Review: Krafty Kuts & Bomb Strikes, two names that when combined leave us with potentially incredible results. They join forces here to curate and design the fifth edition of 'Bass Funk', showcasing some of the most prominent faces across the entire breadth of breaks. The tracklisting for this one looks pretty monstrous, featuring the likes of A Skillz, Dubra, Arteo, Fort Knox Five, K+Lab & more. There are a couple of immediate stand outs however, with the latin horn melodies and vibrant rhythms of Ninjula's 'Spanish Princess' and the pure rawcus devilry of 'AI' from the legendary Delta Heavy both standing out!
Review: It's not for us to second-guess the motivations of others, but more recent installments in the Lolita series do seem to have eschewed the "anything goes" approach of earlier volumes in favour of curating more focused, stylistically cohesive collections. So '31' follows on nicely from last week's disco-oriented '30', as the Lolitas mine obscure early 80s boogie, Eurodisco, Italo and electrofunk nuggets including The Jammers' 'Be Mine Tonight' from 1982 ('274'), One Two Three's 'Runaway' (a 1983 Bobby O production that now gets reworked as '275'), Clive Davis & Brainchild's 'Mystery Man' from 1984 ('280') and more.
Review: More from Faze Action member Robin Lee's offshoot Andromeda Orchestra project, whose throbbing and forthright releases have previously joined the dots between revivalist disco and the synthesizer-driven world of Italo-disco. In its original form (track three), "Don't Stop" is an authentically produced riff on the K.I.D track of the same name rich in swooping, razor-sharp strings, Clavinet-happy disco grooves and glassy-eyed female vocals. It comes accompanied by a stellar peak-time remix from Lee's old pal Ray Mang - all layered drum fills, swirling noises and jangling piano riffs - and a spacey, beat-free ambient "Reprise". Bonus cut "Kano Line Dance", a funky mid-tempo shuffler that joins the dots between boogie, jazz-funk and P-funk, is also rather tasty.
Rare Earth - "I Couldn't Believe What Happened Last Night" - (12:31) 112 BPM
Philippe Nicaud - "Cex" - (3:13) 111 BPM
Soul Searchers - "Boogie Up The Nation" - (4:58) 127 BPM
James Brown - "Funky Broadway" - (6:11) 53 BPM
Gus Poole - "Hallelujah Alright Amen" - (6:59) 140 BPM
Craig Snyder & Lix - "Bust It" - (6:02) 127 BPM
Mike Longo - "Like A Thief In The Night" - (5:29) 123 BPM
John Jenkins - "Durty Funk" - (3:35) 111 BPM
The Henry Beatinger Formation - "Cossack Patrol" - (2:30) 61 BPM
Walt Barr - "Turbullent Sky" - (1:43) 57 BPM
Zoo - "Tupamaros" - (3:02) 103 BPM
James Brown - "Make It Good To Yourself" - (4:04) 117 BPM
Bernard Purdie - "Them Changes" - (4:44) 93 BPM
Review: The devoted diggers over at School Yard Breaks once more unearth a treasure trove of near-forgotten musical gold to delight the funkateers and old-skool b-boys. This latest installment features a few more big names than usual: there are contributions from the likes of James Brown (x2), Rare Earth, The Soul Searchers, Andrea True Connection, Vaughan Mason and the legendary Captain Sky, and fewer obscure soundtrack gems or world music nuggets. But we're still talking rarer cuts, and rest assured the quality standard hasn't slipped an inch, with bullets from Gus Poole and John Jenkins particular standouts for this reviewer.
Review: In his native Washington DC, Mustafa Akbar was a scene legend: the frontman for reggae band Nappy Riddem, he was also head of security at the famous Eighteenth Street Lounge and staged his own festival, Mustock, as well as recording several solo albums. Sadly, he passed away from a rare blood disease last year, aged just 61. Regular collaborators Fort Knox Five released the posthumous 'Attracted' EP by way of tribute back in March, and now here come the remixes. Funk-breaks is the dominant sound but with 15 mixes of just five tracks there's room, too, for D&B, hip-hop and heavy, headnodding dubtronica, making for a varied and enjoyable listen.
Review: Bomb Strikes are back! Yet again they have brought some serious ammunition with them as they welcome Prosper & Stabfinger for three tracks of seriously groovy delight. We kick off with the title track 'Down In The Basement', which combines disco-like melodies with funky clav experiments and patois vocal lines for a real mashup of styles alongside Awoke. Next, 'Lucky Six' wheels into play with its jazzy horn lines and party flavours, also featuring work from Lions Pride. Finally, Fedorovski gets busy with a super experimental take on 'Boogie Bugi', smashing affected vocal lines with a potent bassline and crunchy percussive influxes. Tasty!
