Review: Kaleta's first full-length collaboration with the Super Yamba Band, 2019's "Medaho", was something of a slept-on treat: a fiendishly psychedelic Afrobeat affair that was every bit as heavy, colourful and vibrant as you'd expect. Here, one of the album's standout tunes gets the remix treatment courtesy of long-serving, party-starting musical fusionist Bosq. The Ubiquity and Soul Clap stalwart delivers vocal and instrumental passes of "Jibiti", both of which make great use of Kaleta's vocals and Super Yamba Band's fuzzy, Fela Kuti-style horn lines. Bosq's groove is closer in feel to Afro-disco than the original album version, though the bassline, organ stabs and vocals are pure Afrobeat gold.
Review: The Bonfido Disques label comes to life with a strong cast of edit-happy movers and shakers focusing on music from the African continent. Panama Cardoon is up first with the heavy-stomping "Olofofu", which rides a sturdy rhythm section and lets rip with some gorgeous, warm sax and a vocal hook that will get under your skin. Fixed Angles take on "Tabou", a gorgeous high life edit that takes on a supercharged jacking quality thanks to some savvy drum programming. Sirhan gets into a pleasant, piano-backed reverie on "Le Flute", where the titular wind instrument pirouettes over the broken beat with grace and dexterity. Chico & Bianca complete the set with "Anole", a limber and funky number with some carnival spirit in its drums and the most effervescent guitar lines you're likely to hear all year.
Review: Having sold out in record time a couple of months back, Phil Mison's latest album as Cantoma - an all-star affair featuring a wealth of guest vocalists and musicians - has been rapidly reissued, this time with a colour insert. Musically, "Into Daylight" is sweet and soft-focused, with the Balearic veteran prioritising seductively shuffling samba beats, dewy-eyed vocals, gentle melodies, dubby basslines and tactile instrumentation (think meandering trumpet solos, acoustic guitars, flutes, twinkling Rhodes solos and Pat Metheny style jazz guitar). It's the kind of album that warms you like a hug, soothing mind and body whilst providing enough slow-motion excitement to reward repeat listens.
Beastie Boys Vs MFSB - "Check It Out People" (4:19)
MFSB - "People All Over The World" (dub) (4:08)
Review: The latest edition in DJ Soopasoul's "Soopastole Edits" series looks like it may fly off the shelves, and with good reason. The lead cut is not an edit per se, but rather a crafty, clever and expertly produced mash-up that places selected rap flows from the acapella version of Beastie Boys classic "Ch-Check It Out" over a tightened up and fattened up rearrangement of MFSB's disco-era jam "People All Over The World". Sometimes these kinds of mash-ups can be messy, but this genuinely isn't, with the Beasties' vocals fitting the backing track like a glove. Over on side B Soopasoul shares his tweak of the MFSB track, which is entirely instrumental bar periodic use of the band's female backing vocals. In a word: ace!
Review: Soul Central responsible for the anthemic house version of 'Strings of Life' needs no introduction. Their latest Pimp Life EP is a limited edition four-track vinyl that fluidly introduces the Electric Shrine imprint. The EP features a mix of gritty, jazzy, soulful and funk-filled cuts that are interplayed with raw interviews from behind bars. Soul Central keeps it deep and sleazy whilst delivering the real deal. 'Late Night Cruising' chronicles the journey of a Bluesman, departing with the funkiest of grooves and solid sub-bass becoming the final destination.
'Just A Man' embeds the confessions from a convicted pimp dispersed with classic keys and dripped in Soul. Turning in a modern take on the deeper side of Disco. 'Bring It Home' is haze fuelled & reminiscent of the early US House scene. 'Chicago Lights' fuses 4/4, low slung Funk driven by a deeper dub vehicle.
