Review: We don't hear a huge amount of music coming out of Texas these days, especially when it's as wild and wet at this new album from the terrific Hard Proof collective. The ten-piece band hail from Austin, but they sound as if they were coming straight outta Detroit or Chicago; offering all manner of shades of funk, Stinger is a album for those that like to psych out hard. It's only their second LP but, by the sounds of explorative tracks like "Men Of Trouble", you wouldn't be able to tell. There's just so many layers to this release, where tunes like "A.R.A.S." dip into experimental percussive twists, and dive out of gnarly guitar solos, while others like "Incendiary" provide jazzier, more funked-out shapes. It's a real hum-dinger, and we all better get used to the sound of Austin...
Review: Lusine aka Jeff Mcllwain has been part of the Ghostly International crew since the early 00's and his individualistic yet immediately recognisable sound has been a considerable part of their road to success. He's finally back with this highly anticipated LP, and yes...it's a right scorcher from start to finish. "Panoramic" sets the scene in slo-mo hip-hop style, whilst "Get The Message" goes all crazy on the vocals, sounding something like Hot Chip on a balearic tip. There's definitely some more than memorable moments here, like the grooving 4/4 licks of "On Telegraph"; the hazy, psychedelic melodies on "Without A Plan"; or even the hummable chords of "By This Sound". Whatever your taste, Lusine is hear to sort you out - ten hypnotic tracks of downtempo house, neo-hip-hop delight and synth-led pop debaucheries.
Review: Long-serving Japanese band QASB tend to have two musical modes. Their releases are either sweet and soulful or funky and fulsome. This 7" definitely sits in the latter category. A-side "Get Down" is a cheery, up-tempo workout full of rising orchestration, bouncy disco-funk grooves, jazz-funk flourishes and a vocal from A Yu Mi urging us to shake our stuff on the floor. The party continues on the mostly instrumental flipside "Double Decker", a sumptuous, all-action affair full of sparring instrument solos, sweaty disco drum breaks and dreamy freestyle vocal improvisations. It reminded us a little of Pleasure's "Joyous", which is no bad thing.
Review: It is strange that Reginald Omas Mamode IV didn't release a self-titled LP as his first album but, then again, this guy bangs to the beat of a different drum. Literally. We first clocked onto him thanks to an EP his released on London's 22a imprint, and we've been avid listeners ever since. He has a natural ability to embed an honest level of jazz sensibility into house or hip-hop, and we love that. If you're on a Floating Points or Dego tip, then this dude should be on your radar at all costs, with this album firmly in your bag. Across its fifteen songs, Mamode delivers sublime arrangements of jazz-minded house music, loose and hip-hop-minded broken beat, and plenty of his very own strain of high-grade. This material is too dope. Don't miss it.
Till The World Falls (feat Mura Masa, Cosha & Vic Mensa) (5:18)
Boogie All Night (feat NAO) (3:29)
Sober (feat Craig David & Stefflon Don) (3:08)
Do You Wanna Party (feat LunchMoney Lewis) (3:22)
State Of Mine (It's About Time) (feat Philippe Saisse) (4:44)
I Dance My Dance (3:28)
Dance With Me (feat Hailee Steinfeld) (3:30)
"New Jack" Sober (feat Craig David & Stefflon Don - Teddy Riley version) (3:10)
I Want Your Love (feat Lady Gaga) (4:56)
Queen (feat Elton John) (3:57)
Review: When co-founder Bernard Edwards passed away in 1996, it seemed unlikely that Nile Rodgers would have the stomach to record another Chic album. Yet here we are, two decades later, with Rodgers and his reborn Chic collective enjoying a career renaissance. "It's About Time", the first Chic album since 1992, is an all-star affair, with Rodgers calling on the services of a range of high-profile pals - Sir Elton John, Lady Gaga and Craig David included - to sing or rap over backing tracks that draw on sounds and styles dominant during the band's near 50-year career. That means there are plenty of nods to disco, of course, but also new jack swing, hip-hop, R&B, boogie, synth-pop, house, '80s soul and much, much more.