Review: Breakbeat Paradise first released the various artists EP 'Funk Originals' back in April 2017; now, nearly three years later, it's back with a new set of remixes. The EP as a whole is very much the proverbial game of two halves: the four original tracks are aimed fair and square at lovers of "new old" funk and soul (think Speedometer, Dap Kings, etc), while the three remixes ('Stand Up' doesn't get one, oddly, but its P-funk/Zapp-isms will delight funkateers nonetheless) are altogether more squelchy and electronic-sounding, and as such will be better suited to broken beat or funk-breaks sets.
Review: Chopshop mark the completion of their first decade in the game with this 17-track compilation of funk n' breaks nuggets from the label vaults. Groove Armada and Situation both feature, but generally the emphasis is on less well-known names, who serve up a mixture of cheeky bootlegs, re-edits and original material. Dave Gerrard samples the Average White Band on 'Drop The Pieces' and George Kelly & DJ S's 'Movin' To The Groovin' takes Wild Cherry to the breakbeat party, but the majority of the tracks draw on less obvious sources of inspiration, with standouts including the big beat/lounge-y vibes of Senior Citizens' 'What A Body' and the ghetto disco groove of Appo's 'Getaway'.
Review: Australia's Dave Mathmos brings us a five-track re-edit EP that digs impressively deep for inspiration. 'Slick Talk' revisits Asha Puthli's 1976 Indo-disco nugget 'Space Talk' (a favourite at The Loft) and is every bit as hypnotic and sensual as the original. 'Just... A Lonely Soul' reworks Labi Siffre's 'I Got The' from 1975 (the source for Eminem's 'My Name Is') and comes in hazy, druggy Part 1 and more immediately floor-friendly Part 2 forms, while finally 'Sell The House' and the fairly self-explanatory 'Sell The Dub' are based on a 1976 Ashford & Simpson album cut of the same name.
Review: The honour of curating the 44th instalment of Katakana's Edits series has fallen on Disco Funk Spinner, a much respected re-edit guy whose work has appeared on the likes of Midnight Riot, Disco Fruit and Sound Exhibitions. Here though he only manages to provide two jams, but it's quality, not quantity, right? First up we get "Night Strangers" which takes loops from Candi Staton's Bee Gees cover (Nights On Broadway) and adds an accelerated disco house tempo and subtle but funky embellishments. On the digital flip is "On Fire", a clever rework of Peggy Lee's indestructible classic, Fever. Hot stuff!
Review: When operating under the V's Edits alias, re-edit maestro Valique can always be relied upon to bring the goods. It's little surprise, then, to find out that his latest collection of fresh cut-jobs - an epic affair featuring no less than 24 tracks - is packed to the rafters with high-grade fare. We don't have enough space to list all of the highlights, but we'd suggest checking out his rolling revision of Lee Dorsey's "Night People", the low-slung disco-funk heaviness of the Brass Construction rework ("Gotta Do It"), the intergalactic disco deepness of the Marvin Gaye revision ("Funky Space"), the lightly tooled-up, slowly unfurling take on Tom Browne's "Funkin For Jamaica" and the sweeping, string-laden disco brilliance of "Miracle (V's Edit)".
Review: Album number four here from Angelos Stoumpos and friends. It comes hot on the heels of trailer single Realistic, but the latter's languid doo-wop soul vibes, however excellent, aren't really indicative of the album as a whole, which packs a lot more reggae and dub than it does soul and funk. Standouts include the dubbed-out 'Tweaky' and the skankin' 'Liberty Is Our Destiny', which sports an old school-sounding scratch break in the midsection and a dancehall vocal courtesy of Gobey, while funk and disco lovers are catered for with cuts like 'Discogirls', 'Afrofunk' and fine, jazz-tinged closer 'Not Bad Disco'.
Review: 62 collections deep and still blazing up any party in a 1000 mile radius; Katakana deliver yet another fun and funk-fuelled package. All laced with a heavy rhythmic theme, attention to groove detail is paid throughout as we're treated to range of classic and deeply dug edits. "Galaxy" sets the tone with a sleazy strutting war cry before we're hurled into a Latin frenzy on both the sultry "Camina" and the bull-fighting "Descarga". Elsewhere "Leroy Loves Ya" brings the soulful touch and "JB World" closes with a little psychedelic mystique.
