Review: The term 'liquid gold' has been many things, including the name of a '70s disco act and a type of head-rushing party poppers. Now, it's also an album by funky hip-hop and Afro-Cuban US artist AfroQBen (see what he did there?). The album actually came out last year and now Timewarp have decided that it deserves the remix treatment. The reggae, funk, Latin and soul vibes of the original are tweaked in a number of interesting ways, in particular the electro/reggaeton hybrid of Qdup Foundation's mix, Father Funk's electro-boogie-isms and Drumspyder's Bollywood beats.
Review: Portland-based beatmaker AfroQBen (geddit?) modestly describes himself as "the funk master" and "a prolific producer in perpetual audio-visual motion". While that may be a little over the top, he's certainly delivered a solid debut album for perennial funksters Timewarp. As is his style, Liquid Gold offers sturdy, floor-friendly hip-hop jams in a variety of rudeboy styles. So, there are forays into afro-cuban funk-hop, dubstep and reggae, alongside a pleasing array of uptempo funk and soul jams. There's nothing particularly new about any of this, of course, but it's such a fun and well made album that it would be churlish to be too critical.
Review: Canadian outfit Afternoons In Stereo return after a brief hiatus with a new release that continues to showcase their retro/contemporary jazzy sound. Title track "Soul Sugar" is a breaks-driven affair featuring trumpets and old skool organs, "Driving To Montenegro" evokes memories of funk soundtracked 70s thrillers and also reappears in hypnotically remixed form by Cologne's Mr Confuse. "Blow' returns to their more familiar jazzy territory, neatly rounding off the package while also whetting appetites for the band's forthcoming new studio album.
Review: While waiting for new material from Canada's Afternoons in Stereo, Timewarp decided to commission a quartet of remixes of his most recent single, 2012's "Soul Sugar". The remixes, now gathered together on this tasty EP, flip between deep funk breaks, bongo-laden sax sleaziness and baggy dancefloor grooves, rearranging AiS's original pieces impressively. While it's Zamali who delivers the strongest straight-up dancefloor remix - think punchy breaks, hip-hop samples and bold pianos - it's Leon's more atmospheric rub that really stands out. Making the most of the original's snaking horns and Hammond organ licks, he offers up a version that gets the perfect balance between laid-back sweetness and sweaty hedonism.
Review: Hoorah! It's been a long time coming, but the album from this Canadian act is finally here. We got a taster for their new retro/contemporary jazzy sound with a single in August. The EP featured the breaks-driven "Soul Sugar", the 70s funk indebted "Driving To Montenegro" and the jazzier "Blow", all of which made it to the album. Now joining these tunes are the likes of the fretlessly rhythmic "Blues For BL", the crazy flute frenzy of "The Kelly Affair" and the gentle piano intricacies of "Snowfall".
Review: Greg Vickers aka Afternoons In Stereo is a master at the art of electronica and all things downtempo. Over the years, the majority of his output has come out through the Timewarp label, to which he returns to at present with Retrospective, a collection of his own favourite productions from the last ten years. In there, you'll find his inimitable take on IDM and electro, most vividly represented by classics such as "El Puma", "Metrosexual", or the utterly memorable "Tinto Brass", a favourite around these parts.
Review: A collective of musicians based in Ontario, Afternoons In Stereo let their many influences shine through on this latest and very lovely album. Taking in nu-jazz, Latin funk and a variety of soulful and downtempo sources, they manage to meld styles perfectly - one listen to "Promise" for example will show their depth and the richness of their songs, taking in St. Germain beats, live double bass and flutes as well as a sun-kissed vocal chorus. Uptempo instrumentals like "West End Satori" are also a delight and give the players a chance to show off their jazz-honed skills. "El Puma" even sounds like a long-lost Kool and the Gang tune and nicely rides a sample from the Lafayette Afro Rock Band's "Hihache". A pleasing mix of styles and full of soul, this is a surprising and hugely satisfying release.
