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Reviewed this week
The Rev's back! Parisian edit magician serves up four revised soul excursions for modern audiences to experience the second time around and in true style. On the first side he takes the knife to a couple of Gladys Knight classics, namely the feel-good "Don't Make Me Run Away" and the uplifting "Love Gives You The Power". On the flip it's George Duke's turn, "Say That You Will" is you all know is a sultry deep soul number for lovers while "Party Down" is definitely for night people; this one is pitched up for optimum dancefloor effectiveness too!
"Sugar" lay unissued for many years, before finally seeing the light of day on BBE's 2003 set of previously unheard Roy Ayers' recordings, Virgin Ubiquity. It was later remixed by Dave Lee under his familiar Joey Negro pseudonym, and here gets the multi-track edit treatment from French scalpel specialist The Reflex. He typically does a good job of building energy and excitement throughout the vocal version's seven-minute duration, showcasing different instruments (vibraphone, horns, bass, guitars) and the track's alternating male and female vocals, in the manner of Tom Moulton or Walter Gibbons. The accompanying instrumental is tasty, too, but lacks a little of the vocal revision's soulful charm.
The Wah Wah 45s label is responsible for rescuing of the work of long forgotten Canadian/Haitian pianist, Henri-Pierre Noel. Both his 1979 debut Piano and its early 80s follow-up One More Step have been rediscovered and repressed by the label, and here we get a selection of cuts from the latter all reworked by the French producer The Reflex. There are four killer reworks here - the pumped up Afro-disco belter, "Funky Spider Dance", the boogie-up clavinet heavy take on "A Fifth Of Beethoven", the ramshackle island grooves of "Back Home...Sweet Home" and toughened up raw funk of "Diskette". Class.
Lack Of Afro has been pouring his shades of worldly funk and nu-soul across the Freestyle catalogue over the last few years, but this time it's his moment to shine with a brand-spanking, sparkly new LP for LOA, putting together everything he's known for under one gorgeous roof. Here, you have twelve scorching slices of upbeat lament, and from "Hello Baby" - a masterful stroke of sunny funk - to "Now I Feel Good", the artist manages to bring back the spirit of the 1970's into a new and contemporary light. Gliding piano keys, powerful vocals, and a kick-ass production surely make Lack Of Afro one of the kings of modern soul.
Exclusives
THE ALLERGIES feat ANDY COOPER - Rock Rock/Blast Off (Jalapeno)
VARIOUS - Dusty Fingers Volume 29 (Strictly Breaks US) - exclusive 30-12-2016
VARIOUS - School Yard Breaks Vol 15 (Strictly Breaks) - exclusive 31-12-2016
Exclusives
HENRI-PIERRE NOEL - The Reflex Revisions (Wah Wah 45s)
DJ REVEREND P - Reverend P Edits 3 (Gamm) - exclusive 22-12-2016
LACK OF AFRO - Hello Baby (LOA)
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