Review: Shaping up to be one of the biggest soul tunes of the year, here 'Blind Faith' gets the remix treatment courtesy of Art Of Tones (formerly known as F-Comm fave Llorca) and fellow Jalapeno regular Smoove (as in Turrell). Art Of Tones nudges the track closer to soulful house territory - his Dub, in particular, would undoubtedly have gone down a storm at Ben Watt's legendary Sunday sessions Lazy Dog back in the day, with its phat b-line and jazz-funk guitar chops. Smoove then surprises with a shimmering, squelchy-basslined rub that also operates at a near-house tempo.
Review: The Allergies seem to have settled into a routine with their releases lately - one retro-tastic 'new old' funk/soul jam with a sung vocal, plus one slice of funked-up hip-hop - and so it is again here. 'Felony' is all dusty horn parps, live drums and soulful male vocal, while the accompanying 'Ride 'Em Up' finds the Bristolian crew at their most Stereos-esque while a guest rap from Andy Cooper alternates with a sultry female soul vocal. There's nothing especially groundbreaking going on, but if your toes aren't tapping you might want to double-check that you remembered to put your feet on this morning...
Review: It may have taken a few months, but Whiskey Disco's latest split EP - a fine affair featuring two reworks apiece from Ponchartrain and Sheffield-based East Midlander Thatmanmonkz - has finally made it to digital download. Pontchartrain steps up first, first offering up the breezy, tropical-sounding disco stomp of "La Magie" - all punchy horns, classic disco bass, fizzing synth lines and glassy-eyed female vocals - before brilliantly reworking an obscure disco/jazz-funk instrumental (the suitably spacey "Hey Mariposa"). Arguably even better is "Luh Me On Mi Celly", the low-slung, stretched-out dub disco revision that counts as thatmanmonkz's first contribution to the EP. His second, "Radiation Steppa", is a fizzing, synth-heavy disco-boogie number blessed with passionate male group vocals.
Review: If we're counting correctly this is album number nine from Speedometer in a recording career that stretches back 20 years. As such, if you have any interest at all in 'new old' funk and soul sounds you should know pretty much what to expect, so it's the cuts where they flip the script that are most notable. There's a distinct African slant to the cinematic 'Edge Of Fear', but it's 'Kashmir', a sitar-infused jaunt into psychedelic pastures, that's the standout. Elsewhere the UK veterans run the gamut from soulful acid jazz anthem-in-waiting 'Let's Start A Movement' to the raunchy, wigged-out Hammond jam that is 'Mo' Crunch'.
Review: Don't be fooled by the title here. While there's definitely a strong African influence to the six tracks featured on this EP from Greece's Timewarp, you don't need to be a lover of complex polyrhythms or breathy, chanted vox to appreciate them. Instead, ever-prolific Italian producer Lalinga looks to African funk and jazz of the 1970s for inspiration. 'Nasty Shit' comes at the sound from a hip-hop perspective and 'Rebellie' is the EP's most overtly house-leaning cut, while 'Afrikaanse Waansin' is the most traditional-sounding, but all six will work well on the floor and will have particular appeal for the breakers and jazz dancers.
Review: Long-player number four here from Croatia's Vladimir Sivc, better known as Funky Destination, and his third for Timewarp. The clue's definitely in the title, because it's largely soul rather than funk flavours that dominate - though we're talking sweaty 60s James Brown stompers rather than smoochy 70s love ballads, and admittedly that's one of music's most porous boundaries anyway! If you dig the likes of Speedometer, The Allergies, Skeewiff or Dr Rubberfunk you'll find much to enjoy here, with standouts including the blues harmonica-augmented 'Make It Fuzz' and the aptly-titled 'Bad Ass Jazz', while the string-laden 'Come Back To Me' has the most commercial, Amy-esque appeal.
Review: It's 25 years since the release of Main Source's Breaking Atoms album, one of the finest full-lengths of hip-hop's renowned "golden era". To celebrate this fact, Geordie producer Smoove has put together "Main Sourced", a cut-and-paste tribute that incorporates elements from tracks sampled by the group across the celebrated set, alongside carefully selected rap samples. As you'd expect from a man of his talents and experience, it's brilliantly done, achieving a near perfect balance between the needs of the dancefloor, the dustiness of the original album, and the demands of Steinski style cut-and-paste productions. In other words, it's pretty darn good.
Review: Bomb Strikes, the UK hip-hop/funk/soul/breaks label headed up by Mooqee & Beatvandals, celebrated their 15th birthday in 2019 with a fantastic compilation album, and to further celebrate the success of the label in 2019 they're releasing another compilation featuring 15 of their best cuts from the past 12 months. What's most impressive is the variety on offer, ranging from straight-up hip-hop from Alexander Norman Prosper & Stabfinger, to party breaks from Ali B and Krafty Kuts, to 'new old' soul from Flevans, to the fairly self-explanatory 'Disco Weapon' and 'Mirror Ballin'' (by Shaka Loves You and X-Ray Ted, respectively. Tons of fun for festive season funkateers of all ages!