Review: A full, track by track remix version of Afternoons In Stereo's album from last year, aided by some of the leading lights from the Timewarp label. TWM for example keeps much of the funk from "Promise" in tact whilst also adding a pleasing nu-jazz lilt to the beats. Athens-based producer George Bitsikas radically switches up styles on his take on "The Mumakil" though, flitting between chilled dub and pacey D&B rhythms. For nu-disco fans, there's also a blinding remix of "Party At Mimi And Dicks" by Brazilian funk talent Trotter.
Review: They say an artist's muse can be refreshed following the release of a retrospective collection. Afternoons In Stereo (aka Greg Vickers) has been silent since the release of Retrospective in 2015, but now he returns with new long player, Echo Valley. Listening to these 13 tracks it's clear to see that he's found a new freshness to his sound. Highlights include the sombre, wafting lament "Eames In Dub", the wah-wah laden "Redondo Beach" that gets its 70s strut on and the wistful, breezy Balearica of "King Of The Iron Coast". So then, in short; a whole new shiny chapter for Vickers.
Review: Canadian retro/contemporary jazz guy Afternoons In Stereo now acquires official veteran status with the release of this career-spanning collection. Label boss Angelos Stoumpos has selected and remastered an odyssey through the musician's jazzier output, which now stretches back over a decade. Also included is new unreleased track "Eames In Dub" and more previously unheard alternate studio mixes.
Review: Self-proclaimed "funk lover, crate digger and sometime beatmaker" Apedriod makes his debut, after years working dancefloors in his native Sweden. Given that it's his first outing, Banana Beats is incredibly assured, offering a slew of tracks that blend bright, jazz-flecked guitars and other organic funk elements with a variety of rhythms. Opener "Enter The Apedriod" is like jazz-funk in dub, while "Brotherman" opts for a warm, boogie-house flex. Nell Halford collaboration "Electric" delivers a dash of sunny-day soul, while "Latin Disco Lover" delivers a cheery, Only Child-ish take on instrumental disco-soul. Throw in some crackly funk rock breaks (see "Release The Funk" and "Wisdom Of Youth") and you've got a quietly impressive debut.
Review: In the best traditions of music from warmer climes, "Something About You" is pleasingly slick and comfortable - like the best Naked Music output given a bubbly nu-disco makeover. There's a Downtempo Mix, which ditches the deep house beats in favour of more darting melodies and cocktail-sipping grooves. While pleasant enough, the real killers here are the remixes from Timewarp Inc and Trotter. The former's version builds the action around a delicious live bassline - think Crazy P sipping Mojitos - while the latter opts for snappier beats and a far more straightforward disco-funk vibe. It also includes a very cheeky sample from a classic disco record - see if you can spot it.
Review: Live outfit with a penchant for dub, Auditors Domination get the remix treatment on this re-rub compilation. Cherry picking the very best of their bulging roster, Timewarp have commissioned a collection of respectful reversions that each pay respect to the well-polished, organic live sound Auditors Domination have developed. Highlights include the deep space safari "Evolution Of The Cities" (Second Sky & Thomas Blondet remix) Ray Lugo's psychedelic samba flex on "Viejos Amigos" and Jayl Funk's upbeat party-blasting take on the title track.
Review: It's been an epic eight years since we last heard from the yet to be understood project that is Auditors Domination; a breakbeat fusion of acoustic, electronic, instrumental and folk inspired experimental music that sits on a jazzy, soulful tip graced by the slightest of eastern-themed motifs. 2012 was the first and last that we heard from the project when Timewarp released their debut album Palace of Light, which was given a huge 10 artist remix package, and following nearly a decade out of the spotlight, Auditors Domination teases at the idea of another album with this Modern Times single. Take "Global Conspiracy" for your instrumental, jazz and fusion dose, with "Broken Wings" your laid back, vocal lounge time session.
Review: A debut release from Greek trio Auditors Domination, "Palace Of Light" is a feast of chilled, dubby production with downtempo trip hop and ethno-funk at the core of their sound. The twelve tracks take in influences from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, with relaxed jams such as stoner funk of "Throw The Stone" mixing with the Eastern swing of the deeply percussive "Rempeto".
