Review: Eglo Records' 10th birthday celebrations are in full swing. They've already notched up a riotous birthday party that got rave reviews, and later in the year will release a brand new compilation of previously unheard treats. It's this collection that's being trailed here via Kieran "K15" Ifill's "Devotion", a dancefloor-focused chunk of soul-flecked broken beat that Ego co-founder Alexander Nut recently described as "music for the mind, body and soul". Over on the flip there's a vinyl-only exclusive in the shape of Ifill's remix of Patrick Gibin and Javonntte's recent jazz-funk fired soulful house workout "Cloud 9". Ifill opts for a heavy bruk-up flavour, wrapping soulful musical elements from the original around punchy, loose-limbed beats and speaker-bothering low-end pressure.
Review: Time for some Brazilian psychedelic boogie straight from 78. Erstwhile lead singer in Os Mutantes, with a personality thrice as big as the soaking wet bassline on "Agora E Moda", Rita Lee is no stranger to her motherland - even now. Flip for a huge soul injection courtesy of Pete Dunaway. Sounding English in every direction (from his name to his lyrics to the stunning, string-coated arrangement) he's actually Sao Paulo born and is a renowned multi-instrumentalist. Check this and you can tell in an instant. Stunning.
Review: E Da Boss (Myron & E/Pendletons) & Ishtar team up as 'Lucid Paradise' for their second release, produced by non other than Russia's finest, 'The Soul Surfers'. 'Tonight' is the accumulation of two Bay Area soul aficianados coming together to create a smooth & crisp, timeless yet modern cut. Written alongside UK's pioneering soul singer Gizelle Smith, 'Tonight' epitomises the talent of contemporary soul acts worldwide.
Review: Mukatsuku's long running "Afro Funk & Disco Gems" series has always been a reliable source of obscure, high-quality dancefloor material from the African continent. This tenth edition is another must-have - on the A-side you'll find the synth-laden, boogie-era sunshine of "Everybody Dance", one of the undisputed highlights of Peter Yamson's in-demand (and notably hard to find) "Son Of Africa" LP. With wonderful vocals, glistening guitars, lolloping drum machine beats and some stellar synth work, the track ticks all the right boxes. Over on the flip there's a chance to own Cameroon legend Tala Andre Marie's 1981 classic "Get Up Tchamassi", whose snaking sax lines, elastic slap bass and dreamy chords are nothing less than sensational.As played by The Allergies,Joe Claussell,Smoov,Kalita, Faze Action,DJ Moar etc
Painel De Controle - "Relax" (extended Waxist version) (5:54)
Rabo De Saia - "Ripa Na Xulipa" (Charles Maurice extended version) (5:28)
Famks - "Labirinto" (Nick The Record extended version) (6:17)
Review: France's Favorite label dabbles in all things funky and disco-flavoured, and this time they've decided to go with a Brazilian edge on their latest 12". Painel De Controle begins with a Waxist mix of "Relax", a chilled-out boogie monster with sultry vocals, while "Ripa Na Xulipa" by Rabo De Saia is more uplifting and heavy on the disco strings. Finally, Nick The Record rewires "Labirinto" by Famks into a subtly electro-fied boogie nugget. Nice!
Review: Given the vastness of his back catalogue, you'd think there would be plenty of re-issue-friendly gold buried in Eddie Palmieri's discography. "Spirit of Love", first released as a single in 1978, certainly ticks a lot of boxes: the spiraling, disco-era chunk of boogaloo/jazz-funk fusion remains popular on specialist dancefloors - especially jazz-dance ones - and original copies frequently change hands online for well over 50 quid. Like the original 7", this edition of the singles also comes backed with the sweaty Brazilian style jazz brilliance of "Lucumi, Macumba, Voodoo", which also happens to be the title track of the LP that "Spirit of Love" was plucked from.
Review: The latest essential missive on San Francisco-based Cumbia label Discos Mas comes from a previously unheard artist: confirmed vintage drum machine and fuzzy psych-guitar lover Pancrudo. The producer's vinyl debut, which has been pressed in limited numbers on gorgeous marbled vinyl, includes two impressively retro-futurist workouts. Check first languid and decidedly psychedelic A-side "Pulsatron", a hip-hop tempo kaleidoscopic dream that sounds like Harry Nillson after a few too many swigs of liquid acid and a fistful of hallucinatory chili peppers. Pancrudo returns to his cumbia roots on flipside "Maestro Del Kiosco", which wraps wonderfully fuzzy, boogaloo-era guitars round a shuffling rhythm track.
