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: Selector! Jungle Cakes' Welcome To The Jungle series welcomes a bonafide legend to the controls: Ray Keith. Digging deep across the board he's put together over 40 killer tracks from an obscene rollcall: Serum, Vital, Dillinja, Bladerunner, Margaman, T>I, DJ Hybrid, Turno, Filthy Habits, Ed Solo, Deekline and many many more artists are responsible for the savage soul and badman bounce on offer as we're rattled and shaken from pillar to post. From the naughty ragga skanks and turbo reverse bass lashes of Deekline & Ed Solo's "Hot This Year" to Ray's very own seminal "Chopper" via Bladerunner's evergreen breezer "Jungle Jungle" via two mixes and 10 FX tools, this is one of Jungle Cakes' tastiest ever projects to date. Big up the Dark Soldier
Review: For a label that only launched this spring, four volumes of creatively executed party jams is beyond impressive. We reckon this could be Funk Fusion's best yet, too. From Rhythm Scholar's respectfully tripped out twist on "Lucy In The Sky" to Fabioulous Barker's slap-bass blazed take on Skeelow via the funkiest ever version of 2Pac's "California Love", it's an impressive collection that leans towards the more subtle art of editing rather than crass bootleg cut-and-shuts and will have a lot more timeless appeal as a result.
Review: Booty Fruit's DJ Maars joins forces with newcomer Tom Showtime for some seriously delicious sound mash-ups for this EP. "Heatwave Episode" is a funked-out re-edit of Dr.Dre's and Snoop Dogg's infamous "The Next Episode", whilst "Hungry Busta" puts a real dancehall vibe over Busta Rhyme's inimitable vocal machine-gun bursts. "Rocksteady Up" re-fixes yet another early 2000's hip hop gem "Ante-Up", and "Champion Steez" goes all breakbeat/ska mode, introducing some rather rapacious Jamaican lyrics over that booty-shaking groove.
Review: Oh Serum and Voltage, what are we going to do? As if your single output throughout 2017 wasn't enough, you've ended the year with an entire album that's chock-fuller than Santa's sack! An insane cherry on the top of a gully crumpet, this is a romper roadblock with eyes fully-fixed on the dance... The eerie sci-fi samples and early Zinc style bassline Q&A on "Snakes Alive" Seriously, there are too many highlights here, the soul-bowling club fave "Cricket Bat", the venomous pingball bassline fire of "White Widow", the list of immaculate party hurters on here is near criminal. Sleep on this and Serum and Voltage will strike you!
Review: Serious booty-fusion abounds on this new series from Booty Fruit. Badboe introduces Jeru The Damaja and Ini Kamoze to a disco bassline. Roast Beatz gives Grand Puba a sexy, sun-kissed facelift. El Bomba and Hidden Riddim go back to school on their Akai and get clever with a range of well-known samples and big old juicy bassline. Waggles finishes the set with the cheekiest addition that sees the Beastie Boys on a lounge lizard samba flex. Party insanity.
Review: Revolution for Evolution! Hotly-tipped new gen jump up craftsman K Motionz comes correct with his highly anticipated debut album. 16 tracks of thundering 175 magic, K-Mo crushes it from all directions. From the groaning, droning moans of opener "Exterminate" to the emotional Jaws-style dramatic finale with the late great Dominator (RIP) "The Dominator", there's not a filler in sight. The sing-along thrills and spills of "Declaration", the slithering rolls and slaps of "Reptile", the soothing soulful glides of "Dreaming To Reality", the surging peaks of "Higher" and the gritty contrasts of "Gospel" are just some of the many highlights. Time to evolve...
Review: Italian funk fiddler The Captain knows his way around a dusty old seven inch, and more importantly, how to one make into contemporary dancefloor dynamite. This long player is a compilation of some of his finest work, featuring eight cuts of serious party breaks. Highlights include the tough rolling swagger of Patti Drew's version of Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle", the breaky, electro-swing of "Shake It", the intense clap-along of "Alright Bossa" and the smile inducing Freddie Mercury goes breaky hip-house joys of "Another One Dusty Bossa".
