Review: Having previously released two action-packed EPs of classy deep house from an international roster of artists, Iner's Dobro label has decided to go one step further and release a fully-fledged compilation. The quality threshold remains pleasingly high, but stylistically it's a little more eclectic than the label's previous releases. It begins with a series of deep, drowsy and jazzy downtempo cuts - all head-nodding post hip-hop beats and warming instrumentation - before confidently moving on to the sort of jazzy, musically expansive deep house that the Belarus-based label has previously done so well. It all adds up to a genuinely terrific collection of high-grade, previously unreleased treats.
Review: A cool cat within the ranks of Sound Exhibitions, and known cohort with other labels like Kraak, Timewarp and Legofunk - Vito Lalinga returns as Vi Mode Inc Project! Music for some sweltering nights of funk to come, Lalinga throws down something hot and heavy, chunky and groovy in "No Money", followed by a stripped back yet beefy and effervescent jazz cafe number, "This World". With some howling midnight lounge funk in "Passion Train", Lalinga loops his guitar riffs with extra summertime guitars and a steady groove holding it down in "Party Love." With a golden sound of '90s jazz motifs, as if lifted from Miami beach marinas or the inner city's hidden swing clubs, horns blaze with fanfare in "Passion Train" next to the big band jams, broken beats and extravagant solo instrumentals of "Freestyle".
Funkshone - "Spiritual Interlude II (The Heist)" - (3:48) 109 BPM
E. Live - "Flotational Device" - (4:32) 117 BPM
JKriv & Free Magic - "Emmanuel" - (5:41) 60 BPM
Bah Samba - "Let The Drums Speak" (feat The Fatback Band - Harvey Lindo edit) - (5:17) 110 BPM
Jaki Whitren & John Cartwright - "Stay Cool" - (4:43) 104 BPM
Hubert Eaves III - "Painfull Pleasure" - (5:32) 128 BPM
JD73 - "Electro Boogie" (On The Rhodes mix) - (5:13) 124 BPM
Eric Legnini Trio - "Trippin' High" - (5:08) 123 BPM
Mr Scruff - "Stockport Carnival" - (5:29) 63 BPM
Mankoora - "Sonor Tropical" - (4:40) 95 BPM
Review: Way back in 1997 record collector, DJ and music writer, Jasper The Vinyl Junkie, curated BBE Music's second ever release: Stop & Listen Vol. II. With BBE celebrating 25 years in the game the label goes back to its roots by inviting JJ for another West end jazz beat special. With rarities and never before heard gems now cut for digital, Vinyl Junkie Thangs calls up all-time music heroes like Fred Wesley, The Fatback Band and DTrain's Hubert Eaves alongside lesser known artists like Exile One, Ashantis and Funkshone with "Spiritual Interlude II (The Heist)" a particular highlight. Featuring curious other Jasper joints from Basement Freaks, OPOLOPO, Jkriv & Free Magic and Mr Scruff, it ain't always a vinyl thang.
Liar (feat Kendra Morris & Dillon Cooper - La Fine Equipe remix) - (3:26) 90 BPM
Sttep Back (Proleter remix) - (3:34) 88 BPM
Blah! (feat Youthstar, Taiwan MC & Illaman - Numa Crew remix) - (4:08) 87 BPM
Review: Time for a Chinese hug by way of Marseilles as Chinese Man unleashes his 2017 album to a whole troupe of French talent (and beyond) for an almighty 17 track remix opus spanning every style from wave to D&B. Highlights ping across the spectrum; Chapelier Fou brings a dreamy IDM subtlety to "Wolf", Matteo lays down a Bonobo style cinematic stampede on "Modern Slave", Sly adds a little cosmic ballad touch to "Stone Cold", Poirer whips up a mystic storm on "Malad"... And that's just the start of the hug. Dig deep.
