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13 May 13
Review: Is it just us or are Basement Freaks albums getting funkier and funkier? As hinted with their Soul Digga EP last winter, the trio just keep getting more organic and authentic, this being their most engaging, juiciest funk LP to date. From the Alabama 3 meets the Daptones style "Gimme More" to the insanely authentic Parliament skit "Disco Boy" via the mild skank bounce, organ noodling and Troutman crooning on "Red Light Streets", this really is party dynamite. Basement Freaks are ruling the nu-funk scene right now.
20 May 13
Review: Time get out the 'shrooms out as Claremont 56's dancefloor offshoot Leng present this psychedelic DJ mix from Psychemagik. Yes these nu-disco freakazoids have been granted the right to take us on an hour-long journey that takes in their beloved afro-beat, disco, funk and psychedelia. High-lights of this trip include the flower power vibes of "Catching A Wave", the saucy Euro-funk of "Gozame Ya!" and the west coast Manilow-isms of ""House Of The Rock".
20 May 13
Review: Jerker Kluge and Florian Reidl's Hi Fly Orchestra first popped up in 2005, and ever since has quietly impressed with its breezy, occasionally summery takes on classic, swingtime-era jazz (and, on occasions, Latin jazz). This third full-length, their first since 2008, continues their explorations into Blue Note-inspired territory. There's enough variety to impress - contrast the sun-bright samba of "Sambinha" and baggy big band soul of "I Got Hop" with the intricate flutes of "Forro" and fluid "How Beautiful" - while the playing is, naturally, impeccable throughout. It's got an old-fashioned feel, all right, but that's the point; this is the sort of thing that will transport you back to a bygone age of jazz.
16 Apr 13
13 May 13
Played by: Trotter
Review: Hoorah! It's been a long time coming, but the album from this Canadian act is finally here. We got a taster for their new retro/contemporary jazzy sound with a single in August. The EP featured the breaks-driven "Soul Sugar", the 70s funk indebted "Driving To Montenegro" and the jazzier "Blow", all of which made it to the album. Now joining these tunes are the likes of the fretlessly rhythmic "Blues For BL", the crazy flute frenzy of "The Kelly Affair" and the gentle piano intricacies of "Snowfall".
15 Apr 13
Played by: Zamali, Juno Recommends Funk/Reissues, Basement Freaks, Cayetano, Leo Leonardi Aka Funky Brothers, Miles Reverse, Superpendejos
Review: Although hailing from Germany, DJ Umbo is now running his disco breaks empire from Croatia. Having developed a cult following with a series of remixes on labels like Goodgroove, now he appears to have settled with Greece's Timewarp. His latest release for the Hellenic funk crew features two tracks - the funky sax workout "Sunday Jam" and the urgent groove attack of "Keep That Beat On". Basement Freaks remix the former into a pulsating disco banger, while on the latter Caytaro deliver a sizzling live jam version.
18 Mar 13
Review: This might be the strangest release of classic Chicago label Trax yet! The clue's in the title - it's Daft Punk brassified. We get four classics by the world's most famous Gallic robot duo: "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" gets turned into a 1940s Dick Tracy-style riff-off with every form of trumpet imaginable, "Around The World" mixes wind instruments with that famous vocal mantra, "Da Funk" features plenty of sassy brass and "One More Time" wraps things up on a swingin', jazzy high.
20 May 13
12 Jun 12
Quantic & Nickodemus - "Mi Swing Es Tropical" (feat Tempo & The Candela Allstars - Zeb Afrorican remix) - (4:18) 100 BPM
17 May 13
16 May 12
26 Nov 12
Played by: Clairvo (Mustbeat), Voodoocuts, DJ Oli Garch, The Funk Hunters, Basement Freaks, Miles Reverse, Manjah, DJ Oli Garch
Review: The electro-swing bug has caught on in Greece judging by this fledgling Hellenic label's sixth release. Palov is a veteran DJ from Athens, and here he flexes his production muscles over four tracks. "Moving Next Door" takes an old Louis Prima-style trumpet sample and teases it out over four and a half minutes to great effect. "Bandido" is more upbeat and features sassy vocals from Monique Maion, "Captain Pandelis" displays a more hip-hop groove and features the voice of an old-skool crooner. Lastly "Waste Of The Time" manages to successfully fuse vintage swing band sounds with reggae!
