Review: Primed with party power and whacked out on some seriously spacey synths, the All Good Funk Alliance update their already impressive repertoire with a fourth studio album. Sounding more polished and developed than ever before, this is a rare breed of album that works well as a collection of individual DJ bombs and a slick cohesive listening experience. Naturally, highlights abound and range in rich flavours from the gritty, KRS-One-meets-Plump DJs style booty shaker "Time To Get Loose" to the classic Danny Breaks style block-rocking bass and timbale fusion "Throw Down". Littered with slippery disco, raw instrumental funk and vibrant breakbeats, these cats aren't jacks at all -they're party masters.
Review: Now here's an interesting concept. All Good Funk Alliance follow up their fourth album release with an instrumental version. At first it seems superfluous, but give it a listen and you realise their beats have just as much raw funk power as stand alone instrumentals as they do vocal party jams. It's a daring move - with acts like the AGFA, it's often the vocals that really gives the tracks character, but they've got the confidence to show just how musically adept they are. Tracks that really shine in their new-found naked state include the bouncy, bumpy bass jam "Mr Hipnoid", the superfly slap bass space session "Speaker Sweat" and the squidgy/sexy/borderline absurd synth anthem "RTA (Respect To Arcadion)".
Review: If you're talking ghetto-minded, dirty-assed nu funk then you must be talking Fort Knox. Responsible for some of the scene's biggest heaters, the imprint continues with this second remix package of the All Good Funk Alliance. Featurecast steps up first with an anthemic take on "Throw Down" that comes complete with a lovely synth-tom drum fill, Busta retaliates with a cheekier version that's armed with the juiciest p-funk bassline we've heard all week, Skeewif's take of "Time To Get Loose" is more a Shaft-style organic funk roller and Keith Mackenzie & DJ Fixx finish the set with darker, synth-heavy rub. It's all good... literally!
Review: Jack Of All Trades - It's the album that keeps on giving. Released this time last year it's undergone the full instrumental treatment and two remix EPs. Now this, the nu-funk piece de resistance: a floor-tickling collection of the previous remixes plus a whole load more. Highlights include Skeewif's Young MC-meets-Shaft-on-Mancini Avenue flavoured remix of "Time To Get Loose" and Dads On Display's Koan Sound style mix of smooth 80s b2b screaming midrange bass on "Closer To The Edge". But at 18 tracks that's the tip of this eclectic, open-all-hours party fest. It's all exceedingly good.
Review: Longstanding funketeers AGFA lay down three disco-minded tracks based on the same elements and chords: "Dream Kilter" is a powerful synth boogie bust-up with really wide, juicy synths and a powerful vocal texture tying together the elements. "On Kilter" is more of a house-influenced gem where the synths surge and fluctuate in a way that's not dissimilar to a 2020 Soundsystem record. Finally we hit "Down Kilter". A slipper-shuffling, slower, deeper affair with sly whiffs of Jean Jacques Perry coded deep into the melodic structures. Silky, smooth and full of variation, this is a really cool concept.
Review: The All Good Funk Alliance, aka Frank Cueto and Rusty Belicek, are typically humble even down to the 'good' in their name (rather than say, 'amazing' or whatever). However in truth they are very great indeed having supported the late, great, James Brown, DJed all over the world, written songs for TV and film, and regularly appear on the Breakspoll Top 50 list. It's been a good while since we had a full release from them though, but now they're back with "Varied Funk" featuring five fresh slices of their idiosyncratic electro-funk. Hallelujah they're back!
Review: Grammy nominated US duo All Good Funk Alliance have had their music on adverts and opened up for James Brown. They've been around the funky block a few times, basically. Here they present four tunes for folk to shake their tail feathers to, starting with "Sol En La Noche" a moody and percussive midnight writher. Elsewhere "Last Jam At 14:50" sees murky Latin percussion entwine with vintage organ notes and "A Song Called Hay" up the tempo for some luxurious Latin house. Lastly "Disco Hash" is more straight-up Italo disco party vibes.
Review: American duo Frank Cueto and Rusty Belicek, aka All Good Funk Alliance, recently dropped their fourth album, Jacks Of All Trades, which signaled a dramatic shift in style for the veteran funkateers. Here, however, we jump back in time a little and see earlier track, "Avance!" being reworked by acclaimed producer Basement Freaks (George Fotiadis). The result is a winner with the original's sassy vocals (courtesy of Merenia and Vincent) gliding over Fotiadis' urgent disco-funk breakbeats.
Review: Latin Del Boy, Trotter, is an expert in producing tracks that fell off the back of a lorry. Yes, cheeky disco edit confections are his forte and there are four of them here and going fast. All Good Funk Alliance's tune "Ain't It True" is transformed into a seven-minute electro house epic, whilst he goes all-out crowd pleaser on the tight, live disco-funk jam "Da Gypsy Groovy" by Leon. "Never Let No One" by Afrolicious is a mid-paced Afro/Latin funk workout and finally "Pump It Up" sees Umbo's tune rewired into a slinky late night soul sizzler.
Review: Brazilian soundboys Butter Music have a motto: 'keep it greasy'. In the days of over-polished pristine production where everything comes with a high-end sheen, it's a refreshing approach. It works, too: All Good Funk Alliance's "Turn The Sound" is a jittering, sleazy P-funk bass romp while Zamali's "Fast Move" is all '70s moody funk with big trumpets and even bigger beats. Wood N Soo's "Petty Larceny" is the slickest of the set, nodding subtly at the trembling synth sound Get Physical established itself with 10 years ago while retaining heaps of funk in the groove.
Review: Mooqee's label Bombstrikes is doing all right for itself. So much so in fact that they've reached that milestone - a label's first compilation album. Here Mooqee has selected 25 sizzling bangers new and old that do it for him, and hopefully will do it for you too. Highlights include the compressed electro steamroller that is "Back To School", the crunch synth funky freakout of "Come On Bounce" and the devastating bass that's eaten all the pies of "Let's Do It Right Now". Heavy!
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.