Review: With their "Foundations" series, DJ Spinna and Kai Alce continue to explore the formative years of house music culture, offering up seven-inch singles showcasing classic and overlooked gems. This fourth volume in the series contains two more must-have tracks subtly re-edited to fit the format by the effervescent Alce. First up on side A is Dreamer G's vocal anthem "I Got The Feeling", a 1992 NYC house classic - and Timmy Regisford favourite - produced by none other than Kerri Chandler. On the flip Spinna and Alce take us back to 1988, offering up an early New Jersey house production from the "Backroom Boys" team of Cassio Ware, Derek A. Jenkins and Dwayne Richardson, who would later find fame as DJ Spen. A superb song that's as soulful as you'd expect, it's largely been overlooked for over three decades.
Kim English - "It Makes A Difference" (Danny Krivit & Kyle Smith remix - Danny Krivit 7" edit) (5:39)
Loni Clark - "Rushing" (Mood II Swing dub - Danny Krivit 7" edit) (5:31)
Review: Danny Krivit is currently known as one of the music community's greatest purveyors of top quality disco & house as he continues to perform regularly before sold-out audiences around the world. With his unique ear for what works on the dancefloor he has also become known as "King of the Re-edit." Danny has a deep connection to Kim English's "It Makes A Difference" release on Nervous Records from 2006. Krivit worked with writer Kyle Smith on the remixes that originally made this tune an anthem at his 718 Sessions parties as well as one of the highlights of club nights from Tokyo to New York to London that appreciate quality soulful house. The B-side is Danny's re-edit of one of the most famed dubs from the Nervous catalogue as well as for the producers Mood II Swing. Upon its release in 1993 this dub emerged as one of the defining sounds of summer 1993 at Ministry Of Sound which had just recently opened the year before. The "rushing rushing rushing" hook is well knownby golden era of house afficianados around the world and he does an amazing job bringing this essential hook.
With More Love (Special edit instrumental version) (6:42)
Review: Originally released back in 2009 in its' epic 13-minute original form, "With More Love" remains one of Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's most endearing tracks - a gorgeous chunk of sun-kissed spiritual house rich in fluid piano solos, sunset-ready classical guitar solos, undulating bass, non-verbal vocal harmonies and the producer's bouncy Afro-Latin house beats. Happily, Clausell has decided to reissue the track, offering up two scaled-down versions that fit on one tidy seven-inch single. On the A-side you'll find the "Special 7" Edit", a six minute blast of ultra-positive dancefloor bliss that's about the most positive thing we've heard in ages. Turn to the flip for a previously unreleased instrumental take that strips the track back further, allowing the gorgeous piano solos and busy bass guitar more room to breathe.
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!
Lafayette Afro Rock Band - "Hihache" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:23)
Gaz - "Sing Sing" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:27)
Review: More sneaky 45 action from the Breaks & Beats crew, a shadowy organization whose tried-and-tested re-edits offer DJ-friendly extensions of popular break-digging favourites (many of which were sampled on classic hip-hop cuts). Their latest seven-inch excursion begins with a tidy revision of Lafayette Afro-Rock Band's brilliant "Hihache", a low-slung favourite rich in lolloping, head nodding drum breaks, jazzy bass, flanged funk guitars and fuzzy horn motifs. The new version is deferential towards its source material, extending breaks here and there whilst leaving much of the tune in tact. One of the most doubled-up drum breaks in hip-hop history takes pride of place on side B, where Gaz's Salsoul released wiggler "Sing Sing" gets the re-edit treatment.
Review: Mukatsuku's ongoing "Afro Series" continues with a fine limited edition 45 containing two funk-fuelled floor-fillers. In fact, you'll struggle to find a more celebratory and life-affirming workout than Eko's "M'Ongele M'Am" licensed from Nubiphone & Africa Seven, a Makossa-fired Afro-disco gem rich in punchy horns, driving Afro-boogie bass, lilting synthesizer lines, Mariachi style trumpet solos and the kind of chant-along vocals that should put a smile on the face of even the most miserable of dancers. Over on side B, Georges Ouedraogo's "Deni" is an essential Clavinet-happy killer chunk of Afro-funk/Afro-Disco fusion from Burkina Faso. As played by Floating Points,The Allergies,Faze Action,Antal ,Lego Edits & Red Greg so far...
