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Latest reviews

Man-of-the-moment Felipe Gordon was little more than a Columbian producer with promise when he first appeared on Razor N Tape Reserve back in 2019. It's therefore nice to see him back on the Brooklyn-based imprint two years on. Those who've followed Gordon's career of late will know what to expect - namely heady, musically rich dancefloor workouts that join the dots between deep house, nu-disco and jazz-funk. Opener 'Strings of the Afterline' is pleasingly hazy and dreamy whilst boasting Gordon's usual synth-heavy squelch, while 'The Fall of a Withered Empire' is a rare vocal number with a deep jazz-house feel. Elsewhere, 'Classico' is a bouncy, classic-sounding deep house bounce-along rich in sparkling synth riffs, while 'Julia Y Lewis' is a more languid and laidback chunk of jazz-sampling, funk-fuelled deep house haziness.
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Last October, acclaimed saxophonist Pharoah Sanders turned 80 years young, and his input on this album is testimony to the fact he has clearly aged like a fine wine. Not that this is to suggest preceding outings were anything less worthy than this collaborative project, which sees Sam Shepherd, the British electronic artist better known to most as Floating Points, write nine spectacular arrangements which are then performed by said brass legend, alongside The London Symphony Orchestra. The results are spectacular, and wildly far-reaching, albeit firmly rooted in jazz with classical undertones. From the movements that made this final cut, some are whisper quiet and delicate to the point of risking breaking off if you were handling haphazardly. Others are booming loud, musical jumbo jets landing at the end of another great crescendo. Whether hushed or monumental, though, we can feel every note and bar of this masterpiece.
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For the first missive on their limited-edition, vinyl only offshoot, the Eureka! label has secured two secret weapons from broken beat mainstay, future jazz-funk hero and all-round don Kaidi Tatham. He's in typically fluid form on A-side 'There's Something in the Water', a loose and languid chunk of immersive bruk-up warmth full of sci-fi synth sounds, liquid electric piano solos, rubbery bass guitar, crispy drums and classic-sounding flute solos. 'Coffee Time (Kaidi Tatham Remix)' is a vintage rework from the vaults whose distinctive rhythm includes vocal samples, crunchy snares and jazzy cymbals. Throw in his usual fine instrumentation and you have another luscious broken beat gem.
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Takashi Nakazato / Galavanters - Toshiafro EP
12"
$12.96
Nu-jazz' crossover into broken beat is a liminal and tumultuous border. But Takashi Nakazato, along with his band Galavanters, seem to have succeeded in capturing its lesser-trodden terrain, wherein a live ensemble keeps its tunes danceable, not dubious. 'Toshiafro' is a four track vinyl EP, carefully composed by Nakazato to convey a wholly original foray through his take on modern electronica amnd jazz fusion, from the major-toned Eastern spritzings of 'Akari' to the closing, liquid drum n' bass tumult of 'Amber'.
Jim Sharp / Nick Bike - Inner City
LIMITED 7"
7"
$12.12
Jim Sharp & Nick Bike are two of Canada's finest beat makers and here they turn their attention to the legendary Marvin Gaye. His 'Inner City' from the timeless What's Going On album gets a modern update from Jim Sharp that retains the soulful vocal of the original but with new drums. They're crisp and tight but funky, and the bendy chords and melodic motifs flesh it out. On the reverse is a Power Mix by Nick Bike that ups the weight and stomp of the drums and layers in the wordless ad libs from the original to bring the soul.
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Acclaimed DJ, singer, remixer and songwriter DJ KAWASAKI shows another side to himself on this new double album for his own label. On it, he serves up instrumental tracks inspired by Afro, jazz, and funk. Every single sound you hear is played live and guests include artists like Sauce81, who you will know from labels like Eglo, and jazz vocalist Ayana. A host of musicians have helped to realise this most lively and upbeat album including Kyoto Jazz Sextet, Kenichi Ikeda of ROOT SOUL and Venue Vincent, Hiderow Nishioka of CENTRAL. It is a real triumph that comes 11 years after his equally acclaimed Paradise album from 2010.
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The music of Earth Wind and Fire is pretty inescapable, but you won't find us complaining. The American soul, disco and funk collective have crafted some of the greatest dance floor tunes of all time, and they still bang decades later. This Ultimate Collection gathers together the best of them on nice heavyweight yellow vinyl. From the epic 'Boogie Wonderland' to the more sentimental 'Fantasy' via super funky gem 'September' there is plenty to love here. First released in July 1999 on Columbia Records, it claimed high in the album charts and remains an invaluable collection.
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It was 1974 when Bay Area jazz guitar hero Calvin Keys dropped his sophomore album, Proceed With Caution. It was immediately widely admired and remains one of the best albums that the vital Black Jazz label ever put out. It is more complex than his debut in 1971 and more diverse in its instrumentation thanks to the inclusions of drummer Leon 'Ndugu' Chancler, Black Jazz label regulars Henry Franklin on bass and Kirk Lightsey on keyboards, plus sometime Terry Callier collaborator Charles Owens on sax and flute. It has not been easy to find this on vinyl for many years so do not sleep on this limited edition and newly remastered reissue.
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