Review: One of the richest, soulful voices in the European jazz, Biondi regularly works with the likes of Incognito. The High Five Quintet complements his delivery well with a Pimptones style soft-jazz structure but plenty of rhythmic welly. For a little more house and a little less jazz, flip for Opolopo's remix. Weighty and club-ready but with Mario's full vocal still intact, it's yet another notch in Opolopo's award-worthy remix bedpost
Review: Many disco-era modern soul collectors regard, Larom Baker's "You're The Best", which initially appeared in 1978 on an impossible to find, single-sided 7" single, as one of the style's genuine "Holy Grail" records. It's good news, then, that Athens Of The North has secured the rights to reissue it, releasing the full studio version (rather than the shorter edit that was released all those years ago) for the very first time. It's a genuine gem, with Baker's deliciously breezy West Coast soul vocal seemingly floating over a killer backing track rich in hazy horns, bustling slap bass and crunchy Clavinet lines. Turn to the flipside for the more disco-minded "Train Of Thought", one of a string of recently discovered Baker recordings that form the basis of a forthcoming album of previously unreleased tracks.
Review: For the latest exotic outing on their Tak:til offshoot, Germany's World Music inspired Glitterbeat crew has turned to South Korean fusionist Park Jiha, an artist whose occasional releases combine traditional instruments with contemporary electronics and production techniques. There's plenty to enjoy from start to finish, from the exotic, mind-altering string motifs and intoxicating aural textures of opener "Arrival", to the fuzzy sunset bliss of "Thunder Shower", delicate piano motifs and reverb-heavy plucked strings of "Philos" and the slow melodic bob and swirling field recordings of "Walker: In Seoul". Best of all, though, is the childlike wonder of bittersweet standout cut "When I Think Of Her", in which Jiha's improvised vocals play a starring role.
Review: Fantastic Voyage kicks off the first vinyl focused label, Fantastic Wax, with Hong Kong based vinyl aficionado, and owner of Pharmacy Records and Fauve Radio, Romain FX. Inspired by his love and respect for African music and it's deep roots, Romain approached it with a modern mindset to give a second life to the tracks that we're disappearing due to the lack of accessibility and rarity of these records.