17 May 13
Review: Having recently grabbed our attention with lead single "Pictures", this 26 year old producer now unveils his self-proclaimed 'psychedelic hip-hop' album aptly titled "The Trip". Aside from the single, there's a further 17 tracks on here brimming with strange sounds and ideas, from the Public Enemy-sampling "Once Again Back (Tune In)" to crackling 60s piano clips with hip-hop beats ("Psychedelic Club Scene") and the stoner DJ Shadow-isms of "Dexy Lovecraft" via hammonds and big beat ("Clouds of Zero"). Far out man!
25 Mar 13
Review: When Peggy Lee slinked around in the 50s to the sultry strains of "Fever", could she ever have imagined that half a century later, people like Romare would be turning her tune into a weed smokin', love makin' slo-mo RnB jam? Unlikely to say the least, but "Your Love (You Give Me Fever") is on the money and respectful, if different to the original's mood. Elsewhere, "Jimi & Faye" is a warped take on blues, "Taste Of Honey" recalls the days of daisy age hip-hop and "Hey Now" is a weary and haunting piano lament.
14 Mar 13
Played by: Spinforth, Roast Beatz, Voodoocuts, Mr Bird, Juno Recommends Brokenbeat/Nu Jazz, Leo Leonardi Aka Funky Brothers
Review: Mr Bird follows up his Bird Bird Bird album from last month with a fresh quad of nu-funk/hip-hop hybrids. "Monkey Funk" clicks some serious Cuban heels over an obese breakbeat, "Don't Say Nothing" gets all LL Cool J over an early Fatboy style guitar swing, "Glad To Be Free" goes on a more whimsical 60s jam with added flute and glockenspiel twists and "Ufo" sees Bird adding a deeper, more cosmic feather to his bow. Not a monkey in sight, but very very funky. The Bird is indeed the word.
13 May 08
Ray Barretto - "O Elefante" (SHH remix By Philip Cohan Solal (Gotan Project) & Haaksman) - (8:39) 113 BPM
15 Oct 12
Played by: Clairvo (Mustbeat), Timewarp, Straightoffthefloors.com, Los Charly's Orchestra, Andrew Allsgood (Free Association), Voodoocuts, Jayl Funk, Sard Boogie, Danny Massure, Hidden Riddim, Sol Power All-Stars, Venice Beach, Disco Tech, Juno Recommends Disco, Juno Recommends Brokenbeat/Nu Jazz, Juno Recommends Funk/Reissues, Killer Funk Records Usa, Alessandro Otiz, The Funk Hunters, Karim, Ez Icarus, Nick Bike, Dirty Mckenzie, Get Down Edits, Leo Leonardi Aka Funky Brothers, Mr Doris, Nu Disco Fever, Manjah
Review: For the uninitiated, The Gaff is a Canada-based DJ, producer and prodigious maker of "party breaks" - shorthand for re-edits and reworks that should appeal for those DJs for whom loose rhythms are of more interest than a straight 4/4 pulse. This first contribution to the digital-only Katakana Edits series is full of funk and soul-laden jams with heavy but snappy drums. There's a global feel, too, with excellent forays into afro-funk ("High Life") and Latin beats ("Mambo Number 5"). While all four tracks are carefully tuned to the needs of dancefloors, the afro-flecked disco-funk grooves of "Funny Saga" stands out.
