Review: A few weeks ago, the sneaky Soul Masters label launched via a must-have "45" featuring two 1960s soul bombs from Welsh sex-machine Mr Jones. For this sequel, the limited-edition imprint has dipped into the back catalogue of premier Motown legends and chosen two killer covers of songs first made famous by other artists on the iconic soul label's roster. On the A-side you'll find their storming version of Stevie Wonder hit 'Uptight (Everything's All Right)', a take that's just as stomping and horn-heavy as the more familiar original, with the added bonus of smoother soul vocals from the ladies. Turn to the flip for their interpretation of Barrett Strong hit 'Money (That's What I Want)', a more fuzzy and sax-laden affair of a song that was famously also covered by the Beatles on With The Beatles.
When Is Deep (Thor & Octal Industries remix) (7:15)
Review: Russian techno mastermind Anton Kubikov has enjoyed an incredibly productive run that has seen him grace Nervmusic, Mayak and his own Pro-tez label. Now one of his finest works, 'When Is Deep', lands on AE Recordings in four new versions from a cast of top-shelf remixers. Idealist is up first, rolling out a smooth and sublime dub house medication to keep dancers locked in and shuffling, while Ben Buitendijk simmers things down to a hypnotic pulse. Dot kicks off the B-side with an immersive, propulsive techno blend before Thor and Octal Industries complete the set with a quintessential dub techno meditation to take your mind to spell-binding new spheres of exploration.
Review: We all taking up right about now and Yosh is the one to do it. Four crucial cuts flexing around the UKG/breaks axis, all heavily entrenched in the turn of the century breakbeat, dark garage melting pot. Classic vocal samples galore and really punchy drums, highlights include the classic "What I Need" and the pure kick drum militancy of on the title track "Take Me Up". Serious vibes for all ages and all floors.
Review: More Toxic Funk flavours from the Breakbeat Paradise crew, who've cannily snapped up a couple of killer collaborations from Prosper and Badboe. The experienced pair predictably goes in hard on A-side 'Beastie Lifestyle', where a classic Beastie Boys acapella is slapped down hard on a brand-new heavy funk-meets-breakbeat backing track that comes laden with mazy electric piano solos and fiery horns courtesy of Le Marabout. They change tack slightly on 'Without Funk', joining the dots between a handful of killer samples on a P-funk flavoured workout that's every bit as addictive and ear-pleasing as the duo's A-side banger.
Review: Fontaines D.C. is one of the most exciting new bands to have emerged in the last year. Their debut Dogrel was a standout offering that turned plenty of heads and now under a year later they are back with more brilliance. The grizzly, punk laced 'A Hero's Death' has snarling vocal work from the front man while big walls of impenetrable guitars wash over you in arresting ways. On the flip, 'I Don't Belong' is less angsty, with a more subdued sound and forlorn sounding voice repeating the title's refrain to sombre effect.
Review: Underground techno veteran Johannes Volk's impressive discography has seen him release on Jeff Mills' Axis and 6277 imprints, in addition to labels as diverse as Dolly, Token and Cocoon in addition to his own operation - Exploration. Volk can now add Running Back to his list of credible affiliations, where he incorporates all of his influences from the glory days of Frankfurt's legendary techno scene in the '90s on the Extra Dimensions LP. From the Giorgio Moroder-style homage of the electrifying title track, the Motor City also receives a respectful salute in the form of the Reese-driven dancefloor drama of 'Reload Love' and the funky techno workout of 'An Old Android On A Broken Piano', while the neon-lit "Rainbow Rockets" channels the spirit of Paisley Park.
Try My Love (On For Size) (Dr Packer extended remix) (8:16)
Review: Simon Marlin returns the source with one of his biggest tracks as The Shapeshifters in years. Loaded with the belting gospel-level charm of the currently unavoidable Teni Tinks (who's also sung and recorded with the likes of Dr Packer, Ghetts and Stormzy) it's an authentic nod to the enduring legacy of late 70s Salsoul or T.K Disco. Soulful, singalong, oozing positivity and tailored strictly for the dancefloor; this has been huge at all Glitterball and Defected parties this summer. Try it on for size...
