Supernatural Love

Sidestepper, 2016

The new album from Sidestepper is now available.

Sidestepper have long been pioneers, taking new directions with each of their albums - and that sense of innovation and evolution continues with their new offering, 'Supernatural Love'.

After 20 years of programming electronic beats, Richard Blair, chief 'stepper, had reached a point where he felt there was nothing new to be said in that area; a point of global homogeneity where everything sounded the same.

The inspiration for the new sound comes from the idea that there were many incredible dance bands before the electronic revolution in the 80s and 90s - the great 'orquestas' from Colombia, Haiti, Trinidad, Cuba and Africa.

Sidestepper wanted to create an organic sound that goes back to that tradition. It's still a dance band, but now the beats are made with hand drums, seeds and shakers, kalimbas, flutes and guitar, driving the melodic vocals. A minimalist, modal and groovy sound, electro acoustic with elements of dub and the ever present analogue synth bass. Strong and groovy, timeless and fluid, there is a clear vision of where the band can go from here and how to do it. There is a depth and coherence to the sound, the vibe, attitude and look of the band; it feels solid and rooted.

Reviews

  • No. 14 - Best Album of 2016 The new Sidestepper album, the sixth of their twenty-year history, is also their most significant. Read the full review here. Sound and Colours (Online)
  • Irresistibly danceable Music that is irresistibly danceable… local percussion, from brake drum to bells and shakers, as well as swooning wood flutes, take pride of place, and, aided and abetted by band members Chongo, Guajiro, Teto and Eka, Blair hits a sweet but pulsating groove throughout, above all on the effortlessly swish and seductive Come See Us Play. Echoes Magazine
  • Really well worth embracing. Read the full review here. ★★★★ Stuff.co.nz
  • Skilfully marrying indigenous culture and contemporary sounds, this sunshine-filled music paints a vivid picture of La Candelaria, the historic, bohemian barrio in downtown Bogota where it was created … This is an album that flows beautifully, from the uplifting gospel-drenched 'Come See Us Play' with its insistent flutes, to the trancelike 'Lover' and the gentle 'Hear The Rain Come'. ★★★★ R2 Rock 'n' Reel Magazine
  • Sidestepper lives up to its name with an unexpected move... ...a kind of ambient folk-rock album rooted entirely in hand percussion-no big electronic beats or even trap drums. The result-far from another clubby global mishmash-is a set of songs that are serenely tuneful and effervescently rhythmic, finding a new sweet spot between folklore and pop. Read more Afropop Worldwide Online (USA)
  • Sidestepper taps the fundamental precepts of African diaspora music: ...an improvisatory blend of polyrhythm, communal call-and-response, and the endless looping of simple musical riffs or cells … So striking is how inventively Sidestepper recombines a seemingly modest handful of core musical conceptions to produce distinctive results with each of its compositions. fRoots (UK)
  • The album achieves its mission of rekindling ... ... the vibes of the great orquestas from Colombia … Joyous in both melody and lyrics, it could not have been made anywhere but Colombia. Read more Rhythm Passport (UK)
  • Sidestepper has beautifully found the supernatural by embracing the natural... ...but don't get hung up on irony... bask in the bliss of what will likely be hailed as one of 2016's best releases. Read more Rootsworld (USA)
  • The instrumentation is guitars, whistling flutes and kalimba, with the rhythm carried by shakers; and the melodies are sung with a matching airy weightlessness. ★★★★ The Financial Times (UK)
  • ...a purely organic feel. They have brought in shakers, sticks and flutes together with hand drums to create a purely organic feel. Sure, synthesizers are still there and the odd subtle reverb roundabouts but the new album is one of live feel … An album of loving quality and made with the great outdoors in mind. Read more Louder Than War (UK)
  • Tanzmusik für Paare und Pärchen! (Dance music for lovers.) Kulturnews (Germany)
  • Ein neuer musikalischer Weg für die Kapelle. (The band takes a new musical turn) Weiterlesen Neon Ghosts (Germany)
  • Der Fokus des Albums liegt damit eher auf „back to the basics"... (a more organic sound with a stronger focus on the tradition…the focus, more back to basics) Weiterlesen Fishbookletters (Germany)
  • Das große Plus der Band sind ihre vereinnahmenden Rhythmen, die einen nicht loslassen. (The big advantage of the band are their infectious rhythms which won't let you go.) Weiterlesen latin-mag.com (Germany)
  • (Rich Blair) still creates slinky, infectious dance music. Read more The Guardian Playlist (UK)
  • A very cool, well-crafted album of celebration and cultural reclamation. Read more ★★★★★ Songlines - Top of The World Album (UK)
  • Afro-acoustic grooves... ...that shimmer rather than shake. Read more The Australian (Australia)
  • Their deep-seated grooves are so irresistible... ...that words can't begin to capture what they do...Africa is never far away, and Jupiter lies just beyond their grasp, but somewhere in-between Sidestepper has found the center of the universe. Read more The Moreton Report (USA)
  • With the country's Afro-Colombian music as its focus, the percussion is the red thread through the album. But it's woven into attractive roots pop with nimble guitar finger work, mountain flutes and Gospel-like choruses. ★★★★ London Evening Standard (UK)
  • its inherent appeal... ...is a minimalist, stripped-down approach to electro cumbia with Caribbean flair. Read more Exclaim! (Canada)
  • Top of the World Album - March 2016 Read more Songlines (UK)
  • Sidestepper: Richard Blair's Timeless Great Idea... Blair joins NPR to discuss Sidestepper's history, his own musical influences, and what we've determined to be the ultimate truth. Read more NPR - Alt Latino (USA)
  • The new Sidestepper album, the sixth of their twenty-year history, is also their most significant. Read more ★★★★ Sounds and Colours (UK)
  • Sélection FIP Radio pour Février 2016 Après des années de silence, les créateurs de l'électro-cumbia du combo Sidestepper sont de retour avec "Supernatural Love", un album organique, puissant et irrésistiblement dansant. En savoir plus

