Review: A nu-funk remix of The Mommas & The Poppas' "California Dreaming". Just writing those words seems preposterous. But trust us, Tim McVicar's take on the 60s hippy classic really works! Squidgy bass and chop-slapping beats a-go-go, by the end of the summer it will be illegal not to play this in BBQ and beach sets. Law will also be upheld on anyone not exploiting the utterly funky charms of the other three cuts. DJ Tiznas & Mr BiGK's take on Kenny Dope and Screechy Dan's "Boomin In Ya Jeep" is like Fatboy Slim circa 98, Dedy Dread & Mr Bird take Missy Elliot into Hammond organ heaven while Mr Fresh's "SOUL" is a trip head nod so heavy it falls over into massive sticky pile of jazz.
Review: An offshoot of UK label Riddim Fruit, Booty Fruit is an imprint dedicated to mash-ups, bootlegs and edits that drops Homemade Bullets as its first release this week. Mr. Mention melts the Stereo MCs' "Connected" with the accapella from "Classic", a prestigious posse cut from a couple of years ago featuring Nas, Kanye, Rakim and KRS-1, while Dedy Dread cooks up a fun mix of chirpy reggae and Wyclef Jean. Funk Ferret chooses to add some big beats to UB40's perennial classic "Red Red Wine", and to round things off, One Funky Soul gives Jeru Tha Damaja a Northern Soul twist on "So Called Bro's".
Review: A very classy set of instant party starters from the Tru Funk stable, with BMD getting wild with the Isley Brothers' classic "It's Your Thing". Warson & Chudy deliver some serious hip-hop wobble on "Find The Funk" and drop the Slim Shady beat over "Ghetto Bounce". The real gem, however, is Jayl Funk's "Funky Song" - riding a classic call/response soul sample over a rock solid nu-funk beat.
Review: Whatever you think of the artistic merits of bootleg mash-ups, they remain an integral part of DJ culture. What's more, these cheeky mash-ups often do more damage on dancefloors than the original material. This EP from the Booty Fruit camp - the third installment in the popular Proper Produce series - features four more bespoke bootleg jams destined to cause maximum dancefloor pleasure. There's a studied tastefulness to the lazy hip-hop reggae of DJ Maars' "Come Dancing", while the boom bap hip-hop funk of Prince Pimms and General Tack's "Bad Influence" is so expertly crafted it sounds like an original production. There's a tasty, sophisticated skank to Livingston and Canosis' "Hold It Down", while the fat beats of Cris Crucial's "Like Dis" casually steer clear of silliness.
Review: Cypress Hill getting mashed up and personal with Led Zeppelin, Biggy getting busy over The 45 Kings, an electro-skank remix of Sister Nancy... these are just three of the super-cheeky bootleg treats on offer right here. Booties can go one way or the other; poorly pitched cut n' shut or clever, witty and complementary. These definitely fall in the latter. From furry flute bliss ("Dr Fluteski") to Busta Rhymes on a major skank-up ("Kingston Bounce"), this ticks all the right party boxes.
Review: Canadian vibe masters ReSoul recruit some die-heard funk soldiers for their third "Fully Loaded" EP and each track is a wise move. The unavoidable Basement Freaks gets devilish with a dubstep bass and funky breakbeat with a deft slice of Cypress Hill. Funkanomics digs deep for a lavish string-hook that never stops shimmering. Slynk & SkiiTour rediscover the BeeGees with added electro boogie bravado. Wood 'n' Soo pull your trousers down for a savage bass spanking while Defunk's "Banjo Blues" finalises with a very clever nod to Blackstreet. ReSoul we salute you!
Review: Hot on the heels of Tru Thoughts' recent Tasty Beats compilation, the firmly party orientated label has rustled up a tenth instalment of their Party Breaks series. Now it's time to shake it up at every house party you can find this summer! Highlights include Bang N Mash's funky old skool Eric B mash-up "I Got Soul", Chudy's "So What?" which intertwines the Tom Tom Club and Destiny's Child to sizzling effect and finally DJ Clairvo who fuses big beat, ragga and vintage organ stabs on "Here Me Now All Massive". Boom!
