Review: Funk Night Records were quick to snap up some newly recorded material from Philly psych band Grimace Federation as soon as they heard it, and for good reason. These tracks were recorded during a weekend in a session with producer John McEntire and manage to sound raw and distorted yet seductive. "Dotsero" echoes the magic of Adrian Younge with its big horns and stirring soul, while "Starspots" is a more expansive track, with nebulous chords, busy drum playing and plenty of jazz elements making it a real cosmic voyage.
Review: You can always rely on 5 Borough Breaks for some top shelf hip hop. The label's latest missive is a legendary one from O.C. - "Time's Up" is a rousing, hard hitting beat with an even tougher verse that rides on the booming kicks. It also samples Les DeMerle's "A Day In The Life" which just so happens to be pressed on the flip and yes, it is in fact a cover of The Beatles. Here though, it becomes a stirring big bang jazz cut that forms an impressive wall of retro sound that will inject realness and rawness into any party. Like always with this label, quantities are limited so move fast to get your fix.
Engine Dub Number 9 (Jorun Dusted Out Space Echo edit) (4:34)
Opening Act (feat Emskee) (2:43)
Review: Fresh Pressings return with goods that are true to their name. It's Portugal by way of Halifax, Nova Scotia hip hop DJ and producer Jorun Bombay who is behind this one. He pioneered the scene in his native Canada, has led his own talent-filled coalitions and built up a fine discography over the last 15 years. This is a welcome new addition that finds him add tons of dubbed out space echo to "Engine Dub Number 9" while raw, funky breaks power it along. "Opening Act (feat Emskee)" is a more rolling beat with old school mic work and crisp hits.
Review: Clear the way when you see them coming through! Three albums deep since 2016, Jalapeno's in-house funk machine The Allergies wheel up with more brand new material. "Every Trick In The Book" shakes and slides with a wry psychedelic groove, a familiar vocal, big horns and lavish dollops of the feel-good flare the Bristol duo have made their signature. Need something spicier? Flip over for "Nuff Respect" where long-standing MC partner in vibes Andy Cooper steps up to cover one of the all time OGs: Big Daddy Kane. Back up and bow.
Review: Since launching last year, Lil Static has offered up new, lightly altered editions of classic tracks from Jeru the Damaja, Kraftwerk, Run-DMC, Nas and the Notorious B.I.G. Here they continue to serve up vital beats for break-digging DJs via classic cuts from Eric B. & Rakim and Mountain. The A side sports an edited version of 1986 cut "Eric B. Is President", a synth-bass propelled NYC hip-hop gem rich in unmistakable rap vocals and tight scratching. Over on side B there's a chance to savour Mountain's late '60s rock cut that provided the Eric B. & Rakim track (and so many others since) with its distinctive drum break, "Long Red". This edited version gives more prominence to the breaks, making it an ideal mixing tool for hip-hop DJs.
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".
Review: 10 years ago, El Michels Affair - a hip-hop loving funk combo spearheaded by Leon Michels - released "Enter The 37th Chamber", an instrumental tribute to the world of the Wu-Tang Clan. To celebrate the record's tenth birthday, they've decided to reissue two of that album's most potent cuts. On the A-side they re-imagine Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1995 anthem "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" as a fine fusion of rousing horns, jazz-flecked hip-hop beats and vocals provided by what sounds like a children's choir. Over on side B, Raekwon's "Incarcerated Scarfaces" gets the cover version treatment, with the band peppering their deep, jazz-funk influenced groove with sharp horns and evocative electric piano solos.
Review: New York hip hop outfit Missin' Linx's debut release is notable for two reasons: firstly, it features two stone cold jams in the deep cut of "MIA" and the woody boom-bap and smooth flow of "Lock'd". But secondly, and more importantly, "MIA" made use of David McCallum's "The Edge" break before Dr Dre did. Dre's use of it on "The Next Episode" might be more famous, but now you know who did it first.
Review: This Juno exclusive is a hip hop beat from Australia that has had props from Public Enemy's DJ Lord, no less. A heartfelt eight-minute medley from Brisbane's DJ Bacon whose title is a mash up of Run-DMC and Beastie Boys, it is said that more than 150 samples feature on the two tracks and the resulting collages are real bangers. "RUN-BST Megamix (Part 1)" skews iconic vocals, cow bells, stabs and punctured kick drums through a streetwise lens, and part 2 on the flip offers a more tender groove with soulful vocals over crisp hits.
