Review: NuNorthern Soul take a brief respite from their BJ Smith series so boss man 'Phat' Phil Cooper can indulge his love for Ryo Kawasaki. Focusing on the period that the '70s met the '80s, Selected Works pulls together five delicious slices of Kawasaki bliss from a boundary pushing discography that spans writing, arranging, producing and playing. For an introduction to Kawasaki, this release is near perfect, taking in sublime jazz through heaving slabs of funk to out-there electronic vibes. Extra context is provided in the extensive sleeve notes from Marc Rowlands that pull from his 2015 interview with Kawasaki. Despite being five tracks long, this still feels like a generous rifle through the Ryo archives.
Review: Last year, Nunorthern Soul unveiled the first part of their Ryo Kawasaki retrospective. While that focused on selected works created by the Japanese jazz guitarist between 1979 and '83 - including a couple of strong nods towards disco - this follow-up looks at material recorded and released between '76 and '80. There's plenty to enjoy, from the Abbey Road-era Beatles-meets-Courtney Pine vibes of "Snowstorm" and George Benson-in-space trip of "Quasar Infection", to the freestyle, synth-laden jazz-funk madness that is "Nogie". Arguably best of all, though, is "Thunder & Sea Gypsies (Medley)", an impossible-to-pigeonhole journey that moves from krautrock style looseness to cosmic jazz via some thrillingly psychedelic wig-outs.
Review: Private Agenda are a Berlin-based crew of smooth cruising Balearic sailors that have previously shored up on International Feel. This new record for Nunorthen Soul leads in with the mellow, reflective "Dusk", a jam bursting with musicality from every bar. "Dawn" places the piano at the forefront of the mix, curling out a beatless ballad loaded with Mediterranean romance which Faze Action dutifully scoop up and spread over a steady pulse of laconic house music. Ron Basejam takes the track and creates a funkier beatdown for it, while Ian Blevins creates the most club-minded version on the record, without sacrificing the dreamy tone of the original.
Ilija Rudman Presents Andre Espeut - "Tears To Sound" (Ron Trent mix) (9:49)
Ilija Rudman Presents Andre Espeut - "Tears To Sound" (Aquapella mix) (4:08)
Ilija Rudman - "Distant Feelings" (7:22)
Ilija Rudman - "Deep Sensation" (5:41)
Review: Liverpool based NuNorthern Soul return with a split EP featuring two rising stars in deep house - Croatia's Ilija Rudman and British vocalist/songwriter Andre Espeut - who has been involved within the soul/funk/boogie/disco and house scenes for many years. The EP kicks off in exciting fashion with New York City legend Ron Trent's mix of "Tears To Sound" - injecting that soulful, spiritual and life affirming vibe into the track like he always does! On the flip, Rudman flies solo with a couple of dusty late night mood lighting cuts: the deeply emotive groove of "Distant Feelings" and the lo-slung disco swagger of "Deep Sensation" once again showing off a wide variety in the young producer's repertoire, which has earned him releases on top labels recently such as Ism, Is It Balearic? and his own Imogen Records.