Reviewed this week
Earlier in the year, London Afro-dub stalwarts Soothsayers made their Wah Wah 45s debut with Speak My Soul, a four-track EP full of rich, Afro-centric musical fusions. Here, that collection gets the remix treatment with a range of artists stepping up to provide killer interpretations. The mixes tend to fall into two categories: ultra-blazed, bass-heavy Dub style revisions (see Jamtone's superb remake of "Refugee", SMBD's echoing, deep space "Warrior Dub" of "Blinded Souls", and the band's own skanking "Roll Over River (Dub)") and those destined for peak-time club plays. In the latter category, you'll find a brilliant Afro-disco take on "Blinded Souls" by SMBD, Deoke's wonderfully warm and woozy Afro-deep house version of "Eagle Souls" and a variety of percussive, UK funky influenced revisions of "Blinded Souls" by Tieknots.
This is the debut album from little known funk outfit The Andy Tolman Cartel, it soulfully screams 70's style in every note. The first track that really stood out for us was 'Move Over' featuring Jo Harmen, with its bright jazzy sax, which is almost conversational with the singing. Followed by 'Cypher' which is supremely groovy, the bass is played so delicately but still remains clear amongst the horns, pianos and galaxy of vintage shooting stars and lasers. Another standout track for us in 'Claret and Blues', and ending the album on a high is the far out 'You Want' with Scooby Doo style monster chase of a break down, so much fun. If you want to experience the sounds of 70's, this album is for you and it's a lot cheaper than a time machine.
What a trip it's been for The Allergies; rolling from one killer album to the next, funk is flying from their HQ at a rate of knots. Here are two fine examples from their last LP Push On, both featuring their long-time friend and MC from Andy Cooper. Best known for his witty wordplay and character on Ugly Duckling records, here Andy gets to show off both sides to his expansive flow; "Main Event" is a chubby disco groove laced with mountains of funk, creating space for Andy's laidback-but-hypey charm. In perfect contrast "Buzzsaw" is a much sweatier funk jam allowing Cooper to get rapid and tongue-twisty in a way that only he knows how. Keep on pushing...
Delights doyen and all-round Israeli funk bossman Markey returns to the psychsploitation roots he established with his Les Hippies debut six years ago with two raw, gritty cosmic funk freak-outs. "Witch Doctor" licks with a sleazy guitar hook that oozes up and down break with a raw glee. "The Brew" takes us deeper into the trip with less obvious funk and more hallucinatory details. Dare you take a sup?
VARIOUS - Jalapeno Soul Sisters Vol 2 (Jalapeno)
VARIOUS - Soul Jazz Records Presents Soul Of A Nation: Afro-Centric Visions In The Age Of Black Power - Underground Jazz, Street Funk & The Roots Of Rap 1968-79 (Soul Jazz)
MAJID BEKKAS - Soudani Manayou (Banana Hill) - exclusive 08-08-2017
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