Review: Canadian Jorun Bombay is a long time remix master who now lands on Soundweight Records with his latest cut up and reworking efforts. The A-side finds him take on Blondie's legendary 'Rapture', which mixed slick raps with post-punk guitars. Here it becomes sweet rolling funk gem with molten chords and plenty of soul. The flip-side is a tropical rework of 'Don't Pay Any Fuller' that ups the bass and beefs out the drums, while layering in steamy chords and percussion that brim with character. These are two more classics in the spotless catalogue of Jorun Bombay.
Review: Here's something to seriously set the pulse racing: a limited-edition quintuple "Brazil 45s" boxset curated by the effervescent DJ Format, and featuring ten tracks unearthed on his most recent crate-digging trip to South America. In keeping with his much-loved style, most of the material can be loosely described as "psyche break-beat", all of which was initially recorded and released in the 1960s and '70s. That means a blend of hallucinatory Brazilian funk and soul rich in sweaty, often densely layered drums, booming basslines, trippy vocals, eccentric production, mazy Hammond organ lines and rousing horns. The quality bar is set so high that picking individual highlights is tough; suffice to say, you need all ten tunes in your life (and in your record box).
Review: For the latest edition in their ongoing series of golden-era hip-hop seven-inch reissues, Mr Bongo is taking us back to 1992 and Positive K's biggest hit - the 500,000-selling ode to unrequited love, "I Got A Man". Lyrically impressive, with the Bronx mic man delivering both male and "female" rap parts (the latter via voice-changing studio trickery), the song owes its success in part to a beat that makes great use of a funky loop from A Taste of Honey's "Rescue Me", which famously also formed the backbone of Funky Four + 1's early hip-hop classic "That's The Joint". Over on the flip you'll find the hazier and jazzier "SHakin", whose killer beat boasts judicious lifts from tracks by Wade Marcus and the D.O.C. In a word: essential.
Beastie Boys vs MFSB - "Check It Out People" (4:19)
MFSB - "People All Over The World" (dub) (4:11)
Review: On his last two singles on Soopastole, mash-up maestro DJ Soopasoul smashed together elements of Stevie Wonder and Redman/Method Man, and James Brown and Crooklyn Dodgers. For his latest trick he's decided to pepper an edited version of "People All Over The World" by Philadelphia Soul legends MFSB, with raps from a stone cold classic Beastie Boys tune. It's the sort of thing that shouldn't work, but the Beasties' flows work perfectly over the flanged guitars, undulating bass and unfussy 4-to-the-floor Philly Soul grooves of the MFSB track. You can hear his instrumental rework of that track on the flip; it's so good that it's arguably worth the entrance price on its own.
Review: In his career to date, Jim Sharp has proved to be one of the bootleg remix and mash-up scene's smartest and most successful producers - a man capable of brilliantly breathing new life into a string of familiar favourites. He's at it again here, offering up fresh reconstructions of N.W.A's gangster rap classic "F*ck Tha Police". The killer flip is his A-side "Main Mix", in which he places the L.A crew's iconic acapella over a jumpy, party starting hip-hop beat rich in sampled short funk guitar riffs, snare and kick-heavy drums, James Brown style yelps and tight scratches. It's a great beat - so good, in fact, that the flipside instrumental mix is equally as essential as the club-rocking vocal version.
Review: Here's something for those looking to fill in the gaps in their classic hip-hop collection: a sizzling seven-inch boasting two of the Jungle Brothers hottest hits. On the A-side you'll find "Because I Got It Like That", a lolloping party hip-hop jam built around an assortment of complimentary samples, most notably a lift from Sly and the Family Stone's killer cut "You Can Make It If You Try". Over on the flip you'll find one of the most recognizable dance anthems of the late '80s, the early hip-house classic that is "I'll House You". Based on Todd Terry's similarly big "Can You Party", the tune is a warehouse-ready bounce-along that sounds as fresh now as it did way back in 1988.
Jim Dunloop - "Espirito Do Rio" (Brazil Wave edit) (3:13)
Jim Dunloop & GRZLY Adams - "Different Sweetnuts" (Walk In The Shade edit) (3:58)
Review: For the latest "45" in the Dusty Donuts series of edits and mash ups, the Berlin-based crew has turned to long-time crew member Jim Dunloop, a jazz-trained pianist-turned-producer best known for his work alongside Marc Hype. He begins with "Spirit De Rio", a wonderfully warm, head-nodding, hip-hop style revision of a summery-sounding old samba gem rich in dewy-eyed female vocals and glistening guitars. Long-time friend, and occasional collaborator Grizzly Adams lends a hand on flipside cut "Different Sweetnuts", a deep and woozy revision of a fragile, female-fronted soul number that wraps drowsy elements from the pair's source material around a bass-heavy beat.
