Review: MCs don't come much more authentic and old school rooted than Afrika Baby Bam. An original Jungle Brother and consistent party starter, his honeyed tone and smooth flow is distinctive within two bars. The same can be said for legendary big beaters Skeewif who take care of all grooves on this exceptional album. Sleazy, sassy and ultimately timeless; this has golden age stamped all over it. Highlights include the pant-burning Ugly Duckling style singalong "Set It Off", the sunny-side skanks of "Real Talk" and the scorchio come-to-bed west coast sizzler "The Blueprint". Perfect summer sounds.
Review: Smooth lyricism, cool production and sweet rhythms? Baby Bam has them all in abundance on this brand new recording entitled 'I Don't Follow The Trend'. This is a fantastic hip hop composition before we even touch on Bam's immaculate rap flows and intricate use of language. Combine all of this with some smooth soulful backing vocals and you are certainly onto a winner. As well as this we are gifted an allstar electro refit of the original from Featurecast, who reworks the track into a big room belter.
Review: A UK producer intent on perfecting the ultimate retro sunkissed sounds, Daytoner has been holed up in his studio fine-tuning the follow-up to 2012's Sunburst Radio. A recent stopgap EP saw the producer dabble with some re-edits, but the 13 new cuts on Synchronicity are all his own work. Highlights of the LP include the flute-laden, fruity funk of opener "Sauce Of The Nile", the saxy, Rhodesy disco glam of "Halo Moon" and the lounge-beats and cloud-of-pot-smoke that is "Half A Mansfield Please". A quality return from this elusive musician.
Review: West Country producer Ewan Hoozami recently relocated to Brighton in a bid to give his career a kick up the backside. It seems to have paid off, as this is his most rounded and developed production yet. Whereas previous releases have focused on funk breaks, "Skin Too Deep" is a slice of woozy disco-pop, complete with his own impassioned vocals. Mr Bird adds a little swing and heavier bottom end, making the most of Hoozami's funk-flecked guitars. Finally, Handprint & The Time Twins give the track a little more house flavour, while retaining the original synths, guitar and vocals.
Review: Otherwise known as 50 per cent of the Ancient Astronauts, here were find Kabanjak adding to his already rich repertoire of lazy, lavish funk licks. Ranging from dub bass Hammond jams ("For The Moment - Alternative Versions") to more hip-hop inclined swagger jams ("Strange Boogie", "Get It On"), there's not a dull moment throughout as Kabanjak weaves and bobs articulately, ensuring both turntablists and home listeners will be more than satiated.
Review: Purejunk has been waving his flag high under a number of different aliases over the years, most notably his Avalon and THC projects and both of them showcasing a somewhat trance-fuelled sound. His more recent Purejunk work has shifted to a considerably more experimental guise, bringing in aspects of electronica and downbeaten drone experimentations. "Dreamachine" is his longest and most wide-eyed work to date, bringing forth seventeen tracks of pure lushness - "Strings Of Life" and "Heaven Bring Forth" immediately standing out for their beautiful orchestral programming. There is plenty in there, much of it verging on modern classical, such as "Below Sorvali (Intermezzo)" and "Ideas Come To Life (Intermezzo)", but it's Purejunk's overall mastery of the aural senses which really makes this work shine throughout.
Review: Berlin retro electronics from synth geniuses Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss. Synthwaves pays homage to the masters of the past, yet feels fresh and enchanting. Rich, neon-lit patterns are modulated and mutated with precision into several post cosmic sounds to drift to. During two intense weeks in the capital, Quaeschning and Schnauss (both students of the great, late maestro Edgar Froese) are said to have locked themselves in a studio full of vintage synthesizers, analogue sequencers and drum machines and here are the impressive results. These tracks are so evocative and life affirming as you'd expect given the credentials of these producers: in particular the dreampop and nu-gaze prince Schnauss' contribution. As with the finest Tangerine Dream soundtracks, it's the kind of music that paints vivid pictures on the canvas of the listeners mind.
