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: As a lifelong soul boy - poet, actor and renowned BBC6 Music and Radio 2 host, Craig Charles returns with Trunk Of Funk Volume 2! With Volume 1 even managing to hit the UK charts, Volume 2 kicks it off with an exclusive Trunk Of Funk remix of The Allergies (featuring Ugly Duckling's Andy Cooper) next to some obscure and bizarre psychedelic '70s funk of "Your Autumn Of Tomorrow" by The Crow. Volume 2 is also the only place you'll get to hear Smoove & Turrells' Exclusive Trunk Of Funk edit of "Slow Down'' next to banging jams and covers by The Bamboos, The Souljazz Orchestra ("Sorrow Fly Away"), to deep and crackling soul numbers by Luther Ingram and that big band, hip hop extravaganza by Joseph Malik in "Mixed Race Combination". Craig Charles reputation as an ambassador for all things soulful & funky lives!
Review: DJ, actor, comedian, radio presenter and poet Craig Charles is known for many things, but actually making music isn't one of them. Nevertheless, he takes top billing on this team-up with UK funk and soul faves Smoove & Turrell, even if his contribution to the track seems to be limited to a shouted introduction! That's fine, though - there aren't many that can touch S&T when it comes to this kind of "new old" tackle, and fans of the band should find this lively little foot-shuffler a more than satisfactory stop-gap while they wait for the next album to arrive.
Get To Know - "Love Is The Answer" - (6:14) 120 BPM
Various - "Disco Funkin' Vol. 4" (continuous DJ mix by Birdee) - (1:11:43) 120 BPM
Review: Birdee is a rising star of the nu-disco and re-edit scenes, so it makes perfect sense that Bomb Strikes has recruited him to curate and mix the latest volume in their excellent Disco Funkin' compilation series. As you'd expect, it's a thoroughly and joyous affair, rich in colourful synth sounds, funky disco basslines and beats that flit between housed-up heaviness and more organic-sounding, less pumped-up grooves. There are tons of essential cuts amongst the 25 unmixed tracks on show, with highlights including the sun-bright rush of Pete Herbert's remix of Da Chick's 'Chick a Boom', the crunchy Clavinet-sporting disco-funk of Shaka Loves You's 'Let's Move (SLY Disco Rub)', the slick French Touch style warmth of Birdee's own 'Thinking About You' and Ray Mang's celebratory revision of Smoove & Turrell's 'Do It'.
Review: Smoove & Turrell's sixth studio album continues to get the royal treatment with a new dose of remixes, this time coming from band member Jonathan Scott Watson's solo project, Smoove. Turning out ten new and previously unheard versions of Stratos Bleu, Smoove embraces dubs of all sounds and sizes. Looking to something trance-like in "Still Don't Know" with its turn-of-the-millenium house vocal - next to "Talk About Nothing" - get some neo-soul and gospel vibes in "Elgin Towers", to a chunky and Balearic instrumental in "Never Wanted You More". "Fade Away" adds an extra breath of fresh air to its vocal section and broken beat rhythm structure, with some summery and upbeat grooves that hit the floor running in an 'Acid Dub' to "This Time". Smoove operator.
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: Given the vibrancy, instrumental colour and musical richness of Smoove & Turrell's recent Stratos Bleu album, it should come as no surprise to find that this partner remix album is every bit as good. There are some suitably sizable, club-ready takes scattered across the set, with our picks including Ashley Beedle's piano and strings-laden disco revision of 'It Ain't Working', Ray Mang's slap-bass-sporting disco-boogie overhaul of 'Do It', Smoove's proto-house style 'Club Dub' of 'It Ain't Working', and a couple of excellent deep house re-rubs by Vandebilt and Fouk. Elsewhere, Steve Cobby's stirring remix of 'Elgin Towers' is a blue-eyed soul treat, Krash Slaughta successfully re-wires 'TalkAbout Nothing' as a shuffling drum and bass workout, and Dr Rubberfunk's take on 'Never Wanted You More' is a jazzy trip-hop treat.
Review: UK "new old" funk 'n' soul faves Smoove & Turrell bring us four remixes of three tracks culled from their sixth studio album 'Stratos Blue', which dropped back in June. 'Fade Away' - an uptempo Pharrell/Cee-Lo/Aloe Blacc-style funker in its original form - gets housed-up nicely by Fouk on his fairly self-explanatory Remix and Dub. Elsewhere, Rayka's take on 'EP' is even more transformational, taking the pop-soul original into throbbing acid territory; 'This Time', on the other hand, was pretty uptempo and house-y to start with, but Rayka still injects some hands-in-the-air pianos, just to make sure.