James Brown & The Wu Tang Clan - "Sex CREAM" (3:33)
James Brown - "Sex Machine" (dub edit) (3:02)
Review: It would be fair to say that the latest edition in DJ Soopasoul's "Soopastole" edits series is one of the producer's biggest yet. A-side "Sex C.R.E.A.M" is particularly potent, with the mash-up maestro layering the vocals from Wu-Tang Clan classic "C.R.E.A.M" over a chunky beat crafted out of classic James Brown samples. To our ears, it's arguably better than the Wu-Tang original, or at least a little more dancefloor-friendly. Fittingly, Brown gets the treatment on the flip with Soopasoul getting busy with the EQs on a suitably heavy but stripped back "dub edit" of all-time-classic "Sex Machine". While it probably didn't need tampering with, he's done a very good job of delivering a version that successfully takes the track in a different direction.
Review: Rhythm Plate are absolute powerhouses when it comes to delivering top-notch tech house, and they're back once again on Pressed For Time with this sizable payload of classy joints. There's a timeless quality to this stuff, whether it's the late-night swirl of "Sacrement" or the choppy, quirked-up groove of "Every Kind Of People With Any Kind Of Soul". Out of time and out of mind, the Plate just bring the kind of satisfaction to club music that could launch a thousand sessions. For the late night crew, for the mid-morning rollers and the sophisticated toe-tappers in between, sink your ear-teeth into this generous serving but whatever you do, don't call it an album.
Review: This limited edition triple vinyl set is as killer as the samurais from which it takes its name. The music is culled from the popular amine series on Cartoon Network that mixes hip hop culture with Japanese samurai culture and more than a little dose of jazzy stylings. There are vocal boom-baps and journeying spy themes, deep late night cuts and harder hitting joints, all performed by Nujabes, Fat Jon, Force Of Nature & Illicit Tsuboi. The downtempo charms of "Just Forget" are awash with oriental keys, while "Ole" is soul licked and "World Without Worlds" is superbly lo-fi.
Review: Fabrizio Esposito was born in Naples / Italy into a family of passionate musicians and vinyl collectors. His father played guitar in Tony Esposito's band who was responsible for some classic Italo tracks from the early 80's. He spent his early childhood immersed in his grandparnent's extensive vinyl collection which he has since inherited, this collection heavily influenced Fabrizio and made him a fan of Italian Wave, Italo Disco, Neapolitan Funk, Soul and Disco. After all these years working in clubs and with artists Fabrizio decided it was time to realise his other dream and become a DJ and producer himself fusing together his rich musical heritage combined with his clear vision for the future, creating his own unique sound. Fabrizio explains that since he was 14 he had always been behind the scenes of parties, from a PR to a promoter, always watching the djs and producers working to create the party around them. Since this time he has always been an obsessive vinyl collector, its in his blood, so now it's time for Fabrizio to share his own passion for music with the world.
Fast forward to summer 2019, Fabrizio made his Ibiza debut DJ'ing alongside DJ Harvey and Pete Gooding at La Torre and soon after Fabrizio finished his debut track 'This Way' which was premiered by Harvey at his now 'Mercury Rising' party at Pikes.
Review: Sam Shepherd has long been a master of the kind of ultra-deep, rolling, soft focus deep house that raises the spirits and soothes the soul. Even so, there's something incredibly special about "Nuits Sonores", the lead track from this must-have EP. Based around a deep, tactile groove and blessed with rising synth solos, dancing acid lines and his usual fireside Rhodes antics, the track rises magnificently for 12 spellbinding minutes. As it progresses, further elements make their way into the mix, until it reaches the kind of organic deep house climax that makes even the grumpiest souls go weak at the knees. Flip for "Nectarines", the kind of loose-limbed fusion of deep house sassiness, Detroit techno electronics and fluid jazz drumming at which Shepherd has always excelled.
Review: This is a Juno Exclusive from French producer Djar One that lifts off and cruises all the way to Puerto Rico. "Oye Como Va" is the breakbeat fuelled a-side with huge funk drive, oodles of instrumental flair and lively percussive sounds that bring that vital world flavour. "Dance Dance" on the reverse is a quicker jam with Latin flair to spare. It trills with summery time joy and drives on kicking drums. The fun loving vocals are the irresistible finishing touch. Both of these cuts will blow up and club, wherever you are in the world.
