The clue's in the title - Essential Selection. Tru Funk's repertoire is so large it now stretches all the way to the sun and back, but this is the label at their most selective, digging deep into their two year history for the very best party gems. Highlights across the 20 track compendium include the psychedelic twangs and infectious hooks of "Mambo No 14", the squishy early-Plump DJs style funk of "Funky Ass Beat" and BMD's ace version of Jamie Lidell's "Little Bit Of Feelgood". No party will be complete without this collection; dancefloor shenanigans guaranteed.
The Artist Series Volume 1 sees Actual Sounds gather together a bunch of their artists to provide an expansive selection of bootleg breaks, ghetto funk and jungle reworks of tracks from well-known artists, namely Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, The Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill. While there's a certain drunken office Christmas party silliness to the Fab Four reworks, the more hip-hop inclined reworks are much more successful. There are plenty of confirmed party-starters, from the synth-heavy P-funk breaks of Funky Wah Wah's "Beastie Noise (That's Resin Funk)", to Big Bang Breaks' multiple reworks of "Insane In The Brain" (the first of which, a straight-up party hip-hop take, is the bomb).
The Captain aka Fab Samperi is one of the hottest names in Ghetto Funk right now. What's ghetto funk? Take one listen to these funky as f*** tracks and you won't be stood there all gormless for long. With the help of Italian producers PhonoMatt & Tommyboy for something a little more D&B than your average wobble forays. Snapping jungle breaks and ragga sounds into place over funky bass, it's a naughty little splash of sunshine. With a heavy moombahton remix from BadboE rounding off the proceedings, even if you weren't sure how to classify it, we bet you were dancing.
Sometimes a record's title simply nails the vibe contained within. Bournemouth's Cockney Nutjob's failsafe formula of mixing hip-hop samples with funky breakbeats hasn't failed yet. Here "Get On Up Ya Feet" is a rousing House Of Pain-style jam with a little Rasta magic sprinkled on top. Meanwhile "Watch This" is all about an electro-funk stomp with hand-in-the-air chant samples. Boom!
The Riddim Fruit imprint has been known to successfully merge the remnants of dubstep together with more classic and established dance styles. Their latest signing, Skeptix, certainly doesn't disappoint and provides yet another sublime little EP for the label, featuring their usual hybrid flex. "Nanotech" literally sounds like a dubstep track that's been slowed down a fused with a 4/4 beat, while organic really cranks up the cogs and churns out a beauty of a track - grime, techno, house and bassline all combine. Check "Organic" and "Peng Navis" featuring Dephicit for some more dopeness from Skeptix, our new badman!
Max Sedgley dons his Cadien hat once again. Following up the summer-sizzler "A Million Little Pieces", this very delightful couplet surges us right back to the mid noughties on a pair of contemporary disco roller skates. "Miracles" takes the emphatic chorus of the Jackson Sisters classic and fuses it with the equally distinctive rhymes of MC Duke. Beneath you'll find a lush organic organ and drum groove that's not dissimilar to Max's "Happy" with added Mason-style electro twists on the bass. There's nothing not to like about this! Elsewhere we find Cadien himself taking to the mic, spitting a party rap over a wobbly, squidgy bass. Infectious and nagging, this will command some very silly moves on the floor.
Genre-hopping from hardcore, drum & bass and house, Whistla has spent some time describing all the many ways in which he loves dance music. Perfecting his four to the floor Garage sound in "Love is You (Love Issue)" he fuzzes through wobbling bass and sharp-suited synths, making sure there's no way any dancefloor could resist. Meanwhile "Crazy Delight" is a breakbeat love affair, bringing back the '90s in an almost emotionally nostalgic way, pushing a bumping bassline with retro synths like woah. Excellent work. Go get it.
Nirvana seem to have avoided the all-consuming bootleg machine. With the exception of a few rubs of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" they've remained relatively untouched - until now. The clue's in the nom-de-plume: the unidentifiable K Kobain takes "Drain You", twists Cobain's sermon into a heart-shaped sine wave and fuses it with walloping, industrial strength breakbeats, cheeky LFO-style bleeps and snappy, snarling grater-bass. With serious attention paid to the razor-riddim, this certainly isn't your standard 'cut n shut' style bootleg. There's even an instrumental to show just how heavy the groove is. Exceptional.
Music is rife with repetition. It thrives off it, from sampling to homages to pastiche. But we guarantee you have never heard anything like this. It's Shakespeare's Othello told in a UK hip-hop narrative. No, really. What's more, it genuinely works; while charged at rate of verbal knots, bardman Charlie D's lyrical approach is clear and emphatic, enveloping you into the tragic tale with true storyteller skills. The beats, meanwhile, flicker and faze with the right balance of poignancy and bass. Genuinely unique.