Review: Fancy a whirlwind trip around soul and funk's most evocative moments and talented individuals with sliver tongued tour guide whose prose flow like lyrical sweet nectar? Look. No. Further. Frequent Stevie Wonder collaborator, lyricist, radio show host (both in the US and in the UK on the BBC for spell in the 80s) and certified G, Gary's genius two-part homage to 60s/70s soul and funk is a genuine work of wonder. Essential.
Review: The latest artist to join Dinked's roster of soul and funk obsessives is DJ D.S.K, a China-based Brit who grew up cutting and scratching hip-hop and old funk breaks. The three tracks showcased here seem to be built around samples from tasty old funk bombs, from cut-up and rearranged breaks, to punchy horn lines and low-slung basslines. Lead cut "Lamine" is particularly potent, featuring as it does DJ-friendly drum breaks, jangling soul guitars, rubbery bass and a floor-friendly rhythm track. Flip for the looser, electric piano-heavy dancefloor strut of "Police Woman", and the dusty, head-nodding, trumpet-laden hip-hop bounce of "Kumming Beats" (and, yes, it's a sneaky cut-up of an old James Brown tune).
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.
Review: Washington's Fort Knox Five have literally always been doing their thang. The quartet is made up of Sid Barcelona, Jon Horvath, Rob Myers and Steve Raskin, a collaboration of musicians who have given us a wonderful selection of music across many a genre. They've almost always appeared on their of Fort Knox label, so this new single for the Dinked imprint feels like a welcomed change in their releasing pattern. It's a one-track situation here, but "Don't Go" is a funk bomb capable of deconstructing any dancefloor form here to Detroit, and Joe Quarteman's zesty vocals are immediately hummable. Check that instrumental cut, too - pure, break joy!
Review: When it comes to the very best in motown and vintage, Michigan-schooled soul, there are very few betteer than the late, great Erma Franklin. Here, we have what is possibly the artist's best and most powerful tune "Hold On, I'm Coming", one that you'll instantly recognise and warm to thanks to that lovely, powerful crescendo on the chorus. On the B-side, another absolutely timeless bomb, the wonderful "Light My Fire" - made famous through The Doors - in all its original glory and style. What a song.
Review: These two tracks were originally featured on Funky Bijou's 2014 album The Soundtrack, but arguably got a little overlooked first time round. That's certainly what the Dinked 45 crew thinks, because they've decided to release them on a 7" single for the very first time. A-side "What The World", featuring vocalist Mafe, is a fantastically vibrant chunk of summery funk complete with stabbing Hammond organ riffs, sun-kissed guitars and layered, Latin-inspired hand percussion. The duo's Latin influences are further explored on flipside "Por Favor", a kind of hybrid Cuban/Brazil affair that peppers a long-slung mambo groove with jaunty piano riffs, bustling bass and rising horns.
Review: Fresh from 72: Two enormously influential funk gems from Jimmy Castor bunch's debut album It's Just Begun: The heavily-sampled title track is a veritable racecourse of a groove, hurtling around with cyclical glee and hooky chanting vocals while "Troglodyte" is a playful observation on man's more basic wants and needs. Both have aged exceedingly well... As has almost all of Jimmy Castor's work.
Review: Serious funk fans should already know about the King Rooster, a four-piece revivalist heavy funk outfit that released a trio of killer 7" singles in 2017. The band's first outing of 2018 is every bit as essential as its predecessors, with both cuts offering an attractive blend of sweaty, doubles-friendly drum breaks, razor-sharp guitars and wild, Meters-style Hammond organ solos. Of the two, it's undoubtedly lead cut "Back Chattin" that's the heavier and most insatiable of the two, primarily thanks to some surf-influenced guitar riffs, heavy bass and just the right amount of organ solo action. That said, the Breakestra-esque B-side is pretty darn tidy, too.