Review: Having established himself many moons ago on Alphabet Set, Cignol has gone on to become a firm fixture in the contemporary electro scene with drops on labels like Lunar Disko, Furthur Electronix, Seagrave and many more. Now he appears on 20:20 Vision with an EP that slots perfectly into the electro direction the label has been exploring in the past couple of years. 'Past Futures' pivots around a nagging acid line, a pitched-down vocal hook and an easy tempo, while 'Virtual Array' swerves for the plushest Drexciya-indebted territory. 'Gantm' brings forth more 303 action, matched with all kinds of other playful synth strokes and a tumbling beat. 'Lessened By Lessons' completes the set on a plaintive note, but with a similar palette of expressive synth lines and a keen sense of harmony powering the track.
Review: Black Cash & Theo AKA Thelonious Beats are Galaxy Sound Co's most experienced editors, having served up already nine excellent offerings on this label. Their latest careful bit of studio splicing work is again a cosmic and mind expanding jazz funk fusion with righteous grooves and life-affirming riffs. The A-aide is a sweet and seductive sound that comes up from below to sweep you off your feet and carry you away to the stars, then 'The Moving Finger' is a little more rooted on planet earth with its knotted bass riffs, glowing harmonies and rickety lead guitar riff, all finished off with some spiritual sax work.
Review: US label coming with the ammo on it's debut 45 hooking up with their first release with a UK male Soul Legend with a masterpiece in dynamite vocal delivery. Two powerful renditions of funky soul classics first time on a 45. First up Toms gritty & powerful cover of Sam & Dave's ''Soul Man'' flipped by a tough version of ''Hold On I'm Coming''. Essential soul music with balls.Limited pressing. Don't sleep !
Review: Belarus' Iner launches a new label with a strong cast of international names all pushing a deep and distinguished strain of house music for those who want soul and invention in equal measure. Tilman is up first with 'Sweet Dreamer', a mellow, looped up roller. Sune's 'Flutes' takes a breezier approach shaped out by fluttering jazz funk motifs. Yann Polewka celebrates the sweetest Philly strings and some classic vocal licks for a disco-infused burner you can't help but love. Iner himself keeps things loose and organic on the wonderful 'Respectfull Kind Music', while Scruscru goes for a sleek approach to chopped up funky house. That leaves it to Buzz Compass to get heady and hazy with the bass-leaning cuts coursing through 'That Nighter'.
Review: The first release on Kamarads pulls together a solid mix of established tech house figureheads for a classy, versatile set of club tracks. Politics Of Dancing goes up first with 'Ote', a deep and rugged groover geared towards hypnotism and total immersion. Djebali follows up with an equally stealthy roller that will appeal to those who like it stripped back. Terence: Terry takes things in a swirling, trippy direction with the afters-ready 'Eastern Boy' and Stephan Bazbaz finishes up with a gorgeous, lilting deep house lullaby to soothe the weary raver's soul.
Review: It's a while since we last heard from Pigalle Connection, an all-star group of Mocambo-signed musicians helmed by Hammond B3 master Guillaume Metenier. In fact, our records suggest that this is the occasional outfit's first 45 for almost five years. On side A's 'Casino & Church' they pay tribute to Peter Thomas via a fiery, floor-rocking fusion of Incredible Bongo Band style grooves, heavy organ chords, Afro-funk guitar motifs, hazy horns and Blaxploitation style riffs. The heaviness continues on the flipside's 'Vendetta James', where Ennio Morricone style spaghetti western trumpet lines and spacey synthesizer flourishes rides another weighty Euro-funk groove.
When The World Is Runnin' Down (Mr K 7" edit) (5:35)
Review: The Mr K Edits series continues to be a hotbed of crucial dancefloor wares, taking stone cold classics and giving them a gentle refinement to make the grooves stretch out that little bit longer. The latest in the 7" series focuses on The Police and two of their finest jams - the first is no stranger to revisions, covers and remixes. "Voices In My Head" has been tackled by many, not least 90s hip house upstart KC Flightt, but here the original version goes on a version excursion that brings out the best in the tune. On the flip, "When The World Is Runnin' Down" shimmers with uptempo new wave refinement that should set any open minded dancefloor alight.
