Review: Mukatsuku struck gold again on this latest first time on a "45" issue. It boasts a couple of lesser-known jazz-funk fusion jams which originally featured on Argentine musician Jorge Navarro's 1977 album "Navarro Con Polenta", an LP that has never been issued outside of South America. A-side "Funk Yourself" is a bustling, high-octane jazz-funk Hammond licks and spiralling horns jumping above a Blaxploitation style backing track. "Repartamos El Funky" is a more laid back but no less musically intricate affair, with a variety of high-grade electric piano and guitar solos riding seemingly endless jazz style drum solos and rubbery bass. Juno hand-numbered copies come in exclusive sleeves and this 45 not be repressed. DJ Support comes from Ge-ology, Dom Servini, DJ Koco (Japan), DJ Food,The Allergies,45LIVE.net ,Dr Bob Jones,Rob Luis, Smoov and more
Review: For the first volume in their brand new Toxic Funk 45s series, the Breakbeat Paradise crew has turned to two stalwarts of the breaks scene, Easy Now Recordings co-founder Tom Showtime and long-serving DJ/producer Badboe. They hit the ground running with A-side "We Funk Tings", a cut-and-paste workout that peppers a head-nodding, bass-heavy hip-hop groove with funk licks, hazy horns and sneaky vocal samples from a variety of ragga and rap records. They continue in a similar vein over on side B, where the horn and piano-heavy hip-hop-funk of "We Have It Hot" is followed by the boom-bap booty business of "The Time Has Come".
Catherine Brenot - "Et Tout Est Yin Et Tout Est Yang" (club mix)
1 Plus 1 - "Coming Up For Air" (instrumental)
Fragile - "We've Got Tonight, Boy"
Jarmaz - "Night City Life" (Disco remix)
Friend Of Mine - "Just Your Pride"
Mac & Monica - "You're So Good To Me"
Sala & H - "Feel The Love"
Alexandra - "Fantasia (Fantasy)"
Gioia - "No Secrets" (instrumental)
Janelle - "Don't Be Shy" (dub)
Alessandro Scellino - "Dinner In The Jungle" (Erotic mix)
Brian Tatcher - "Hot Love" (instrumental dub version)
Preludio - "Mysterious Nights"
Review: Ilan Pdahtzur is as obsessive a record digger as any of his more visible peers. His particular niche is early to mid-eighties club music, and now he gets a platform to show off his skills thanks to the Spacetalk label. "Night City Life" is about music to match that exact setting - nocturnal urban metropolises with glowing neon lights shimmering in the darkness. There's a lot to love across four sides of vinyl here, from Italo disco to steamy boogie cuts and iridescent synth jams. It will make you nostalgic for a time and place you've never experienced (at least not as perfectly as this) and no doubt get plenty of dance floors on their feet.
Flying Fantasy (exclusive instrumental version) (4:35)
Rhodes E Serenidade (3:37)
Review: Small repress of the Modern Sun Records founder and experienced jazz-wise producer Marc Friedli AKA Skymark. A-side "Flying Fantasy" originally appeared on the Spanish producer's 2016 album "Resistance Sonore", but is here featured in instrumental form for the first time. If anything, it's better than the original version, largely because we get to revel in Friedli's mazy Fender Rhodes solos, rubbery jazz-funk synth bass and loose-limbed, West London style broken beats. You'll find plenty more jaunty jazz-funk vibes and liquid electric piano solos on B-side cut "Rhodes E Serenidade", which first slipped out way back in 2015. DJ Support so far from Dom Servini, Emanative,Red Greg,Kevin Beadle, Mike Chadwick,Dynamite Cuts & Rocafort Records so far
Review: Mukatsuku's long running "Afro Funk & Disco Gems" series has always been a reliable source of obscure, high-quality dancefloor material from the African continent. This tenth edition is another must-have - on the A-side you'll find the synth-laden, boogie-era sunshine of "Everybody Dance", one of the undisputed highlights of Peter Yamson's in-demand (and notably hard to find) "Son Of Africa" LP. With wonderful vocals, glistening guitars, lolloping drum machine beats and some stellar synth work, the track ticks all the right boxes. Over on the flip there's a chance to own Cameroon legend Tala Andre Marie's 1981 classic "Get Up Tchamassi", whose snaking sax lines, elastic slap bass and dreamy chords are nothing less than sensational.As played by The Allergies, DJ Koco, Joe Claussell,Smoov,Kalita, Faze Action,DJ Moar etc
Review: Stefano Tirone has been a stalwart of the Italian scene since making his debut on legendary Italian house label Calypso Records way back in 1992. Since then, his productions have become increasingly more jazz and soul focused, with a sizeable side order of groovy downtempo beats. His latest seven-inch single begins with "Try My Love", a hazy chunk of head-nodding jazz-funk/soul fusion rich in languid synthesizer solos, lazy grooves, hazy horns and soulful vocals. It's really good all told, though we'd argue that flipside "Odoya" - a wiggling chunk of Afro-tinged mid-tempo funk - is even better. Either way, it's another rock solid release from the effervescent Tirone.
