Karl Hector & The Malcouns

Stones Throw’s funk imprint, Now-Again, follows up the mind-blowing Heliocentrics album with this desert continent disc from neo-afro funk collective Karl Hector & The Malcouns. First, a quick who’s who of the principals: Karl Hector (vocals & percussion) has, up to this point, only recorded his skills on one 7-inch back in ’96 with the Funk Pilots; Between Jay Whitefield (Poets of Rhythm), Thomas Myland and Zdenko Curlija (The Malcouns) a wide swath of instrumental ground gets covered. Six more musicians round out the collective. “Nyx” stands out as a faithful sampling of Sahara Swing as a whole. Its gritty groove breaks down into raw african percussion about a minute and a half in, after which a fog of free jazz rolls past until the guitars resume their call and response riffs. It’s like overhearing a conversation that you can’t stop listening to because you want to hear the rest of the story. And the rest of the story about Sahara Swing goes like this: it’ll be one of the hottest additions to your summertime party playlist.