Review: The mystery of the Botanic Minds Sunset Series continues to unfold with another bout of surreal and sensual club tracks that balance tweaked minimalism with a warm and hazy atmosphere. "Track001A" is packed with intricate rhythmic interplay, but it's the fluttering guitar licks and displaced vocals that give the piece its unique vibe. "Track002A" is a remix credited to Eastenderz regular Lizz, and it's a particularly spellbinding jam shaped out with lingering chords and a wistful mood. "Track001B" hunkers down around a low, throbbing bassline, but there's some sweet keys hovering up top to keep things from getting too dark. Barut is on hand with a remix for "Track002B", where trancey undercurrents meet with expansive piano and ethereal ambient swells, all strapped to a sturdy minimal house groove.
Review: Juno exclusive hand -numbered to 299 only copies dinked limited white vinyl edition 7 inch with an additional branded wooden 45 adapter.By now, you should know Devon Russell's sought-after 1984 cover of Curtis Mayfield classic "Move On Up", a incredible, post-disco era reggae-soul revision that just oozes sun-splashed positivity. It's virtually impossible to pick up the original 45 so this dinked reissue from Mukatsuku Records is most welcome and has been lovingly remastered. The seven-inch is also notable for including another overlooked gem from Russell's even lesser-known 1993 album of Mayfield covers, "Darker Than Blue". His rendition of "Give Me Your Love" here presented for the very first time in a 45 format is blissfully glassy-eyed, colourful and hazy, giving the Mayfield classic a decidedly Balearic reggae feel via head-nodding grooves, fluid synthesizer lines and jazzy guitar solos. In a word: brilliant.Supported so far by DJ Koco & DJ Muro from Japan and Craig Charles BBC 6 Music, The Allergies,Mr Thing, Andy Smith & Boca 45 from the uk....
The Funk Is Back (Ilija Rudman Disco club mix) (3:31)
Review: Back in 2015, Imogen offered up a 12" featuring two rubs of fresh Brand New Heavies tracks by label co-founder Ilija Rudman. Five years on, they've decided to repeat the exercise, this time on a 7" single, with the long-serving Croatian applying his magic touch to cuts from the legendary British jazz-funk band's 2019 set TBNH. On the A-side he delivers a near perfect, cowbell-laden, stripped-back disco rework of 'Beautiful', which comes topped off by a superb lead vocal from Beverly Knight. Over on the flip he gets his mitts on jazz-funk-meets-disco-funk number, 'The Funk Is Back', successfully stripping it back and emphasizing the track's excellent instrumentation and floor-slaying percussion breaks.
Review: There's a fair chance you'll already have heard "Cola", experienced production duo Camelphat's collaboration with vocalist Elderbrook. The original version, with its rumbling bass, atmospheric builds, subtle bassline house influence and "she sips the Coca-Cola" refrain, has become something of an anthem since first appearing on digital download earlier in the year. For this first vinyl release, Defected has packaged the now-familiar original mix with a trio of reworks. The most impressive of these comes from German veteran Mousse T. He brilliantly re-casts the track as a bumpin' chunk of celebratory disco-house complete with thrilling piano riffs and an elastic bassline.
Stand On The Word (Mr K live acappella edit) (3:51)
Review: Gospel music has had a long relationship with the underground dance floors of New York and New Jersey, sharing an emotionally charged spirituality that is central to devotees of each. Sitting at the nexus of these worlds is "Stand On The Word," a praise song that opens an album privately pressed by the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights in 1982. Who exactly recontextualized the churchly platter for the spiritual dance floor is a matter of some contention. Was it the born-again Walter Gibbons, a member of the congregation who lived nearby at the time, and then perhaps Tony Humphries, who worked at a local record store that carried the LP? But in an ocean of gospel dance music, this one distinctively sticks out as an underground dance classic. For this special release, Mr. K has trimmed his rare Japan only "Stand On The Word" 12" release from the crystalline intro to the beloved standout vocal lines to an ear-catching alternate piano outro, making it readily attainable on 7-inch for the first time. An astounding acapella fills the flip side with crackling handclaps and thundering foot-stomps, sounding as if it was recorded at church, or the final hour of the 718 Sessions (same thing). A better example of the sacred and secular crossover connection would be difficult to find.
