Review: More quality grooves from Washington DC label specializing in reissuing obscure and unknown 70s and 80s dance music. This time around is Dreamcast who are Davon Bryant in conjunction with Swedish guy Sasac aka King Al. "Liquid Deep" is sexy late night deep funk the way it was always intended and Bryant's smooth as silk vocals are just like... Wow! So with Dreamcast on the vocals and Sasac on the beat, we are hoping there's more things on the way from this trans coastal duo in 2017.
Marvin Gaye - "This Love Starved Heart Of Mine (It's Killing Me)" (2:44)
Shorty Long - "Don't Mess With My Weekend" (2:29)
Review: Each release in Deptford Northern Soul Club's multi-artist single series, which gathers together Northern Soul scene classics and offers them up in freshly re-mastered form, has been nothing less than essential. Predictably, the label's latest seven-inch is another doozy. On the A-side you'll find one of the rarest cuts in Marvin Gaye's vast catalogue - 1967 stomper "This Love Starved Heart of Mine (Is Killing Me)", which was for some reason pressed in extremely limited quantities first time around. Over on the flip the Deptford boys and girls serve up Shorty Long's "Don't Mess With My Weekend", an insatiably funky Northern Soul scene anthem that Motown only ever released in Australia.
Review: Two crucial moments from Gil Scott Heron's immense repertoire; "When You Are Who You Are" takes the lead. Taken from his 1971 album Pieces Of A Man, it's a straight up homage to clarity and honesty told in the context that only Gil knew best. Flip for a very special alternative take of "Free Will". The title track of his following album, released a year later in 1972, the variations of this take (which has never been released on vinyl before) are subtle but strong enough to justify it a place in your collection.
Review: Only 300 copies pressed of this classic Gil Scott-Heron heavy double sider on a limited dinked 45. "It's Your World" is Gil Scott - may he rest in peace - at his funkiest best with an upfront vocal over a driving sax and rhodes- those of you who have seen one or two Gilles Peterson's DJ sets down the years will remember this fondly. "Winter In America" showcases Gil's legendary poetic prose in a meandering, melancholic manner offset by rhodes and flute. Essential.
Woman Of The Ghetto (Akshin Alizadeh remix) (5:05)
Woman Of The Ghetto (Akshin Alizadeh instrumental mix) (5:04)
Review: Put your hands together... Serial editor Akshin Alizadeh takes Marlena Shaw's iconic heavily-referenced sample (from the live recording of "Woman Of The Ghetto") and lays it softly over a breath-taking lounge-lurking jazz funk groove. All lavish strings, hazy horns, wandering keys and lazy smoky beats, think Nightmares On Wax and you're on the right Balearic boulevard. Get together.
Emilia Sisco - "Don't Believe You Like That" (with Cold Diamond & Mink) (4:47)
Cold Diamond & Mink - "Don't Believe You Like That" (instrumental) (4:45)
Review: Timmion house band Cold Diamond & Mink have provided stellar backing for all manner of artists over the years, including vocal combo Thee Baby Cuffs, funk veteran Willie West and, most recently, sometime soulful house singer Carlton Jumel Smith. They're at it again here, this time providing the musical foundation for debutant Emilia Sisco. Her vocals - sweet, occasionally strong, always passionate - take center stage on "Don't Believe You Like That", a Dap Kings style revivalist heartfelt and emotional soul number. Turn to the flip to revel in Cold Diamond & Mink's simple, effective and dustily produced backing track, which remains the beating heart of the whole shebang.
Review: Skull Snaps are one of those cult groups from the heyday of funk and soul who have slowly bubbled away under the surface, getting due props from those in the know for one seminal LP, which came out in 1973. 43 years on, and the New York group are dropping a 7" on Six Nine Records with two tracks not found on that self-titled LP. "That's The Way I Feel About You" is a powerful boogie-soul number originally penned by Bobby Womack, Joe Hicks and John Grisby. The party jam is on the flip though, a Skull Snaps original entitled "Action" with a raw punch that should get the heads as hyped as the groove hounds when it drops in the dance.
Review: Anticipation for the northern duo's fifth album Mount Pleasant continues to rise as the Jalapeno funksters drop another cheeky doublet ahead of the release. Two sides, two very distinct vibes: "I Feel Alive" tips a wee nod at their label mates Kraak & Smaak with its fluttering space disco elements and hip-strutting beats while "Mr Hyde" takes us up a notch with a sweaty northern soul twist. Bring on the album.
Review: If you've yet to investigate the Soul Tune Allstars fine debut album, "Introducing The Soul Tune Allstars", then this taster single should be essential listening. A-side "World" is an absolute treat; a rich, undulating, retro-futurist turnoff-the-80s style soul cut full of jammed-out Hammond organ licks, punchy horn lines and effortlessly soulful vocal courtesy of former reggae singer and Freddie Cruger collaborator Desmond Foster. The similarly soulful Anna Thiam handles vocal duties on flipside cut "Natural Feeling", a particularly sweet, sunny and laidback song that sits somewhere between classic soul, jazz-funk and more contemporary cuts.
Review: Spirit's impossible-to-find 1979 debut album "Put Your Hands Together" has long been a favourite of those dusty-fingered crate diggers who love gospel soul, funk and disco. Here Rain & Shine offer a chance to own the album's standout moment, 12 minute opener "Spirit", for a fraction of the cost of the album. It's an absolute stunner - a busy, energetic gospel-soul/gospel-disco hybrid that simply increases in intensity throughout (with no small thanks to some killer organ solos). Turn to the flip and you'll find the added bonus of Phil Asher and The Mighty Zaf's punchy re-edit, which not only re-arranges the track for maximum dancefloor impact, but also plays around with the EQs to produce a weightier low-end sound.