Release News: Amadou & Mariam “The Remixes”, Amalia “Art Slave”, “Mark Wonder and Friends”, Rick Wilhite, Prommer and Barck

New Releases

Amadou & Mariam “The Remixes”

Malian duo Amadou & Mariam released a 13-track digital album of remixes on January 11, 2011, exclusively on iTunes. The Remixes collection features favorite singles from their best-selling albums Welcome to Mali and Dimanche à Bamako, along with several new versions, and some previously unreleased mixes, from across their catalog reworked by what Pitchfork calls a “wonderfully random” group of collaborators. Highlights include new versions of the single “Sabali” by Miike Snow and French techno maestro Vitalic; and “Afrika” revisited by Bob Sinclar.

Among the African contributions to the compilation are the township remix of “Ce N’est Pas Bon” by South Africa’s DJ Aero, and a reworking of “Masiteladi” by Mali’s Mo DJ. Two New York bootlegs also make their way onto the album with rising star Theophilus London’s mix of “Sabali” and DJ Sabo’s “Artistiya.” Classics include 2005’s Afrikanz on Marz mix of “Coulibaly” by Ashley Beedle and a version by Akon.

Several tracks from Amadou & Mariam’s back catalog are featured, including “Je Pense à Toi,” from their 1999 album Sou Ni Tilé, the track that first brought the duo to Manu Chao’s attention, and which is reworked here by DJ Alix. To purchase Amadou & Mariam’s Remixes from iTunes, click here.

Amalia “Art Slave”

Spotlight on for the long awaited debut album by Tokyo Dawn’s first lady Amalia! ‘Art Slave’ is a colorful manifesto for the passion of art, the strength of heart and the need for sufficient funk in all stages of life. Flying solo, Amalia bravely commands her own starship and pays homage to the strong women of soul who catalyzed her ingenuity such as Chaka Khan, Sheila E, Eartha Kitt and Betty Davis. Produced by her cohabitant, Swedish funk extraordinaire Opolopo, ‘Art Slave’ is sonically and musically influenced by late 80s / early 90s New Jack Swing and Boogie, continuing on from his epic concept album Voltage Controlled Feelings.

Besides winning the prestigious CMW award and being nominated by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Amalia has already performed and shared her electromagnetic pull with the likes of Dr. Lonnie Smith, Maceo Parker, Jazzanova, Saul Williams, Cinematic Orchestra and many more. A unique voice and mind that transcends this space and time, Amalia has also been the secret weapon of numerous underground producers including AD Bourke, Atjazz & Son Of Kick, who all deliver the bonus remixes for this release.

Mark Wonder and Friends

The ultimate collection of Mark Wonder’s work so far in a joint venture release by Irievibrations Records (Austria) and AL.TA.FA.AN (Jamaica). A 15 track combination album with features an A-list of Jamaican and European internationally known artists including Luciano, Anthony B, Capleton, Sizzla, Junior Kelly, Ziggi, and Gentleman. Mark Wonder, born Mark Andrew Thompson in Kingston, Jamaica, is truly a Jamaican wonder. Although Jamaica has no shortage of roots singers Mark Wonder is a musical force that must be reckoned with. His joyful expressions and contagious love songs are also exemplary of the breathtaking quality and range of this amazing and gifted singer. Wonder was influenced by his mother’s love for music and her record collection that included the great early R&B classics of The Impressions, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Patti Labelle and Stevie Wonder from whom he has adopted the name “Wonder”. He was also influenced by foundation Jamaican music from artists like Burning Spear, Alton Ellis, Marcia Griffiths, Bob Andy, Heptones, Ken Boothe, Black Uhuru, Beres Hammond, Third World, Barrington Levy, The Wailers with Bob, Peter and Bunny, and Dennis Brown who in particular inspired him to become a singer.

He developed his craft around the sound system in and around his community. From there he got the opportunity to go to the recording studio. King Jammy was his first stop where he did one recording. Not getting enough attention he moved on to neighboring Black Scorpio which eventually launched his recording career. “Caution” was his very first vinyl single. Then came “Girl I Love Your Style” and “A We Rule” – all on the Black Scorpio imprint. A string of singles followed on other small labels and Mark was on his way to realize his vision. He has grown tremendously creating a unique style of his own and is now considered one of the best vocalists in roots reggae.


Rick Wilhite “Analog Aquarium”

Still Music is proud to present Analog Aquarium , the debut album by legendary Detroit house producer Rick The Godson Wilhite. Rick is a longtime member of Detroits dance music scene, dating back to his time working at Buy Rite records, one of the epicenters of Detroits 1980s techno music explosion. More recently, his own record shop Vibes New and Rare Music has achieved revered status amongst those in the know, acting as the heart and soul of deep dance music in the city. Rick is also responsible for throwing countless parties in Detroit, helping to develop the house sound that the city is known for, and to build connections to DJs from other cities like Chicago that have proved invaluable over the years. His love for music and records has led to a DJing career that has spanned many genres, though it is his take on deep house music that has led him to international acclaim. Drawing from Detroit’s history of soul, jazz, disco, house, and techno, Ricks productions weave these sometimes disparate elements into a beautiful, cohesive whole that remains distinctly his own, just as he does with the records he plays in his DJ sets. Working with Theo Parrish, Keny Dixon Jr., and Malik Pittman on the 3 Chairs project has grown Rick’s reputation even greater. With many classic 12 releases under his own name that have been absolutely beaten to death by DJs worldwide, it is now time for Rick to leave his mark on a wider audience with his debut solo album.

Photo by NJ Khan

Prommer & Barck Alex and the Grizzly

Christian Prommer and Alex Barck will release their first collaborative album this April, entitled Alex and the Grizzly. Alex and the Grizzly will be the first release on Derwin Recordings, a new label managed by Prommer and Barck in association with Compost. If there’s one thing Prommer and Barck share in common, its an apparent need to move beyond the established role of the DJ/producer. Much of Prommer’s recent output has been the Drumlesson series, a project that puts a jazzy spin on club classics like “Strings of Life” and “Plastic Dreams.” Barck, meanwhile, is a longtime member of Jazzanova, a six-piece collective that fuses house, hip-hop, jazz and chill-out. Alex and the Grizzly shows the pair continuing to think outside the box, fusing live and electronic performance along with a gaggle of disparate genres and styles. Production duties are split pretty evenly, though Barck takes the lead on vocals and Prommer does all of the drumming. Guest appearances come from James Teej and Dollkraut among others. (Courtesy R.A.)

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