Review: Le Recette cooked up a delicious five dish feast earlier this year in the form of their "Towards Fulfilment" EP... And here are two sweet tasters on a limited 45 platter. Both cuts featuring Magic Malik, it's a broad tour across a very short amount of time: "Breezin" studied at the school of both Stevie Wonder and Amp Fiddler. Sleazy, jazzy soul in its silkiest form. "Landing" takes a more abstract twist on ballad craft as the vocals almost melt over the lolloping beats and hazy flutes. Precision timed for the summer...
Opara (Ashely Beedle Afrikanz On Mars remix) (6:22)
Opara (Ashely Beedle Afrikanz On Mars Galactic Flute mix) (5:18)
Opara (Ashely Beedle Afrikanz On Mars instrumental dub) (6:21)
Review: Currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of her debut album, Brazilian nu-bossa frontrunner Sabrina enjoys a clutch of versions from Ashely Beadle. Channelling his Afrikanz On Mars spirit, he gives her the disco treatment she deserves with lavish percussion, sweeping synths and a sleazy but slinky bassline. Complete with a Galactic Flute remix and an instrumental, Far Out have created a winning package to match their previous Theo Parrish outing earlier this year.
Review: Surely one of the most fitting albums of the summer, Sabrina Malheiros's fifth LP Clareia undergoes some stately remix treatment as we move from open fields to sweaty clubs to party for the rest of the year. Three of broken beat's finest and most respected protagonists all play a role... Man of the moment Henry Wu gets woozy on the organs and widens the whole jam out into seven minutes of space funk, Dego and Kaidi Tatham's 2000 Black dig deep into the bossa dynamic with a Latin jazzy spiritual feel running throughout the momentum while CoOp founder IG Culture adds a little skip to the drums, dreamy plucks and bassline that won't stop bouncing. If it's bruk, don't try and fix it.
Review: Back in 2016, percussionist Myele Manzanza impressed with a killer live album - recorded at famed Los Angeles jazz spot Blue Whale - on DJ Gilla's First Word Records. Almost three years on he returns to the spotlight via a surprise release on Theo Parrish's lauded Sound Signature imprint. Like its predecessor, it sounds like both tracks on "Love Is War For Miles" were recorded live. The A-side title track sets the tone, with pulsing, increasingly intense drums and piano working their magic around an unrelenting, two-note bassline. Flipside "7 Bar Thing" is a little more relaxed in feel, but no less percussive, as Manzanza showcases his drumming versatility on a cut rich in funk-fuelled double bass and swelling, decidedly intergalactic synths.
Review: 18 year-old Marvin Jupiter makes his bow on 2000 Black, serving up a track that effortlessly joins the dots between the bass-heavy weight of trap, indigenous South African rhythms, bustling West London broken beat and the synth-fired jazz-funk goodness of Herbie Hancock. The fact that such a young debutant is able to distill these influences into a brilliant, futurist house cut is, quite frankly, incredible. Dego and Lord's flipside revision is equally as tasty, too. Drawing on the track's bruk and jazz-funk inspirations while adding funky new Clavinet and guitar motifs, the West London stalwarts serve up a loose and groovy peak-time interpretation that should excite all those who like their beats broken and their basslines chunky.
Review: With "Frontin & My Adidas" Taggy Matcher returns with another soul/rap/reggae mash-up. This time round it's Pharell's "Frontin" acappella dropped over a deep dub beat - all the way to Kingston. On the flip side they feature a rocksteady version of a true hip-hop/electro classic! "My Adidas" is a great reworking of the RUN DMC tune, with a dub-like rhythm to it and a really classic sound overall. Stix present these two top-notch party pieces.
Review: After four volumes of smoking hot disco house business from El Nino, Jackie Brown turn their attention to debutant producer MB22, who understands the party-starting manifesto of the label intrinsically. "Shocked" kicks the record off in a flurry of heated chops and licks, all driven by a nagging hat, and then "Run Sally Run" switches stance to a winsome 80s tinged electro jam, tape-hiss included. "Slick Maneuver" takes things into smooth, boogie-indebted territory and then "Perfection Valley" rounds the record off with the kind of dusty electro funk that Moon B made his name with.