Review: In the version used to open Smoove & Turrell's recent (and rather good) "Stratos Bleue" album, "Do It" is a slap-bass-propelled chunk of revivalist early '80s disco-boogie excitement with an added side order of jazz-funk colour. Because of this, it's not a great stretch to think that disco remix king Ray Mang would provide some killer reworks. And so it proves. The long-serving producer delivers superb Vocal and Instrumental takes that mirror the structure and production tricks of original disco mixers such as Tom Moulton and Shep Pettibone. That means a greater role for the rubbery bassline, beefed-up percussion, Chic-style guitar riffs, delay-laden percussive breakdowns, kaleidoscopic synth sounds and early '80s effects aplenty. Ace!
Review: In its original "Stratos Bleu" album mix form, "It Ain't Working" was one of the deepest and slickest cuts in the Smoove & Turrell catalogue. To kick off this excellent remix package, Ashley Beedle takes the best bits of the track and adds some summery disco and old school house flavours of his own (the "NSW Vocal Mix"), before delivering a deeper, sweeter and more spacey instrumental "NSW Dub" mix that's arguably even better (if only because you get more piano stabs, more trumpet solos and plenty of intergalactic synthesizer doodles). Those looking for something more forthright and bass-heavy should head for Sorley's sweaty and low-slung revision, which re-imagines the Newcastle crew's original as an acid-fired slab of sleazy late-night house hedonism.
Review: In its original form, jazz-funk and electrofunk-flavoured neo-soul number "Elgin Towers" was one of the standout moments on Smoove & Turrell's recent (and must-check) sixth album, "Stratos Bleu". Here it gets the remix treatment, with Crazy P man Chris Todd leading the charge under his now familiar Hot Toddy alias. Todd kicks things off with a warming, deep disco vocal version that places Turrell's fine vocal atop a bed of Balearic guitars, bubbly synths, snare-heavy drums and dreamy deep house chords, before offering up a mostly instrumental "Dub Mix" that's even more Balearic, loved-up and life-affirming thanks to some suitably stirring chord sequences. Fila Brazillia man Steve Cobby takes a totally different approach on his remix, re-imagining the track as a slow, languid, string-laden downtempo soul treat.
Review: Album number six here from the northeast of England's finest neo-soul combo Smoove & Turrell. Coming like all five of its predecessors on the mighty Jalapeno Records, 'Stratos Bleu' sees the Gateshead gang exploring a slightly wider range of musical territory: 'This Time', for instance, operates at a soulful house tempo, while 'E.P.' has an almost Underworld-ish, indie-dance kinda feel. Synths n' samples play a more prominent role than on previous albums, too - though John Turrell's distinctive tonsils remain front and centre at all times, so existing fans needn't worry too much!
Review: Jalapeno bring us a single-track release from label regulars and 'new old' funk/soul stalwarts Smoove & Turrell. You already know roughly what to expect musically, so the only thing to note on that front is that 'It Ain't Working' is perhaps a little more electronic and less live-sounding than the duo's usual output (check out that bassline), while lyrically the song laments the trials and tribulations of life on the road, reflecting in bittersweet style on all the times working musicians are told dismissively that "that ain't working". Look out for new long-player 'Stratos Blue', coming soon...
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: Glasgow's Shaka Loves You has rightly earned a reputation as disco-centric duo on the rise. Because of this, it's little surprise to see them at the controls on Bomb Strikes' first foray into the disco-focused compilation market. The Scottish pair have naturally pulled out all the stops for the occasion, selecting 20 hot-to-trot cuts that aptly blur the boundaries between disco, funk, nu-disco, electro and boogie. Highlights include, but are in no way limited to, the hazy, sun-kissed soul of Lack of Afro's "Back To The Day", the thickset P-funk revivalism of Kraak & Smaak's "Dynamite" and the rubbery disco-house-meets-UK soul flex of the Reflex's remix of Omar's "Vicky's Tune". Throw in a tasty selection of the pair's productions and you have a suitably strong collection.
