by Don Crispy
Dancelibre Christmas Special
While Latin house is usually associated with New York, the
scene has wide roots. On Sunday at Womb, London-based vocal
house unit Bah Samba will be heading up a Christmas Dancelibre
event to demonstrate the UK take on the sound.
Formed in the mid-'90s, Bah Samba centers around the
vocal stylings of Alice Russell, with keyboardist Julian Bendall,
drummer Tristan Banks and bassist Ed Meyer filling out the
They first garnered critical acclaim with the 1996 single,
Carnival, later releasing the house anthem Reach
Inside, which became the first track on Dimitri From
Paris' popular Playboy Mansion mix CD.
Bah Samba released their debut self-titled full-length album
earlier this year, achieving a harmonious blend of lusty deep
house and breezy samba rhythms filled out by the use of live
horns, xylophones and percussion.
Joining Bah Samba will be one of the recent bright lights
of New York's Latin house scene in the form of DJ Osunlade.
As producer, Osunlade has worked with Musiq, Patti LaBelle,
India Arie, and Japan's Kyoto Jazz Massive, just to name
In 1999, he established his Yoruba label and began to release
his own deep house tracks while cultivating emerging artists.
An ordained priest in the African religion of Ifa, Osunlade's
2001 debut album Paradigm (Soul Jazz), was an excellent summation
of his spiritually uplifting, soul-influenced deep house productions.
Filling out the evening will be an appearance by Puerto Rican
percussionist Gabriele Poso
Meanwhile, on the same night over at Yellow, a longtime friend
to Tokyo's drum 'n' bass scene begins what
will be an occasional residency.
As an artist and also as founder of the essential Good Looking
label, LTJ Bukem was responsible for bringing jazz influences
and a sense of space into the sometimes cluttered rhythms
of drum 'n' bass through his groundbreaking Logical
Progressions recordings of the mid-'90s.
Bukem has been a familiar face in Tokyo, with many well-attended
appearances at Liquid Room's Drum and Bass Sessions events,
often in the company of MC Conrad (who will of course be at
Yellow). He has also nurtured Japanese talent, with DJ/producer
Makoto acting as his Good Looking man on the ground.
The connection explains the upcoming Good Looking residency,
which Makoto is staging as a platform for the label's
Japan activities, which include last year's release of
Makoto's debut, Makoto Instrumental Mix.
The 24-year old Makoto described how his drum 'n'
bass dreams came to fruition. I sent a demo to Good
Looking, and got a reply back from Bukem straight away,
he said. Bukem replied with a letter telling me to make
the beat less frantic and to make changes to the arrangement.
We then started to contact each other and discuss my music.
This led to me signing to Good Looking.
Dancelibre Christmas Special@Womb,
12/22, 10pm, ¥3,500. Tel: 5459-0039.
Progression Sessions@Yellow, 10/22, 10pm, ¥3,000 (adv),
¥3,500 (door). Tel: 3479-0690
Bah Samba Credits: Dancelibre
LTJ Bukem credit: Good Looking Organisation