Having made his intentions more than clear with his "Back To Basics" release earlier this year, Parisian beat craftsman Around7 goes deep with his debut LP. The result is a smoky fusion of deft sample mastery, jazz-flecked soul and nonchalant b-boy cheekiness. Ranging from the stuttering beats and sexy vocal samples of "Dirty" to the sleazy, slippery double bass and trembling strings of "Old Days", the instrumentality, unpredictability and strong sense of groove comes on strong like a fusion of Dilla and Kidkanevil. Jump on theses now as any day soon an MC is going to come along and buy the lot...
They say it's only a matter of time before America eventually closes in on Cuba and renders it Disneyfied. Well, with that eventuality in mind, it's recommended you check out this record ASAP as a great reminder of the authentic sound of old Cuba. The Bahama Soul Club were spawned from the creative team around Oliver Belz and aims to creative 'a delicious clash of Soul, Jazz and Latin with a vintage feel'. Here, on their third studio album, they've gone and done it! Highlights include the sassy "Moaners", the lean, mean "Cuervo Gold" and the quirky "Broken Piano".
It's some eight years since electronic soul outfit Belleruche released their debut 7" on Hippoflex. Since then, they've become one of Tru Thoughts' most reliable acts, delivering a series of albums that join the dots between nu-jazz, funk, soul and wide-eyed downtempo beats. Here, Rob Luis' label celebrates their career to date, offering a warranted Best Of... that includes remastered versions of many of their greatest moments. Highlights are plentiful, from the string-laden soul shuffle of "3 Amp Fuse" and jazz-flecked bump of "Minor Swing", to the lo-fi soul-rock of "Stormbird" and the downtempo beats of "16 Minutes".
Veteran Ninja Tune artist Bonobo has been putting out seriously decent tunes pretty much since the birth of the highly regarded Late Night Tales compilation. It's amazing that they haven't crossed paths before, but with the release of this 33rd entry into the series, the time has finally come for Green to take us on his own nocturnal mission. This 21-track odyssey is seamlessly mixed but the unmixed tracks are also presented so we can enjoy highlights like the velvety soul of 'Didn't I", the hippy funk of "Flowers" and the distorted, fuzzy trap of "Gutter Glitter".
Uncanny Valley's resident beatsmith Cuthead delves even further into his love of low slung grooves with this fulsome album of soulful vignettes that make the perfect hip hop paced partner to the more housey output known on the label. It's not all slow-mo business as "Maputo Jam" attests with its peppy chops and swinging New Jersey funk, and in terms of sample-rich house loaded with imagination it's hard to picture anything sounding quite as heartfelt and captivating as this, but in the slower musings Cuthead shows off his breadth as a producer and comes up smelling of particularly addictive roses. Try listening to the title track and not feeling an immense sense of satisfaction, romance and groove all in one.
Forge and Franck's Da Lata ensemble return with emphatic aplomb. There's some real energy behind this re-emergence, too - just listen to the thundering drum breakbeats on the opener "Um Amor A Mais" and you'll hear their newfound full force. Elsewhere we get smoky as the horns spiral reflectively on the downtempo dreamer "Places", we get all shifty and Shafty as "Monkeys And Anvils" pays homage to 70s Blacksploitation funk and we swoon madly to the Sacha Gabriel's beautiful vocals on the Latino-boogie soul shocker "The Shore". Fusing the most enduring Afro-Brazilian elements with timeless panache, this will remain on heavy rotation, guaranteed.
Stand Out Of The Way (feat Sarsha Simone) - (2:49) 129 BPM
ABC (feat Sarsha Simone) - (3:49) 90 BPM
Gonna Do Me (feat Sarsha Simone) - (4:17) 84 BPM
Not That Kind Of Love (feat Sarsha Simone) - (3:06) 144 BPM
Save Me Your Love (feat Sarsha Simone - bonus track) - (4:11) 84 BPM
Fans of this Parisian nu-disco chap, a member of Venice Beach no less, might be in for a shock with this new release. With a swift change of direction, "Jazz Soul Scent" (the clue's in the title) sees DJ Moar deliver five tunes of authentic jazzy soul and RnB. With lazy late '90s beats (think Fugees or Erykah Badu) gently guiding some choice neo-soul and accomplished vocals from Sarsha Simone, this is a different but credible departure for Moar.