Review: Collections of contemporary disco, funk and boogie grooves seem to be one of the very few consumer items NOT currently experiencing "supply chain issues" in this post-pandemic world of ours - there's no shortage of them around, is there? This Bomb Strikes comp, though, stands out from the herd for its sheer stylistic breadth. The album kicks off at the hip-hop-, funk- and soul-infused end of the spectrum, with cuts from the likes of Ivo Fitzroy and The Allergies, and slowly works its way up, via some more straight-up disco stompers in the mid-section, into uptempo disco-house territory. Possibly the only place you'll find Natasha Kitty Kat rubbing shoulders with The Hot 8 Brass Band, it's a pleasingly varied set that, as such, should find favour with a wide range of buyers.
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: Featuring 22 full-length cuts plus a 42-minute mixed version, there's no faulting the VFM on offer from this Jim Sharp-helmed Bomb Strikes comp. Featuring tracks and mixes from the likes of The Allergies, The Nextmen, Ugly Duckling, Alice Russell, Lack Of Afro and Sam Krats, the emphasis here is on the kind of dusty funk/soul grooves that sit well alongside hip-hop and breaks - as opposed to the stack-heeled, silver-jumpsuited kind that goes better with disco - with standouts for this writer including Sly5thAve's moody, cinematic 'Shiznit' (think Shaft staring broodily out of a rain-streaked diner window) and Skill's 'Break It Down', a stuttery, stop-start gift for the jazz-dancers.
Review: The Allergies arrive at the Promised Land with mambo number five - the duo's fifth studio album! Featuring classic numbers in the familiar tones of tracks like "Working On Me" next to some more rap-and-boogie tracks with Andy Cooper of Ugly Duckling fame, other lyricists include soul sensation Marietta Smith, dance music heavyweight Dynamite MC, and the unmistakable voice of hip-hop royalty, Lyrics Born. Particular highlights include the bluesy half-time hip-hop number "Lean On You", Latin funk bomb, "Move On Baby" to the stringed-disco sessions of "The Beat". Get your more soulful numbers "Up Down Left Right", "New Thing" and "Are You Ready" without overlooking the pop-funk-rock-and-hip-hop crossover hit: "Promised Land".
Review: Spring has sprung and The Allergies have arrived! In the mood for samba, Latin loops, catchy hooks and horns, the Bristol project signal their intentions from the start in "Move On Baby" with a hot and heavy, swung number of bandido funk. Its alternative, "Are You Ready" features lyrics from Ugly Ducking MC Andy Cooper and bigger vocals even still by Miss Marietta Smith whose collaboration collides in a dub-infused, jazz funk number of big beat heat!
Review: Bristol duo The Allergies continue to hint at a future album release with this two-track digital 7", Lean On You. Featuring bespoke lyrics from Dynamite MC in its lead cut, it's a track that subtly touches on Southern rap as it does rock and Gorillaz-styled funk or Cypress Hill-styled hip hop. Venturing further down a looped-up blues and rootsy funk tip in "Working On Me", lyrics are swapped for classic vocal samples, brass horns, big beat loops and clever funky drummer motifs. Spicy hot.
Review: Following fine outings from Fort Knox Five, the Allergies, Smoove and Marc Hype, amongst others, Bomb Strikes' reliable Funk N' Beats compilation series returns with rising star X-Ray Ted at the controls. In keeping with the series' heavyweight, funk-fuelled style, the Bristol-based DJ and beat-maker has gathered together a killer collection of soul, hip-hop and funk club cuts, with a smattering of more laidback numbers to keep things fresh. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with our picks including the boom-bap brilliance is Aldo Vanucci's tidy remix of 'All Down' by Mr Doris and D-Funk, the dancefloor jazz heaviness of Nostalgia 77's 'Changes', the cut-and-paste craziness of Double Dee & Steinski's 'Jazz' and the disco-funk masterclass that is X-Ray Ted's own 'Party Time'.
Review: Following the success of Shaka Loves You's previous compilations on Bombstrikes, the label has offered them the chance to launch a new series all of their own. Named in honour of their radio show and regular parties in Glasgow, Joints & Jams offers up a hugely entertaining (and largely floor-friendly) mixture of funk-fuelled hip-hop (Bastien Keb, Fort Knox Five, Andy Cooper), skanking reggae (The Nextmen and Gentlemen's Dub Club sing-along 'Done It Again'), flash-fried funk breaks (the Allergies), tropical goodness (DJ Nu-Mark's hook-up with Quantic), and various fusions of disco, boogie and funk (see the cuts from Kraak & Smaak, X-Ray Ted, Pablo & Shoey and Shaka Loves You themselves). The result is a brilliantly mixed-up collection of tried-and-tested dancefloor bombs.
