Sunday, 18 October 2020

Orlando "Cachaíto" López ‎– Cachaito (2001)

Genre: Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae, Latin, Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: World Circuit, Nonesuch

01.   Siempre Con Swing
02.   Redencion
03.   Mis Dos Pequeñas
04.   A Gozar El Tumbao
05.   Cachaito In Laboratory
06.   Tumbao No.5
07.   Conversacion
08.   Tumbanga
09.   Oracion Lucumi
10.   Wahira
11.   Anais
12.   La Negra

Timbales – Amadito Valdes
Bongos – Carlos Gonzalez
Congas, Percussion – Miguel 'Anga' Diaz
Electric Guitar – Manuel Galban
Guiro, Claves – Alejandro Pichardo
Organ, Clavinet – Bigga Morrison
Bass – Orlando "Cachaíto" López
Recorded By, Mixed By, Mastered By – Jerry Boys
Producer – Nick Gold

Buena Vista Club mainstay Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, who is widely regarded as the best bassist in Cuba, could have taken the safe route and recorded a straightforward collection of Cuban son/Latin jazz music. The resulting album may have been a bit predictable and mild, but the high level of musicianship would have ensured a quality product, particularly considering the impressive international cast that appears with Cachaito on this album. To their credit, however, Cachaito and his colleagues were willing to take some chances. Some tracks approach a Cuban version of dub music, as Jamaican organist Bigga Morrison's Hammond prods or Cuban surf guitarist Manuel Galban's instrument reverberates while the bottom drops in and out of the mix. French DJ Dee Nasty even scratches on "Cachaito in Laboratory," a partially successful experiment that yields interesting results even though it doesn't quite gel with the rest of the album. At times the tracks seem more like studio jams than fully realized songs, but the album's overall feel -- self-assured, relaxed, warm, even somewhat jocular -- is quite appealing. The musicianship, of course, is impeccable, including the amazing rhythm section of Cachaito, Miguel "Anga" Diaz on congas, Amadiot Valdes on timbales, and Carols Gonzalez on bongos. Other highlights include Ibrahim Ferrer's cameo appearance on "Wahira," the album's only vocal track; the full orchestral string arrangements by Demetrio Muniz and horn arrangements by James Brown saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis; and "Tumbao No. 5 (Para Charlie Mingus)," which was inspired by the Mingus classic "Haitian Fight Song."
Todd Kristel / AllMusic

Wah! ‎– Nah=Poo - The Art Of Bluff (1981)

Style: Alternative Rock, New Wave
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Castle Music, WEA, Eternal

01.   The Wind-Up
02.   Other Boys
03.   Why D You Imitate The Cutout
04.   Mission Impossible
05.   Somesay
06.   The Seven Thousand Names Of Wah!
07.   Sleeeppp
08.   Seven Minutes To Midnight
09.   The Death Of Wah!
Bonus Tracks
10.   Forget The Down (Single Mix)
11 .  The Checkmate Syndrome
12.   Other Boys (Wah! Heat Vrs.)
13.   The Seven Thousand Names Of Wah! (NME Tape)
14.   Seven Minutes To Midnight
15.   Forget The Down (Ian Broudie Mix)
16.   Somesay (Ian Broudie Mix)

Written-By – Pete Wylie
Mastered By – Andy Pearce, Pete Wylie
Mixed By – Ian Broudie

Pete Wylie's first album as/with Wah! is his finest work, filled to the brim with passionate post-punk and blitzkrieg funk that holds an impressive level of focused intensity from front to back -- no doubt the result of having listened to Clash records over and over and over and over again. There's little of the Clash's melodic sensibility to be found, memorable guitar riffs might not be evident ever, but there's an infectiously blistered pace to the proceedings, if a bit overbearingly shouty and mushy mixing-wise. Wylie sing-shouts everything with ferocious vigor, giving the record a rare sense of immediacy. Wah! literally sounds like they're playing with the knowledge that there will be no tomorrow. Off to an iffy start, tribal drums and from the depths vocals on "The Wind Up" do exactly that. One gets wound up because they want the record to actually start. Maybe that was the point. After that, it refuses to let up, kicked off by the "Do It Clean"-meets-"Break on Through" of "Other Boys." An album sequenced for maximum impact, instrumental "The Seven Thousand Names of Wah!" (no kidding) sets the table for "Seven Minutes to Midnight," Wah!'s signature song. The instrumental serves the same purpose as Mission of Burma barnburners like "Secrets" and "All World Cowboy Romance," holding together the rest of the album's songs while upping the intensity (as if it needed upping). [Castle's attractive 2001 reissue adds eight tracks, mostly alternate versions of Nah songs, including Ian Broudie's mix jobs on "Forget the Down" and "Somesay." The liner notes are littered with photos, as well as Wylie's thoughts on each song.]
Andy Kellman / AllMusic