Review: Back in 2014, veteran Kiwi saxophonist and flautist Nathan Haines joined forces with regular collaborators Mike Patto, Vanessa Freeman and 4 Hero's Marc Mac on a limited-edition album called "5 a Day". Four years on, he's assembled the same team to re-record and remix it. The results are, for the most part, spectacular. Rooted in jazz-funk but also incorporating elements of boogie, hip-hop, nu-jazz and samba, "Zoot Allure" offers a near perfect balance of sunny vibes, expert musicianship, great songs and memorable dancefloor grooves. The latter aspect is emphasized by the presence of two superb, club-ready reworks of album highlight "Got Me Thinking" by Opolopo and West London broken beat legends Bugz In The Attic.
Review: While their trademark sound has always been flourished with plenty of nods to the past - think jazz-funk, disco, acid jazz and boogie - Reel People's career has been forged on crafting new songs and instrumentals. For their latest album, "Retroflection", they've decided to flip the script, serving up a set of covers of classic cuts with the assistance of some notable vocalists. It's a neat twist and one that results in a string of superb revisions. Check, for example, the Mica Paris-fronted take on Alicia Meyers' "I Want To Thank You", their starry version of electrofunk staple "Don't Stop The Music" (complete with sublime Angie Stone vocal), an Incognito style take on Willie Bobo's "Always There" and a riotous, scene-stealing romp through Pleasure favourite "Joyous".
Can't Fake The Feeling (12" instrumental mix) (5:25)
Review: Long-serving soulful house and jazz-funk band Reel Peeple has decided to inaugurate a new series of disco and boogie covers. On the A-side of this first EP they serve up vocal and instrumental covers of Evelyn 'Champagne' King electrofunk classic "I'm In Love". Although these are largely reverentially faithful to the King's version (even down to the synthesizer settings), they also feel a little more loose and groovy - thanks in no small part to the band's drummer. On the flipside they opt for a more traditional disco sound on their versions of Geraldine Hunt's "Can't Fake This Feeling". Aside from the additional of some synth strings and warm Rhodes chords, they too are pleasingly faithful to their source material.