Review: Teaming up for the first time, two of breakbeats leading lights - Krafty Kuts and Featurecast - unite to mash-up the Jungle Brothers among other hip-hop classics on "Head Banger". Surely made as a perfect set-closing last tune, the pair keep some anthemic brass loops tucked away with some low-end filters until they're unleashed for a perfect hands-in-the-air, hug-everyone-immediately moment of euphoria. Backed up in style by the Funky Four Plus One-sampling "We Blow Up The Spot" and the Ice Cube-goes-dubstep thrills of "Shake 'Em Up".
Review: Tru Funk have cooked up yet another funk feast, and there's plenty at the table for everyone. Maars kicks off proceedings with a skank-soaked ode to Biggie's "Machine Gun Funk". Chudy, meanwhile, presses the disco button with a series of well-known disco licks and piano hooks. Further on we find Shaka Loves You fusing Stevie Wonder and DJ Kool with infectious results and we get lively to Mako & Mr Bristow's firing Motown jungle flavours. Finally Warson maintains the 170 vibe for the EP climax as "Feel Good" rolls with sizzling soulful charm. Yummy.
Review: There's no denying Funk Fusion definitely live up to their name; take these first two tracks which sample and flip Kool & The Gang and Tribe Called Quest numbers into something new and different for 2015. There's also a cheeky garage remake of Basement Jaxx, and for something slower check out the hip hop throw down of Aretha Franklin's "Say A little Prayer For You" by KMT. And have you heard Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" pitched against Sean Paul lyrics? Well you have now. Something for everyone.
Review: Cor blimey, Jungle Cakes aren't messing around with their Welcome To The Jungle series are they? Hot on the heels of Ray Keith comes another stone cold OG; Nicky Blackmarket. Digging deep across the classics and sparking up a whole forest of fresh fires, it's a 40 track, 2 mix, 10 FX tool trove of pure jungle magic curated with the wide-armed style you'd expect from an originator. With classic ranging from well known such as "Incredible" and "Pulp Fiction" to cult such as "Keep It Raw" and "Gangsters" and upfront jams flexing from all the right names (Serum, Aries, Serial Killaz, Drumsound & Bassline Smith), Blackmarket has absolutely smashed this out of the mark.
Review: 2018 is the second year in a row that Critical Music dropped a surprise release for us on Christmas Day, 2017 seeing the Modified Sonics album full of VIPs and exclusive remixes. New Energy Vol.1, however, is a totally different deal and that's because it's 18 brand new, exclusive tunes from those deep inside the Critical camp and those just entering it. The whole roster is represented: Kasra, Enei, Mefjus, Emperor, Foreign Concept, The Upbeats - and so on. But, excitingly, there's new talent in the form of Bou, Synth Ethics, Simula, Kanine and more. Mefjus' remix of 'Projections' arguably takes the cake as the best tune on here - absolute murderation. This is Critical's statement of intent for 2019.
Review: Allow jungle revival pioneers and Jungle Cakes bosses Ed Solo & Deekline to present the much anticipated follow up to "Welcome To The Jungle". On this second edition of "Welcome To The Jungle", Ed Solo & Deekline delve deeper into their roots, and influences with a heady brew of jungle cuts old and new. From stone cold classics like Ray Keith - Chopper and DJ Hype ft. MC Fats - Peace, Love & Unity, also featured are remixes from Chase & Status, and Sigma. Mixed live by Ed Solo & Deekline over 2 continuous mixes, and crammed with 28 upfront exclusives, VIP mixes, classics, and fresh cuts from Jungle Cakes, Welcome To The Jungle Vol. 2 is all you need.
