March 20, 2011

Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque

ARTIST:  various artists
TITLE:  Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque
LABEL:  Strut
REVIEW:  Sofrito Soundsystem is the London-based DJing team of Hugo Mendez, Frankie Francis and The Mighty Crime Minister.  They specialize in unearthing rare Latin and African recordings, re-edited the often poor-quality vinyl and turning it into the raw material for smoking dance parties.  This is their first full-length release, and it’s outstanding.  Mendez’s specialty is French Caribbean music so we get great super-obscure tracks from Guadeloupe (4, 12) and French Guyana (10); the Colombian (1, 3, 7, 13) and West African (5, 6, 11, 15) tracks are equally good and very unlikely to be in the library of even the most hard-core collector.  Except for 6, these aren’t beat-adding remixes at all – simply re-edits that clean up and EQ the originals for a better dancefloor experience.  Simply a terrific compilation that belongs on your shelf next to the best of Soundway, Analog Africa and Strut – virtually every track here could be recommended for airplay. 
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:  2 (soukous), 7 (salsa Colombiana), 8 (descarga), 14 (calypso), 15 (salsa Africana)

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