Review: As long as there is hip-hop, debate will rage as to which album by A Tribe Called Quest is their finest. Of course, they're all superb, but 1993's "Midnight Marauders" - their third full-length - may well be the best of all. That's a big call, but we'd ask any doubters to give it another listen. The New York crew is in particularly fine form on the mic throughout, while the backing tracks, which make great use of crunchy, head-nodding beats and hundreds of superb, hand-picked samples, are amongst the most intricately produced, groovy and deep ever committed to wax. It's one of those hip-hop sets that should be in the collection of any committed music head, and not just rap fans.
Review: The Maurizio story continues with two more techno dub tracks of astonishing width, depth and presence of every single sound element. Some chords appear after a break in the middle and gives the ongoing groove even more drive.
Review: The Rhythm & Sound label in association with NYC based legendary reggae label Wackies - a relationship full of musical respect. This release brings a previously unreleased reggae tune by the Chosen Brothers. The B-side contains the R&S dub interpretation: one of the deepest R&S production so far!
Review: The R&S label has many similarities to the legendary Basic Channel label. Although the vibe isn't 'that technoid' anymore, an astonishing range of tracks is presented here. Every 12" so far stands for itself. 'Roll Off' is a deep shaped and pulsating ambient tune in two parts with a unique sound scape of organic chords and coloured noises.
Review: Boom! Finally another reissue of Boards Of Canada's seminal Hi Scores LP from 1996! Along with the likes of Aphex Twin, LFO and Squarepusher, these guys have helped to define how we see electronic music today and this particular LP is arguably their most complete when it comes to the dancefloor. The title track is a twisted, floaty bindle of breaks and beats, but it doesn't end there. Tracks like "Nlogax" are inherently Detroitian in nature thanks to the bleepy drum machines inside, and all we can say is that if you haven't laid hands on this album yet, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to cop it now. It's still so relevant and contemporary, it hurts.
Review: 'The Man-Machine' is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop. Less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, 'Trans-Europe Express', there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals ("The Robots," "Spacelab," and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject ("Neon Lights" and "Metropolis"). Plus, there's "The Model," a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character's glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of 'The Man-Machine' in particular among Kraftwerk's oeuvre had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain's later new-romantic movement.
Us & Ours & You & Yours (feat DJ Overdose & A Tyrell)
Review: In a week where Murder Capital drop news of a debut album from MF Gesloten Cirkel, poppa label Viewlexx come through with a timely repress of the I-F classic Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass. First issued back in 1997, if you are not familiar with the title track from this record you might as well stop fronting you know about Dutch electro because you bought the last Legowelt LIES release and give it up. Raw, brutal, alien electro at it's finest, "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass" is a classic that will lift any set, and is of course complemented by three further jammers of the highest order. "Playstation #2" still sounds mental almost twenty years on. Essential.
Review: 'New Day' is the second deep house anthem produced by Basic Channel. Included is an main vocal mix and an instrumental mix on the B-side. The sound aesthetic presented here is undeniable Basic Channel alike. The instrumental version is not just the original tune without the vocals but a stripped-down-to-the-bones groove monster which lasts.
Review: Oh yes, we love it when Theo represses some of his most sought after tracks and this one is particularly well-timed. Leron Carson is still an unknown figure, a kid who used to make viciously raw and futuristic techno tracks in the late 1980's! "China Trax", alongside the rest of his tracks on a different Sound Signature double 12", is totally ahead of its time and if it was truly made in 1987 then it is nothing short of amazing. Of course, it's not just the year it was made in that's interesting but also the fact that it's music without an age, able to be appreciated by any generation of techno freaks. Theo's own "Insane Asylum" on the flipside is also pretty monumental; rigged beats, off-kilter grooves and that familiar spontaneity so heavily associated to the label. RECOMMENDED.
Review: 'Ploy' is the imitating release by Basic Channel even before they had found their name under which they would create a complete outstanding release sequence. The vibe here is very infected by the early 90s Detroit techno movement. The B-side features an extended playing atmospheric remix by Detroit's major force Underground Resistance (2005 re-mastered re-issue!).
Review: Madvillain is the collaboration of the most dynamic duo from today's hip-hop underground, MF Doom and Madlib. "Madvillainy" has witty, mental lyrics combined with rugged beats fashioned from every possible source material, resulting in a truly unique album pointing the way to hip-hop's future.
