Reviewed this week
Famously, George Evelyn's Nightmares on Wax project is the only surviving link to Warp's early days as a bastion of Yorkshire house and techno. Of course, the Leeds native left that style behind years ago - though, interestingly, two tracks on this belated seventh album ("Eye (Can See)" and "Tapestry") touch on soul-sampling house - instead turning his attention to slinky downtempo grooves. For the most part, Feelin' Good sticks to the plan, offering up slow, laidback, summery fusions of soul, dub, funk, instrumental hip-hop and string-drenched Balearic moods. It's something of a return to form after a string of so-so sets, recalling Evelyn's two greatest moments, 1990s' downtempo classics Smokers Delight and Carboot Soul.
Earl Jeffers and Don Leisure's Darkhouse Family project is without a shadow of a doubt one of our favourite new entries over the last decade and, although they haven't put out a huge volume of music, it is all about the quality over the quantity. Their 2017 album, The Offering, is remixed here, and also released via First World, with the dup indeed offering a marvel of jazz-dance and all of its associated sub-styles. The remixers are class, of course, with the likes of Kaidi Tatham, Alfie Swan Andromeda Jones all smashing out some killer broken beats. The highlights, for us, are top-boy DJ Spinna's reinterpretations, with the producer dropping two ice-cold cuts - one house version and another slo-mo hip-hop groove for added texture. Sublime.
Funk specialists Bona Fido believe that it's 'back to the funk and all that junk!' Their next missive comes courtesy of Bush Doctors, the collaboration between two of the main players in breaks from the last decade: TCR founder Rennie Pilgrem and Finger Lickin' Records co-founder/Soul of Man's Jem Panufnik. "Turn It On" features the sweltering vocals of Heather McCallum on this lo-slung afrofunk jam, that gets deep down and dirty. There's also a handy dub instrumental up next in the form of "Turn It Out".
Efficient Space is a Sydney based retrospective label operated by Noise In My Head. Here they are honoured to share the rare recordings of Yolngu musicians Bobby Bunnungurr, Jimmy Djamunba and Peter Milaynga (d. 2007) - working in collaboration with musician Peter Mumme. Yolngu are the indigenous people of Arnhem Land in Northern Territory, Australia. Their songs are of instruction, story and ceremony. Mumme explains that the aim was to produce something that is new, but what emerges from the combining of existing ideas. Waak Waak ga Min Min (Black Crow, White Cockatoo) combines the previously unreleased "Gandi Bawong" with five contemporary versions from the original album, and a new cover painting by Bunnungurr. Tracing 1997 back to many millennia ago, this is a captivating window into the richness of Aboriginal culture and collaboration.