Review: Cuba's Orland Cachaito Lopez, who sadly passed away back in '09, had only released his first LP under his name in 2001. World Circuit was the imprint to bring the man to the foray, and here they are once again with this marvelously packaged reissue. Solid and guaranteed to please. Needless to say, this album is full of Havana's magic vibe, rocking some pretty full-proof rhythms with a swing and a charm that can only be found on the Caribbean island. But, it's not simply Lopez's Cuban heritage which makes it stand out; rather, there is just the right balance of motion between dance and form, making this album a sure stand-out to anyone remotely interested in anything 'jazz'. Lovely stuff.
Review: From the bones of Staff Benda Bilili, Congolese misfits Mbongawna Star arise to make their debut. And it's clear their intention to turn African music completely on its head. From the hip-hop style chants and processed vocals of "Masobele" to the punk-like fury and frenzy of "Nganshe" via the soft, yearning bluegrass slides and soul of "Coco Blues", From Kinshasa fuses, amuses and at points confuses. Most importantly it keeps you coming back for more. Genuinely an album like no other.