2020 repress. Soundway Records present the eponymous debut LP from in-demand Amsterdam five piece, The Mauskovic Dance Band — fusing no-wave dance punk, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and space disco in a “controlled explosion” (The Quietus). Entirely self-produced, the band has reiterated their favorite elements of the ’70s and ’80s legacy of the Afro-Latin psychedelic music of Colombia and Peru, interpreting it through the context of modern-day Amsterdam. The output is a lo-fi no wave groove all its own — rooted in a deep love of champeta, Palenque, psychedelic cumbia, chichi, classic Afrobeat, and picó soundsystem culture. Since the release of their Down In The Basement EP EP on Soundway Records in early 2018, the band have found themselves on a hectic European touring schedule — not to mention being involved in other side projects. Following stints with Turkish psychedelic folk rock group Altin Gün, and touring with the re-formed ’70s Zamrock outfit W.I.T.C.H., Nic Mauskovic also teamed up with Dutch neo-psychedelic artist Jacco Gardner to form the “cinematic Balearic disco” duo of Bruxas (released by Dutch institution Dekmantel) — and together, they mixed The Mauskovic Dance Band debut album in Lisbon. Lead single “Space Drum Machine” encapsulates the band’s prototypical brand of busy rhythmic patterns interwoven with insistent synth stabs and vibrant disco toms, layered with an elastic guitar riff drawing inspiration from Kenyan kikuyu and benga styles. High-pitched vocals describe being on a flight together and inciting each other to press a button of unknown consequence with “push it, push it” — and push it they do, at breakneck pace. And of course, the undeniable influence of Amsterdam’s hotbed of underground dance producers shines through as it does on all tracks – with the vintage psychedelic swirl of synthesizer, lo-fi drum machines, and tape recording. RIYL: Jacco Gardner, Bruxas, Nu Guinea, Voilaaa, Sofrito, Meridian Brothers, EUT, Altin Gün.
2020 repress. Following their self-released debut EP, Flamingo Pier (DJ residents Luke Walker, Dominic Jones, and Bradley Craig) have crafted four dance floor-worthy tracks influenced by the boogie, disco, Afro and classic house. Slick, rolling disco synths and punchy drum machines are woven in with Afro-centric percussion and dreamy vocal chants, for an exotic disco-boogie journey from start to finish. Early support for the EP is already coming from Bill Brewster, JD Twitch (Optimo) and Ray Mang. The EP is being released to coincide with the Flamingo Pier Festival in Waiheke, New Zealand.
2019 repress. On Keira, Susso, aka bassist/producer Huw Bennett, creates music inspired by, and directly sampling, the magnificent sounds of the Mandinka people, recorded during a recent trip to Gambia. Initially travelling with the aim of gaining perspective as a musician and to discover a new world of music first hand, Huw found himself humbled by such a welcoming community of artists, mostly belonging to the celebrated Suso and Kuyateh griot families. The tracks are composed entirely from original source material, field recordings, and Huw’s talents as a multi-instrumentalist; performing tuned percussion from the region including the Mandinka balafon, kutiringding drum, as well as drawing on his skill as a professional upright/electric bassist. The music produced has a contemporary electronic sound, whilst still paying homage to a traditional Gambian aesthetic. Keira (meaning “peace”) guides the listener through Huw’s journey up the River Gambia, being welcomed into remote dusty villages, where your people are the most important thing in life.
Future Afro-Latin jazz house from master percussionist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Gabriele Poso. A true multi-instrumentalist, Gabriele Poso found a particular affinity for percussion at a young age, studying in Puerto Rico and Cuba. His latest album Batik, to be released on Soundway, is once again entirely self-produced and features guest vocalists Nailah Porter, Nina Rodriguez, Quetzal Guerrero, and Sofia Rollo. Following a long-term collaborative partnership with Osunlade/Yoruba Records, as well as albums on BBE and Agogo Records, Gabriele Poso has garnered acclaim from reviewers and selectors, including Gilles Peterson. On Batik, Poso further develops and matures his sound — exploring his extensive roots in Afro-Cuban percussion, while delving into the realms of jazz and soulful house. Much of the album features Poso on not only vocals but many of the instruments — including percussion, guitar, and kalimba. With mixing by renowned Spanish DJ and producer Kiko Navarro, the lead single “Africa Linda” is an up-tempo live take on Latin house, featuring American-born soul singer Quetzal Guerrero on vocals. RIYL: Osunlade, Joe Claussell, Kaidi Tatham, Kerri Chandler, Masters At Work, Ron Trent, Cotonete, Kiko Navarro, Atjazz.
