Review: Following two sterling turns from Dedication feat Danielle Moore and Smith & Mudd feat Quinn Lamont Luke, Adventures In Paradise returns with another effervescent, vocal-led bomb. Soma World team up with Falle for an energising track that fold high life, funk and Kwaito house into a potent blend given voice by the infectious singing of Falle. As well as the original version of 'Want This', we're treated to two remixes by Ray Mang, who dubs the track out into a simmering, bass-rooted groover that captures the moody allure of a picture-perfect sundown moment.
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: 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: 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: The brilliantly dark world of breakbeats and stripped back techno that Illian Tape call their own gets that bit richer with this new EP from Pessimist. It kicks off with some rugged jungle rides that are coloured by bird calls, wood block hits and booming bass before 'The Crawlers' is a flurry of snares and hi hats that tie your mind and body in knots. The excellent 'Ridge Racer Revolution' is a hardcore track that never lets up, with flailing hits and hundred mile and hour breaks all demanding you dance. The closer is a dystopian cut of unresolved loops ad frazzled bass that lurches back and forth and traps you right where it wants you. Thrilling stuff.
Review: Buckle up for the latest space crusade from Salty Nuts. This one finds Oden & Fatzo at the helm and the trip begins with the slick and seductive tech house perfection of 'Spaceship For Sale' which glides on silky synths to an imagined future. 'Casinomania' bubbles with all the sort of pixelated sounds and hyper real chords that you would get on the gambling floor of a Las Vegas hotel and '69 Party Boys' is another lithe, neon-lit future-tech-funk gem that gets a remix from Fabe. In the popular Brazilian's hands it becomes a little more thrown back thanks to its warm organ bass.
Review: French dub techno engineers Berg Audio return with their fourth release in 2020, courtesy of one R.Y. with an A.C. We are not entirely sure who the former is, but the latter stands for Another Channel, a producer from Ausburg in Southern Germany. The acronyms collaborate on the cavernous and glacial groove of 'Move Dub' that is balanced out by its emotive male and female vocals. It comes with two terrific reworks: Mosaic man man Steve O'Sullivan is in fine form as usual, taking the track down a warmer path with a more sensual feel, followed by Roman Poncet aka Traumer's perspective which injects the track with a groovy minimalist stomp.
Review: Northern Soul diggers have spent many frustrating hours trying to track down copies of Roy Redmond's notoriously hard to find 1967 single 'Ain't That Terrible', which was initially released on cult label Loma. Listening to this timely and much-needed Record Store Day 2020 reissue, it's easy to see why. The track is exactly the kind of surging, stomping, up-tempo number that makes Northern Soul dancefloors go crazy, all topped off by an excitedly rousing lead vocal from Redmond. Over on the flip you'll find original B-side 'A Change Is Gonna Come', a lusciously arranged, performed and produced version of the Sam Cooke favourite smothered in melancholic horns, jazzy guitars and sustained organ chords.
Review: After last year's killer Record Store Day edition featuring the Relative affiliated Vinalog, UK techno legend Colin McBean aka Mr G flies solo on this year's special installment with this wicked four tracker on his esteemed Phoenix G imprint. RSD 2020 features the soulful vocals and breakbeat action of 'Bands Tight' (4 Henry) and the moody, heads-down stomper that is 'Stinger 2' on the A side, followed by the loose and low-slung after hours vibe of 'The DJ' on the flip, and ending with the evocative and atmospheric slow burner 'Song For My Forefathers'.
Review: 'Wanna Dance' is the new jam by deep house heavyweight Sean McCabe (Good Vibrations) and Last Forever chief Turbojazz. Said to be conceived during the lockdown period, the track recalls the energy of classic Detroit deep house and even features one of the city's favourite voices in the form of Javonntte. On the flip, the spiritual vibe of Moondance's rework calls to mind the work of Motor City legend Alton Miller, while EVM128 aka Evermean Beats really soaks up the vibe of his new hometown - London - on his nu-jazz broken beat perspective that would make even Kaidi Tatham stand up and notice.
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"