Tony Antoniou - "Send In The Night" (instrumental mix)
Spats - "Hot Summer Madness"
Banzai - "Runaway"
Review: For the latest volume in their crate-digging disco series, Under The Influence, Z Records has turned to long-serving British brothers Simon and Robin Lee AKA Faze Action. In keeping with the series' dusty-fingered ethos, there's plenty of brilliant rarities to set the pulse racing - see the smooth '80s boogie of Leston Paul's "All Nite Tonight", the sublime Afro-disco brilliance of Bebe Manga, the up-tempo hustle of Oscar Perry's "Body Movements" and the South American disco swirl of Don Lurio's "Ruba Ruba" - as well as a smattering of obscure versions of classic dancefloor hits (check Michele Claire's version of "In The Bush"). You'll also find a smattering of killer Faze Action edits, too, with their version of Midway's "Set It Out" and Mikki's freestyle-era boogie ham "Dance Lover" standing out.
Review: New Zealand-born Lance Ferguson has been the beating heart of Melbourne's modern funk and soul scene for the best part of two decades. It's this that allowed him to gather many of the city's best musicians together to record "Rare Groove Spectrum", an album of fresh covers of rare and classic funk, soul and Latin jams. There are some killer versions to be found amongst the 11 tracks on offer. We're particularly enjoying the collective's riotous instrumental revision of Pleasure classic "Joyous", the strutting deep funk heaviness of "Egg Roll" (a similarly restless cover of a mysterious but much-played cut that should be familiar to dusty-fingered diggers and knowledgeable dancers) and the sumptuous summer breeze that is the combo's meandering take on Earth, Wind and Fire staple "Brazilian Rhyme". It is, though, all superb.
Review: With a long line of Tru Thoughts documents in his back cat going back to the mid-2000s, and a damn fine comeback on Lack of Afro's label a few years back, Flevans delivers his third album on the mighty Jalapeno. The perfect playground for his wide-armed hook-laden musical funk, and home to his prominent band members Elliott Cole and Izo FitzRoy, it's a match made in groove heaven. The sleazy prowls of "Two Steps", the delicious jazz funk of "Part Time Millionaire", the gilded feel good soul of "15,000 Words" and the straight up shape cutter "Invisible" are just some of the on-point highlights. And that's before we even get to the smouldering Lauryn Hill cover "Ex Factor". Part time millionaire, full time musical brilliance.
You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure (Alton Miller mix)
Get Your Ass Off & Jam (Marcellus Pittman remix)
Cosmic Slop (Moodymann mix)
Music For My Mother (Andres Wo Ahh Ay vocal mix)
Undisco Kidd (Gay Marvine edit)
Super Stupid (Dirtbombs version)
Take Your Dead Ass Home (The Fantasy version)
Music 4 My Mother (Underground Resistance mix)
Let's Take It To The Stage (Amp Fiddler Laugin @ Ya mix)
Standing On The Verge (Anthony Shake Shakir & T dancer remix)
You & Your Folks (Claude Young Jr club mix)
Be My Beach (Mophno & Tom Thump mix)
You & Your Folks (Claude Young Jr dub)
Let's Make It Last (Kenny Dixon Jr edit - mono)
Looking Back At You (Ectomorph Stripped & dubbed)
Maggot Brain (BMG dub)
Review: Given the brilliantly simple concept behind this fine compilation - contemporary Detroit producers remix Funkadelic - we're rather surprised nobody's done it before. With 17 varied re-rubs stretched across two hugely entertaining CDs, there's plenty to enjoy. Highlights come thick and fast, from the deep house/P-funk fusion of Alton Miller's take on "Get Your Ass Off and Jam" and Andres' loose, hip-hop influenced revision of "Music For My Mother", to the thrusting loops and heady late night hypnotism of Anthony Shake Shakir and T-Dancer's version of "Standing on the Verge". While many of the versions stay relatively faithful to the original, the more "out-there" interpretations - see BMG's outer-space ambient dub of "Maggot Brain" and Moodymann's epic revision of "Cosmic Slop" - are also consistently impressive.
Review: Point Of No Return, the 1974 debut album by Nigerian combo the Funkees, has long been a sought-after set amongst those who dig for Afro-Funk and Afro-Rock fusion. Here, the inspired set gets a CD reissue for the very first time. It's a fine set, all told, with much of the material sounding not unlike similarly minded British combo Cymande, who burst onto the scene two years before the Funkees made their recording debut. Dotted throughout the album you'll find fuzzier, harder-edged cuts inspired by psychedelic rock, and the electric piano-laden, William Onyeabor-ish bounce of the inspired title track. If you're in the mood for heavy percussion, wild organ lines and even heavier guitars, this should be an essential purchase.