Review: Here's something to get excited about: a cracking new cut from Detroit deep house legend Alton Miller, backed with a 'Sound Signature' translation from the equally revered Theo Parrish. Miller's version of "Bring Me Down", is something of a treat: a sparkling, starry deep house epic that's blessed with immaculate vocals from soul chanteuse Maurissa Rose. Parrish's translation is equally as stretched out and similarly enjoyable, but is far looser and dustier in feel, with warmer bass and beats that naturally tend towards the jazzier. It's naturally more in keeping with Parrish's work than Miller's, but retains enough of the latter's touches to be counted as a fine remix.
Review: After first appearing on the label back in 2016, Florence-based Italo house stalwarts Minimono return to Vibraphone with another selection of illustrious dancefloor gems for subtler moments in the dance. "Oldest Friend" is an airy, dreamlike track laden with upper register chords, tones and FX pinging around in a reverie of deep house delight, while "Questions" gets locked into a loose, swinging groove with some mysterious pads swirling around the middle distance for added atmosphere. "Some Day" is a more rugged affair that bumps and wriggles in all the right places, while "Eleven Days" explores broken beat territory without losing the hazy atmosphere that permeates the EP.
Review: Founder of song-writing, production and engineering team Soulbeat Productions, Reavis has been involved in the background, penning songs for some of the biggest names for many years. His own bespoke instrument The Beat Thang has also been used the likes of Jermaine Dupree, RocWilder and Dallas Austin. Here Reavis shows his skills across a sexy six pack of slow-burning instrumentals. While we teeter over the edge of R&B and soul, the main emphasis is on hip-hop. Highlights include the cute synth horn parps on "Sticky" and the lolloping Brownswood style jazz riddim on "4 Ari". Instrumental grooves don't get much sweeter or succinct.
Review: Sample-loving downtempo fusionist Mo Kolours has yet to make a duff record, so hopes are naturally high for this dinked 7" single on 22a. Predictably, he's in fine form throughout, sauntering between seriously dubbed-out, tropical-tinged hip-hop beats (the ultra-baked heaviness of "Cerasee Doctor"), heavyweight Mauritian drum jams ("Margoze") and hard-to-define Indian Ocean funk (the fretless bass, weird noises and handclaps of quick-fix "Goya". He leaves the best till last, with the skewed hip-hop funk of "Menroe" - all wonky synth-bass, crunchy beats, sampled chants, tropical hand percussion and dubbed-out electronic stabs - hitting home hardest; he's still not made a bad record.
Review: A brand new vinyl-only imprint from Italy... A MA invites one of their most respected countrymen and international music connoisseurs Gerardo Frisina for a quad of stunning compositions that all speak with a passionate Latin tongue. "Burak" looks east and west for inspiration... East for the percussive, string and chanting vocal ingredients, and west for the techno dynamic that builds and subverts with wild-eyed abandon. "Zagara" is an equally floor-fired affair complete with bossa attitude, lush vocal textures and an infectious rhythmic insistency. The jazz-tickled "Michael's Vision", meanwhile, struts with a strange syncopated swing that neatly fits the frenetic sax noodles and "Take Five" style piano refrain. Finally we hit a jazz version of "Burak" where the techno dynamic is softened by sax and soothing Rhodes, but the beat insistency is still loud and clear.
Flying Fantasy (exclusive instrumental version) (4:35)
Rhodes E Serenidade (3:37)
Review: Small repress of the Modern Sun Records founder and experienced jazz-wise producer Marc Friedli AKA Skymark. A-side "Flying Fantasy" originally appeared on the Spanish producer's 2016 album "Resistance Sonore", but is here featured in instrumental form for the first time. If anything, it's better than the original version, largely because we get to revel in Friedli's mazy Fender Rhodes solos, rubbery jazz-funk synth bass and loose-limbed, West London style broken beats. You'll find plenty more jaunty jazz-funk vibes and liquid electric piano solos on B-side cut "Rhodes E Serenidade", which first slipped out way back in 2015. DJ Support so far from Dom Servini, Emanative,Red Greg,Kevin Beadle, Mike Chadwick,Dynamite Cuts & Rocafort Records so far
Zinja Hlungwani - "Ntombi Ya Mugaza" (Burnt Friedman remix)
Review: Honest Jon's continued endeavours to choose the interesting remix artists to tackle the high BPM joys of their Shangaan Electro compilation sees them turn to that venerable Detroit magician and erstwhile Wu Tang Clan member Theo Parrish. The Sound Signature boss comes through with a masterful thirteen minute plus rewiring of Mancingelani's "Vana Vasesi" which retains the thunderous tempo and brilliantly chaotic rhythms yet instils the track with a woozy, intoxicating swing via the twisting synth waves. Complementing this, iconic German producer Burnt Friedman turns in a remix of "Ntombi Ya Mugaza" by Zinja Hlungwani which is far less frenetic but no less enjoyable, flipping the track in a dub wise style with off kilter drum programming, spine tingling keys and staggered vocal affectations.
