Review: Some three years on from his last outing on Groove Odyssey - a fine hook-up with veteran vocalist Michelle Weeks - Wipe The Needle man Lee Gomez returns to action. This time round, it's the effortlessly soulful vocals of Alex Lattimore that catch the ear. On the original version of "Enchanted", Lattimore's slick, laidback vocals offer a perfect foil for Gomez's bossa-tinged gentle Latin house beats, fluid pianos, rich bass and sumptuous chords. Gomez successfully ups the tempo on the sparkling, Vibraphone-laden swirl of the "North London Dub", while the producer has also included Instrumental and Acapella versions to appease DJs who like to get creative in the mix.
Review: Big stuff! Ol' Needles Jungle Strikes it lucky once again with two rip-roaring D&B edits that are guaranteed to slay any floor you're faced with this summer and beyond. "It's So Damn Funky" asks you to look deep down in your soul and ask yourself exactly who you are while "Hands In The Air" takes some badman lyrics and chases those demons away over a hot Cuban riddim. Absolute fire.
Review: A turntablist with a vision, Londoner Jimi Needles has taken his sound to the next level with volume two of the Jungle Strikes series, created to give chaps like him a boost into the big time. "Lemon Meringue" is as sweet as you like, but nowhere near as lightweight as the name suggest. Vintage samples bring a lovely, crackly warmth to proceedings as jumpy beats get things stepping. "Let The Ragga Drop" enlists the help of a classic Clash sample before descending into bass-driven madness.
Review: Funk upstart, bootleg bandit and general musical mischief maker Jimi Needles steps over to the 170 side with two whirlwind bubblers on Jungle Strikes. The skank-savvy "When I Pull Up" takes a Cornell Campbell-sample and builds a really warm and juicy reggae groove around it. For a spacier, laser-licking experience jump straight on "Bounce With Me". A sharper stepper with waspy bass and trembling classic rave arpeggios there's just enough space for some instantly distinctive vocals. La di da di... Do YOU like to party?
Review: Wide-armed sounds abound on the latest Boogie Boutique offering. More hip-hop than nu-funk in places, there's great casual confidence about each of these rubs. The label's Finnish faves Rollomatik are on board for two horn-heavy joints; the p-funk block rocker "Frying Pan" and the roof raising peak time "Soul Power". Label newcomers Jimi Needles and WBBL, opt for jazzier keys and a bassline that gradually evolves into quite the glitchy gem. Jacksonville jive merchant John Farruggio finishes the set with a waltz through 80s electro, mid noughties house and late 90s big beat. Swashbuckling stuff.
Review: Jungle Strikes strike again! Jimi Needles is at the wheel and, like his namesake in Back To The Future, he's revving up the sample engine and calling us all massive chickens if we don't join him. With sounds as funky as these we'd be mad not to. "Stay" takes a big dollop of Al Green and Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz and brings them together with dusty soul mischief while "Jamrockin'" takes Tom Brown and Brigadier Jerry and splices their DNA to make D&B. On point... As always with both Jungle Strikes and Jimi Needles.
Review: Midnight Riot's latest re-edit/rework outing is an all-star affair, with a variety of cheeky scamps delivering a track each. Dot 40 manage to turn in a genuinely revelatory version of a classic in "I Believe", which impressively chops and loops a Jackson Sisters' classic before unleashing the song's party-starting powers as it progresses. GG re-invents a Modern Romance classic as a spiraling, Latin nu-disco throbber, while A Digital Needle make merry with another familiar disco-soul classic, impressively teasing out the vocal and instrumental solos. Best of all, though, is Fatneck's "Circulate", which subtly breathes new life into a White Isle-friendly blue-eyed soul classic.
Review: Uptown funking fatness on a donut dunking scale, ever-sharp Jimi lays down another sweet session for Jungle Strikes. "No Roller" flexes a big string sample that's reminiscent of High Society era High Contrast and really opens out to its soul source on the breakdown. Total feel good vibes. "How We Chill" has a more mischievous take on soul as it works a chill bar from 93 over a sprightly neon synth funk groove and occasional amen splashes. To infinity and beyond.
Review: Jimi Needle nails that Kater Blau after-hours vibe with two cuts of dirty electro jazz business. But any other tech-house theme park in the world could surely benefit from these versions too and we'll tell you why. The original on the A-side will work the dancefloor nicely indeed and there's more in store on the B-side with the Bonus Beats version clearing the way for its stomping drum beat and providing an ever useful DJ-tool. You can just imagine them all running down and jumping into the River Spree to cool down after this one!
Review: Some seriously sweet ass edits again courtesy of the discerning Discoalition authority, a label based in Bordeaux (France) and managed by head honcho SEEN ON TV. First up A Digital Needle takes the razor to Bruni Pagan's 1979 digger's delight "Fantasy", UK heroes Imagination get an ergonomic edit too, but for DJ use only with Rare Cuts' version of their 1981 classic "So Good". Finally "One And Only" by Coutel has those feel good, summertime, soul disco vibes with a loop taken from a particular classic but we don't kiss and tell on this one: keep diggin'!
Review: More great stuff by Cut La Roc's label dealing in finely sliced breaks. Great Scott AKA Young Criss and Jaws throw down some sick lyricism debating the moribund reality of nine to five working life over some funky jazzed beats, cut to perfection by Jimi Needles. "Day Job" appears in its entirety, a radio friendly edit and finally an instrumental focusing nicely on Needle's beatsmith antics.
Review: Undeniably, there are tonnes upon tonnes of worthy labels experimenting with breakbeat sounds, out there in the digital game. However, only a handful are truly positioned to break barriers and bend trends, such as the unstoppable Rocstar label! For their first EP of 2018, the productive imprint has called upon Jimi Needles and Chaz Thorogood to cause some havoc on our charts. One on drums and the other on vocals and synth work, their only use of breakbeat is to create movement for the angelic, cinematic sounds that engulf each and every track on here. Even "Back Home", which is similar to High Contrast or Alix Perez's strain of d&b, contains something non-dance to its genetic makeup, making up a magnificent collection of tunes for both breaks and non-breaks aficionados. Good music for the good souls out there!