Soundway Records completes the Lord Echo album collection, finally reissuing the second album in the trilogy from the in-demand New Zealand multi-instrumentalist and producer. Originally released in 2013, Curiosities is available here as a DJ-friendly double-LP for the first time. The entirely self-produced album blends jazz with disco-tinged neo-soul, reggae, and classic Afro-beat in effortless manner — and joins the dots between the more downtempo first album from 2011 Melodies (SNDW 091LP, 2017) and the disco, electronic, club-ready of his third album Harmonies (SNDW 090CD/X-LP, 2017). The album also features a dub-funk cover of Pharoah Sanders’ “The Creator Has A Master Plan”, with vocals from Lisa Tomlins. Also features Leila Adu and Mara TK. RIYL: Julien Dyne, Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Black Seeds, Electric Wire Hustle.
2019 repress. Soundway present a reissue of Rob’s second album for the first-time outside Ghana, originally released in 1978. Rob was an enigmatic recording artist from Ghana who cut two albums for the legendary Essiebons label in 1977. Neither of these were big domestic hits at the time and have since become prized amongst collectors in recent years. The title track from this LP was always one of the most popular on the first Soundway release Ghana Soundz (SNDW 001LP, 2008) and over the years the label has been asked many times to reissue the LP in its entirety. A stranger, slower offering than his more dancefloor funk-laden and Spartan first LP, this record sees Rob in similar territory but with the tempo switched down and the introspection turned up. Rob’s trademark horns dominate and are supplied by the Mag-2, an army band founded by leader Amponsah Rockson, who named it after the army unit the band played for the “magnificent” second battalion. In 1977, Rob traveled to the coastal town of Takoradi in search of Mag-2, which had an entire section of its line-up dedicated to horns, with the intension of laying out his proposal to them. Luckily for Rob, the band took him up on it. With religious overtones and a broody, slightly off-key atmosphere at points it’s certainly one of the stranger Afro-funk records to come out of West Africa but with tracks like “Loose Up Yourself” and “Make it Fast, Make it Slow” — it’s a unique gem that warrants repeat listening.
Dexter Story is an artistic spirit in the truest sense of the phrase. From his work as a multi-instrumentalist for acts like the Sa-Ra Creative Partners, to his management role with Snoop Dogg and his turn producing Daymé Arocena’s 2017 album Cubafonia, Story understands the business from every conceivable angle. Initially inspired by the music and cultures pervasive throughout the Horn of Africa, Story translated his experiences there into his previous album Wondem , followed closely by the single “Wejene Aola” featuring jazz luminary Kamasi Washington, both on Soundway Records. If Wondem was a brief glance into Story’s new creative vision, Bahir is a pinpoint refinement of that purpose, the fine-tuning and expanding of the world he created on his Soundway debut. On Bahir, Story steps in front of those influences and melds his world into the one he fell in love with so strongly while in Africa. One way in which he’s done so is by incorporating musicians from both sides of this coin. LA luminaries are featured throughout, as are African contemporaries he encountered throughout his travels. Sudan Archives gives a show-stealing vocal performance on “Gold”, while the Ethiopian producer Endeguena Mulu adds impenetrable and psychedelic texture to the album’s title track. So Bahir finds the polymath musician not stuck between two worlds, but as a member of both. We get Ethiopian jazz tonalities, Tuareg grooves, ekista dance rhythms, Afro-funk, Somalian soul, and forays into more contemporary jazz rhythms, too. Angelenos like Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Josef Leimberg give the record its backbone, while African artists like the Ethiopian singer Hamelmal Abate give Bahir its glimmer and shine. Also features Kibrom Birhane, Jimetta Rose, Haile Supreme, and Marie Daulne. For fans of: Sudan Archives, Kamasi Washington, Laraaji, Carlos Niño, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Zap Mama, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Josef Leimberg.
Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve. 16 rare synth cuts from ’80s and ’90s Brazil, compiled by Brazilian DJ Millos Kaiser. Some crate-digging compilations are often the result of someone hand-picking their choice favorites from another country’s musical history, perhaps unaware or uninvolved with its cultural lineage in the process. On Soundway’s latest release — a treasure trove of synth jams, pop, samba boogie, Balearic, and electro from ’80s and ’90s Brazil — the tracks are picked by Millos Kaiser, one half of the Brazilian duo Selvagem, who are at the helm of throwing some of the country’s best dance parties. It’s a rare compilation that offers Brazilian music actually picked by a Brazilian. Whilst names such as Ricardo Bomba, Villa Box, Fogo Baiano, Electric Boogies, and Batista Junior may not be household names, they tell an untold, yet rich and important part of musical history in Brazil. The release also covers a decade that has been intentionally forgotten and brushed aside by many in the country. Onda De Amor is a release that is loaded with smooth grooves, bubbling bass, glistening synthesizers, funk-strutting guitar lines, and sheen of production that undeniably marks it of its time. For Kaiser this compilation is about reintroducing music during a period of reappraisal, catching a new wave and hoping contemporary listeners will ride it with him. “The idea is to do justice to these songs. Songs that combine all the right ingredients that should have put them on radio playlists when I was growing up or at least in the cases of more adventurous DJs.” Millos Kaiser is a DJ, digger, vinyl junkie/dealer born in Rio de Janeiro and living in São Paulo for the past eight years. He launched the dance party/club night Selvagem with partner Trepanado in 2010, bringing thousands of dancers one Sunday a month to a public square in the heart of São Paulo. RIYL: Music From Memory’s Outro Tempo Brazil compilation (MFM 016CD/LP, 2017), Spacetalk compilations, Sabor Do Brasil compilations, Selvagem’s Boiler Room set, Mr Bongo’s Brazilian compilations. Features Ricardo Bomba, Vânia Bastos, Rosana Mendes & Grupo Veneno, Grupo Controle Digital, Villa Box, Batista Junior, Dado Brazzawilly, Anacy Arcanjo, Fogo Baiano, Dodô Da Bahia & As Virgens De Porto Seguro, Via Negromonte, Electric Boogies, Os Abelhudos, Nanda Rossi, André Melo, and Região Abissal. CD version includes 20-page booklet.
Triple LP version. Gatefold sleeve; Includes a track not included on the CD version, Joshiba’s “Gloria”. Soundway present Gumba Fire, a new compilation of rare 1980s South African “bubblegum” and boogie. In 1980s Black South Africa, a local form of pop music evolved as the disco boom died down and slowly mutated. It was often ubiquitously described as bubblegum — usually stripped-down and lo-fi with a predominance of synths, keyboards, and drum-machines and overlaid with the kind of deeply soulful trademark vocals and harmonies that South African music is famous for. Compilers Miles Cleret (Soundway) and DJ Okapi (Afrosynth Records) present a selection of 18 rare, handpicked 1980s cuts that highlight the period that nestles in between the ’70s (where American-influenced jazz, funk, and soul bumped shoulders with local mbaqanga) and the ’90s when kwaito and eventually house-music ruled the dancefloors of urban South Africa. Alongside French-Caribbean zouk this kind of music has slowly been making its way into the DJ sets of many of the most open-minded selectors around the world. This compilation is in many ways a sister release to the hugely popular compilation of Nigerian boogie and disco that Soundway released in late 2016: Doing It In Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco In 1980s Nigeria. The album takes its name from the band Ashiko’s track that also features on the compilation. The term is derived from gumba gumba, the term given to the booming speakers of the old spacegram radios that broadcast music into South Africa’s townships and villages. “Gumba Fire” later evolved into a phrase that refers to a hot party. Put this record on and feel the heat! Features The Survivals, Stimela, Hot Soul Singers, Zoom, Ashiko, Monwa & Sun, Ntombi Ndaba, The Black Five, Starlight, Zasha, Sabela, Condry Ziqubu, General Peter Maringa, and Ozila.