Crate digging in the Northern Soul scene is the gift that keeps on giving - an endless quest for rarer and rarer gems. Here Beatnik present a new collection that features nine classic Motown and Northern Soul cuts which have been sensitively retouched by some contemporary talent. Highlights include the celebratory, fizzy soul jam "Soul On Fire" by Shaka Loves You (yes, the one sampled by Beyonce), a Junkie XL-style makeover of Martha & The Vandellas on "Nowhere To Go" and Mak & Mr Bristow's muscled up take on The Rascals - "Olympic Lovin".
With each Basement Freaks release, the funk just seems to get hotter and hotter! So hot in fact that they needed a label named after the super-hot pepper to handle their forthcoming new album, Time Machine. Here they tease us with two cuts from the playlist. First up, title track "White Hot" rolls with shuffley live drums and guitar licks a plenty, whilst "Walk Away" is an infectious slice of instrumental electronic boogie with more than a hint of p-funk.
Brazilian trio Shaka release their worldwide debut EP 'Spacefunk' on Brighton funk label Freshly Squeezed. "Spacefunk" is the kind of funked up acid jazz that reminds us of UK legends Corduroy. "Crumble" gets on the more hip-hop vibe with its crusty beat and scratched 70's psychedelic rock samples; it's wicked actually! "Freedom" gets more on the soulful tip and is epic, with it's diva vocals and dark bassline. Finally "Boogie" is a nice slab of funky breaks with a bossa influence, those steel drums get pretty funky and sassy, we're lovin' it!
After a slew of remixes and reversions and revisions, Greek funk dub troupe Timewarp return with two beautiful originals. "Theory Of Revolution" is a warm, organic groove that's coated in smoky croaky vocals from Georges Perin and peppered in guitar and melodica instrumentation. "Liberty Is Our Destiny" is a more upbeat track that's highly reminiscent of Fort Knox Five with its uptown breaks, nifty scratching and dubby washes. Complete with two dub versions, Timewarp leave no sonic stone unturned right here.
Stone cold soul from the golden era: BBE present one of two cult albums made by Chicago crack funk team Rasputin's Stash. 42 years after its original release on Gemigo Records, every track still shakes with raw gutsy soul and fiery funk. From the wah-wah insistency of the haze homage "Hit It And Pass It" to the Mayfield-level cascading cadences of "I See Your Face" to the street kicking grit and sudden jazz-scales of "Middle Man", The Devil Made Me Do It is another timely reminder of BBE's crate digging abilities.