Review: It would be fair to say that Paris Holley is not one of the best-known purveyors of 1980s funk and soul, though the handful of releases he put out in the decade tend to be cherished by serious diggers and DJs. 1984 jam "I Choose You", which is here reissued for the first time since the '80s, is undoubtedly one of his standout moments. Hazy, super-sweet and laidback, the cut sees Holley adding his soulful, high octave tones to a blissful backing track rich in fluid piano lines, sun-kissed guitars and mazy synth lines. Arguably even better is synth-funk B-side "Punkin' Funkin", a fizzing workout that sounds like a more soulful, talkbox-free take on Zapp man Roger Troutman's trademark sound.
Review: Theo Parrish lays down a marker for a long overdue fifth album, apparently due out later this year, with the sublime Footwork 12". Named in reference to the dance as opposed to the breakneck offshoot of Ghetto House, "Footwork" is a sublime slab of Theo with many of his trademark production touches. Think lightly brushed percussion, meandering bassline that juts out with an odd funk, and subtle yet sumptuous musical touches, all topped off by a gruff "let me see your footwork baby" croon. Those Theo fans out there that like the man to get a bit rugged will be all over "Tympanic Warfare" too, where off the grid polyrhythms cannon around the channels, augmented by an ugly bassline and dexterous keys.
Review: Sound Signature's latest release is an all-star crew affair, with an impressive cast list of vocalists, musicians and producers joining main man Theo Parrish in the studio. He's at the controls on the sublime A-side mix, a jazzy affair where layered twinkling electric piano motifs, spacey chords, jazz-funk riffs and sumptuous deep house grooves combine on a fearlessly loose and organic dancefloor workout. On the flipside friend of the family Dego offers his interpretation, adding even more warmth and some tasty additional hand percussion parts whilst wisely utilizing most of the original version's intricate musical elements.
Paul Randolph, Kathy Kosins & Theo Parrish - "Be Like Me" (SS translation) (9:41)
John Douglas, Amp Fiddler, Ideeyah & Theo Parrish - "Leave The Funk To Us" (full mix) (6:37)
Review: Theo Parrish's "Gentrified Love" series hits its fourth instalment with two stunning extensions/takes. First up is a powerful expansion of "Leave The Funk To Us". First spotted on the second edition of the series, it's now full length with the golden touch of Amp Fiddler. "Be Like Me", meanwhile, takes Paul Randolph & Kathy Kosins' Brownswood Bubbler to a whole new cosmos with lavish twists and cleverly subverted layers. Yet another precision trip from Parrish.
Review: You'd be forgiven for not knowing "Breaking At The Party", the sole single release from NYC outfit Joey Pastrana & His Back of Tricks. It was originally released in 1984 on the short lived Tropic Of Buddha Records, a label dedicated to Latino takes on electro and disco. Such is the record's obscurity and cult status amongst collectors that you'll struggle to find original copies for sale for less than 500 quid. This City of Dreams reissue presents both of the original mixes ("Vocal" and dub style "Instrumental"), both of which fuse elements of boogie, electro and dub disco in a fabulously eccentric and wonderfully funky way. The synthesizer sounds, in particular, are superb.
Review: From humble beginnings, putting on parties in an Albanian dive bar in in the city's east end, Toronto's Patchouli Brothers have gone on to hit the big time - holding a residency at rotating disco The Piston called Beam Me Up. Their second 12" for UK label Basic Fingers features two cuts which capture the fervent energy of their popular shindig. On the first side we have "Shout On" which is a low slung funk jam that features a wicked horns section, groovy conga drums and a super sleazy vocal delivery. On the flip side we have the sun-kissed and life affirming soul power of "My Love", a respectful edit which will light up the dancefloor - just wait until that soaring church organ comes rushing in.
Review: Formidably hard to find in its original form, Patience Africa's "Wozani" has finally been given the reissue treatment by La Casa Tropical. Those lucky enough to own a copy of the 1987 release - the South African singer's final EP - will note that this edition omits some tracks, instead offering loud cuts of just two (admittedly superb) jams. A-side "Hide & Seek" is a perfect example of the then developing Kwaito sound, with Patience Africa's strong lead vocal and "bubblegum" style synthesizer melodies nestling atop New York freestyle influenced beats and a chunky bassline. "By Hook Or By Crook", meanwhile, is closer in sound and feel to straight-up "bubblegum" synth-pop, with sugary-sweet vocals, "Glam" style triple-time beats and a more swinging electronic bassline.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** 2019 marks 50 years since this timeless classic's original release. The Peddlers' "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever' is a sumptuous smooth jazz journey full of organ solos and deep vocal tones. The British soul/jazz trio is known for creating a unique melange of beat, jazz, cabaret, rock and soul that must be heard to be believed. Flip side "Comin' Home Baby" is like passing through a cloud composed of equal parts Tom Jones, Jimmy Smith, Georgie Fame, Mel Torme, Alan Hawkshaw and dozens of lesser jazz/lounge vibe-creators. Get this copy for a spine-tingling rush of harmony from the late sixties.
