Velben: New Album Preview

October 23, 2009

I am truly excited that I received the album preview from Velben today. For those who are not up on him, Velben is an artist hailing from Detroit, Michigan. He has worked with some artists/producers such as Jneiro Jarel, Baatin (R.I.P), Dragon Fli Empire, and Precise Hero. In 2006, Velben released his critically acclaimed  Formless EP independently and in 2008 it was re-released on vinyl with Traveller RecordsFormless received praise from producers Rich Medina and Jneiro Jarel dubbing it a must have EP for your collection. This year Velben has his debut album Creative Flowz to share with the world which will be release on his own label Formless Vibez Muzik. With production from J Palm, Bus Crates, and Byron the Aquarius, it’s evident that Creative Flowz will be a dope must have for 2009. Not far behind in sound with previous project Formless, Creative Flowz  shows hints of progressiveness and Velben ‘s  ability to travel far off into another dimension as possible without losing himself or his audience. If my word isn’t enough to prepare you for the amount of intergalactic inspired hip-hop/soul dispersing from Creative Flowz, just take a listen to the preview for yourself and post your thought here.

Velben via Myspace

Velben via Twitter

Velben– Creative Flowz  Album Preview


October 15, 2009

In honor of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s birthday on this day, October 15, the whole month is bubbling over with events across the country and the globe. Click this link to get details on a Felabration near you. As a fan of Fela’s music, I am working to get Birmingham on the worldwide list for October 2010. Holla if ya hear me.

For the southeasterners and passers-by, be sure to check out DJ Kemit’s Spread Love (Atlanta, GA) for October. Special guests include: Roy Ayers getting down with The Common Ground Collective, and on the wheels: DJ Ausar, Rich Medina, and DJ Kemit dropping the afrobeat, soul, funk, and house, all inspired by the Black President himself. Click here for more info and directions.

Its almost always a good thing when you get two masters of their crafts together to put together an album (or nearly any artistic endeavor). Its certainly a good thing with legendary deejays and tastemakers, Rich Medina and Bobbito Garcia dropping their 2 CD compilation, The Connection Volume One – Modern Explorations in Afro-Beat and Afro-Latin on R2 Records. Street release date is set for April 14.

For those who don’t know these cats be sure to look them up..From their legendary residencies and parties (Jump-N-Funk, Wonder-full, Happy Feet, Vinyl Is Forever, and others), to producing, writing books, charity work, and well, I could spend this whole piece writing on all of the things that these guys have done over the years, so be sure to check out the links above and check for links on those pages as well.

An inspired competition exists between them to outdo the other by introducing underexposed tunes. The Connection allows for others to share that joy that goes on in their DJ booth , as quoted from their press sheet, this best describes the tone of this compilation. A dual disc with Medina fully representing the Afro-Beats on disc one, and Kool Bob Love digging up the Afro-Latin grooves on disc two, this joint is everything from lounge to straight up raw funk and dancefloor smashers all rolled into exceptional balance between classic and vintage rhythms and Afro-futuristic production.

When I read the tracklisting, being a selector, I was happy to see that I was familiar with some of the tracks and artists, but after hearing them all mashed together one after the other, they all sounded individually and collectively as fresh as ever, as if I was right there at one of their sets. Best believe you’ll hear some of them when I’m spinning..

Standout tracks for me on disc one are: Raw Artistic Soul’s Oya O featuring Nigerian progressive house queen, Wunmi, The river-like flow of Cameroon’s Franck Biyong’s We Shall Overcome, and the trance-like saxophones and chants of Do Lelezi Ekassa 22 from Nigerian legend, Victor Uwaifo. Favs on disc two include, the organic polyrhythmic percussion of Rumba Cultura by Totin, The UK’s Reel People with the Michael Jackson (Off The Wall era) vibe of Second Guess (Da Lata Remix), and Salsa Scratch by none other than ex-X-Ecutioner Rob Swift featuring the legendary Bob James and D-Styles (Beat Junkies,Low End Theory).

The Connection Volume 1 is a sophisticated and colorful collection of tracks from two well trusted deejays, that I highly recommend to the Bamalovesoul massive especially if you dig Afro-Beat and Afro-Latin music. Pick this one up directly from the R2 Records label (UK), Itunes, Amazon, etc. Links to purchase the album in the U.S. will be posted here soon.

Junior Star gives The Connection Volume 1 – 6.5 out of 7 head nods.

* Head Nod Scale

1=Don’t waste your time like I did mine.

2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.

3=Well, there was the single.

4=If it were a hand in spades there’s “two and a possible”.

5=It’s a “good” album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.

6=Really Good Project. Has the “Rewind Factor” more than once.

7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.


and..if you’re in London be sure to catch their album launch boat party on Sunday April 12!