Pasa Tem­pos LargeUp Mix Se­ries Vol. 1: Afro Soca Mixed by DJ JamCen­tral and Adia Vic­to­ria’s Be­yond the Blood­hounds

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LargeUp Mix Se­ries Vol. 1: Afro Soca Mixed By DJ Jam Cen­tral (OkayAfrica) Sup­pos­edly, “Afro Soca” is a term coined by orig­i­nal Fela! cast mem­ber Shakira Mar­shall, who ap­pears on the cover of this pleas­antly rau­cous mixtape. In this genre, for the most part, the beats are pure West African pop, while the pa­tois-steeped vo­cals, steel drums, and dance­hall-in­flected synths come to us straight from the Caribbean. For new­com­ers, this mixtape in­cludes the hit “Ojuelegba,” the bril­liant tri-na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Wizkid (Nige­ria), Skepta (UK), and Drake (Canada) that bor­rows from Bri­tish grime and Amer­i­can hip-hop while re­main­ing es­sen­tially a Nige­rian ro­man­tic coo in both style and sub­stance. Other stand­outs here in­clude Machel Mon­tano and Ker­win Du Bois per­form­ing a reg­gae-re­work­ing of Lady­smith Black Mam­bazo’s “Pos­sessed.” Davido, an At­lanta-born Nige­rian vo­cal­ist who has found wide­spread suc­cess on three dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents, col­lab­o­rates with South African ex­per­i­men­tal­ists Mafik­i­zolo on “Tchelete (Goodlife)” to cre­ate a sen­sual, soca-based ballad. It’s not an ex­act fu­sion. Most of the heavy­weight tracks sound like they were cooked up in La­gos and Jo­han­nes­burg and sent to pro­duc­ers in Port of Spain for some soca sonic add-ins. But it’s an ex­cel­lent guide to the new mi­cro-genre that is sweep­ing dance clubs and ever so slowly trick­ling its way into main­stream Amer­i­can Top 40. — Casey Sanchez

ADIA VIC­TO­RIA Be­yond the Blood­hounds (Can­vas­back/ At­lantic) From Ri­hanna’s flir­ta­tion with coun­try mu­sic on “FourFiveSe­conds” and “Higher” to the Drake-like, hip-hop in­fused rhymes emerg­ing from bro-coun­try star Sam Hunt, it’s clear that soul-steeped coun­try in­fu­sions are hav­ing a mo­ment in a way we have not seen since Ray Charles re­leased Mod­ern Sounds in

Coun­try and Western Mu­sic in 1962. En­ter Adia Vic­to­ria. With a baby­doll punk cat­er­waul and coun­try-blues gui­tar licks, Vic­to­ria draws on the South’s twin mu­si­cal tra­di­tions to de­liver a raw, densely lyri­cal al­bum that reck­ons with the South Carolina na­tive’s own con­flicted feel­ings about her birth­place. “I don’t know noth­ing about South­ern belles/ But I can tell you some­thing about South­ern hell,” she laments on “Stuck in the South.” Like most first al­bums, there are some de­riv­a­tive de­tours — “Mor­timer’s Blues” is pure Moon Pix-era Cat Power. (That’s no in­sult.) She’s clearly chan­nel­ing PJ Har­vey on the epic “Sea of Sand,” al­beit with blood-cur­dling lyrics that won­der about how we sur­vive every­thing from per­sonal break­downs to racial vi­o­lence. Is this goth coun­try, as some hash­tagcrazed re­view­ers have called it? Nah. Like Dusty Springfield or She­mekia Copeland, Vic­to­ria’s a genre-hop­ping chanteuse who, for now at least, has jump-started her artis­tic am­bi­tion by cross­ing the wires be­tween coun­try and soul, funk and punk. — C.S.

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