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Congo Sanchez | Herb Records Compilation 2013

album review by John Powell

Congo Sanchez | Herb Records Compilation 2013

An Herb Records compilation fronted by Congo Sanchez sounds like a 70s Latin jazz musician playing old Rasta jams. In reality though, this excellent compilation is DJ music with both Latin and dub vibes. By no means is it confined to one area of electronica, although it’s not rave music.

Instead, these 11 songs are tightly woven grooves, from The Hydroponics’ rain forest in the morning “Sunrise”, to the outspoken mega thump of “Love Sauce” by Groove Status. This latter song throws in shaker and electro-bass drum, powered by rusty-sounding synthy glib. Meaning, of course, that it’s kind of porno music, which you got to love.

Some records are meant for dancing, and others bumping in the car. Herb Records 2013 is a mixtape for the after party on silk sheets. It feels like an outdoor pool underlit by neon blue lamps.

“Prohibition” is the only roots dub track, and it’s excellent. The old school horns and hand percussion, layered by organ and dub effects, is just beautiful. Conversely, you have “2 Years”, Congo Sanchez’ tip/hop exploration into the psyche. You also get the key track: “Noche Tarde”, which delicately builds over percussion and takes off like a jet made out of love.

The release of this compilation sets us up for accepting the power of Congo Sanchez into our lives, and lets us know that we have a place to turn to for the newest and most sensual DJ music out there. This album satisfies many needs and sounds both calming at low volumes and energizing when louder on big speakers. Two thumbs up.

Bottom line: A compilation of sensual and thumping DJ music, spearheaded by Congo Sanchez.

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