Review: The latest dusted down archival dig from Emotional Rescue is by Politrio, a short-lived new wave / post punk band from Italy who released one album in the mid 80s. The focus of this release is their cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," which originally appeared on the Amnesty International P.E.A.C.E Benefit Compilation in 1987. It's a wild take full of rampant guitar wailing and limber slap bass that teeters towards the 80s funk rock of Faith No More et al, and that's no bad thing at all. On the B side of this 7" Double Wave gets busy in the edit, offering up a stripped back version for the spinners.
This Is What You Are (feat The High Five Quintet - radio edit) (4:21)
This Is What You Are (The Brazilian Rime) (4:53)
Review: "This Is What You Are" is undoubtedly Mario Biondi's most celebrated work. He first sung it for original composers Was A Bee in 2004, before re-recording it for his debut album (alongside the High Five Quintet) in 2006. Since then it has been reissued or remixed on numerous occasions. Here it gets reissued on a tidy 7" single, with a punchy radio edit - a swinging, Sunday afternoon style chunk of Latin soul-jazz rich in jaunty grooves, soaring orchestration and smooth vocals - being joined by the "Brazilian Rime" rework. This tasty re-recording re-casts the song as a breezy, samba-fired slab of early 1970s style Brazilian MPB. It's an inspired interpretation and could well become the definitive version of the track.
Etta James & Sugar Pie Desanto - "In The Basement" (Soul Flip edit) (3:20)
John Gary Williams - "My Sweet Lord" (Soul Flip edit) (3:59)
Review: On their latest limited edition salvo, the hardworking Soul Flip crew (AKA experienced DJs and producers Aldo Vanucci and Del Gazeebo) gets to work on two more stomping dancefloor cuts from the golden age of soul. First up on side A is a gently tooled-up and tightened up take on Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto's 1966 floor-heater "In The Basement", a hybrid soul-jazz/rhythm and blues jam rich in rubbery double bass, bustling drums, restless handclaps and brilliant lead vocals from the two legendary soul singers. On the flip they tackle Memphis musician John Gary Williams' 1972 cover of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", which brilliantly re-imagines the former Beatles' spiritual song as a sweaty gospel-soul stomper.
Review: Since first appearing in stores back in 2016, this cover of Rick James' sweet and punchy "Mary Jane" by Brooklyn collective Breakdown Brass has become something of an in-demand item. Happily, they've decided to sling it out again for those of us who missed out first time round. Their version of "Mary Jane" is impeccable, with funk-rock guitar solos, heavy tuba bass and lolloping drum breaks underpinning the band's rousing brass rendition of the song's famous refrains. Throw in a few tight solos and you've got a stone cold party-starter. Turn to the flipside for "The Horseman", an urgent and foreboding chunk of fuzzy New Orleans brass band funk complete with psychedelic organ solos and fizzing Mariachi style horns.
Review: Almost a year to the day since their last essential re-edit outing, Prescription Pricing Authority returns to G.A.M.M. with two more floor-friendly slabs of contemporary scalpel science. A-side "Pick 'Em Up" is a rolling, filter-sporting revision of a down-low disco-funk classic rich in bouncy pianos, soaring female chorus vocals, metronomic drums and punchy horns. It sounds like a peak-time monster in the making, which is never a bad thing. They up the tempo on flipside edit "Cali '76", a tidy, DJ-friendly rearrangement of a horn-sporting chunk of polyrhythmic jazz-funk that boasts some suitably spacey synth solos and horn lines sharper than your average razor.