Review: Based in London and headed up by Austrian bassist, composer and bandleader Stefan Redtenbacher, jazz-funk combo Redtenbacher's Funkestra have 10 albums under their belt and have worked with the likes of Incognito, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis and assorted members of the New Power Generation. Across the 10 tracks on this latest long-player, they range from sumptuous disco ('Around & Around') and raw Meters/O'Jays-like funk ('Dallas Clan') to 90s-style acid jazz/street soul ('Dance & Shout'), with the string section, unsurprisingly, much in evidence throughout. There's not much going on that's especially groundbreaking, admittedly, but the musicianship on display is impeccable...
Review: Salt Rush is a grass like reed that grows on the US pacific coast. Although gentle, there's nothing weedy or reedy about this collaboration between composer Matthew Linley (Gilbert, AztecCormorant) and guitarist Mark Peters. The latter was a founder of UK shoegaze act Engineers and worked with the likes of Ulrich Schnauss, the influence of both can be heard all over this eponymous LP. Glistening beats and chimes reflected through the prism of hazy sunbeams, this album comes across as the bastard lovechild of Washed Out but is softened by the angelic vocals of Maud Waret. Widescreen romance in sonic form.
Review: Samplemeister and swing-hopper extraordinaire, Skeewiff, dropped his Latin-tinged LP Ghetto Latin & Broken Ballroom to great acclaim back in 2013. Now it's back and spruced up with a slew of remixes. It's an ambitious package featuring loads of different styles, and especially on the D&B-tinged "Rumba Style (Swingrowers mix)", the lazy brass-fest "Making Those Changes (Minimatic mix)" and Latin-tech of "Tango De La Destruction (Jayl Funk mix)", it definitely succeeds.
Review: A true party patriot, Skeewiff's been involved in UK dance music for almost 20 years and is one of the founding members of Jalapeno's unique funk movement. With albums racking up into the teens, he knows how these things work... Consistency, clarity, cool collaborations and a powerful party message. Each box ticked, highlights include Ashley Slater's syrupy tones on "Slam Your Funky Funk Funk", the outrageous badman bass glitch fury on "Setting It Off", the dainty piano sprinkles and woozy horn magic of "Dr Groove" and the car-chase jazz boogie power of "Snakeweed" with original rare groove champions the Brand New Heavies. If you know Skeewiff's work, you'll already know this is a bonafide funk odyssey. If you're new to his work then here's your chance to get acquainted. Fo shizzle.
Review: Calling all samba soundhounds, polka party people, rumba revellers and bossa bandits! Sample-smashing instrumentalist Skeewiff returns with another incredible album, this time exploring the bountiful creative pastures of Latin America. Highlights abound across the 13 track selection, including the horn-blazed sizzling sunset showdown of "Burro Magico", the accordion-squeezing, bass-burping cumbia stomper "Fritada De Cumbia" and the frenetic future bossa nova "Meu Amor". Skeewiff never disappoints, and this is no exception.
Review: One of the scene's most consistent and unabashed funkers Skeewiff follow up their 'sensually inspired' EP with a sweaty clutch of respectful remixes. It's a vibrantly international affair too as Fab Samperi polishes up the sexy French tones of "Mr Debonair" and Omegaman turns his Cuban heels into a pair of Cuban stilts on "No Puede Esperar". Elsewhere we find Jiggyjoe giving "Heatwave" go-faster stripes and Skeewiff going head-to-head with Shawn Lee on a live, organic D&B slammer rub of "I Got Soul". Unleash the animal in you and grab this today!
Review: Rather than simply bask in the adulation from their recent 'best of' compilation, this Italian duo are back at work, this time delivering "Skeewiff In Brazil", a 14 track collection of 'bozza novas, sambas and Latin beats". With explanations like this there's no prizes for guessing what it sounds like (fuss-free Latin tinged party fare), but they still throw in some surprises including the dubstep-influenced "Like A Bossa" and the hip-hop of "Blame It On Rio".
