Review: Fray Bentos is Adam Billingham - currently a resident DJ with Brighton's infamous Soul Casserole crew. He has supported the likes of Norman Jay, Craig Charles, Don Letts, Giles Peterson and The Reflex during his tenure. He returns on the trusty Katakana Edits with more handy resplices of golden oldies for modern audiences, supported by Goji Berry and Hawwis here for the label's 58th edition. Bentos' "Magic Work" is a lo-slung affair with a rolling funk bassline and some shimmering synth work - it's an edit of something quite familiar you think - but then that vocal dops and it finally hits you! Greece's Goji Berry delivers some smooth Italo styled business on "Mama" while Manchester's Hawwis serves up the sweltering Afro vibes and gets totally spiritual on "Amiga".
Review: Having contributed tracks to a number of their compilation style EPs, the Katakana Edits crew has finally offered Goji Berry a solo release. The mysterious re-editor has grasped the opportunity with both hands, delivering two killer rubs that should make their way into the playlists of lots of discerning DJs. First up is "Night and Reggae", a bouncy, hands-aloft-at-a-beach-party revision of a little-known 1980s pop-reggae number full of sweet vocals, jaunty horn stabs and rolling synthesizer basslines. "Wouldn't I" is similarly sweet, synth-heavy and 1980s in origin, with a chunkier house beat, eyes-closed guitar solos and dreamier chords adding to the holiday mood.
Little Prince - "Getting Down To Cuba" - (6:40) 118 BPM
Review: The 54th EP from prolific rework imprint Katakana Edits is a triple-header, featuring hot new cut-jobs from Goji Berry, Little Prince and DJ Laurel. The latter's "Right On" is an undeniably sweet and soulful affair, with the producer underpinning slick '80s soul vocals and rising disco-funk horns with a low-slung, filter-heavy breakbeat groove. Although Little Prince's "Getting Down To Cuba" is an undeniably cheery peak-time affair - he adds a little house flavour to a Caribbean disco classic - the undoubted star of the show is Goji Berry. The producer serves up a trio of edits, with the hybrid Italo-disco/ electro-funk jauntiness of "I Need" and slow-mo, saucer-eyed vibes of "In The Heat" standing out.
Review: Congratulations to the Katakana Edits crew, who have now reached a half-century of releases. Their 50th EP of sneaky reworks boasts contributions not from familiar label favourites, but a couple of hitherto unseen debutants. SOKA takes top marks for opener "Happiness (Dirty Dub Redaction)", a brilliant dub disco style revision of a cheery disco anthem full of echoing vocal snippets, loose-limbed drum fills and what sound like backwards guitar solos. Soka's second contribution, "Baretta", sees the producer move further towards jazzy, funk-fuelled deep house territory via all manner of woodwind and brass solos, while Goji Berry's "Lay Me" is a sensual and eccentric chunk of slow motion disco sleaze.
Review: This decidedly epic collection marks Katakana Edits's first foray into the compilation market and is designed as a "best-of" style outing. It boasts 30 reworks, mash-ups, remixes and re-edits gleamed from the prolific imprint's first 50 singles. Naturally, club-ready material comes thick and fast, with a multitude of genres - think swamp funk, disco, dub disco, electrofunk, Italo-disco, hip-hop, reggae and dancehall - and wide variety of tempos represented. Naturally, some of the reworks tend towards the well known, though there are also plenty of rubs of lesser-known gems for those who want to dig deeper than familiar peak-time anthems. Most importantly, the standard remains impressively high throughout.