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Juno Recommends Funk / Reissues Best of 2019

Juno Recommends Funk

Juno Recommends Funk

Juno Recommends Funk/Reissues Best of 2019
17 Dec 2019
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1
Cat: MSH 104RE. Rel: 25 Nov 19
Funk
  1. Ashadwa (part 1) (4:25)
  2. Ashadwa (part 2) (3:58)
Review: Mushi 45 is keeping tight lipped about the story behind their latest release but it's confirmed it's a brand new production and not an obscure afrobeat reissue/edit . The release is PURE fire - a killer chunk of Afro-funk blessed with heavyweight drum breaks, punchy sax solos, celebratory African vocals and super-funky bass. In classic funk style "Ashadwa" is split into two parts; the first boasts chant-along vocals, extended drum breaks and a genuine "party in the studio" vibe, while the second is more instrumental and stripped back with greater use of snaking saxophone solos. In a word: essential.
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out of stock $10.77
2
Cat: DYNAM 7007. Rel: 19 Aug 19
Funk
  1. It's A New Day (3:05)
  2. Trespassing (4:05)
Review: Two all time funk/soul classics from the Skull Snaps - a funk group active between 1963 and 1973. They were known as The Diplomats up until 1970 and released a number of singles with moderate success. Renamed Skull Snaps, they released an eponymous album on the small GSF label in 1973, before disappearing into obscurity. These selections are from the said album. New 7" reissue label Dynamite Cuts is releasing these two gems as a limited edition 500 only pressing, showcasing the two best tracks on the LP. Both have been heavily sampled in many hip-hop and club classics by Eric B. & Rakim, Digable Planets, DJ Shadow, The Prodigy and Panjabi MC to name but a few.
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 in stock $11.55
3
Cat: MEL 17. Rel: 19 Aug 19
Funk
  1. Just Can't Stay Away (Stereo) (3:23)
  2. Just Can't Stay Away (mono) (3:24)
Review: Surprisingly, Don Blackman originally wrote and recorded "Just Can't Stay Away" to play as the recorded message on his girlfriend's answering machine. He later included it - tweaked and turned into a mid-80s style boogie banger reminiscent of his work during that decade - on his second and final album, 2002's CD-only "Listen". Here it finally gets a vinyl release thanks to reissue specialists Melodies International. If you're a fan of boogie, electrofunk and synth-soul it should be an essential purchase, not least because it's every bit as good as more celebrated Blackman productions made earlier in his career. There are "Stereo" and "Mono" mixes to enjoy, with the former naturally offering a more refined and intoxicating listening experience.
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out of stock $11.04
4
Cat: SB7 005D. Rel: 01 Apr 19
Funk
  1. Blow Your Whistle (3:05)
  2. Ashley's Roachclip (4:21)
 in stock $9.99
5
Cat: SSR 214. Rel: 01 Apr 19
Funk
  1. Good Edits (part 1) (4:34)
  2. Good Edits (part 2) (4:08)
Review: More from top-drawer rework merchant DJ Soopasoul, whose cheeky revisions on his Soopastole label are consistently on point and dancefloor-focused. For his latest trick, the long-serving DJ/producer has decided to apply his magic to one of the greatest disco records of all time and a "foundation record" of the hip-hop scene: Chic classic "Good Times". The A-side edit sounds like it has been created using the multi-track parts, as dubbed-out vocal sections ride stripped-back grooves and portions that variously showcase the track's original strings, Nile Rodgers' guitars and Bernard Edwards' killer bassline. The flipside "Part 2" version is similarly minded but more like a disco dub in feel and execution, with the maestro drenching vocal sections in delicious amounts of delay.
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 in stock $10.77
6
The Big Beat (1 per customer)
Cat: BAB 012. Rel: 05 Aug 19
Funk
  1. Billy Squier - "The Big Beat" (extended Breaks Special edition) (2:54)
  2. Le Pamplemousse - "Gimmie What You Got" (extended Breaks Special edition) (4:12)
Review: We've said this before, but there's something brilliantly simple about the Beats & Breaks label's "Extended Breaks" series of seven-inch re-edits. There's no superfluous fluff or needless rearrangement, just solid and matter-or-fact extensions of key drum breaks to both aid mixing and light up dancefloors. For proof, check the mysterious re-editors' take on Billy Squier's 1980 heavy rock workout "The Big Beat", which prioritizes the track's fat, bottom-heavy drums and the singer's impassioned vocal yelps while stripping out most of the gnarled guitar riffs. If you need a bit of a breather from the heavy dancefloor pressure, the crew's subtle revision of Le Pamplemousse's drowsy, synth-laden deep disco shuffler "Gimme What You Got" - a string-laden slice of sun-kissed sweetness - should do the trick.
