Famed for their Stank Soul Edits vinyl series, Mako & Mr Bristo return on Funk Blasters with the mightily titled, Electric Bongo Disco. The name captures the vibes on here pretty well - four vintage cuts loved for their breaks gently souped up for modern dance floors. Opener is "Sugar Hill Bongos", which lovingly updates a Sugarhill Gang classic. Elsewhere "Hype Fresh Mine" is poppy disco meets hip house, "Refried Beans" is a sweet vintage B-boy gem and "Electric Ruffneck" really goes there, sampling Edie Grant and somehow making it actually sound cool! Now that's talent.
With tongue firmly in cheek, Dresden's Robert "Cuthead" Arnold delivers his fifth album, Return Of The Sample Jesus. Like his other full-length outings for hometown label Uncanny Valley, the set joins the dots between his hip-hop beat-making past - he's long been known as a wizard with an MPC - and the hazy, swinging, off-kilter deep house sound he's been exploring over recent years. Able to spot killer samples and work them into fine tracks, Arnold is equally as adept to dropping Dilla-ish beat-scapes, Madlib style jazz workouts, and Moodymann inspired 4/4 grooves. Throw in a sprinkling of smoother, dreamier, bass-heavy cuts, and you've got an entertaining and absorbing LP.
Roots Manuva gets the treatment from Pinch. We really don't need to say much more here do we? Big Bristol bass business through and through, Pinch provides a rocksteady mid-tempo bed that sits somewhere between house and dancehall with deep trench bass plunges and hypnotic metronome style percussion. Armed with more than enough room for Roots' dynamic-but-laidback flow, it's every bit the winning combination you'd hope and want it to be.