Review: As the title suggests, there's an undeniably humid, sun-kissed and tropical feel to Act of Sedition's latest double-dose of seven-inch re-edits. Accedo Domingo lives up to his name by adding squelchy TB-303 lines and relaxed house beats to a stirring Cape Verde dancefloor jam on "Corre Riba", before Those Guys From Athens deliver a chunky, house-style revision of a turn-of-the-80s MPB classic ("No Bola"). Over on the second "45", DJ Laurel tools up an undeniably funky disco number (the stellar "Peanut Man") before Monsieur Von Pratt makes an already heavy disco-funk number even weightier ("Lose Your Mind").
Review: German-Ghanaian group the Polyversal Souls have previously collaborated with a number of bands and solo artists from West Africa, so this hook-up with Northern Ghanaian outfit the Bolga All Stars - a collective made up of leading local kologo and frafra-gospel singers and musicians - should not come as much of a surprise. Separated into two parts for the seven-inch release, the track blends the Polyversal Souls' lolloping, late '60s style Afro-funk grooves - complete with fuzzy, period style production - and sharp horn section with glistening guitars, snaking solos and fine vocals from the Bolga All Stars. It's one of the Polyversal Souls' finest releases yet, and that's saying something.
Review: When it comes to delivering party-starting funk and soul 45s, Jorun Bombay has an impressive track record. His latest seven-inch is rather fine, too. On the A-side he joins forces with a trio of musicians to offer up "Peas In An Alternate Universe": a riff on JBs classic "Pass The Peas" that layers extended organ and trombone solos over a groove dominated by crunchy breakbeats and virtuoso bass guitar. Flipside "Mister Magic" is a deeper, warmer and more laidback affair, with tidy electric piano parts, toe-tapping drums, occasional string-laden disco samples and warm bass being joined by a simply wonderful new vibraphone solo.
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.
James Brown - "Funky President" (extended breaks special edition) (4:25)
The Vibrettes - "Humpty Dump" (part 1 - extended breaks special edition) (3:16)
Review: New 7" label Beats & Breaks present "Funky President" which is a funk song originally released as a single in 1974, by the hardest working man in show business at the time - the Godfather of Soul - James Brown. It appeared on his 4nd (!) album entitled 'Reality' released that same year. According to Brown, the song's title referred to U.S. President Gerald Ford - who succeeded Richard Nixon in the White House shortly before it was recorded. It is one of Brown's most frequently sampled recordings. The rhythmic portions of the song have been used on dozens of hip hop tracks. On the flip, The Vibrettes' "Humpty Dump" is another killer funk number that was recorded by one Roscoe Porter and originally released by Lujon back in 1973. The sample source for many a respected beat by such legends as J. Dilla, Four Tet, 2 Bad Mice and even Aphex Twin.
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: A lovely new 45 from Detroit funk/hip-hop label Funk Night Records .Rickey Calloway started his music career at the tender age of 13, clowning around in rest periods doing James Brown imitations. It's with the spirit of Brown's backing band The JB's that the Daptone label's house band, The Dap Kings, turn Rickey's vocal track original into a groove led funk set of instrumentals. This version is heavy on the guitar licks with smatterings of bongo percussion, smouldering Hammond organ and punchy brass stabs without the confines of vocals. Highly recommended.
The Poindexter Brothers - "What I Did In The Streets (I Should Have Done At Home)" (3:17)
Review: Soul Junction's latest release brings together two sought-after heavy soul cuts from the studio of the Poindexter Brothers: their own 1969 heater "What I Did In The Street (I Should Have Done At Home)" - a sweet, Vibraphone-sporting slab of rasping, full-throated, horn-heavy sixties soul just dripping with emotion - and a killer cut they produced a year earlier for singer Vivian Copeland. You'll find that song, "Chaos In My Heart", on the A-side. Originally released on Bell, it's an attractive and additive mid-tempo number in which Copeland's fine vocals come supported by low-register horns, shuffling soul grooves and some suitably heavenly backing vocals.
Review: DJ DSK has released some heavyweight seven-inch singles over the years, with his 2016 45 "Laminate" - an original slab of funk made in cahoots with the previously unheralded "Lost Soul Collective". Here he gathers together the band once more for a follow-up four years in the making. "Lost Soul" is a two-part affair in keeping with the funk tradition. The A-side is an infectious vocal number that sits somewhere between Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the more psychedelic flavour associated with turn-of-the-70s San Francisco soul. As you'd expect, the flipside "Part 2" version strips out most of the vocals to allow the band's warm and heady instrumentation room to breathe.
James Brown & The Crooklyn Dodgers - "More Sex Cream" (Crooklyn Style) (3:44)
James Brown - "More Sex Cream" (instrumental mix) (3:44)
Review: Earlier this summer, mash-up maestro DJ Soopasoul raised our temperatures by layering Wu-Tang Clan vocals over a chunky, funk-fuelled backing track crafted from snippets of James Brown jams. He called it "Sex Cream", and now he's back with more sickly-sweet goodness based around the down-low greatness of the Godfather of Soul. A-side "More Sex Cream (Crooklyn Style)" delivers a similar-sounding JB-inspired beat, this time peppered with rhymes from "Crooklyn". It works wonderfully, of course, as does the flipside instrumental version. Bare party-starting fun for funk-loving hip-hop heads!
