Review: Long-serving Japanese band QASB tend to have two musical modes. Their releases are either sweet and soulful or funky and fulsome. This 7" definitely sits in the latter category. A-side "Get Down" is a cheery, up-tempo workout full of rising orchestration, bouncy disco-funk grooves, jazz-funk flourishes and a vocal from A Yu Mi urging us to shake our stuff on the floor. The party continues on the mostly instrumental flipside "Double Decker", a sumptuous, all-action affair full of sparring instrument solos, sweaty disco drum breaks and dreamy freestyle vocal improvisations. It reminded us a little of Pleasure's "Joyous", which is no bad thing.
Review: Japanese soul revivalists Q.A.S.B has been busy of late. This is their third single since July, a release rate that suggests their fourth full-length will soon be landing in stores. "Hold Me" sees them at their sunny, lazy and languid best, with A.Yu.Mi adding sultry vocals to a warm and groovy backing track rich in eyes-closed saxophone solos, clipped guitars and slowly rising horns. B-side "You Make Me Feel", an even more starry and sparkling cut with sweeter vocals and punchier horns, is almost as good as the A-side, especially when the jazzy electric piano solos drop in towards the end of the track. Proper "eyes-closed" material, all told.
Review: Having been a feature of Japan's revivalist funk scene since the mid-2000s, Q.A.S.B should be a familiar name to those who dig for dinked soul sevens. "Thinking of You" is their first single of 2017 and arrives a couple of months before the due date of the Q.A.S.B IV full-length. The title track, which resides on side A, is a superb piece of relaxed, summertime soul that increases in heaviness towards a sweltering, funk-fuelled conclusion. Turn to the flip for an alternative version in which male vocalist Hiro-A-Key joins the band's regular female singer to turn the track into a super-sweet duet rich in gently rising horns and sumptuous soul grooves.
Review: It's commonly known if you cut Will 'Quantic' Holland, he'd bleed in little Tru Thoughts logo-shaped droplets, such is the bond between the artist and label. The latest Quantic long-player for the South Coast label, A New Constellation, finds the Bogota-based musician leading a hand-picked selection of musicians called The Western Transient. Their focus? To realise a set of new compositions paying homage to the rich, lively and intimate quality of the classic soul and jazz recordings. That Holland should choose to follow his last LP, the explosive Magnetica, with 10 tracks of more traditional jazz and funk proves he's still not happy to stand still as Quantic despite having a hand in well over ten long players.