Rinsyoe Kida, Akira Ishikawa & His Count Buffalos – Tan To Setsu/Jongara Bushi
The Mushi 45 label doesn’t release all that much, but what it does put out is invariably insanely good. For the avoidance of doubt, this two-track missive sits in that category. It serves up two rare, sought-after 1970s gems from Rinsyoe Kida, Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffaloes, who made some of the tidiest Japanese funk, jazz-rock and jazz-funk of the period. A-side “Tan To Setsu” is superb, with the assembled players brilliantly blending traditional Japanese style melodic motifs – played on traditional instruments – with a riotous, high octane funk backing track rich in heavy bass and fiery horn lines. “Jongara Bushi” is similarly inclined and every bit as raucous.
Rupa – Disco Jazz
Rupa’s cult, 1982 Indian “disco” side comes back around on a fully legit pressing via Numero. Some of it is novelty, but the standout ‘Aaj Shanibar’ is a proper burner!Barely disco and hardly jazz, Rupa Biswas’ 1982 LP is the halfway point between Bollywood and Balearic. Tracked in Calgary’s Living Room Studios with a crack team of Indian and Canadian studio rats alike, Disco Jazz is a perfect fusion of East and West. Sarod and synthesizer intricately weaving around one another for 37 transcendent minutes, culminating in the viral hit “Aaj Shanibar.” Remastered from original analogue source material and with the permission and blessing of the producers and performers.
Kokoroko – Kokoroko
Kokoroko are part of the thriving scene that’s grown out of london’s young, jazz-influenced musical circles. Led by bandleader Sheila Maurice-Grey, their self-titled ep is the group’s first solo release, following their early 2018 debut with ‘Abusey Junction’, a track that has gone on to accrue over 15 million plays on youtube and 2.6 million on spotify. Across the E.P’s four tracks, the eight-piece deliver on the promise of that memorable introduction, offering a bigger vision of their afrobeat-influenced, soulfully-imbued sound, west african roots shaded with inner London hues.
New Wold Science – Osmos (Movements)
New World Science’s Osmos (Movements) is a sincere foray into forth-world fantasy, where disparate synthesizer styles are tied together by harmonized saxophone musings. Comprised of four recordings/jams between Francis Latreille (Priori–mastermind behind the project), Adam Feingold (Ex-Terrestrial), and Emmanuel Thibau, and featuring appearances by Phoebe Guillemot (Ramzi) and Richard Wenger (R Weng), these multi-stream compositions float in the uncertain spaces between electronic and acoustic, improvisation and production, old and new. Beautiful, subtle, and entrancing compositions suited to suborbital meditations.
Steve Monite – Only You
Reissue of Steve Monite’s Only You, originally released in 1984. “Steve Monite’s album, Only You, is a prime slab of Nigerian boogie. It’s sinewy, compact and sexy, a little bit of disco mixed with a big dose of funk. Loose and groovy, it’s a sonic seduction from another dimension. With legendary producer Tony Okoroji at the desk, and influential musician and sound engineer, Nkono Teles, creating magic on the synth, the title track is raw and melodic, dark and sweet at the same time. Steve sings about putting out a fire, but the music, and Stella Monye’s sultry backing vocals, stoke it with aural gasoline. You’ve never heard a song less likely to lower the temperature and let cooler heads prevail. While never quite reaching the heights of ‘Only You’, ‘Welcome My Love’, and ‘Things Fall Apart’ keep the groove going, the later with a distinctly Latin swing. A couple of extended ‘Disco Jams’ and an obligatory, romantic ballad (‘I Had A Dream’) round out the record. In all honesty, however, it is ‘Only You’ that you’ll keep going back to. It’s a killer track, an Afro boogie classic that would hold its own on any dancefloor in the world, whether in the ’80s or today.