Review: Stalwarts of London's funk scene for some years now, and already seven-album veterans, the Baker Brothers gear up for the release of their brand new album Time To Testify with this one-track release of "Make Your Move". Drawing on more of a '60s mod and R&B flavour than previous releases, it's an excellent breakneck mix of James Chance-style frenzied funk and Northern Soul rhythms, and an intriguing prelude to October's album release.
Review: South coast funk-jazz types Baker Brothers have been plying their trade for yonks, delivering cut after cut of funk/soul goodness. Recently, they joined forces with sample pack makers Loopmasters to let up and coming studio boffins have a stab at remixing their "Snap Back" track. Here, the four winning entries get an airing. There's some decent material on show, from the low-slung, bass-driven soulfulness of Tomasz Betka's delicious rework, to the clav-happy bump of Funky Bijou's snappy revision. The most revolutionary remix comes from CMC and Silenta, whose fusion of Latin horns and urgent vocal cut-ups has great dancefloor potential.
Review: The second single lifted from their excellent new album Time To Testify, UK funk juggernaut The Baker Brothers drop both the radio and album versions of the cowbell-imbued, gritty-guitared soul smash "Snap Back", with a pair of radical new mixes. Taking the live drums out and adding a slow and sunny house beat in, Pedders' rerub casts the goodtimes funk in a whole new light, while Mr Doris & Spaghetti Legs' remix uses the brass as launch point for a dubby excursion that takes in funky breaks and hip-hop 808 bass.
Review: Stalwarts of London's funk scene and already seven albums deep in the crates, The Baker Brothers latest LP Time To Testify sees the group add some grit and raw power to their already tight-as-fudge sound. Previous single "Make Your Move" is a joyous uptempo mix of Dennis Coffey and Northern Soul, while the dubby psych of "Decision Time" is yet another step up in the BB's game. Fans of their classic smooth songwriting won't be disappointed though - songs like "Pieces Of The Puzzle" capture their Stevie-inspired sunniness perfectly.
Review: Calibro 35, Tommaso Colliva's soundtrack funk collective, have picked up many plaudits in recent times, with Wax Poetics gleefully stating that they "sound like Goblin recording at Stax". It's an apt description for the moody, fuzzy, atmospheric fare served up on Traditori Di Tutti, the Milan-based combo's fourth full length. Inspired by classic Italian horror noir novel Betrayed by Giorgio Scerbanenco, it flits between full-on Hammond funk, jazzier moods, Morricone-ish atmospherics and low-down dirtiness. Impeccably played and produced, it's probably their strongest set to date - and that's saying something. Heartily recommended, and then some.
Review: Soundtrack funk collective Calibro 35 dropped Traditori Di Tutti to great acclaim last year. Now, to keep the heat on, this retro Milan outfit deliver this LP sampler comprising two of the album's sharpest tracks. "Vendetta" sounds like it's from a club scene in a '70s Argento movie with lots of shuffly beats and some seriously far out organ and psyche rock riffs. "You, Filthy Bastards" is a far funkier and less dark affair, with plenty of wah-wah guitar and is actually quite reminiscent of Starsky & Hutch! Looks like this is the album that just keeps on giving.
Something Happened On Planet Earth - (4:44) 72 BPM
Violent Venus - (2:51) 133 BPM
Neptune - (0:26) 124 BPM
Serenade For A Satellite - (2:52) 122 BPM
Review: Milan based retro-kitsch outfit Calibro are back doing what they do best on new album 35 Space. It's a sprawling feast of 60s-isms, highlights including the daft Austin Powers-style chaos of "Bandits On Mars", psychedelic interlude "Brain Trap" and the woozy, organ-led neo-soul beats of "A Future We Never Lived".
Review: Milan mystic funkateering five-piece Calibro 35 tease with two songs from their forthcoming album Decade. As always, expect full instrumental mischief as the long-haired gang duff us up with fast-paced, super-tight grooves laced with heady levels of cosmicity. "SuperStudio" is the entrance theme of your dreams. A big ballsy riff, full orchestration and a momentum that pushes you deep inside your favourite 70s movie. "Gomma" is straight up funk prog fusion with its warbling synths and big dark energetic waves. Bring on the album!
Review: It's time to pull out the shades as the magnificent Italian combo of Calibro 35 team up with Record Kicks for another top notch album project, this time entitled 'Decade'. The outfit has been hard at work inside the infamous Officine Meccaniche studios in Milan, crafting together some of the funkiest yet most cinematic rhythms available on the market today. To start with 'SuperStudio' is liquified smoothness, with super funky guitar riffs and horn arrangements conjuring images of 80's cop show chases and casino robberies. The album contains everything you want from future funk and more with 'Modo' & 'Pragma' providing more laid back arrangements followed up by 'Faster, Faster' and 'Polymeri' which bring the high intensity right back. This is a great collection for certain!
Review: The first single to grace our collections since their impeccable debut album Take From Me, "My Lovin' Is All About You" is a quintessential swoon-funk jam complete with harmonised horn refrains and beautiful vocal delivery from Roxie who strikes the perfect balance between emphatic and laid back. For those who've got the album and can't work out whether the single is a worthy investment or not, head for the second track: "King Cash" is unreleased. And what's more, it's a demo version! Total madness; with such a polished finish, tight groove and yet more delightful vocal delivery, it's not your common rough n' ready unmixed demo. But then Dojo Cuts aren't your common rough n' ready funk band...
Review: Emerging from the same Australian heavy funk scene that gave us The Bamboos and Cookin' On 3 Burners, Dojo Cuts offer an authentically breezy take on revivalist funk and soul dripping with emotion. Having initially formed in 2008, they've finally got round to recording and releasing their debut album. Take From Me is pretty damn good, too. There are, of course, similarities with the Bamboos, but Dojo Cuts' sound is noticeably sweeter, breezier even. While the rhythms are fat and often furiously fast, the emotional vocals of Roxie Ray soften the sound somewhat, making Take From Me more Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings than Cookin' On 3 Burners or Quantic Soul Orchestra.
Review: We must admit, we've come across all kinds of funk in our time but we've yet to encounter "super hot deep funk". However, that's how this two-tracker has been described and who are we to argue? Originally released in super-limited quantities back in 1977 by legendary northern soul label Dove Records, "Freedom" and "Think It Over" by Early Clover & The Georgia Soul Drifters, are rare as hen's teeth. Recorded at Phil and Alan Walden's Capricorn Studios and produced by Tad Bush, these anthems have now thankfully been given a new lease of life by Record Kicks.