Old Rummy returns to the Bomb Strikes stable with three more essential party jams. "Work Signs" takes Justin Timberlake back to the early '70s on a Parliament-charged funk train, the epic sample session "Funky Vibrations" flips us back to the early '90s with a focus on the De Le Soul's "Roller Skating Jam". Finally we get lively with a muscular big beat jam that features the distinctive vocal tones of DJ Kool Marva Whitney's evergreen horn hook from "Unwind Yourself". Show us a sign!
Aroop Roy - London based soul boy 'of many dimensions' - has been pretty silent for nearly a year. Perhaps he just went on holiday in some exotic far-flung dimension, but he's back now, all guns blazing. Brazil Breakdown Part 2 features three spicy cuts of feverish retro Latin funk, all boasting irresistible beach party grooves and seductively catchy vocals.
Super-prolific funk master Mr Bird curates and collates his many self-released jams for this Greatest Beats collection. One part edit art, two parts sample mastery, 100 parts party creativity; each well polished and dynamically constructed Mr Bird track is home to myriad elements, references and headnods to the foundations, and now is the perfect time to catch up on his work. From the Tom Tom Club nodding "Scooby Snacks" to the Busta-busting "Help Is On The Edit" via the beat-heavy Bambaataa bash "Funk U", each cut proves once and for all that the Bird is most definitely the word!
Over the last few months Jalepeno have been carefully building the hype around their recent signing, West London soul sensation Alexia Coley. "Drive Me Wild" marks the final push before the big arrival of much anticipated album Keep The Faith. It's a rip-roaring lead single too - all swaggering brass sections, Stax records and vintage American sounding vocals. There's loads of remixes too, the best of which include Valique sumptuous house remix and Marcus Jakes's Ayia Napa-friendly retro garage dub.
Contemporary Afrofunk doesn't get more authentic or progressive than this: The Heliocentrics have teamed up with Nigerian legend Orlando Julius to revisit some of his past creations and lay down some of Julius's earliest work that has never been recorded before! The result is a timeless sound that carries all the hallmarks and urgency of the '70s while dynamically reflecting modern dancefloor arrangements and production standards. Peppered with psychedelic twists, raw analogue grit and an infectious funk that can't be denied., this is a proper schooling from two Afrofunk and modern jazz pioneers, old and new.
Original sample material: the second volume in the Beastie Collection is just as educational and explorative as the inaugural set. Originally released in 2006, here it is again in all its digital 30-track glory. Ranging from Ted Nugent's guitar-slaying "Homebound" (sampled on "The Biz vs The Nuge") to Afrique's synth squidging Bill Withers cover "Kissing My Life" (sampled on "Bodhisattva Vow") via the instantly distinctive flutes on Jeremy Steig's "Howling For Judy" (sampled on "Sure Shot"), this acts as several musical lessons: how sampling really is a fine, fine art, how classics have helped artist pave the future and, most importantly, how flipping great The Beastie Boys are! Really, this is one for everyone's collection.
International Afrofunk fusion troupe The Beta Club gets the treatment from one of the Paris DJs' most reliable version-masters Grant Phabao. Paying full respect to the instrumentation and arrangement of the original, Grant has inserted a rich warm skank spine into the body of the track, giving it instant soundsystem appeal. Essential party business.
Following a two-year break, the Shaolin Afronauts return with their third album. Those who've checked the Adelaide-based eight-piece's previous releases on Freestyle Records should know what to expect: specifically horn-heavy instrumental wig-outs rooted in the Afrobeat of Africa 70 and the spiritual jazz of Sun Ra, with occasional forays into Cuban rhythms. It's a humid and intoxicating blend, capable of producing both righteous dancefloor fare - see the Fela Kuti style strut of "Follow The Path", "Lagos Chase" and Afro-cuban jazz of "Ojo Abameta - and intoxicating, more introspective fare (the snaking flutes and ambient textures of "Interlude 1" and heady "Abyssinian Suite (Part 1)").