Review: Upbeat, unpretentious nu-disco and disco-house are the order of the day here, much along the lines of Hed Kandi's mid-noughties Disco Kandi/Disco Heaven comps. With 14 tracks to choose from there's plenty of dancefloor bang for your disco buck, and while there's undoubtedly a whiff of fromage in the air in places (Badboe's rap-vocalled, Sister Sledge/InDeep-referencing 'Best Of My Beats', for instance, isn't a million miles from a Will Smith production) there are also slightly deeper pleasures awaiting those who are prepared to dig around a bit - see, for instance, the raw disco-funk of 'Miss Broadway' or Joy Legend's Hammond-sporting 'Pass It On'.
Review: The unstoppable juggernaut that is the 'Katakana Edits' series rumbles ever onwards, with Parisian label regular Morlack (AKA Funk Blaster) back at the controls for Vol 103. 'Going With Sadness' is a lively, late 70s-style disco number - original source unknown - with a Spanish-sounding female vocal and sunny sax, while 'Love Is Really My Game' revisits Brainstorm's Sylvester-esque 1980 Tabu cut of the same name. 'Our Time' plunders Roy Ayers' 1982 barrio funk fave 'Our Time Is Coming' (as previously reworked by MAW and Joey Negro), while finally 'Right Back' is a low-slung, lower-tempo groover with more of an 80s boogie feel.
Review: Within the world of breakbeat, there are few names held in such high regard as Morlack, who continues his incredibly consistent run this time around with a five track package on Funk Blasters, that being the fourth edition of his 'Cheeky Edits' series. We begin with the 80's inspired drum smashes and stripped back vocal sampling on 'Breakin', followed by groovy bass guitar licks of 'Telepathy' and pulsating retro synth work of 'Ur Life'. The quality levels remain incredibly high throughout as we then take in 'Da Bomb', a disco-ready roller decorated with glistening guitar riffs and a well sampled chorus block, before the brick wall drum smashes of 'Funky Stuff' see us out in style. Excellent work.
Review: With the breakbeat movement growing stronger and stronger each week, it's quite incredible to see just how consistent Morlack's release schedule has been over the last few years, with a new project dropping seemingly at least once a month, this time on Funk Blasters. We are treated to four powerful originals, kicking off with sizzling horn lines and crunchy drum smacks of 'Robin Practise', alongside the chiming melodic lines and percussive rhythms of 'Jamaica Girls'. Next, the project takes a more violent turn with the powerful electric lines of 'Sardines' and the funk-infused approach of 'Kinda Hectic', signing this one out with a bang!
Review: Katakana Edits first compilation, 2017's "Crate Diggin", was an epic collection of high-grade re-edits, mash-ups and reworks packed to the rafters with tried-and-tested dancefloor treats. This belated follow-up is even more epic, with the popular label squeezing in no less than 50 tracks that variously touch on riotous disco-funk, dub disco, new wave, disco-rock, deep funk, Afro-boogie, swamp funk, Latin beats, boogie, pitched-down chuggers, boogaloo, hip-hop and everything in between. You'd expect that standard to be high - it is a "best of" collection after all - and it is. If you need an instant armoury of scintillating club cuts, look no further.
Review: We have found it to be a common theme with Breakbeat Paradise releases that they really do ooze quality from start to finish, a pattern into which this latest five track thriller from Morlack, kicking off with the uplifting sample work and stuttered grooves of the title track 'Good Times'. This is followed then by then spacey arrangements and scratch inputs of 'Do It 2 Me' alongside 'Sexy Shine', a spacey project led by more clever vocal sampling. Finally, 'Get Happy' combines punchy bass guitars with rhythmic cowbell manoeuvres before we round up with 'Freak Bitch 2020', an amalgamation of funk and soul flavours to round us off in style!
Review: Rhode Island-based Katakana Edits bring us the 98th installment in this long-running series, and once more we're in the hands of Morlack, who's contributed no fewer than 14 previous volumes. The French DJ/producer has dug pretty deep for source material: 'Cali Style' bites Eddy Grant's 'California Style', the Jimmy Castor Bunch's 1975 novelty funker 'King Kong' gets a light-touch refix and 'L.Cats' gives The Cure an unexpected breakbeat makeover, but that's about as much as we can tell you! The rest of the EP draws on unidentified soul, funk and boogie nuggets, many of them with non-Anglophone vocals.
