Review: Let the funk reign true as we listen through this awesome new EP project from Cheshire, courtesy of the fantastic Lowtemp imprint. As a five track project 'Take The Cake' resonates smoothness, with every track sounding clean as a whistle. Let's kick off with 'The Crocodile' which is a jazzy ode to modern breakbeat whilst the scattered drum arrangements of 'Burning Up' allow Megan Hamilton's vocals room to play. The dubsteppy bass synths and sharp snare stabs on 'Liquid Smooth' follow before we land on the incredibly groovy saxophone syncopation of 'Where Are You'. Finally we round off with the title track 'Take The Cake', which features some seriously soulful vocal inputs from Brittney Jay, along with suave horn riffing and crispy percussive design.
Review: From the moment the smooth, slo-mo soul feels of "Push On" ease their way into your ears you know Cheshire's third album Smokescreens & Somersaults is something special. Easing back off the bangs and focusing more on the space between, the longstanding Aussie funker has really found his groove as we're massaged by horns and pepped by the final parps on "Bounce", our snakes are charmed by wah wahs on "Hypnotic" before building up to chunkier bangers like the sleazy glitch lizard "Subaquatic" and the show-stopping future glitch space anthem "Smokescreens & Somersaults". No smokescreen necessary... But somersaults are pretty much guaranteed.
Review: Treacle-thick glitch business from Aussie funkster Cheshire. It's party pleasure from the off as we're sprinkled with guitars, tickled by pianos and slapped by bass on "Sunnyside Down" before unleashing our inner big band boogie lover "Make Your Move". Deeper into the affair we get gnarly on the bass-focused "Manta" and learn seventy new styles of strut on the EP title track. Neatly, we end full circle with a D&B twist on "Sunnyside Down" with "Sunnyside Up". Can you see what he's done there? What a champ.
Review: Grinning like a cat... There's some deep deep funk under Cheshire's snapback. Long-standing Aussie glitch/bass contributor, here 13 of his cuts get the remix treatment from many of his party peers and low end comrades. Highlights include the sheet-metal bass and slappy twangs of Funkanomics' take on "My Style", Squelch's sense of swaggering gravitas on Cheshire's still-awesome bird-choker "Robins Rocket" and DJ Wood's honey-coated skank dynamic to "Crawling". Each one a quintessential example of remix perfection, this demands your attention.
Review: Irish Moss recordings: promoting positive vibes in reggae and bass music culture. They don't fail to deliver on their mission statement here, so check this out. Ireland's DJ Obese and Jay Sharp team up again for a full length that is serious fire! "Mr Willams Dirty Dubsterz Meets Special Request" gives us a well rolled lowdown that's hard to argue with. Feel the bass on "Back To Boom City" where Blackout JA tells the truth; blunted style. There's some female MCs on here too such as on "Blue Fishes" (with Soom T's smooth delivery) and there's drum and bass on "I Love" and we'll give you just one guess what they're referring to? We know what you're thinking and don't worry: there's some killer bashment vibes on tracks like "Domino". Jah!
Review: This single from South Central Recordings is all about the remix vibes, as Coda and Euphonique step up to remix two different tunes from K Jah, Dilligent Fingers and Cheshire Cat. The first - Dutty Like a Bumbo - is from Coda and it's a gargled, rough and ready tune which sounds like an old school Mampi Swift tune with its simple but powerful bassline, and its hypnotic vocal lead. Euphonique steps up for the b-side and it's even dirtier than the flip, with another naughty back end that twists and turns in on itself with powerful ease. Banging.
Review: With Kingston Express declaring its existence back in 2016 with a run of cream 45s, the label stomps down some more authority with a Kingston Express LP. Roots reggae and dub supremacy all the way here with brass and percussion sections splayed in all manner of directions; rhodes, horns and big band notes all whittled down to their essential elements. A collection of quality instrumental, vocal dubs that shine in their arrangements, ragga, swagger and riddim. Birmingham sound.
Review: Rewind Selecta! Bristol's J-Man goes back over his "Cease & Sekkle" EP from last spring and enlists a whole crew of killer remixers ranging from exciting newcomer to some of the most consistent OGs. Audiomission make a strong impression with their full flavoured take on "Party Hard", Lost City turn the carnival vibes up to 100 on "Cease & Sekkle" while both Origin One and Aries provide fire blend versions of "Coconut Chalwah"; the former gets his digidub wriggle on, the latter gets out his sharped amen cutlass chops. With plenty more, including a tightly coiled stepper twist from Marcus Visionary, it's another one click headshot from the Born On Road crew.
Review: Destination Bristol: Run Tingz affiliate J-Man switches selecta spec for a skank-wise sojourn on Born On Road. He's rolling deep, too.... Junior Dangerous adds a real positive polish on "Party Hard". Like a young Tenor Fly, his delivery is rich and crisp. Parly B adds both bark and bite to "Cease & Sekkle" while Cheshire Cat doubles up the flow on the sunny-side skanks of "Coconut Chalwa". Those looking for a big festival smash-up should harmonise with Blackout JA's throaty sing-along. Lighter!
Review: No, it's not Rowland Rat on the cover of this new EP, but the sounds contained therein could almost hail from the 80s. Except that this producer doesn't rip off the sound of that era, instead he pays homage to it by attempting to update it in a sympathetic way. He succeeds too with five contemporary-meets-vintage cuts that mix elements of boogie, soul and funk. Some of our fave retro jams here include the shimmering, soft bleep boogie of Focus, the cut-up breaks workout "Best In The World" (featuring Cheshire) and the tough grooves of rock-step jam "Good Timed".
Review: Next up, we shall be diving into a very tidy selection indeed as Kingston Express unveil a weighty new selection of potent dubwise collaborations, celebrating the very best of modern reggae music in its purest form. The project features almost too many names to mention, with Earl 16, Horseman, Cheshire Cat, Solo Baton, Richie Phoe, Johnny Clarke, Horace Andy and Macka B all getting involved. Our two highlights have to be incredible arrangements and spacey processing of 'Don't Stop The Dub', alongside the depthy arrangements of 'Unity', which both hit the spot bang on the head!
Review: With glitch and funk being two crucial ingredients in Adapted's bass-baked cake, it's kind of surprising that they haven't curated a set like this before. 15 tracks, each one focusing on the more laidback, groove-heavy side of the dance, the title really does say it all. You want highlights? Of course you do... Check the shimmering, soaking wet guitar lines and Bootsy-busting P-funk of Beat Fatigue's "Funk Tube", the 80s synths and LA vision of Farfectch D's "The Fever" and the grizzly gurgles and short, sharp horn stabs of Spekrfreks' "Juke Joint". Job done.