Review: Jalapeno have long been reliable providers of 21st Century funk and soul, and this third album from Plymouth's Aldo Vanucci doesn't disappoint. There's no post-breakbeat filter here: the 12 tracks featured instead work on the principle that if you want to pay homage to musical days gone by, you should do so as faithfully as possible. Vanucci's eclectic approach and an array of guest vocalists of both sexes ensure that things never get too predictable, though, with tracks like 'Ponderosa' (feat Dena Deadly) bringing the Winehouse vibes, 'Get A Hold On This' (feat Kyle Audist) rocking the country-funk and 'Spell It Out' (feat QNC) playing us out on a smoked-out hip-hop note.
Review: Two distinctly contrasting funk/soul numbers make up this latest EP from the mighty Jalapeno camp. 'Knew You Were Coming' is a foot-stompin' funker ? la Fatback, laden with wukka-wukking guitars and topped with a proclaimin' male vocal whose chorus, oddly, this writer remembers from Ultra Boogie's 1994 house/garage cut 'Head On', so Lord alone knows what's going on there! Meanwhile, 'Ponderosa' takes us into much smoother soul territory - though don't worry, it's still pacey enough for dancefloor play - and features a full-lunged vocal from Dena Deadly, an LA-based singer borrowed from the band Memoir.
Review: Featuring the much in-demand tonsils of Kylie Aulist, 'Get A Hold On This' was one of the standout cuts on Vanucci's recent 'Digging For A Living' and now gets the single release it deserves. The country-tinged album version is present and correct, while Bristol's finest funk and hip-hop crew The Allergies ditch the country swing and instead serve up a rawer take that's dripping in southern soul. But it's Dr Rubberfunk's remix that makes this truly essential, as he strips things right back to the bones, drops the tempo a tiny bit and adds a killer Hammond groove of his own.
Review: Sizzlingly hot UK label Jalepeno's latest signing is Brighton based producer-slash-intelligent-sound-designer, Asta Hiroki. The Balance EP is Hiroki's debut effort and features four tracks heavily indebted to Teebs, James Blake and Flying Lotus. Two tracks features the silky vocals of Kathrin deBoer (Tru Thoughts) - the sensuously orchestrated acoustic-lead "Her Image In Focus" and the loose and loungey "Hold Tight". Elsewhere we get the 90s-style hazily broken dub-out "Beatrice" and the ethereal loops of the almost vanished "Most & Least". Quality stuff.
Between Love & Happiness (feat Muhsinah) - (2:22) 85 BPM
Butterfly House - (3:56) 80 BPM
Entropy - (4:37) 106 BPM
Left Behind (feat Lalin St. Juste) - (4:00) 117 BPM
Rose-tint - (3:06) 76 BPM
These Hands (part 2) - (5:42) 111 BPM
Review: Keeping it dusty, beatdown, looped up and moody blue is Asta Hiroki's Entropy album on Jalapeno. Taking in jazz drums, MPC programming, dusty vinyl crackles-and-pops to other classical and acoustic elements - like the harpsichords in its title-track - Entropy is a most alluring, emotional listen. With a sound that lands somewhere between Pantha Du Prince, DJ Shadow and Burial jamming in a jazz cafe/piano bar, get your kicks through classy finger percussion in tracks like "Dahlias" to '90s esque broken beat instrumentals in "Cherry Blossom" - tis the season. Post-dubstep percussion and mirrored synths make their way into tracks like "Butterfly House" next to some broken down hip hop and blues too in "Rose-tint". Entropy never felt so warm.
Review: Our main man DR Rubberfunk is back to enrich our weekends with some outernational vibes and quality drum breaking, courtesy of the ever-reliable Jalapeno label. "How Beautiful" instils the good vibes with a strong cut of drums, breaks, bass and, of course, the man's trademark vocal samples - a true party tune! The title track "Pressure Cooker" is funkier, more melodic, and leaning on some surf-rock vibes, while "Beautiful Drums" strips the melodies down to a banging, seductive rhythm of kicks and percussive samples. This is pure party material, people!