Review: Fresh-faced funkateer Manjah steps up to the party-hardy Katakana series, and does so with distinction. It's a game of two halves as the first two cuts are dedicated to chanteuses Smokey Robinson and Donna Hightower. Both powered by swashbuckling 60s funk riffs, these are authentic edits done with true creativity. Later on in the EP we head West to the Caribbean as Manjah gets his skank on with Dancehall Queen. Those with a penchant for Greek taverna flavours should hold tight for the rustic groove on "Orienta Patria". Nice work.
Review: To celebrate a quarter century of releases, Katakana Edits has decided to do things differently, eschewing disco and afrobeat jams in favour of a six-track set of reggae, dancehall, ska and ragga reworks from Athens-based ManJah. His formula is simple: take a variety of cuts, and give them a massive boot up the backside to make them more appropriate for contemporary dancefloor plays. In some instances, this means adding toughened-up hip-hop style rhythms ("Kingston Knowing", "Smoking My Ganja"); at other times, he's more interested in the 4/4 shuffle of pitched-down house (the excellent "Raggamuffin"). The results are never less than solid, with the rich, head-nodding sweetness of "Roam" and "Rudies" standing out.
Review: Greek re-edit king MaJah has found that his cheeky productions work in his favour; the producer is being re-enlisted to take charge of another volume in Katakana's edit series (he only just recently helmed vol 25!). This time he presents six new tracks, again laying off the disco/Afro in favour of different sounds. Highlights include the lazy funk rock of "Sleaze", the big-beat-goes-big-band-isms of "Give Me What You Got" and the vintage reggae rhyme hip-house crackler "Volume".
Review: This latest offering from the shady Katakana Edits crew makes their previous offerings seem positively anemic by comparison. Boasting a whopping 22 tracks, it's almost certainly guaranteed to provide decent ammo for every house party imaginable. Highlights include the chugging electro dub sing-along "Shakka Boom" by DJ Clairvo, the p-funk meets disco of vibes of "Miami Freaks" by Lee Zamah and Timewrap's pumped up version of The Velvettes's perennial Motown classic, "He Was Really Sayin' Something".
Review: If life teaches you anything it's to expect the unexpected. Here the mighty re-edit label Katakana deliver their 42nd instalment of scapel jobs. However, this time, rather than have a specific producer curate an EP, they've shaken up the formula and delivered a compilation of edits. There's a whopping 24 reworks to enjoy too, many thrills and spills, but our favourites include Morlack's explosive drum-lead MJ cover, "Don't Stop", Mister Vagz' corny 60s mash-up "Love Me Venus" and Dim Zach & Deem's baggy rework of the Happy Monday's sublime "Loose Fit".
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.