Notes: The DC-USB1 is a power cable that allows the RODECaster Pro to be powered from any compatible USB output, making it entirely portable. It features a locking connector for added security. A high-power (2.4A minimum) USB output is required for operation.
Takeo Yamashita - "A Touch Of Japanese Tone" (4:21)
Tadaaki Misago & Tokyo Cuban Boys - "Jongara Reggae" (3:38)
Chikara Ueda & The Power Station - "Cloudy" (6:08)
Chumei Watanabe - "Downtown Blues" (3:38)
Kifu Mitsuhashi - "Hanagasa Ondo" (2:51)
Monica Lassen & The Sounds - "Incitation" (5:29)
Norio Maeda, Jiro Inagaki & The All-Stars - "Go Go A Go Go" (3:19)
Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffalo & The Jazz Rock Band - "The Sidewinder" (2:41)
Masahiko Sato, Jiro Inagaki & Big Soul Media - "Sniper's Snooze" (6:42)
Review: Some compilations manage to both educate, inform and educate in equal measure; this fine collection from Japanese crate diggers DJ Yoshizawa Dynamite and Chintam is one such set. Comprising mostly little-known tracks recorded by Japanese artists between 1968 and '70, it offers up a wealth of cuts inspired by American jazz-funk "rare groove". There's much to admire across the ten tracks, from the mazy Rhodes solos, fizzing big band jazz grooves and traditional Eastern instrumentation of Toshiko Yonekawa's "Soran Bushi", and the languidly-slung brilliance of Tadaki Misago and Tokyo Cuban Boys' multi-faceted musical fusion "Jongara Reggae", to the Jimi Hendrix-goes-funk heaviness of "Incitation" by Monica Lassen & The Sounds, and the drums-driven dancefloor madness of Masahiko Sato Jiro Inagaki & Big Soul Media's "Sniper's Snooze". Recommended.
Review: A must have 7"... this is a big one! Although Danny Krivit had a few well-regarded edits on wax before "Love Is The Message," it was his head-turning cut-up of MFSB's masterpiece on TD records that put him firmly and irrevocably on the scene as a go-to man with the razor. The song was already well-established, but existed in many manifestations. Krivit's version focussed on Leon Huff's rippling electric piano solo & breakdown of the powerhouse rhythm section of Earl Young and company, a much anticipated highlight for subsequent generations of disco devotees. For its debut on 7-inch, Krivit has trimmed his famed original mix down to a fully functional five and a half minutes, a tight distillation of an undisputed classic of the genre. While the four-on-the-floor drums of Earl Young are rightly cited as key inspiration for the rhythmic style of house music, the flip side of Mr. K's new 7-inch showcases another immediate predecessor, this one recorded more than 1,000 miles southwest of the discos of New York and Philadelphia. "I Can't Turn Around" is the final track on Isaac Hayes's 1975 Chocolate Chip LP, and it builds steam like a locomotive, until the Memphis musicians of the Isaac Hayes Movement are open throttle on a hypnotically repeating orchestral funk riff. The song was a huge favorite in Chicago's Warehouse and its subsequent incarnation The Music Box, and the direct inspiration for early house hits by Steve "Silk" Hurley and Farley "Jackmaster" Funk. Krivit's edit is lean and tough, with all the fat surgically trimmed and nothing but the gloriously relentless vamp remaining, a fierce force that has left countless dancefloors in sweaty disarray.
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.
Review: NDATL continues into the deep foray sounds of Roberta. The evermore elusive producer serves up deep dance EP for NDATL. The title track "Reaching Out" creeps lo fi percussion, haunting chords & yet upliftng samples for a unique energy. "The Get Down" with its snappy raw drum will have the doing just that getting down. "Reachin Out 2" is just more upbeat take on the original. "Dat Thang" is a catchy loop that you should brighten anyone set! "Gotta Have Love" is another deep one from the Roberta repertoire. Rounding the 12" an instrumental of the "Reachin Out 2"
Review: We're starting to see, or at least hear, a number of releases that have been forged in the depths of coronavirus lockdown despair, but few wear that badge of honour on their sleeves quite like the appropriately-titled 'Folk N' Rock Vol.1: Tales of Isolation'.
Astoundingly, celebrated Nigerian born troubadour Ondara - known to some as J.S. Ondara, although the letters have now been officially dropped- composed and produced the 11 tracks here during a single week spent under stay at home order in Minneapolis, and the results are astounding. The artist himself described the experience as compulsive, "a kind of vomit of words, melodies". Take from that what you will, the record is a stunning collection of personal thoughts, musings, fears and hopes laid bare across some captivating acoustic serenades. It's basically impossible not to fall in love with it, or ideally to it.