Review: There's no-stopping the Tru Funk crew this year; be it booties or original funk cuts, the collective have been dishing out some fine styles of late. This compilation is the current zenith of their achievements; 10 fresh tracks from the likes of Chudy, Jayl Funk, DJ Axe, Dastardly Kuts, Warson, Sammy Senior and more. Low swung slo-mo ghetto is the flavour of the day with dashes of disco, funk, hip-hop and booty bass liberally splashed throughout. Highlights include Nynfus Corporation's ragga-bassline bomb "Weekend In Budapest" (featuring classic Freestylers lyrics if we're not mistaken) and Robinson Grooves' eighties-tastic slap-bass heavy "Bounce". If you've not yet joined the Tru Funk club, now's the time to sign up.
Review: Billed as 2013's biggest collection of reggae-fuelled party tracks, this madcap collaboration between New York's own reggae star Tuffist and newcomers Soul Rebel, DJ Tzinas and Bluntskull whips up new creations from some of reggae's finest tracks. From Toots and the Maytals to The Ethiopians, Soul Rebel, DJ Tzinas and Hammond Classics work together to bring a new flava, while Tuffist's jungle vibes and Bluntskull's breakbeat hype provide fresh new sounds to get the party skanking. Don't underestimate the power of reggae to get floors filled across the country, this series confronts non-dancers and shuns bad feelings. Embrace the party jams!
Review: Should you want to turn your place into a swinging cantina let Beatnik City's first release of The Latin Leaks be your soundtrack, and slam those tequila's to "Uhh! Ahh". There's some sampled Wu Tang thrown in among a clamour of drums in "Shimmy Cumbia", while tempos are lowered in "Lift Ma Soul". For some electro-swing vibes check out "Golden Boy" and get tropical on "Real Smooth". Consider your next fiesta sorted!
Review: This crew is known for delivering release after release of seamless, if often cheeky, bootlegs and mash-ups, and this latest installment is no different. What does separate it from most of their previous releases though, is the size: this one clocks in with a whopping 16 tracks! As usual it's a funk-heavy selection, of which highlights include an organ-led, 60s style makeover for the Jacksons on "Dave Jackson", the P-Funkisms of "Party Sweep", the Yazoo-twisting of "Go Well" and the Snoop Dogg-goes-ska laid back grooves of "Cantaloop Dog".
Review: Swapping previous collaborator Krafty Kutz for the Beatvandals on the latest in the Insane Bangers series of hip-hop/breakbeat bootlegs, A Skillz brings home two more battle weapons and party-starters for your delectation. "Hot Dogg" lays the acapella from Snoop's "Drop It Like It's Hot" over some nicely rounded beats and bass, while "Money Banger" has a lot of fun with the O Jay's "For The Love Of Money", blending in cuts from MOP's "Ante Up" and Frankie Cutlass' "Puerto Rico" for good measure.
Review: Nu-funk barons Tru Funk commission 15 brand new blends for your party pleasure. Calling up familiar friends and new faces alike, it's yet another reminder of the Polish imprint's clout. Highlights abound but be sure to digest the slap-bass fusion of Funkanomic's Marvin Gaye homage "One More Headache", Morlack's '80s synth smelting of Zhane's "Groove Thang" and Crystal Waters' "Gypsy Woman" and Roy Hoy / Unknown DJ's mindblowing cauldron of Fatboy Slim, James Brown and Public Enemy on "Xpress Your Big Stuff". Serious floor fire, Tru Funk always deliver.
Review: Typically party-storming stuff from Mooqee and his Bomb Strikes label, with this episode of his Bombstrikes series hitting home nicely with "Funk Machine Man" blending DJ Shadow's "Organ Donor", Nas's "Made You Look" and some smart juggling of James Brown's intros all balanced together just right. With a dub and a clean edit also available, as well as "Are You Gonna" - a blend of Lenny Kravitz, Kelly Charles and The Prodigy - this is party fodder of the highest calibre.
