Review: The 'Jalapeno Funk' series reaches its 12th installment. The title's arguably something of a misnomer, because the 20 tracks here are largely closer to Dap Kings-style neo-soul - with, in true Jalapeno style, a side order of hip-hop - than they are to phat-assed 70s funk. But look at the names involved: with the likes of Smoove & Turrell, The Allergies, Skeewiff, Dr Rubberfunk, Ivo Fitzroy and Aldo Vanucci all onboard, you know fans of the label and/or the style are going to be more than satisfied with this one! Soopasoul's jazz-tinged 'A Wild Mad Beat' is one standout for this reviewer, while Skeewiff's 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' is worth a mention for its distinctive use of a country/bluegrass-style male vocal.
Review: We're full of respect for the team behind Jalapeno Records, who have now been offering up the finest in funk, soul, hip-hop, disco and breakbeat for 20 years. It's a landmark that calls for a celebration, and with this compilation they've certainly marked their anniversary in style. The 20-track set is full-to-bursting with party-starting heat, with vintage gems from the likes of Skeewiff, Ikon, Kraak & Smaak and Featurecast being joined by more recent highlights from current imprint heavyweights such as Smoove & Turrell and the Allergies. Highlights are plentiful, with our picks including the break-driven revivalist soul headiness of Aldo Vanucci's 'You're All Show', the summery positivity of Gizelle Smith's 'S.T.A.Y' and the rushing disco brilliance of Dimitri From Paris's essential edit of Izo Fitzroy's 'I Want Magic'.
Review: Following the success of Shaka Loves You's previous compilations on Bombstrikes, the label has offered them the chance to launch a new series all of their own. Named in honour of their radio show and regular parties in Glasgow, Joints & Jams offers up a hugely entertaining (and largely floor-friendly) mixture of funk-fuelled hip-hop (Bastien Keb, Fort Knox Five, Andy Cooper), skanking reggae (The Nextmen and Gentlemen's Dub Club sing-along 'Done It Again'), flash-fried funk breaks (the Allergies), tropical goodness (DJ Nu-Mark's hook-up with Quantic), and various fusions of disco, boogie and funk (see the cuts from Kraak & Smaak, X-Ray Ted, Pablo & Shoey and Shaka Loves You themselves). The result is a brilliantly mixed-up collection of tried-and-tested dancefloor bombs.
Review: Shaping up to be one of the biggest soul tunes of the year, here 'Blind Faith' gets the remix treatment courtesy of Art Of Tones (formerly known as F-Comm fave Llorca) and fellow Jalapeno regular Smoove (as in Turrell). Art Of Tones nudges the track closer to soulful house territory - his Dub, in particular, would undoubtedly have gone down a storm at Ben Watt's legendary Sunday sessions Lazy Dog back in the day, with its phat b-line and jazz-funk guitar chops. Smoove then surprises with a shimmering, squelchy-basslined rub that also operates at a near-house tempo.
Review: "A unique and captivating blend of soul, gospel and blues" is how UK vocalist Izo Fitzroy's biography describes her music... but then you probably knew that, because there's been no escaping recent single 'Blind Faith', which sees her Winehouse-like vocals backed, just like the lady herself, by the excellent Haggis Horns, as well as her own Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir. And if you liked the single you're gonna love the album, because there's plenty more where 'Blind Faith' came from! It's largely a home listening affair, though the acid jazz-leaning 'Pushing Buttons' and the disco-infused, Hammond-laden 'I Want Magic' could find themselves gracing funk and soul floors.
Review: London-based soul singer Izo Fitzroy released her debut album 'Skyline' on Jalapeno just over two years ago. Since then, we've had the Dimitri From Paris-produced 'I Want Magic' earlier this year, and now here comes 'Blind Faith', a track that'll appeal to fans of contemporary soul artists such as The Dap Kings, Smoove & Turrell or Stone Foundation. Supplied in simple Original and Radio Edit mixes and richly embellished with horns and strings, 'Blind Faith' features some truly sumptuous production, and while it may all be a little 'polite' for some, crossover success certainly can't be ruled out.
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: Jalapeno Records present a 17-track V/A collection of contemporary funk grooves, all of which have been given a makeover by Smoove, of Smoove & Turrell fame. There are some big names from the 'new old' funk scene represented (Haggis Horns, Nicole Willis, Smoove & Turrell themselves) but as you might expect from the label it's on, the emphasis is more on party-hearty funk breaks/funk-hop than out-and-out 60s/70s revivalism. Renegades Of Jazz's 'Fire' with its wukka-wukking geetar and guest rap vocal from The Allergies is one standout, King Bee's O'Jays-biting 'Money Gone' another, but dive on in and find your own faves...
Review: Two years on from the release of her superb debut album "Skyline", Jalepeno's leading soul sister clears her throat and steps up to the microphone. "I Want Magic" is a truly collaborative affair, with Parisian jazz-funk/Latin disco combo Cotonete acting as FitzRoy's backing band and veteran disco don Dimitri From Paris acting as producer and mixer. The result is a wonderfully warm and life-affirming chunk of revivalist disco shot through with giddy positivity. Throughout, FitzRoy's sweet vocals rise above a brilliant backing track rich in Nile Rodgers style guitars, fluid piano riffs, warm bass, unfussy drums and punchy horns. The best mix is undoubtedly the "Dimitri From Paris v Cotonete 12" Version", which somehow manages to cram in a swathe of life-affirming instrument solos.
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: Dutch super trio Kraak & Smaak go poolside: Miami style here for Toolroom. Indeed this compilation showcases the many shades of house music that soundtracked some serious fun in the sun, at 2018's edition of Miami Music Week. The longtime staples of the UK imprint Jalapeno serve up all things deep, funky, nu-disco and even a bit of French Touch for good measure. Highlights include Lindstrom & Prins Thomas' disco odyssey - translated via their remix of Temples' "Born Into The Sunset", Freerange boss Jimpster's lush and hypnotic "English Rose" (original mix), last year's comeback by Parisian legend Alex Gopher & Pierrick Devin on "Jazz Rock" (receiving another well deserved rinse!) and the inimitable Detroit legend Andres with his remix of Cool Peepl's "Free" (feat Billy Love, Amp Fiddler & Sundiata O.M). Several of the trios funked-up tracks feature throughout in addition to a continuous mix of the playlist.
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: Izo Fitzroy is a relatively new finding for us, and it's thanks to the Jalapeno imprint, out of Brighton, that our charts have been graced by such a feel-good flex. In fact, "Say Something" is a perfect example of Fitzroy's talents; through a mixture of funky blues and house-minded grooves, this is a powerful bit of blue-eyed soul that sits on the edges of the underground and the mainstream. For this EP, she has also invited a crew of remixers - Smoove touches down with a lovely boogie version, Animist's take is purely on the house tip, Twogood?s remix is a successful blend of both of those, and we have the Smoove dub version to provide the deeper, more heartical frequencies. Yessah!
Review: Already compared to many greats (Janis Joplin, Etta James and Dr John), Londoner Izo Fitzroy has been slowly drip-feeding us tracks from her long awaited album...since last July! Well the wait is over as Jalapeno proudly present her Skyline EP. She has already received much praise for her unfaltering message of empowerment and survival and now over these (Dr Rubberfunk-produced) 12 tracks we can really hear what the fuss is about. Fitzroy collaborated with all sorts of musicians that she met in Southern American dive bars some years ago and the results are contained here in all their whiskey stained glory!
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.