Review: The latest slab of sure-fire dancefloor heat on Wah Wah 45s' "Dubplate" series comes courtesy a Haynesy, a duo renowned for the fat, party-starting nature of their reworks, with turntable wizard Jabbathakut providing plenty of on-point scratches. What we get here is not "edits", but rather banging new hip-hop beats laden with classic acapellas. On side A they bring Jungle Brothers' hip-house classic "I'll House You" back to its hip-hop roots, layering the NYC crew's famous vocals over a bustling, up-tempo, Latin-tinged hip-hop beat. Over on the flip they take on Beastie Boys classic "Root Down", with Jabbathakut's tidy deck-work sparring with acapella vocals atop a weighty club hip-hop beat.
Review: Since it was first released in the collective's native Brazil in 1978, the self-titled debut album from Guilherme Coutinho E O Groupo Stalo has become a sought-after item amongst collectors of Latin jazz. This reissue - the first of any kind - proves why. Offering a mixture of samba-soaked Latin jazz rhythms, sweet vocals, spacey analogue synthesizer sounds, Azymuth style electric piano motifs, MPB style songwriting and Brazilian jazz-funk stylistic tropes, it's a joyously sunny and quirkily off-kilter affair that impresses from start to finish. Production wise it's a little loose and fuzzy round the edges, but that only adds to the album's obvious allure. Recommended!
Rafael Cameron - "Let's Get It Off" (Dr Packer rework) (6:13)
Ripple - "The Beat Goes On & On" (Dr Packer rework) (7:30)
The Salsoul Orchestra - "You're Just The Right Size" (Dr Packer rework) (6:07)
Review: UK born, Australia based DJ and producer Dr Packer is back with more of his on point edits. He tackles some serious disco heavyweights here on Salsoul and first off, disco diva Loleatta Holloway and her mega-hit "Runaway" gets a fresh 2020 update with some soul uplifting studio skills. A heavy funk remix of Rafael Cameron's "Let's Get It Off" is next, with the original still taking centre stage, then the shimmering and glistening disco gold of Ripple's "The Beat Goes On" follows before in-house collective The Salsoul Orchestra also get treated to some elegant orchestral work and a sultry vocal hook.
It All Began In The East (The Sacred Rhythm version) (11:48)
It All Began In The East (The Cosmic Arts Koto version) (3:39)
A Dance For Gratitude (Joaquin's Congo Arts Drum version) (7:15)
It All Began In The East (The Cosmic Arts Meditational mix) (3:18)
Review: Two years ago, Joaquin "Joe" Clausell donned his occasional Mental Remedy alias and offered up "A Journey To Noi", a decidedly spiritual album that mixed Japanese instrumentation with his usual ambient and deep house sounds. On this 12", Clausell offers up some heady new interpretations that - like much of his work over the last decade - are built around the percussive power of African rhythms. The opening "Sacred Rhythm Version" of "It All Began In The East" is particularly potent, with Clausell cloaking a warm, organic and percussive Afro-house beat in distinctive Japanese Koto melodies and jazzy piano flourishes. We'd also recommend the formidably heavy, drum-laden rework of "Dance For Gratitude", whose Latin American bassline and simmering synth-strings are almost as addictive as the weighty groove they sit upon.
Review: The first instalment of the Gallery edits series, which landed in stores at the very end of 2019, was an artful, off-kilter treat, so we're expecting big things from this eagerly awaited follow-up. A-side "Stop" is simply superb: a clattering, delay-laden, dub disco style revision of a poodle perm-sporting bunch of early-to-mid-'80s electronic disco laden with percussion hits, ear-pleasing synthesizers, druggy, arpeggio-style bass and familiar-sounding vocal snippets. It just keeps building throughout, suggesting dancefloor pandemonium is almost guaranteed. Flipside "Remember" is rather good, too, with the mystery audio art lovers re-wiring a deliciously camp, over-the-top electro-disco stomper.
Review: Smoove is back with another of his magical conceptions. This is one of the most bold and adventurous projects he's ever undertaken on Wack Records and finds him layering up hundreds of samples taken from more than six full lengths by A Tribe Called Quest, and he's one of the best to ever do it. The result is a magnificent and mellifluous 7" that brims with soul, jazz, rich beats and vocal snippets that interplay so smoothly you'll be in awe. Both sides are alive and authentic and picking apart the pieces is all part of the fun.