Review: If life teaches you anything it's to expect the unexpected. Here the mighty re-edit label Katakana deliver their 42nd instalment of scapel jobs. However, this time, rather than have a specific producer curate an EP, they've shaken up the formula and delivered a compilation of edits. There's a whopping 24 reworks to enjoy too, many thrills and spills, but our favourites include Morlack's explosive drum-lead MJ cover, "Don't Stop", Mister Vagz' corny 60s mash-up "Love Me Venus" and Dim Zach & Deem's baggy rework of the Happy Monday's sublime "Loose Fit".
Review: This should be considered something of a treat for funk breaks fans. In a bid to raise funds for the Love Music, Hate Racism charity, it gathers together tracks from both heavy hitters (Badboe, Fort Knox Five, Zamali etc) and lesser-known talents on one action-packed compilation. If this kind of party-rocking fun is your thing, it should be an essential purchase, not least because it includes some fine material. Check in particular Super Combo Funk's trad funk/P-funk fusion "I Don't Need No Dope", PulpFusion's fuzzy "Rockin Kids" and the wobble-step influenced "Boob Job" from Bristolian Ewan Hoozami, who happens to be the son of former England rugby player Alistair Hignell.
Review: 32 tracks heavy, Actual Sounds have curated the ultimate booty breaks package right here. Each and every rub is a highlight, taking influence and sample inspiration from the '50s onwards. From the Little Richard-sampling "Tooty Frooty" to Big Bang Breaks' super-sexy take on Khia's naughty "My Neck My Back" ("Pussy Popper"), no genre or decade is left un-plundered. Taking things bang up to date, there's even a respectable bootleg of "Get Lucky" courtesy of Actual Phantom. Exclusive to Juno, this truly is an insane party package.
Review: It's the third edition of Cabin Pressure Recording's Shedits series, which means we're involved with Daytoner laying down some utter truth in the form of blissfully raw dance edits spanning everything from 60s soul to 90s trip hop. "Apache Street" features that mythical break in action amid some ludicrously addictive singing, while "Moonstomping" goes off on a little ska trip, "Feel It" provides us with a gorgeous example of UK 90s house at its most break-heavy, and "I Feel It Like That" is the sexy sister of the bunch, a seductive soul excursion tailor made for the lovers. Bliss.
Review: Every now and then, in between artist EPs, Tru Funk knock out a mini compilation of bootlegs where the original artists get spliced together like Frankenstein's monsters of funk. Highlights of this five tracker include Tom Showtime's fusing of Khia's famously filthy My Neck, My Back with some of Snoops' Gangsta Luv on "Gangsta Lick", Phibe's totally eccentric party smasher "Dig My Bounce" (which mixes Missy Elliot with No Diggity) and Spox's electro funk monster "Roses" which beefs up Haywood's '80s classic of the same name.
Review: Top talent spotters in the Bass game; Project Allout are back with a new squad of bass-making talent, as well as whole host of established names that project helped to launch to the outer stratospheres in recent years. It's the third edition of their legendary Lengerz series packed with 39 tracks straight from the legion of Lengdom and as we've come to expect from the Steel City boys, they're covering the full gully side of the 125 to 140bpm spectrum; from the eski angst of Arkham's "Jacotanu" the tripped out video game Trap of Creep N00m's "419" to the Pulse X style 808 bass tones of Dubzta's "Energy".... there is even a bit of donk in there via Casement's Young Team. Put it this way, if you are a fan of basslines that make your face look like you're chewing lemons then there is something in hear for you!
Highlights here at Juno HQ include the skaggy chirps on Dead Beat UK's "Baghead VIP", Livsey's TC inspired "Tap Ho" and newcomer Cole slowing the pace but not the intensity with the earth shattering "Mud".
There's a reason why these compilations hang around the top of our charts for years on end, it's because they are jam packed with silly amounts of exclusive A-sides. You don't need to be an Oxbridge educated economist to realise that few labels in the game can boast bang per buck like this!
Review: Funky Breaks, Ghetto Funk, Nu Funk, Glitch Funk, Nu Skool & Old Skool Breaks: you name it, they got it! London's Funk Fusion are back with Fused Funk Volume 16, which is a whopper of a compilation; 17 servings of block rockin' beats which will suit any occasion.. almost! Some of the highlights on here (and there's quite a few) are: "More Diggity" by Jay Tip; no guesses what this is a remix of (hint: Blackstreet!) but there's no hints for which rock'n roll classic got mashed up with jump-up drum and bass on Phat Bangers Club's "Wah Wah Everybody". Elsewhere, Sticky Icky's "I Wanna Hold You" takes the timeless classic by The Beatles and injects it with some tough breaks.
