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".
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: This latest two track drop from the Agogo team is a truly pleasing listen, as Hober Mallow and Jim Sharp link up for a groovy A & B side showcase. We kick off with the smooth horn riffs and grizzly vocal finesse of Hober Mallow's 'Here I Am', with this classic-sounding creation in fact being the '45 edit'. On the B-side, Jim Sharp delivers something super smooth with '10th Wonder', which again draws on groovy drum riffs and smooth basslines to create a tidy base, from which we hear a number of catchy rap verses which really elevate the EP to a new level. This is sunshine flavour down to a T.
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 latest in a string of excellent GAMM releases, Swedish edit/remix maestro Jazzy Jens has a ball with The Undisputed Truth's progressive early-70s soul classic "Smiling Faces Sometimes" on "Undisputed". Speeding it up a little and adding just the right amount of extra percussion and delay to certain vocal phrases, he keeps the original's vibe nicely in tact whilst also making it a DJ's delight. Backing "Undisputed" is "Guarapera", a nicely arranged romp through some vintage Latin rumba and modest disco beats.
Review: Japanese artist Masaaki Yoshida aka Anchorsong based out of London is a firm favourite within the Tru Thoughts collective. Having released three albums for the Brighton outpost since 2011, he brings a sweet new double drop to the label in an aptly titled, New World. Bringing shades of a melodic exotica sound to the title-track through the use of traditional folk elements, wind instruments and harpsichords, an infectious and groovy broken beat rhythm does the rest! For your dubbed out alternative with some dusty flutes, swing and vocal snippets to boot, look no further than "Tunis Dream".
Review: Continuing to take bold strides in exploring a cinematic side of dance music Ruckspin makes, this Rushing EP delivers something grounded in rhythmicity next to a wild display of sounds and tempos. Taking in another collaboration with Quark & Lylli who featured on the recent Songs For The Time Being album - the trio deliver an uptempo and footwork-inspired work that twists and turns from acoustic guitar and ambient passages to cut up vocals and banging breakbeats. "Raw" then features drum and bass legend MC Stamina to deliver a menacing, half-tempo groove of distorted bass, rock-tinged ride cymbals and trippy synthlines that lead an EP cutting a course through the uncharted territories of Future Bass.
Review: The Katakana edit express thunders on with their 11th installment of party breaks. This time the overwhelming vibe is of retro soul, jazz and swing. The latter is handled with a Latin influence on "I'll Be A God Man" and "Lovely TV" by DJ Clairvo, while the amazingly-named DJ Oli Garch provides a breaky, swingy version of jazz standard "Summertime. Lastly Timewrap opts for some Cuban-tinged grooves on "Miami", as well as a cheeky retweak of The Velvelettes' Motown classic "He Was Really Saying Something".
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.
Review: DJ/producer duo Troo Luv and Charlie Loud aka Heartbreak Sound have a great knack of re energising hip-hop acapellas and dropping some of the finest mash-up material out there at the moment. This latest release on GAMM is an essential purchase which comes in four pieces - with D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar" given a slow, nu-Philly groove, Jeru Tha Damaja's late-period hit "El Presidente" treated to a thematically-correct Cuban remake, Mos Def's "Ms Fat Booty" redone with a new, DJ Spinna-esque set of beats, and Common's classic "The Light" given a gritty make-over.
Review: SMBD aka Simbad is back on GAMM again after a longer break and said to be planning a few EPs with seasonal themes for the label. The first EP as you might expect delivers three tasteful season influenced reworks and remixes which the label claims will 'be your perfect DJ weapons over the Summer months.' If the Afro broken beat groove of Bootsy's "Rather Be With You" (Alphabets Heaven X SMBD remix) won't do it for you, or the super soulful Colonel Abrams tribute "Table 42" (SMBD Tribute) does not grab your attention, guaranteed that the stunning 4/4 rework with Mike Lowrey of Jazzy Jeff's Summer classic "Summertime" has the potential to be a huge tune in the coming months.