Review: Swiss slicker Banderas returns to Timewarp with two smouldering breakbeat funk originals. "Handbrake" is a horn-heavy exercise in contrasts as we're hyped into a sweaty mess on the Budos Band-style builds before dropping into smooth Skweewif-style main groove. "Faro", meanwhile, takes us into a more dramatic, car-chase experience as we're pursued across the musical metropolis by firing flutes and tightly plucked guitars. Remix-wise, "Handbrake" gets the treatment from Timewarp Inc (samba-style rocksteadiness) and Trotter (Brownswood jazz style) while "Faro" gets the rub from Quincy Jointz (Afrobeat stomp hypnosis) and Fata & Morgana (Italo-angled cosmic heaven). Take two? We'll take all six please.
Review: BMD has been an established member of the extended Timewarp family since 2008, when he dropped his first funk-laden single, Refunked. Here he presents his debut album proper, a warm and fuzzy collection of snappy modern funk, horn-laden breaks, P-funk revivalism and woozy downtempo jams. Funked Up moves between tempos impressively, showcasing bright and breezy tracks that range from blisteringly quick to slow and loose. There are occasional forays into kitsch, 60s-style lounge funk (see the humorously titled "Keep Off The Brass") and bubbling, house-tempo groovery (the wah-wah guitar-laden "On A Roll"), but for the most part it's a whirlwind trip through floor-friendly funk breaks.
Review: Anyone who spent time lounging around outside a beachside Mediterranean bar last summer will have no doubt heard the sun-kissed Balearic shuffle of Bonnie & Klein's "No Escape". Here, they bring their particularly brand of horizontal, nu-disco influenced house to Timewarp. "Disco Size" sees them in LTJ Experience style slow-house mode, lacing pitched-down disco and soul samples over a sumptuous, 100 BPM groove. The looser "Sexy" has distinct funk and soul influences - check the lazy guitars and sampled horns - but retains a similar head-nodding feel. Finally, "Get Up" moves further towards the funk, whilst retaining a decidedly Balearic sensibility.
Review: Raw funk breakbeats galore on this fresh release from the Junkie, with his original of "Rock The Funky Beat" melding flutes, classic hip-hop and JB grunt scratches with some hyper-frantic drums. Nick Pride & Pimptones take the tune on a brassy trip for their mix - adding some great sax and trombone solos - while Timewarp Inc. stretches out the beat for a more DJ-friendly alternative.
Review: Mark Ronson can keep his Uptown Funk pastiche, because DJ Inko is here with some of the original stuff. "Big Brawl" features rolling bass and tight Prince-like guitar licks, "Alley Cat" fuses disco house with vintage clavinet driven boogie, "Buzzer" boasts bass of the elastic variety and wah-wah guitar overload for some flares-flappin' action and finally "Pusherman" adds some electronic funk to mix for real dancefloor demolition. Mark who, again?
Review: It's all good and well declaring the launch of a party as your album title, but does Doctormusic Project's debut album really live up to its name? Well yes, it jolly well does. These fine funk and deep house grooves really would kick off a great shindig. What's more, this collection of great tracks won't just start the party; they'll sustain the session way into the wee hours. From the deep cosmosis of the opener "Space Funk" to the Stevie Wonder-style glitch house slinkery "Jumbo Eight" via the deeply trippy twisted soul number "Dubba' Kindly" this duo have got every hour of your next gathering locked down rather tightly indeed.
Review: A large posse of Croatian musicians, who have played together in various formations since 1989, Dogo Argentino's Latin-orientated funk gets a full remix treatment on this new release from Timewarp. Various styles emerge, such as Flatwound's disco-tinged mix of DA's "Step On", Gazeebo's slo-Balearic take on "2 Minutes 2 Midnight" or good old-fashioned popcorn funk, as heard on Frankie Sinistra's pacey mix of "Daddy".
Review: The second wave of "Diskonautik" remixes drops on Timewarp this week, with a new cast of remixers taking apart Dogo Argentino's funk-fuelled album in style. Among the ones to watch out for among the twelve tracks are Trotter's disco-rhythmed, Rhodes-driven remake of "Tell Me", Vida G's deep house treatment of "2 Minutes 2 Midnight" and Omegaman's tight nu-funk overhaul of the excellent "Destiny".
