Review: More quality grooves from Washington DC label specializing in reissuing obscure and unknown 70s and 80s dance music. This time around is Dreamcast who are Davon Bryant in conjunction with Swedish guy Sasac aka King Al. "Liquid Deep" is sexy late night deep funk the way it was always intended and Bryant's smooth as silk vocals are just like... Wow! So with Dreamcast on the vocals and Sasac on the beat, we are hoping there's more things on the way from this trans coastal duo in 2017.
Marvin Gaye - "This Love Starved Heart Of Mine (It's Killing Me)" (2:44)
Shorty Long - "Don't Mess With My Weekend" (2:29)
Review: Each release in Deptford Northern Soul Club's multi-artist single series, which gathers together Northern Soul scene classics and offers them up in freshly re-mastered form, has been nothing less than essential. Predictably, the label's latest seven-inch is another doozy. On the A-side you'll find one of the rarest cuts in Marvin Gaye's vast catalogue - 1967 stomper "This Love Starved Heart of Mine (Is Killing Me)", which was for some reason pressed in extremely limited quantities first time around. Over on the flip the Deptford boys and girls serve up Shorty Long's "Don't Mess With My Weekend", an insatiably funky Northern Soul scene anthem that Motown only ever released in Australia.
Review: First released in 2007 and here reissued for the first time since, Jennifer Lara's inspired reggae cover of Marlena Shaw's 1968 soul classic "Woman Of The Ghetto" was reportedly one of the last recordings made by both Lara and producer Clement Seymour "Sir Coxsone" Dodd. It remains a stunning version, with Lara's weary, heartfelt vocal working perfectly with the chunky, dub-wise riddim provided by the Jackie Mittoo-fronted Sound Dimension backing band. The trippy, flipside "Side Walk Doctor Version" revision is arguably even better, with snippets of Lara's vocal echoing across Dodd's formidably dubbed-out soundscape.
Bobby Moore - "(Call Me Your) Anything Man" (6:14)
Sweet Music - "I Get Lifted" (7:18)
Review: Soul Brother Records' Record Store Day 2020 release offers up re-mastered versions of two hard-to-find early 'disco mixes' of modern soul-era gems. On the A-side you'll find Tom Moulton's scarce, five-minute club version of soul man Bobby Moore's '(Call Me Your) Anything Man', a delightfully orchestrated and super-sweet dancefloor workout built around a Latin-tinged groove reminiscent of Grace Jones' 'La Vie En Rose', which of course Moulton later famously remixed. Over on the flip there's a chance to savour West End Records' boss Mel Cheren's wonderfully over-the-top dancefloor extension of obscure vocal group Sweet Music's soaring cover of K.C & The Sunshine Band favourite 'I Get Lifted'. It's very different to their much-loved take, but every bit as essential.
Review: If you don't already own a copty of Gil Scott-Heron classic "The Bottle", one of the many highlights from the pioneering spoken word artist and musician's 1974 collaboration with Brian Jackson, "Winter In America", then we'd heartily recommend picking up one of these limited-edition, white vinyl singles. For the uninitiated, the track features Scott-Heron musing on alcoholism and poverty over a killer flute-laden soul-funk groove. This time round it comes backed by another Scott-Heron/Jackson gem, "Johannesburg" - a more musically inventive and bluesy meditation on arpartheid first featured on the pair's 1975 album "From South Africa To South Carolina".
Review: Two crucial moments from Gil Scott Heron's immense repertoire; "When You Are Who You Are" takes the lead. Taken from his 1971 album Pieces Of A Man, it's a straight up homage to clarity and honesty told in the context that only Gil knew best. Flip for a very special alternative take of "Free Will". The title track of his following album, released a year later in 1972, the variations of this take (which has never been released on vinyl before) are subtle but strong enough to justify it a place in your collection.
Review: Only 300 copies pressed of this classic Gil Scott-Heron heavy double sider on a limited dinked 45. "It's Your World" is Gil Scott - may he rest in peace - at his funkiest best with an upfront vocal over a driving sax and rhodes- those of you who have seen one or two Gilles Peterson's DJ sets down the years will remember this fondly. "Winter In America" showcases Gil's legendary poetic prose in a meandering, melancholic manner offset by rhodes and flute. Essential.