Review: It would seem we're back on the Christmas card list... 2000 Black supergroup comprising the likes of Dego, Mensah and original Bugz members Lord and Tatham have been slowly ramping up their releases again and this year has seen their largest output yet. Following "Two Way Here One Way Go", "Simmering" proffers three more sublime and silky instrumentals from deeply decorated foursome. "Simmering" is a tight jazz funk jam with a sprung guitar groove spine and a blissful switch into soothing flutes midway, "Private Life" flips for a sunnyside digidub, all spacious and rippling with its breezy keys while "Climb The Sun" brings us back to the funk root note but with rising synth insistency that's bruk to the bone. Simmering now, boiling tomorrow...
Review: 4 Hero don Mark Mac's side project Visioneers gets a worthy vinyl reissue as part of the 15 years of BBE celebrations with this limited edition 45. "The World Is Yours" is a take on the Nas classic which originally (in this version) came out in 2002 on the Omniverse label. The flipside "It's Simple" turned up on the Dirty Old Hip-Hop album for BBE four years later. The Omniverse label was highly collectable at the time, so this will be a welcome release for those who missed the original 45 or just love the 7 inch format. Both tracks are a sweet hip-hop tinged instrumental ride with nice keys and jazzy vibes. Hot!
(Soul) Rebel 23 (Reginald Omas Mamode IV remix) (3:30)
Snake Eyes (Ishmael Ensemble remix) (8:11)
Review: If you've not yet got your ears around Roger 'Chip' Wickham's sensationally sunny, jazz-fired "Shamal Wind" mini-album, we suggest you check it out post-haste. In the meantime, Lovemonk has reminded us of its magnificence via a new set of reworks from some seriously hot producers. Max Graef handles side A, first serving up a chugging, mind altering and heavily percussive "Bongo Mix" of "Soho Strut", before reaching for the sub-bass and fizzing, juke-tempo jazz rhythms on the bonkers but brilliant "Bass Mix" of the very same song. Over on the flipside, Peckham beat-maker Reginald Omas Mamode IV serves up a dusty, Rhodes-laden take on "(Soul) Rebel 23" featuring his own soulful vocals, before Gilles Peterson favourites Ishmael Ensemble mix live jazz instrumentation with rolling house beats on a sublime revision of "Snake Eyes".
Review: Mysterious no-wave combo Madmadmad hasn't released many records since debuting in 2012, but what they have put out has been consistently on-point. This surprise debut album is, of course, up to the same exacting sonic standards. Prioritising low-slung punk-funk grooves, spaced-out psychedelic guitar solos, cheeky surf-rock riffs, starburst electronics and fuzzy musical motifs, the band offers up an album that's as raucous and riotous as it is strutting and dancefloor friendly. Highlights are plentiful, with our picks including the wild "Randomisation", the hip-swinging grooves and intergalactic electronics of "Mouse Rock (Rework)", the peak-time stomp of "Hot Disco" and "Gwarn", and stomping, spiraling dub disco rush of "Push The Bass Control".
