This Is What You Are (feat The High Five Quintet - radio edit) (4:21)
This Is What You Are (The Brazilian Rime) (4:53)
Review: "This Is What You Are" is undoubtedly Mario Biondi's most celebrated work. He first sung it for original composers Was A Bee in 2004, before re-recording it for his debut album (alongside the High Five Quintet) in 2006. Since then it has been reissued or remixed on numerous occasions. Here it gets reissued on a tidy 7" single, with a punchy radio edit - a swinging, Sunday afternoon style chunk of Latin soul-jazz rich in jaunty grooves, soaring orchestration and smooth vocals - being joined by the "Brazilian Rime" rework. This tasty re-recording re-casts the song as a breezy, samba-fired slab of early 1970s style Brazilian MPB. It's an inspired interpretation and could well become the definitive version of the track.
Review: Although well known on the funk circuit for their incendiary live performances, the Soul Grenades have yet to translate their hard-hitting, horn-heavy sound to wax. It's for this reason that "A Blast Of Funk!", their debut single, has caused such a commotion. It boasts fresh recordings of two of the most popular cover versions in their armoury. The pick of the pair is undoubtedly their riotous rendition of "Get Lucky", which is re-imagined as a tasty funk-soul work out smothered in headline-grabbing, New Orleans style brass. That said, their version of "Louie Louie" is rather good, too, especially the addition of Meters style Hammond organ licks. As played by Craig Charles on BBC 6,The Allergies, Snowboy, Smoov,Boca 45 , Voodoo Cuts, Aldo Vanucci, Daytoner,Dom Servini, Jack & Wayne Hemingway. Don't sleep!
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
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.
Good Good Lovin' (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) (3:58)
Review: Recently, legendary American dance producer Arthur Baker discovered two tracks in his storage on 1/4" tape recorded in 1979. He asked Hifi Sean (aka Sean Dickson of The Soup Dragons) to rework them - who brought on board Riot Recordings boss Yam Who? and they quickly got to work resurrecting these soulful disco anthems. On the A side, we have the souled-up disco power of "Reachin'" featuring Minnie Gardner's powerful vocals, then get prepared to get down proper to the group vocals and epic brass section in the uplifting "Good Good Lovin'" (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) all accompanied by Baker's immaculate production style.
Review: Nyra continues to use his Canoe label as a vessel for his most personal creative impulses across the dance music spectrum. The ninth instalment on the label kicks off with the ravey flashes of "Make It" before swerving into the rugged, bassweight techno stomp of "Xecute." Edging in a little Italo sauce to meet with tough and gritty techno force, "Comet Commuter" is a clear highlight on the record, and then "Globe Gazer" seals the deal with an upfront charger carefully crafted for the peak time hour and carrying bountiful synth lines to lift the energy of the room skywards.
Review: The latest limited-edition salvo on Jazzman's contemporary jazz offshoot Jazz45 comes courtesy of Soren Skov Orbit, a Copenhagen-based outfit formed by saxophonist Soren Lyhne Skov and pianist Peder Vind. The two tracks stick closely to the project's founding principles of fusing global musical traditions with modal jazz. A-side "Orbit Bound", where hissing cymbals, hypnotizing piano motifs, plodding double bass and ear-catching saxophone solos cluster around a droning bass clarinet, is probably the pick of the pair, though the more straight-up, trad-jazz warmth of "NV" is also very enjoyable. As debut outings go, it's hugely impressive; here's hoping we hear more from Skov and Vind in the months and years ahead.
Review: One of Finnish funk imprint Timmion's most enduring stories; Pratt & Moody and Cold Diamond & Mink's 2017 "Lost Lost Lost" gets an update with Gerald McCauley. Not particularly known for his singing or songwriting (but very much active in other aspects of the industry) the original's raw blues struck a chord so strong in him, he put pen to paper and dulcets to tape to provide a new perspective on the track. The results speak for themselves. There's no wondering here... It's a full blown heartache conclusion.
Review: New York City-based trio Escort are back for the first time since their Animal Nature LP from 2015. Their new track "Slide" was co-written with NYC soul artist Denitia and drives you gently with this west coast influenced roller produced by Eugene Cho and Jkriv - and featuring Adeline's wonderful vocal delivery. We absolutely adored this slick and low slung boogie-down number. For something more uplifting (and with dancefloor dynamics) you can try the classic '70s disco explosion of "Ride" (feat Brian Jackson) on the flip, which calls to mind the classic vibe of masters like Salsoul, Moulton Studios et al.