Review: Here they are at it again, fusing, twisting and sampling all the hits, obscurities and bangers you've come to love over the years; be they hip hop, electro, pop, funk or rock. Notorious BIG makes an appearance on this compilations opener while JLO vocals and dirty electro can be found on "Get Right". Scale down the tracklist and you'll come across J5, old school funk and flutes to The Champs - Tequila!
Review: Veteran UK house act Crazy P (aka Danielle Moore, Jim Baron and Chris 'Toddy' Todd) are back with a defiant new long player courtesy of the Walk Dance Talk Sing label. It's been a few years since we've had a album from the group, and this 11-track-strong effort doesn't disappoint. Highlights include the sumptuous opener, the sleepy disco of "Like A Fool", the slinky and soulful synth odyssey "Echo" and the beguilingly honeyed female vocal chorus of the title track. Walk Dance Talk Sing fits the bill for this Saturday's night party or Sunday morning's chillout soundtrack.
Review: 39 tracks, 10 FX sounds and a full mix. This isn't any old slice of afternoon cake you might share your elderly neighbour or distant relative, this is a seven-tiered wedding cake full of every type of unhealthy, fattening ingredient you can imagine. And we're not stopping until we've chowed the lot. If you've feasted on Deekline and Solo's Jungle Cakes before then you'll already know how tasty this is; a selection of their own releases and similarly spirited cuts from the scene, all laced with dubwise, dancehall and skank-soaked soul. Highlights hang from every corner but you'd be mad not to peak at Aries & Gold's soul-flecked massage of Mr Benn, or Dominator & Logan D's brokeback bust-up "Cowboy" or Serial Killaz' savage repurposing of Freestyler's iconic "Entertainer". High calorie badness.
Review: Thirty Three nuggets of serious UKG gullyness; Project Allout have already developed a serious reputation for generous dispatches, but this is whole new level. Uniting their many lengmen for a deep exploration of the pastures between bassline house, instrumental grime and the broader realms of bass music, every area is covered. Highlights include the eski angst of Chemist RNS' "Stare", the violin-snapping, post-dubstep darkness of Deadbeat UK's "Graveyard", the outrageous VIP muscles of Hoax and Dubzta's "Twilight Zone" and the sassy vocal flexery of Pavv's "You Got Me". This is just the tip of the bassline iceberg, though. Dig deep and grab your own lenger; there are enough here for everyone.
Review: The Katakana edit express thunders on with their 11th installment of party breaks. This time the overwhelming vibe is of retro soul, jazz and swing. The latter is handled with a Latin influence on "I'll Be A God Man" and "Lovely TV" by DJ Clairvo, while the amazingly-named DJ Oli Garch provides a breaky, swingy version of jazz standard "Summertime. Lastly Timewrap opts for some Cuban-tinged grooves on "Miami", as well as a cheeky retweak of The Velvelettes' Motown classic "He Was Really Saying Something".
Review: A ridiculously fun remix package of Danish breakbeat guru Badboe. For the uninitiated, Badboe has developed a style that has clear echoes of 60s and 70s funk yet still fits seamlessly into the modern musical landscape. This man has dipped his toe in almost any genre you care to name - from house to trance; hardcore to trip-hop. On Break The Funk we see his superlative breakbeat jams remixed by the genre's cognoscenti, with the insouciant Fuzzbox Inc remix of "Lose Your Funky Self" and the junkyard percussion on the Pulp Fusion reshape of "Funky Intro" among the many highlights on offer here.
Review: Konichi and Decimal Bass: whether they're operating solo or in Annix unison, they're capable of making some of the sharpest, most forthright drum & bass known to man. Their debut album has had bass fans in a lather since they teased us with the gnarly halftime "Good For Nothing" and stompy Basement Jaxx-meets-Herve 4/4 gully stomper "Warriors". Beyond these off-piste adventures lies a whole slew of concentrated, unadulterated D&B science. From the one-punch jump-up smackers like "Low", "Afraid" and "Akshun" to the much deeper, liquid tones of "Forever" and dreamy Lenzmanisms of "Reverse Cold", this is the most detailed picture of both men's broadest abilities to date.
