Review: Since making their debut in 2014, Russian combo The Great Revivers has become one of Funk Night Records' most reliable acts. They're at it again here, serving up two more slabs of goodness inspired by their obsessions with Hammond-heavy grooves, scorching funk and dusty 1970s library music. A-side "Bar-Hop" sounds like their take on the Meters sound, with attractive Hammond riffs rising above flanged funk guitars, heavy bass, fuzz-soaked brass and a bustling, solo-heavy groove. B-side "The Last" explores similar sonic territory but feels a little more relaxed. This time round, it's the jazzy, flanged guitar solos that take centre stage, with their trademark organs merely acting as an impressive accompaniment.
Review: Funk Night Records were quick to snap up some newly recorded material from Philly psych band Grimace Federation as soon as they heard it, and for good reason. These tracks were recorded during a weekend in a session with producer John McEntire and manage to sound raw and distorted yet seductive. "Dotsero" echoes the magic of Adrian Younge with its big horns and stirring soul, while "Starspots" is a more expansive track, with nebulous chords, busy drum playing and plenty of jazz elements making it a real cosmic voyage.
Review: Another fine lesson in deep crate curation, Jazzman rediscover the criminally overlooked skills of Virginia troubadour Lenis Guess. Recorded during the late 60s and 70s, many of the cuts on this special triple-7" box set have never been further than the state line. Which is utter madness... Just listen to the lavish, lolloping bass jam on "How You Gonna Do It", the firing JB-style horn drama of "Thank Goodness Gotta Good Woman" and the raw belly-bound blues soul of "Workin' For My Baby" and you'll wonder how he remained an obscurity for so long. Complete with detailed liner notes, this is a must for all funk aficionados.
Review: the return of Eric Boss (aka E Da Boss of The Pendletons and Myron & E) and Ishtar Peeler's Lucid Paradise flexing their falsetto fire over a swinging groove and brazen Hammond smashes while on side B we head to St. Petersburg for an incredible medley/b-boy homage from Russian troupe the Great Revivors. More organs and references than you can pull a powerhead at. Jam on it!
Review: The Stone LP is what really made Billy Green the artist that he is today. Starting off as a rhythm and blues guitar player back in the '60s, the cult movie saw him move onto more experimental territories, and enter the broad genre that is referred to as 'prog-rock'. This album is much more than that, however, and the opening track "Eco Blue / Toadstrip" is a clear signal of the madness and experimentation that's to quickly follow suit on the remainder of the LP. You have everything from fast percussion sequences, to gnarly guitar riffs, and distorted voices, all wrapped in an early, gritty electronic bed of sound. This one is clearly for the samplers, a diggers dream come true; and now available again in its original format. Recommended.
Stephen Colebrooke - "Stay Away From Music" (4:28)
Andre Marie Tala - "Sweet Dole" (4:32)
Tyna Onwudiwe - "Lite Low" (4:04)
Rebles - "Sweetest Taboo" (Soca version) (3:26)
Ricardo Marrero & The Group - "And We'll Make Love" (2:31)
Koko Ateba - "Si T'es Mal Dans Ta Peau" (4:03)
Sookie - "Tonight" (feat Jeannine Otis) (4:58)
Raphael Toine - "Femmes Pays Douces" (5:40)
Eboni Band - "Desire" (5:09)
Robert J Riggins - "I Need You Now" (4:06)
Salero - "Teardrops & Wine" (3:07)
Momo Joseph - "War For Ground" (4:13)
Claude Genteuil - "Dreams Of Love" (3:00)
Gatot Soedarto - "Sayangilah Daku Kasih" (1:46)
Synchro Rhythmic Eclectic Language - "Pasto" (5:51)
Review: Since the Beach Diggin' compilation series launched a few years back, a number of its obscure, Balearic-minded selections have been given full length reissues of their own. We can probably expect a number of the tracks from this brilliant fifth volume to get the same treatment. As usual, the wide-ranging track list is thick with highlights, from the synth-heavy, French language reggae of Raphael Toine's 1986 bubbler "Femmes Pays Douces" (taken from the artist's frustratingly hard to find Ce Ta Ou album) and vibraphone-laden jazz-funk smoothness of Yasuko Agwa's sought-after "L.A Night", to the barely-known brilliance of Andre Maria Tole's Cameroonian gem "Sweet Dole". In other words, it's another essential selection.
Review: Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal was once described by Miles Davis as "the most impressive musician in the world"; high praise coming from someone of the jazz legend's abilities. Those unfamiliar with the work of "the Wizard" (a nickname earned thanks to a long, Gandalf-style beard) should check out this fantastic record, which presents for the first time a quartet of previously unreleased recordings from 1976. According to the accompanying notes, much of the material was improvised and barely altered after the recording session. Certainly, there's an attractive fluidity throughout and Pascoal and Grupo Vice Versa (his usual backing band) blur the boundaries between traditional Brazilian music, spiritual jazz, Azymuth style jazz-funk and more far-out, psychedelic flavours. 26-minute B-side "Casinha Pequenina" is particularly potent.