30. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey - Echos Hypnotiques, Vol. 2
While last year’s collection of Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou work, From the Vaults of Albarika Store 1969-1979, dug deep into the group’s rare gems, this collection comes from sessions that they did at the E.M.I. studio in Nigeria. The result? Better sound quality and more great music from the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo. Their blend of Highlife, Funk and the Vodoun rhythms that come from their native country of Benin separate this album from the pack of retro-African releases that have been coming out this year.
29. Moncho Rivera - Yo Tengo Lo Mio
In Salsa music, there is nothing better than a great Sonero, a singer who is able to improvise off the top of the dome and give their musicians a run for their money. Moncho Rivera is the nephew of another great Sonero, Ismael Rivera, and continues a family tradition of singers who just destroy their contemporaries. Moncho and his band are red hot on this release, which is one of the few highlights in the Salsa music world this year.
28. V/A - Sensacional Soul Vol 2
I always felt that the best music ever made was during the worst of times. During the oppressive Franco era, conservative radio stations and record companies did not want to explore the Psychedelic movement. However, Motown was big in Spain and all the groups that emulated The Beatles started to get a little soul in them, often incorporating horn and foreign soul vocalists. Sensacional Soul Vol. 2 is a fine mixture of cover songs sung in Spanish and funky instrumentals with plenty of beat influences guaranteed to liven any dance floor.