04 Apr 13
Review: Believe it or not, but DJ Shotnez (aka Ori Kaplan) was a founding member of Gogol Bordello. Now he makes inspired fusion hip-hop featured here in four tracks with corresponding mixes. Highlights include the catchy and quirky "Hoje Festa", the gypsy beat of "Part Of The Glory (feat Balkan Beat Box)" and the feelgood cumbia (with a hint of Lambada?) of the Superpendejos mix.
25 Mar 13
Played by: Zamali
Review: Germany's Barely Breaking Even label are hard nosed veterans in the game of sourcing intriguing music from the most obscure global locations. Here we have the latest from African producer Boddhi Satva,"Ngnari Konon", which appears in its original melodic groove-based guise, as well in remixed form (15 in total!). Satva's main patron, house legend Louie Vega, provides four mixes, the best of which is his moody and evocative "Ritual II mix". Further highlights include the baile beats-laden Boddhi Ancestral Poetry mix and John Milan's understated honeycomb mix.
04 Feb 13
Played by: DJ Nova (Rodon Fm 95), DJ Drm (Bastard Jazz / Bstrd Boots), Voodoocuts, Hammond Classics, Juno Recommends Brokenbeat/Nu Jazz, Cayetano, Miles Reverse, Superpendejos
Review: For their latest release, Greek electro-swing label Carnibal don their best man from Del Monte hat and jet (well, use a propeller plane) over to Havana for some vintage Latino thrills. Here Carnibal regulars Palov and Panama Cardoon team up for the lazy, steel drums and trumpet romp of "Vamos", Moetrik conjures up the Three Amigos on the traditional sounding "El Carino!", it's a cumbia-samba hybrid on Hammond Classics' "Cumbiamba" and Senor Griff rounds things up with the more modern, cumbia/moobahton-style roller "Cerro Rico".
30 Nov 12
Played by: Clairvo (Mustbeat), Timewarp, Trotter, Jayl Funk, Sol Power All-Stars, Killer Funk Records Usa, The Funk Hunters, Ez Icarus, Tosses & Varvez, Manjah
Review: Fresh-faced funkateer Manjah steps up to the party-hardy Katakana series, and does so with distinction. It's a game of two halves as the first two cuts are dedicated to chanteuses Smokey Robinson and Donna Hightower. Both powered by swashbuckling 60s funk riffs, these are authentic edits done with true creativity. Later on in the EP we head West to the Caribbean as Manjah gets his skank on with Dancehall Queen. Those with a penchant for Greek taverna flavours should hold tight for the rustic groove on "Orienta Patria". Nice work.
06 May 13
Review: We've been waiting a LONG time for this one! Miguel Mantovani, Archerio Mantovani and Kengo San have been teasing and pleasing with their tongue-in-cheek funk on wax and on stage for years... We always knew when an album drops it would be big. And just look at the line-up - Kurtis Blow, Abdominal, Mica Paris, Tenor Fly, Omar, KT Tunstall are all collaborating across this 15 track funk explosion. With licks from James Brown endorsed CBs band and the perfect balance of tight riddims and humour, "Yo Bonita" rocks in every sense. Essential.
29 May 12
Quantic & Nickodemus - "Mi Swing Es Tropical" (feat Tempo & The Candela Allstars - Zeb reggae remix) - (4:14) 100 BPM
29 Apr 13
Review: A special dedication to his formative days praying at the good church of hip-hop, cutting and pasting in Sunday school, Venice Beach member Moar gets down and does the caterpillar. An eclectic ensemble of loops and compositions, this lick shots from Senor Coconut to Bambaataa and back again with its frenetic arrangement of swinging drums, cheeky samples and crafty editing. Highlights include the bongo and fuzz box fusion of "2 vs 2" and low-swung bass shuffle and swing of "Bump On". Moar please!
