Review: Long-player number four here from Croatia's Vladimir Sivc, better known as Funky Destination, and his third for Timewarp. The clue's definitely in the title, because it's largely soul rather than funk flavours that dominate - though we're talking sweaty 60s James Brown stompers rather than smoochy 70s love ballads, and admittedly that's one of music's most porous boundaries anyway! If you dig the likes of Speedometer, The Allergies, Skeewiff or Dr Rubberfunk you'll find much to enjoy here, with standouts including the blues harmonica-augmented 'Make It Fuzz' and the aptly-titled 'Bad Ass Jazz', while the string-laden 'Come Back To Me' has the most commercial, Amy-esque appeal.
Review: Australia's Dave Mathmos brings us a five-track re-edit EP that digs impressively deep for inspiration. 'Slick Talk' revisits Asha Puthli's 1976 Indo-disco nugget 'Space Talk' (a favourite at The Loft) and is every bit as hypnotic and sensual as the original. 'Just... A Lonely Soul' reworks Labi Siffre's 'I Got The' from 1975 (the source for Eminem's 'My Name Is') and comes in hazy, druggy Part 1 and more immediately floor-friendly Part 2 forms, while finally 'Sell The House' and the fairly self-explanatory 'Sell The Dub' are based on a 1976 Ashford & Simpson album cut of the same name.
Review: Athens of the North originally contracted obscure 80s boogie artist Billy Bruner about reissuing two of his rare, sought-after singles - "The Tulsa Song" and "The Dream" - but instead raided his tape archives and putting together what's effectively his debut album. Combining previously released tracks, unheard extended versions and previously unheard songs, the album is warm, soulful, slick and summery, with highlights including the stuttering P-funk flex of "Cats Meow", the never-heard-before dancefloor heat of "School Dance" and the deliciously extended version of glassy-eyed '80s soul jam "Never". If sparkling, synth-heavy '80s soul is your thing, this is one surprise retrospective you won't want to miss.
Marta Ren & The Groovelvets - "Don't Look" - (4:15) 148 BPM
Martha High - "Answer To Mother Popcorn" - (3:25) 102 BPM
Baby Charles - "Hard Man To Please" - (3:57) 65 BPM
The Tibbs - "Washed My Hands" - (2:52) 64 BPM
Hannah Williams & The Affirmations - "Tame In The Water" - (4:26) 159 BPM
Diplomats Of Solid Sound - "Get Out Of The Way" (So I Can Get Back To My Life) - (4:02) 155 BPM
Tanika Charles - "Since You Been Gone" - (3:06) 87 BPM
The Hawk - "Under My Skin" - (3:27) 56 BPM
Third Coast Kings - "Just Move" - (3:40) 104 BPM
The Link Quartet - "If You Wanna Be My Man" (feat Gizelle Smith) - (3:30) 87 BPM
Dojo Cuts - "My Love Is All About You" (feat Roxie Ray) - (3:22) 103 BPM
Review: Longstanding Italian label, Record Kicks, outta Milan that's been specialising in all matter of funk since 2003, digs through its catalogue to surface with a compilation of obscure material and classics from the likes of James Brown to original soul diva Martha High. Across the 12 tracks presented here you'll find a bona fide cast of artists like Osaka Monaurail, Hannah Williams and Baby Charles to the explosive sound of Marta Ren, the Link Quartet and more! Record Kicks as always spearheading today's retro Soul movement for the better!
Review: If we're counting correctly this is album number nine from Speedometer in a recording career that stretches back 20 years. As such, if you have any interest at all in 'new old' funk and soul sounds you should know pretty much what to expect, so it's the cuts where they flip the script that are most notable. There's a distinct African slant to the cinematic 'Edge Of Fear', but it's 'Kashmir', a sitar-infused jaunt into psychedelic pastures, that's the standout. Elsewhere the UK veterans run the gamut from soulful acid jazz anthem-in-waiting 'Let's Start A Movement' to the raunchy, wigged-out Hammond jam that is 'Mo' Crunch'.
Review: Most active from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, Patrice Rushen's discography has spanned jazz, R&B, jazz-funk, soul and pop, but it's the jazz-funk/disco fusions she delivered for Elektra Recordings in the late 70s/early 80s that remain her best-loved work. Here, 15 tracks from that period are gathered together, with favourites like the evergreen 'Forget Me Nots' and 'Haven't You Heard' (reworked in the late 90s by Daddy's Favourite) snuggling up alongside less over-played but equally high-quality cuts like the jazz-funk piano groove that is 'Number One' and the ultra-smooth boogie of 'Feels So Real'. Smoochers like 'Where There Is Love' perhaps sound a little less relevant in 2019, but this is still a very classy collection indeed.