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: Hailing from Harderwijk in the Netherlands, Niles Philips specialises in "breakbeat music with funky elements", and this four-tracker could just as easily sit in our Downtempo or Balearic sections. You won't find many off-kilter rhythms or wonky time-signatures here - just some very fine hazy, stoned grooves reminiscent of the likes of Lemon Jelly or Bent, and lots of extended spoken vocal samples on the subject of UFOs, technology and, aptly enough right now, viruses. 'Antibody' also provides the EP's jazziest moment, featuring as it does some neat blues-y organ work - think Jimmy Smith in a particularly glum mood.
Review: Party orientated producer Doctor Stereo is back with a new two-tracker on Agogo that captures the raucous spirit of vintage mayhem updated with today's productions secrets. Meanwhile "Joe Says" is a brassy and bold updated funk belter. Get your soot suit - you're pulled!
Review: The second of two big break edit releases from Resense: World champion monkey boxer Mako and decorated turntablist Mr Bristow get real with two more funk obscurities. "Breaks All Tight" struts with a classic Motown feeling and a vocal power that's not dissimilar to Lee Fields. "Mama's Little Breakbeat" keeps it real with a swinging twist on Kris Peterson's "Mama's Little Baby". Both absolutely tickle the dance. Vinyl only, too.
Review: The first of two big edit releases from Resense: Titanic Bristol funk from the infrequent partnership of Monkey Boxing's Mako and serial editor Mr Bristow: "King Soul-omon's Mine" takes a cover of heavily-sampled, well-known Lee Dorsey/Allen Toussaint gem and adds a subtle contemporary swing. Flip for a full band breakdown over a pristine break as "Sock It Silly" strips down the science of every funk tune ever. Vinyl-only; this one's a keeper.
Review: Jordane Poret's Djar project hooks up with King Most for another sweet 7-inch special edition that celebrates the 50th jubilee for the long beloved Resense-series! With horns blaring into a mix of calypso jazz and big band vibes, Djar outta France turns in a warm number for the exotic swing-tings out there while San Francisco's King Most throws down some dusty funk and instrumental cover inspirations that stems from an undeniable motown classic referencing all matter of blues, roots, funk and rock. Celebrate!
Review: Re Keen's arrival onto the broken beat scene has been a breath of fresh air, and has undoubtedly made even the most cynical of dance enthusiasts into converted followers. With an opening tune like "Makeeni", however, it's easy to see why: there's funk and good vibes spewing from every corner of its seductive little groove, and it goes so far as being able to appeal to both the jazz heads and the disco deviants. It's an excellently executed piece of dance oddity. Now, for the second slice of slapped-up funk, "I Say I Love You" offers a sweet, hummable groove that pays homage to the 60s rock and roll sound, sprinkled with a bit of vintage surf soul for that extra bit of boogie-woogie.
Review: Beatnik City is one of the chief exponents of the Northern Soul sound and its crate digging culture. Here they present what they dub "BarBeat", which is a good way to describe the non-purist approach of the edits featured - perfect fodder for bars rather than big room clubs. Perfect examples of this approach include "Finti Cents" where In Da Club gets taken back into time to a shimmying Motown backing groove or the 90s-hip-hop-goes-retro-big-beat vibes of "Jurassic Jive".
Review: Los Angeles producer Jose Marquez has previously made his mark with a series of solid remixes that fuse solid, floor-friendly house grooves with a variety of world music influences. Here he continues that theme, turning in heavyweight versions of tracks from Latin artist Celia Cruz and Afrobeat veteran Femi "son of Fela" Kuti. It's the Cruz version that really stands out. Really, it's little more than a heavy drum workout with the addition of the original vocal chants and the thinnest sliver of techno synth, but it works brilliantly. While the Femi Kuti rework doesn't have the same impact, its Afrobeat sweetness is surprisingly addictive.