Review: For the first time since its original release in 2007, BBE Music reissues the instrumental versions of DJ Vadim's known and loved album, The Soundcatcher. Unpredictable with touches of disco and King Tubby-esque dub - to a concoction of other genres varied with brushes of blues, soul and rap, urban grime - you're never far off straight up funk or slow-mo, broken beat either. With epic piano rolls of Blaxploitation funk hitting the right spots in "Countdown", get your more modern two stepping numbers outta "Ballistic Affairs". With subtle exotic ispiratiations making into numbers like "Them Say" and "Like The Wind", don't sleep on the downtown blues of Soundcatchers, and the mutant beat centric cut ups of "Warp BT". Full of old school flavours too, the vinyl crackle, dusty samples and pop of DJ Vadim has never sounded so fresh.
Review: With 50 Cent acapellas back in full effect for the Resense label, Voodoocuts brings a stone cold 2000s hip hop classic to the jazz funk realm perfect for any 'hip hop' request. On the flipside Slick Walk pays homage to Young Holt-Unlimited's "Soulful Strut" in a DJ-friendly, instrumental slice of disco-edit gold.
Review: Amazingly, it's 25 years since George 'E.A.S.E' Evelyn and then production partner Kevin 'Boy Wonder' Harper sat down and recorded "Dextrous", their monstrous, bleep-era classic on Warp. A quarter of a century later, Evelyn is still going strong, though the grooves have mellowed a lot in that time. Here, Warp celebrate the producer's epic career with a much-deserved retrospective. All the familiar favourites are present, from the rush-inducing thrill of early dancefloor smashers "I'm For Real" and "Aftermath", to the sinewy downtempo goodness of the decidedly Balearic "Les Nuits", the blazed hip-hop dub of "195 Llbs" and stoner soul of "70s 80s". This version also includes a number of exclusive remixes, with names like JD Twitch, Special Request, LFO, Morgan Geist and Loco Dice putting their own spin on this classic material.
Review: A solo excursion here from Smoove, who you surely don't need reminding is one-half of veteran UK soul and funk faves Smoove & Turrell. 'Take It Easy' is a reworking of Astrud Gilberto's 1969 take on Jorge Ben's 'Take It Easy My Brother Charlie', and is sure to be huge with the likes of Peterson, Snowboy and Scruff, and a dancefloor cert wherever shuffling, lounge-y samba rhythms are played. There's a Dub as well, which will be useful for DJing purposes, but of course that one doesn't have Astrud singing. If you dig this, then we suggest delving into her back catalogue - heaven awaits!
Review: The artist formally known as Joey Negro aka Dave Lee brings together a fresh and unique compilation with partner in sound Will Fox that dives deep into the west end sound of London's broken beat, soul and two-step scene. Featuring tracks from the likes of Bugz In The Attic, Jazzanova and Atjazz to 4 Hero and Sunburst Band, we've pulled up numbers like NSM's deep, woozy and downtempo "DJ Power (Use It)" to Jazztronik's piano-laden and garaged influenced "Samurai". Sweet, warm and deeply vocal still is Afronaut & Melissa Browne's "Transcend M.E." with a stripped back, breathy and stepping number from Mark de Clive-Lowe, with Likwid Biskit's closing track "The All New Ummm" surfing into some balmy, LA beat-scene territory.
Review: If life teaches you anything it's to expect the unexpected. Here the mighty re-edit label Katakana deliver their 42nd instalment of scapel jobs. However, this time, rather than have a specific producer curate an EP, they've shaken up the formula and delivered a compilation of edits. There's a whopping 24 reworks to enjoy too, many thrills and spills, but our favourites include Morlack's explosive drum-lead MJ cover, "Don't Stop", Mister Vagz' corny 60s mash-up "Love Me Venus" and Dim Zach & Deem's baggy rework of the Happy Monday's sublime "Loose Fit".
