Review: It's been a few years since New Zealand soul spaceman pecked our decks on the cheek but he's back and he's packing kindred company Zackey Force Funk for a more angular, woozy cosmic funk message than before. "Space Bitch" tells a tale all self-respecting intergalactic pimp can relate to as it lollops along over loose drums, a grumpy bassline and hazy chords. "Stimulant" is a much drowsier, somnambulant affair with its warped electro-at-half-speed tones and eerie whispers and whistles. Barbed, far-out but ultimately beautiful.
Review: It's with a big smiley grin on our faces that we present "Everytime", a killer soul-funk-r&b nugget from the almighty Mr Phil Asher (aka Restless Soul). Together with UK vocalist Zansika they mash things up with a combination of raw break beats and soulful vocals which will appeal to anyone who ever got down to Amerie's "One Thing" or Beyonce's "Crazy In Love". Basically, we got a full-on floor filler that should go down with both r&b/soul heads just as well as the retro funk community. A top Raw Fusion release.
Review: The Luv N' Haight Edits series launched in style earlier this year, enlisting Nico Jaar and 78 Edits to rework two Mike James Kirkland classics to tie in with the annual Record Store Day festivities. This second volume sees Chicago duo Rahaan and Zernell tackle music from Tommy Stewart's self titled 1976 album, recently reissued by the Ubiquity sub label. If you're not familiar with Stewart's work then you need to check that LP, one of the defining releases of the pre-disco era and two of its highlights are given respectful touchdowns on this clear 12". There's an obvious deftness to the way Rahaan and Zernell loop up the intro bars of "Practice What You Preach" before dropping in those killer strings and then launching into the song itself, while the dirty funk of "Bump & Hustle Music" is only made more apparent by the duo's subtle arrangements. Big 12" for the discotheques!
Review: Long time compadres spotted together on Mofunk as far back as four years ago with "Press Play", Zackey Force Funk and XL Middleton collide on the LA funk imprint again, this time sharing the 45" a side a piece. ZFF goes for the soothing touches, smooth with just subtle hints at sleaze while XL goes all out George Jetson with an upbeat juicy space bass strut, sprinkled keys and new jack vocals. Two dope label faces, two killer jams, one fly way to kick off 2018 from Mofunk.
Review: Vital Italian library music from the 70s right here. Initially excavated by Strut then issued on a limited 45 last year, this is reissue is back by popular demand and highly recommended. Vital, airy jazz funk charged by the super tight breaks of renowned Italian drummer Tullio De Piscopo, Paolo Zavallone's compositions are lively and full of surprises; "Yellow Fever" is a Hammond powered long summer drive with the top down and no obstacles while "Papillon Rouge" hits with more of a Bob James feel as the keys take on a life of their own, backed up by equally mischievous horns.
Review: Cultures Of Soul's Brasileiro Treasure Box Of Funk & Soul unleashes two more once-rare gems on 45: recently spotted on The Man From Unkle soundtrack, tropicalia fusionist Tommy Ze gets fuzzy and frenetic with "Jimmy Renda Se". With its deep cut, loose string riff, rhythmic Q&A vocals and occasional strings, it's one of many reminders of how out there Tommy was. Flip for the equally unique and alluring "Kizumbau" where Eduardo and his troupe let us imagine what life would have been like if The Doors and Babe Ruth were Brazilian and collaborated.
Jorge Ben - "Take It Easy My Brother Charlie" (2:36)
Review: Mr Bongo's Brazil 45s series gets its rock on with two hairy grooves, both of which have enjoyed the sampler's crafty knives over the years. First up, Tom Ze's "Jimmy Renda-se" rolls with an oily sleazy groove that's peppered by a playful lyrical rhythm that transcends language barriers. Ben's "Take It Easy My Brother Charlie" joins the dots between Samba and very light Rock with all the signatures that made Mr Ben the legend he remains to this day with big vocal harmonies and infectious textures of Brazilian percussion.
Review: This EP is just a preview of the very eclectic dub dancefloor stylings of Zeb. Although he makes every song on his own, he sounds like a full 1970s afrobeat band in 'Revolutionary Dreams,' or a Disco Funk group from Nigeria in the 80s on 'Afro Disco'. Flip over the record & you'll hear some of the more familiar gypsy, dub, funk grooves Zeb is known for from Turntables on the Hudson, IRMA Records & Codek over the years he's been producing. Again, this is just a 4 track teaser for the album which is loaded with some of his best tunes to date!
Review: Stone cold classic from 1977. Zebra's self-released (and only) single has had an interesting trip in the last 15 years. First chanced upon by Ian Wright, then a hot target on the collector's merry-go-round, then a big hit for Jazzman and now, 10 years later, a potential smasher for Jazzman alumni Fryer and his consistently ace AOTN imprint. In case you don't know it, "Simple Song" is a slapping, frenzied funk groove while "I Forgot To Say" plays consummate counterpoint with a blissful honeyed ballad. It's worth jumping on this while you can...
Review: Jaded ex-rapper, author and terminal realist J-Zone unleashes his new funk project The Zone Identity where more of his fizzy, frazzled outsider beats are melted down with no care for convention, or crossover. Rawness in every direction; "Funk I Tus" hits and tickles like a Booker T demo (complete with some ace percussion rolls) while "Let The Music Take Your Mind" steps back on the easy beat with more emphasis on freeform synth blasts. Undiluted funk in its purist form; get in the zone today.