Formed in 2019 by DJ Nikolay 'Marcon' Markov and guitarist Yanko Argirov, DJ Marcon & The Palo Santos are an Afrobeat-inspired outfit from Bulgaria who made their debut on Timewarp Music with 'Parara' just a few months ago. Now they return to the Greek label with another Fela-tastic two-tracker that you just know is going to be big with the likes of Gilles Peterson and Mr Scruff. The saxophone takes centre stage on the lively, upbeat 'Still Here' itself, while a trumpet does more of the heavy lifting on the accompanying 'Journey South', which could find favour with the bruk beat crew.
Welsh harpist Amanda Whiting is a staunch favourite on the live jazz circuit and has worked with an impressive array of musicians, ranging from Jazzanova to DJ Yoda, Danni Minogue and Jamie Cullum. This, her second full-length, follows hard on the heels of last year's debut 'After Dark' (also on Jazzman) and suffice to say the title gives you a pretty good idea what to expect - many of the cuts here are probably better described as "pieces" rather than "songs". It'll all be a bit too polite, restrained and library music-ish for some, but if gentle, lilting downtempo grooves are what get you through the day then you'll be in your element.
Since debuting in 2013, Mike Katz has released a lot of music as Harvey Sutherland, flitting between interconnected styles (disco, deep house, jazz-funk, nu-boogie, U.S garage and Italo-disco included) without ever laying down an album of all-new music. Boy, then, is a significant milestone in Katz's career and offers an exploration of what he calls "neurotic funk" - a boundary-blurring fusion of jammed-out analogue electronics and live instrumentation that draws on a multitude of musical styles without neatly sitting in any one pigeonhole. Highlights include the squelchy boogie-soul revivalism of eye-catching DAM-Funk collaboration 'Feeling of Love', the sparkling jazz-funk-goes-boogie sunshine of 'Age of Acceleration', the simmering soul of 'Holding Pattern' (which features his first ever lead vocal) and the futurist post-punk/new wave flex of 'Type A'. In a word: brilliant.
Fresh from delivering some jazz-funk influenced soulful house and broken beat flavours on Z Records, Lee Gomez AKA Wipe The Needle returns to Local Talk, a label he's been loosely associated with since 2019. The experienced producer immediately hits his stride with 'It's My World Ya Heard', a loose-limbed chunk of woozy deep house marked out by swinging beats, jazzy synth-bass and classic-sounding synthesizer chords. 'Would You' is a jaunty, soul-fired slab of samba-house loveliness smothered in futuristic jazz-funk synth sounds, while 'Fist of the North Star' is a sparkling, kaleidoscopic slab of heavily electronic broken beat/jazz-funk fusion full of subtle nods towards Motor City music and the hybrid works of Dego and Kaidi Tatham.
Lee Gomez started producing jungle in the early '90s, but a chance meeting at a recording studio in 2005 was the birthplace of Wipe The Needle. With Mikael Nybom, they released on Slip'n'Slide, Deeply Rooted House and Raw Fusion but since 2013 it has been a solo endeavour by Gomez. He returns to Local Talk, taking up where he left off on the last release with more UK broken beat vibes on "Round Of Applause" featuring Aleysha Lei, which is backed by some off-kilter nu-jazz as heard on "Jack The Nitty" and the late night bounce of "Event Horizon".
It must be hard to pin down exactly where your funky destination is when it's all over the funk and soul map! That's by no means a grumble, though, as Croatia's Vladimir Sivc serves up six pleasingly varied tracks. 'Don't Bring Me Down' is a raw, sweaty modern funk workout, 'Music Gonna Move Your Soul' takes us into 'new old' soul pastures and comes with a self-explanatory Horns All The Way remix, while 'Alla Fine Del Mondo' and 'Afrodisia' add hints of Latin and Afro flava, respectively, before 'Albatros' plays us out on a more headnoddin' tip. Niceness!