Review: Portland-based beatmaker AfroQBen (geddit?) modestly describes himself as "the funk master" and "a prolific producer in perpetual audio-visual motion". While that may be a little over the top, he's certainly delivered a solid debut album for perennial funksters Timewarp. As is his style, Liquid Gold offers sturdy, floor-friendly hip-hop jams in a variety of rudeboy styles. So, there are forays into afro-cuban funk-hop, dubstep and reggae, alongside a pleasing array of uptempo funk and soul jams. There's nothing particularly new about any of this, of course, but it's such a fun and well made album that it would be churlish to be too critical.
Review: Such has been the rise of Marquis Hawkes in recent times that this debut album must mark as one of the most anticipated house sets of 2016. Happily, Social Housing is a superb showcase not only for Hawkes' talents, but also his understanding of house music in its' many myriad forms. The album does include, of course, a sprinkling of jackin' workouts, but these are outnumbered by such thrilling chunks of loved-up positivity as the Tiger & Woods style loop funk of "Fantasy", the Theo Parrish-ish jazz fuzziness of "Summer Memory", and the cheeky, Todd Edwards style cut-up garage of "Something In Yr Head" [sic]. The album's most potent moment, though, is "I'm So Glad", a collaboration with Jocelyn Brown that already ranks among 2016's most potent tunes.
Jangatha - "When I'm With You" (Steve Navaro remix) - (4:54) 127 BPM
Review: 2016 marks a decade since Arlington Heights' Sean Biddle launched the digital-only Bid Muzik imprint. Here, he celebrates the occasion with a compilation that smartly gathers together some of the highlights of the label's first decade. There's plenty to enjoy, from the pulsating wobble bass, jackin' beats and pitched-down vocals samples of Biddle's own "Freak Show (Rescue Mix)", and the hip-hop sampling, cut-up house thrust of RED's "Werk It", to the horn-heavy funk-house thrills of Milty Evans' "We Are One", and Steve Nagarro's electrofunk-flavoured interpretation of Jangatha's super-sweet "When I'm With You". Throw in a couple of disco-house scorchers from DJ EQ and Greg Robertson, and you've got a rather fine package.
Review: Flash Atkins (or Ben Davis) has been releasing steadily over the last 13 years, mainly on We Are Woodville and of course Paper Recordings who present the remix compilation of tracks from last year's great The Life And Times Of Flash Atkins LP. There's some awesome makeovers on here and so many to choose from. But for our money, our picks are The Revenge's take on "The Wilderness", Reverso 68's Pete Herbert delivering a funky injection to "Saved By The Fall" and Andy Meecham aka The Emperor Machine lending "Summer Of Love" some of his unmistakeable arpeggios, turning the track into a right boogie playground.