Review: irst released on vinyl three years ago and now finally available on digital download, this must-check EP showcases a quartet of killer re-rubs of back catalogue tracks by L.A-based Afro-Latin funk fusionists Jungle Fair. The headline attraction is undoubtedly a pair of reworks by Ashley Beedle and Rob Mello's reborn Black Science Orchestra project - their first revisions for over 15 years. They first serve up a wonderfully percussive, analogue bass-propelled deep Afro-house remix of 2014 cut 'Culebro', before reaching for the delays and delivering an arguably even better dancefloor 'Dub'. You'll also find JKriv re-imagining 2013 single 'Firewalker' as a bumpin' chunk of horn-heavy dub disco, and a cracking Latin disco take on 'Village Hustle' courtesy of Bosq.
Review: St Albans-based Hansi serves up four more covers on this latest addition to the long-running 'Funky Grooves' series on his own Viking Grooves. 'Changes' gets the ball rolling, rendering Black Sabbath's classic heartbreak ballad in a tortured, southern soul style - it's almost like Otis's revenge for the Black Crowes! The other choices of cover on the EP are perhaps less surprising - Timmy Thomas's 'Why Can't We Live Together', Run DMC's 'Peter Piper' and The Jimmy Castor Bunch's 'It's Just Begun' - but in all cases Hansi puts his own distinctive spin on the original, making for an EP with more than its fair share of attention-grabbers.
Review: For the latest volume in Planet E's long-running Detroit Love compilation, label boss Carl Craig has handed over to DJ Holographic (real name Ariel Corley), a rising star of the Motor City scene. It's a hugely entertaining collection told, with Corley doing her best to showcase artists on the up - from both Detroit and elsewhere - as well as established stars of the underground. Musically, it's as diverse and mixed-up as you'd expect, kicking off with revivalist Afrobeat (Underground System), slick deep house (Pontchartrain with Javontte) and revivalist '80s soul (Shri Schwartz), before taking in everything from broken house and nu-disco, to sci-fi techno, sleazy warehouse jams, sleazy acid, percussion-rich Latin house and much more besides.
Review: Following fine outings from Fort Knox Five, the Allergies, Smoove and Marc Hype, amongst others, Bomb Strikes' reliable Funk N' Beats compilation series returns with rising star X-Ray Ted at the controls. In keeping with the series' heavyweight, funk-fuelled style, the Bristol-based DJ and beat-maker has gathered together a killer collection of soul, hip-hop and funk club cuts, with a smattering of more laidback numbers to keep things fresh. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with our picks including the boom-bap brilliance is Aldo Vanucci's tidy remix of 'All Down' by Mr Doris and D-Funk, the dancefloor jazz heaviness of Nostalgia 77's 'Changes', the cut-and-paste craziness of Double Dee & Steinski's 'Jazz' and the disco-funk masterclass that is X-Ray Ted's own 'Party Time'.
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: It's quite marvelous to see so much fresh new music has been coming out of the legendary Breakbeat Paradise Recordings camp this year, as they bring together another top draw drop, this time courtesy of Stabfinger with his 'Funkastick' project. We kick off our journey into this one with the randomized wobbles of 'Twenty Five Miles', which is closely followed by the groovy guitar licks of 'Disc Jockey'. Next we have the succulent percussive pressure of the title track 'Funkastick' which combines oldschool drum combos with exciting chord patterns to achieve a really cool energy. Finally we round up with the tasty drum crunches of 'Simple Et Fonky', topped with classic vocal samples.
Review: We've become accustomed to the Editorial label offering up expansive EPs packed to the rafters with tasty edits and reworks, but even by the imprint's high standards Raw Funk is rather special. It begins with a bumpin' chunk of hazy and excitable sample house courtesy of Cody Currie (the brilliant 'Aquarian Girl') and ends with some slow-motion, downtempo disco sweetness from Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee ('Slippin'); in between, you'll find a fine rearrangement of an organ-laden chunk of sweaty dancefloor soul (the Funk District's 'An Evening With El Diablo'), some slap-bass-sporting disco-funk (Matt Hughes' 'Get Down'), and a righteous trip into driving disco territory (the Owl's low-slung 'Funky Feelin').