Review: Jim Sharp slows things down a little with a pair of edits from the American South. Early West Coast gangsta hit "Dopeman" is the subject of side a with original drums but extended breaks designed to get the floor pumping. On the flip is a dirty south classic with prickling 808 kicks and hi hats that hit hard. It's super sweet soul music with raw grooves that can get any party started topped with vocals from Willie Hutch finishing things off in real style.
The Truth (DJ Jazzy Jeff & James Poyser remix) (4:02)
Run Away (Eric Lau & Kaidi Tatham remix) (3:24)
Review: Tru Thoughts has genuinely pushed the boat out for Record Store Day 2020, offering up a couple of extra-special 7" singles that are well worth your hard-earned cash. Perhaps the most visually startling of these comes from Los Angeles neo-soul trio Moonchild, who have selected two of their favourite remixes from the vaults and whacked them on a red and blue splatter pattern 45. On the A-side legendary decks-man Jazzy Jeff joins forces with Jeff Poysner to transform 'The Truth' into a woozy, head-nodding slab of soft-focus hip-hop soul, making great use of Amber Navran's lead vocal. Over on the flip, Eric Lau and Kaidi Tatham head towards the dancefloor via a hybrid hip-hop/jazz-funk/broken beat take on 'Run Away' that's as effervescent and vibrant as you'd expect.
Review: This collection of the Aussie funk and soul band The Bamboos' favourite cuts is a celebration of their 20 year anniversary. It culls cuts from 2007's Rawville and 2010's 4 and is a limited release with a full colour gatefold sleeve. Led by guitarist and main songwriter/producer Lance Ferguson, The Bamboos have been hugely prolific over the years, putting out no fewer than nine studio albums, two live albums, twenty-seven singles, and all while serving up many incendiary shows. They draw in elements of funk, pop, rock, psych, hip-hop, indie and soundtrack music into their own unique sound.
Orquesta Olivieri - "Los Muchachos De Belen" (3:56)
Orquesta Olivieri - "There's No Other Girl" (3:22)
Ozzie Torrens & His Exciting Orchestra - "Mia's Boogaloo" (3:21)
Ozzie Torrens & His Exciting Orchestra - "Boogaloo In Apt 41" (3:19)
Brooklyn Sounds - "Ha Llegado El Momento" (45 edit) (4:27)
Brooklyn Sounds - "Guaguanco Tropical" (3:42)
Review: During the late 1960s and early 70s, New York's Latin music scene was the envy of the world, with a swathe of immigrant musicians from Central and Southern America joining forces to perform and record new variations on traditional themes and hybrid fusions of multiple styles, most notably Harlem-born Boogaloo. This Rocafort Records release pays tribute to some key NYC Latin combos of the period, delivering two tracks apiece from three acts over a trio of seven-inch singles. It's a hugely vibrant and enjoyable set, with highlights including the jaunty salsa of Orquestra Olivieri's 'Los Muchachos De Belen', two fiery boogaloo heaters from Ozzie Torrens and his brilliantly named "Exciting Orchestra", and the carnival-ready rush of Brooklyn Sounds' 'Guaguanco Tropical'.
Review: Eddie C's Red Motorbike journeys on with another tasty 7" morsel from the boss himself, this time split with Elado. That is who goes first on the guitar licked, Americana tinged, disco dripped "Hipos" which is a perfect tune for gazing off at a distant sunset as you sway to and fro on an outdoor dance floor. Eddie C's "Crazy Heart" chugs a it harder, with busy melodic phrases riding up and down the scale over chunky drums. As always with Red Motorbike, this is grown up music for grown up dance floors, but that's not to say it isn't hella fun.
Review: Blue Note Re:imagined is a carefully curated collection of brand-new covers of classic material from the legendary label as served up by a selection of the UK scene's most exciting young talents including Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia and Brit Award-winning Jorja Smith. For this latest 7" it's Jordan Rakei, who actually hails from Aus, but let's not get mad about that because the super smooth soul singer reaches new heights on the free flowing, heart opening 'Wind Parade'. Jazz pianist Alfa Mist takes care of the flip with a suitably cosmic exploration on 'Galaxy' that pairs live, busy drums and soaring synths with rich chords.
