Custom Made (feat Ayo The Yung Afrika Pyoneer) (6:31)
Review: Jungle Brown's much anticipated second album is finally here, and packed with collaborations with exciting peers like Sampa The Great, Fliptrix and Terri Walker. The trio of Ric Flo, MAEAR & Tony Bones are in fine form with their ever soulful hip hop taking subtle hints from grime, house and trap. "Keep It Movin" and Huami" are for golden era fans, while "Sometimes" flips the script with a tight, bumping house beat and buttery raps. "Custom Made" is a rhythmically inventive, richly layered track and is one of many highlights on a standout album.
Review: Many disco-era modern soul collectors regard, Larom Baker's "You're The Best", which initially appeared in 1978 on an impossible to find, single-sided 7" single, as one of the style's genuine "Holy Grail" records. It's good news, then, that Athens Of The North has secured the rights to reissue it, releasing the full studio version (rather than the shorter edit that was released all those years ago) for the very first time. It's a genuine gem, with Baker's deliciously breezy West Coast soul vocal seemingly floating over a killer backing track rich in hazy horns, bustling slap bass and crunchy Clavinet lines. Turn to the flipside for the more disco-minded "Train Of Thought", one of a string of recently discovered Baker recordings that form the basis of a forthcoming album of previously unreleased tracks.
Frenk Dublin - "Good Vibes We Bring" (feat Clinton Sly)
Frenk Dublin - "Good Vibes We Bring" (feat Clinton Sly - dub version)
Review: The Dub Communication label has already made it into our Juno Recommends Dub chart this year, and now the Dutch outfit mints a new compilation series with a tasty triple 7" pack that delivers an equally impressive punch. Once again there is a decidedly electronic bent to the dub served up here, so fans of Basic Channel and Maurizio are sure to snap it up. Label boss Frenk Dublin takes care of four of the cuts, which are underpinned by a halftime swagger, digital synths and sci-fi effects, while Blind Prophet's more sparse rollers come laden with oodles of reverb and flabby bass.
Review: "Call on Me" is the standout single from cult Japanese beat maker mabanua's 2018 album Blurred. It's an impossibly innocent and naive sounding track thanks to Chara's angelic vocal delivery and the gentle, carefree guitar licks beneath, but it gets totally flipped by Knxwledge. The in demand, LA-based Stones Throw artist reworks it into a slow motion beat with hazy chords and a superbly funky bassline. In his hands, Chara's vocal becomes somehow romantic, adding to the track's alluringly lovestruck vibe.