Nickodemus ‘Sun People’ CD (Wonderwheel Recordings) 3/5

Dance music collective Nickodemus have been open to various world roots influences on previous albums and are equally broad-minded on this one. West African voclaist Ismael Kouyate guest on the brief intro title track and then returns at the very end of the CD with a longer, altogether funkier version on ‘N’dini’. In general Latin flavours abound on this releases with the urban New York take on the genre in ‘La lluvia’ typifying the endeavous with latin vamp on piano and Spanish vocals delivered courtesy of Richard Shepherd. New Orleans-style drums underneath give this song an unusual feel. The Latin tinge is combined with Indian classical vocals from Falu on the interesting ‘Didibina’ while veteran arranger/trombonist Willie Colon is sampled to good effect on ‘Calle Sol’ featuring the Candela All Stars. This is the most traditional in Afro-Cuban format of all the tracks on the album and the lovely use of brass and flute make this an infectous groove 
from start to finish. Portugese vocals are showcased on ‘Gira del sol’ by Brazilian singer Liliana Araujo with assorted percussion into the mix. Perhaps the most left field track of all is to be found on ‘Two sips and magic’ where North African percussion on the darbouka meets hip hop with clarinet and an oud-like sounding guitar thrown in for good measure. Old school rap on ‘Sun children’ and the dub feel of ‘Just more!’ with dancehall-style vocals rounds off a well balanced overview of dancefloor music.

Tim Stenhouse