Review: Two distinctly contrasting funk/soul numbers make up this latest EP from the mighty Jalapeno camp. 'Knew You Were Coming' is a foot-stompin' funker ? la Fatback, laden with wukka-wukking guitars and topped with a proclaimin' male vocal whose chorus, oddly, this writer remembers from Ultra Boogie's 1994 house/garage cut 'Head On', so Lord alone knows what's going on there! Meanwhile, 'Ponderosa' takes us into much smoother soul territory - though don't worry, it's still pacey enough for dancefloor play - and features a full-lunged vocal from Dena Deadly, an LA-based singer borrowed from the band Memoir.
Review: Jalapeno have long been reliable providers of 21st Century funk and soul, and this third album from Plymouth's Aldo Vanucci doesn't disappoint. There's no post-breakbeat filter here: the 12 tracks featured instead work on the principle that if you want to pay homage to musical days gone by, you should do so as faithfully as possible. Vanucci's eclectic approach and an array of guest vocalists of both sexes ensure that things never get too predictable, though, with tracks like 'Ponderosa' (feat Dena Deadly) bringing the Winehouse vibes, 'Get A Hold On This' (feat Kyle Audist) rocking the country-funk and 'Spell It Out' (feat QNC) playing us out on a smoked-out hip-hop note.
Review: Featuring the much in-demand tonsils of Kylie Aulist, 'Get A Hold On This' was one of the standout cuts on Vanucci's recent 'Digging For A Living' and now gets the single release it deserves. The country-tinged album version is present and correct, while Bristol's finest funk and hip-hop crew The Allergies ditch the country swing and instead serve up a rawer take that's dripping in southern soul. But it's Dr Rubberfunk's remix that makes this truly essential, as he strips things right back to the bones, drops the tempo a tiny bit and adds a killer Hammond groove of his own.
Review: Breakbeat specialists Scour turn in the fifth chapter of their Scoured Cream series and as you'd expect, it's all beats and instantly seductive basslines. Sitting somewhere between breaks and electro, these tracks are guaranteed to get any party on its way, especially if it involves university dormitories or student unions! Our tops picks have to be Phibes' "Needles" for thos soulful vocal samples, "Rockin' Cold" by Rollomatik and Cockney Nutjob's "Firepower" for the undeniable comic effect of that sample...you'll know what we mean!
Review: 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").
Review: Almost one year ago exactly, 'international funk barons', Beatnik City introduced us to their first selection of sensitively retouched northern souls gems on the first volume of this occasional series. Now having fully ingested all the goodness contain therein, we're ready for the next helping. There are ten new wonders to get lost in here. Highlights include hearing The Spinners' timeless melodies given a light and breezy Latin makeover on "Disco Shame", BadboE's smokin' breaks rework of a Velvelettes classic on "Breaking Down Motown" and finally Leygo's percussion-lead stomper, "Feels Good".
Review: The clue is in the title here as Brighton-based funk label Jalepeno have rounded up fifteen of the best soul sister cuts from their mighty catalogue. Boasting a mix of old and new, and spanning quite a few different styles too, this compilation couldn't have come soon enough. Some of the many highlights featured include the powerful and bluesy soul-bearing opener, "Reckoning" by Iro FitzRoy, the candy floss tones of Berenice Van Leer on the 80s-tastic "My Mind' Made Up" by Kraak & Smaak and the muscular harmonies of Farina Miss on Featurecast's "Ego Tripping".
Review: Featurecast flexes hard into the crates right here: digging deep over 20 years of party breaks, he's put together the definitive journey of funk with the refreshing devil may care attitude we've come to expect. His selection excavations are here for all the benefit from... The Wiseguys's lesser-spotted jam "One For The Ladies", Lack Of Afro's horn-melting "The Outsider", Max Sedgley's sugar-sweet "Happy", Flevans' Afrofunk shake-up "12 Apostles" and Featurecast and Aldo Vanucci's 2008 hoe-down stomper "Blue Grassed Devil" are just some are just some of the floor-matured classics amid the 25 cuts on offer here. And that's before we even get to awesome mix. Don't dillydally on this one.
Review: Jalapeno Records present a 17-track V/A collection of contemporary funk grooves, all of which have been given a makeover by Smoove, of Smoove & Turrell fame. There are some big names from the 'new old' funk scene represented (Haggis Horns, Nicole Willis, Smoove & Turrell themselves) but as you might expect from the label it's on, the emphasis is more on party-hearty funk breaks/funk-hop than out-and-out 60s/70s revivalism. Renegades Of Jazz's 'Fire' with its wukka-wukking geetar and guest rap vocal from The Allergies is one standout, King Bee's O'Jays-biting 'Money Gone' another, but dive on in and find your own faves...
Aldo Vanucci - "You're All Show" (feat Kylie Auldist - Dr Meaker remix) - (4:41) 178 BPM
Featurecast - "Ego Tripping" (feat Farina Miss - Deekline & Ed Solo remix) - (4:40) 170 BPM
Robin Parris - "Feeling Alright" (feat Kelly Hayden - instrumental) - (4:15) 174 BPM
Review: Is there no end to Jalapeno's flavour range? Constantly splashing their signature funk to any genre or corner of the dance they feel, Brighton-nee-London indie Jalapeno dust off the handsome array of D&B originals and remixes they've released plus a selection of brand new cuts such as Serum's sublime homage to De La Soul & Chaka Khan's "All Good" and a chilly graveyard staunter from Cybass ("Departure") Other highlights include Max Sedgley's Moulin Rouge-burning soul-stamper "What've I Got To Do", Dr Meaker's instant-smile inducing party-primed remix of Aldo Vanucci, Technimatic's sunset twist of Ephemerals and the unabashed vibes of Deeline & Ed Solo's Featurecast remix. And that's not even half of it. Tasty.
Review: The 'Jalapeno Funk' series reaches its 11th installment, which is no mean feat! As such, you should have a pretty good idea what to expect here already, and you'd be right. All the usual Jalapeno suspects - Flevans, Skeeweiff, Smoove & Turrell, Speedometer, The Allergies, Dr Rubberfunk, Aldo Vanucci - are present and correct, and while it has to be said there aren't many stylistic surprises or curveballs on offer, fans of the label's trademark funk 'n breaks sound will be more than satisfied, with highlights including Flevan's light-footed 'Speculate' and Vanucci's Hammond-toting 'Get A Hold On This'.