Ella Fitzgerald - "Get Ready" (Soul Flip edit) (3:53)
Tammi Terrell - "Two Can Have A Party" (Soul Flip edit) (3:44)
Review: The Soul Flip crew are back to rework and carefully tweak more classic cuts to get those dance floors in a spin. This time they turn their attention to the evergreen classic "Get Ready" from jazz great Ella Fitzgerald. The already student and empowering single is beefed up with drums that have extra kick, crisp hits and fills and string stabs that are as bright as the sun. Things get a little more soulful and sun kissed with Tammi Terrell - "Two Can Have A Party" and its hip swinging finger clicks and gorgeously soaring strings.
Review: Finnish revivalist funk combo the Soul Investigators are no strangers to collaboration, having previously provided backing for Nicole Willis, Myron and Ernie Hawks. Here, they once again join forces with the latter for two more chunks of instrumental funk and soul goodness. A-side "Scorpio Walk" is the kind of cut that should come with its own named dance; a shuffling, mid-tempo funk affair that layers Spaghetti Western guitar solos and fluttering flute lines over a backing track rich in flanged guitar licks, bustling bass guitar and on-point drum breaks. Flipside "Message of Love" is an altogether deeper and more dewy-eyed affair, with woozy backing vocals and electric piano solos rising above a shuffling groove.
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.
Review: Following their surprise reunion and Strut-release album We Be All Africans last year, Idris and The Pyramids return... This time on Max Weissenfeldt's Philophon imprint. Laying down a spiritual arrangement so frenetic and full of its own life it takes up two parts, Idris's sax plays duet with Philophon's own vocalist Guy One. Gutsy, raw and full of surprises, it's another out-of-body experience from the longstanding jazz troupe.
Review: Henry Stone's cult Cat label did some serious work carrying funk, soul and more from it's homebase in Miami throughout the 70s. There were bigger artists like Gwen McRae on the label, but also plenty of space for some short lived and distinctly DIY outfits like James Knight & The Butlers. Their run was right around the start of Cat in 1971, yielding an album and a clutch of singles, the last of which came out in 1972. "Save Me" is more than deserving of a new pressing - it's an instantly addictive, psych-soaked joyful noise, recorded with an in-the-room rawness that only adds to the deft songwriting and accomplished players, making for an overdriven and utterly uplifting gem. Don't overlook the sly trippiness of instrumental track "El Chicken" too with it's smart reverse guitar effects in the breakdown.
Steve Monite - "Only You" (Frankie Francis Disco Jam edit) (7:55)
Tabu Ley Rochereau - "Hafi Deo" (Nick The Record & Dan Tyler re-edit dub) (10:15)
Review: Edits in the hole! Two Afrofunk gems enjoy floor-primed refocuses: Steve Monite's Doing It In Lagos-featured "Only You" gets a little juice from Sofrito's Frankie Francis who really brings the bass out in proceedings. Meanwhile on the B Nick The Record and Idjut Boy Dan Tyler tweak the energy and sheen of Tabu Ley Rochereau's "Hafi Disco" as the drums are given a little more momentum and the chorus and horns are really brought to the centre of the action. Stunning.
Frank Motley & The Hitchikers - "Mr Fortune" (feat The Mighty Pope) (2:43)
King Herbert & The Knights - "Sissy Strut" (3:43)
Review: Described by Austrian retroverted Record Shack as one of the funkiest pieces of wax to come off of Canadian label Heart back in 1970, "Mr Fortune" features ex-Jamaican talent Earle Heeedram aka 'The Mighty Pope' providing vocals alongside esteemed American trumpet player Frank Motley. With no industry or promotional support, the disc disappeared into obscurity, but has now become one of the most in demand 'northern funk' tunes on the rare soul scene and available here on a great sounding 45" reissue with original B side "I May Have Been A Fool" replaced by the obscure but infectious, groovy "Sissy Strut".
Turn This Thing Around (feat Sulene Fleming) (4:07)
Turn This Thing Around (Exclusive unreleased instrumental) (4:04)
Review: Killer modern day funk masterpiece first released almost 20 years ago by the legendary Leeds outfit led by guitarist Eddie Roberts and the first time ever on a handy 7 inch format.Still as fresh as ever fierce drum kit and twangy guitar with hammond organ stabs leads way to upfront vocals from Sulene Flemming who has worked with Bernard Purdie, Reuben Wilson, Brand New Heavies and Incognito etc. Originally released in 2001 it still sounds fresh as ever and this version comes backed with an exclusive unreleased tuff breaks heavy instrumental version. Hand-numbered to 500 copies and served in a Juno exclusive sleeve. Supported by DJ Koco from Japan ,Skeme Richards,The Allergies & Oliie Cheeba from The Herbalizer so far..
Review: Chalalala move on. Outta Sight continue their two sides / two legends Atlantic 45 series with this beautiful celebration of The Pointer Sisters and The Drifters. Neither act require an introduction. The famous Oakland all-girl troupe take the lead with "Send Him Back", their sophomore single (that regularly fetches upwards of L100 a copy) it's a bubblegum soul frenzy with all the energy you'd expect from their breakthrough years. The Drifters carries a similar sense of focus and energy with vibrant backing vocals and a sunny side soul touch that will have you bouncing from here to next winter.