Something tells us that this compilation isn't about smoking mere tobacco. Perhaps it's the green-eyed bad boy on the cover brandishing a suspiciously plump 'roll up'. Or maybe it's simply because of the hazy, lazy and groovy 70s vibes contained within. Robsoul Essential has managed to overcome the munchies, get off the couch and actually find nine expert reworks of old disco joints. Highlights include the bleary eyed, organic hip-hop beats of "This Is What It Is" by Homequest, the deep, heady loops of "Six Flags" by Chris Carrier and the bonged-out neo-soul of "Mondae".
Mercury Prize-nominated act, The Invisible, recently dropped their acclaimed LP, Patience. The album offered a glimpse into their more uplifting side and featured a host of collaborators. Here we get a remix EP of certain album tracks with "Love Me Again (feat Anna Calvi)" appearing twice - first as a loose and swaggering form in the "Chaos In The CBD remix" and again as a bleepy cosmic opus in the Chris FYI mix. "The Darkstar remix of "So Well" is infectious leftfield synth-funk and lastly Conan Moccasin hook-up "K Town Sunset" becomes a dreamy, distant analogue white-out in the "Tee Mango Summer Daze Revision".
Here we have two of Bulgaria's leading talents, Boyan and Ruth Koleva, joining forces for the four track Wake Up EP. Billed as sublime electronic soul Bare Breaking Even is very excited about this new coup, and once heard, you will too. The latter's silky vocals and the former's warm instrumentation blend extremely well; "Love Me" is a seductive slice of slo-mo, neo-soul, with heavily layered vocals, "Fade Away" fuses swelling widescreen orchestration and bluesy, stop-start RnB, and "Phoenix" adopts a clubbier stance. Last but not least, the title track includes gentle jazz chords, trip-hop beats and electro-funk bass. Smooth!
From modest beginnings in Scotland, LuckyMe now operate out of London and New York City. Besides releasing records, they also manage a number of artists and run LuckyMe Studio - a film production company and agency for select clients, in music and fashion. A staple of the label for many years now, Cid Rim is back with another standout EP. The Viennese beatsmith serves up "Four-Eighteen", featuring fellow Austrians Dorian Concept & The Clonious. It's a serving of chilled yet riveting future beat experimentation, contrasted by some smooth jazzy elements for added measure.