Various – Bitches Brew Nu Soul review

A supremely cool sampler from nu-soul label Bitches Brew that features a wealth of different talents coming together to make some sweet and smooth treats. Opener “Jam” features MC Chickaboo (Soul 2 Soul, Goldie, Timo Maas) on the vocals and Attica Blues’ Charlie Dark on the remix, turning it into a lowdown “dubstrumental” complete with rollicking drums and some seriously squelchy bass. Jinadu’s “Natural Thing” gets remixed by broken beat hero Domu and it’s a typically enthralling workout of crisp jazzy drums and beautiful floating melodies placed delicately on top.

Label founder Cosmo weighs in with the gorgeous “Mistaken”, done under her Ch’i alias and with vocalist Billie Godfrey up front on the mic, turning in a deliciously melancholy yet powerful vocal, backed up with some Roy Ayres-style vibes action for good measure. The Broken mix of Jinadu’s “Turning The Tide” is another revelation, mixing up Rhodes stabs and some precision beats along with a vocal that bores it’s way into your memory bank after a couple of listens.

Two standout cover versions round off this excellent compilation – Bamba’s take on Linda Williams’ jazz-funk classic “Elevate Your Mind” and also turn in a Latin-flavoured version of Stevie Wonder’s “The Real Thing”. Both of them are faithful and clearly done with a lot of reverence to the originals – a testament to a label that has soul running through its veins.

Review: Oliver Keens