El Tema De Coco (Retro Roland Riso Al Ritmo rework) (3:54)
El Tema De Coco (SoulBrigada edit) (4:07)
Review: Matsuna keep up their fantastic funk releases with red hot pair of remixes. The a-side is taken care of in competent fashion by Retro Roland's Riso Al Ritmo rework. Originally by Otto De Rojas Y Su Orquesta and released in 1976, it is s summery bit of instrumental groove making, with loose drums and trilling leads that are joined by a nice wandering bassline. The reverse features SoulBrigada on the rework and is a subtly different take that draws out the breakdown and gives extra oomph to the horns. Both are tidy cuts, perfect for glorious weather.
Get Out Of My Way (Retro Roland Riso Eterno Regroove) (3:47)
Review: Earlier in the year, Matasuna Records reissued two rare and exceedingly hard to find tracks by Peruvian band Bossa 70. They'll soon be offering up more original cuts from the band's sought-after debut album, but before then they're treating us to two dancefloor-focused re-edits of Bossa 70 classics by American DJ/producer Retro Roland Riso. On the A-side he delivers a DJ-friendly "Perfecto Edit" of Think, a horn-heavy slab of Peruvian funk rich in rubbery beats and hazy bass. Just as cheery and life affirming is his interpretation of "Get Out Of My Way". This is an altogether heavier, faster and more stomping revision, though it's the vibrancy of the psychedelic era Latin funk backing track that really sets the pulse racing.
Review: Matasuna's latest must-have release comes courtesy of Dubben, an artist whose tasty, dub-fired mid-2000s reworks of Afro-Cuban and Latin tracks remain some of G.A.M.M.'s most potent moments. This is the producer's first release of any sort for nearly five years and continues in a similar vein. Check first A-side "Jesus Boogie", a samba-soaked, dub-funk fuelled revision of what sounds like a mid-1970s Brazilian MPB workout. Sweatier flavours are provided on B-side cut "Cachaca", where he dubs out and tools up a punchy affair that boasts a killer horn part reminiscent of The Champs classic "Tequila".
Review: According to the South American music specialists at Matasuna Records, Ralph Weeks' 1971 single "Let Me Do My Thing" - recorded alongside backing Los Dinamicos Exciters - is arguably the most sought-after Panamanian soul record around. As this reissue proves, Weeks' original version is rubbery, heavy and rousing, with the singer's rasping lead vocal soaring above a weighty backing track that sounds like a breezier take on the New York boogaloo sound. On the flip, Voodoocuts tools it up for modern dancefloors, underpinning his club-ready edit with punchy new drums that give the cut more of a breakbeat style swing.
Review: For their latest release, Matasuna Records has put away their re-editing scalpel and instead decided to serve up two obscure old gems by Peru-based Argentine artist Enrique Lynch. Both tracks were recorded in the early 1970s and have become sought-after items amongst the Afro-Tropical collecting community. Having been re-mastered from the original master tapes, A-side "African Bump" - a jazzy, sun-soaked affair notable for its fantastic use of wah-wah guitar, Blaxploitation grooves and high-register horn solos - sounds better than ever before. The same could be said for Lynch's brilliant cover of The Nite-Liters' funk classic "K-Jee", which adds a little South American sunshine to the familiar grooves and celebrated horn lines.
Review: We've become accustomed to Matsauna Records licensing and reissuing dusty old gems from Africa, Central America and South America, so it's a pleasant surprise to find that their latest "45" features tracks plucked from a more recent album - the 2015 debut of Portual-based Angolan singer/songwriter Chalo Correira. It's a wise move, because both of these tracks are superb. A-side "Kudiholola" is a galloping celebration of the Angolan Kazakuta style blessed with infectious rhythms, glistening electric guitar solos and wild harmonica melodies. Flipside "Chercher Crioula" is a bilingual song sung in both Quimbundo and French, with musical accompaniment that neatly highlights the cultural links between Angola and the Iberian Peninsula.
Review: Late last month, Matasuna Records successfully mined "Ritual", the sought-after 1971 album by Nico Gomez and his Afro-Percussion Inc (a studio combo helmed by Belgian composer Joseph van het Groenewoud), and reissued one of the standout tracks, "Lupita". Here they serve up another gem from the album, "Baila Chibiquiban", an Incredible Bongo Band-esque fusion of psychedelic rock, heavy funk and even heavier Afro-Cuban percussion. The fine original version is given the re-edit treatment on the flip, with Tonton Boom extending some percussive passages and emphasizing the killer groove before introducing some of the track's headier musical elements. It's the kind of rework that should find favour with proper break-dancers.
Review: Berlin's Matasuna label welcomes a debut appearance from Afrobeat-flavoured outfit Heroes Of Limbo. We're not certain on where this band originally hail from, but they've got the vibe down perfectly on this smoking hot 7". "Madchester Woman" skits and scatters with loose in-the-room drums, a sassy brass section and sweet high life guitar licks. "White Noise" brings Clair Fallows on board for a strong vocal turn that turns the temperature up. This is soul-stirring Afrobeat in the mould of the originators, executed with respectful accuracy and played with passion.
Review: Having previously excelled at crafting party-starting bootleg funk remixes and composing revivalist soul slammers, Mr Bird has now decided to turn his attention to Afro-disco, Afro-funk and Afro-soul. Typically, the results are impressive, particularly "Dance Away", a hybrid Afro-disco/Afro-soul workout featuring the fine vocals of Chief Commander Yaaba. Elsewhere, he lays down a subtly housed-up take on Clavinet-happy Afro-funk (the superb, jazz-funk tinged "Floating Funk"), brilliantly breaks up the beats on the woozy, groovy and bustling "Carnival Beat", and lays blissful vocal harmonies over a sumptuous deep house beat on "The Sasquatch".