Review: Jungle Cakes always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of soul, reggae, jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. This is a monster album curated by Aries and Kelvin 373, who have taken tracks both old and new to form a banging compilation. Bou nails it on 'Music Takes Me Higher', a rustic revisit to classic jungle sounds; Aries and Nicky Blackmarket roll things out in a tight way on 'Champion'; and Chimpo slams the brakes on 'DidDieDoThat'. We don't know the answer to that, but we do know this is fat. Big ups.
Review: Midnight Riot's first celebration of gospel-fired disco and boogie, "Take It To Church", was rather special, so hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. Happily, we can confirm that Yam Who and company have once again nailed the brief. As with its predecessor, the 23-track set offers up a scintillating, soulful mixture of bumpin' gospel house (see Redsoul's superb "Born Again" and DJ Spen's bass-heavy tweak of Boorman's "God's Got It"), righteous disco-house (the Showfa, Alan Dixon, the piano-heavy stomp of Yam Who's "Tomorrow"), synth-laden gospel boogie (Dr Packer, Yam Who's tidy revision of Andre Esput's "Call Me"), breezy sing-alongs (Lux Experience) and plenty of dusty disco, electrofunk soul rearrangements (Divine Situation, Sweet Jubilees, Phil Jaimes). In other words, it's another essential collection.
Review: While gospel has always been a strong influence in the worlds of house and disco, the volume of spiritually charged dancefloor tracks has rocketed in recent times. Hence this fine compilation from Midnight Riot and "gospel supremo" the Showfa, which gathers together new, recent and overlooked gospel-fired dancefloor jams. We're particularly enjoying Yam Who and Alan Dixon's brilliant new version of the Soup Dragons' "I'm Free" - think classic, Balearic-era baggy house with more prominence given to the London Gospel Choir's vocals and Dixon's wild organ lines - Le Visiteur's low-slung re-edit of an old gospel-disco gem ("Let The Sunshine") and the rubbery boogie-gospel-goes-filter-house excitement of Benjamin Ferreira's "What U Will". That said, there's barely a duffer to be found amongst the 19 tracks on show, with the emphasis rightly on celebratory positivity throughout.
Review: Following the likes of Ray Keith, Nicky Blackmarket, General Levy and many artists of high don calibre, Dope Ammo and DJ Hybrid are the next to take the controls as Jungle Cakes' Welcome To The Jungle series. As always, the selection digs deep across the board to include classics, absolute bangers that have been criminally forgotten and no less than 10 exclusives made strictly for this album. From the sun-kissed soul and key-tickling evangelist jam "Salvation" to the absolute rave carnage of "What's Going Down", the boys have gone in on this collection maintaining its still spotless reputation as one of the most consistent and prolific mix series available in the genre. Pay close attention to the Jukebox Jungle track, too. This needs your loving.