Review: Classic hip-hop head Godfather Don is loved by fans for his bulging back catalogue of solo joints and hot collabs. Diggy Down plunge deep into his vaults for this much sought-after track from a 2007 test pressing that has fetched as much as L700 over the years. Though it is rumoured Don was unhappy with the snare sounds on the track - hence it never before getting a full release - "Stuck Of The Realness" is now presented here, warts and all. It's an impeccable cut truth be told: the hits sound just right, the rhymes go deep and there's a woozy feel to the pads that really make you sink far into the groove.
Review: 4 Hero don Mark Mac's side project Visioneers gets a worthy vinyl reissue as part of the 15 years of BBE celebrations with this limited edition 45. "The World Is Yours" is a take on the Nas classic which originally (in this version) came out in 2002 on the Omniverse label. The flipside "It's Simple" turned up on the Dirty Old Hip-Hop album for BBE four years later. The Omniverse label was highly collectable at the time, so this will be a welcome release for those who missed the original 45 or just love the 7 inch format. Both tracks are a sweet hip-hop tinged instrumental ride with nice keys and jazzy vibes. Hot!
Review: Astonishingly, Boogaloo's re-make of Pharoah Sanders classic "You've Gotta Have Freedom" is now 24 years old. It was originally included on the B-side of the jazz-loving Swedish hip-hop outfit's 1995 EP "Humongous Steps (Back Down To London)", but arguably became more widely known when it was reissued by G.A.M.M. on 12" in 2003. Here it appears on 7" for the first time, with the band's vocal version - a positive, life-affirming delight that brilliantly flits between sections faithful to Sanders' version and rapped section underpinned by live hip-hop breaks - being accompanied by an equally impressive instrumental take. If it's not already in your collection, this edition should be an essential purchase.
Review: Plenty of DJs have been spinning DJ Soopasoul's recent re-edit singles, while his outings for Jalepeno Records continue to set dancefloors alight. Rock It Don't Stop sees him in full cut-and-paste mode, serving up two variations on a break-propelled, party-starting theme. "Mix 1" of "Rock It Don't Stop" is a heady and intoxicating affair, with a familiar vocal refrain and party-hearty raps rising above a Shaft-tastic backing track seemingly crafted using elements from about ten different records. On "Mix 2", Soopasoul pushes the boat out even further, clashing and colliding familiar basslines, guitar riffs and Supersonic Force vocals with sweaty new drum solos and the heaviest backing breaks known to man. If anything, it's even more potent than the A-side... and that's saying something.
Review: Serial party starter Soopasoul raises the Rufus with this flighty take on this gutsy 77 classic. Splicing the vocals down to the nitty gritty (excuse us) so it's a bare naked call and response over some well polished breaks, Soopasoul's added a whole new lease of dancefloor energy. Flip for even more stripped back beat track. Hot.
Review: Soul auteur Jonathan Diggs Duke returns to one of his older EPs for a timely reissue. Originally released in 2015, just after his critically acclaimed debut album on Giles Peterson's Brownswood, the three tracks catch Diggs at his most flighty and free-thinking; "Ambition Addiction" jumps and rolls like a tightly coiled jazz spring before hurling us into the deep harmonic soulful blue of "Welcome" and "Funky Overdose" lives up to its name with its off beat magic, tightly plucked guitar and staccato vocals. Addictive.
Review: Sample-digging beat-maker DJ Mitsu The Beats has been churning out blazed grooves and hazy, head-nodding workouts for well over 15 years. You'll find a fine example of his woozy, laidback and emotion-rich approach on the B-side of this Mukatsuku Records outing, which marks his first appearance on wax since 2016. While that track, "Pilot", is all warm Rhodes lines, toasty bass, Vibraphone flashes and crunchy MPC beats, it lets A-side "Let Go" shine - it was made in collaboration with Kaneko Takumi from Cro-Magnon and features spacey, Herbie Hancock style synthesizer lead lines stretching out over rich Fender Rhodes chords and shuffling, bossa nova-influenced beats.As played by DJ Spinna, Rob Luis (Tru Thoughts),Marc Hype,The Allergies,Kid Koala ,Nancy Noise,Smoov etc