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: Finally here we have the much-awaited fourth album, Crown Posada, from the proudly gritty Geordie soul act Smoove & Turrell, who combine hard hitting social commentary with dancefloor thrilling vintage style soul and funk. They're' teased us with attention grabbing singles such as Glue Bag Flags, Fight On and you Could've Been A Lady. However there a more, deeper and richer delights to be had across the further nine tracks featured here including the Chic-influenced disco boogie of "No Point In Trying" and the edgy electro-funk "50 Days Of Winter". A seriously smart long player.
Review: Glasgow's Shaka Loves You has rightly earned a reputation as disco-centric duo on the rise. Because of this, it's little surprise to see them at the controls on Bomb Strikes' first foray into the disco-focused compilation market. The Scottish pair have naturally pulled out all the stops for the occasion, selecting 20 hot-to-trot cuts that aptly blur the boundaries between disco, funk, nu-disco, electro and boogie. Highlights include, but are in no way limited to, the hazy, sun-kissed soul of Lack of Afro's "Back To The Day", the thickset P-funk revivalism of Kraak & Smaak's "Dynamite" and the rubbery disco-house-meets-UK soul flex of the Reflex's remix of Omar's "Vicky's Tune". Throw in a tasty selection of the pair's productions and you have a suitably strong collection.
Review: Like the proverbial rolling stone, Jalapeno Records just keeps on going. The continued quality of the long-serving British label's releases is confirmed by this tenth edition of their digital-only "Jalapeno Funk" compilation series. There's naturally plenty of party-hearty peak-time fare to be found throughout, with highlights coming quick and fast. These include Supasoul's sun-bright rework of Funkysoul's trumpet-laden "The Inside Man", the leisurely breaks, Hammond solos and rich guitars of Dr Rubberfunk's "Pressure Cooker", the bustling funk/hip-hop fusion of Smoove's revision of the Allergies' "Run It Back" and the synth-bass propelled goodness of Basement Freaks' "Bring It back (feat Kamy)". It is, though, all pretty damn hot.