Review: Taken form the forthcoming Bombstrikes compilation - Funk N' Beats Vol. 8, curated by Bristol DJ and Beat Smith X-Ray Ted, 'Party Time' is available digitally for the first time. Originally available on a limited run of vinyl, the release sold out within a matter of days. This one has already picked up some serious heat with support from DJ Koco, Krafty Kuts, and Craig Charles on his BBC Radio 2 show.
Review: The latest missive on Razor N Tape's original production-focused Reserve offshoot should delight all those who love revivalist instrumental funk-fusion. It comes courtesy of Nashville combo Magic In Threes, who offer-up four original tracks: laidback and jaunty groover 'Chupa Cobra', Blaxploitation style wiggler 'Work Tapes', high-octane spy-chase dancer 'Come On Down' and the Jimi Tenor style lounge funk tease of 'Finnish Funk'. Each comes accompanied by a killer remix. We'd recommend checking out Bruno 'Patchworks' Hovart's Fela Kuti-inspired afrobeat rework of 'Work Tapes', COEO's loopy, bass-heavy house interpretation of 'Finnish Funk' and Fouk's sparkling jazz-funk take on 'Chupa Cobra' - all are utterly inspired.
Review: Formed in 2012, Bristol duo The Allergies have spent the past eight years crafting a signature style that's like the missing link between Stereo MCs and The Dap Kings. This, their third studio long-player, doesn't throw up any huge surprises - yet again they float effortlessly from party-style hip-hop and funk breaks to effective 'new old' funk and northern soul pastiche - but is notable for its range of guest vocalists, who include Dynamite MC, The Cuban Brothers (on Latin excursion 'Let Them Know') and veteran Ugly Duckling rapper Andy Cooper, not to mention Bristol's own most notorious busker, Mr Woodnote. The Ike & Tina vibes of 'Every Trick In The Book' and the fast-n-furious 'I'm On It' (feat Dr Syntax) are among the highlights.
Review: Bristol duo The Allergies continue to hint at a future album release with this two-track digital 7", Lean On You. Featuring bespoke lyrics from Dynamite MC in its lead cut, it's a track that subtly touches on Southern rap as it does rock and Gorillaz-styled funk or Cypress Hill-styled hip hop. Venturing further down a looped-up blues and rootsy funk tip in "Working On Me", lyrics are swapped for classic vocal samples, brass horns, big beat loops and clever funky drummer motifs. Spicy hot.
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.
Review: A warm welcome back to Rudy's Midnight Machine, one of the solo side projects of Faze Action's Robin Lee. The Crystal Dragonfly EP is the experienced producer's first single for almost two years and is as positive and musically rich as you'd expect. Opener 'Dyane' does a brilliant job of joining the dots between slap-bass propelled, boogie-era disco revalism, sun-kissed Balearic grooves and chiming, melody-rich synth-pop - all with a subtle Brazilian twist - while 'La Rochelle' is a cheery and positive nu-disco bubbler. Lee expertly combines sparkling D-Train synths and hazy Balearic disco grooves on 'Shy Smile', continuing the leisurely poolside vibes via piano-sporting chugger 'Pre De Minuit' and beat-free ambient soundscape 'Crystal Dragonfly'. Luscious!
Review: Greece's Timewarp delivers Croatian producer Vladimir Sivc aka Funky Destination his sixth studio album, and it burns! Combining live instrumentation with his sampled-based style, FD dials up some downbeat tempos and dubbed-out horns in tracks like "Deep Into Brasil" to some undeniable hand percussion and jazz funk in "B.Disco Express". On a western tip find cowboy ballads and sunsets themes in "The Last Cotton Field Song" (think Django Unchained) alongside the Chicagoan blues and Hendrix rock 'n' roll of "I Was A Rolling Stone". Some further streetsmart funk in "Mountain To Sing" next to the broken beats of "Back To Philly" and some sassy, disco flex in "Sistas Of Mercy". For that soulful, upbeat and hip hop vibe it's all about the title track: "Roots People".
