Review: UK funk and jazz band, Smoove + Turrell, are back on the unstoppable Jalapeno Records with their fifth studio album for the label, making them the imprint's star residents. No doubt as to that. Alongside the deluge of albums that they've released for Jalapeno, the outfit have dropped countless singles, each one of them showcasing one strand of funk and soul. Mount Pleasant is an undeniably festive collection of tunes, primed and ready for the summer months, full of zest and life for the dancers. The main ingredient is funk and jazz, but the power behind this memorable LP is the band's pop sensibility, coming through in everything from the vocals to the arrangements, creating a selection of tunes that are instantly memorable and painfully hummable. Is this the rise of the underground coming through above the line? Only time will tell, but we think these guys are the real deal.
Review: It's safe to say that Newcastle's Steve & Turrell have become one of the Jalapeno label's hottest acts and, for that matter, some of the hottest acts out there in the nu-funk scene. Mount Pleasant Acoustic is an EP that revels in melancholia, but that does so in a way that retains the seductive nature of soul at its core. Just listen to tunes like "I'm Gone" or "A Deckham Love Song" and you'll be excited to hear the results of a totally acoustic sound brought to life by the sheer power of voice and guitar, which is also what makes up both "I Feel Alive" and "There For Me"...two endlessly pleasing releases of emotion.
Review: It's been a decade since producer Smoov and singer Turrell put together their live band. To celebrate the fact, the popular combo has put together this fine career retrospective. It's full to bursting with dancefloor hits plucked from their sizable catalogue, as well as fan favourites that inspire rapturous responses when performed live. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the high-octane thrills of "I'm A Man" and funk-rock fizz of "You Could've Been a Lady", to the Hammond-heavy stomp of "I Can't Give You Up" and the Motown style Northern Soul rush of "Lay It On Me". It's also nice to get another chance to wallow in the band's punchy, breakbeat-powered funk cover of Yazoo classic "Don't Go".
Review: Well, it look as if Bomb Strikes have caused a ruckus yet again here as they look set see out the year in style. This 6th edition of their now infamous 'Funk N' Beats' series sees them bring together a collection of twenty high powered insta-classics, all packed to the maximum with old school flavours, crunchy riffs and explosive grooves, perfect for chopping down any party. This project sees appearances from the likes of Smoove, Torpedo Boyz, Groove Armada, A.Skillz, Chrome, The Traffic and many many more, who all deliver the goods. This project also comes complete with a full continuous DJ Mix.
Review: We're full of respect for the team behind Jalapeno Records, who have now been offering up the finest in funk, soul, hip-hop, disco and breakbeat for 20 years. It's a landmark that calls for a celebration, and with this compilation they've certainly marked their anniversary in style. The 20-track set is full-to-bursting with party-starting heat, with vintage gems from the likes of Skeewiff, Ikon, Kraak & Smaak and Featurecast being joined by more recent highlights from current imprint heavyweights such as Smoove & Turrell and the Allergies. Highlights are plentiful, with our picks including the break-driven revivalist soul headiness of Aldo Vanucci's 'You're All Show', the summery positivity of Gizelle Smith's 'S.T.A.Y' and the rushing disco brilliance of Dimitri From Paris's essential edit of Izo Fitzroy's 'I Want Magic'.