Review: If you're a talented soul vocalist who wants an authentically fuzzy late 1960s sound, you could do worse than join forces with Timmion Records' in-house backing band, Cold Diamond & Mink. They're in fine form here providing admirable backing to rising star Carlton Jumel Smith. "Love Our Love Affair" is undeniably attractive, with Smith's confident and emotion-rich vocal rising above the band's hazy horns, languid trumpet solos, sun-bright guitar licks and lolloping, hip-hop style funk-soul beats. As is customary, the band's tidy instrumental version can be found - and enjoyed - on the flip.
Review: Is It Balearic? started the Uber sublabel up a few years ago, but 2017 has undoubtedly been the strongest year so far for the imprint. Following excellent stints from Serene, Wawawiwas and Bonnie & Klein, Max Manetti makes a debut appearance with a self-titled EP loaded with just the kind of slick, instrument-led island grooves we've come to expect from the Uber stamp. From the dense tropical trip of "Jungle Prayer" to the laconic guitar licks of "Dub Macumba", the cyclical mysticism of "Changuinola" on to "Garrison" with its considered piano chops and stiff breaks, this is an EP of proficient musicianship and eclectic funk for all manner of situations.
Review: Newcomer Tom Dicicco aka Veyg presents an ear snagging selection of leftfield beatdowns here for adventurous spinners on the fringes of the party. "Mutual Romance" is a quivering, shimmering trip through crooked house beats and crunchy yet dubby synth flourishes to delight the mind. "Virgo Love Affair" has a sweeter lilt, but it's no less wayward in its execution, but then "Filling Pieces" heads into more explicit deep house territory with some blissed out melodic content riding atop a deep diving US-flavoured rhythm section. "How We Live" ramps up the meandering dub processing, with tripped out filter sweeps and panning lending a psychedelic edge to this smoked out joint.
Review: A slice of cyclopean, baltic Techno served by Grad U, well known for his Greyscale/Redscale project and releasing on labels like Knowone, Neurotron or Echocord. He delivers an obscure trip through the 7th Chapter of the story, Warfare, the decisive battle between clones and humans for the reign of planet earth...no one is safe. This is a vinyl-only release and limited.
Review: Although well known on the funk circuit for their incendiary live performances, the Soul Grenades have yet to translate their hard-hitting, horn-heavy sound to wax. It's for this reason that "A Blast Of Funk!", their debut single, has caused such a commotion. It boasts fresh recordings of two of the most popular cover versions in their armoury. The pick of the pair is undoubtedly their riotous rendition of "Get Lucky", which is re-imagined as a tasty funk-soul work out smothered in headline-grabbing, New Orleans style brass. That said, their version of "Louie Louie" is rather good, too, especially the addition of Meters style Hammond organ licks. As played by Craig Charles on BBC 6,The Allergies, Snowboy, Smoov,Boca 45 , Voodoo Cuts, Aldo Vanucci, Daytoner,Dom Servini, Jack & Wayne Hemingway. Don't sleep!
Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - "Spanish Boogie"
The Project Club - "EL Mar Y La Luna" (Lovefingers remix)
DJ Pippi - "Ibiza World Inspiration" (feat Antonio M Jemenez)
Tony Esposito - "Danza Dell'Acqua"
No ID - "Love Mecanica (Not Love Game)"
Tore - "She's A Lady"
Gatto Fritto - "Invisible College"
Review: Many claim to be "Balearic" DJs, but few genuinely are. DJ Harvey certainly is, as his triumphant summer residency at Pikes in Ibiza proved. If you didn't get a chance to check out the lauded veteran in action on the White Isle, fear not, because The Sound of Mercury Rising is almost entirely made up of music he championed over the summer. As you'd expect, it mixes notably obscure or overlooked gems from the distant past (Elkin & Nelson, the brilliant disco mix of Eighth Wonder's Pet Shop Boys' produced "I'm Not Scared", the Spanish-themed disco of Van McCoy, a killer Tony Esposito cut, and so on) with more recent fare that have tickled Harvey's fancy (the Idjut Boys, Gatto Fritto and the producer's own Locussolus project).
Review: After a quiet 2016 thus far Och's Autoreply label is finally back in action with a frankly fantastic selection of workouts from Mark Broom. In keeping with the style Broom has been exercising in new Perbec jams with Baby Ford, this is more restrained than the muscular techno Broom can also be known for. Instead, you get expressive, satisfying house tracks such as "18.2" and the neatly pumping "10" with its killer array of synths to satisfy the dancefloor and the mind in equal measure. Avoiding unnecessary fireworks in favour of perfectly chosen and shaped elements, this is a glittering demonstration of Broom's cool-headed approach in the studio.
Review: You are about to blast off to The Secret Universe , now you must decide what to take on the long journey in space.The spaceship that will take you on the 31 minutes and 27 Seconds journey to The Secret Universe , is already in a "parking orbit" around the planet. Everything you will need after you get to SU has already been sent ahead to the destination. The orbiting SU spaceship already contains everything you need for the trip , but you need to decide what else to "take". When you are ready with what you've loaded in the SU spaceship , you can blast off to the infinity of the Secret Universe !
Review: Should you require further evidence of the all-round genius of Curtis Mayfield, look no further than this early '70s funk gem from Patti Jo. "Make Me Believe In You" was written and produced by the velvety-voiced musician in 1973, one of just a few singles released by Patti Jo but undoubtedly now an all-time classic. That rolling drum intro, the ear-wagging piano, the subtle orchestration and, above all, Patti Jo's killer vocal all combine for a perfect example of the halcyon days when funk was beginning to transform into disco. Mayfield himself later covered the track for the closer to his Sweet Exorcist LP! This BGP 7" sees Tom Moulton's extension of "Make Me Believe In You" combined with his remix of the other Patti Jo burner, "Ain't No Love Lost". Any self-respecting DJ needs the A-side though.
Review: The polish artist Aphreme (Octave Moods) just landed in Minuendo with new work called "Beneath The Windy Trees EP", this release contains three timeless deep house tracks with american flavour perfect to floor. Extra remix by Ernie, head of Minuendo Recordings.
Review: Glasgow's Ooft! continues the FOTO-X series on his label with a sure shot 12" that presents two tracks sure to nestle their way into all manner of on-point record bags for many moons to come. First up is iLO who plays the long game with a yearning and burning slice of deep house that starts out stripped and subtle before blossoming into a fully-fledged vocal delight. Ooft! takes care of the B-side with a boogie-tasting get down entitled "Howard's Way" which will get heads nodding and bodies popping to a bassline that calls to mind Evelyn King's much loved "I'm In Love" low end destroyer.
Review: Galcher Lustwerk and Alvin Aronson turned many a head with the elegant sophistication of their collaborative album Scenes (2012-2015), which landed on Lustwerk's own label last year. Now the duo are back with more goodies from their Studio OST project, and once again the fusion between gossamer threads of melody and delicately crafted machine rhythms is evident throughout this 12". "Eventide" comes as a full blown track and a sumptuous beatless version, while "Ascension" has a dubby original and useful drums-only cut, making this record both functional and an absolute delight to listen to.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.