Review: Nothing cheap about the complier of the latest installment of Katakana Edits series. Cheapedits has lined up a sizzling selection of party-orientated scalpel jobs, and gives The Supremes a thorough early 90s hip-house makeover on "Stopin". Inxs get a sleazy big beat facelift on "Tonight", and it's all about the vintage 60s shuffle on "Blacktel". "Buyer" provides some poppy ska and "Qui Qui" wraps things up with closing-time-at-a-tequila-bar vibe.
Review: Ok folks, it's a new Bomb Strikes release, you should all know the drill by now. Yep, it's all about party friendly breaks and mash-ups here, so leave your arty pretensions at the door, thank you very much. Here we have two self-professed 'funkmasters', Prosper and the suggestively titled Stabfinger hooking up for three sizzling jams. The title track mixes brassy big beat and daisy age rap, whilst "Don't Hold Back" is pure hands-in-the-air poppy electro funk before "Baby Baby Please" wraps it all up nicely with an infectious fusion of electro-swing, rap and cumbia beats.
Review: As ever, the Bomb Strikes imprint delivers an awesome package to us with this brand new 25 track compilation entitled 'Funk N' Beats Vol. 5', To be honest, it's exactly what it says on the tin as The Allergies head up waves and waves of funkadelic rhythms and crunchy riffs. For us the highlights have to be the futuristic drum processing and subtle percussive movements of 'Loose Gardner' from Flevans, along with the classic breakbeat fusion of 'Fire' remixed by Smoove but originally produced by the Renegades Of Jazz. With the sheer depth of the project it's easy to get lost within the tracklisting, which is always a good sign on a large scale compilation.
Review: Jalapeno regular Flevans returns with an 11-track album that won't disappoint lovers of the label's trademark funk-breaks-soul sound one iota. It's actually his fifth, reflecting the fact that Flevans does this stuff better than most; if there's a criticism, it's that the album perhaps tries a little too hard to please everyone. Where cuts like 'Power Rocks You' have an authentic 60s/70s 'deep funk' feel, others such as 'Ambition Like Cream' (feat Scooby Jones) opt for a more commercial approach and end up in Radio 2-friendly pop territory. But even if you do find yourself hitting the Skip button once or twice, there's still much to enjoy here.
Review: Here they are at it again, fusing, twisting and sampling all the hits, obscurities and bangers you've come to love over the years; be they hip hop, electro, pop, funk or rock. Notorious BIG makes an appearance on this compilations opener while JLO vocals and dirty electro can be found on "Get Right". Scale down the tracklist and you'll come across J5, old school funk and flutes to The Champs - Tequila!
Review: Scouring, as per usual, through the deepest and darkest depths of the underground, the always on-point Scour imprint comes through with the goods in the form of Beat Le Juice, a new boogie sensation to add to our radars. The man's opener "I Promise" takes us back to the early 80s, and to legendary labels lime SAM, with the same going for the more funk-tastic bass of "Funk Magic" - what a nugget! "So Much Style" is the deepest and baddest of the four, in our opinion, leveraging a little dub flex for the heads, while "The Beat Don't Stop" launches an all-out pop attack...backed by a lovely house sensibility.
Review: Crate digging in the Northern Soul scene is the gift that keeps on giving - an endless quest for rarer and rarer gems. Here Beatnik present a new collection that features nine classic Motown and Northern Soul cuts which have been sensitively retouched by some contemporary talent. Highlights include the celebratory, fizzy soul jam "Soul On Fire" by Shaka Loves You (yes, the one sampled by Beyonce), a Junkie XL-style makeover of Martha & The Vandellas on "Nowhere To Go" and Mak & Mr Bristow's muscled up take on The Rascals - "Olympic Lovin".
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a hot and sticky, two-track collaboration between 10-piece Parisian disco-funk outfit Cotonete and disco-house survivor Dimitri From Paris. "Parribean Disco", a Latin-tinged take on Caribbean disco rich in expansive jazz piano solos (think "Strings of Life", and you're close), pressure-building grooves and rousing horn lines, is undoubtedly the star of the show, though the high octane and fiendishly heavy disco-funk slammer that follows, "The Hustle Parisian" - all "Spank" electric piano stabs, mazy synth solos and layered trumpet riffs - arguably boasts more dancefloor weight. Both are superb, though, and sound like peak-time anthems in waiting.