Review: It's a great time for breakbeat in general, with new heavyweight releases dropping every week, thanks primarily to the consistency of top labels such as Funk Blasters. They here welcome sounds of fan favourite Morlack across four wicked originals, beginning with the spooky themes and grizzly synth rolls of 'Candy Skank'. Next, 'Lorins Dance', in which we hear choppy vocal slaps forged together with smooth jazzy saxophone lines before 'Rhythm 20' lets a funkadelic bassline run riot. Finally, the euphoric harmonic structures of 'Same Feeling' work as an excellent sign out for a top quality body of work.
Review: The long-running 'Katakana Edits' series reaches #94, with Parisian funk and disco producer Morlack at the controls and bringing us four tracks. Opener 'Wipe Mo' (source unknown) has a soca-ish feel, while 'Dance Dance Dance' feels like it's been reworked from an old African disco record. 'Wonderful', on the other hand, revisits Kid Creole & The Coconuts' 1982 hit 'I'm A Wonderful Thing Baby', while 'Whip' is a slowed-down, Temazepam disco reversioning of the Dazz Band's 'Let It Whip' from the same year. The EP as a whole will suit those who like their disco on the more leftfield side.
Review: It's been a very exciting 2019 for Morlack, who continues his run of top quality releases by teaming up here with the ever-ready Funk Blasters team for the third edition of 'Cheeky Edits'. We kick off with the classy sample work and pulsating drum pressure of 'Rumba', before moving into the spaced out percussive structures of 'Momie' and latin-inspired arrangements of 'El Ray'. Next, 'Masta Rocka' arrives with a real punchy drumline, before the the almost 80's sounding compositional layout of 'Da Bird' rounds us off with a bang.
Review: Bustling breakbeat badman turned re-edit hero Morlack has served up some scintillating stuff of late, including a brilliant four-tracker on Katakana Edits. Here he gets his re-edit groove on for Thunder Jam. It's a decent label debut which moves from vaguely Balearic '80s Afro-boogie (the synth and filter-sporting "Kalimba Tree") to chunky, hard-wired P-funk brilliance (the Bootsy Collins-esque bounciness of "Agony"), via smooth, slick and seductive '80s soul ("Control", whose slap-bass, screeching car tyre effects and sassy female vocals are particularly alluring) and horn-toting, big studio electrofunk ("Lovin' U"). In other words, it's another tidy collection of cuts.
Review: Breakbeat is most definitely back on the up this year, and it is primarily down to the sheer consistency of artists such as Morlack who tireless push forward with new projects on such a regular basis. This latest album episode goes by the name of 'Bluff' and encapsulates everything we love about Morlack's sound, from the stunning instrumental sampling and punchy drum work of 'Colibri Shine' to the dipping grooves of 'Sex Me'. For us, the highlights here have to include both the excellent vocal slicing of '2Be In Family', and of course the horn-heavy riffs of the title track 'Bluff'. Excellent stuff from the breakbeat mastermind!
Review: Parisian man of mystery Morlack is at the controls for this latest installment in the long-running Katakana Edits series, bringing us four more reworks of dancefloor cuts from days gone by. 'Terapeutica' tops a lolloping funk groove with brass parps and James Brown-like shouts, while 'Que Pasa' revisits Coati Mundi's 'Me No Pop I' from 1982. 'Manyoma' is a frothy, party-tastic cocktail of Latin, lounge and Afro influences, while completing the EP is 'Hot 4U', a more struttin', stripped-back disco jam with a late 70s kinda feel and, as the track nears its end, some scorching sax work.
Review: Within the realms of Breakbeat, the name Morlack is to be treated with some serious respect, as he continues to create fantastic original material, showcased here by his involvement with the awesome Breakbeat Paradise Recordings crew. From this funkadelic grooves of 'One Dutch', moody bass movements of 'Manteca' and soul inspired harmonies of 'Bush Beat', we get off to one hell of a start. Following this, the well-sampled vocal leads of 'Pull Up' really do the business before we finish up the project with a dive into the more slower-paced 'No Illusions', packed with catchy rap vocals and groovy drumwork.
