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: As ever, the Bomb Strikes imprint delivers an awesome package to us with this brand new 25 track compilation entitled 'Funk N' Beats Vol. 5', To be honest, it's exactly what it says on the tin as The Allergies head up waves and waves of funkadelic rhythms and crunchy riffs. For us the highlights have to be the futuristic drum processing and subtle percussive movements of 'Loose Gardner' from Flevans, along with the classic breakbeat fusion of 'Fire' remixed by Smoove but originally produced by the Renegades Of Jazz. With the sheer depth of the project it's easy to get lost within the tracklisting, which is always a good sign on a large scale compilation.
Review: Being a bit of a musical clever clogs, ROJ leader, David Hanke, based the title of their recent album Paradise Lost on John Milton's famous poem of the same name. Now we get a follow-up collection of remixes that utilises the title of Milton's own sequel: Paradise Regain'd. Highlights include Skeewiff's clavinet-heavy hip-house rework of "Fire", Ride Of The Renegades' raspy, blues-rock version of "Hellesens" and its back to the days of Gypsy Woman on Titenots' retro house mix of "Neverday".
Review: David Hanke and co are back with a new album, Paradise Lost, which arrives just one short year on from their remarkable debut long player, Sidewinders. Inspired by Milton's epic poem of the same name, Hanke now presents 12 "dark, mysterious and unpredictable" cuts that in his words capture his own personal feelings of having "been to paradise and then lost it". Judging by the likes of the Dick-Tracy-with-the-shakes vibes of the title track or the fierce hip-hop assault of "Fire (featuring Aspects)", he clearly hasn't lost it at all!
Review: Following recent album Sidewinders, David Hanke's Renegades of Jazz outfit are already back with a new track, the lactose tolerant, "Moo Juice". It's a swingin' strutter of a tune too: a tough laconic back beat rolling under the swaggering brass, tinkling ivories and an infectious vocal. Bernd 'Kinski' Roesler ups the tempo with a housey samba-fest, Tom Eno's remix meanwhile opts for a deep funky house route and "Mute Speaker" dazzles with a bassy hybrid of spacey nu-disco and far out jazz. Impressive.
Review: When he started his Renegades of Jazz project back in 2010, David Hanke described it as "an attempt to bring jazz back to the dancefloor". In essence, that means fusing live jazz playing - double bass, horns, keys, percussion - with grooves inspired by soul, funk and breakbeat. It's a successful formula, as this second full-length - an all-star affair featuring collaborations with many notable players and producers - more than adeptly proves. Highlights come thick and fast, from the Middle Eastern-tinged exotica of "Why Oh Why" and spiraling, bruk-tinged Diesler hook-up "Rokko Loko", to the skittering Hammond funk of "Little Hurricane" and early Dynamic Syncopation spy-funk thrust of "Chiffre's Henchmen".
Review: It seems that the guys at Legere are really getting into this trawling through the vaults shizzle, as here we have yet another themed compilation. It's certainly a good way to demonstrate the breadth of the label's scope, and after recent downbeat and disco orientated collections, this album explores the variety of remixes that have passed through their doors over the years. Highlights include the crunchy, breaky electro of Malente's take on "Another Man", the glorious vintage disco abandon of "Dazz (Patchworks remix)" and the lazy, retro hip-hop funk of "Interlude (Pitch & Scratch mix)".
Review: Sadly, the music of Winchester is nowhere near as famous as its legendary cathedral (or, in fact, the snooty public school of the same name). That's mainly because Tom Eno seems to be the city's sole producer of note. Over the years, the folksy, organic beatmaker has produced some decidedly tasty cuts, as this belated compilation of tracks and remixes proves. The mood is breezy and summery, touching on accordion-laden flamenco dub (Dusty's remix of "Estrella"), ska-inclined dancefloor jams (Eno's remix of Diego and the Disidents), ultra deep and soulful house (a terrific remix of Bristol beatmaker Benjamin One) and disco-tinged 4/4 funk (a soaring version of Upskiboo's "Running Like This").