Review: Keeping the heat on from their recent second album, Que Chevere, Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers release a digital double A-side from said long player. The record continued to successfully fuse dancefloor styles such as soul, funk, rhythm and blues, samba and mambo, and none more than on the anthemic brassy title track featured here. Also "La Tumba De Fu Manchu" reappears this time remixed into a meandering percussive organ jam by none other than Mr Battery himself.
Review: The last time Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers dropped some bossa nova-loving heat like this was back in 2011 with the Swingy Boogaloo 7". And following their Mi Watusi album of the same year they return to the Freestyle label with the Latin- flaired and horn-heavy "El Ritmo De Nueva York" and ""Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout The Boogaloo". The former sweats a sultry Spanish vibe with quick piano-playing and an impressive sax section, while the latter is a little more broken beat with an infectious vocal you can sing along to.
Review: Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers' first full length, 2011's Mi Watusi, was a pitch-perfect tribute to Latin boogaloo, a distinctive fusion of dancefloor styles - think soul, funk, rhythm and blues, samba and mambo - which developed around New York's Harlem neighbourhood in the 1960s. This sophomore set delivers much of the same, with producer Lugo and his bandmates paying tribute to the genre in the most authentic of ways. Full of rasping horns, Puerto Rican vocals, Latin-influenced percussion and heavyweight funk rhythms, Que Chevere offers a thrilling and effervescent blast from the past packed with deliciously heavy and life-affirming highlights (check the jaunty "Batongo" and ludicrously percussive "Teremoto").
Review: A man with Venezuelan roots who was brought up on Fania Records' stars, as well as being a roadie for the Beastie Boys circa "License To Ill", Ray Lugo now leads not only Afro-beat band Kokolo but also his Boogaloo Destroyers - who sound on fine form on this latest single. Capturing the spirit of Nu-Yorican soul, the group nail that rich and authentic boogaloo sound - using natural handclaps, infectious piano motifs and huge helpings of Latin brass on "Swingy Boogaloo". Ian Toole adds an extended edit of the single, which allows an Afro-sounding guitar solo to shine alongside Lugo's laidback vocals, which pepper the track throughout.
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.