Review: While most of the obscure old records being reissued by Floating Points' Melodies label fetch eye-wateringly high prices on the second-hand market, there's no doubt that they're all astonishingly good. This latest gem - a little-known 1974 7" from folk-soul songwriter Bobby Wright (now Abu Talib) - is another fantastic example. "Blood of an American", a sweet sounding but politically heavyweight song inspired by the singer-songwriter's opposition to the Vietnam War, is every bit as inspired as the works of that better-known folk-soul legend, Terry Callier. In fact, B-side "Everyone Should Have His Day" sounds like a long-lost Callier recording. As ever, the record is beautifully packaged and comes bundled with a 16-page "mini-zine" packed with interviews and articles about the record.
Review: This mini-album marks a shift in emphasis for Lustwerk Music, with boss Galcher Lustwerk choosing to showcase the work of another producer for the first time. He's apparently been nurturing Florida-based Quavius for some time, encouraging the young producer to "experiment more" while following his instincts. It seems to have worked, because the majority of music on this debut release is top notch. It covers a lot of ground, with the A-side alone moving between R&B-inspired hip-house ("Love The Way"), hip-hop ("Magic Man"), woozy electronica ("R 'n' V") and spacey deep house ("Composure"). There's naturally plenty more to enjoy on the flipside, too, from the old school deep hip-hop bump of "M 320", to the crunk-tinged, cut-up goodness of closer "Can I Be".
Review: The third sampler from Ben Sims' barnstorming Machine mix compilation presents another four cuts of militant, unrelenting techno from some of the finest operators in the field. Oscar Mulero heads up the A side with the spacious, ominous march of "The Calling," which contrasts sharply with the jacked up, tense energy of "Distorted Logic" by O Aka Phase. Tasha's "In The Zone" kicks of the B side in a head-spinning loop of rasping drums and disorienting layers, and then Sims himself rounds off the record with the poised and deadly "Drop Out." If you're after a potent collection of chiseled techno bombs guaranteed to do the business, then look no further.
Review: The unknown CFW GRF steps up with Seeking Balance, a three-track 12" that forms the third release from Malin Genie's recently established Vigenere label. Like the previous two releases, expect stripped-back minimal cuts geared towards club play. "The Light" is a real B-side gem!
Review: Argy's These Days label is an occasional treat in the world of stripped down tech house, and it makes its first appearance for 2016 with a selection of club-ready remixes from the label boss, tackling various productions from German techno mainstay Paul Brtschitsch. The "Floor Adaptation" of "Green" heads into subterranean pastures, albeit with a powerful beat propelling it, and "Eternal Aspects" maintains that underground mood with a warmer synth repertoire. On the more flamboyant B-side, "Squeezed" takes on a wild old-skool quality perfect for more fiery moments on the floor before "Subbass" continues the jacking theme in fine style.
Review: Incredible late night smoochy stuff right here from one of the most decorated bassists of all time. A major figure in the bands of Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder, Henderson was also a killer solo artist amassing eight artist albums between 76-86. This AOTN "45 showcases his true breadth as "Let Love Enter" lilts on a soft bossa with rising horns, velvet backing vocals and an unabashed come-to-bed message. "Come To Me" gets even deeper under the sheets with as he goes toe-to-toe, cheek-to-cheek with Rena Scott with smoking results.
Review: After a short break in releases, Plastik People are back with the third installment of the Various People. We see label owner Marc Cotterell up first with his slice of 90's house music, incorperating slick grooves and catchy cut up vocals, along side mark on side A, a new addition to the Plastik People family from london, Charles Caliber, who graces the EP with a stunning soulful house groove called Moving On. On the flip side NYC artist Doug Gomez brings us a classic sounding, deep head nodding track which was originally releases on Frole records and we loved it so much that we decided it needed a vinyl releases, to round off the release, we are very pleased to have Mikki Funk back on Plastik People. he delivers us a splendid cut of UK garage, Mikki Funk has also previously released on RM Records and Music IS Love.
