842 Colours (feat Hrdvsion - Eddie C Elektro Funk remix) (3:42)
Musli Funk (3:45)
Review: Three years on from his last acclaimed outing on Endless Flight, Berlin-based Canadian Eddie C returns to the Japanese label with another high quality full-length excursion. Those who've followed his career over the last six or seven years will feel at home straight away. Opener "Hello baby" is a quirky, break-driven head-nodder rich in dub disco bass and quirky samples, while the cut that follows, "Carbon Date", offers a deeper and more spacey take on the same heady blueprint. From then on its' a loved-up, saucer-eyed jaunt through laidback Balearic disco grooves ("In The Park"), spaced-out punk-funk ("Way Uptown"), percussion-packed Latin beats ("Batacuda"), bustling breakbeat house ("Berlina"), warped digital dub ("Dancin' Music") and spaced-out broken beat ("Listen"). In a word: superb.
Review: Cameroonian legend Victor Edimo's rare and collectable Decca Nigeria album Thank U Mamma enjoys its first reissue since being released in 1981. Five tracks tight but crammed full of vibes, this is one of the funkiest, sunniest and most vibrant albums to come out of Lagos in the early 80s. From the blissed, bless 'thank you' vocal loop of the title track to the blazing feels of "Marina Drive" to Victor's signature freak bass licks on "You", this is such a beautiful album from start to finish.
Review: A veritable French fusion institution; classically trained Cameroon musician Eko Roosevelt Louis was responsible for a catalogue of exciting jazz funk, disco and afrofunk records throughout the 70s and remained active touring Europe until the 90s when he returned to Cameroon to inherit the role as tribal chieftain from his grandfather. Released in 1979, Funky Disco Music was his third album and packs some of his most powerful compositions. The triumphant title track says it all; laidback, charming and full of positivity it sets the scene for the whole trip. Highlights include the rock-tinged soul chugger "Une Chanson Sans Paroles", the highlife uplift of "Doi Da Manga" and the smouldering showstopper finale "Emen Ango". Dig deep and enjoy... Africa Seven promise more Eko reissues in the near future.
Review: Those who keep a keen eye on the revivalist electrofunk scene should be well aware of Brian Ellis. The synthesizer-obsessed multi-instrumentalist has been responsible for a string of killer singles in recent years, including a brilliant, all-synthesizer cover of Steely Dan's "Peg". Mirror Mirror is the prolific Californian's eight solo album and sees him fuse his usual analogue synth movements with the laidback grooves of 1970s West Coast rock. It's a hugely appealing combination, with standout tracks such as "High", the Steely Dan-with-synths bliss of "Love Burn Out" and instrumental yacht rock brilliance of "Keep it Passionate" evoking images of sun-kissed daytime drives up the Pacific highway.
Review: Kalita's obligatory Record Store Day offering is something rather special: synth-funk visionary couple Emerson and Leora Sandidge's mythical unreleased album finally sees the light of day, following Emerson's sole private press seven-inch single release way back in 1988. Those two tunes ("Sending All My Love Out" and "Why Are You So Cold?") make the cut on this belated debut set, alongside six other previously unreleased recordings from the same sessions. Their take on electrofunk, boogie and '80s soul is colourful, soulful and synth-heavy, with the included tracks veering from up-tempo club workouts (see "Raw Deal Cocaine Kills") and fizzing dancefloor pop workouts, to sugary ballads and seductive slow jams. In other words, it's a more than tidy selection of rare and unheard gems.
Review: Under his Erdbeerschnitzel guise, producer Tim Kelling has consistently delivered excellent material that's notoriously hard to pigeonhole. Tender Leaf, his second full-lenghth, follows a similar pattern. His default setting seems to be bright but woozy electronica heavily laden with nu-disco synths and curious, off-beat deep house rhythms. There's plenty of that here, alongside more dancefloor-centric tracks that shift further towards loose deep house (see "Semantics") and skittering, bass-music inspired beatscapes that glisten with high-speed rhythmic intent. There's also a deliciously wonky house/nu-disco/R&B fusion ("Through The Night") that's almost worth the admission price on its own.
Review: First time reissue: Christy Essien's fourth album from 1979 is a remarkable piece of work in so many ways. Well-chiselled songs, laced with Christy's signature poetry, a rich afrobeat fluidity runs throughout the arrangement flickering between soft-focus island style ("Respect Your Man"), salubrious foamy funk ("Take Life Easy"), powerful soul ("Understanding") and synth-rippled dancefloor soul ("You Can't Change A Man") Madly she was only 19 when she made this record! No wonder she's known as Nigeria's 'first lady of song'.
Review: Released deep in the throes of her tenure as Nigerian pop's 'First Lady Of Song', "Give Me A Chance" is the fifth album and the first reissue since its 1980 by the late great Christy Essien captures just why she became such a universally loved artist; Essien can tap any type of groove and make it her own. From the country blues of "Give Me A Chance" to the warm reggae bubbles of "Ife" via the afrodisco of "Rumours" and all fusions in between, the combination Christy's powerful presence and super tight band made this one of her best albums.
Review: The third and final archival release issued to celebrate Dark Entries reaching the 5 year anniversary mark finds the San Francisco-based label focus on the superbly named Executive Slacks. Spawned in early '80s Philadelphia, Executive Slacks were made up of Matt Marello, John Young and Albert Ganss, a trio of art students inspired to commit their angst ridden electronics to tape after infiltrating the local scene's circuit of clubs and galleries. In 1983 a self-titled EP was issued by local independent Red Records featuring four tracks of jagged body music that took inspiration from the Cabs and Tuxedo Moon as well as Dadaism and Disco. Fully remastered and presented in original artwork, this new Dark Entries issue is a superb introduction to a band whose music is a clear influence on the likes of Front 242 and Ministry.