Review: It's been 14 years since Simon Ward AKA Dr Rubberfunk released his second album 'My Life At 33', so something doesn't quite add up there! Happily, though, that's about the only grumble you're likely to have with this, his fourth long-player, on which he demonstrates an impressive musical versatility as he deftly weaves between raw 70s-inspired soul (see the Stephanie Whitelock and Izo Fitz-Roy collabs), mellifluous virtuoso jazz-funk (see 'Slim's Mood' and 'Steppin' In', hazy, blues-y psychedelic funk-rock ('Boom!' feat John Turrell), scorching Hammond grooves ('Pressure Cooker') and more besides. "Not a real doctor since 1992," Ward's website proclaims proudly - and long may it continue.
Review: Jalapeno bring us the latest salvo from London producer Dr Rubberfunk, and it's very much the proverbial game of two halves. Featuring John Turrell (of Smoove & Turrell fame) on mic duties, 'Boom!' is a raw rock n' soul jam, roughly in the vein of Sly & The Family Stone, War or mid-70s Ike & Tina Turner, with a singalong-friendly "it's just a little blow-out" vocal and some exemplary six-string screechin'. But good as 'Boom!' is, it's 'Steppin' In' that's the killer here, a five-minute, organ-laden jazz-fusion workout that could well be the good doctor's finest moment to date.
Review: Jalapeno veteran Dr Rubberfunk returns to the Brighton label with two more slabs of authentic-sounding retro funk and soul. The sax-led 'Canvas Cathedral' (feat Ben Castle) is up first, underpinning a melodic topline that veers close to muzak territory with beats which owe more to lo-fi hip-hop, making for a track that'll appeal to b-boys, funkateers and coffee shop yummy mummies alike. 'A Little Blahzay' (feat Izo FitzRoy) then offers a complete change of pace, channelling 90s/00s R&B and neo-soul ? la D'Angelo, Erykah Badu et al. S'good, but 'Cathedral City' is the one for club play.
Review: Our main man DR Rubberfunk is back to enrich our weekends with some outernational vibes and quality drum breaking, courtesy of the ever-reliable Jalapeno label. "How Beautiful" instils the good vibes with a strong cut of drums, breaks, bass and, of course, the man's trademark vocal samples - a true party tune! The title track "Pressure Cooker" is funkier, more melodic, and leaning on some surf-rock vibes, while "Beautiful Drums" strips the melodies down to a banging, seductive rhythm of kicks and percussive samples. This is pure party material, people!
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'.
Review: Like the proverbial rolling stone, Jalapeno Records just keeps on going. The continued quality of the long-serving British label's releases is confirmed by this tenth edition of their digital-only "Jalapeno Funk" compilation series. There's naturally plenty of party-hearty peak-time fare to be found throughout, with highlights coming quick and fast. These include Supasoul's sun-bright rework of Funkysoul's trumpet-laden "The Inside Man", the leisurely breaks, Hammond solos and rich guitars of Dr Rubberfunk's "Pressure Cooker", the bustling funk/hip-hop fusion of Smoove's revision of the Allergies' "Run It Back" and the synth-bass propelled goodness of Basement Freaks' "Bring It back (feat Kamy)". It is, though, all pretty damn hot.
Review: The Jalapeno Chilli series are coming out left, right and centre, leading us to think that these mad peeps have access to a bottomless pit of bouncy edits, ready and armed for the dancefloor. Much like the previous chapter, Volume 3 of the series features endless blends of boogie-flavoured dance anthems that know how to bring the FUNK on over to the ballroom. The likes of Lindo Man, Parker, Ambassadeurs, Kraak & Smaak, and the whole rest of the crew deliver some fine-ass party vibes that sure as hell know how to break those beats.
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".
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: Two albums for the price of one... Not only is this a fantastic showcase of Pimpsoul's mixing ability, DJ dynamics and selection skills, but, as individual tracks, Funk N Beats Volume 1 also acts as a great nu-funk collection. Joining the dots between formative genre-setters (Breakestra's "Cramp Your Style" and Skeewiff's "Feelin' Fine") to modern day dancefloor bangers (Rory Lyon's "I Got 5 On It" and Mr No Hands' "Feeling Fine") this touches every corner of the party-loving dancefloors. Nu-funk is riddled with label compilations but very few albums that reach further than in-house output. Big props to both Pimpsoul and Bombstrikes.
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").