Review: The red hot 45 series from Dynamite Cuts continues apace with more gold carefully dug out from the rich archives of George Semper. This is the first time ver these tunes have been on 7", and the pressing is limited to 600. "Got To Find A Way To Make Some Money" is a sentiment we can all relate to right now. The tune will certainly lift your spirits though with its rousing vocal harmonies, cheery trumpets and vibe spreading soul sounds. "The Weight" (instrumental) is more intense, somehow, with bristling rhythm sections and lo-fi organs all serving up the heat.
Review: George Semper's 1984 album Themes For Television, Sports and Aerobics is one of the most brilliantly bonkers you're ever likely to hear. It featured the veteran jazz-man reach for the most intergalactic-sounding electronic instruments he could find and lay down a series of short, library music style missives that still sound like the product of some kind of demented acid trip. The people behind Dynamite Cuts are obviously fans, because they've decided to stick a small selection of cuts from the hard-to-find album on this tidy 7" single. On the A you'll find the deep space, jazz-fired electro-lounge madness of "Pretty Lady", while the flip boasts two shorter cuts: jazzy synth-scape "Universe" and spacey ambient doodle "Extraterrestrial Search Contact Tones".
George Semper - "Knowbody's Gonna Love You (Like The Way I Do)" (demo version) (2:19)
Joanne Vent - "Knowbody's Gonna Love You (Like The Way I Do)" (unreleased Acetate version) (2:11)
Review: On their previous deep dives into the archives of Trindadian-American multi-instrumentalist and producer George Semper, Dynamite Cuts has largely focused on reissuing obscure, private-press releases. Here they go one step further, offering up two unheard versions of Semper composition 'Knowbody's Gonna Love You (Like The Way I Do)'. On the A-side you'll find Semper's demo version, a cheery chunk of summery soul bliss blessed with fantastic group vocals, a superb lead vocal from the man himself, and some deliciously chiming melodies. Over on the flip you'll find a fuzzy, more horn-heavy soul version from vocalist Joanna Vent that was previously pressed to an acetate but never released
Review: Back in 2012, Outta Sight dipped into the Cameo-Parkway catalogue in order to offer a first ever "45" pressing of Dee Dee Sharp's 1963 version of 'Comin' Home Baby', which was originally featured on the Philadelphian vocalist's sixth solo album, All The Hits (Volume 2). Eight years on the label has decided to issue a new, limited-edition pressing on vibrant red vinyl. Her version of the Mel Torme favourite is superb and arguably even better than the more famous and celebrated original recording. It comes backed with Sharp's deliciously stomping, uplifting 1965 take on Barrett Strong song 'Standing in the Need of Love', a version that should appeal to Northern Soul DJs and dancers across the UK.
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.
Review: Shawn Lee's country-soul album "Rides Again" was well received in late 2019 and saw him play it in full at shows across Europe. On one of the days off from the show, the band head to Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Studio and recorded this new single direct to tape, and it was mixed by studio owner Dennis Rux. Lee himself says the "Wichita Lineman" original by Jimmy Webb is a real masterpiece that means a lot to him and he has recorded a number of versions over the years. He adds his own unique spin to it here and backs it up with "Joyland," which is just ass magic.
Review: Since turning their back on hush-hush re-edits in favour of issuing obscure or previously unreleased material, the Super Disco Edits label has barely put a foot wrong. Their latest 7" boasts two previously unissued recordings by former Reflections member John Simmons, who later went on to work as Whitney Houston's "creative director". Both tracks were recorded in 1979, originally as demos for a band Simmons was working with. "Safe", in particular, is superb; a jazz-funk-tinged chunk of modern soul rich in cosmic bass, crunchy Clavinet motifs, twinkling electric piano solos and jazzy guitar flourishes. Simmons' vocal, too, is rather special. Flipside "I Wanna Be Closer" is similarly funk-fuelled whilst retaining the smooth, soulful vibe that marked out Simmons' early productions.