Review: Well, we couldn't really be happier. In fact, there is almost nothing to say about this album apart from the fact that it is absolutely, downright essential. Originally released in 1986 on Rough Trade here in the UK, it has been reissued a few time over the years but has always vanished in the blink of an eye and reappeared on the EBay and Discogs circuits for big bucks. Finally, you can indulge in a beautifully remastered version on virgin vinyl. In what is seen by many cultic Russell fans as perhaps his biggest achievement, the LP drifts in and out of light and shadows with utter ease, truly portraying the genius of the man who paved much of the way for modern electronic music generally. From start to finish, it's an ethereal mixture of sparse beats, effect manipulations and folklore, charismatically told by one of the only artists in the history of experimental music to really combine and successfully bind so many unexpected musical terrains. We are only mere mortals, so we won't describe the music to you...just get yourself a copy and see...
Lettbeint Liten Sak (Bjorn Torske's Nyredisco Miks)
Review: After a year bewildered in the woods Kango takes a step forward with a new 12"! He's taking the bpm down a notch for a midtempo 80s influenced electro disco teaser called 'Lettbeint Liten Sak'. The arrangement is as always in the leftfield area of disco. Twisting and knobbing the hook in a way you might call insane. But we don't. Getting used to not being able to describe his music we just lean on his album title & simply call it Fjordfunk. To enhance the experience we managed to get the legendary dubmeister Bjørn Torske to work his magic. As always he delivers the goods with one arm behind his back. Actually he also wore blindfolds during the remix. Maybe you might hear it. We're not sure. The second on the A-side is a track called 'Bak Mål' and is that strange little track that no one would believe would ever be released.....Simply because of the EFX at the end of the track. How big balls and ego does this man have inside???
Review: Carl Craig's annus mirabilis for remixing continues in similar vein as his work on Theo Parrish and Delia Gonzales, the take here of Bobo Shanti's "Poor People Must Work" should be hugely popular at all this summer's parties. Rhythm & Sound construct, by their own admission, a hard-steppin-funk Basic reshape of Willi Williams' by-now epochal "See Mi Yah" a true dub anthem for the dancefloor.
Review: This first album on Kode9's deeply-respected Hyperdub label comes from the mysterious Burial, who carves out a sound which sends the dormant slinky syncopations of UK garage, via radio interference, into a padded cell of cushioned, muffled bass, passing through clouds of Pole's dense crackle dub en route. 'Burial' - the album - explores a tangential, parallel dimension of the growing dubstep ouevre, using sounds set in a near-future South London submerged underwater. You can never tell if the crackle is the burning static off pirate radio transmissions, or the tropical downpour of the city outside, taking its loud-quiet aesthetic neither from the latest digital glitch software nor a mere nostalgia for vinyl's intrinsic physicality. In their sometimes suffocating melancholy, most of these tracks seem to yearn for drowned lovers, as haunted echoed voices breeze in and out, on roads to and from other times. The smouldering desire of 'Distant Lights' is cooled only by the percussive ice-sharp slicing of blades and jets of hot air blowing from the bass. Listen also for a fleeting appearance from Hyperdub's resident vocalist, the Spaceape, unravelling his cryptobiography. 'Burial' is a renegade signal from other frequencies, a tidal wave of seductive low-impact noise submerging all but the crispest syncopations, and is well on course to be universally welcomed as the standard-bearer for creative vision built upon the grime and dubstep blueprint.
Review: Jimmy Lane recorded this single in the summer of 1969 in upstate New York. The title stems from arriving at the recording studio without any lyrics prepared, and when asked by the producer what he was going to sing he replied "Oh, we’ll deal with it later". Another Funk Classic from Funk 45.
Review: Omar S adopts a new style for his new Side Trakx project. Detroit house meets sample based hip hop... and it really works. Possibly inspired by the passing of the late Jay Dilla, this music is perfect for relaxing and kicking back, or even warming up the early hours of the club. While Detroit hip-hop producers already proved that there's a mutual creative interaction between the cities house, techno and hip-hop scenes, it's now one of the cities hottest house producers laying down some smoked out, next level instrumentals in the vein of the late genius Jay Dilla, Madlib or Underground Resistance's Hipnotech sublabel.
Review: Classic disco re-issue! A couple of nice Miami disco numbers from Jimmy Bo Horne, getting on the spankwagon on the A-side with a pumping club track, but not letting up on the flip either, another crisp number guaranteed to keep the disco burning!
Review: Best known for their near-pornographic funk classic "Jungle Fever," The Chakachas were actually a group of Belgian-based studio musicians. They first appeared during the early '60s, recording a playful mixture of Latin music, jazz, and European-style exotica. "Jungle Fever" played more to dance-club patrons than radio listeners, which helped it endure into the disco years; it was also heavily sampled by the hip-hop generation.
