Featurecast has been dabbling in groove and funk for quite a while now. Matter of fact, in his own words he has been on a mission to "funk his way across the globe with his own brand of.. mid-tempo Breaks, Hip-Hop, Funk, D&B and downright dirty Bass together in his own remarkable way". The Shout It Out LP comes courtesy of the UK's funkiest dance label Jalapeno. Highlights include the hip-hop/heavy metal crossover of "Shout It Out" featuring Illvis Freshly's killer rhyming, the electro infused breaks of "No One Left" featuring Greg Blackman's soulful vocals and the funky block rocking beats of "What You Want" featuring the mad skills of Pugs Atomz, Wes Restless & Ill Legit.
Russia's DJ Vadim recently collaborated with leather lunged Ghanaian wailer Sena for the arresting joint album Grow Slow. Such was the impact of the record that we've had a follow-up remix collection and now this new collection of cuts that didn't' make the LP's final cut. The sassy, swaggering sci-fi RnB of "Little Lady" opens the record before we advance to the wistful floaty funk of "How Fast It Grows" and on to the Morcheeba-style clop-along of "Talk To Me Part 2" before we settle on Sam Redmore's beguiling dancehall rework of "Boneshaker".
Werkha's LP, Colours Of A Red Brick Raft, firmly put this Glaswegian producer on the map and now album track "City Shuffle" follows as a single. Boasting soulful breathy vocals by Bryony Jarman Pinto, the song features delicate jazzy guitar and gentle Sunday afternoon beats. Elsewhere General Judd remixes the tune into some pretty fine deep and techy house, Scratcha DVA turns "The Invincible" into a virtually beatless dubby menace, Tom Blip gives "Falling Through The Wall" a warm and sunkissed makeover and Contours wrap things up nicely with the nuanced percussion and soft piano chords on "A Revolution Blue".
Lack Of Afro has been pouring his shades of worldly funk and nu-soul across the Freestyle catalogue over the last few years, but this time it's his moment to shine with a brand-spanking, sparkly new LP for LOA, putting together everything he's known for under one gorgeous roof. Here, you have twelve scorching slices of upbeat lament, and from "Hello Baby" - a masterful stroke of sunny funk - to "Now I Feel Good", the artist manages to bring back the spirit of the 1970's into a new and contemporary light. Gliding piano keys, powerful vocals, and a kick-ass production surely make Lack Of Afro one of the kings of modern soul.
Nigeria's Owiny Sigoma Band have come through over the years thanks to Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label, and you really gotta give it to these guys - they know how to rock up the place with their country's rich funk and dance heritage. "(Nairobi) Too Hot" is a little stroke of genius amid our charts, a drum-centric groove that flows to perfection thanks to the help of the band's cautious vocal injections, and although this sounds vintage on the whole, there's plenty of fresh and contemporary sounds in there. DJ Khalab rewires the original into a house hybrid, a gnarly dance joint with a spiky bass and wicked Roland percussion bleeps.
Following the release of last year's Key Change album, veteran Canadian lo-fi artist Mocky now returns with the third instalment of his celebrated 'Moxtapes', the first of which arrived in 2013. There are seven short and sharp cuts on here and a remix too. Highlights include the Al Green-goes-neo-soul vibes of "Keep Feelin' This" (which features the additional talents of Jamie Lindell), the swoonsome piano lament "Surprise You With A Smile" and the completely warped funk of "Put It Away". Also worth mentioning is Mr Oizo's fantastically nasty slow electro rework of "Soulful Beat".
Spanish duo Beatspoke recently delivered their The Journey Is The Destination album, which continued to push their forward thinking 'future vintage soul' agenda. Now its opening track, the otherworldly soul-fi space ballad "Seed Of Doubt" is planted on its own as a bona fide single. The accompanying remixes add contrasting emotions to the tune, with Quiet Dawn delivering a euphorically naive childlike remake and Vin'S De Cuero opting for retro 90s big beats and nostalgic rave-era synth lines.
Italian duo Nu Guinea has previously proved adept at creating humid, sultry deep house and tropical-infused electronics. Here, they focus a little more on the latter with a concept album based around the distinctive Afrobeat rhythms of legendary drummer Tony Allen. With his blessing, and that of the Comet label on which he's been releasing since the 1980s, the Early Sounds Recordings pair has cut-up and re-constructed Allen's drums, combining them with their own steamy electronics, vintage synthesizer lines and classic drum machines. It's an intoxicating and hugely entertaining blend that sits somewhere between their previous outings, Danny Wolfers' material under the Nacho Patrol guise, and the dreamy late '80s/early '90s work of forgotten Italian producer Mr Marvin.