Review: Spy chase-obsessed breaks/loungecore mash-up merchants Skeewiff come firmly under the "veteran" category, having peddled their particular brand of funtime groovery since the tail end of the 1990s. Here, they drop their tenth album, and for the most part, it's business as usual. Fans will surely lap-up Man Turns Animal's cheeky blend of funk-fuelled breakbeat fun, tongue-in-cheek '60s kitsch ("The Happy Whomp"), scratch-happy break digging ("Man Turns Animal"), party-hearty Latin fun ("No Puede Esparar", "Moomba Mamba"), head-nodding soul ("Mr Debonair") and downtempo curiosities ("Bull In A China Shop"). There's also a sprinkling of bona fide floorfillers ("Heatwave", "Sizzle Chest") for those seeking instant gratification.
Review: Now over 20 years into their career, Latin-funk-big beat fusionists Skeewiff return with an album that touches on multiple music bases. The album opens with 'Starsky & June', an energetic slice of car chase funk that owes a considerable debt of inspiration to Isaac Hayes' classic 'Theme From Shaft'. Elsewhere, rapper Baby Bam guests on three tracks that will keep the hip-hop lovers happy, while jazzier flavas can be found on another trio of cuts featuring acid jazz survivors Brand New Heavies. One of these latter three, 'Cosmic Space Jam', is a particular standout, as is the rambunctious, 1920s-inspired 'Cheeky Charlie'.
Review: Exclusive to us here at Juno Download, we present the new full length by Legendary British duo Alex Rizzo and Elliot Ireland aka Skeewiff. TheIr block rocking beats have made them stalwarts of the Jalapeno label as well as appearing regularly for Rambling and out of Japan and their own Pedigree Cuts imprint. Their cut and paste 'cinerama' is twisted and transported via five dimensions throughout the album and perfectly encapsulated on this thrilling soundtrack to a departure. Highlights include the liquid drum and bass of dynamic opener "Down The Rabbit Hole", the uplifting 'soul-step' of "Pig & Pepper" (that has the Hospital Records kinda sound) as well as "Who Stole The Tarts" which goes for glitchy and bleepin' beats and bass shenanigans.
Review: Swing-hop hero Skeewiff was off gallivanting around Brazil recently, producing all kinds of Latin-tinged gems. Now he's back on home ground with the equally popular Shawn Lee for seven collaborative rejigs of some tasty vintage nuggets. We get a whole selection of different retro styles here, but our faves include the cowbell, hammond and big, lazy beats of "Cramp", the total Austin Powers-style wig out of "Teen Beat" and the odd analogue electro romp of "Groovin".
Skeewiff & Syd Dale - "The Quick Brown Foxtrot" - (3:55)
Review: Funky break veterans Skeewiff are back (having apparently won 'Best Electro-Swing Producers Of The Year 2012 award), this time with a bumper packed collection of their remixes of cult 1970s British library music (one of their favourite sources of breaks). There's lots of loungey exotic action to choose from including the sassy, brassy "Scarper", the trippy "Hyper Hippo", the driving, clenched teeth disco rock of "Jet Propelled" and the many collabs with original bandleader Syd Dale (the best of which being the kitschy D&B of "Supermarket Hustle").
Review: London-based producer Ulrich Schnaus has a sterling (or should that be Euro?) reputation for crafting exquisite soundscapes of ethereal audio often set to a disco beat. Passage is his second collaboration with Jonas Munk and together they explore their more 'shoegazey' influences over the course of 11 fresh new cuts. Each instrumental tune evokes images of dewdrops on blades of morning grass, sunbeams awaking deer in forests and sweeping panoramic views of mountaintops caked in perfect, icing sugar-style snow. If all that sounds a bit like a life insurance advert, don't worry, as the music contained herein is genuinely transcendent.