Love Is The Message (7" Classic edit By Mr K) (5:32)
I Can't Turn Around (7" edit By Mr K) (5:24)
Review: The tunes on this 7" have legendary status and are hard to find in original format. But Mr K serves up a couple subtle but essential reworks here that mean you don't need to look any further. Opening up the a-side is 'Love Is The Message', a perfect soul drenched and funky groove train that never lets up, with big sax lines and chunky drum breaks carrying you as far as you want to go. The flip side 'I Can't Turn Around' is a mainstay of the early house scene and has classic status to this day with its broad horns and tender male vocal.
Review: The latest collection of wayward floor heaters from Nuances De Nuit takes us once more into a colourful headspace where the possibilities are wide open to make house music with personality. Californian shining star Liquid Earth is up first, although he's better known as Urulu. 'X-Form' is a bubbling metropolis of futuristic synth squiggles with starry-eyed wonder in its heart and vintage techno smarts up top. Huerta follows up that sterling start with the enchanting electro incantations of 'Legwork', which build wonderfully on the sound laid out on his recent debut album for Voyage Recordings. On the flip, DJOKO brings a smart shuffle and some shimmering synth work to the forefront for a seriously smart twist on the tech house template, while T. Jacques opts for space age machine funk with a splash of boogie poured in for good measure.
Review: Back in 2016, Jah Wobble offered up a two-disc trawl through the more dub-fired corners of his vast back catalogue, In Dub. While that set included dub tracks and self-made reworks that spanned the whole of his then 40-year career, this belated sequel concentrates on material made since 1990. As you'd expect given Wobble's track record, there's little straight-up dub reggae present, but rather a ton of hazy, delay-laden musical fusions that mix and match elements of ambient, electronica, post-punk, no-wave, traditional Indian music, trip-hop, psychedelia, jazz and even dense, tribal style drum tracks - all laden with the sometime Public Image Ltd member's trademark weighty bass. Throw in some never-before-heard mixes and previously vinyl-only versions, and you have another fine collection of heady, dub-wise fusions.
Review: Although rarely spoken about in hushed tones, Peter Adshead AKA Baby Ford is one of British house and techno's true pioneers. As many readers will know, he spent the first decade of his career exploring acid house and rave, before switching to a deeper and more minimalistic techno and tech-house sound towards the end of the '90s. It's in that period that BFORD14, which is finally being reissued, first appeared in stores. Intoxicating, bass-heavy and entrancing, the EP's many highlights include the hissing hypnotism of 'Serpentine Tale', the deep bass, melancholic synthesiser chords and crunchy drums of 'Night D3 Died', and the spacey, deep techno warmth of deliciously hazy closing cut 'The Introducer'.
Review: Mind Fair have been around the block with their strain of disco-infused house music, stopping off at Golf Channel, International Feel and Kinfolk amongst others, so you know they've got you covered for classy edits that are actually useful and interesting. This heavyweight drop for Magic Wand kicks off with the righteous stomp of "Holding On" before dropping into a reworking of uptempo jazz funk classic "Feeling Good" by Francine McGee. "All Night Soca" beefs a classic cover of Lionel Ritchie up for the dance, while "Mastermind" finishes the record off with some cool and deadly funk.
Review: Brought up on a strict diet of vinyl, capable of turning a floor into an en-masse gun-finger at the flip of a dub, Hozzy's jungle-loving nu-breed Unglued sounds like he's about 25 years older than he actually is. Here are four fresh examples of his extraordinary future retro abilities: "Total XTC" takes a hardcore standard and gives it the all essential 2020 bubbler twist, "Got 2 Have" jumps forward about 10 years to BC Recordings and Virus with its bouldering distorted bassline and relentless aggy energy, "War Dance" sees him tagging in fellow Hoz murker Whiney and Manny's finest Truthos Mufasa for another amen-lashed turbine funk jam while the spiralling chaos of "Pigeon Funk" doffs its cap to the late 90s Ram and Formation flavours while remaining fully in the new decade. Time to get sticky.
Review: Burnski's Instinct outlet continues to bring some serious firepower to the resurgent UK garage scene, and this time he's facing off with 0113 (otherwise known as Kepler.) for two rabble-rousing heaters packed with inventive twists on the 2-step formula. "Apache" is an intensely detailed roller that pivots around a killer vocal take, and uses all kinds of synth flourishes to create a wholly futuristic atmosphere - the garage of the future, but certainly not future garage. "Ignite" has a slightly more old-skool flavour that nods to past masters like Smith & Mighty as well as the pioneering work of El B et al. Classy stuff on both sides of this cool and deadly 12".