Review: The chopper king himself Morlack returns here to the legendary Katanaka Edits imprint here with four stunning recreations, showcasing just why he is held in such high esteem by all of us here at Juno. The first track 'Here Comes The Hook' combines soulful, uplifting horn melodies with punchy drum moves for with fantastic results, whilst 'Here I'm' applies a similar format to some classic disco vocals. Next, 'Sossego' leaps to the forefront with some smooth, bluesy guitar riff, which is followed by the psychedelic grooves and twists of 'Lucy On Skate' to see out the EP in style.
Review: Well, it's most certainly hit the time to get funky as we take a stroll through this high energy collection of breakbeat chops from Morlack, who lands on the Funk Blasters imprint with fantastic results. We are treated to some absolute sauce buckets on this one, from the irresistible melodic grooves of 'U R The Rap Machine' to the old school vocal sampling of 'Family Anime' and gritty bass work on 'Movin' Alright'.Following this, the high energy bassline movements and hard hitting drums of 'Get Down' certainly strike a chord, with the EP rounding off well on the smooth vocal lines of 'Crazy Wig'.
Review: Paris-based Ben Morlack is the man at the controls for this latest addition to the ever-growing Katakana Edits series. 'Rainbow Mash' is just that: a mash-up of styles with house, big beat and P-funk influences thrown into the pot and serve up as a gloriously energetic dancefloor romp topped with a "party down!" vocal and a rolling, house-y piano riff. 'That Girl', meanwhile, beefs up Maxi Priest and Shaggy's 1996 ragga hit for modern dancefloors, while leaving the 'Green Onions' riff on which it's based intact. Both tracks can be safely filed in the box marked 'party-starters'.
Review: If you're a lover of hip-house vocals then the Sweet Tee-esque title track here will definitely give you a 'Happy Feeling'! Elsewhere on the EP, 'Corrupt' is a looping, Latin-tinged affair with chorused female vox, there are more Latino flavas on 'You Choose', 'Arab Money' is an uptempo, brassy joint atop which another rapped vocal (a male one this time) and some Middle Eastern chanting go head-to-head, while 'Heartbeat' is essentially a rework of Jimmy 'Bo' Horne's 'Is It In?' from 1980. Five sample-tastic cuts that'll keep disco floors moving for sure.
Review: Funk Blasters are back and this time alongside the king of cuts himself; Morlack, who arrives on the scene with a fresh bag of magic as he unveils the second volume of his 'Cheeky Edits' series. We begin with the shuffling disco beats of 'Cruncked House', before moving into the soul grooves and expressive riffs of 'Feel It'. To follow; 'Smthing Special', another futuristic soul slice, leading into the darkened hip hop drumwork of 'A Toke'. The project then rounds off nicely with 'Knee Dip', a funkadelic blend of crunchy rhythms, precise vocal slices and moogy bass leads, packed with flavour and energy.
Review: Breakbeat Paradise regular Morlack has a reputation for serving up brilliantly chopped-up, funk-fuelled material that's guaranteed to get the party started. The Parisian producer's latest Katakana Edits outing ticks all of the right boxes, serving up two prime cuts of celebratory dancefloor release. Choose between the rubbery, beefed-up disco heaviness of "I Like The Way You..." - all elastic slap bass, punchy horns and screaming orchestration -and the chunkier, 109 BPM breakbeat shuffle of "Across The Floor". This is effectively a rearrangement of a well-known disco era staple with punchy new drums beneath. While simple by design, it's very effective.
Review: The Breakbeat Paradise Recordings catalogue is an impressive one, boasting some of the most sought after releases in and around the breakbeat scene. That catalogue has just been improved yet again by the ever-impressive sounds of Morlack, who returns with his brand new 5 track project. We kick off with the depthy funk melody sampling and gritty reeses of 'Keep That Funk' before drawing for the vocal fidget combos on 'Be Bumpin Fresh' and 'Ghetto Girls'. Next up the more stripped back skippy arrangements of 'DayO', before finishing up the EP with 'Lets Get It (part 2)', which utilizes some fantastic patois vocal sampling with exhilarating horn riffs and smooth percussive patterns.
