Here, Northern breakbeat producer Smoove, teams up with pal Suonho for the frenetic, Aretha-fuelled, vintage gospel showdown of "A Little Soul". Elsewhere he goes it alone for the upbeat rework of '60s classic "Summertime" and a blistering rejig of Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman".
Few albums are so rich in funk and soul they can spawn two worthwhile remix albums, but few outfits run the groove gamut with the same authenticity and clout as Timewarp's in-house production team. Whisking the original off to far-away party pastures, each version brings a whole new lease of life to the originals. From the mesmerising percussion and sharp organ blasts of Soopasoul's take on "Ghetto Drunk" to MSdoS's jazz-flecked D&B twist on "Bullshit" via the deep space cosmic funk bubbles of Angel Funke's remix of "Hipsko", each of these resonates with quintessential remix science.
Germany's Switchstance are back with another whole compilation of tracks that they feel capture the free and pure spirit of surfing. Don't expect surf-rock though - this is all about the hippy dippy '70s view of cruising the waves in search of inner peace. It's literally bulging at the (denim) seams with mellow tracks (14 in total), highlights of which include the edgy analogue synth freakout "Too Old For This Shit", the rolling moombahton of "Maskathon" and the haunting, breaky yacht rock of "Via Harbour".
Dave Hamiton Studio Players - "I Got Some" (instrumental) - (3:13) 91 BPM
Marvin Gaye - "T Plays It Cool" (remix) - (6:24) 104 BPM
Rufus Tomas - "Breakdown" (Beat Mann instrumental) - (4:02) 98 BPM
The Disco Magic Machine - "Scratchin" (Beat Mann instrumental remix) - (3:11) 107 BPM
On this compilation, Strictly Breaks aim to provide 'crazy' instrumental versions and rare mixes of some vintage soul and funk gems. They do that and then some over the course of 15 tracks, highlights of which include the gorgeous melancholia of The Emotions, the low down and dirty funk of Beat Mann's tough rework of Wilson Picket, the string laden joy of early Jacksons and some real car chase in a 70s cop movie vibes from Marvin Gaye. Damn funky!
Isley Brothers - "Ballad For The Fallen" - (3:09) 82 BPM
Glen Frey - "You Belong To The City" - (2:39) 109 BPM
Jones Girls - "You Gonna Make Me" - (8:05) 107 BPM
Bohannon - "Save Their Souls" - (2:55) 85 BPM
Kraftwerk - "Hall Of Mirrors" - (3:01) 95 BPM
Ohio Players - "Pride & Vanity" - (2:55) 86 BPM
Wet Willie - "Beggar Song" - (3:17) 89 BPM
Lionel Bart - "Anything" - (1:25) 109 BPM
Last Christmas Strictly Breaks treated us to the killer first instalment of this compilation series, and this year, it seems, Christmas has come early. There are many things you can say about Jay Z, none is truer than the fact that when it comes to samples, the man has serious taste. These albums simply add up to great genre-spanning history lessons, and here we get essential electro gems by Zapp and Kraftwerk, vintage Egyptian crooning (Abdel Halim Hafez), sultry funk (Commodores) and even the British musicals of Lionel Bart!
French funk fanatics Soulab Records released the first instalment of this comp series back in March. Since then we've been doing some serious cold soul turkey, so we're ecstatic to have a new instalment. Again they've kept it in the musical family with all their regular artists present and correct. There's disco funk from Uptown Funk Empire, some familiar retro grooves from Slow Motion Replay and acoustic realness from Weeland & The Urban Soul Collective.
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...
Canadian nu-funk imprint ReSoul are known for their hip-hop laced, groove-based releases. Here though, they've excelled themselves with a more south of the border-style release. The duo of Cervendos and Freakvent Flote have a unique sound, different to their own individual styles. It's more 'a little bit of everything' washed down with some tequila. "Downtown Groove" is exactly that: a crunked up groove fest brimming with brass, while "Influence" takes retro jazz-soul keys and marries 'em to 21st century post dubstep beats, which results in a bizarre, but successful, funk-out.
Two smouldering slabs of unashamed party funk, Jayl Funk is kicking major booties right here. "Lowdown Funk" takes a Stargard classic and stretches out the groove so every element sparkles; bold, warm bass, bright tight guitar licks and a groove so overwhelming and juicy it could feed a family of five for a month. "Rising" flips the vibe with uptempo cheekiness. Nodding at the Motown legacy, everything about the production screams big: from the hedonistic groove to the alluring falsettos. File under: vibes.
Calibro 35, Tommaso Colliva's soundtrack funk collective, have picked up many plaudits in recent times, with Wax Poetics gleefully stating that they "sound like Goblin recording at Stax". It's an apt description for the moody, fuzzy, atmospheric fare served up on Traditori Di Tutti, the Milan-based combo's fourth full length. Inspired by classic Italian horror noir novel Betrayed by Giorgio Scerbanenco, it flits between full-on Hammond funk, jazzier moods, Morricone-ish atmospherics and low-down dirtiness. Impeccably played and produced, it's probably their strongest set to date - and that's saying something. Heartily recommended, and then some.
In anticipation of their forthcoming Power Struggle LP, here we have a twinkling two-track teaser (try saying that after a few) from Australia's numero uno Afro-funk outfit, The Liberators. "Cairo Uprising" is a scintillating slice of Egyptian-themed ska funk, while no LP bonus track "The Undisputed" is a classy slice of '70s style brassy groove.
What a way to start a re-edit label: Dennis Parker (aka Wade Nichols)'s disco classic, "Like An Eagle"! Taking its time to revel in its own greatness, this hazy sunkissed classic now spans over ten minutes! Elsewhere Marathon's Ben Becker also tackles sizzling '70s funk (Tony Danza Experience), The O'Jays classic "I Love Music" and Quincy Jones' immortal "Ai No Corrida". An impressive label debut.