Review: Two albums for the price of one... Not only is this a fantastic showcase of Pimpsoul's mixing ability, DJ dynamics and selection skills, but, as individual tracks, Funk N Beats Volume 1 also acts as a great nu-funk collection. Joining the dots between formative genre-setters (Breakestra's "Cramp Your Style" and Skeewiff's "Feelin' Fine") to modern day dancefloor bangers (Rory Lyon's "I Got 5 On It" and Mr No Hands' "Feeling Fine") this touches every corner of the party-loving dancefloors. Nu-funk is riddled with label compilations but very few albums that reach further than in-house output. Big props to both Pimpsoul and Bombstrikes.
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: Dealing strictly in extended collections, Funk Fusion continues its extensive work into 2015 with a 22-track compendium of killer edits, bootlegs and reversions. With an emphasis on fine-tuned, low-swung party jams; highlights include the subtle acid treatment of En Vogue ("Get It"), silky, synth-slapping disco boogie ("Mistery Island"), badass blue grass ("Bluesy Bounce"), Chic-style Public Enemy subversion ("Funky Enemy Number One") and smoke-stacked skank science ("Method Man"). Fusion by name, funky by nature: no party should be without this collection.
Review: If you like your funk and breakbeats a little dirtier, than Funk Fusion have the grease to grind those gears. Terry Wagun drops a wobbly, saw-wave bassline over a choral of Lily Allen vocals in the opening track, while Mr Bristow slugs out some dirty low-end similar to Mr Oizo's "Analog Worms Attack" in his addition. For a crunchy, slowed down, stoners version of Pharrell's "Happy" there's 2RUD's "Happy Ska" - and don't forget Dave Gerrad's mashup of Queen and Kurtis Blow's "The Breaks" in his Funkadelic "Kurtis Breaks". Some bass-heavy 808 beats like Felix Da Housecat's "Kickdrum" rumble under a pair of titan hip hop vocals in "Turn Down For Hip Hop" thanks to Lil Jon and Fatman Scoop samples which spit over the top of Major Lazer synths. Get fused.
Review: Destination 60s as Beatnik City follow up last year's breakthrough compendium "The Rio District" with an exploration of pop roots, contemporised by swinging breakbeats and premium party signatures. Instantly recognisable jams include the ill behaviour of Ree Keen's take on "Louie Louie" and the ongoing beat mischief of Fab Samperi's homage to Sonny & Cher but the slightly less obvious versions shouldn't be overlooked either... The frenetic harmonica-snapping of Leygo's "Loose Wheel" and the lounge-writhing slipper jazz of Mad Doc's "Nori's Gem". Authentic big beat business.
Review: Mooqee's label Bombstrikes is doing all right for itself. So much so in fact that they've reached that milestone - a label's first compilation album. Here Mooqee has selected 25 sizzling bangers new and old that do it for him, and hopefully will do it for you too. Highlights include the compressed electro steamroller that is "Back To School", the crunch synth funky freakout of "Come On Bounce" and the devastating bass that's eaten all the pies of "Let's Do It Right Now". Heavy!
Review: The second in Booty Fruit's "Proper Produce" series sees four new funk-propelled mash ups hitting the virtual shelves this week. Among the highlights, Beastie Boys fans will certainly appreciate El Bomba & Hidden Riddim's "Dr Fluteski", which uses the same sample source as the NYC legends' "Flute Loop", while The Allergies give Blueboy's "Remember Me" an '80s soul rerub.
Review: To be honest, it's about time that Logan Sama had the space to compile his own series of mythical London club Fabric's, Fabriclive series. The grime DJ started his career back on the equally important Rinse FM back in 2002, and has been an important part of the club's development over the years that saw grime and dubstep blow up. At number 83 in the series, Sama drops a selection of tunes that are wholly representative of his DJ sets in Fabric's Room 1; the mix contains tunes by everyone from grime pioneer Wiley, to vocalist and producer JME, and a whole load of lesser known names that have kept the grime scene evolving. This is the real deal, there ain't not other like it around these days. Recommended.
