Review: Italy's Sound Exhibitions bring us five convincing contemporary funk/jazz-funk cuts courtesy of publicity-shy label regular Funk Windows. 'Agente 007' is a hazy, laidback affair with Hammonds, brass and funk guitar, 'Metrofunk' is a piano-led cut built for staring out of rain-streaked diner windows and, well, 'Film Funk', 'Solhl' and 'Soullight' continue in much the same vein! All five cuts share a cinematic, soundtrack-y feel (somewhere between Blaxploitation and 'Hill Street Blues') that means they're perhaps a little polite for rug-cutting purposes and so better suited to afternoon/bar play, but there's no doubting the craftsmanship involved.
Review: Three tracks of contemporary jazz-funk courtesy of the mysterious Funk Windows, an artist/band/producer with seemingly no online presence whatsoever but a string of releases on Italy's Sound Exhibitions to their name. 'Foonk' is a fast and furious workout whose virtuoso bassline comes accompanied by guitar chops that are redolent of early 80s Brit-funk (think Orange Juice or Pigbag), while 'Serious Groove II' is a more laidback affair that recalls the jazz-fusion of the late 70s. Completing the EP is 'Light', a contemplative number that could sneak its way into soul/R&B sets. The scorching 'Foonk' is the obvious pick for dancefloor play, but there's some fine musicianship on display here.
Review: Funk Windows' true identity is shrouded in mystery, but he has a string of EPs exploring retro funk and soul territories to his name. On this latest offering he's wearing late 70s/early 80s jazz-funk and electrofunk influences proudly on his sleeve, so think Zapp jamming with Spyro Gyra and you won't be too far off the mark! If you're looking to freshen up your funk sets and dodge the over-familiar, these five nuggets should do the job nicely, with the drums on 'We Funk' and the low-slung groove of 'Da Funk' particularly worthy of note - though with nary a vocal in sight, crossover potential's going to be limited.
Review: Like its predecessors, the third volume in Sound Exhibitions' "Africa Soul" series offers up a pleasingly listenable - and largely floor-friendly - mixture of fresh Afro-centric productions, re-edits, sneaky reworks and sample-heavy workouts. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the deep, disco-tinged Afro-house warmth of DJ Moy's "Afro-Dancing" and the bassline-driven Afro-boogie funkiness of TJ Edit's "Baby Camon", to the wonderfully woozy and sun-kissed heaviness of Vito Lalinga's undeniably summery - and hard to pigeonhole - "New York City" and the sludgy, off-beat jazz-funk/deep disco fusion of M.A.D.Y's "Tipical". As the old clich? goes, this is genuinely "all killer, no filler".
Review: Italian groove fiends Sound Exhibition let loose with an obscenely fat collection of reworked past glories and the vibes extend in all directions as we're hurled head first into a disco frenzy. Highlights include Vito Lalinga taking The Broker's "To Day" to some far-out cosmic deserts, DJ Moy whipping up a laid back jazz wet dream on "Family Affair" and Vi Mode encouraging the smoochiest of sides of our personalities with the sleazy sultry sway on Ms Janette's "Down". Totally reworked, totally fresh, totally funky.