Review: Best known to the world at large for their disco evergreen "Lady Marmalade," the powerhouse trio of Sarah Dash, Nona Hendryx and Patti LaBelle are revered in the deeper dance underground for a couple of epic soulful rock workouts that have been known to provoke life-changing moments on the dance floor. With New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint producing and leading an all-star band with the Meters at its core, "What Can You Do For Me" and "Messin' With My Mind" crackle with energy and rise to thunderous crescendos that rival a gospel revival. Mr. K's edits acknowledge these songs' long history in NYC DJ culture, dating from the Gallery and the Loft in the mid-'70s and running unbroken to today, with masterful extensions that push the inherent energy even further without ever becoming repetitive or obvious. Most Excellent Unlimited is proud to present these sure shots on loud and carefully mastered 7-inch pressings, an essential addition to any gig box or collection.
Review: Mushi 45 is keeping tight lipped about the story behind their latest release - so much so, in fact, that we can't ascertain whether it's a reissue or a new production. Given the label's history, we're thinking the former, though it's hard to find any reference to the record, the artist or the producer. Either way, the release is fire - a killer chunk of Afro-funk blessed with heavyweight drum breaks, punchy sax solos, celebratory African vocals and super-funky bass. In classic funk style "Ashadwa" is split into two parts; the first boasts chant-along vocals, extended drum breaks and a genuine "party in the studio" vibe, while the second is more instrumental and stripped back with greater use of snaking saxophone solos. In a word: essential.
Review: Multi-track re-edits, where producers utilize the instrumental and vocal parts found on studio master tapes, are all the rage right now. While the Rephlex crew and Joey Negro are the most famous exponents of the art, Galaxy Sound Co regular Kadena has previously proved to be rather adept at it, too. Here the little-known producer channels the spirit of original disco remixer Walter Gibbons, first to provide a lolloping, groove-based revision of Instant Funk's intergalactic Salsoul classic "I Got My Mind Made Up" (side A), and then to deliver a similarly minded take on First Choice's "Let No Man Put Asunder". Like its A-side companion, it's warmer, looser and predominantly instrumental, with judicious use of key vocal passages.
Review: While the world may be going to hell in the proverbial handcart, The Allergies show no signs of losing their heads. Each successive single is on the money, offering a blend of funk-fuelled hip-hop party-starters and the kind of boom-bap beats that will get your head nodding quicker than a toy dog on a car dashboard. Their latest seven-inch is another incendiary affair, with A-side "2 Much!" featuring a near perfect blend of dancefloor-ready grooves, funky instrumentation and high-speed raps from regular mic man Andy Cooper. The latter also makes his presence felt on flipside "Special 45", a scratch-sporting head-nodder rich in atmospheric chords, simmering strings and oven-warm bass.
Review: Earlier in the year, Kutiman took his brand of psychedelic fusion to Wah Wah 45s for the very first time. Here he returns home to Siyal Music with Turkish vocalist Melike Sahin in tow. "Sakla Beni" is wonderfully odd and exotic - a spaced-out psych-funk affair that wraps mazy, Moog style motifs, mind-altering orchestration and Sahin's wide-eyed vocal around a skewed, low-slung groove. It's brilliantly hallucinatory, as is the accompanying "Karaoke Version" - a superb instrumental take that allows listeners a chance to revel in the intricacy of Kutiman's arrangements. In this context, "Sakla Beni" sounds like it should be gracing the soundtrack of a particularly odd late 1960s Turkish film
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Immortalised, slowed down funk from The Isley Brothers, an American R&B/soul group from Cincinnati, Ohio, established in the early 1950s. This 7" houses the much loved and often sampled in the hip hop world, "Footsteps In The Dark" (Parts 1 & 2) and "Between The Sheets". The latter is a silky smooth R&B classic whilst the arguably more well-known "Footsteps In The Dark" is an arrestingly beautiful, hood classic/soul masterpiece. The bassy but laid-back harmonious ballad with delicious percussion and Ronald Isley crooning an uneasy lyric on maintaining "a love that lasted for so long" amid the constant temptation of infidelity, makes it worth the entry price on its own.