Review: For their 63rd edition, Katakana Edits hand the reins over to Paris based DJ Morlack again with some crafty resplices of some forgotten disco gems. Following up a slew of terrific releases on the always reliable Breakbeat Paradise imprint - you're in equally good hands with this four tracker. From the neon-lit, '80s styled boogie down jam "Your Love", the Cameo styled funk attack on "Wop" to a golden oldie by the artist who was formerly known under a variety of names on "Do It 2U Right" - there is no doubt that Ben Morlack has got it goin' on!
Review: For this highly anticipated second volume of 'Breakin The Riddim', Breakbeat Paradise have got an awesome tracklisting and roster together to showcase the fusion of dub and funk into breakbeat compositions. For us the immediate highlights have to be the the reggae infused design of 'Meditation' from Leygo, the smooth patois vocal presence and from Richard Smiths on 'Fire Sound' from Illgorhythms and of course the crunchy drum design and writhing bass tones on Pecoe's 'Boom'. Overall this is a great compilation, showcasing a vast array of styles without diverting from the common theme of the project.
Review: As one of the leading Parisian future breakbeat masters, Morlack makes a return to Funk Blasters for a super groovy four track project by the name of 'Good To Go Go Vol. 5'. Right from the off we are greeted with super crunchy drum patterns on 'Woody's Groove' and 'Go Go Bart', both of which combine these arrangements with very catchy funk riffs. On 'Got My Eyes On You' the funk levels increase as smooth vocal samples roll into play alongside vibrant bass melodies. With 'Hey Buddy' we are thrown a super curveball as we delve into more latin rhythms and carnival themes before we finish the EP nicely with the crafty yet soulful design on 'Let Me See You Go Go'.
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.
Review: Congratulations to the Katakana Edits crew, who have now reached a half century of releases. Their 53rd EP comes from the mysterious Ben Morlack from Paris. He's had other releases recently on Funk Blasters, Breakbeat Paradise, Relative Dimensions, Homebreakin, Tru Funk and Boogie Boutique: so you know where this guys coming from! "Train" is a well funky joint with some super powerful vocals retained from the original of this fine track - that sounds quite familiar. Next up you get served to some serious soul power on the wicked "There It Is".
Review: Uh-oh! It's French breakbeat wizard Morlack back to his old tricks! Returning to Breakbeat Paradise, the prodigious beat-maker drops the second chapter of Ghetto Disco, a series which, as you can probably tell by the name, focusses on the more 'gangsta' side of disco and boogie. In fact, these five cuts are of the latter than they are the former, stomping and chomping their way across arrangements with some fiery electro bass and cosmic tones. There's even a nice layer of hip-hop sensibility in there for you, namely through the party-ready funk-bomb by the name of "Smokin N Drinkin". Big and bad - here to party!
Review: This time last year, breakbeat maverick Morlack was banging out some Rick James business, a sweet reinterpretation of the legend's most infamous moments, but right now he's up on Royal Soul with some sweet-ass, electro-swinging gear of the highest calibre. "Ripa Na Chulipa" takes the boogie beats on a Brazilian tip, before the sounds of "Farther Imagination" blast it all down to classic US levels - what a master-blaster of a tune! "It Should Have Been You" is a sweeter, more soulful West-Coast sort of number, perfect for kicking back and smokin' a number, whereas "Try My Lovin" takes the groove way down below, somewhere closer to traditional hip-hop levels. Don't mess with dat bass doe!
Review: Re-edit maestro Morlack went AWOL for a while, with reported sightings of him partying with Trotter in as far away locations as Brazilian jungles coming in thick and fast. Well wherever he disappeared to this producer is back and he's brandishing a new album to boot! Beautiful Mistakes features 13 new jams, all of which are guaranteed to get you moving in one direction or other. Highlights include the lively jump up Egyptian DnB of "Belly Pyramid", the smooth 80s soul grind of the title track and the glistening electro-funk grooves of "Nightlife". Back in business!
