Review: Disco Cakes ninja Defkline maintains his lace-thin veil of secrecy as he serves up three more slap-happy unofficial versions. "Hit The Road Jack" takes the Ray Charles classic and runs it through a whole range of genres and styles from rap to swing to glitch. "Made Ya Look" takes Nas deeper into the dance with an array of classic rolling breakbeats while "Oh La La" shows off Defkline's wiseguy status with a classic sample hook and beats bolstered for 2015 and beyond. Tasty.
Review: The latest missive from Madrid's Rotten City Files camp signals the debut of Jacktome, a collaborative project made up of producers JackWasFaster and TALKTOME. They begin in confident fashion with "Hit The Road, Jack" - not a cover of the well-loved sing-along song of the same name - which sees them instinctively wrap psychedelic acid lines, trippy electronic flourishes and Kraftwerk style vococder parts around a bubbly, low-slung, bongo-rich mid-tempo groove. The rest of the EP is taken up with two contrasting mixes of "The Reason": the stab-driven deep house/Balearic disco fusion of the "Soft Vision", and the arguably superior "Raw Vision", whose stripped-back groove and neon-tinged synthesizer motifs help create an intoxicating late night mood.
Review: Nope, "Music For Adverts" is not a long lost '70s Eno LP, but the new album by neo soul producer Adam Gibbons, aka Lack Of Afro. Kicking off with raucous opener "Freedom" (featuring the vocals of Jack Tyson Charles, son of Craig), we are taken on a 12-track journey into the vintage soul of Mr Gibbons. Highlights include the funky '70s grind (is that Ron Burgundy on flute?) of "One For The Trouble", the 4/4 disco funker (with a sprinkling of hip-hop) "Brown Sugar" and menacing Latin jam of "No Guts, No Glory". Classy.
Review: Thanks to his BBC 6Music show, self-styled "complete package" - comic, actor, radio presenter, DJ and stand-up poet - Craig Charles has become the UK's best-known funk and soul enthusiast. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that his annual Funk & Soul Club compilations are extremely popular. This third collection is every bit as potent as predecessors, featuring as it does a riotous mix of heavy funk, horn-totin' soul revivalism, dancefloor-friendly funk breaks (Skeewiff and Stephen Gray), cheeky brass band workouts (Hot 8 Brass Band's famous cover of "Sexual Healing") and a dash of smooth soul (the effortless Omar). With all bases covered and some killer material, it should be essential listening for all those of a soul and funk persuasion.