Compilations are supposed to have a concept, some kind of theme that ties them together. The theme here is pretty much “non-peak-time / after-party records that UK DJ Luke Una likes.” É Soul Cultura includes a wide range of styles and genres that all, somehow, have something in common. “Timelessness” is a word oft overused in dance music, but I’m tempted to use it because it fits what Mr Una is doing here. Lots of these tunes, whether they’re Balearic, Brazilian, disco or zouk, are quite difficult to place — chronologically, geographically — because they’re the kind of tunes that quietly, unassumingly, somehow manage to transcend genre, or at least to blur and muddy it. Instead of adhering to fashion or stylistic boundaries, the tracks here stand by themselves as exemplars in a genre of one.
So you get some stately, lesser-known Salsoul orchestral-disco courtesy of Metropolis’ “Every Time I See Him,” sultry early ’80s Brazilian fusion from Lincoln Olivetti and Robson Gorge, New York garage via a spacey forgotten Morales dub of the Brand New Heavies, cosmic-disco-jazz from Yusef Lateef and somehow it all hangs together.
I’d never heard most of these records before and they’re all lovely in their way, but aside from each tune being a winner, the whole album is cohesive in both mood and sonics. This is what a good compilation looks (sounds) like: it introduces you to brilliant music you didn’t know you’d been missing.
V/A: Luke Una Presents É Soul Cultura (Mr Bongo / 2xLP, CD, Digital)
1. Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti – Eva (05:45)
2. Chêne noir – Le Train (04:36)
3. Metropolis – Every Time I See Him (04:02)
4. The Brand New Heavies Featuring N’Dea Davenport – Stay This Way (The Lunar Dub) (05:26)
5. Typesun – The P.L. (Extended Edit) (05:17)
6. King Errisson – Space Queen (07:04)
7. Yusef Lateef – Robot Man (06:35)
8. Daniel Humair, François Jeanneau, Henri Texier – Le Cyclope (04:47)
9. Airto Moreira – O Galho Da Roseira (The Branches Of The Rose Tree) (07:54)
10. Francisco – Waché (06:07)
11. Nar’Chiveol – Apocalypse Now Ho (04:42)
12. On – Southern freeez (08:03)
13. Soylent Green – After All (06:24)
14. Crooked Man – B&E (05:34)
15. Michael J. Blood & Samizdat – Love Locked (08:52)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo.