The Sofrito cofounder presents a selection of sounds from the African and Caribbean diaspora, from Congolese singing to Parisian disco.
As one of the men behind the Sofrito collective and label, which grew out of the Tropical Warehouse parties of East London, Hugo Mendez has a keen ear for a variety of sounds from all around the world — from Nigerian acid boogie and raw Gwo Ka rhythms to futuristic sounds from new European producers and heavy Latin vibes from the Pacific coast of Colombia, it’s all about tropical rhythms for a modern dancefloor. Born in London but based in Paris, Mendez has traveled widely in search of these sounds, and has produced compilations for labels such as Strut, Soundway, Jazzman and Nascente. His DJ sets and productions reflect this diversity, as do his producing edits with Blackjoy under the name Siwo. Nouvelle Ambiance, his latest label project, continues the work of Sofrito, celebrating cross-cultural collaborations via reissue projects and contemporary productions with a geographically diverse group of musicians.