Review: Following on from his Bedrock debut on John Digweeds latest Quattro album, Miles Atmospheric delivers this excellent 3 track EP titled 'Defining Circles' which has had a very limited vinyl pressing. All tracks have been thoroughly road tested by John Digweed amongst many others.
Review: Those who've studied Tony Allen's distinctive drumming style often cite Art Blakey as an influence, so it's little surprise to find him paying tribute to the legendary jazz drummer on this superb album. Joined by his regular band, Allen covers a quartet of tracks written and recorded by Blakey and his band, the Jazz Messengers. The results are predictably impressive, with Allen's loose and polyrhythmic percussion providing a rock solid foundation for the horns, piano and double bass that sits atop. It's naturally closer to all-out jazz than to Afrobeat, but still bristles with the kind of punchy horns and life-affirming playing that characterizes Allen's work. "Thunder Suite", in which Allen drops a number of sweaty drum solos, is particularly potent.
Review: The Original Gravity label's latest must-check missive is unusual, featuring as it does four tracks squeezed on to one limited edition seven-inch single. As the title suggests, it's Latin-themed, with two artists (overseen by Welwyn Garden City-based producer Neil Henderson) delivering two sweaty South American funk workouts apiece. Luchito Rodriguez handles side A, delivering the Tito Puente style mambo brilliance of "Hey Guajira Baby" and the insatiable, fienishly fuzzy Latin funk/boogaloo business that is "Vacilon". Over on the flip, Nestor Alvarez first offers up a beefed-up, bass-heavy taken on a familiar mambo favourite ("Lupita"), before sprinting towards heavy Latin funk territory on the insatiable "Bang The Bongo".
Review: A couple of months after inaugurating the Outban imprint with a vibrant EP of mind-altering retro-futurism, Bakked returns with a speedy sequel. He first joins the dots between early '90s bleep techno and purist tech-house ("433"), before opting for a deeper and more ghostly take on the same bleeping futurism on "4111". "399" sees him switch tack and offer-up a breakbeat-powered romp laden with warehouse-ready riffs and New Jersey organ licks, while "444" adds sunrise-ready dreaminess to a vintage Detroit techno inspired rhythm track. Arguably best of all though is closing cut "Pullupthetune", a deliciously intergalactic tribute to the more spacey end of mid-'90s drum & bass.
Review: With wind in his sails following a surprise outing on Djebali, Nik Prunk returns to the good ship PIV Limited and sets a course for peak-time tech-house dancefloors. It's plain sailing from the off, with ear-catching opener "Office Gossip" cannily joining the dots between warm, bass-heavy West Coast dub house and the kind of future-focused tech-house hedonism that was once all the rage at pioneering UK club Wiggle. The attractively toasty retro-futurism continues on "Through The Walls", a soul-flecked vocal number that adds a little percussive crunch to a San Francisco style deep house cut. Scene stalwart JT Donaldson delivers a superb remix of that cut focused on jazz-funk bass, spacey chords and pitched-up drums, while "Femme" is the kind of groovy, bumpin' and Rhodes-laden deep house jam that Dubtribe Soundsystem used to knock out in their sleep. In a word: essential.
James Brown - "Funky President" (extended Breaks Special edition) (4:25)
The Vibrettes - "Humpty Dump" (part 1 - extended Breaks Special edition) (3:16)
Review: For the second in their series of clear vinyl reissues of some of their most sought-after "sevens", the mysterious Breaks & Beats crew have chosen to revisit their fourth 45, which originally landed in early 2018. It's well worth picking up, if only for the version of James Brown classic "Funky Presisdent", which features extended grooves and breakbeats for added DJ pleasure and double-up opportunities. That said, we're also big fans of the mystery scalpel fiends' light-touch revision of the Vibrettes' brilliant, voodoo funk favourite "Humpty Dump (Part 1)". This, too, makes more of the original's short drum breaks and strutting instrumental grooves, before unleashing the female vocal group's great vocals.
