Review: St Albans-based Hansi serves up four more covers on this latest addition to the long-running 'Funky Grooves' series on his own Viking Grooves. 'Changes' gets the ball rolling, rendering Black Sabbath's classic heartbreak ballad in a tortured, southern soul style - it's almost like Otis's revenge for the Black Crowes! The other choices of cover on the EP are perhaps less surprising - Timmy Thomas's 'Why Can't We Live Together', Run DMC's 'Peter Piper' and The Jimmy Castor Bunch's 'It's Just Begun' - but in all cases Hansi puts his own distinctive spin on the original, making for an EP with more than its fair share of attention-grabbers.
Review: Most DJs tend to see the DJ Kicks series as an excuse to not only show off their DJ skills, but also the eclectic nature of their music collections. That's the approach Jayda G has taken on her fine instalment, delivering a breathlessly brilliant mix and a selection of unmixed tracks that genuinely has something for every occasion. After beginning with the deep disco of Light of the World, Aged in Harmony and Glass Beams, the Ninja Tune artist offers up a mixture of 21st century Afro-soul (Kokoroko), dubbed-out Brit-funk (Atmosfear), synth-laden '80s soul (Don Blackman), sample-rich 21st century house (Gerry Read), chunky dancefloor deepness (Naomi Darkness, DJ Boring), Motor City-inspired futurism (LNS, Fit Siegel), sub-heavy techno (Haai) and dusty future R&B beats (DJ Koze).
Good People (Montaque Adamson remix) - (3:47) 59 BPM
Mother Funkin' Robots (Bossy Nova re-fit) - (3:33) 85 BPM
Review: There's certainly no faulting the remix VFM on this BBE EP, whose two tracks are served up in no fewer than nine different rubs. 'Good People' sits somewhere between 'new old' soul, acid jazz and early 90s street soul in its original form, but it's the funkier reworkings from Montaque Adamson that are likely to pick up the most plays on floors that also rock to the likes of The Dap Kings, Haggis Horns, Lack Of Afro, Smoove & Turrell et al. 'Mother Funkin' Robots', meanwhile, is served up in three variations on a fairly self-explanatory 'Bossy Nova' theme - Latin beats and raw soul vox ahoy!
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: 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: Jalapeno bring us the latest salvo from London producer Dr Rubberfunk, and it's very much the proverbial game of two halves. Featuring John Turrell (of Smoove & Turrell fame) on mic duties, 'Boom!' is a raw rock n' soul jam, roughly in the vein of Sly & The Family Stone, War or mid-70s Ike & Tina Turner, with a singalong-friendly "it's just a little blow-out" vocal and some exemplary six-string screechin'. But good as 'Boom!' is, it's 'Steppin' In' that's the killer here, a five-minute, organ-laden jazz-fusion workout that could well be the good doctor's finest moment to date.
Review: The first installment of Late Night Tales' After Dark was that rarest of things: a DJ mix that retained a smoky sense of early morning, home listening atmosphere while retaining an open-minded focus on the dancefloor. This follow-up - once again compiled and mixed by Bill Brewster - offers more of the same. Musically it's pleasingly varied, moving from the string-drenched downtempo beauty of Typesun's "Last One Home", to the heady Balearic rock of General Lee, via Justus Kohnke, the soulful post-bruk smoothness of As One, and the sprightly analogue electronics of Emperor Machine's remix of Paqua's "Late Train". There's also a bunch of previously unreleased tunes to enjoy, including killer contributions from the Mang Dynasty (AKA Ray Mang), The Gino Fontaine (Chicken Lips man Andrew Meecham) and - most surprising of all - The Grid and Robert Fripp.
Review: Powerful funk fire from Bristol's serial editors Mako & Mr Bristow as they hit number three in their Stank Soul Edits series. Backed by a strong gospel vibe and raw gutsy female vocals across both sides, it's another sure-fire heater: the soaring sentiments of Ann Peebles command the A with an empowering ode to the allure of love's sweet sensation while the B is dedicated to the stirring prowess of Shirley Brown. Both crafted and beat-licked in M&MB's inimitable floor-warming style, and already galvanised on the airwaves by funk professor Craig Charles, it's another stank showdown that cannot be denied.
Review: By and large associated with the Sonar Kollektiv label, music from the acoustic house, jazz and pop pairing Paskal & Urban Absolutes arrives on Robsoul! Run by the French house cat outta Paris, Phil Weeks, the label couldn't help but indulge in the 80s cultural pop aesthetics of "Ooh" that does its best in channelling the ghosts of Prince and George Michael. With DJ Sneak turning in a classic remix of wavey rhodes, filter tinged vocals and straight laced grooves, Week's himself took it as an equal opportunity to flesh out some skatty vocals, warm basslines and searing synths in his remix. Word up to Charlie Sputnik! Ooh yeah.
Review: Vocally-led by child sensation, Foster Sylvers, The Sylvers family grew into their own throughout the 70s, and 1973's The Sylvers II really instilled their sound as the gold standard fo funk music. We're talking about a family of kids who were all incredible musicians, truly offering the world a heartfelt performance, whichever aesthetic they were going for. Mr Bongo has delivered the goods once again with this reissue, and we are totally stoked about the fact that we are receiving the sort of funk and soul which still has not been experienced by everyone. It is about the mystique, it is about the charm, and it's most certainly high time for some soothing soul direct from the source - oh, and check that bassline on the magnetic "Handle It". Recommended.
Review: French label Favorite, headed up by Charles Maurice AKA Pascal Rioux, specialise in reissuing obscure funk, soul and jazz from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Here, the label boss brings us the fifth in a series of compilations celebrating the more "sophisticated and grown-up" end of the late 70s/early 80s soul spectrum - which means lots of smooth soul-jazz and 'quiet storm' stylings. It'll all be a bit suave/sickly/smoochy for some, admittedly, but there are some quality mellow moments on offer for sure - see, for instance, the lounge-funk of Esperanto's 'Kailua' or Sugar Cane's blissed-out 'What You Do To Me'.
Review: Jazz, funk, house, disco, soul, afrobeat, swing, techno and broken rhythms: Vito Lalinga outta Italy does it all in this eight-track swipe at Kraak records. Bringing sweet Spanish guitar to numbers like "Khartum" or some undeniable jazz-funk to "Murder In Casablanca", you'll find a heavier riff and rhythm tracks in "In The Jungle". With a subtle touch of dub added to the walking bassline of "Sax Street", filter house without the filter makes it into "Scream & Shout" next to something overtly electronic and '90s lounge style in "Traveling At Night". Sweet broken beat numbers in "Suspense Time" too. Check it out!