Vincent Inc - "Rayskoye Mesto" (Vincent Floyd remix) (6:43)
Lola Allen & Vincent Inc - "Gonna Be Alright" (5:00)
Lola Allen & Vincent Inc - "NuDisco Book 1" (7:25)
Vincent Inc - "Time Machine" (Julian Sanza remix) (6:22)
Review: 14th Level Of Paradise come good with another stunning selection of high grade jams from core members of their crew. Vincent Floyd drops a remix of Vincent Inc that leans in heavy on a wistful early 90s sound that splits the difference between B12, Stasis and Larry Heard. Lola Allen and Vincent Inc's "Gonna Be Alright" takes things slower and spacier, while their "NuDisco Book 1" locks into a classic slice of disco funk to set the floor ablaze. Julian Sanza remixes Vincent Inc's "Time Machine" to close out the EP, taking a sophisticated, sweet natured approach to disco house.
Review: Vincent Floyd is the real deal - he was doing it back in the early 90s on labels as iconic as Dance Mania and Relief, and then after nearly 20 years of silence he came back into the mix around 2014. Since then he's landed on Rush Hour, Dawn Notes and Traxx Underground. This time around he's bringing the dopeness to Astrolife, laying down the understated but utterly engrossing deep house sound he's made his own since the early days on the brilliant "Time Machine". Then it's up to the remixers to do justice to the original - Lola Allen does the most striking job with her gorgeous ambient "Outro" version. Vincent Inc's take is a nifty, sample-juggling affair that manages to maintain the depth of the original, and the Kazarian remix whips up a shuffled groove and heavyweight bass that rocks it raw and righteous.
Review: Vincent Floyd's Dawn Notes label scores a big one here with a new release from the legendary Chicago house producer Wyndell Long. Long's legacy reaches back to the '90s when he landed himself a deal with Peacefrog Records, kick starting a prolific run through all kinds of labels from Fiji to Isophlux, Djax-Up-Beats and beyond. You can hear the experience woven into his productions, but they're far from throwback jack tracks. "A History Of Warmth" is a heady opener, all submerged bass and hazy pads. "Enter The Maze" is a little more forthright but still comfortably rocking in the deeper end of the house music pool, but then "LFO Reprise" flips the script on the B side with a pepped up set of box beats and nagging synth lines to make heads turn. "Smoke" rounds the EP out with dusty samples and streamlined rhythms - a functional, funky workout.
Review: Also known as Damaskin or Nino, Seraphim Rytm has been rolling through the underground for some time, shoring up at labels like New York Haunted, Silent Season and Batti Batti. Now the shadowy entity drifts onto the equally shadowy Alpengluhen label with the subliminal throb of Mount Sinai, a four part rumination that will plunge you deep down into the depths of techno meditation. "Part 1" is a sumptuous affair that places the undulating bass front and centre for a long, entrancing ride, while "Part 2" weaves delicate chiming tones and subtle percussive ripples into the mix with ample reverb dripping over everything. "Part 3" is where things really space out with a high frequency wall of sound that has a coruscating effect, and then "Part 4" plunges right back into the depths with a low end pulse and distant dread pads that will leave a distinct chill in the room.
Review: 2019 is proving to be a busy year for French deep techno producer Erell Ranson. With the Artificial Paradise 12" freshly dropped on Distant Worlds, he also steps up to Subconscious Algorithms to join Derek Carr and Norken in exploring genuinely interesting avenues of machine soul. There's an electro flavour to "Sensitive Person", and a subtle house pulse to "Who You Are & Who You Want To Be," while "Unthinkable Destiny" snaps with a sharply rendered rhythm underneath illustrious synth shapes. "Nothing To Do With Me" finishes the EP in a consistent style, making this a complete package with four refined jams for those who like their techno to hit in the solar plexus.
Review: Marquis Hawkes lands on Bassiani sister label Horoom and duly nods to the label's cultural context by interpreting different Georgian myths. Opener "Zeskneli" spreads out over 10 minutes on the A side, holding down a tight and punchy groove, weaving understated surges of melody and displaced diva vocal over the top for a thoroughly moody end result. "Ukana Skneli" has a very different flavour that melds slices of boogie with loopy techno and a rugged old school house grind to create a surprisingly cohesive flow considering the diverse ingredients. "Qvesnkneli" has a pronounced funk to it, using swing in a low key way to create a head-soaking romper of the highest order.
