Various ‘Fermented Grooves Vol.1’ (Stereo Ferment) 5/5

As a kid my friends and I used to come up with theme songs for ourselves, you know in case we ever became boxers and needed a song to get hype to as we walk out into the ring. The song has to have swagger, it had to be tough, a little sexy, and danceable. Listening to Stereo Ferment’s Fermented Grooves Volume One took me right back to my teenage self because every single song is the perfect theme song for my boxer alter ego. Every song has its own unique flavour and texture but they are tied together by the process of fermentation.

Humans have been fermenting food and drink for hundreds of years as a means to preserve and improve, and with this compilation Stereo Ferment is proving you can do the same with music. Just like your favourite beer or wine these 10 tracks have been aged, fermented, edited and beefed up for the modern dance floor experience. With Brad Weber (Coy Haste) and Gayden Mowbray (Oreku) at the helm the featured DJs and producers have managed to create a global experience with each song, giving you everything from Bollywood Afrobeat to Turkish boogie. I’ll be honest at first I didn’t understand how it would all fit together, how can a Soca song be on the same album as a Bhangra beat, but they managed to weave them all together with a global groove.

Aase Hechchagide (Rework) by Oreku opens the album grabbing you by the cheeks and making you pay attention. The song is a bit mysterious as you try to figure out where in the world Oreku is taking you but about 2 minutes in you hear the Bollywood influence and together with the horns and percussion it’s the perfect song to dance and groove to. Ay, Suplando by The Patchouli Brothers belongs in Studio 54. It is the perfect disco-funk song that would fit right in with Chic and Foxy. Andre Laos’ Alternating Currency feels a little bit more ready for contemporary clubs as it opens, but it still has this underlying funk. When the vocals start it almost feels like the opening of a Spaghetti Western, you can taste the dust in the air. I smiled the entire time listening because talk about a theme song. This song tells a whole story, it’s a theme song for someone about to get into a duel in some post-disco Western world. My favourite song was Land of Jam by Souldade. It’s a joyful, warm soca song with a bit of 80’s glitter that you can’t not move to. Land of Jam would be my choice of theme song, no doubt.

When something ferments the hope is to create heat and effervescence, two words that describe the sounds contained in Fermented Grooves Volume One and I promise you and your friends will have so much fun fighting over who gets to have which theme song, until Volume Two comes out.

Molly Gallegos