Review: UK purveyours of funky breaks, Bombstrikes Records, may have a controversial name but there's everything to love about their sound. The fun loving and dancefloor bothering label run by Mooqee & Beatvandals was founded in 2004 and they claim that if you have been to a club since then you will most likely have heard their releases. Well then! Starting off with the low slug funk of A Skillz's "Mooger Fooger (dub mix)", Mooqee & Beatvandals themselves appear with "Back Up" and the legendary Cut La Roc is still at it; "Sunday Morning People" (Herbgrinder remix)" proves that he's still got his finger on the pulse. Other highlights include Pimpsoul's ever soulful "Is This Love (feat Pat Fulgoni - Pimpsoul funk remix)" the street attitude of A Skillz & Beatvandals "Simply Playing (feat Real Elements)" and the legendary Martin Solveig (remixed by the equally legendary Mousse T) who appears with the James Brown sampling "I'm A Good Man".
Review: Two months have passed since their inaugural volume and Beatnik City return with another chop-walloping, swash-buckling party frenzy. Their emphasis remains fully focused on the big beat vibe as each of the contributors boil down myriad genres from blues to rock to roots to classic b-boy hip-hop and recode them around swinging mid tempo breakbeats. Each cut will massage any gathering you perform to, but stand out cuts include The Captain's Toots-tweaked skank-slammer "Feel Alright", the slower, almost Todd Terje style blues stomp of "Beatbox Baby" and the unabashed sing-along feels of Rory Hoy's "Runaway Again". Unfettered booty business aimed directly at the cheeriest parties.
Review: Sheffield's Project Allout don't mess about, having developed a reputation for championing all directions in the ways of bass. Every take on that three letter word is important to this label and that's why they cram so many hot jams onto their comps. Basically they're the Ferrero Rocher am-bass-adors and they are really spoiling us with 49(!) lengerz. Highlights include AT's bleepy 8-bit hip-hop groove "Flash Bang", the epic, symphonic trap of Dubzta's "Lord Of War" and the almost disco tech grooves of "Murkers' by King Hydra. All killer, no filler!
Review: Having recently celebrated their tenth release, Sheffield's Chip Butty have now rounded up the cream of their roster for Chip Shop Vol 1. There are nine bangers featured here, all promising 'hard 4x4 beats mashed with twisted basslines'. They're not wrong either: highlights include label stalwart Dr Cryptic's pounding garage-step sing-a-long "Dirty Dot", the doomily orchestrated wobbler "Marching Powder" by Sekt 87 and the menacing speed garage of "Rude" by Little Mesters.
Review: Beatnik City is one of the chief exponents of the Northern Soul sound and its crate digging culture. Here they present what they dub "BarBeat", which is a good way to describe the non-purist approach of the edits featured - perfect fodder for bars rather than big room clubs. Perfect examples of this approach include "Finti Cents" where In Da Club gets taken back into time to a shimmying Motown backing groove or the 90s-hip-hop-goes-retro-big-beat vibes of "Jurassic Jive".
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: Those searching for formidable, funk-fuelled party fodder should be well aware of the Riddim Fruit label, one of the more reliable sources of mash-up madness. This EP from The Allergies - complete with heavy beats, scratches, borrowed rap vocals and funk breaks aplenty - should cause carnage in those clubs that still rock the breakbeat vibe. Lead cut "Heartbreaker" sets the tone by revisiting a little known funk stomper, while "Club Spillage" fuses bottom-heavy boom-bap beats with quality raps and slick Hammond organ licks. "Seven Days" spices up a string-laden funk-soul jam with some weighty breakbeat pressure, while "Ever Live" slows the tempo for some sweet soul-hop bumpiness. Predictably solid.