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: Formed in 2012, Bristol duo The Allergies have spent the past eight years crafting a signature style that's like the missing link between Stereo MCs and The Dap Kings. This, their third studio long-player, doesn't throw up any huge surprises - yet again they float effortlessly from party-style hip-hop and funk breaks to effective 'new old' funk and northern soul pastiche - but is notable for its range of guest vocalists, who include Dynamite MC, The Cuban Brothers (on Latin excursion 'Let Them Know') and veteran Ugly Duckling rapper Andy Cooper, not to mention Bristol's own most notorious busker, Mr Woodnote. The Ike & Tina vibes of 'Every Trick In The Book' and the fast-n-furious 'I'm On It' (feat Dr Syntax) are among the highlights.
Review: The Allergies seem to have settled into a routine with their releases lately - one retro-tastic 'new old' funk/soul jam with a sung vocal, plus one slice of funked-up hip-hop - and so it is again here. 'Felony' is all dusty horn parps, live drums and soulful male vocal, while the accompanying 'Ride 'Em Up' finds the Bristolian crew at their most Stereos-esque while a guest rap from Andy Cooper alternates with a sultry female soul vocal. There's nothing especially groundbreaking going on, but if your toes aren't tapping you might want to double-check that you remembered to put your feet on this morning...
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: Bristol crew The Allergies present an EP that showcases the two different strands to their musical output perfectly. 'Every Trick In The Book' is a straight-up 'new old' funker with live-sounding brass, Hammonds, a suitably fat bottom-end and an absolutely scorching female vocal from the "raw and blues-y" school of thought. There's a strong late 60s/early 70s feel to this one (some 80s-ish synth licks in the middle notwithstanding), whereas the accompanying 'Nuff Respect' finds Aspects returning to their rap roots, spitting impressively fast-flowing, polysyllabic bars atop a backing of funk beats and scratches. A treat for soul boys, b-boys and backpackers alike.
Review: The Bristolian duo of DJ Moneyshot and Rackabeat return with a four-track EP on their regular home of Jalapeno Records. 'Keep It Moving' itself is up first, placing a full rap vocal atop a single, looping soul sample, making it arguably one more for the hip-hoppers than the funkateers. But more organic funk pleasures can be found on the rambunctious, party-starting 'When The Heat Comes Down' and Smoove's Acid Jazz-leaning remix of 'Run It Back', both of which feature The Allergies' trademark fast flow in full effect, while female-vocalled closer 'Entitled To That' sees a change in pace and will satisfy those in search of some raw soul grooves.
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: This is the third album in as many years from the Bristolian hip-hop/funk duo, who are also festival favourites, so there's a good chance you already have a pretty good idea what they sound like. For the uninitiated, then old school block-party hip-hop would be one obvious point of reference, Stereo MCs another - but The Allergies throw far more than just rap into the pot, with soul, funk, jazz, R&B, breakbeat and rock elements weaving in and out of Steal The Show's 13 tracks. Guests on the album include Andy Cooper, Izo FitzRoy, Skunkadelic, ASM, Uncle Frank and Dr Syntax.
Review: Bristolian duo The Allergies have long made a speciality of taking hip hop back to its funk roots, and 'When The Heat Comes Down' is no exception, with the pair's fast-flowing rap vocal underpinned by a full-phat bassline, soaring brass and some fine wukka-wukking guitar. 'Big Bad Woman' is a different kettle of fish, having something of a mod jazz vibe to its shuffling drums, boogie-woogie piano and wigged-out 60s organ flurries, all of which are topped by a full-lunged but uncredited female vocal announcing "I'm a big bad woman and I'll eat you alive". Crazy, daddio!
