Review: Rhode Island-based Katakana Edits bring us the 98th installment in this long-running series, and once more we're in the hands of Morlack, who's contributed no fewer than 14 previous volumes. The French DJ/producer has dug pretty deep for source material: 'Cali Style' bites Eddy Grant's 'California Style', the Jimmy Castor Bunch's 1975 novelty funker 'King Kong' gets a light-touch refix and 'L.Cats' gives The Cure an unexpected breakbeat makeover, but that's about as much as we can tell you! The rest of the EP draws on unidentified soul, funk and boogie nuggets, many of them with non-Anglophone vocals.
Review: On his first new album in three years, Kieron Hebden aka Four Tet proves why he is such a rare talent. Tracks like "School" and "Baby" see him merge ambient and electro-acoustic sounds together with vocal samples and tight dance floor rhythms, while on "Love Birds" he delivers tight drums and melancholic keys. What makes this so impressive is the fact that the dividing line between the organic and the electronic is imperceptible. Of course there is an accessible side to Hebden's style - the effortless warbles of "Teenage Birdsong" and the evocative "Harpsichord" being the stand out tracks - but in the same way that he blends the organic with the synthetic, Four Tet never lets this album dip into rampant commercialism.
Review: Over the course of his 18-year career, Partyfine founder Yuksek has been moving steadily towards a musically rich, mature and detailed sound that draws much from his vintage influences (think disco, boogie, jazz-funk and so on). "Nosso Ritmo", his new album, is arguably the logical conclusion of his journey so far. Rich in warm live instrumentation (bass, keys, synths etc), crunchy disco/electrofunk beats and a wealth of stylish lead vocals (provided by a string of guest singers), the set sees the French producer deliver an attractive, ear-pleasing collection of cuts that strike a near perfect balance between radio-friendly disco-pop hooks, peak-time dancefloor weight and celebratory afternoon cheeriness. The result is a hugely impressive album that could well propel Yuksek to genuine crossover success.
Review: 2020 marks the 25th year of !K7's acclaimed DJ-Kicks series with Mr Scruff following contributions of late from Leon Vynehall, Laurel Halo, Peggy Gou and Kamaal Williams! Mr Scruff's adventures in sound brings to DJ-Kicks more than 30 tracks of wildly varying styles featuring highlighted music from Equiknoxx, Tiger, Errorsmith, Max Graef and Zongamin. Scruff brings to his edition an exclusive collaboration with CyberPunkJazz ("3001: A Space Disco Remix") and an unreleased track from Andy Ash to boot. Alexander Robotnik makes in there with the wild New York post-funk of "Love Supreme" alongside a heavy Tony Allen percussion session in "Gbedu B". DJ Nervoso for the win too!
Review: It's time to dive into some delicious new breakbeat creations as Samurai Breaks land on Hardcore Energy for a very exciting four track selection, showcasing their breaksy brilliance. We kick off with the sounds of 'Putting In Werk', a smart roller, dripping in finesse and original breakbeat energy, followed by the more futuristic tripletted pulses of 'Rush'. Next, we move into the nostalgic realms of 'Bad Boy Beats', a super choppy, party ready rinse out, followed by 'Power Hour' as Private Caller gets involved on the perfect sign out track, laced with high energy drum manoeuvres and booming bass tones.
Review: These re-edit EPs from Audaz usually feature a mix of the familiar and the obscure, with forgotten disco nuggets or hidden Afro treasures nestling alongside reworkings of massive pop and rock hits. There have been volumes that kept things more resolutely underground, though, and so it is here, on a 10-track EP that seems to draw largely on late 70s/early 80s Eurodisco for inspiration. The precise source material has our disco detectives beat this time around - though the familiar-sounding jaunty piano riff that backbones '222' has been driving us mad all week - but disco- and boogie-loving floors will find much to enjoy here.
Review: Don't be fooled by the title here. While there's definitely a strong African influence to the six tracks featured on this EP from Greece's Timewarp, you don't need to be a lover of complex polyrhythms or breathy, chanted vox to appreciate them. Instead, ever-prolific Italian producer Lalinga looks to African funk and jazz of the 1970s for inspiration. 'Nasty Shit' comes at the sound from a hip-hop perspective and 'Rebellie' is the EP's most overtly house-leaning cut, while 'Afrikaanse Waansin' is the most traditional-sounding, but all six will work well on the floor and will have particular appeal for the breakers and jazz dancers.
Review: Let's be real here for a second. There are few vocal artists within the extended circles of grime that boast as high a work rate as Flowdan, a legendary MC with a catalogue of clouty bangers. This latest project takes the title 'The Red Pill', showcasing a different side of his character. There is still a tonne of versatility involved with this one however, from the haunted overtones of 'Savage' alongside Jammz and 'Time Is Money' with Roachee, to the demonic, stripped back structures of 'Upset' with catchy vocal hooks from Snowman Baby. Finally, 'Tell Me Nothing' runs with a very experimental instrumental, letting gunshots and emotive chords run wild beneath Flowdan's unique storytelling approach. This is definitely a different approach, complete with instrumentals and acapellas to match!
Review: If we're counting correctly this is album number nine from Speedometer in a recording career that stretches back 20 years. As such, if you have any interest at all in 'new old' funk and soul sounds you should know pretty much what to expect, so it's the cuts where they flip the script that are most notable. There's a distinct African slant to the cinematic 'Edge Of Fear', but it's 'Kashmir', a sitar-infused jaunt into psychedelic pastures, that's the standout. Elsewhere the UK veterans run the gamut from soulful acid jazz anthem-in-waiting 'Let's Start A Movement' to the raunchy, wigged-out Hammond jam that is 'Mo' Crunch'.
Review: The Hooversound Recordings team have been making quite a bit of noise of late, so to see this latest project drop from both Hyroglifics and Sinistarr immediatly filled us with excitement. We firstly jump into 'Turbo Island' as Hyroglifics rolls out a high energy bleep-fest, before leaping into three weighty collaborations. The shuffling dub echoes and high energy drums of 'BS6' kick us off in good stead, alongside the glistening breaks of 'Turn It Up' and powerful sub pushes of Sinistarr's solo submission: 'Detroit'. Finally, we take in Scratcha DVA's fantastic rework of BS6, overhauling the track with an incredibly depthy soundscapy feel.