Review: Danish label Breakbeat Paradise are really starting to branch out with an increasingly broader approach to the styles and sounds of their roster. This new compilation sees them veer further into disco territory than we could ever have imagined. There are 10 cuts by some big re-edit names, with highlights including Dr Packer's Rappers Delight-style glitter-boogie stomp "Rollerskating Jam", Morlack's sizzling hiNRG jam "Party Til You Broke" and the serene, stonewashed-disco and Miami Vice vibes of "Turn The Music Up" by Shaka Loves You.
Review: If ever there was a resident curator of the esteemed nu-disco Katakana Edits series, it's the Go-Go hero Morlack. Frankly, he's always at it. Here he's back for numero 47, this time rustling up three new cuts for our itchy disco feet. "Ring" goes for the jugular, taking a well-known (to the point of wedding disco classic) 70s barnstormer and adding some seriously filthy electro arpeggios to the mix. Next up, "Up Down" is a slow and groovy party breaks cover version of Diana Ross' perennial classic. Last but not least is "Tell Me Something Good" which is relaxed and mellow reggae fun at its finest.
Review: What do we have here then? Well Morlack's decided to compile the perfect (digital) stocking filler here, with the 33 tracks bumper compilation Essential Blasters on his mighty Funk Blasters label. Essentially we get many tracks from a small pool of artists, but that's cool because it's literally chocker with party anthems, all perfect for the festive season. Highlights include the brassy, go-go stomp of Morlack's "Put It Out", the raw breaky funk of "Lemme Talk" by Itchy Bastards and the 4/4 rockabilly swagger of "Elephant Boogie" by Mondo Exotica.
Review: Go-Go lovin' disco re-tweaker Morlack recently helmed the 41st instalment in Katakana's Edits series. It clearly was a huge success because they've already invited him back to curate a second one! There are four tunes on this one, starting with a toughened up version of T-Connection's already tough 70s funk jam "Totally Connected", "FWM" is a spacier and breakier affair, "High Time" is accelerated lady funk of the electro kind and "Do It Fluid" wraps things up with a beautiful melange of boogie, breaks and soulful bellowing.
Review: Denmark may not spring to mind when thinking of the late, great Rick James and his breed is glittery funk. However its Danish label Breakbeat Paradise that Go-Go addict Morlack has chosen to release his James-referencing Touched It EP. This one even comes with a special video featuring the James-meister in his spandex-clad prime. In short this EP is packed with five retro boogie edits, highlights of which include the pitch-bent boogie stomp of the title track, the tight digital synth funk of "Take A Ride On The Soft Side" and the quirky groove mania of "Take A NY Trip".
Review: Although the cover of this latest instalment in the Paradise Breaks series echoes the famously trippy sleeves of '70s prog rockers like Yes, the music couldn't be more modern. Actually that said, many of the productions on here do plunder the '70s for inspiration but they choose funk over wizard's capes and that. Highlights include the mighty "Bad Mother" which combines raw soul divas vocals, wah-wah guitars and thumping break beats, J-Sounds' tight and groovy break-funk jam "On And On" and the super catchy shuffle-pop gem "Nobody Else" by Arteo. A totally mixed bag and all the better for it.
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: Go-Go was a strain of US hip-hop that hit peak popularity in the mid to late 80s...unless you are re-edit hero Morlack who has never let go (go). Good To Go-Go Vol IV features seven of the kind of tunes that saw the style quickly evolve into themes for TV shows like Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and The Cosby Show (season eight FYI). Highlights include the quirky funk of the cruel-to-be-kind "Wind It On Ugly", the raw throated Busta Rhymes bounce of "Love 2 Fire" and the DX synth bass twangs of smooth soul jam, "She's A Bad Girl".
Review: Party orientated re-edit man Morlack is the latest name signed up to curate a Katakana Edit compilation. Here on number 41 the 80s obsessed producer catches us on the wrong foot with the dubbed out reggae rework of Michael Jackson's Don't Stop Til You Get Enough. Normally known more for his boogie tastes, this dubby version is a real treat. "Funk & Roll" is a celebratory funk and breaks sing-along and the beefed up Afrobeat of "Ubirantan" is the best track on here. Party season has arrived!