Review: This Christmas, if you run out of board games to play round the fire, don't fear: just throw this bulging collection (26 tracks!) on the stereo and enjoy hours of fun for all the family, guessing which sample matches which Jay-Z song (no prizes for Hard Knock Life though). Highlights of the many vintage grooves featured include The Doors "Five To One", The Jackson 5 "I Want You Back", Al Green's "Free At Last", Marcus Miller's "Much Too Much" and Talking Heads' classic, "Once In A Lifetime".
Review: To date, each volume in Africa Seven's thrilling Africa Airways compilation series has been little less than essential. It goes without saying that this fourth instalment is also exceptionally good. Whereas previous volumes have focused on Afro-funk and "Afro-psych" (think Sly Stone, Nigerian style), this set drills down into African disco-funk released between 1976 and '83. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the solo-laden, slap bass-boasting bounce of Tala AM's "Get Up Tchamassi" and Charly Kingson's squelchy, synth-laden Blaxploitation number "Nimele Bolo", to the righteous, piano-driven thrills of Kemayo and K-System's brilliant "Biram" and the superior boogie business of Jake Sollo's "Tinini Yasana".
Review: Crate-digging reissue specialists Africa Seven has decided to flip the script on this fantastic album, asking a range of contemporary producers to "re-imagine" a string of rare soul, funk, Afrobeat and disco jams. Thrillingly for those who remember the original West London broken beat scene, the comp contains some killer "bruk" revisions - not least Silkie's brilliantly fluid and groovy take on Ekambi Brillant's "Soul Castle" and EVM's rolling, Bugz in the Attic style revision of M'Bamina's "Mosi Zole". Elsewhere, Appleblim delivers a typically fuzzy and bass heavy rework of Sorry Bamba, Dj Food chops up Sookie's organ-laden funk slammer "Rhythm on Rhythm" an IDM heroes Plaid join the dots between vintage African jazz and woozy electronica. In a word: superb.