Stephen Chai of Laserfang fame has returned with a few friends and a new band called No-Nation Orchestra to take us on a soulful uplifting travel through the funky fields of horns and drums. This EP brings sounds familiar to those that listen to afrobeat, funk, with jazzy undertones that prove highly enjoyable and even danceable. Stephens voice billows out reminiscent of the Bee Gees yet smoother with a hint of THC and visions of purple fields fading in, it carries over each track beautifully as the captain in this ever-flowing romp thru the soul and inner beat. I would love to hear this whole EP live, I loved the rhythm of The No-Nations start and made me miss outdoor summer night concerts already! This 5 track EP is well worth it's 5 dollar price tag, as it will have you shaking, grooving and take you to a place where Kuti would've been proud and jamming right along with em.
Well... French artists are surprising me a little more than what I thought of lately, while finishing up GagaDilo's album "Skafrobalkanik Jazz Project" all I could think of was how much I didn't expect this type of sound to come out of France. Melting Reggae, Ska, Jazz, and Afro beats in a highly enjoyable project, GagDilo is a group to look out for if they ever come around your area. The horns sound clean and soothing to the ear while guitars skit with the graceful pleasant sound of Reggae, while the Ska is heavy in some tracks they retain the true core of that sound and incorporate them into that slightly Middle-Eastern horn pitch. Never sounding obnoxious as some of these genre blending bands have a tendency to be, GagaDilo seems to have did their homework when it comes to their sound. I am not a huge fan of Ska so at certain times I felt like I could do without much of it, this is not to say they overdid it but more of a personal opinion on said genre. Taking a page out of some of the most passionate musical generes out there this isn't a easy feat, but I can safely say they did a great job combining everything and look forward to any new releases they will have. This album is a wonderful example of the great feeling you get when you stumble upon an artist and decide to pursue their music, not knowing what to expect and then coming out totally enjoying the tracks... it's great I tell ya. As a bonus I am giving you all a taste of GagaDilo with a preview and free download option for 'Km 9', hope you all enjoy, also don't forget to support them by passing by their iTunes store and picking up the album!
Atropolis (Adam from Cumba Mela) has finally released his solo project self titled 'Atropolis' and has a mesmerizing amount of thumping bass and sounds of Cumbia, Afro, House and anything else acquired during his time in collective Cumba Mela and their travels. It takes you on this fantastic journey thru visions of gatherings, culture, jungles and flowing energy while captivating your ears and rendering them powerless as the tracks play out. I always look forward to albums like this where it had a distinct sound and adds to music (Can't really place it in a genre) while at the same time it's culture presenting sounds bring a new feel. You will hear guiras, hard hitting bass, sexy vocals, and drums that will turn into your soundtrack to the night which you hope it never ends. 'Che Bo has that cumbia bass goodness I've started to love, 'Huepa' Je' also is one of my many favorites in this album. Having interviewed the awesome Cumba Mela group a while ago, I know where they're coming from and it's a fantastic experience they serve live. Atropolis has taken that formula and added his own particular sound while still engaging the audience in different cultures and sounds. While you hear the tracks playing and senses taken over, there is still this sense of calmness and clarity in it all. It will If your looking for an experience in sound and not just an album to hear, then you've found it here. Atropolis... this has to be one of my favorite releases of 2011, thanks to Dutty Artz for releasing it!
Album track preview: 02. Atropolis - Asi Asi Asi (ft. Noelia Fernandez) by Atropolis
[youtube width="600" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gQVGxJBnIY[/youtube]Deep in my video vaults I have live footage of performances that I never posted and this is going to be the start of releasing all of said footage. Chico Mann is the first one up with their performance of 'Anima' at the Mercury Lounge for LAMC 2010. I decided to go with a black and white old TV look just because I think it goes very well with the style of music and it has a 70-80's Spanish Harlem vibe to it, hope you enjoy the clip.