Africanism All Stars Africanism All Stars

French label Yellow Productions, started by French house DJ Bob Sinclair, has been releasing a series of singles since last summer with an Afro-house theme. If that wasn't enough to whet the appetite and get on the dance floor, Sinclair has mixed a special edition of these carefully crafted dance grooves. He is not alone in achieving this feat, taking DJ Gregory, Julien Jabre and Liquid People, amongst others, for the ride. This mixed edition is a rich tapestry that weaves together two threads. One is its distinctly French house flavour and the other is the undercurrent of African rhythms that move from vocal praises towards "duniya Africa" to djembe breaks. The disco theme is no surprise, given that Sinclair drew inspiration from Le Marais, the upbeat gay quarter of Paris with its funky disco clubs. DJ Gregory brings his soul and funk influences courtesy of the New York house scene to the mix. The track listing starts with a distinctly rich house mood and the Africanism is quite evident. The opening number, "Bisou Sucre," and its follow up, "Tourment d'Amour," have all the classic elements of club hits, especially the latter, which is a perfect salsa number. The B-side mood enters acid jazz and minimalist house territory, but it is quite obviously the opening-half that is celebratory and sensual in its delivery. As if alluding to the Cuban All Stars and their successful blend of boleros and sons, the Africanism All Stars seem to be a lethal collective and this mixed edition is near perfect from beginning to end. (Yellow Productions)