Review: Almost one year ago exactly, 'international funk barons', Beatnik City introduced us to their first selection of sensitively retouched northern souls gems on the first volume of this occasional series. Now having fully ingested all the goodness contain therein, we're ready for the next helping. There are ten new wonders to get lost in here. Highlights include hearing The Spinners' timeless melodies given a light and breezy Latin makeover on "Disco Shame", BadboE's smokin' breaks rework of a Velvelettes classic on "Breaking Down Motown" and finally Leygo's percussion-lead stomper, "Feels Good".
Review: Known by many in the drum & bass scene as one of the most important seminal albums in the history of modern D&B, This Too Shall Pass was released in 2006 on Bassbin to widespread critical acclaim, followed by a slow-burning reverence from fans new and old over the years. The tracklist is dotted with tunes many bassheads would class as up there with the greatest: from the dubby lilt of "Lead Me On" and the intricate driving Amens and synthy static of "Morning Star" to the washed out swing jazz of "Unireverse" and the beautifully mournful reverb of "Black Sunshine", this is a re-release that's been a long time coming. RIP Bassbin, and thank you Rohan for making masterpieces such as this available to the buying public once more.
Review: Brazilian beat fetishists, Beatnik City, are back proudly presenting a long player from Rio De Janeiro's best kept secret, Dr. K. They claim he's literally the city's best-kept secret - having tirelessly produced sizzling hot bossa nova infused beats for almost 15 years! this new album should change all that, boasting 17 fresh jams that fuse samba rhythms, a pinch of big beat goodness, a smidgeon of brass and lashings of carnival-friendly retro Latin vibes.
Review: The Dirty Dubster crew return with a bumper seventh volume of their ragga party jams, and true to form, they mash up ragga with other contemporary styles with considerable style. F-Block's "Jah Bone" combines all manner of echo-laden dub guitar with filthy dubstep bass, while Wood N Soo's "Smoke 2 Joints" is a contemporary update on The Toyes' classic, filling it with rolling snares and powerful low end. Subtifuge's "Love 4 U" is a slightly more skanking effort, with rolling D&B rhythms completely at odds with its laid back mood, while DJ Tzinas' "Wicked" combines a horn sectiona and tropical acoustic guitar with some serious dub airhorn - big stuff all round!
Review: If you want breakbeat to soundtrack your New Year's Eve celebrations this year than Actual Sounds' 72-track Best Of 2013 compilation is 'the' release. This compilation features heavy inclusions from Spinback Harry, Funk You Very Much, Big Bang Breaks and Actual Phantom, but also a whole host of other names such as Baby Love, Stex, Rory Hoy, DJ Self and countless others. See 2013 out with a breakbeatin' bang.
Review: Though known mostly for jazz- and swing-infused grooves, French producer Minimatic takes a detour into hip-hop pastures here, albeit there are also noticeable bossa/lounge influences in play. 'That Golden Bossa Hop' brings to mind the output of Bristol crew The Allergies, 'Drop It Like It's Hot' reworks the Snoop Dogg classic of the same name in a Latin jazz stylee, 'Cognac Wanksta' is a laidback, blunted affair, 'De La Bossa' recalls vintage Galliano from the early 90s, and bonus cut 'Ladi Dadi Doo' has a rawer, demo-like feel. If you love both golden age hip-hop and jazz, you'll dig this EP for sure.
Review: A very special release from Jay Cunning's Sub Slayers here; '80s reggae legends Aswad appear to have found their inner raver and formed a super group with Renegade Soundwave. The end result is a unique fusion of classic harmonic reggae and powerful contemporary bass. Remixes abound, covering every possible taste. Highlights include the amen intricacies of King Yoof's version, the rub-a-dub D&B skankage of Aries & Gold's remix, DJ Madd's stunning deep dubstep wobbles and Mr Benn's cheeky horn homage to The Revolutionaries' "Kunta Kinte". Feel the love.