Review: Few people have done as much to shape house music as Grammy winner Louie Vega. His next project finds him on an executive producer role as he assembles a crack team of world class musicians under the Elements of Life banner. With a sound inspired by greats like Stevie Wonder and Cymande, this fantastic record brims with musicality, joy and soul from front to back. The tracks are live sounding, richly percussive, sprinkled with Latin spice and various moods, grooves and tempos. For big hearted DJs and dancers, this is pure gold. Of course guests like Anane, Blaze and Lisa Fischer all help add their own special colour to the picture.
Review: Bolla's Afrikan Basement debuted with a warm welcome in 2008 as a limited 7" and is one of the many essential projects Joe Clasusell has been involved with over the years. Now it gets revisited on this tasty 7". The a-side is a special edit of "Makkusa", a steamy, spiritual, deeply layered and emotional house track that is lead by a standout sax line. Joaquin's Sacred Rhythm dub is just that on the flip-side, a punchy rework with groaning vocals and a tribal feel, marching drums and plenty of the steam and sweat that makes his music so unique and powerful.
Review: The latest single from long-serving UK soul outfit Mama's Gun breathes new life into one of their classic cuts, 2017 "Golden Days" album track "This Is The Day", adding an eye-catching red vinyl pressing to make the "45" even more alluring. While the LP mix was little more than a solo piece for voice and piano (albeit drenched in effects), the band's new "live" style version is languid, groovy and undeniably hot - all rich bass, shuffling drums, glistening guitars, drowsy Rhodes chords and a sublimely soulful lead vocal. They continue in this classic West Coast blue-eyed soul vein on flipside "We", one of the sweetest and most loved-up tracks on "Golden Days". Neither track has been featured on a seven-inch single before, so grab a copy while you can.
Review: Oofff.... Ragga tip business from Sub Basics right here as he lands on J:Kenzo's Lion Charge with two special lick-ups. 'Walk & Skank" is exactly what you'd hope it would be... The classic Jah Screechy sample that SL2 flipped into a rave monster all those years ago. No dibby-dibby cheese on this one though, just pure anthemic pressure. "Forward" carries the same weight. Creeping into the light with warm harmonics and a prowling, almost techno-like lead, it's another killer cut from the Temple Of Sounds don.
Review: A decade has passed since Slum Village jumped on a KVBeats instrumental and delivered "We Do It", a warm, sweet and bass-heavy number full of the Detroit act's usual on-point rap flows. Here the track is given a 2020 makeover courtesy of hired hands DJ Spinna and Jazz Spastiks. Spinna naturally opts for a distinctively "Golden era" vibe, laying the Motor City crew's raps over a relaxed, head-nodding beat rich in jazzy double bass samples, crunchy snares and woozy electric piano chords. The jazz Spastiks up the tempo on their flipside version, delivering a revision that's closer in tone to Slum Village's original while offering all manner of subtle differences and dancefloor-focused touches.
Review: If you ever questioned whether Laura Marling sits among the greatest songwriters of our time (or indeed any other), then this glistening, powerful, unapologetically wry and deeply mournful record - album number seven - will cast all doubts aside. It's not that 'Song For Our Daughter' is introducing us to any new sides of Marling. Nor does it present her as an artist starkly different from some peers. But it is a stunning display of creative craft and a crystalline vocal range, both of which can stop us dead in our tracks. Take 'Fortune', for example, a track that exposes - with brutal honesty - the way our lives can look perfect while actually deeply troubled and filled with sorrow. There's plenty for men to ponder over on the metaphorical story of 'Alexandra' and her many diamond conquests, while potshots at champagne socialism and branded wokeness truly resonate. Exceptional stuff, again. Buy it now.
Review: Matasuna's latest must-have release comes courtesy of Dubben, an artist whose tasty, dub-fired mid-2000s reworks of Afro-Cuban and Latin tracks remain some of G.A.M.M.'s most potent moments. This is the producer's first release of any sort for nearly five years and continues in a similar vein. Check first A-side "Jesus Boogie", a samba-soaked, dub-funk fuelled revision of what sounds like a mid-1970s Brazilian MPB workout. Sweatier flavours are provided on B-side cut "Cachaca", where he dubs out and tools up a punchy affair that boasts a killer horn part reminiscent of The Champs classic "Tequila".