PL - 7008D
06 Apr 13
Review: DJ Day (aka Damien Beebe) is lucky enough to hail from the eternally sunny and glamorous town of Palm Springs. He is also lucky enough to have sustained a DJ career spanning almost 20 years (long before the Stateside EDM phenomenon). Here we get a deluxe edition of his recent career retrospective "The Day Before" which serves as a good introduction to his new artist album Land Of 1000 Chances. Highlights of this record however, include the dreamy, breaks-led retro soul of "Four Hills", the Kraftwerk and other classics-referencing "What Planet What Station" and the golden funk of "Gone Bad".
17 May 13
08 Nov 10
22 Oct 12
The Quantic Soul Orchestra - "Take Your Time, Change Your Mind" (feat Alice Russell) - (6:45) 74 BPM
Played by: DJ Drm (Bastard Jazz / Bstrd Boots), Mr Chombee, Juno Recommends Hip Hop/R&b, Killer Funk Records Usa, The Funk Hunters, Barrio Jazz Gang, Mr Doris, Double Yellow, Superpendejos
Review: Tru Thoughts have been around since the late 90s, championing all things modern with a soul, jazz and funk edge. Now their A&R dude Robert Luis has decided to compile their best disco-style releases, and why not? The Quantic Soul Orchestra's "Pushin On" is cinematic foot music built around an infectious loop, Zed Bias revisits 1980s Minneapolis with the help of Toddla T on the downright nasty groove of "Koolade", Bonobo remixes Nostalgia 77's "Quiet Dawn" in a downtempo jazzy style, Hint's "Aliens Enter" is as close you can get to 80s synth-soul without a time machine and Natural Self's "In The Morning" is a killer, off kilter jazz-meets-funk-and-dubby-house oddity.
22 Mar 13
05 Nov 12
Review: Portland-based beatmaker AfroQBen (geddit?) modestly describes himself as "the funk master" and "a prolific producer in perpetual audio-visual motion". While that may be a little over the top, he's certainly delivered a solid debut album for perennial funksters Timewarp. As is his style, Liquid Gold offers sturdy, floor-friendly hip-hop jams in a variety of rudeboy styles. So, there are forays into afro-cuban funk-hop, dubstep and reggae, alongside a pleasing array of uptempo funk and soul jams. There's nothing particularly new about any of this, of course, but it's such a fun and well made album that it would be churlish to be too critical.
12 Nov 08
Kneeling Lee, Mary Lee, Terry Callier & Tom Findlay - "Just My Imagination" (Love To Love You mix) - (5:14) 103 BPM
20 Mar 12
19 Aug 11
Played by: Juno Recommends Brokenbeat/Nu Jazz
Review: Compiled by German label ChinChin, this second volume of their "Night Over Rio" series is a wonderful mix of exotica and jazz, led off by an essential new remix of The Andrew Sisters' classic calypso tune "Rum & Coca Cola" by JoJo Effect. More samba/tropicalia influences emerge on songs like Bebo Best & The Super Lounge Orchestra's "Oh Jeje" or "Sousalicious" by Tape Five, while JoJo Effect strikes again with a breezy mix of exotica legend Les Baxter's "Taboo".
22 Mar 13
Played by: The Funk Hunters
Review: Etage Noir label-boss. Austrian musician Parov Stelar is back as part of a duo and has a new sound to boot. Maybe it was the influence of his recent albums that featured remixes of his work, but there's definitely a bigger electronic element than before. Highlights include the Herb Alpert goes to Ibiza-isms of "La Calatrava", the bonkers Daft Punk-goes electro-swing title track, the Dave Brubeck vibes of "Menage A Trois" and the glamorous bluesey-in-places, "At The Flamingo Bar".
10 May 12
Review: TMW warms up his edit mangler and sharpens his scalpels to go to work on a fabulously exotic set of rarities that swing through Balkan beat, Latin and indeed Swing on this invaluable five track Katakana Edits EP. The Eastern '60s pop of "Koulouri", the Northern Soul stomp of "Dr. Ray" and the electro-swing of "Ain'