Review: For many Londoners, it wouldn't be summer without the Notting Hill Carnival and Norman Jay's long-running Good Times Soundsystem. The hat-wearing MBE owner is celebrating 30 years of carnival parties this summer. What better excuse, then, for another breezy, party-centric trawl through the veteran DJ's epic record collection. As usual, the unmixed Good Times 30th Anniversary Edition features a selection of festival-friendly grooves, from dusty old disco, flute-sporting funk and classic soul to bouncy disco-house, head-nodding hip-hop and Red Stripe-swigging reggae riddims. By now, we all know what we're getting, but it's still great fun.
Review: Steve Kotey's ever dependable Bear Funk imprint presents a second, slightly slimmer edition of the post-winter blow out Hibernation compilation with a smattering of new faces amidst the usual ursidaen funkateers. The set opens with one of those in the shape of Downtown Party Network, the criminally unprolific Lithuanian duo who burst on the scene back in 09 with "Days Like These" on Eskimo. "Get A Life" is a suitably glistening return to form for the duo and sets the tone for what to expect. Claremont 56 boss Mudd returns for Bear Funk duty for the first time since the label's early days with the languid six minutes of "Ossians Cave" whilst there are strong contributions from the likes of Ilija Rudman and Max Essa. The piece de resistance however is Kotey's edit of the vastly underrated Blakula that closes this set - cleverly adding some percussive urgency to the throwback Giallo stylings of "Miss Morgue".