Review: New Orleans funk outfit The Wild Magnolias were active in the mid 70s, releasing two albums and then regrouping in the 90s. Their sound is in step with their more renowned Louisiana peers, but certainly running hotter than the likes of The Meters. "Handa Wanda" is a stirring, effervescent call and response epic that shows the band at their best, rocking a wall of sound approach that keeps the pressure up the whole way through. "(Somebody Got) Soul, Soul, Soul" is a more fluid track, but it's certainly no slouch in the energy department either. This is hi-octane funk to get people shaking and sweaty.
Review: The considered crew of crate diggers and musical historians that is the Melodies International team returns with another vital piece that can make all out collections seem that bit more pro. In the spotlight this time is the gorgeous soul of La'verne Washington, who released this single, and this single only, at an unknown time in the past. The whole thing has been remastered by Floating Points and kicks off with the heart swelling joy of "The Promise" with its soaring vocals and rich musicality. "I Found What I've Been Searching For" slows things down to a more romantic and intimate mood, with lush chords and vulnerable vocals hitting a perfect sweet spot.
Crooklyn Dodgers (feat Buckshot & Special Ed & Master Ace) (4:30)
Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers (feat Chubb Rock & Jeru The Damaja & OC) (5:06)
Review: Crooklyn Dodgers have had three different incarnations with members including Mos Def, Memphis Bleek, Masta Ace, Buckshot and Jeru the Damaja, making them something of a hip hop supergroup. They recorded soundtracks for Spike Lee films in 1994 and 1995 and always muse on topical subjects from urban life in New York City to there state of social and political affairs. Buckshot, Masta Ace and Special Ed was the line-up when they laid down their first single "Crooklyn", a sweet rolling bit of classic boom-bap with fluid vocal flow, then Chubb Rock, Jeru the Damaja and O.C came together for next single "Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers" which makes the b-side here. It's a piano laced late night jam with soul to spare and slick DJ Premier production.
Review: More from the bulging back catalogue of Park Rangers, an obscure Japanese reggae band who have spent the last decade delivering surprising cover versions of well-known pop, rock and disco songs. On side A there's another chance to wonder at their 1960s rocksteady style re-make of Pharrell Williams' mega-hit happy, in which the Neptunes star's lead vocal is replaces with a cheery Hammond organ solo. It's the kind of cover that can't help but put a smile on your face. The same could be said about their similarly minded flipside cover of Prince classic 'Kiss'. While it's not as instantly recognisable, it has a similar feel thanks to the band's canny fusion of tuneful Hammond organ solos and retro-futurist reggae riddims.
Review: Black Cash & Theo AKA Thelonious Beats are Galaxy Sound Co's most experienced editors, having served up already nine excellent offerings on this label. Their latest careful bit of studio splicing work is again a cosmic and mind expanding jazz funk fusion with righteous grooves and life-affirming riffs. The A-aide is a sweet and seductive sound that comes up from below to sweep you off your feet and carry you away to the stars, then 'The Moving Finger' is a little more rooted on planet earth with its knotted bass riffs, glowing harmonies and rickety lead guitar riff, all finished off with some spiritual sax work.
Carolyn Crawford - "Ready Or Not Here Comes Love" (2:26)
Hodges, James, Smith & Crawford - "What Made You Think" (3:11)
Review: We'd advise serious soul heads to take a look at this one. Part of the "Kent Select" series of dancefloor-focused 45s, it features two previously unissued 1971 recordings, both of which were produced by Mickey Stevenson. In some ways, it's incredible to think that Carolyn Crawford's "Ready Or Not Here Comes Love" has never previously been released; it's a genuinely inspired, up-lifting slab of soaring, stomping soul that will get Northern Soul enthusiasts racing for the dancefloor in their droves. Flipside "What Made You Think", credited to Hodges, James, Smith and Crawford, is almost as good, even if it lacks the rushing, celebratory positivity of the sublime A-side. In a word: essential!
Review: Mr. K and Most Excellent Unlimited are back with another must have motherlode of ten essential cuts on 7-inch, assembling a serious cross-section of diverse jams that were particularly popular at The Garage, majority of which appearing on 7-inch for the very first time in any form, let alone in these unique quintessential edits. Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael production, female diva classic "Let's Get Together" backed with a previously unreleased NYC Peech Boys demo version of "Somebody Else's Guy." Tough South Bronx funk "Standing In Line". Synth epic, Krivit's classic edit of "Evolution". Disco Funk edit of Larry Levan's "Slap, Slap, Lickedy Lap". With much more in this diverse and remarkably sought after tracklist, surprises, like "Catch The Rhythm" (the only Boris Midney production regularly played at The Garage), along with Mr. K's previously Japan-only edit of Loleatta Holloway tour de force "I May Not Be There When You Want Me". Five singles impressively mastered with maximum fidelity and playability for an exclusive Record Store Day, including a bonus pair of newly designed, Mr. K seven-inch slipmats.
