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.
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!
Self-proclaimed "complete package" Craig Charles (actor, poet, DJ, radio host, stand-up) seems to be enjoying life as Britain's most famous funk and soul fan. Here, he curates a second installment of his Funk & Soul Club compilation series. Predictably, there's plenty to tickle the fancy, from the reggae-soul-house shuffle of Lack of Afro's remix of Hidden Jazz Quartet's "High Heels", and the psychedelic funk madness of The Bongolian's "The Riviera Affair", to the celebratory release of Jessica Lauren Four's "Happiness Train" (featuring a brilliant vocal from old Jocelyn Brown), and a pair of ripsnorting cover versions (Cookin' On Three Burners' fantastic take on Numan's "Cars" and Hot Eight Brass Band's famous remake of the Specials' "Ghost Town").
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!
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...
Rock wasn't the only genre played heavily on yachts in the '70s and '80s. Nope, while the likes of Dennis Wilson and Don Henley were the soundtrack on some yachts, the decks of many others swayed to soft lilting disco funk as shimmering as the tropical moonlight on the waves below. Both tracks here capture that warm funky of glow of luxury in the summer. Autumn? What's that?
Stand back! The fourth instalment of this heavyweight re-edit series is coming through. This time, Blood, Sweat & Tears' soul staple Spinning Wheel gets gently tweaked and extended as "Wheel Spin", the sassy funk-rock of Gone Is The Thrill" is actually BB King with a break beat and things wind up in party mode with the low down disco groove of "Got Me Burning". Good time music for all.
If sleep editing was a medical condition, Rayko would be a prime candidate. His re-edits and reworks of classic disco, boogie and electrofunk cuts appear so frequently, in such high volume, that you have to wonder how he finds the time to finish them all during his waking hours. Still, the quality remains high, and this quartet of new reworks is amongst his best for a while. The loopy, low-slung bass, winding sax and dubwise effects of "Bite The Apple" impress, before "Simulation" offers a thrilling trip into intoxicating disco-rock territory. "Fake Feeling" tweaks a well-known disco classic, before standout "Excitation" delivers an undulating chunk of basement bothering instrumental electrofunk dubbiness.
Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, euro for euro, yen for yen - whatever currency tickles your tastebuds, this collection from Tokyo's most creative electronica stable guarantees stimulation. Saturated in new-beat, hip-hop, jazz and wholesome experimentalism, this 16-track set covers a beautifully broad ground with highlights flying in from every angle. From the horror film staccato strings of "Money" to the lush, lazy west coast beatsmithery of "Word Up PSS" to the frenetic shuffle bump groove of "Space Language", you'll be pounding this out of the nearest system for years to come.