    (FIP Radio Selection February 2016 - After years of silence, the creators of electro-cumbia combo Sidestepper are back with "Supernatural Love", an organic album, powerful and irresistibly dancing.) FIP Radio (France)

  • ...dreamy and captivating magic. Made in the laid-back barrios of Bogota, the new album juxtaposes tracks rooted in the irresistible and intricate local beats, driven by delicately played hand drums and other percussion ... This is music that flows like water, the fluidity enhanced by tasteful production from Richard Blair, whose electronic sound-bending never calls attention to itself, but provides instead for a dreamy and captivating magic. Read more ★★★★ The Arts Desk Online (UK)
  • It's a joyous affair... ...that for Blair comes from "a mystic place I didn't know I had access to". Arch modernist goes organic. Read more ★★★★ The Observer (UK)
  • Songlines Top Of The World A very cool, well-crafted album of celebration and cultural reclamation. ★★★★★ Songlines (UK)
  • Supernatural Love is a bright, flowing encapsulation... ...of the current Colombian music scene, with sonic feelers reaching out across the continent and towards Africa. Unrushed and organic, with exceptional musicianship throughout the collective return with one of their best albums yet, merging gospel, soul, cumbia, salsa, Afro-Colombian, folk, psych and dub seamlessly together to produce something infectiously fresh. Read more Monolith Cocktail Online (UK)
  • The first best album of summer 2016. ★★★★ Mojo (UK)
  • ...un disque pareil n'a pas de prix. (A selection of 10 albums straight from South America. ...priceless.) En savoir plus Les In Rock (France)
  • "¿Alguien recuerda la música?" Entrevista con Rich Blair para Vice Magazine ("DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER MUSIC?" Interview with Rich Blair for Vice Magazine) Lee mas Thump / The Vice (Colombia)
  • No. 1 Release of 2015 Desde el góspel hasta el country, pasando por el África hasta el Caribe. Desde el ritual chamánico a la canción infantil. Desde el canto primitivo alrededor de la fogata hasta el latido circular, padre del beat. En esencia, supernatural love es un himno de agradecimiento al Universo. Y así mismo es su poder.

    (...In essence, supernatural love is a thankful hymn to the universe. And so is its power.) Lee mas Noisey / Vice Magazine (Colombia)