August 14, 2012

Sofrito: International Soundclash

ARTIST:  various artists
TITLE:  Sofrito: International Soundclash
LABEL:  Strut 
Sofrito is the London-based DJing team of Hugo Mendez and Frankie Francis – this is the second compilation they’ve put together for the Strut label. Mendez and Francis have a club-DJ esthetic (what works on the dance floor is what’s good), and they’re inveterate crate-diggers with particular interest in the French Caribbean (highly overlooked in the world music community) and in Central Africa (just the opposite, a place where you have to dig real deep for a deep cut).  The result is that their compilations are simultaneously intensively curated and a party in a box, with a flow that’s quite unique.  There are two really great, obscure Congolese tracks here: 7 is a psych-soukous hybrid and 13 is a quintessentially Congolese take on the Cuban standard “The Peanut Vendor.”  From the French Caribbean, the standouts are 3 (cadence from Dominica) and 12 (big-band merengue from the Dominican Republic).  And for good measure there’s track 2 from Colombia, swinging back and forth from cumbia to salsa without coming unhinged.  Another stellar outing for the men from Sofrito. 
TOP TRACKS:    2    3    7    12    13
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    5    11

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