Review: Timewarp come through the debut full length from Croat cowbell enthusiasts Dogo Argentino with Diskonautik packed to the brim with ten tracks of live disco funk heat. This loose limbed collective of musicians specialize in a swift paced disco sound which even will encourage even the staunchest disco cynic to drop their shoulders. There"s more than a hint that catching Dogo Argentino perform these tracks live is the best way to experience them, however tracks such as "Daddy" and tightly wound flex of "Mr Groove" will sit nicely in any peak time disco set - with the intrinsic live sound a nice contrast to the dominant Ableton sound in today's disco/nu disco releases.
Review: It's been a while since we heard from Danny Ward, at least under his Dubble D alias (he's better known for his house productions under the Moodymanc moniker). "Thud" is a pleasing blast from the past - a rolling, dancefloor-friendly workout that matches snappy, MPC-programmed hip-hop beats with warm Rhodes codas, subtle whispers of jazz flute and carefully-chosen vocal samples. The remixes are tasty, too, with EZ Icarus recruiting MC J Conroy for an uptempo party-rocking workout, Tosses & Verdez dropping some tasteful breaks, and Widosub turning the original into a warm, jazzy, broken beat number.
Review: While most funk, blues or soul minded producers will instantly dive to the sampler for inspiration, here we find an authentic document of freshness. A guttural bluegrass hoe-down written by Tony Bate (with his tongue just slightly in cheek), Dubstax has taken the folky, Howlin Wolf style original and added a lolloping bassline, strutting beats and a series of dubbed out synths to create the perfect fusion of songwriting techniques, old and new. Serious party vibes... We'd advise you to wiggle it. Just a little bit.
Review: Two Sydney-based funk and disco heads, Jack Priest and Chris Soulos, make up Flatwound. who've play a blinder on this latest single from Timewarp. A true must-have for nu-disco and funky house fans, "Again" is a perfectly structured mix of driving funk guitars, softly softly house drums, filter vocals and an addictive flute 'n' synth line reminiscent of the great Roy Ayres. Valique's remix is just as arresting, crafting a huge build out of the parts, while Flatwound shine again on the beautifully dubby and Balearic slo-mo disco of "Kick Junior".
Review: Marking his follow up on the Timewarp roster to 2010's Blaxploitation EP, German breaks masher Freethinker Funk Essence brings out the sunshine with this stylish new single. Laden with '70s funk tools such as fatback drums and wah-wah'd rhythm guitar, FFE tops it off with some Latin brass and Cuban piano parts to create a dizzying a hard-bopping dancefloor slayer. Yomakomba speeds up the tune for an excellent jazz-step remix, while Impuls goes the opposite way by slowing things down a touch for a deep and dubby overhaul.
Review: Funkin Basstards make a high profile return with this fantastically groovy two track bonanza entitled 'People Under The Snare'. The title track is a super smooth tribute to funk, complete with a soulful vocal presence and additional features from Kid Stretch & Selectah Kats. On the flip side we treated to an organ-infused summer roller which goes by the name of 'Chick Sick'. These two are a must for any BBQ playlist you have lined up.
Review: Croatia's Funky Destination (aka Vladimir Sivic) has made a big splash on the funky breaks scene appearing on a variety of well renowned labels. However, the honour releasing his new long player, Supersonic Bomb, has fallen on the mighty Timewarp. Normally known for their nu-disco sound, the Grecian label has taken a chance on these 16 organic funk jams, and it's paid off! Highlights include the bubblin' piano boogie of "Getting Higher", the luxuriously silky "Eternal Light" and the fuzzy, breaky, disco house of "Get Up".
Review: "War is ugly and love is lovely". Ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves some lyrics we can all identify with here. Mind you, with the title like "The Peace Song", the lyrics were hardly going to be "war is amazing and love is rubbish" now were they? A real beachside bomber, this; lean back as far as you can and immerse yourself in the deep slinky bassline, well executed toasting, live instrumentation and swinging house beats. There are remixes galore, too; Trotter & Timewarp extend the spiritual groove founded on the original, Bad Monkeys take it into vibrant funk pastures, E-Base & Paul Wish add the tech factor while Zamali gets his dub skank on. What a selection!