Review: Something a little bit different from London deep house/nu-disco specialists Wolf Music here. Portuguese producer Pedro teams up with Washington DC based vocalist Jenna Camille. Featuring influences from jazz though to soul, R'n'B and broken beat: as heard on the sexy late night mood lighting of "Float" which you can imagine hearing in the basement of a smoky jazz club, the super sultry "Keep It H 2000" or the funky beat beneath the smooth groove of "Future Dance" (It'll Be Ok). It might be from Porto by way of the American capital, but this really nails that UK kind of vibe in the vein of Kaidi Tatham, Mark De Clive Lowe or Atjazz.
Review: This special Record Stay Day reissue gathers together two of Philadelphia soul legend Teddy Pendergrass' finest dancefloor moments. Both are essential, making this a must-buy for disco DJs who've yet to acquire them. On the A-side you'll find "You Can't Hide From Yourself", a sumptuously orchestrated affair whose killer groove is matched in quality by Pendergrass' impassioned vocal (check the rasping freestyle vocalizations towards the end for proof). Equally as impressive is "The More I Get, The More I Want", an insatiably sexually charged affair that builds in intensity throughout and not only contains one of the funkiest basslines in disco history, but also some seriously addictive female backing vocals.
Review: E Da Boss and Trailer Limon, two of the US' most hyped boogie maestros, are back with a new EP for Brooklyn's Bastard Jazz Recordings, under The Pendletons moniker, and we have to say that it sounds like some pretty dope material from the get-go! The lead track "Funk Forever" is a downpour of funky pop vibes guided and charged by jazzy nuances, and the following "Don't Be Late" is a certified tune for the lovers. On the B-side, "Telling Lies" slows the tempo to a majestic r&b swing, filtered through fat boogie bass, while "Set Sail" features the vocals of Ishtar in what is a proper boogie slammer, and "In The Mood" is all about the slow, sensual sound of endless, blissful synths. Gorgeous.
Review: According to the unusual press release accompanying Safe Trip's latest release, Ben Penn's second EP for Young Marco's imprint was the result of vivid hallucinations brought on by the ingestion of an experimental drug provided by agents from a "shadowy" secret organization. "Not Very Important EP" is actually pretty darn trippy. Opener "Nix" is a gently psychedelic, delay-laden trip into outer space with just a clutch of synthesizers for company, while "Not Important" layers alien melody lines over polyrhythmic electro drums and rubbery synth-bass. Elsewhere, "Ben" is a trippy chunk of sleepy alien funk smothered in quirky synth samples and madcap electronics, while "People" is as warm, woozy and as loved-up as they come.
Review: Legendary, and hugely prolific, soulsmith and writer Dan Penn looks back over his last two albums and pick two of the most delicate, soul-stirring tracks. Taken from 2013's I Need A Holiday and 2016's Something About The Night respectively, "Blue In The Heart" is stripped right back to guitar, organs and Dan's rich voice (which hasn't faltered over seven decades in the game) while "Time To Get Over You" hits with more of a bluesy twang and a country influence on the backing harmonies. Raw, direct and guaranteed to get your skin in goosebumps. Just like every other record Dan's given the world.
Review: Way back in 1970, People In The News released their sole single on Knap Town, a tiny label based in Indiana. Original copies of that funk "45" are notoriously hard to find, thanks in no small part to the quality of both cuts. Step forward Athens Of The North boss Euan Fryer, who has secured the rights to reissue the single for the first time. A-side "Color Me" is the real bomb: a down-low chunk of mid-tempo funk with politically charged group vocals, rasping guitar licks and hip-hop style drum breaks. Over on side B, "Misty Shade Of Pink" is the kind of rock solid instrumental funk workout you'd expect to hear from the Meters.
Review: Imogen have stumbled across a rare gem here, presenting some previously unheard liquid funk jams from the lesser known Chicago pioneer James Perri. Some of his jams as Jimi Polo are perennial classics, while his time spent in Soul II Soul and elsewhere are testament to his gifts, but this particular set of recordings from the 90s have lain in wait for their time to shine. You can hear his skills as a session musician and arranger coming through in abundance on this warm, grooving, acid jazz inflected EP. "70s Theme" is a sparse, moody jazz funk cut, while "Brother Beware" is a smooth, sultry slice of message soul. "Express Yourself" is the truly uplifting slice of the pie, and it will chime just fine with any lovers of that classic Soul II Soul sound.
Review: Singer, songwriter and session vocalist for Motown and Chess, Jeff Perry spent the late 70s on his own solo adventure and "Call On Me" was one of his earliest endeavours. A fairly urgent torch song executed with few theatrics but rather layers of soft harmonies, a funk-riddled break and a dreamy middle eighth. Flip for the instrumental and you'll hear just how much power and emergency the Jeff's vocals provide now they're removed.