Review: The Brighton based 'Jalapeno' imprint has been the life and soul of the party for the last few years now, with recent releases continuing to impress, injecting some serious soul into the south coast. This time around they bring forward The Allergies for a vibrant two track EP, kicking off with 'Can't Keep Working This Hard'. As a composition, it's funk-o-meter is unrivalled, pulling in deliciously crunchy grooves with some top draw vocal work. On the flip, Andy Cooper joins the jamboree with some smooth rap vocals layered over the rawcus composition of 'Run It Back', bringing together top draw basslines and classic drum design
Review: One of Shambhala's most revered and friendliest neighbourhoods Fractal Forest celebrate 20 years of leftcentric bassline hurly burly with another resplendent all-star cast compilation. Ranging from the snake-like sleazing and horn melting funk of Opiou's "Ginger Lizard" and the organ melting sassiness of Neighbour's "Summertime Girls" to outright Krafty Kuts classics ("We Do This") and zippy bumpers from the Stanton Warriors ("Walking") via powerful full fat funk such as Gramatik's "Future Crypto" and A Skillz almighty brass band blazing classic "Dead Ringer", this whole collection represents one of North America's wildest, warmest and vibiest parties. Here's to another 20 years of Fractal fire.
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: What a trip it's been for The Allergies; rolling from one killer album to the next, funk is flying from their HQ at a rate of knots. Here are two fine examples from their last LP Push On, both featuring their long-time friend and MC from Andy Cooper. Best known for his witty wordplay and character on Ugly Duckling records, here Andy gets to show off both sides to his expansive flow; "Main Event" is a chubby disco groove laced with mountains of funk, creating space for Andy's laidback-but-hypey charm. In perfect contrast "Buzzsaw" is a much sweatier funk jam allowing Cooper to get rapid and tongue-twisty in a way that only he knows how. Keep on pushing...
Review: Bristol's The Allergies (aka Moneyshot and Rackabeat) blew people's minds with their debut LP, As We Do Our Thing and now they are back with follow up, Push On. We're used to the pair effortlessly fusing funk, Northern soul and big beats but this time round they've expanded their horizons to also feature hip-hop, with UK MC veteran, Dr Syntax (The Mouse Outfit, Foreign Beggars) joining the fray. Some of the many highlights include the retro soul stomp of "Entitled To That", the Fatboy-goes-back-to-sixties Southern soul of "Since You've Been Gone" and the clavinet-driven funk of "Get Down On You".
Review: Last year, Bristol's successful neo funkateers, The Allergies, delivered a strong LP, As We Do Our Thing, on Jalepeno. However rather than rest on their laurels, the pair (aka Moneyshot and Rackabeats) have continued to release new material. "Entitled To That" is their latest non-LP track and it's a blinder! Furious 60s beats stomp ahead with tambourines, claps and raucous female vocals right behind - a super authentic Motown-style jam of Marthe Reeves-proportions. On the digital flipside, "Get Down To You", looks more to the 70s for inspiration, with a tight clavinet and wah-wah guitar-led funk groove that's impossible to resist.
Review: Featurecast flexes hard into the crates right here: digging deep over 20 years of party breaks, he's put together the definitive journey of funk with the refreshing devil may care attitude we've come to expect. His selection excavations are here for all the benefit from... The Wiseguys's lesser-spotted jam "One For The Ladies", Lack Of Afro's horn-melting "The Outsider", Max Sedgley's sugar-sweet "Happy", Flevans' Afrofunk shake-up "12 Apostles" and Featurecast and Aldo Vanucci's 2008 hoe-down stomper "Blue Grassed Devil" are just some are just some of the floor-matured classics amid the 25 cuts on offer here. And that's before we even get to awesome mix. Don't dillydally on this one.
Review: Having 'done their thing' so successfully last year with their debut album, Moneyshot and Rackabeats stride into 2017 with their targets set on another LP. The trip starts here with the seasonally-timed hip-swaying party jam. "Love That I'm In" purrs with sultry vocals, flexed with rippled lyricism from long-time compadre Andy Cooper and laid back funk guitar/bass groove. Silky, sunny, catchy.. The Allergies continue to deliver some serious gold.
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.
Review: The Allergies are duo (DJ Moneyshot and Rackabeat) who hail from Bristol. However unlike many a fellow Bristolian, these guys don't produce bone-rattling bass productions, instead they opt for the 'feel-good, energetic ear candy' of mashed-up funk, soul, disco and breaks. Their album, As We Do Our Thing, is out now, and here we have two tracks culled from it. First up, "Love's Supposed To Be" fuses twangy, Fatboy Slim/Wiseguys-style '90s big beat with a soaring soul vocal, whilst on the digital flipside the album's title track is all about loose '60s R&B/soul loops - pure party (guilty) pleasures!