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: 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: 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: Once known as the Reverend Cleatus & The Soul Saviors, The Fantastics! are a soul, funk, jazz and lounge time collective outta the UK. Having debuted on BBE with their Take A Shot single, the group fully arrive with their debut LP of the same name. Featuring vocals from soul sensation Sulene Fleming, who features across four of the album's 10 tracks, instrumental highlights include the skippy and light hearted broken beats of "Oblique" next to cooler jazz and brass sections of "Pyramid". Sultrier numbers come out of "St Tropez Blue" with Mark Norton's saxophone taking over next to more rocky numbers like "The Bounce" and the full on, nutbush city limits stomping jam, "Can't Decide". Quality all round.
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".