Review: Not to be confused with the mascara-clad indie rock band of the same name, Placebo was a 1970s Belgian jazz-funk combo founded by legendary European jazzman Marc Moulin. Within the rare groove and jazz-dance community, the group's sophomore set 1973 has long been considered a hard-to-find "must-have". Here Matasuna Records celebrates reaching a quarter-century of releases by offering up a seven-inch featuring two of the album's most celebrated cuts. A-side 'Polk' is a genuine jazz-funk delight: a storming dancefloor workout in which mazy, ever-more-intense electric piano solos ride a relaxed but floor-friendly groove. Flipside 'Balek' is, if anything, even better, with spacey synths, sharp horn lines and fluid electric piano solos sparring over another leisurely groove.
Review: US label coming with the ammo on it's debut 45 hooking up with their first release with a UK male Soul Legend with a masterpiece in dynamite vocal delivery. Two powerful renditions of funky soul classics first time on a 45. First up Toms gritty & powerful cover of Sam & Dave's ''Soul Man'' flipped by a tough version of ''Hold On I'm Coming''. Essential soul music with balls.Limited pressing. Don't sleep !
Review: For the latest in their ongoing series of limited-edition, hand-numbered singles, Zurich outfit Phantom Island has turned to the label's in-house producer and "sound wizard", Florin Buchel. As you'd perhaps expect, there's much to admire on the producer's first single under his given name, particularly A-side 'Proper Distance'. This sees guitarist Roger Szedzalik add glistening, sun-soaked jazz solos to a dreamy, sunset-ready backing track rich in liquid synths, reggae bass and bubbly electronic beats. The leisurely, Balearic-focused vibe continues on the flip, where Buchel peppers a delay-laden drum machine beat with fretless bass, gently unfurling synthesizer melodies and flecks of echoing instrumentation.
Review: Dubtastic reinterpretation of the Isaac Hayes' classic of the same name that was itself sampled in Erykah Badu's gem 'Bag Lady'..... B/W "Electric Boogie" a toe tappin' nod to 80's dancehall destined to brighten the smokiest of rooms. Originally released back in 2010 and now repressed due to public demand...
James Brown & The Crooklyn Dodgers - "More Sex Cream" (Crooklyn Style) (3:44)
James Brown - "More Sex Cream" (instrumental mix) (3:44)
Review: Earlier this summer, mash-up maestro DJ Soopasoul raised our temperatures by layering Wu-Tang Clan vocals over a chunky, funk-fuelled backing track crafted from snippets of James Brown jams. He called it "Sex Cream", and now he's back with more sickly-sweet goodness based around the down-low greatness of the Godfather of Soul. A-side "More Sex Cream (Crooklyn Style)" delivers a similar-sounding JB-inspired beat, this time peppered with rhymes from "Crooklyn". It works wonderfully, of course, as does the flipside instrumental version. Bare party-starting fun for funk-loving hip-hop heads!
Review: Given the recent passing of Ennio Morricone, it seems fitting that we're being treated to a reissue of Babe Ruth's "The Mexican", a scorching funk-rock number based on the late, great Italian composer's theme from "For A Few Dollars More". The band's cover of that can be heard on the B-side, but it's the five-minute A-side, which boasts lyrics calling out the misleading narrative of John Wayne western "The Alamo", that you need in your life. Full of killer funk breaks that became staples during hip-hop's foundational block party era, plus driving musicality and some of rap music's best-known hooks, the track is still capable of slaying dancefloors 47 years after it was first recorded.
Review: Mash-up maestro, bootleg remix king and talented beat-maker Jim Sharp launched the Soul By The Pound label last year to offer up sneaky re-edits of classic soul and funk jams from the '60s and '70s. Here he finally delivers the imprint's second-single, delivering some Blaxploitation-era goodness that should tickle the fancy of all those who like their funk energetic and enthusiastic. A-side "I Got It Funky" more than lives up to its name, with call-and-response vocals, wah-wah guitars, tasty Hammond licks and rising horns riding a snappy, breakbeat-driven groove. He switches focus a little on flipside "Trippin' Out", adding bouncy hip-hop beats to a dewy-eyed, string-laden slab of Curtis Mayfield style soul.
