I have been knowing Mallorca resident Kiko Navarro for many years now, we in fact had even been in the same artist management company when I used to be part of the Whipped Creem production group. Knowing exactly of the pure quality this man is able to offer (check his recent BBE artist album ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’ for proof) I was rubbing my hands when I heard about the new label Afroterraneo, Kiko is about to launch. Divining the musical direction of his fledgling new imprint, Kiko Navarro presents ‘Genesis Vol.1’, a collection of tracks designed to convey the label’s spiritual essence. So Far, so good.
Following the fleeting beauty of his “Afroterraneo Intro”, Kiko Navarro begins ‘Genesis’ with a previously unreleased deep dub version of Modaji’s “Hiroko”, originally issued on DJ Spen’s ‘Unquantize’ label. Next, Kiko delivers a hypnotic rework of Isaac Aesili’s “Red Horizon”, a track he fell in love with backin 2009 and simply couldn’t forget, finally getting to work on it almost a decade later.
Another long-time personal favourite is “My Life Is Music”, a short reprise originally created back in ’96 by Felix Da Housecat under his alias ‘The Visionary’. A staple set-closer for many years, Kiko was recently able to get his hands on the acapella and create the extended deep house version he’d been dreaming of for more than twenty years.
Finding its way to Kiko’s by way of a good old fashioned demo, “Les Morts Et Les Vivants” is a loopy, afrobeat-fuelled cut from Swiss production duo Djudo. Next comes a brand new take on one of Kiko Navarro’s best known
tracks, “Soñando Contigo”, lovingly crafted by French deep and afro house maestro Manoo.
Asked to produce something especially for the label, rising star Mario Bianco delivers in the form of “Omnia Munda Mundis”, a string-laden and cinematic techno-tinged masterpiece. The potent ‘Paso Doble Remix’ of Afroterraneo’s
first release “Sea Goddess” follows, providing some sultry late-night textures. The Sunchasers close out the album with smooth terrace cut “Sambasol”; lazy, hazy sounds for the endless summer evenings to come.
From its graceful, prayer-like opener to its languid benediction, ‘Genesis Vol.1’ gives a powerful sense of Kiko’s intent for Afroterraneo.
We can only wish the man the best of luck and success for this special label, this showcase already is able to provide representative spectrum of what’s to come!
4.5 out of 5