Review: Nite Fleit has had a barnstorming couple of years with drops on Planet Euphorique and Unknown To The Unknown, a team-up with Mall Grab on Looking For Trouble and now this rabid electro stormer on Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder label. Compared to some of the grungier, punk-inflected electro you'd expect to find on the label, this is bright, bold, big-room stuff with plenty of ravey motifs to move large masses of bodies. "Empty Nest Syndrome" is hyped up to 11 while "Naive" pivots around a hard as nails electro beat. Watch out for the mad arps on "Can't You See" and "Rebel Faction" too - they're gunning for your cerebellum and you should take heed.
Review: For the second missive on his recently launched Fencepiece label, Steve Pickton has delved into his archives and dusted down a trio of cuts from the early days of his career in the mid 1990s. On the A-side you'll find two tracks first featured on his 1994 debut album as Phenomyna, "Unexplained": the crunchy, deep space techno/electro fusion of "Travellor" [sic] and the deeper, warmer sci-fi electro flex of "From Afar". Over on the flip, there's another chance to enjoy the superb "Tau", which originally closed his first solo Stasis album, "Inspiration", way back in 1995. It's a spacious and ear-pleasing affair that wraps lilting synth-strings and bubbly, Detroit techno style electronic motifs around a skittish, futurism-inspired techno beat.
Review: If you're after some beefed-up, club-ready funk revisions, we'd heartily recommend this double dose of reworks from pals Robby Bergmann and Lego Edit. Bergmann kicks things on the A-side with "Get Up Sex Machine", a weighty, pitched-up James Brown revision that underpins key elements of the Godfather of Soul's original version with some tough new drums and cut-up vocal samples. Lego Edit takes over on side B with "Me & My Baby", a sprightly edit of a much-loved soul classic that's far more reverential in tone than the admittedly club-ready A-side edit. There's little in the way of contemporary trickery, just a DJ-friendly re-arrangement and extension.
Review: Ilija Rudman and Antonio Zuza's consistently classy label is back with a standout 12" from Californian producer Michoacan, who's previously been spotted on DFA, Eskimo and many other highly regarded labels. "Knights Are Cold" is a vibrant, original and delightfully kinked slab of sunshine with a subtle pitch-bent oddness and an innate funkiness. It's smart in its reference points, but certainly not trying to be a simple 80s disco pastiche. "Be Side Me" is a slower, moodier affair but the same melodic sensibilities shine through to make this a rich selection for DJs wanting grooves with personality and attitude to spare.
Review: Five months after launching his "Sir Cuts" series via the much-played "Love EP", Daniel Klein AKA SIRS returns to action with another collection of "personal edits". There's much to get the disco juices flowiong throughout, from the grandiose but lo-fi disco cheeriness of opener "Nottingham Forest" - wait for the extra-percussive drum break...it's a stunner -to the shimmering, synth-laden Euro-disco throb of "Magic Mirror" and the electric piano-laden electrofunk fizz of closing cut "Wicked". Interestingly, the source material tends towards the quirky and obscure, while the scalpel-style edits offered-up are far more reverential than most (in other words, there's no cheap studio trickery or needless filter sweeps). In other words, it's a fine selection of dusty disco and boogie gems.
Review: The insatiable rise of Felipe Gordon continues apace. The Colombian has been in a rich vein of form over the last 18 months, chalking up must-check EPs on Quintessentials, Toy Tonics, Lost Palms, and Razor 'N' Tape Reserve. Here he adds another label to his discography: celebrated Swedish house outlet Local Talk. Title track "For A Bright & Acid Future" hits the spot from the word go, with Gordon wrapping twisted, rough-neck acid lines around a bustling backing track rich in fuzzy synth stabs, jazzy bass guitar and crunchy beats. Over on the flip Kear lends a hand on the sun-kissed, soft focus brilliance of jazz-funk/Jazz/deep Latin house fusion of "Son Esquivias", a slab of breezy, percussion-rich goodness that could well be Gordon's most musically expansive track to date.