Review: Point B has a mighty fine discography behind him, although he's been a little quiet on the release front in the past five years. Rumour has it he's been busy with other projects, but his return to the club 12" format finds him in searing form. "Jack Knife" kicks proceedings off on a twitchy, electro-indebted tip, with deft splashes of IDM synths to match the beats. "Out Of Flavour" has a more manic feel, with some seriously warped lead tones to twist minds left right and centre. "Video Vault" drops the tempo a touch, but the feisty sound design and brooding atmospheres remain at the heart of the track. "Smash Hits" finishes the record off with a playful electro funk cut that wouldn't sound out of place alongside classic DMX Krew.
Review: Transparent Sound label boss Orson Bramley steps up to his long-standing imprint with a new guise, Empty Orchestra, which showcases yet more of his crafty, delicately executed take on electro. "Nervouse Smile" is an impeccable study of the style, loaded with intricate machine funk elements from twitchy drum programming to ethereal pads, and of course a healthy dose of funk for good measure. As well as the original version, there are additional remixes courtesy of rising stars Acidulant and Alero May, the latter of which has an especially infectious bassline ripple and some smart key change moments for a dynamic end result.
All The Way (feat Tyler Daley & Kaidi Tatham) (4:00)
All The Way (feat Tyler Daley & Kaidi Tatham - Flutestrumental) (3:59)
Review: A warm welcome back to the Darkhouse Family, Cardiff's finest purveyors of soul-fired instrumental hip-hop and jazz-funk flavoured broken beats. The good news is that "All The Way", which features the combined talents of guests Tyler Daley and Kaidi Tatham, is every bit as good as anything on their superb 2017 album "The Offering". The A-side original version, in particular, is superb - a languid chunk of head-nodding hip-hop soul rich in double bass, drowsy jazz horns, twinkling pianos and impassioned, emotive vocals. That said, the instrumental flipside revision, which includes extended flute solos where the vocals once say, is also impeccable.
Review: If you're a talented soul vocalist who wants an authentically fuzzy late 1960s sound, you could do worse than join forces with Timmion Records' in-house backing band, Cold Diamond & Mink. They're in fine form here providing admirable backing to rising star Carlton Jumel Smith. "Love Our Love Affair" is undeniably attractive, with Smith's confident and emotion-rich vocal rising above the band's hazy horns, languid trumpet solos, sun-bright guitar licks and lolloping, hip-hop style funk-soul beats. As is customary, the band's tidy instrumental version can be found - and enjoyed - on the flip.
Review: Earlier in the year, Kutiman took his brand of psychedelic fusion to Wah Wah 45s for the very first time. Here he returns home to Siyal Music with Turkish vocalist Melike Sahin in tow. "Sakla Beni" is wonderfully odd and exotic - a spaced-out psych-funk affair that wraps mazy, Moog style motifs, mind-altering orchestration and Sahin's wide-eyed vocal around a skewed, low-slung groove. It's brilliantly hallucinatory, as is the accompanying "Karaoke Version" - a superb instrumental take that allows listeners a chance to revel in the intricacy of Kutiman's arrangements. In this context, "Sakla Beni" sounds like it should be gracing the soundtrack of a particularly odd late 1960s Turkish film
Review: "Sweet Tea (With My Sweetie)" was originally destined for inclusion on Lucky Brown & The SG's 2018 album "Mesquite Suite", but for one reason or another ended up getting cut. Happily, Tramp Tapes has decided to make it available as a 7-inch single instead. As with previous Brown excursions, the title track sounds like it was recorded sometime in the late 1960s, with authentically fuzzy production, punchy horns, Meters style Hammond licks and sweet, eyes-closed guitar riffs riding a loose but punchy funk-soul groove. "More Sweet Tea" sees the assembled band offer up a jazzier, solo-heavy instrumental revision of the title track that's even dustier and heavier than the A-side.
Review: 2015, Kenneth Werner aka AS IF has released his first vinyl release with ROHS! - MOMENTS EP. This EP is a pure retro-futuristic Acid-Downtempo vision. Initially it was released on white label 7 inch vinyl of 50 ONLY limited copies. It has been reissued in 2019 with a totally new face/design and on 250 limited copies for the world. This is a pure gold futuristic gem on wax.
Review: When it comes to sunny, summer-fresh drum and bass, few producers are quite as capable as Spearhead Records supremo Steve "BCee" Jefroy. Further proof of his mastery of soulful-but-punchy D&B comes courtesy of Jefroy's fifth solo full-length, "Shouting About Nothing". Highlights come thick and fast, from the gentle pianos, rolling breaks and stunning vocals of "Sincerely Yours (feat. Leo Wood)" and the weighty low-end rumble of "All Fired Up", to the ruffneck early jungle/vintage D&B fusion of "For All Your Worth", cinematic drum and bass soul of "Wanderer" and the dub-wise, hot-stepping dancefloor skank of the title track "Shouting About Nothing".