Review: High school band directors used to press up their bands' performances to vinyl, & none made as much sweet noise as this "Texas Thunder Soul." Deluxe gatefold package as well as some previously unreleased live music, plus a bonus documentary.
Review: Erol Alkan lights the fire when he first played "Ross Ross Ross" in his essential mix. This track became a must have. It's been almost 6 months & since then, Sebastian dropped a dozen remixes. Uffie, Kelis, Daft Punk, Mylo, Editors, Kavinsky and more got the Sebastian treatment. Then he concentrated on his own productions to deliver 2 monsters. The dramatico-cut up beat "Head/Off" & the club banger "Walkman". Those tracks have already been tested by the whole Ed Records crew. "Walkman" was the pick time of Ed Banger X Vice party at Sonar this year. Sebastian will release his first album in 2007.
Review: Straight from Miami this time we are really proud to present the reissue of one of the most in-demand and, according to everybody, probably best funk 45s ever cut: "Everything's Gonna Be All Right/I Can't Help Myself" by funk 45 legend Robert Moore. This 45 is one of the first releases from Robert Moore who later on became the lead singer of TK Records' family of labels house band 'Miami'. Miami released 3 albums including the seminal hit "Party Freaks" and played on sessions for Little Beaver, Gwen McCrae, and Betty Wright. "Everything's Gonna Be All Right" and "I Can't Help Myself" were originally released on Henry Stone's Sadia Records. The original 45 is very rare and one of the most collectible on the funk 45 scene. Both sides are massive and that's probably why it's still a big spin on all deep funk dancefloors.
Review: James 'J Dilla/Jay Dee' Yancey leaves behind an impression on hip hop that will last the test of time. A bridge between hip hop's underground and mainstream, Dilla's contributions ranged from single handedly defining Detroit hip hop, as a founding member of Slum Village, to providing his production talents to Common, D'Angelo, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, The Roots, Janet Jackson and Macy Gray. The Shining was near completion when J Dilla passed away on February 10, 2006. In pursuance of his mother's plan that his musical legacy continue, 'The Shining' was released on August, 22nd, 2006. To add to that legacy, 'The Shining' allows the listener to hear the intricate warmth of Dilla's beats completely untouched by MC vocals.
Review: Anders Trentemøller is one of the rising stars of the dance music scene, his remixes and productions have gained critical acclaim from a broad range of DJs and producers including Pete Tong, Sasha, John Digweed, Switch, MANDY, Mylo, Nathan Fake and Freeform Five. Released on the influential Poker Flat label this is set to be one of the definitive releases of 2006. Available as a limited edition double CD and double LP. Trentemøller is currently the most in-demand remixer (recently delivering critically acclaimed mixes for The Pet Shop Boys, The Knife, Royksöpp, Sharon Phillips and Moby) with releases on Naked Music, Get Physical, and of course Poker Flat/Audiomatique.
Review: Six brand new shakers from Omar S...This is the sh*t! Never confined to one particular genre, Omar is again blending house, techno and even minimal styles into one big pot of deep Detroit underground funk. There's even some Basic Channel / Deep Chord vibes going on there somewhere. Simply killer.
James Reese & The Progressions - "Let's Go (It's Summertime)"
Bad Medicine - "trespasser"
Spider Harrison - "Beautiful Day"
The Highlighters Band - "The Funky 16 Corners"
The Rhythm Machine - "The Kick"
Kashmere Stage Band - "Kashmere"
Carleen & The Groovers - "Can We Rap"
Co Real Artists - "What About You (In The World Today)"
Soul Vibrations - "The Dump"
Slim & The Soulful Saints - "Fish Head"
Billy Ball & The Upsetters - "Tighten Up Tighter" (feat Roosevelt Matthews)
Soul Seven - "Southside Funk"
Revolution Compared To What - "Go To Work" (Alternate version)
Bubbha Thomas & The Lightmen Plus One - "The Phantom"
The Wooden Glass - "In The Rain" (feat Billy Wooten)
James Bell & The Turner Brothers - "The Funky Buzzard"
Review: Stones Throw and funk music don't seem like an unlikely pair these days, but when "The Funky 16 Corners" came out no one knew what was going on. This compilation is an infamous one, with stories of Egon crawling through old ladies' attics in search of lost funk reels. Check it out.
Review: The main track here shows a slightly different facette of Omar S. Thirteen/Two/Eight, released on FXHE, has a handclapping, twitching beat with a quirky lively synth melody, classic italo disco and early 80 boogie sounds from a Detroit point of view. A vivid techno track and a darker ambient outing keep the quality high.
