Review: On their 2018 double A-side single, "Atlantico/Canto Del Sol", Brooklyn-based seven-piece Combo Lulo gleefully joined the dots between Jamaican rocksteady and South American Afro-Latin music. "The Sieve & The Sand", their sophomore single, is an altogether different proposition, though their love and knowledge of Caribbean and Latin American music remains at the forefront. On the A-side "Part 1" version, the band layers fluttering flutes and fuzz-soaked guitars atop a bounding ska rhythm, offering a breezy and sun-kissed take on one of Jamaica's most popular musical styles. Arguably even better is "Part 2", where the band's intoxicating, woodwind style motifs lazily float above a deep, head-nodding dub reggae groove.
Review: It makes sense that Names You Can Trust would be fans of Conjunto Papa Upa - after all, the band's first two seven-inch singles (released in 2013 and 2015 respectively) offered a suitably psychedelic and soulful fusion of African, Caribbean and South America sounds fully in keeping with the Brooklyn label's open-minded ethos. This "45" is a teaser of sorts, offering as it does two cuts destined for the Amsterdam-based outfit's long promised, forthcoming debut album. A-side "El Secreto Del Metalero" is particularly potent, offering a suitably psychedelic, heavily electronic 21st century take on Cumbia full of weirdo electronics, twisted vocals, rumbling sub-bass and colourful synth lines. In contrast, "Chicarron Puelo" is a little more traditional-sounding, delivering a formidably fuzzy fusion of dancefloor-focused Latin rhythms and 1960s style psychedelia.
Review: To mark the label's 50th release, the team behind Names You Can Trust has snagged a fresh cut from the band that started it all back in 2007, Greenwood Rhythm Coalition. Fittingly, it also happens to the Afro-Caribbean-Latin-Funk fusionists' first single of any sort for nigh on five years. "Jewels" is delightfully hard to pigeonhole: a suitably tropical excursion that giddily melds elements of tropical disco, dub, cumbia, funk, soul and Afrobeat into something warm, addictive and floor-friendly. It's lopped into two parts on this seven-inch release, with the second being notably more percussive and heavy than the already weighty A-side.
Review: Names You Can Trust snapped up Peruvian salsa band Sabor y Control in 2017 after hearing their self-released debut album "La Contra Violencia". Here the Bruno Macher-helmed band returns with their first single for the esteemed Brooklyn imprint in nigh on two years. "Dispara Ya" was arguably worth the wait, though. Summery, effervescent and suitably percussive, it's a killer slab of dancefloor salsa rich in lilting group vocals, Tito Puente style rhythms and horns straight out of a 1960s boogaloo record. Flipside "Territorio Y Honor", whose horn arrangements are a little bit more complex, is equally as impressive.
Review: The Slackers are a legendary ska outfit for good reason: they've put out more than 20 albums and countless singles across a fine career that dates all the way back to 1991. Now they're back on Names You Can Trust with a pair of irresistible cuts. "Baba Roots" is a feel good and swaggering ska tune with sliding bass and great lead horns that bring the sunshine. "150 Seconds" on the flip is a slower and steadier tune with laidback horn leads that are more loved up and unhurried.