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 in stock $10.77
7
Cat: BAB 009. Rel: 15 Apr 19
Funk
  1. 7th Wonder - "Daisy Lady" (extended Breaks Special edition) (4:11)
  2. Blackbusters - "Old Man" (extended Breaks Special edition) (4:27)
out of stock $10.77
8
Cat: JAL 69. Rel: 13 Dec 19
Funk
  1. It's Just Begun (part 1) (4:13)
  2. It's Just Begun (part 2) (4:54)
Review: Although arguably better known these days for his "Soopastole" edits series, Soopasoul has made plenty of original music in his time. In fact, he's rarely made many better records than "It's Just Begun", a two-part cover of the Jimmy Castor Bunch classic that first saw the light of day on Jalapeno Records back in 2008. The A-side instrumental cover is fairly faithful to Castor and company's original - especially the heavyweight bottom-end groove - while adding far more sax and trumpet solos and some seriously flanged guitars. The longer flipside "Part 2" version mixes things up a little, building up the groove in stages before unleashing the killer horn solos and ten-ton bassline. It's arguably the better of the two versions, though both are superb.
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out of stock $8.15
9
Cat: MUKAT 064. Rel: 08 Apr 19
Funk
  1. Peter Yamson - "Everybody Dance" (3:51)
  2. Tala Am - "Get Up Tchamassi" (3:11)
Review: Mukatsuku's long running "Afro Funk & Disco Gems" series has always been a reliable source of obscure, high-quality dancefloor material from the African continent. This tenth edition is another must-have - on the A-side you'll find the synth-laden, boogie-era sunshine of "Everybody Dance", one of the undisputed highlights of Peter Yamson's in-demand (and notably hard to find) "Son Of Africa" LP. With wonderful vocals, glistening guitars, lolloping drum machine beats and some stellar synth work, the track ticks all the right boxes. Over on the flip there's a chance to own Cameroon legend Tala Andre Marie's 1981 classic "Get Up Tchamassi", whose snaking sax lines, elastic slap bass and dreamy chords are nothing less than sensational.As played by The Allergies, DJ Koco, Joe Claussell,Smoov,Kalita, Faze Action,DJ Moar etc
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out of stock $9.45
10
Come Back To Me (1 per customer)
Cat: SSR 213. Rel: 21 Oct 19
Funk
  1. Come Back To Me (Soopasoul remix) (4:32)
  2. Come Back To Me (Soopasoul remix - instrumental) (3:22)
Review: DJ Soopasoul has previously breathed new life into tracks by Croatian producer Funky Destination, so it's little surprise to see him putting his spin on the Osijek-based artist's latest missive. He does a terrific job, offering up vocal and instrumental versions of "Come Back To Me" rich in long, tension-building intros, fuzzy funk horns, bass-heavy grooves, swirling orchestration and hard-wired guitar riffs. While the instrumental version is tidy, our pick of the pair is undoubtedly the A-side remix. We're not sure who the lead vocalist is, but her delivery is incredible. Don't sleep on this one!
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 in stock $10.77
11
Next Episode (1 per customer)
Cat: FMR 008BLACK. Rel: 04 Feb 19
Funk
  1. Next Episode (2:11)
  2. Monmouth (3:04)
Review: It's a while since we last heard from Breakdown Brass, an ensemble whose epic line-up includes members of almost every major contemporary Brooklyn-based soul and funk act. "Next Episode" isn't a new jam, but rather a timely reissue of their sought-after 2015 cover of Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg's 1999 hip-hop anthem of the same name. It's an absolutely killer cover, all told, with the band replacing all of the original's distinctive sampled loops with heavy brass parts and a range of dizzying instrumental solos. B-side "Monmouth" - an original composition by bandleader Nadav Nirenberg - is almost as good, offering a ballsy bland of fuzzy brass parts and chunky, hip-hop style beats.
