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Sidestepper The Buena Vibra Sound System

  • Words: Derek Beres
  • Label: Palm Pictures
  • XLR8R Rating: 7/10

While this third release from Afro-Colombian soundsystem Sidestepper smells of contract fulfillment–a collection of remixes and unreleased cuts after just two studio albums–there is a bit of irony that it’s the group’s best offering yet. Credit founder Richard Blair for this mixture of Colombian, Jamaican, and Nigerian sounds, where he tweaks the homeland rhythms of Bogota with dub and Afrobeat elements. The previously unavailable “Que Sera,” with a stylish reggae backdrop amidst the scattering calls of male and female toasters, is probably Blair’s best sonic creation to date. The other 10 tracks, including a mercurial reworking of “Deja,” provide ample support.

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