Label: Sunday Best Recordings Release: June 8th Website: Buy: Amazon Bastila are eclectic, virtually impossible to pigeon hole, and luckily they’re all the better for it. An invigorating fusion of mariachi, swing, ska, reggae and any other energetic genre, Bastila scream positivity and youthful (dare I say it...) exuberance. Opening track ‘You Can’t Catch Me’ is manic; trumpets and guitars bleat ska rhythms, and gang vocals proclaim the eponymous lyric in slightly comic fashion, the overall effect being slightly bewildering. However, ‘The Slacker’ immediately follows, and much more rapidly introduces the raw and actually quite beautiful voice of lead vocalist Chris Turvey, recalling Sublime and Mad Caddies in their heyday. Third track ‘Jackie Boy’ features an emotive and compelling trumpet riff and intelligent vocals, and is the sound of Bastila tactically slowing down briefly to give your feet a rest and force you to appreciate the quality of musician ship on offer, in particular an inspirational grasp of complementary harmony. Genre-straddling is a risky proposition, and can if not pulled off lead to a somewhat schizophrenic, contrived and downright frustrating. Quite how, for their debut album, Bastila manage to seamlessly integrate blues, steel drums, Mexicana and rarely sound derivative is cause for surprise and celebration. Bastila seem to have it all ahead of them. With shows approaching in Rough Trade East, The Longest Day Festival and Bestival, they have made sure of a forum to witness what must be an electric live show (the videos certainly suggest so). Like Two Spot Gobi and Gogol Bordello, Bastila are proving that incorporating aspects of ‘world-music’ doesn’t obligate you to play WOMAD, and that intelligent dance music exists outside of the sweaty clubs (and minds) of DJs and Indie-electro bands. Rating: 8/10 MP3:Bastila - Jackie Boy