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Album reviews

Globetrotting Grooves: Reuben Vaun Smith Breaks Down His Dazzling New Album, ‘Da Cuckoo YaYa.

Kono Vidovic July 24, 2023 243 5 5

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Reuben Vaun Smith made his debut on Soundway Records three years ago, with a sun-soaked first album entitled ‘Warm Nights’. Since then, he has grown and evolved further as an artist. His aims, objectives and musical output have changed too, something that’s evident from the opening bars of his third full-length Da Cuckoo YaYa, which also marks his first appearance on Californian institution Ubiquity Records. This is world influenced, Yorkshire-born boogie showcased over ten songs in his latest and most complete work to date.  Here we ask the exciting young producer to highlight some tracks from his stunning new album’ Da Cuckoo Yaya’ out this week.

Reuben Vaun Smith


This track is a nod to Ahmed Oumbadougou as I was listening to him a lot in lockdown and felt his inspiration came through here.


This track features ‘Lucy Saddler’ on vocals, we are working on an EP together now after this recording as it came together nice. Hopefully that sees the light of day in the not-too-distant future.


This is one of my favourites from the album. I actually recorded this on holiday in the headphones one night when everyone else went to sleep. It was one of those that just came together really quickly.

Milano Caravan.

The first single from the album as we have been playing this one live at the back on of last years’ shows as the set finisher, so it only felt right to drop it first! It features my brother on the nasty guitar licks.


This track came to life really fast. I enjoyed making all these tracks but was happy with this one as I wanted a really dancy African feel to come through. On a couple tracks I felt I’d caught exactly what I wanted. Dancefloor friendly beats!


Pick of the pack!

End conclusion.

In retrospect, Reuben Vaun Smith’s sonic journey in ‘Da Cuckoo YaYa’ brilliantly infuses the rhythmic power of world music with his unique touch of Yorkshire-born boogie. Each track stands as a testament to Smith’s growth as an artist, showcasing his refined palette of sound that integrates diverse musical inspirations.

From the sun-drenched rhythms of ‘Oumbadougou’ to the intimate, quicksilver composition of ‘Mali’, Smith has served up a musical feast in this album. Standout tracks like ‘Milano Caravan’ and ‘Mama’ bring in a fresh vibrancy, embodying an infectious African rhythm that’s built for the dance floor.

As listeners, we are gifted a behind-the-scenes look into Smith’s eclectic process, from late-night holiday sessions to synergistic collaborations with talented artists like Lucy Saddler. The excitement is palpable as we anticipate the EP they are cooking up together.

Reuben Vaun Smith, with his third album ‘Da Cuckoo YaYa’, once again proves his ability to navigate through the fluid world of music, breaking barriers and amalgamating sounds to create something truly special. It’s an auditory adventure that beautifully echoes the global influences, making it an irresistible call to the dance floor. As Smith continues to chart his unique path in the music world, we remain eager listeners, ready to groove along to his mesmerizing beats. Grab the vinyl edition here.

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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco

Kono Vidovic

DJ | MUSIC CURATOR & SELECTOR | PODCAST MAKER | BLOGGER Professional online interpreneur. Coffee practitioner. Electronic music culture maven. Total music guru. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Food & sports fanatic.

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