Jerker Kluge and Florian Riedl's Hi-Fly Orchestra have earned a strong reputation for all-acoustic jazz, Latin and samba based shows. Here on the Love EP they want to show their soft side, and so we get their own takes of four pop classics. Lenny Kravitz's debut "Let Love Rule" get given a fruity vintage soul makeover, "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye sounds like it was recorded in the 70s, "Purple Rain" by Prince appears to visit Herb Alpert on Ipanema beach in 1967 and lastly, Madonna's "Like A Virgin" becomes a brassy, swaggering lounge boogie.
The On U Sound affiliated Jeb Loy Nichols is an U.S. born songwriter, singer, musician and artist currently residing in Wales. His music merges elements of soul, folk, country, reggae and blues. His superb track "That's How We're Living" gets some wonderful remixes by a who's who of house music. There's so many highlights but if we had to pick just a few, our tips are: X-Press 2's "Vocal House Mix" where Nichol's smooth as silk vocals are accompanied by an emotive and smooth deep house groove. Also Chicago's finest; the freaky M.F. himself Mike Dunn delivers the wicked "Moreaboutmusic Mental mix" which sees the legend throw down a hi-tech soul rendition with its Aril Brikha style chords, 303 squeals and energised vibes.
Hailing from deepest Peckham, this cult leftfield soul artist has recently gained attention with a string of well received EPs and performances at the Jazz Cafe and Ronnie Scotts. Now he tops all that with an eponymous debut album that takes vintage, crackly 70s soul and funk as a starting point and incorporates every from freeform jazz to nu-soul and even the "slave island music of my father's heritage... Maloya, Sega, Nyabinghi". Highlights include the palm tree percussive breaks of "Drums Of The Positive", the semi-impromptu one take vocals of the low-slung funk jam "Hush" and the atonal distant grooves of "The Value". A unique talent.
In just a little bit of break from the norm, veteran producer Diesler recently departed his home stable Tru Thoughts and released his 5th long player, Sounds Familiar, on A Little Something Recordings instead. His nu-funk mojo remained intact though and the album boast 12 of his best. One of which was "Caught Counting", a bewitching tin-pot shuffle featuring the vocals of Lizzy parks and Azaxx. It now been highlighted as single material complete with a neat bonus mix too - a brassy, electro-swing style rework by Sam Redmore that comes in both full vocal and instrumental versions.
Hailing from San Francisco's Bay Area, The Seshen, are set to expand on their cult status with this, Flames & Figure, their much anticipated sophomore long player. Combining synthesizers, drum machines, live percussion and a deep soulfulness the band are complimented by star-in-the making frontwoman Lalin St. Juste's lyrical stream of consciousness. Featuring 13 tracks, the record is a grower that will attract an even bigger audience with the iconic video for the eponymous future-soul title track. So then, Flames & Figures, a significant step forward for a significant band.