Review: Like its predecessors, the third volume in Sound Exhibitions' "Africa Soul" series offers up a pleasingly listenable - and largely floor-friendly - mixture of fresh Afro-centric productions, re-edits, sneaky reworks and sample-heavy workouts. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the deep, disco-tinged Afro-house warmth of DJ Moy's "Afro-Dancing" and the bassline-driven Afro-boogie funkiness of TJ Edit's "Baby Camon", to the wonderfully woozy and sun-kissed heaviness of Vito Lalinga's undeniably summery - and hard to pigeonhole - "New York City" and the sludgy, off-beat jazz-funk/deep disco fusion of M.A.D.Y's "Tipical". As the old clich? goes, this is genuinely "all killer, no filler".
Review: Greek nu-funk label Timewarp Music's annual compilation series reaches Volume 7. Fans of the label will know what to expect, then, but for everyone else it's the perfect chance to get acquainted. Indeed, you'll struggle to find a better 15-track snapshot of the contemporary funk scene this month, with tracks spanning the spectrum from Hammond jams like Streamer's 'Mamma's Funky Life' to the sunny jazz-funk of Ivan Blanusa's 'Loungin', with detours into Afro-funk (Vito Lalinga's 'African United Rhythm' and 'Fela Mania'), Latin grooves (JazzProfilactika's 'Calle De Cubo'), acid jazz (Koka Mass Jazz's 'Play The Game') and more.
Review: Italian groove fiends Sound Exhibition let loose with an obscenely fat collection of reworked past glories and the vibes extend in all directions as we're hurled head first into a disco frenzy. Highlights include Vito Lalinga taking The Broker's "To Day" to some far-out cosmic deserts, DJ Moy whipping up a laid back jazz wet dream on "Family Affair" and Vi Mode encouraging the smoochiest of sides of our personalities with the sleazy sultry sway on Ms Janette's "Down". Totally reworked, totally fresh, totally funky.
Review: Happy new year! Timewarp crack open a fizzy bottle of 2018 with this immaculate, party-pickling compendium. Their first Freestyle 4 Funk album in 18 months, it makes up for lost time with a full-house selection of warm, funk textures; the vibrant afrofunk feels of Vito Lalinga's "Move Your Body In Africa", the pant-swinging breaks and heroic horns of Sampleheadz' "Moving On", the smoky blues and psychedelic bubbles of Leon's "Body & Soul", the springy jazz mischief of JazzProfilacktika's "Samboppa", Mister T & Lucy Lune's bush-shaking fusion on "Retro Respect", the list of fresh soul-warm funk goes on and on. The perfect way to kick off a new year, Timewarp smash it once again.
Review: The ever reliable balearic, downtempo, deep house and acoustic ambiance connoisseurs Kraak outta Greece deliver Downtempo Vol 4! Standout tracks include the shake and crackle percussion of Stiko's remix to MCurtis, to the dubbed-out, uptempo and piano driven ambient house of "Galaxy Groove". Pablo Mat delivers two slower, cool electro-jazz and guitar sessions with some Afro-inspirations coming from the vocal loops and polyrhythms of Timewarp's 'Iboga Ritual". Look to Medras' "Sound In My Head" for some extra guitars and folk elements alongside two slow burning disco numbers from Vito Lalinga (Vi Mode Inc. Project). Snap, Krakkle 'n' pop.
Review: Don't be fooled by the title here. While there's definitely a strong African influence to the six tracks featured on this EP from Greece's Timewarp, you don't need to be a lover of complex polyrhythms or breathy, chanted vox to appreciate them. Instead, ever-prolific Italian producer Lalinga looks to African funk and jazz of the 1970s for inspiration. 'Nasty Shit' comes at the sound from a hip-hop perspective and 'Rebellie' is the EP's most overtly house-leaning cut, while 'Afrikaanse Waansin' is the most traditional-sounding, but all six will work well on the floor and will have particular appeal for the breakers and jazz dancers.
Review: Vito Lalinga delivers his third record to 2020 already with this four-track EP for Greek label Kraak. It was 2018 when Lalinga made his debut on Kraak's parent label Timewarp and since then the artist has given his jazzier, soulful and percussive take on music to labels like Legofunk and Sound Exhibitions. For Kraak he sends in Black Spirit Planet, a record that dives into funky and ambient jazz territory that reach their peak in lead track "Spiritual Space" alongside the flute and samba sessions of "Brazilectro", the rhode and strings driven "Walk My Way", and the mellow tribalisms of "No Future".
Review: Prolific Italian producer Vito Lalinga brings us a musical tribute to The Big Apple here. In its Original form, 'New York City' opens with a fluttering acoustic guitar riff and a spoken, heavily accented female vocal, before introducing a second, sung vocal that's then cut up over a backing which blends disco, jazz-funk and garage influences into an irresistibly shimmering dancefloor concoction. The Dancefloor Remix ups the tempo slightly and adds house-y pianos and sax parps; the Squerzanti Silvan beefs things up another notch or two, while the EP's completed by the western-infused 'Beat' with its harmonica wails and Spanish-language vox.
Review: Ever-prolific Italian Laligna serves up six cuts here that are heavily sample-based but probably still more fairly described as new productions rather than re-edits, especially as he's eschewed any obvious sample choices. The EP opens with the jazzy Blaxploitation flavas of 'On My Soul' and closes with the moody 'Family Funk', which has a smoky, late-night air, while in-between you'll find four more tracks that capture that 70s funk/soul vibe perfectly, from the rock geetar squall on 'Buddy Show' to the barrio funk feel of 'Take To The Top' and the honky-tonk boogie of 'Feel The Blues'.
Review: Ever-prolific Italian producer Laligna (Sound Exhibitions/Timewarp) comes to Greece's Kraak stable with this seven-track long-player. Recent EPs from Laligna have variously explored Afro-house, nu jazz and straight-up retro funk territories, so it's unsurprising that for this 'album proper' he's serving up a blend of all those influences and more. The dark, rumbling 'Galaxy Groove', for instance, fuses deep house and jazz-funk, while 'Alien Love' brings the Latin-tinged Balearica and the lively 'In The Fire' would work on soulful house and funk floors alike. Overall it's an enjoyable, largely instrumental listen, particularly for those who don't like to get stuck in any one groove for too long.
Review: Prolific Italian producer returns to Sound Exhibitions with four more dancefloor despatches - this time, as the title suggests, with strong jazzual overtones. Opener 'What's Up' is a looping, lolloping groove made up of funk guitars, trumpets, male and female rap vocals and two competing nagging keyboard riffs, while 'Black Sunshine' gets properly wigged-out in late 70s jazz-funk style. 'I Want You' operates in similar territory but is just a little more laidback, while completing the EP is 'Alone Again', a downtempo jam with a melancholy, cinematic feel. All good, but for 'does what it says on the tin' satisfaction the middle two tracks stand out.
Review: With an EP title like that, and tracks called things like 'Afro Lions', 'Afro Afraid' and 'Afrolicious', we're not giving out any lollipops for guessing the overall musical mood here! Part IV in the series finds Lalinga and friends serving up eight more cuts (or rather, seven more plus a remix) that basically pastiche African funk of the 70s extremely faithfully - though there's room, too, for a hint of Latin influences (see 'Ipanema Funk'), a dash of 60s boogaloo ('The Frequency') and straight-up funk (Squerzanti Silvan's closing 'Road Trip', which is also given a more Afro-tastic makeover on the VI Mode Inc. Project Rework).