Review: Having impressed with his drop on Aesthetic earlier this year, rising minimal house talent Nolga returns to the label with another batch of sprightly, springy bumpers to fire up your limbs and feed your brain. 'Motion To Delay' matches cascading melodic threads with a crisp, lightly swung rhythm section, while 'Conspiracy' follows a similar thread of wiggy lead lines and curvy bass. 'Fez' takes the template of the first two tracks and tips the balance towards a sumptuous palette of synth tones flitting around the sharp but snaking groove. If you need some smart but playful club tracks in your bag, look no further.
Review: Highrise continues to pile on the pressure through his breakout year in the buoyant UK garage scene, following up crucial spots on Plastik People and Shuffle 'n' Swing with more of that immaculately rendered 2-step tackle to get you shaking uncontrollably. 'Groovin' is steeped in soul and vibe, while 'Not Because Of You' gets even craftier with its organ chops and vocal slices. 'Teedra' on the B-side follows suit, displaying a razor sharp instinct for the funkiest slithers of sound to get bouncing around that deadly swing. If you need proof there's plenty of fresh garage being made these days, then cop yourself one of these before they're all snapped up.
Review: The NME themselves called this particular show from 1965 "the greatest pop show in the world." Even if you do take that with a pinch of salt, the recording speaks for itself and does a good job of capturing the ambiance, crowd noise and all, of the 3.5 hour show in front of 10,000 fans at Wembley's Empire Pool. The Beatles weren't the only band to play - Tom Jones, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and Dusty Springfield were amongst many other headliners - so they only performed five songs. Each one is captured here, and each one is a classic in its own right.
Review: Nervous Horizon return with a special collaborative project from Object Blue and label co-boss Tsvi. Both sitting in the no-genre / body music hinterland, across three tracks they merge both of their uncompromising styles to create a unique mutant sound. 'Thought Experiment' stutters and flares with a wrought tension that's gradually released over rolling, skittering kickdrums (and subverted to pummelling levels by Loraine James on her remix) 'Turing Machine' bridges jungle with techno over a sparse 130 breakbeat. 'Syntax' closes the show on the most forthright note of the set. Pounding kicks and lightning breakbeat strikes, this hits with the militancy both artists share.
Review: Spanky Wilson is one of the fiercest, sweetest voices in the golden era of late 60s / early 70s soul, with a modest but mighty mark left behind by her run of classic albums and later collaboration with The Quantic Soul Orchestra. This handy 7" gathers together two classic Wilson cuts, leading in with the heavyweight soul-funk of "You". On the flip is her evergreen cover of "Sunshine Of Your Love", which for our money bests Jack Bruce's original vocal performance to take the vintage track onto a whole other level of raw, passionate power.
Review: Adam Feingold once again dons the Ex Terrestrial alias, this time for an outing on box fresh Canadian imprint NAFF. He's in a typically melodious and glassy-eyed mood on the A-side, where "Portal Living (Kali)" and "Portal Living (Plain)" provide two contrasting takes on the producer's warm and wavy interpretation of early Italian dream house. "Vanilight (Re-Zoned)" sounds like his tactile take on obscure bleep pioneers DJ Martin and DJ Homes' brilliant (but little-known) bass-heavy remixes of Man Machine's "Animal", while closer "2DS" is a kaleidoscopic slice of deep musical bliss that sits somewhere between original New Jersey deep house and the turn-of-the-'90s Soul II Soul sound.
Review: Berlin-based Italian producer Audri has been scattering his smart, fine-tuned machine soul across a handful of labels over the past four years. Picking up the thread from the emotive and inventive end of the 90s techno spectrum, his latest drop on Albion should appeal to all those who can't get enough of that B12-flavoured sound. 'Inner Movement' sports plenty of classic Motor City influences, but given a crisp modern finish. 'Dizzy Freq' has a deeper demeanour that jacks and jives in equal measure, with a nod to the formative sound of bleep techno. Domenica Rosa delivers a fun and freaky twist on the original, before the legendary Titonton Duvante dubs things out nicely on his version of 'Inner Movement'.