The Connection, Vol. 1

The Connection, Vol. 1

by Rich Medina


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The Connection, Vol. 1

Rich Medina and Bobbito "Kool Bob Love" Garcia -- among many other distinctions -- are veteran DJs who've been wooing groove-lovers and setting dancefloors ablaze for years; at home (in Philly and N.Y.C., respectively) and worldwide; individually and, since 1997, together, at their long-running "Happy Feet" parties. True to its title, their first joint release finds the pair delving deep into the well of contemporary, groove-based music from around the globe, often cross-pollinated with funk, soul, jazz, house, hip-hop, and more, but always firmly rooted in African and Latin rhythmic traditions. The set is presented as a straight, unmixed compilation rather than a blended DJ affair, with each compiler responsible for one generous 12-cut disc (many of the inclusions stretch out well past the five-minute mark), allowing each of them ample space to flesh out a distinct genre-based approach. Medina's Afro-flavored disc kicks things off with a sturdy Fela-styled groove from the Dutch group AIFF before settling into a relatively smooth and mellow mode for much of its length, focusing on cuts that project an affably relaxed vibe despite plenty of percussive complexity. Things definitely heat up toward the end of the disc, though, with a vintage nugget from Nigeria's Sir Victor Uwaifo slotted next to more recent but retro-inspired horn-heavy funk from the Daktaris and Azuka of Afrika, and a pair of lengthy tracks offering surprisingly different takes on the intersection of Afro-beat and house music. The NuYorican Bobbito's Latin-based disc is decidedly the more varied and modern-feeling of the two, with a wealth of hip-hop and electronica-inflected selections ranging from Rob Swift's cut-up turntablism to the poppy, salsa-tinged R&B of London's Grupo X (on the aptly-named "Sunshine"), the jazzy lounge-house of Big Bang and Louie Vega, and Reel People's funky, syncopated electro-soul. There's also some relatively straight-up funk/soul by the dependable Quantic, and revelatory interpolations of familiar tunes by Michael Jackson (by the Parisian salsa-funk outfit Setenta) and James Brown (Saravah Soul's excellent "Supersossego," which morphs unpredictably from a faithful instrumental cover of "Super Bad" into a full-on samba blow-out.) As with the first disc, the focus here is on currently active artists, with several cuts as recent as 2008 (though they may not all sound like it), but Garcia does dig back into the vaults for a slice of circa 1974 funk-rock from Mexico's Tequila and a beguiling, dusty-sounding vocal turn from Elenita Ruiz con Conjunto that closes the set, fittingly enough, in an entirely unexpected fashion. All told, it's a treasure trove of consistently fine and highly obscure material that should delight crate-digging collectors and casual listeners alike. Perhaps the best part of all: this is only Volume One.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/12/2009
Label: R2
UPC: 0730003201424
catalogNumber: 14
Rank: 271919

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rich Medina   Primary Artist,DJ
Bob James   Piano
Angel "Cachete" Maldonado   Percussion
Chris Franck   Various
Rob Swift   scratching
D-Styles   scratching
Bobbito   DJ
DJ Radar   Turntables
Tim Hutton   Various
Bob James & Creations   Piano
Clara Aguilar   Vocals
Luis F. "Totin" Agosto   Percussion,Vocals
Dave Guy   Horn
Joaquin "Joe" Claussell   Percussion

Technical Credits

Bob James   Composer
Mike Patto   Producer,Audio Production
"Little" Louie Vega   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Chris Franck   Programming,Instrumentation
Raul Midón   Composer
Albert Sterling Menendez   Composer
Wallias Band   Composer
GU   Composer
Will Holland   Composer
Rob Swift   Composer,Audio Production
Renato Lopez   Composer
Jesper Christiansen   Licensing
Victor Uwaifo   Composer,Audio Production
Carlos Ayala   Composer
DJ Radar   Composer
Da Lata   Remixing
Todd M. Simon   Composer
Orin Walters   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Maldonado   Composer
Toni Economides   Programming,Engineer
Tim Hutton   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production,Instrumentation
Nick The Record   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Big Bang   Composer
Bigbang   Composer
Tom Davidson   Producer,Audio Production
Agosto   Composer
Nickodemus   Composer,Audio Production
Marcos Garcia   Composer
Oscar Debe   Percussion Arrangement
David Gervai   Engineer
Florian "Gray" Pellissier   Composer
Julien Lebrun   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
T. Davidson   Composer
Azuka of Afrika   Arranger
Blaze   Composer
Ruth Tafebe   Composer
Saravah Soul   Composer
Franck Biyong   Composer
Phil Kullmann   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Timothy Vanderholst   Composer
A.C. Vanderkolk   Composer
Serge Amiano   Composer
Yves Khoury   Composer
Michael Ehnes   Composer
Pierre Chretien   Arranger,Composer
Azuka S. Morka   Composer
J. Enright   Composer
J. Lemessurier   Composer
Emmanuel Maree   Composer
Manohisoa Razanjato   Composer
O. Lazarus   Composer
M. Patto   Composer
William Holland   Composer
Walters   Composer
Paquito Fonfrias   Composer
Yves Khoury   Composer
Wole Peku   Arranger
Tchoubine Colin   Composer
T. Davidson   Composer
Serge Amiano   Composer
Pascal "Osman" Louis Marie   Composer
Paquito Fonfrias   Composer
Oscar Debe   Arranger
Omotayo "Wunmi" Olaiya   Composer
O. Lazarus   Composer
Marcos J. Garcia   Composer,Audio Production
Manohisoa Razanjato   Composer
M. Patto   Composer
Laurent Guillet   Composer
Julien Raulet   Composer
Joshua Toala   Composer
J. Le Messurier   Composer
J. Enright   Composer
Florian Pellissier   Composer
Fabien Hily   Composer
Emmanuel Maree   Composer
Carlos S. Ayala   Composer
Blaze Production   Audio Production
Blaze   Composer
Azuka S. Morka   Composer
T. Van Der Holst   Composer
A.C. Van Der Kolk   Composer
Agosto   Composer
Oli Lazarus   Audio Production
Dave Guy   Composer
William Holland   Composer,Audio Production
Walters   Composer
Joaquin "Joe" Claussell   Arranger,Programming,Remixing,Audio Production

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