Review: It's been a decade since producer Smoov and singer Turrell put together their live band. To celebrate the fact, the popular combo has put together this fine career retrospective. It's full to bursting with dancefloor hits plucked from their sizable catalogue, as well as fan favourites that inspire rapturous responses when performed live. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the high-octane thrills of "I'm A Man" and funk-rock fizz of "You Could've Been a Lady", to the Hammond-heavy stomp of "I Can't Give You Up" and the Motown style Northern Soul rush of "Lay It On Me". It's also nice to get another chance to wallow in the band's punchy, breakbeat-powered funk cover of Yazoo classic "Don't Go".
Review: Funk and soul act Smoove & Turrell have worked closely with the UK label Jalape?o over the past decade - and the latest phase of this collaboration is a killer remix release. Valique is tasked with reworking "You're Gone", and turns it into a sassy house workout, replete with the original track's brass and sexy vocals. The Allergies, another mainstay on Jalape?o take a shot at the same track, and deploy break beats to great effect, using them as a backdrop for Izo FitzRoy's soulful tones. Last but by no means least, Flevans, aka Nigel Evans delivers a wonderful rare groove version of "Billie".
Review: Here we take a look at an older project from Smoove & Turrell, who's 'Mount Pleasant' album was released via the magnificent Jalapeno in June of 2018. Having been received with such a positive response, it was only right to give three of the most popular tracks a lick of paint and a refurbishment, as 'Mount Pleasant Remixed Vol. 1' is unveiled. We begin with Dr Rubberfunk's smooth redesign of 'Flames To Feed', giving the fantastic lead vocal a good amount of room to breathe whilst still supplying vital harmonic structure. Following this Valique gets to work on a snazzy revamp of 'There For Me', before Basement Freaks let the funk run wild with their soulful overhaul of 'Billie'.
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: Well, it look as if Bomb Strikes have caused a ruckus yet again here as they look set see out the year in style. This 6th edition of their now infamous 'Funk N' Beats' series sees them bring together a collection of twenty high powered insta-classics, all packed to the maximum with old school flavours, crunchy riffs and explosive grooves, perfect for chopping down any party. This project sees appearances from the likes of Smoove, Torpedo Boyz, Groove Armada, A.Skillz, Chrome, The Traffic and many many more, who all deliver the goods. This project also comes complete with a full continuous DJ Mix.
Review: It's safe to say that Newcastle's Steve & Turrell have become one of the Jalapeno label's hottest acts and, for that matter, some of the hottest acts out there in the nu-funk scene. Mount Pleasant Acoustic is an EP that revels in melancholia, but that does so in a way that retains the seductive nature of soul at its core. Just listen to tunes like "I'm Gone" or "A Deckham Love Song" and you'll be excited to hear the results of a totally acoustic sound brought to life by the sheer power of voice and guitar, which is also what makes up both "I Feel Alive" and "There For Me"...two endlessly pleasing releases of emotion.
Review: UK funk and jazz band, Smoove + Turrell, are back on the unstoppable Jalapeno Records with their fifth studio album for the label, making them the imprint's star residents. No doubt as to that. Alongside the deluge of albums that they've released for Jalapeno, the outfit have dropped countless singles, each one of them showcasing one strand of funk and soul. Mount Pleasant is an undeniably festive collection of tunes, primed and ready for the summer months, full of zest and life for the dancers. The main ingredient is funk and jazz, but the power behind this memorable LP is the band's pop sensibility, coming through in everything from the vocals to the arrangements, creating a selection of tunes that are instantly memorable and painfully hummable. Is this the rise of the underground coming through above the line? Only time will tell, but we think these guys are the real deal.
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.
No Point In Trying (instrumental) - (3:57) 127 BPM
Review: A Geordie soul act that tell it like it is, Smoove & Turrell, recently dropped fourth album, Crown Posada, to much acclaim. This was largely due to its thrilling combo of vintage style soul and funk. There were many highlights on the LP and now, as a victory lap, we get the deliciously funky, Chic-influenced disco boogie of "No Point In Trying" as another single. If ever there was and advert for the album it's this slinky-hipped rousing anthem.
Review: Finally here we have the much-awaited fourth album, Crown Posada, from the proudly gritty Geordie soul act Smoove & Turrell, who combine hard hitting social commentary with dancefloor thrilling vintage style soul and funk. They're' teased us with attention grabbing singles such as Glue Bag Flags, Fight On and you Could've Been A Lady. However there a more, deeper and richer delights to be had across the further nine tracks featured here including the Chic-influenced disco boogie of "No Point In Trying" and the edgy electro-funk "50 Days Of Winter". A seriously smart long player.