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: 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: 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: 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: There's a steady flow of quality grooves coming out of the Sound Exhibitions stable right now, with this three-tracker from Italy's Vito Lalinga being but one case in point. High-calibre contemporary funk is the general order of the day, with 'Your Love' being a rumbustious affair laden with brass, soaring sax and diva-esque "something about your love" vox, while 'Route 66' is a slower-moving jam with super-sleazy guitars, wailing harmonica and (by way of contrast) positively bright and summery keys. Completing the EP is 'No Baby', a classy slice of disco-funk with a gorgeous, reverb-heavy female vocal.
Review: Vi Mode Inc Project main man Vito Lalinga doesn't like to get tied down musically. In the last six months alone he's released expansive EPs that variously touch on Cuban music, fiery funk breaks, nu-jazz and disco. It's the latter sound that he returns to on this sequel to summer 2018's "Black Spirit Project". There's plenty to get the juices flowing throughout, from the jazz-funk tinged warmth of opener "Attack On Earth" and Clavinet-sporting "Ethnic Deep" (a mid-tempo fusion of reggae and disco with plenty of other World music references), to the harmonica-heavy swamp funk chug of "Blues In The Sky" and Chic-influenced bounce of "The Right Time".
Review: Synth-wielding nu-disco maestro Vito Lalinga fires up his VI Mode Inc Project for another expansive outing on Sound Exhibitions. It's a wonderfully summery and sun-kissed affair, with the experienced producer first offering up a chunk of bass-heavy Latin disco (the glistening guitar solos, beefy bass guitar and jaunty pianos of "Santiago De Cuba") before doffing his cap to Cuban salsa and mabo heroes on the flute-laden "Cubano". He continues on this rum-fuelled tip on sax-sporting roller "Cuban Tape", while "Louisiana Paradise City" is a bluesy and jazzy chunk of thickset late night drama. Finally, "Fiesta Latina" delivers on the promise of its title in weighty fashion.
Review: This year Vito Lalinga has been somewhat prolific, releasing a string of solid EPs on Timewarp and Sound Exhibitions. This time round, he pops up on Greece's Kraak label for the very first time. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the slap bass propelled nu-funk-meets-jazz-funk sunshine of "I'll Be Good To You Baby" and solo-laden Bob James tribute "Bitter Taste", to the rich, mid-tempo nu-disco bounce of "Chill Speech" and constantly rising Afro-disco/nu-funk fusion of heavy-hitting workout "Afroinvasion". Elsewhere, "Ghetto Space" is a deliciously positive, piano-sporting disco-funk roller underpinned by rolling house drums, and "I Got To" is a Clavinet-sporting peak-time workout rich in lapsed hip-hop vocals and jammed-out solos.
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: Italian producer Vito Lalinga presents his debut EP on Greek label Timewarp, bringing five hot tracks on his fresh Afrodisiac EP. Your fix of nu-funk, combined with broken beats and a touch of African vibes - as heard on the spiritual and life affirming "Fela Mania". Likewise, "Move Your Body In Africa" features a cinematic touch with a soulful style that Vito Lalinga always brings. This is a collaboration with his mates Angelo Dattuomo and Giancarlo Coppola as Vi Mode Inc. Project and we sure can't wait to hear what is in store next from this hot trio.
Review: When an EP's entitled 'Retro Funk' you kinda know what you're getting, but what's really impressive about this five-track EP is the range of ground covered within just five tracks. Opener 'Silverdory' has distinct echoes of both Fatback and The Average White Band. 'Believe In Me' has a slightly jazzier feel, with the saxophone taking centre stage, while 'Come & Touch' looks to the deep funk of the late 60s for inspiration. Shut your eyes and 'Give Up The Funk' will have you mentally cruising 70s Harlem in your stretch Lincoln, before the brassy, soul-infused 'Betty Day' plays us out.
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: 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).