Review: Set up in 1964, Bob Shad's Mainstream label covered a lot of musical ground during its 15 years or so of existence, starting out as a straight jazz imprint, moving into psychedelia in the late 60s then putting out a slew of classy funk and soul releases in the early 70s. This retrospective, compiled with Shad's grandchildren, features 13 cuts culled from the latter period, with standouts including Jay Berliner's car-chase funk rework of 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone', Maxine Weldon's Bassey-esque cover of Bread's 'Make It With You' and Blue Mitchell's sleazy, soundtrack-y 'Blue's Blues', while the jazz dancers will fiend for Pete Yellin's ker-razy 'Bird & The Ouija Board'.
Review: Every now and then we bestow an unofficial 'outstanding achievements in professional moniker' award. Philly Vanilli are pretty much guaranteed to hold on to this title for a long time to come. "The Sould Groove Experience" is their latest missive for Manolo Brigante's Austrian We Mean Disco! imprint and it's packed with reworked '70s soul gems (eight to be precise). Highlights include the shimmering Fender Rhodes slow jam "Soul Food", the rolling phasered guitar freak out "I Need Da Funk" and the campy Eurodisco effervescence of "To Be In Love".
Review: Stephen James Wilkinson aka Bibio has been a big part of Warp's revival since the mid 2000's, and it's no surprise given the fact that this guy is as multi-talented as he is productive behind the mixing desk. "Why So Serious" is a chilled out, hazy boogie monster with gorgeous synth accompaniment and Olivier St Louis on the vocals, while "Make Up" goes more soulful thanks to its slow beat and St Louis' sublime singing. "Stress Me Out" heads back to the LA Boulevard for a ride around with the convertible, and "Night Falls" provides the gentle sort of cool down that's perfect for a night drive. Another cracker from Wilkinson, and also from London's Warp stable.