Review: What we have here are 15 contemporary funk and disco nuggets coming courtesy of prolific Greek producer Timewarp Inc and assorted friends and relations. There's a pleasing degree of stylistic variety on offer across the album as a whole, with tracks ranging from Afternoons In Stereo's cool, jazzy 'Party At Dick & Mimi's' to Dubstax's unabashedly cheesy yet strangely irresistible 'Wiggly Bum', via the sultry, sleazy boogie of Dogo Argentino's '2 Minutes To Midnight', a brace of deep house-leaning contributions from Atfunk, and Aris Kokou's Afro-percussive rework of Timewarp Inc's own 'Discogirls', making for a very checkable collection indeed.
Review: Hillside are a loose collective consisting of Claremont 56 boss Paul 'Mudd' Murphy, bassist/guitarist Alex Searle, percussionist Patrick Dawes and multi-instrumentalist Michele Chiavarini, with a little help from a rotating cast of session players. Making the most of lockdown, they've used their extra studio hours to put together a debut album that blends funk, jazz, disco and Balearic influences, and that's very aptly titled: things never move much beyond walking pace, making for a long-player that's best appreciated whole, ideally while lounging poolside with a fresh Mojito in hand. It may be a little polite for some, but you can't fault the quality of either the musicianship or the production.
Review: We were very happy to see Featurecast make his return to his beloved Monster Sounds Music as he reels off the third edition of his very popular breakbeat LP series, jam packed with another four original creations and a very enjoyable introduction. From the off, 'Shaka Boom' sets pace with some dangerous synths, followed by the dubwise arrangements of 'Rudeboy Sound' and the halftime flavours of 'Buzzsaw'. finally, we dip into the powerful drum designs of 'Made With Love', which finishes off the project in style. To round everything up, he also gives away 'Samples & Beats MS Vol 3', showcasing his sampling ability
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: 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: 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: It's been 14 years since Simon Ward AKA Dr Rubberfunk released his second album 'My Life At 33', so something doesn't quite add up there! Happily, though, that's about the only grumble you're likely to have with this, his fourth long-player, on which he demonstrates an impressive musical versatility as he deftly weaves between raw 70s-inspired soul (see the Stephanie Whitelock and Izo Fitz-Roy collabs), mellifluous virtuoso jazz-funk (see 'Slim's Mood' and 'Steppin' In', hazy, blues-y psychedelic funk-rock ('Boom!' feat John Turrell), scorching Hammond grooves ('Pressure Cooker') and more besides. "Not a real doctor since 1992," Ward's website proclaims proudly - and long may it continue.
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: 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: Resense serve up two tracks that owe a clear debt to party-style hip-hop from the 90s: think A Tribe Called Quest, Arrested Development or more specifically Jurassic 5, whose vocal from 'In The House' forms the basis for Lord Funk & Moar's 'Hip Hop Control' (even if that track did come out in 2006), with the original's electrofunk backdrop replaced by a jazzier groove complete with breathy flutes. Gelatine Thugs' 'Do The Don't Stop' then takes us into jazzier pastures still, while biting a snatch of vocal from a certain Mr M. Jackson. Floors that move to the likes of The Allergies or Speedometer will lap these two cuts up.
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: 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: 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: Following the success of Shaka Loves You's previous compilations on Bombstrikes, the label has offered them the chance to launch a new series all of their own. Named in honour of their radio show and regular parties in Glasgow, Joints & Jams offers up a hugely entertaining (and largely floor-friendly) mixture of funk-fuelled hip-hop (Bastien Keb, Fort Knox Five, Andy Cooper), skanking reggae (The Nextmen and Gentlemen's Dub Club sing-along 'Done It Again'), flash-fried funk breaks (the Allergies), tropical goodness (DJ Nu-Mark's hook-up with Quantic), and various fusions of disco, boogie and funk (see the cuts from Kraak & Smaak, X-Ray Ted, Pablo & Shoey and Shaka Loves You themselves). The result is a brilliantly mixed-up collection of tried-and-tested dancefloor bombs.
