Various Artists: Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque

Various Artists: Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque
Strut Records has made a commitment to bringing esoteric music to the masses. Their previous compilation efforts include Fania Essential Recordings Salsa Explosion: The Salsa Revolution , The Next Stop … Soweto series, and Calypsoul 70. Now, Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque can be added to those ranks. The album is the debut compilation from the UK-based tropical music collective, Sofrito. DJ Hugo Mendez and DJ Frankie Francis assemble a track listing of old and new tropical dance tracks.
The album contains tracks like Frankie Francis’s edit of Nigerian guitarist Victor Uwaifo‘s “Ohue.” Francis utilizes the track’s disco guitars to their fullest power while creating an esoteric yet extremely danceable song. Like most of the songs on the album, the track is not in English.
One of the few tracks on the album that is in English is Might Shadow‘s “Dat Soca Boat”. The Trinidad-born vocalist delivers my favorite performance of the album. The track uses traditional Caribbean percussion and adds in instruments like tropical horns and flute along with more traditional instruments like guitar and bass. The track’s great grooves and soulful vocals make it irresistible.
There are a lot of irresistible tracks on Sofrito though. The tracks range from cumbia and calypso to African jazz and salsa; a mix of styles and genre like this could make an album lack cohesion but the steady rhythm and dance beats hold the album together well. Another great compilation from Strut Records.
Rating: 7.6/10
MP3: Might Shadow “Dat Soca Boat”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon