Review: Back in the mid 1970s, young engineer Terry 'T.K' Kane and Harry Stone joined forces to launch a studio and record distribution business in Miami. It would spawn a huge number of in-house labels, and even greater number of funk and disco releases, and even a string of million-selling artists. Given this legacy, it's little surprise to see Athens of the North paying tribute to the funk side of Henry Stone's impressive legacy with this superb collection. While there are a few tried-and-tested cuts to be found - see the T Connection and Little Beaver cuts - for the most part The Miami Sound focuses on more obscure - but no less hard-hitting - gems from the likes of Jonny K, Stevens & Foster and Leno Philips.
Review: One of the most successfully prolific bootleg dealers on the nu-funk scene, Actual Sounds celebrate half a decade of dancefloor hell raising with this epic 40-track compendium that showcases their most talented artists and most bolshy of booties. If you've not had the pleasure of making the label's acquaintance yet, now is most certainly the time. From slamming up-tempo rip-ups such as Actual Phantom's insane "Fat Eric" to slinkier, sleazier jams such as Funk In A Can's killer electro blend of Luniz "I Got 5 On It" Actual Sounds understand all members of the dancefloor from moody rudeboy to a laser-loving raver. Booties don't come with much more distinction than this; here's to another five years.
Review: The Artist Series Volume 1 sees Actual Sounds gather together a bunch of their artists to provide an expansive selection of bootleg breaks, ghetto funk and jungle reworks of tracks from well-known artists, namely Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, The Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill. While there's a certain drunken office Christmas party silliness to the Fab Four reworks, the more hip-hop inclined reworks are much more successful. There are plenty of confirmed party-starters, from the synth-heavy P-funk breaks of Funky Wah Wah's "Beastie Noise (That's Resin Funk)", to Big Bang Breaks' multiple reworks of "Insane In The Brain" (the first of which, a straight-up party hip-hop take, is the bomb).