Review: Given his encyclopedic knowledge of music, you'd expect any compilation put together by Bill Brewster to be full of unlikely gems and lesser-known anthems. That's certainly the case with After Dark, the first in a new DJ-focused series from the Late Night Tales camp. From start to finish, Brewster's selections are spot on, from the lowdown, slo-mo disco oddness of Sheffield chanteuse Marti Caine's "Love The Way You Love Me" and wide-eyed, acid-laden kosmiche of Coober Peder University Band's "Moon Plain", to the dirty electrofunk of Zed Bias's "Koolade" (featuring Toddla T, of all people) and mid'80s percussion fest of Martin Kershaw's "Keep On Pokin". If that wasn't enough, Brewster has also unearthed a decent Jamiroquai record. The wonders never cease.
Review: 2020 might have been a "dumpster fire" of a year (as our American cousins might say), but somehow Nigel Evans AKA Flevans has managed to remain positive. His new EP - the former Tru Thoughts stalwart's first of 2020 - is led by one of the funkiest, and most celebratory tracks he's ever made, the R&B vocal-sampling, disco and electrofunk revivalism of 'I'm Over Here'. With its' killer bassline, Chic-style guitars, bustling beats and squelchy synths, it sounds like a future peak-time anthem. He explores similar sonic pastures on the more shuffling, synth-heavy 'Uptight', before offering up a slightly deeper (but no less funky) take on early '80s disco via similarly superb closing cut 'Fade'.
Review: Veteran Ninja Tune artist Bonobo has been putting out seriously decent tunes pretty much since the birth of the highly regarded Late Night Tales compilation. It's amazing that they haven't crossed paths before, but with the release of this 33rd entry into the series, the time has finally come for Green to take us on his own nocturnal mission. This 21-track odyssey is seamlessly mixed but the unmixed tracks are also presented so we can enjoy highlights like the velvety soul of 'Didn't I", the hippy funk of "Flowers" and the distorted, fuzzy trap of "Gutter Glitter".
Review: Within the modern breakbeat scene, there a few labels that are able to hold their heads as high as Breakbeat Paradise, who have remained incredibly consistent over the last few years, delivering heavyweight EP's left right and centre. Next up for them we see the return of Pecoe, who delivers some serious heat here, kicking off with the wicked sampling routines of 'Splash Of Funk'. Next, the groovy indie inspired switch ups of 'Like An Animal' and the catchy horn routines of 'For The Renegade Master'. We then finish up with the heavyweight drum designs and the spicy guitar licks of 'Nothing But A Party', seeing out a wicked selection.
Review: It's time to get our groove on as Pecoe returns to the super consistent Breakbeat Paradise Recordings imprint to deliver four tracks of futuristic funk, kicking off with the groovy guitar licks and constantly shifting vocal presence of 'It's My Beat'. From here, we switch things up a tad with 'What's Going Down', letting the wah wah guitars run riot atop a stripped back drum loop and shifting synthesizer influences, followed by the instrumental bliss and gorgeous landscaping of 'Next To You'. Finally, the jittery melodies and intermittent vocal slices of 'How We Just Chill' rounds off the project with a bang!
Review: Big Asha brings us a four-tracker that shows working within well-established styles doesn't HAVE to mean simply aping the past. All four tracks featured here can safely be filed under the 'funk' umbrella, but only 'Salinas' and 'Panagra' would sound recognisable to 70s ears: elsewhere, 'What's Cooking?' blends funk and deep house influences to very impressive effect, while 'Sounds At 20 Fathoms' ploughs a much more wonky furrow and actually wouldn't have sounded out of place on Basement Jaxx's 'Remedy'. But it's 'Salinas' that takes the gold - check out those jazzy keys and that squelchy bassline.