa as a blog back in 2006. Scouring the big continent for the rarest grooves he bought a tape from a road side stall on the Cape Coast in Ghana. It was an album called ‘Obaa Sima’ by a man named Ata Kak. It was this tape that was his first post on his blog.

Not much was known about the man himself as Brian struggled to find out. He eventually discovered that Ata Kak (real name Yaw Atta-Owusu) had recorded the album in 1994 in Toronto before moving back to Ghana in 2006.

‘Daa Nyinaa’ is off the album and has recently been released as a 12″ single on ATFA. Remastered using the original tape bought back on the road side in Ghana the song has quite quite a low fi sound to it. But don’t let that discourage you as the track is truly awesome.

I don’t know much about Raja Zahr or his music to be honest, he is, it would seem, a rather elusive character. But if you did want to find out more you better start saving those pennies as the Lebanon LP that ‘Drum Sequence’ is taken from fetches up to £450 on Discogs.

The original track, sampled by Daphni (aka Caribou) on his track ‘Springs’, gets the edit treatment by Psychemagik on their compilation ‘Magik Cyrkles’, an edit that provides one of the more twisted moments in an otherwise meandering stroll through impeccably chosen cuts of hazy funk, cosmic rock and too-slow-to-disco chuggers. Psychemagik have put out a slew of 12s recently but it’s their ‘Magik…’ compilations that do it for me and their recent ‘Magik Sunset’ doesn’t disappoint. Get them all. Get them all now.