Review: Soul Brother Records is doing the world a great service by reissuing Sisters of Love's 1973 proto-disco anthem "Give Me Your Love", which is here presented in a Juno exckusive white vinyl edition. The song has been re-edited, bootlegged and reworked countless times over the years, and newcomers should be able to tell why straight away: the combination of brilliant group vocals, Blaxploitation style gyutars, fluttering flutes and powerful horns is simply superb. This time round it's accompanied by a lesser-known gem, "Try It, You'll Like It", which first featured on the B-side of a 1973 single. It's a powerful chunk of conscious funk/soul fusion of the sort that was incredibly popular during the period it was recorded.
Review: Thomas Arroyo AKA 'Laroye' is a respected French DJ and producer who here teams up with Andre Espeut for their own take on Beyond Compare. The track has plenty of classic James Brown overtones and makes for an extravagant funk sound with newly recorded vocals that really hit the spot. The synths are bright and contemporary, the jumbled drums loose but driving and the vibes impossible to ignore. This is Situationism's first funk 7" specially crafted for RSD 2020 and it is a standout one.
Review: Smoove returns to his hip-hop roots via a brilliantly simple but wonderfully crafted tribute to Del La Soul's "daisy age" era and cut-and-paste pioneers Double Dee & Steinski. 'De La Smoove' is a simple idea that has been expertly executed. Subtitled 'Lesson 1', it sees Smoove stitch together snatches of tracks sampled by De La Soul (or more specifically, Prince Paul) on the peerless Three Feet High and Rising album, throwing in all manner of well-known vocal snippets previously used by Steinski and others. He flips the script on B-side 'Hall & Soul', sneakily blending elements of De La Soul classic 'Say No Go' with one of the tracks that it sampled, blue-eyed soul favourite 'I Can't Go For That'.
Review: Anticipation for the northern duo's fifth album Mount Pleasant continues to rise as the Jalapeno funksters drop another cheeky doublet ahead of the release. Two sides, two very distinct vibes: "I Feel Alive" tips a wee nod at their label mates Kraak & Smaak with its fluttering space disco elements and hip-strutting beats while "Mr Hyde" takes us up a notch with a sweaty northern soul twist. Bring on the album.
Review: Cordial Recordings continues to unearth previously unheard gems from the past and make them available to the public for the very first time. Soon, the London-based label will be releasing a previously unheard album from former Stax and Gamma act Sons of Slum, who were once said to be Chicago's finest live act of the 1970s. The seven-piece ensemble are in blistering form on "Music Is Message", a life-affirming anthem built around thrilling horn lines, great group vocals and the kind of driving, bass-heavy disco-funk groove that makes you want to throw some serious shapes. In contrast, "Show Me Tell Me" is an altogether more relaxed affair, with the group singing a song of love over a deeper and groovier backing track.
Review: Outta Sight's latest monthly rare soul missive contains hard-to-find and overlooked classics from "hard-hitting" New Jersey vocal group Soul Brothers Six and New Orleans Rhythm and Blues man Willie Tee. It's the former's wonderfully sweet and loose "I'll Be Loving You" (first released in 1966, fact fans) that takes pride of place on the A-side, serving up a lightly sauteed soul take on the rhythm and blues template. Willie Tee's 1967 jam "Walking Up A One Way Street", a summery affair blessed with a superb horn section, leisurely groove and brilliant lead vocal from the man himself, can be found on the B-side.
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: More must-have reissue action here, as Soul Brother Records offers-up an ultra-limited, Juno exclusive white vinyl "45" featuring two revered gems from Washington D.C funk heavyweights The Soul Searchers. On the A-side you'll find "Blow Your Whistle", a deliciously weighty, energetic and infectious funk stomper laden with wah-wah guitars, punchy horns, bustling grooves and, as you'd expect from the title, whistles. Over on the B-side you'll find "Ashley's Roachclip", a more laidback chunk of breezy instrumental soul goodness from 1974 whose headline-grabbing attraction is a seriously good - and extensive - flute solo.