This September saw the triumphant return of Arthur Baker with his pseudonymous project, Criminal Element Orchestra, released by Oscar Gs new label Made in Miami. The Waveform Transmitter’s Andy Weights takes stock of some impressive Latin fayre.
The sultry single titled Latino Party Music is a future dancefloor classic that oozes style and Latin rhythm. Arthur Baker is best known for spinning classic soul and disco 45s back in the 70s before graduating to become a bright and wildly imitated hip hop producer, later producing for the likes of New order – Confusion, Freeez – IOU and Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock, not to mention countless movie soundtracks and rock & soul artists such as Bob Dylan and Al Green.
His debut release under the Put the Needle On the Record guise saw him release various forms of dance music between ‘87 & ’96 and has cemented the track – and his name – in electronic sampling folklore.
The track is a percussive, lovely little number that reeks of the sand and warm sun of the USA’s east coast. Splashes of colour spit out with crashes of loose cymbals, vocals caw and chant as the electric piano engages with us on a deeper, staccato level. The swinging bass swaggers along the vibrant floor as the tempo holds to cause a circulatory effect that makes you celebrate life.
Bongo flams tickle the edges which in turn get the hands and feet moving. Synth moments add a warm spice until the cowbell says hello and tricks us into a magnificent drop. Shakers shake as the synth delights with guest appearances showing the colour of the neon-lit Miami nights.
What Criminal Element Orchestra and Oscar G‘s Made in Miami have done here is used years of being at the top of their game to create a dancefloor filler that will get all the girls dancing which will get the boys dancing that will make any party a roaring success. This is for the many not the few™!
It hasn’t taken Made in Miami Records long to emerge as an important vehicle for the forever fluid and prolific Miami producer community. As one half of the internationally celebrated producer/artist team known as Murk and as a DJ, who has held residencies in the city’s most iconic venues for over 2 decades, Oscar G is uniquely situated to be the force behind the Made in Miami imprint.
“Made in Miami is a new record label, but it’s been in the making for decades,” says Oscar, who is a life-long Miami resident. “I have been cultivating a sound distinctive to the 305 for most of my life. A fusion of chunky house beats and bass lines with Afro-Cuban and tribal rhythms.
The label is a natural next step in what has been the organic growth of the true Miami sound, and will spotlight artists who have grown up immersed in it.”
Criminal Element Orchestra. Latino Party Music is out now on digital by Made in Miami records. It should be danced to, whenever you get the chance to.