Love Is Enough (Jamie Paton Cloudy dub-out) (7:41)
Love Is Enough (Luke Solomon dub) (7:03)
Love Is Enough (Khidja dubstrumental) (6:27)
Love Is Enough (Alphonse dub) (5:57)
Review: Previously spotted on Emotional [Especial] with the fantastic Love Is Enough 12", Plus Instruments get the remix treatment in a classic '80s style with the Dub Is Enough single. The producers tasked with delivering versions vary wildly, but they make for a strong combination. Jamie Paton's "Cloudy Dub-Out" is masterful, simmering the elements down to a sensual bassline and delicate ripples on top, while Luke Solomon brings his bumpy, off-kilter house style to the table. Khidja has a more dramatic, synth laden approach and Alphonse creates a dusty, funky roller out of that killer bassline groove.
Review: This desirable 7" single brings together two of the many highlights from the bulging catalogue of New Orleans soul singer Ernie K Doe. On the A-side you'll find 1961's "A Certain Girl", a sweet rhythm and blues number from the dawn of the soul era that ticks all the right boxes (strong lead vocal, jaunty piano lines, lolloping groove, question-asking female backing vocals). Arguably even better is the better known "Here Come The Girls", a later K-Doe recording that was produced by the song's writer, Allen Toussaint, and originally appeared on the artist's eponymous 1972 album. We all know it, of course, but it still remains a sing-along soul staple.
Review: Jayson Wynters is best known for his recent work on Don't Be Afraid, but the Birmingham resident has also been spotted on Mr G's Phoenix G label and elsewhere. Now he brings his smooth, undulating style of deep house to Ornate, fitting right in alongside the likes of Sota, Gauss and Faune with the immersive pulse and swooping pads of "Ancient Tones." "Jet Lagged" is a true trip-out affair with a bassline to sink into and chord washes that reach skywards, and then Caldera comes on board for a remix of "Ancient Tones" that works some crafty broken beats into the mix for a distinctive, wholly different outcome to the original.
Review: Jaunt Records' 10 year celebrations are spanning a series of 12"s that feature a broad spectrum of artists searching for the ultimate deep techno fix. The four contenders that occupy this Sea release all have their own agenda, but they sit together perfectly. Hiver weaves illustrious pads in between nimble electro drums and bubbling acid bass, while Artefakt creates eerie, fractured acid meanderings to send a shiver down your spine. Hinode does some deft break choppage to create a dreamy trip for the up all night crew, and then Region rolls the record out on an emotive tip while keeping the rhythm section pumped up for the floor.
Review: Animals On Psychedelics is a new label out of Cleethorpes, run by DJ/promoter Carl_H. Through a combination of name, artwork and musical output, Animals On Psychedelics focuses on the more tripped out, spacey side of electronic music. The label's debut release is a two-track EP from London duo Invisible Menders, otherwise known as Dom Ahtuam & Jane Fitz, who have also released on Porn Wax and BOE Recordings.
Review: The fourth release on Manchester-focused label Ad Hoc brings together a range of outernational grooves from some fast-rising talents. Cervo is aligned with the Banana Hill parties, and also previously released on Black Acre and Lumberjacks In Hell. His "Hesse Groove" takes a mellow, spaced out approach to dusty machine-powered house, while Taurtollo gets into a bongo-heavy jam for the eclectic warm up session. Chambers' "The Gentleman" is a loose and smooth jazzy number that revolves around a few key samples to create its seductive vibe, and then Yadava finishes the EP off with the free-roaming double bass exploration of "Kadampa 125."
Review: Senida, Strobelight's second release, is a reprisal by the well seasoned and acclaimed producer Ruxpin under the alias Den Nard Husher and is his first ep under the alias since his 1999 2x12 "Nard's Groove" on Thule. The diverse selections of this ep are thunderous yet warm and emotive and illustrate the styles on the NY based label Strobelight Network.
Review: OK EG appears from out of nowhere in a haze of the mellowest ambient techno and downtempo delights for your mind to melt into. "Creek" is a smooth but strident route in, the tidal lilt of the pads dissected by a finely paced beat loop that should find a comfortable home amongst deepest house heads. "Colours" does away with the drums and uses a plaintive sprinkling of keys and delays to create an evocative backdrop for fragile females vocals. "Reef I & II" is the clubbier cut, rolling out over the B side with a looming monosynth bassline and some dub techno inflections making it a smart choice for warm up scenarios especially.
