Review: Stand by for the much anticipated follow up to the unreleased Ronn Colbert 7" on this label earlier in the year. "Just One Kiss Away" is an ultra rare soul stepper from 1981. It finds Ronn and Selah Colbert go up against one another, and both serve up super sultry, seductive vocals that tease and please. Add in steamy chords and soaring strings and you have one helluva smoocher. "Tell Me What I Wanna Hear" is another romantic to and fro between the pair, with a little more tension and build in the rhythm edition that adds an extra element of spice. Both are sure to become re-found classics.
Review: Izipho Soul recently described Frederick Davis as "one of Cleveland's hidden gems". This tasty seven-inch, which contains two tracks recorded way back in 1992 but never before issued, certainly backs up their assertion. A-side "Shoulder to Cry On" is something of a sparkling, late night synth-soul treat - a close-dancing slow jam that sees Davis's fine vocal rise above a backing track rich in chiming electronic melodies, post New Jack Swing R&B style beats and sensual saxophone solos. Flip for the similarly minded but arguably more elastic "Let Go", where the unheralded Cleveland singer whispers seductively over a killer synth bassline and more cascading '80s soul melodies.
Review: Clarence Mann is from Alabama. He was 14 years old when he completed his first recording with a high school choral group on RCA Records. After high school, he sang with various bands while attending college. In 1973, he released his first single entitled "Man's Temptation / Have Faith In Me" on T&M Records followed by "Please Accept My Love" and "You Met Your Match" respectively. After his solo career, he joined the group True Image as lead vocalist. Their recordings were released on a subsidiary of the famed TK Productions. The group continued with the independent Alabama label Juana Records when T.K. closed its doors. True Image released two singles in 1980. After these recordings Clarence Mann did several different versions of the song "Come What May". The original recording was recorded by John Gary Williams in 1973 and was released on Stax Records. Although Clarence Mann did several versions of it, only two of them with True Image have seen the spotlight.
Review: For their latest missive, British neo-soul duo Hil Street Soul have enlisted the production talents of New Jersey-based rising star Regi Myrix. The resultant collaboration, "In My Groove", is absolutely delicious: a deliciously sweet - and occasionally sleazy - late night love letter that sits somewhere between contemporary R&B and classic, horn-heavy '80s soul/jazz-funk fusion, all topped off with an inspired lead vocal. Nigel Lewis provides the flipside remix, cannily playing on the classic elements featured in the A-side original mix whilst adding some simmering strings and turn-of-the '80s musical touches of his own.
I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky (Fashion remix) (3:56)
Review: Legendary 70s funk band Ripple are back with two original members making new music again. Curtis "Kazoo" Reynolds & Keith "Doc" Samuels now go by the name of Ripple 2.20 and their first work is a new version of John Edwards' "Exercise My Love." It is a cover, but not as we usually know it - they lay down an incredible new vocal and play the parts with a real sense of sensuousness. On the flip is a new remix of some of Ripple's original material in the form of Fashion's take on "I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky", a raw, dirty, sleazy jam to get you in a sweat.
Review: First featured on Marc Staggers' 2011 album of the same name, "Key To My Heart" is a sumptuous R&B/modern soul slow jam that's as sweet, loved-up and huggable as they come. Here it gets a second life as disco remix legend Tom Moulton gives his twist on the track. His version is arguably even more polished and seductive, adding layers of luscious instrumentation while keeping Staggers' vocal centre stage. Over on side B you'll find the previously unreleased "Soft Words", another slick slow jam full of layered vocals, drowsy grooves and slinky saxophone solos.