Review: Funk, breaks and broken beat specialist Flevans returns with his fourth studio album, and his first for Jalapeno. This time around, straight-up nostalgic/retro grooves are the order of the day - if you dig the likes of The Dap Kings, Smoove & Turrell, Speedometer or Stone Foundation you'll find much to enjoy here. Vocals are supplied by Laura Vane and several other guests, and across tracks ranging from blistering jazz-dancer 'Take Your Money' to raw soul ballad 'Some Day' to the more pop /R&B-inflected 'Who's Got Me' you'll find all the scorching Hammonds, slap bass, soaring sax and wukka-wukking geetars you could possibly ask for.
Review: Jalapeno regular Flevans (AKA Nigel Evans) paves the way for album #6 with this new release. The first track features a full soulful vocal from Laura Vane (known for her work with MJ Cole and Robbie Rivera, as well as her own band The Vipertones) and would slot into a DJ set neatly somewhere between Crazy P and The Dap Kings, while the 2nd track "Take Your Money" Evans looks to the deep organ-fuelled funk of the 60s for inspiration but chucks in some 70s funk geetar for good measure, then tops the lot with a suitably raw n' scratchy sampled vocal.
Review: Nigel Evans, or Flevans as he's more widely known, returns with his first new material since the 'Part-Time Millionnaire' long-player (his fourth) dropped earlier this year, also on Jalapeno. 'Mr Right' itself fuses a chunky 'new old' funk-soul groove with a more contemporary-style R&B vocal from Laura Vane, making for a cut that in a perfect world would be following the likes of 'Happy', 'I Need A Dollar' and 'Uptown Funk' into the pop charts. The accompanying 'Speculate', meanwhile, is a more stripped-back and percussive affair that'll suit the jazz-dancers and b-boys down to the ground - quite literally!
Review: Three remixes here of two tracks from Brighton boy Flevans' fifth studio album 'Part Time Millionnaire', which dropped back in March, with the Laura Vane-vocalled 'Invisible' getting the treatment twice. Flevans' own Back To The 80s Mix finds us in upbeat, accessible neo-soul/R&B territory, and as such crossover success certainly shouldn't be ruled out - though for more underground, squelchy nu-funk thrills the Basement Freaks Remix is the one. Completing the EP is Asta Hiroki's re-rub of 'Right On Time', a sparse trip-hop affair comprising ambient sounds, sampled spoken vox and clipped percussion - definitely one for the late-night herbalists.
Review: Jalapeno regular Flevans returns with an 11-track album that won't disappoint lovers of the label's trademark funk-breaks-soul sound one iota. It's actually his fifth, reflecting the fact that Flevans does this stuff better than most; if there's a criticism, it's that the album perhaps tries a little too hard to please everyone. Where cuts like 'Power Rocks You' have an authentic 60s/70s 'deep funk' feel, others such as 'Ambition Like Cream' (feat Scooby Jones) opt for a more commercial approach and end up in Radio 2-friendly pop territory. But even if you do find yourself hitting the Skip button once or twice, there's still much to enjoy here.
Review: We were rather impressed by Flevans recent album "Accumlate" - his fifth in total over a career spanning almost two decades - and in particular its inherent funkiness and effortlessly soulful flavour. Here one of the LP standouts, "Realisation" with vocalist Laura Vane, is given the remix treatment. The EP-opening "Re-Tide Mix" brilliantly joins the dots between funk-fuelled disco-house and colourful, synth-heavy boogie, while Lonely Boy's "Isolation Mix" is a deliciously loose-limbed breakbeat revision that gives due prevalence to track's insanely funky bassline and jaunty Rhodes keys. You'll also find full-length and radio versions of Supermini's hot-to-trot remix, which may well be the funkiest and freshest of the lot.
Review: A one-man powerhouse of studio funk, Adam Gibbons' Lack of Afro alias has amassed an enormous catalogue of remixes and rarities in a relatively short space of time. On this Freestyle compilation, some of his most dynamic funk, Latin and boogaloo-shaped makeovers are here to savour, such as his extension of the Hot 8 Brass Band's "It's Real" or the more disco-slanted rejig of Kraak & Smaak's "Squeeze Me".
Review: Tru Thoughts have been around since the late 90s, championing all things modern with a soul, jazz and funk edge. Now their A&R dude Robert Luis has decided to compile their best disco-style releases, and why not? The Quantic Soul Orchestra's "Pushin On" is cinematic foot music built around an infectious loop, Zed Bias revisits 1980s Minneapolis with the help of Toddla T on the downright nasty groove of "Koolade", Bonobo remixes Nostalgia 77's "Quiet Dawn" in a downtempo jazzy style, Hint's "Aliens Enter" is as close you can get to 80s synth-soul without a time machine and Natural Self's "In The Morning" is a killer, off kilter jazz-meets-funk-and-dubby-house oddity.
Review: A little funk sensibility can be the best of remedies to sooth your winter chills, and this new 20-track compilation from JalapeNo is the perfect remedy. The imprint has it down when it comes to releasing contemporary soul-dance, and peeps like the Ephemerals, Basement Freaks, and Izo Fitzroy are all revelations in of themselves. Just to give you a little flavour of this steaming hotpot of sounds and grooves, there's a little tribal disco slaying on Soopasoul's "Hustlin'", vintage Motown soul with The Allergies and "Since Youave Been Gone", and contemporary r&b vibes through the vocal talent of Alexia Coley and her "Jekyll & Hyde" tune. There's something in here for all walks of life, so be sure to flick through this baby to find your kink.
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: 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: Bomb Strikes, the UK hip-hop/funk/soul/breaks label headed up by Mooqee & Beatvandals, celebrated their 15th birthday in 2019 with a fantastic compilation album, and to further celebrate the success of the label in 2019 they're releasing another compilation featuring 15 of their best cuts from the past 12 months. What's most impressive is the variety on offer, ranging from straight-up hip-hop from Alexander Norman Prosper & Stabfinger, to party breaks from Ali B and Krafty Kuts, to 'new old' soul from Flevans, to the fairly self-explanatory 'Disco Weapon' and 'Mirror Ballin'' (by Shaka Loves You and X-Ray Ted, respectively. Tons of fun for festive season funkateers of all ages!
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: Glasgow's Shaka Loves You has rightly earned a reputation as disco-centric duo on the rise. Because of this, it's little surprise to see them at the controls on Bomb Strikes' first foray into the disco-focused compilation market. The Scottish pair have naturally pulled out all the stops for the occasion, selecting 20 hot-to-trot cuts that aptly blur the boundaries between disco, funk, nu-disco, electro and boogie. Highlights include, but are in no way limited to, the hazy, sun-kissed soul of Lack of Afro's "Back To The Day", the thickset P-funk revivalism of Kraak & Smaak's "Dynamite" and the rubbery disco-house-meets-UK soul flex of the Reflex's remix of Omar's "Vicky's Tune". Throw in a tasty selection of the pair's productions and you have a suitably strong collection.
Review: As ever, the Bomb Strikes imprint delivers an awesome package to us with this brand new 25 track compilation entitled 'Funk N' Beats Vol. 5', To be honest, it's exactly what it says on the tin as The Allergies head up waves and waves of funkadelic rhythms and crunchy riffs. For us the highlights have to be the futuristic drum processing and subtle percussive movements of 'Loose Gardner' from Flevans, along with the classic breakbeat fusion of 'Fire' remixed by Smoove but originally produced by the Renegades Of Jazz. With the sheer depth of the project it's easy to get lost within the tracklisting, which is always a good sign on a large scale compilation.