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: When it comes to making drum and bass that strikes a balance between the needs of DJs and home listeners, few are better than Dominick Martin AKA Calibre. It's for this reason that the album format suits him so well. The Deep, his 12th full-length in total, could well be his best set yet. Jam-packed with effortlessly soulful moments, evocative piano flourishes, rich live instrumentation and yearning vocals, it's a far more expansive and ambitious set than most D&B albums. It also supplements his trademark, club-ready rollers with tracks that look to modern soul, jazz breaks, dub and R&B for inspiration. Throughout, Martin barely puts a foot wrong, delivering a set that more than stands up to repeat listens.
Review: Back after a long absence, funk outfit Timewarp Inc return with the slinky, sassy soul of "Yuil Disco Breaks". With a live version, recorded by the band as the Djtzinas & The Redgreen Wood Soundsystem, going up against more studio-bolstered, breaks-heavy mixes, as well as a cosmic rerub by Zamali, the funk shines through on each version on this tight single from Timewarp.
Review: Timewarp Music boss Timewarp Inc ushers in the sounds of its Russian-based signee Jazznut who turns in a version and instrumental of "Realistic" in the lead up to a planned album release. The so far little known artist gives the original a '90s pop-house makeover inspiring memories of a time when Madonna's "Ray Of Light" or Fatboy Slim's "Weapon Of Choice" were dominating the charts. Enjoy!
Review: Put your jazzbo mettle to the test with this out-there four tracker from Portuguese producer Pedro. 'She Is' opens proceedings, an experimental, druggy groove with a single looped vocal line, parping sax and delicate ivories work: think Red Snapper or the trio of Tupac, Roth and Newton in 'Gridlock'd'. 'Face Sob O Sol', which follows, is a complete change of pace: a gentle, melodic and melancholy affair in which the piano takes centre stage. 'Alef' then blends influences from reggae and jazz-funk into a summer afternoon headnodder, before we're thrown a final curveball in the form of Moomin's fierce liquid funk remix of 'Face Sob O Sol'.
Review: British jazz drummer Yussef Dayes hooks up with bossman on keys Charlie Stacey and bassist Rocco Palladino for Welcome To The Hills. Released on Dayes' own Cashmere Thoughts label inspired by the Jay Z song of the same name, the album presents a live stream of off the hook cosmic jazz, new age funk, downtempo and free-spirited soul that exhales a colourful plume of hi-energy instrumentalism from the lungs of jazz music. Deep and spacey it is in tracks like "Ride Out" and the 12-minute epic "Gully Side" while drums skitter buckwild in numbers like "Black Love ~ Amazonian Springs" and "Encore ~ Babylon Burning". Find more casual and cool swaggers of groove in "Odyssey" next to "Jamaican Links" and the slow jam dubs of "Purple Skies ~ Libations". The rebirth of cool: live and direct!
Review: Still fresh from coming up through labels like Rhythm Section International and Paradiso Vinyl Club, Groningen's own Duke High presents a fourth release for himself and newly found imprint, Dance Regular Recordings. With Renato Paris bringing soulful crooner vibes to the title track, there's straight up deep house joints in "Got My 606 Back" to funkadelic rhythm sections and booty basslines in "NightHawks". Throwing down a sweet selection of keys in the light and breezy broken beat jam "2017 Heatwave", "Ifz Shuffle" adds a touch of electro to a wholly jazzy release. Get your "Common Ground'' instrumental too!
Review: For the 48th instalment of the popular Katakana Edits series, the shadowy figures behind the rework stable have turned to Mister Vagz, a producer who has previously contributed to a couple of other label EPs. It's pleasingly varied, with Vagz effortlessly switching between spaced-out, bass-heavy mash-up pastures (the reggae/hip-hop/funk-rock hoedown of "Stopper Wayz") and echo-laden electrofunk-rap business ("Get Ice On It"). Throw in the pitched-down soul meets classic hip-hop shuffle of "Supernatural Soul" and the heady soul breeziness of "Wondrous Regulate" and you've got a fine EP of grown-up mash-ups. In three words: mature party-starters.