When The World Is Runnin' Down (Mr K 7" edit) (5:35)
Review: The Mr K Edits series continues to be a hotbed of crucial dancefloor wares, taking stone cold classics and giving them a gentle refinement to make the grooves stretch out that little bit longer. The latest in the 7" series focuses on The Police and two of their finest jams - the first is no stranger to revisions, covers and remixes. "Voices In My Head" has been tackled by many, not least 90s hip house upstart KC Flightt, but here the original version goes on a version excursion that brings out the best in the tune. On the flip, "When The World Is Runnin' Down" shimmers with uptempo new wave refinement that should set any open minded dancefloor alight.
Review: Over the last 12 months Mr Bongo has provided hip-hop heads with a ton of classic, golden-era rap reissues. Here they deliver another, as the title track from the crew's brilliant 1993 LP "'93 Until Infinity" returns on "45", complete with facsimile artwork. The track is undoubtedly one of their best - a jaunty, club-friendly affair in which Taja, Opio, A-Plus and Phesto exchange fluent, loose-limbed rhymes over a brilliantly positive (and slightly) jazzy beat crafted from a Grand Central Station break and selected samples of Billy Cobham's "Heather". The fine A-side vocal version comes accompanied by an essential instrumental take, in which A-Plus's brilliant boom-bap beat gets a much deserved chance to shine.
Review: In 1965, the New Musical Express held its Poll Winners show at Wembley's Empire Pool, as 10,000 screaming teenagers packed in to see a stunning line up that featured Tom Jones, The Kinks, The Beatles and, of course, The Rolling Stones. Every screech of the crowd, every one of Keith's string squeaking chords and all the vocal swaggers of frontman Mick Jagger are all captured in their raw glory on this 7". It's a sweaty, dense, atmospheric listen that transports you right back to that era and cannot fail to ignite your soul.
Review: Spanky Wilson is one of the fiercest, sweetest voices in the golden era of late 60s / early 70s soul, with a modest but mighty mark left behind by her run of classic albums and later collaboration with The Quantic Soul Orchestra. This handy 7" gathers together two classic Wilson cuts, leading in with the heavyweight soul-funk of "You". On the flip is her evergreen cover of "Sunshine Of Your Love", which for our money bests Jack Bruce's original vocal performance to take the vintage track onto a whole other level of raw, passionate power.
Review: DJ Soopasoul's last mash-up was an inspired affair that saw him perfectly fuse tracks by Philadelphia Soul legends MFSB and the Beastie Boys. Here he takes a similar approach, placing the rap vocals from the 1995 hip hop classic "How High" atop a suitably funky, lolloping beat crafted from Clavinet-heavy sections from Stevie party-starting floor-heater "Superstitioun". It works remarkably well on the A-side vocal mix, and those who'd not heard either track would be convinced that there was no mash-up antics going on. Over on side B you'll find an instrumental mix that showcases Soopasoul's editing skills; minus the Hip Hop vocals, is a fine re-edit of the Wonderful jam.
Review: The NME themselves called this particular show from 1965 "the greatest pop show in the world." Even if you do take that with a pinch of salt, the recording speaks for itself and does a good job of capturing the ambiance, crowd noise and all, of the 3.5 hour show in front of 10,000 fans at Wembley's Empire Pool. The Beatles weren't the only band to play - Tom Jones, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and Dusty Springfield were amongst many other headliners - so they only performed five songs. Each one is captured here, and each one is a classic in its own right.
Review: Summer may be well and truly over - in the UK, at least - but the sweaty, steamy and sunny seven-inch singles keep on coming. As the title suggests, Vito Lalinga's latest offering is an undeniably tropical affair, with Mariachi style trumpet solos, rousing Afro-beat horns, tactile electric piano keys and flanged guitar riffs dancing atop a punchy, jazzy and bass-heavy funk groove. It's the kind of joyous excursion that should appeal to a wide variety of DJs, particularly those who dig funk, hip-hop and jazz-funk. Label chief Lego Edit gets his virtual scalpel out on the flip and reinvents the track as a driving chunk of four-to-the-floor Afro-funk. It's a weighty revision with serious dancefloor chops.
Review: Limited white vinyl repress.DJ Soopasoul's last mash-up was an inspired affair that saw him perfectly fuse tracks by Philadelphia Soul legends MFSB and the Beastie Boys. Here he takes a similar approach, placing the rap vocals from the 1995 hip hop classic "How High" atop a suitably funky, lolloping beat crafted from Clavinet-heavy sections from Stevie party-starting floor-heater "Superstition". It works remarkably well on the A-side vocal mix, and those who'd not heard either track would be convinced that there was no mash-up antics going on. Over on side B you'll find an instrumental mix that showcases Soopasoul's editing skills; minus the Hip Hop vocals, is a fine re-edit of the Wonderful jam.