The Bongolian – Bongos For Beatniks (Blow Up)
The Bongolian, otherwise known as Nasser Bouzida, is back with a fourth album of wildly funky, Hammond loaded freakbeat. It’s an album of surefire floor-fillers that’s relentlessly modish, whether it laying down an authentic ‘60s beat (via the here and now, of course) on the lead single “The Riviera Affair” or channeling a terribly exotic, intrinsically cool sci-fi groove – in particular “V.C.O.” and “Hamlet’s Playground”. Bouzika plays just about everything on the album, and if like me you get a little over excited in the presence of vibes, cowbells, congas and shakers, you may feel the need for a little lay-down. Once rested, it’s full steam to Bongolia!
Carrie Wade – The Old Ways (Independent)
Originally released in 2009, and getting a much deserved second push, Carrie Wade’s debut album harks back to the classic singer-songwriter albums of the early ‘70s, but with plenty of contemporary nuances and a production that touches on a variety of acoustic genres. Her voice, engaging and melodic, provides sweet contrast to the atmospheric arrangements that rarely over play the songs. Indeed, the songs are always placed at the very core of proceedings and Wade provides both hooks and emotional substance. The best tracks here “Needles In The Waves” and the title track would sound perfectly comfortable on daytime Radio 2.