Aroop delivers the third instalment of his "Brazil Breakdown" series with three of his floor-fired reworks to date. "Brilhantina" is a percussion-heavy slice of four-to-the-floor soul with synths straight out of the Detroit playbook. "Quem Vai Querer" ups the ante with a juicy bottom end (think mid 00's Yam Who), feel-good chants and a conga roll so hypnotic you'll be shaking your hips for hours. Finally we hit "O Mestre"; rich in warm reverbed synths and coated with a pristine-polished 80s soul vocal, this will work well on both sides of the night. Honey coated warm up or an emotional finale.
Back in the mid 1970s, young engineer Terry 'T.K' Kane and Harry Stone joined forces to launch a studio and record distribution business in Miami. It would spawn a huge number of in-house labels, and even greater number of funk and disco releases, and even a string of million-selling artists. Given this legacy, it's little surprise to see Athens of the North paying tribute to the funk side of Henry Stone's impressive legacy with this superb collection. While there are a few tried-and-tested cuts to be found - see the T Connection and Little Beaver cuts - for the most part The Miami Sound focuses on more obscure - but no less hard-hitting - gems from the likes of Jonny K, Stevens & Foster and Leno Philips.
For all the success of his re-edits, original Greg Wilson compositions have been few and far between since the veteran DJ's return to action in the early 2000s. "Summer Came My Way" - designed as a vehicle for Merseyside sisters Katherine and Carmel Reynolds - is his first production of note since 2008's Yolanta Sy collaboration with Ilija Rudman. Reworked into a midtempo chunk of hazy, Balearic disco by L.A's Luxxury, it seems destined to become something of an anthem at sun-baked summer festivals. Luxxury's versions - available in radio-friendly and full-on 10 minute variants - are joined by a brilliantly deep, electronic, downtempo revision from Walter Ego that gives due prominence to Katherine Reynolds' brilliant lead vocals.
J-Felix is the solo moniker of Bristolian producer, multi-instrumentalist and musical wizard, Joe F Newman. Now based in Brighton and quickly snapped up by Tru Thoughts, we now get a solo album inspired by his investigations into all the funk and soul samples heard in the DnB and hip-hop that he grew up with. However research is where the samples end for Newman, instead he layers recordings of his own vocals and instrumental pieces into a beguiling 15 track organic jam with more than a nod to his beloved white-gloved, dry-iced and jheri-curled 80s p-funk and synth soul.
African Party, the single album released by 'Ginger' Foloruso Johnson and his African Messengers band, has long been considered something of a hard-to-find classic. Originally released in 1967, the energetic and effervescent set here gets a deserved re-issue on Freestyle. Musically, it's something of a melting pot, sitting somewhere between Afro-Cuban fusion, Afrobeat, funk and jazz-dance - all dense, intense rhythms, spiraling horns, fluttering flute lines and high-octane thrills. Certainly, it's a thoroughly entertaining set, packed full of highlights. These include the sharp sax lines, Afrobeat bass and rolling grooves of "A You Momma", and "Hi Life", whose wild trumpets and saxophones offer the perfect foil for the cacophonous drums.
Mid '70s deep funk and smouldering soul, Miami-style. Only laying down a handful of 45s during her career, Lynn Williams wasn't particularly prolific but what she did release has since become highly collectable with both of these sides fetching heavy triple figures over the years. "It Takes Two" is a sultry hip-strutting deep funk jam with a sleaze hanging off the groove while "Don't Be Surprised" is a much darker, barbed soul affair. A string-surged ballad, entrenched in authentic emotion; it's the female equivalent of Isaac Hayes's "I Can't Go To Sleep".