Review: Those stylish minimalists at Meander are back with more of their superbly stripped down sounds. At the helm for this latest trip is Alci, who brings the clipped electronic funk to his opener "Can't Dance" which will surely have many people trying to prove they don't suffer from the same issue. "Sonsuz Seconds" is more airy and deft, with incidental chords floating above a rugged drum line that is nice and rickety. "Kelime Bir" gets into melon twisting late night territory with its bendy tones and freaky pads, then "Kelime Iki" almost falls over itself its drums areas quick and kinetic. Fantastic stuff once more from this label.
Review: Italy's Babe Roots crew show off their silky dub techno credentials here with a couple of immersive new singles. "Music Mission" (feat Galas) is a bottomless cut with warped bass rumbles and endless echo overlaid by a classic reggae vocal from Galas. "World Struggle" (Ambient dub) casts you free from the dance floor with its floating chords full of grainy greyness and cloudy tension. The EP highlight might be "World Struggle" (feat Danny Coxson), a heavyweight, slow motion dub with earth shattering kicks and a deeply buried low end oscillation that's detailed with thunder claps and a soulful Danny Coxson musing on struggle up top.
Review: Italian duo Souldynamic have been releasing a steady stream of work on respected labels from King Street and Tribe to BBE, with support from industry heavyweights like Louie Vega and Dennis Ferrer. Their latest release the 'West Side of Afrika' EP see's them land on Samosa Records, comprising of four tracks of Afro-centric house. From the spiritual life music of opening track "Guinee" to the uplifting sunshine vibe of "Faranah" with its uplifting group vocal harmonies, while closing cut "Beyla" is an evocative deep house number with the most killer bassline you will hear on a record this year. Terrific work by these Neapolitan scene veterans!
Review: Sometime Sound Signature regular Specter (real name Andres Ordonez) should be regarded as a genuine underground hero: a talented and hard-working producer, whose regular vinyl missives are regularly a cut above the rest. For proof, check out this four-tracker on Brooklyn's Second Hand Records. He dives straight into spacey, off-kilter deep house warmth on the smooth but slipped opener "Peace of Mind", before wrapping more starry, spaced-out synths around a muddy bassline and hazy machine drums on "Front & Center". The B-side is all about "Cold Sweat", a minimalistic Larry Heard style emotive deep house number that's also successfully given a breezy-but-beefy makeover by remixer Byron The Aquarius.
Review: Long time disco diva Gwen McCrae is an eternally in demand artist whose music reconnects with each new generation. "All This Love That I'm Givin'" is one of her biggest hits and for good reason. Now it gets a special 7" release on stunning yellow vinyl. The soaring vocals do most of the work but the tentative stabs help bring the funk. It's a totally different vibe on the flip with "Maybe I'll Find Somebody New", a much slower and more sensuous tune with luxurious strings and wind instruments complimenting her smooth and seductive vocal work.
Review: Retro soul fans rejoice. This is a superbly suave collection of instrumental soul and classic British library sounds that ooze class. The lush keys bring lounge goodies, the wind leads bring the feel of a 60s spy drama or detective show theme tune and the tight rhythm sections will bump on any floor. All the tracks have an inescapable sense of conversational narrative and while some strut their stuff in chest pumping fashion, others glide on more silky and seductive keys. If ever you want to imagine you're an international jet-setter, this is the perfect soundtrack.
The Chosen Few - "Candy I'm So Doggone Mixed Up" (3:25)
Review: The Beats & Breaks 7" series was founded to satisfy the desires of DJs, mainly by serving up re-edits that put some of the world's most recognizable drum breaks front and centre. This edition kicks off with a rearrangement of the Winstons' "Amen Brother", whose drum break not only became a staple of U.S hip-hop in the 1980s, but also the foundation of jungle and later drum and bass. This edit wisely gives plenty of air time to the infamous drum break, dropping into it at frequent intervals in between bouts of punchy, horn-heavy funk. Flip to the B-side for a tastefully chopped and rearranged version of The Chosen Few's super-sweet 1976 soul cut "Candy I'm So Doggone Mixed Up". This is the limited clear vinyl version and limited to just 200 copies !