5 cool-groove albums for summer and beyond

From reggae dub to artsy blues, these five albums are great summer sounds.


Tropical music genres tend to have rhythm.

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Something about higher temperatures seems to reverse the tempo in styles ranging from reggae and bossa nova to subcontinental Indian pop fusion. The hotter it gets, the more time to move to the music seems to be the case and why not?

There’s nothing fun about being the sweatiest soul on the dance floor. It’s so much more fun to crawl in and out of the crowd and stay comfortable. Anyone who’s been soaking wet at a crowded summer festival knows what I’m talking about. It’s nasty and wet when the sun finally goes down.

It is much better to swing and flow during the warm days and nights while they are around.

Here are five recent recordings that have the right bouncy grooves to take into the fall and beyond.

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Bruno Capinan

rare tare | brunocapinan.com

Gender: Brazilian popular music

Key hint: any place

The title translates from Portuguese to rare wish, and Toronto-based Brazilian-Canadian singer-songwriter Capinan’s new album is a gem. Recorded both in Toronto and various locations in Brazil, the original 11 are a range of stripped down quintet ensembles like Possíves Possibilities for the big orchestral events like Comigo Não. Fans of classic bossa nova, tropicalia, and contemporary Brazilian pop will find something to enjoy here.

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Dubmatix meets Future Dub Orchestra Frontline Dub | Echo Beach Fidelity

Gender: reggae dubbing

key track: Samurai Dub

Described as a “phenomenal hybrid of cinematic electronic music, leffield chill, jazzymatic and soundtrack”, this combination of Toronto’s Dubmatix and Bristol’s Future Dub Orchestra is presented in the classic original version followed by the dub track format. The first track is the original song and the second is a reworked/reperformed dub with the two contributing artists swapping the remixes. Of the two, Frontline Dub Orchestra seems to prefer a longer, bass-heavy style compared to Dubmatix’s more experimental approach.

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recalibrate | great mind

Gender: World Fusion

key track: Recalibrate

Guelph producer Andrew McPherson’s ongoing project reflects its founders’ work with musicians around the world. First formed to explore sounds emerging from the African diaspora, the group branched out into a global fusion where a track like the title track can incorporate Indian vocals, drum and bass electronics, funk bass and disco bounce. Recalibrate was released to coincide with the project’s 20th anniversary and is the group’s fifth feature film. The six-piece band moves fluidly through classy styles.

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Emmanuel Jal

shanghai | Gatwich Records

Gender: Afrobeat

key track: Hi Mom

Sudanese-Canadian musician Jal, a six-time Juno nominee, has just performed at this year’s Glastonbury festival. That is a far cry from being rescued by a British aid worker from his life as a child soldier. That story formed the core of his 2008 life documentary, Warchild, and subsequent performance with Reese Witherspoon in Good Lie. Shangah means I am or I have been and its 16 upbeat tracks cover a range of observations on everything from being joyful in life in the title song to the universal celebration of the geography and people of South Sudan in Hey mom.

Tedeschi Truck Band

I am the Moon: II. Ascension | tedeschitrucksband.com

Gender: blue rock

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key track: All the love

The phenomenal big band featuring the combined guitar genius of Susan Tedeschi and her husband Derek Trucks has always been chasing something bigger. Her latest series of four albums and four films, I Am the Moon, perfectly showcases the artist’s interest in making more than just boogie music. The final project will include 24 original songs that unfold an ancient Persian love story of star-crossed lovers. It also arises from the need to break down the isolation and separation of the pandemic with songs that unify and celebrate being together. Renowned Rolling Stone writer David Fricke provides the album essays in this ambitious and exciting project.

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