Review: Athens of the North founder Euan Fryer has described Willie Dale's "Let Your Light Shine" as "one of the best discoveries in the last 15 years". Only five copies of the original 7" single have surfaced to date, with the most recent changing hands for eye-watering sums of money. You can see why Fryer was so excited by "Let Your Light Shine": while rooted in both funk and soul, the track also draws heavily on psychedelic rock and the fuzzy, funk-rock fusion brilliance of Sly Stone. Original B-side "Somebody Help Me" is an altogether more laidback affair, with Dale offering impassioned and melancholic lyrics over a psychedelic era take on old rhythm & blues ballads.
Review: Tennessee's legendary jazz pianist, Harold Mabern, is surely one of the kings of the mighty Prestige label, and his material helped bridge the gap between jazz and funk back in the 1970s, alongside the likes of Idris Muhammad, The Jimmy Castor Bunch and all those geniuses. "I Want You Back" is a stone-cold classic and contains one of the most hummable trumpet lines ever, and if you hear closely it's been reworked and sampled by none other than the King of pop when he was only a little one. Funk Inc's sublime "Sister Janie" resides on the flip, a more lo-fi funk bullett for the diggers, and complete with a dusty organ!
Ronaldo Reseda - "E Novamente Mas Que Nada" (5:19)
Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti - "Ginga" (2:57)
Review: The 65th volume in Mr Bongo's admirable Brazil 45s series shines a light on Rio De Janeiro's turn-of-the-'80s boogie scene. On the A-side you'll find "E Novamente Mas Que Nada" by Ronaldo Resado, a five-minute chunk of samba-laced boogie sunshine that was originally featured on the artist's eponymous 1979 debut album. While wonderful, it's slightly overshadowed by flipside cut "Ginga", one of the highlights from Robson Jorge and Lincoln Olivetti's sought-after 1982 full-length (which, incidentally, was recently reissued by Mr Bongo and is well worth checking). Joining the dots between synth-heavy electrofunk, horn-toting disco-funk and languid jazz-funk, the instrumental track is arguably one of the best Brazilian boogie records ever made. Don't sleep.
Brian ‘Keys’ Tharme - "Best Of Your Love" (feat Memzee) (6:57)
Review: Albuquerque's finest deep house bastion is at it once again, presenting a pure and proud brand of NJ-flavoured deep house for those who still want it soulful. Sean McCabe doesn't need telling twice, kicking off the People's Choice 12" with the uplifting funk of "Get Together". Soul2Black offers up an exquisite broken beat confection laden with deft piano work and stirring vocals from Kimberley Kennedy. Johnny Rampin' is aiming straight for the peak of the night with the peppy vibes of "Love Who Rocks You", and brian 'Keys' Thame turns the garage swing up to 11 with the utterly sassy "Best Of Your Love".
Review: Strange happenings are going on down at Scrutton Street, EC1. With release after release cementing the names of those based or working out of the studio bunker, a desire for pushing the boundaries of electronic music is primary with little concern for what's hip. So if anyone can Tim can and here with his newly birthed pseudonym comes Junior Fairplay. With a one-sided release and remix to his name on Crimes Of The Future a glimpse has been offered of what's in store, but How Do You Like Me Now? gives it straight. Pioneering and back to the British techno of early Black Dog, Reload, Stasis and of course, the seminal "Selected Works" clearly inspires, but so too does one of those musical moments where genres clash, tear and stretch as something new is being born. It all starts with the uplifting House anthem of Classic Version, eschewing the oft-tasted horror stylings and aims direct for that 4am MDMA airfild rush, before the EP drops, locks and spins on it's axis, with 3 pure breaks cuts to overload the senses and say, now is the time! A voyage to another side to the mythical lost chord via a moment in time where open filds, abandoned warehouses, the kick of 4/4 house, hip hop breaks and the dub of sound system culture merged but for a short while. Not house, not rave or jungle. A proto sound born of blood, sweat and Rage.