Review: Get ready for some of the most stunning tracks yet to come from Carl Finlow, aka Silicon Scally. These tracks represent an entirely new evolution of Silicon Scally's progressive hybrid electro concepts.
Review: Artless Records serves us a brilliant two tracker from this up and coming producer, Marko Furstenberg. Mr Furstenberg shows us with this track his massive Berlin/chain reaction influence. Dubby, deep chording at its best!
Review: Another great gem from Casablanca. D.C. Larue is a songwriter and instrumentalist who emerged in the mid-'70s with a series of heavily orchestrated, disco-
orientated instrumentals with vocal refrains. 'Let them dance' is one of the records you should have in your collection. b/w Dennis Parker's 'Like An Angel'.
Review: Motown presents Eddie's 'Girl You Need A Change Of Mind', a mind-blowingly anthemic number, the kind of cut that burnt up dancefloors
when it first came out, and which has continued to please countless generations, through house, hip hop, funk, and beyond!
Review: Having made a name for themselves creating the most evil drum & bass music the world has ever seen, in recent months Noisia have been seen DJing at house clubs, releasing singles with prominent house labels and most recently remixing for the likes of Robbie Williams! However, it wasn’t long before they decided to go back to the dark side and join forces with good friend Mayhem to come up with something more disgusting than ever. Oh, and they got KRS One to provide the vocal on "Exodus"! A truly breathtaking intro, bursting with evil foreboding, sets the scene, before Noisia and Mayhem unleash the darkness with their signature drum programming alongside futuristic, never heard before beats and breaks.
Review: "The Mix Up" is the new album by the Beastie Boys. For the first time every track is an instrumental. This spits hot fire! Mike D said that "even though The Mix-Up is a "post-punk instrumental" album, the Beasties have no plans to ditch vocals for good". In fact, they are currently planning another version of the album that will feature collaborations with "a pretty wide array" of "mostly newer" vocalists! Check, check it out.
Review: The Budos Band are the quintessence of Staten Island Soul. Since the release of the 2005 debut, their exciting new afro-influenced take on the instrumental music has been captivating listeners across the globe. "The Budos Band II" is an amazing release on Daptone.
Review: "Paunetto's Point", by Bobby Vince Paunetto, is a landmark in seventies Latin and jazz music. Easily one of the most unique voices of his generation, Bobby's got an approach to melody that's all tied up in the rhythms - one that has most of the instruments in the group vamping along with the grooves, while solos take off in wonderful flights that soar to the skies on waves of sound and soul. Don't miss this historical slab of wax.
Review: Seven years have passed since Burial first stopped us dead in our tracks with this universally acclaimed second album.. Sounding so different, so removed and far away from anything else, it changed the game entirely - and created a whole school of imitators in its wake. Now repressed by Hyperdub, this is a rare opportunity to grab it on fresh wax. Even if you have this on other formats in your collection, the dusty weight and chasmic crackles sound so much better on vinyl.
Review: This time the Mojuba sublabel brings us the second part of the 'Detroit' series by the label owner Don Williams himself. This one-sided
record features two fine examples of music inspired by the city of D. The first one is a pumping, peak-time cut to hit the dancefloors with
and might become an essential tool for the ambitious DJ. The second track convinces in its very own character, providing a feeling that
many will recognize from the early years of techno, when this music was connected to the listener in a more deep and emotional way.
Review: Starcluster featuring Marc Almond with a 2007 version of high energy synth disco. 'Dachlucke' is a killer track
with a powerful drive and classic synths reminiscent of Jean Michel Jarre. On the flip is the lead neo-disco track
'Smoke And Mirrors' with vocals from Marc Almond, a great piece that will inspire dancefloor wildness, and could
well be headed for a pop chart near you soon. Bonus track 'Winter On Ice' is another sweet serving of pop synth
club music. And all delivered in a nicely art-worked Aube sleeve by the hot Berlin artist Marc Brandenburg.
Kathy Buck - "Don't Beat Around The Bush" (Frankie's Cutting Around The Bush re-edit)
Thunderflash - "Reach Your High Tonight"
Up Front - "Infatuation" (Frankie Rodriguez' Infatuated re-edit)
Roy Ayers - "Fast Money"
Les Femmes - "Yes You Thrill Me"
Pamela Joy - "Think Fast"
Review: In 2008 the Masterpiece compilation series continues with 'Masterpiece Volume 6: The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection'. Again a very special collection of 12 inch mixes of the eighties. You will find great 12 inches of Bar-Kays, Roy Ayers, Dynasty & Love Club and less known (but not less loved) long versions of Kathy Buck, Up Front and Evan Rogers. All tracks have been digitally re-mastered for all 80’s disco funk lovers.