Melvin Sparks - "If You Want My Love" (with Jimmy Scott) (3:56)
Smith & The Honey Badgers - "The Billionaire Strut" (3:31)
Skyy - "Call Me" (3:55)
Space Invadas - "Done It Again" (3:40)
Osaka Monoaurail - "No Trouble On The Mountain" (feat Shirley Davis) (3:15)
Ann Sexton & The Baltic Soul Orchestra - "You're Losing Me" (3:29)
Marc Gregor - "Mabusso" (2:30)
Misumani - "Prove Your Love" (feat First Touch) (4:02)
Laura Vane & The Vipertones - "Man Of Your Word" (3:15)
Jack Hammer - "Swim" (3:23)
Sons Of Time - "Before Sundown" (feat J-Live) (4:01)
Sam Krats - "Revive Rap" (feat El Da Sensei & Gee Bag - Jim Sharp remix) (4:46)
Djar One - "The Get Down" (feat Andy Cooper) (3:43)
J Rawls presents The Liquid Crystal Project - "A Tribute To Troy" (5:15)
Review: In 2008, German label Unique asked crate-digging party starters Soulinus and Pun to put together the first volume in their "This is DJs Choice" compilation series. Only one further instalment - with tracks selected by Keb Darge and Lucinda Slim - appeared before the series was shelved. Happily, Unique has decided to re-launch it, with Marc Hype and DJ Suspect in charge of the track list. They've done a bang up job, all told, offering up a sizzling, 16-track selection that giddily sprints between steel band reggae (Hollie Cook), soul-jazz (Melvin Sparks), heavy funk (Smith & The Honey Badgers, Osaka Monoaurail), boogie (Skyy), Afro-latin heaviness (Marc Gregor), stomping Northern Soul (Jack Hammer) and head-nodding hip-hop (Sons Of Time, Benjamin & The Dreamdancers).
Review: British duo Maribou State are back with their first full-length since 2015's breakthrough debut album Portraits, and was a result of a two year long journey to find their sound. Story has it that upon returning to the UK to begin work on new material, they relocated their studio at the back of their home in Hertfordshire to London - only to struggle in finding their creative flow. They began to look outward, making regular excursions out of the city, setting up temporary studio spaces throughout Asia, Oceania, the Middle East to North America and beyond - the result of which is this tremendous LP. Highlights include "Turnmills" their tribute to the now defunct but legendary clubbing institution, the dreamy lo-slung pop of "Nervous Tics" which continues their long standing collaboration with vocalist Holly Walker, and another fabulous hook-up with Houston based purveyors of exotica Khruangbin - on the sublime "Feel Good".
Review: From the bones of Staff Benda Bilili, Congolese misfits Mbongawna Star arise to make their debut. And it's clear their intention to turn African music completely on its head. From the hip-hop style chants and processed vocals of "Masobele" to the punk-like fury and frenzy of "Nganshe" via the soft, yearning bluegrass slides and soul of "Coco Blues", From Kinshasa fuses, amuses and at points confuses. Most importantly it keeps you coming back for more. Genuinely an album like no other.
Original Nairobi Afro Band - "Soul Makossa (No 1)" (7") (4:20)
Sir Victor Uwaifo & His Melody Maestroes - "Jungle Beat (Mutaba)" (3:05)
Review: Jump 'N' Funk started life as a small event in New York, organized by Rich Medina in order to pay tribute to the genius of Fela Kuti. Since then, parties have been held across the world, with Medina and guests showcasing music by, or inspired by, the Nigerian Afrobeat legend. This debut Jump N Funk compilation follows a similar formula, delivering both purist Afrobeat cuts (see Fela's punchy "Stalemate", and "Na Oil" by son Seun and his band, Egypt 80), and tracks in other styles that draw heavily on the style. Highlights in the latter category include the hazy Afro hip-hop of Aquil, a tasty Afro-house dub of River Ocean's cover of Timmy Thomas' classic "Why Can't We Live Together", and the lazy, sun-kissed glory of Kutiman's "Bango Fields".
Review: Given that the original pressing of Medline's wholehearted tribute to A Tribe Called Quest sold out in record time earlier this year, this speedy repress is more than welcome. The album's genius lies in the French producer's imaginative, fusion style approach. Each of the eight tracks is loosely based not only on the ATCQ tracks that inspired Medline as a youth, but also on the original jazz, soul, funk and jazz-funk cuts the legendary New York crew sampled on them. As a result, while some of the live beats and grooves sail close to hip-hop, the resulting music is closer in sound and style to jazz. In other words, boundaries are brilliantly blurred and the results are consistently spellbinding.