Review: These days you'll find her topping the bill at the world's leading jazz festivals, but back in the late 70s and early 80s Patrice Rushen was just another aspiring young disco/boogie chanteuse. It was 1982 album 'Straight From The Heart' that spawned 'Forget Me Nots' and propelled her to international stardom, but it's the album before that, 1980's 'Posh', that Strut is reissuing here. Stylistically very similar to its more illustrious successor, it's the perfect chance to get better acquainted with a supremely talented female artist who, despite some considerable successes, never quite attained the household name status that she surely deserved.
Review: Shaping up to be one of the biggest soul tunes of the year, here 'Blind Faith' gets the remix treatment courtesy of Art Of Tones (formerly known as F-Comm fave Llorca) and fellow Jalapeno regular Smoove (as in Turrell). Art Of Tones nudges the track closer to soulful house territory - his Dub, in particular, would undoubtedly have gone down a storm at Ben Watt's legendary Sunday sessions Lazy Dog back in the day, with its phat b-line and jazz-funk guitar chops. Smoove then surprises with a shimmering, squelchy-basslined rub that also operates at a near-house tempo.
Review: London-based soul singer Izo Fitzroy released her debut album 'Skyline' on Jalapeno just over two years ago. Since then, we've had the Dimitri From Paris-produced 'I Want Magic' earlier this year, and now here comes 'Blind Faith', a track that'll appeal to fans of contemporary soul artists such as The Dap Kings, Smoove & Turrell or Stone Foundation. Supplied in simple Original and Radio Edit mixes and richly embellished with horns and strings, 'Blind Faith' features some truly sumptuous production, and while it may all be a little 'polite' for some, crossover success certainly can't be ruled out.
Review: The 'Jalapeno Funk' series reaches its 11th installment, which is no mean feat! As such, you should have a pretty good idea what to expect here already, and you'd be right. All the usual Jalapeno suspects - Flevans, Skeeweiff, Smoove & Turrell, Speedometer, The Allergies, Dr Rubberfunk, Aldo Vanucci - are present and correct, and while it has to be said there aren't many stylistic surprises or curveballs on offer, fans of the label's trademark funk 'n breaks sound will be more than satisfied, with highlights including Flevan's light-footed 'Speculate' and Vanucci's Hammond-toting 'Get A Hold On This'.
Review: Building on the heat of last year's "Devil Made Me Do It", Alex Puddu's Afro Soul Prophecy returns with more smoking jazz fusions. "Red Light District" is as hot and illicit as the title suggests thanks to its prominent drums and heated horn work. "The Game Of Love" plays the perfect counter with its much softer, sentimental swoons and loungey dynamics. Instant summer soul soothers.
Max Greger Orchestra - "What Is Soul & I Feel Good" - (3:08) 86 BPM
The Funky Free - "Ride The Mule" - (2:47) 138 BPM
El Chicano - "Viva Tirado" - (4:43) 115 BPM
Con Funk Shun - "Clique" - (2:53) 104 BPM
Larry Sanders - "Story Of My Love" - (2:27) 131 BPM
The Walker Family - "Think It Over" - (3:53) 158 BPM
Lee Willams - "I Love You More" - (2:53) 84 BPM
The Vagas - "I Need Your Love" - (3:18) 76 BPM
SKIP MAHOANEY - "Bless My Soul" - (3:17) 67 BPM
The Dontells - "I Cant Wait" - (2:52) 74 BPM
Little Antony & The Imperials - "If You Love" - (2:18) 80 BPM
The Inclinations - "Im Gonna Make Love Last This Time" - (3:33) 134 BPM
Sunday - "Where Did He Come From" - (2:59) 85 BPM
The Soul Majestics - "I Done Told You Baby" - (3:01) 153 BPM
Kansas City Express - "This Is The Place" - (5:23) 74 BPM
Takeo Yamashita - "Playgirls On The Move" - (3:07) 114 BPM
Silver Convention - "Madhouse" - (7:11) 127 BPM
Washrag - "Mr Big Stuff" - (2:50) 96 BPM
Fried Chicken - "Funky Dj" - (2:56) 82 BPM
The Soul Investigators - "Mo Hash" - (2:12) 107 BPM
Art Butler - "Soul Brother" - (2:25) 110 BPM
The Soul Tomadoes - "Crazy Legs" - (3:06) 61 BPM
Review: One of two turntablist-oriented compilations this week from School Yard Breaks, but where 'Dusty Fingers' is jazzy and cinematic in mood, this one's smooth and soulful, with cuts from well-known veteran players like Mandrill, Larry Sanders, Con Funk Shun and Silver Convention nuzzling up alongside contributions from lesser-known 60s and 70s artists (The Soul Tornadoes, Kansas City Express, Lee Williams) and contemporary practitioners (Finland's Soul Investigators). Highlights include Silver Convention's phat, sleazy 'Madhouse', Lee Moses's country-soul-blues take on 'Hey Joe', Art Butler's Hammond-tastic 'Soul Brother' and a blistering James Brown medley courtesy of the Max Greger Orchestra.