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out of stock $11.83
12
Cat: 773853 1. Rel: 18 Feb 19
Funk
  1. Hello Happiness (3:57)
  2. Like A Lady (4:56)
  3. Don't Cha Know (3:18)
  4. Too Hot (3:44)
  5. Like Sugar (4:00)
  6. Isn't That Enough (3:30)
  7. Ladylike (3:39)
Review: No less than 45 years since she recorded her first single, the legendary Chaka Khan with a new album as relevant and up to the minute as anything pretenders a third of her age could dream of. "Hello Happiness" finds Khan drawing on the legacy of her roots while keeping things fresh, upbeat and contemporary, with THAT voice front and centre. Lead single "Like Sugar" has been tearing it up all over the place for good reason - with Switch on production chopping up classic Fatback Band break "The Bus Stop," Khan sounds as fierce as ever.
out of stock $20.23
13
FORTHCOMING
Revisiting The Sunshine (reissue)
Cat: BBR 019WHITE. Rel: 31 Jul 20
Funk
  1. Revisiting The Sunshine (4:01)
  2. Funky Sensation (4:19)
Review: One of Canada's most influential hip-hop protagonists Jorun Bombay returns to local Halifax label Black Buffalo, an imprint that launched in 2005 with a 30-copy-only release of his. Following his recent edit series comes this fantastic cover of Roy Ayers in the form of "Revisiting The Sunshine". Authentic to its soulful core, the release is perfectly timed as we're all beginning to miss the summer moving into the colder months. It's backed by an equally sunny shakedown as Gwen McCrae's "Funky Sensation" gets a precision Bombay treatment. Sensational.
coming soon $16.28
14
First Time On A 45 (1 per customer)
Cat: MUKAT 067. Rel: 25 Nov 19
Funk
  1. Gagle - "Vanta Black" (instrumental - Produced By DJ Mitsu The beats) (2:24)
  2. DJ Mitsu The Beats - "Old Town Uplift" (instrumental) (4:20)
Review: Housed in a Juno exclusive sleeve two tracks from Japan produced by DJ Mitsu the Beats . First up is a lush and string laden jazzy instrumental version of Vanta Black from DJ Mitsu's Sendai hip hop group GAGLE taken from the album of the same name from 2018. On the flipside we are presented with Old Town Uplift taken from the Turntable album on Jazzy Sport .Double bass focussed hipnotic jazz with poignant piano keys and strings from Otoji + Ray underscored with sounds effects from field recordings obtained in Tokushima as a concept piece for the Turntable Hostel in Shibuya. Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies and not available in Japan. As played on Worldwide FM and Jose Padilla, Shuya Okino etc





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out of stock $9.45
15
Cat: PR 65022P. Rel: 29 Apr 19
Funk
  1. Pick Up The Pieces (3:58)
  2. Get It Up For Love (with Ben E King) (4:36)
Review: If you're a DJ who digs funk, soul and disco, there's a fair chance that you are familiar with Average White Band classic "Pick Up The Pieces", a staple of those kinds of sets - and, of course, hip-hop, where its killer break has been looped countless times over the years - since its initial release in 1974. Should you not own a copy of the distinctive, horn-heavy classic, we'd suggest picking up this reissue, not least because it also boasts the band's lesser-known cover of Ned Doheny classic "Get It Up For Love", featuring vocals from no less than Ben E King, on the flip. Their version of the hazy blue-eyed soul gem sits somewhere between Doheny's original version and the arguably better known Tata Vega disco cover.
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 in stock $11.55
16
Cat: MUKAT 066. Rel: 30 Sep 19
Funk
  1. Funk Yourself
  2. Repartamos El Funky
Review: Mukatsuku struck gold again on this latest first time on a "45" issue. It boasts a couple of lesser-known jazz-funk fusion jams which originally featured on Argentine musician Jorge Navarro's 1977 album "Navarro Con Polenta", an LP that has never been issued outside of South America. A-side "Funk Yourself" is a bustling, high-octane jazz-funk Hammond licks and spiralling horns jumping above a Blaxploitation style backing track. "Repartamos El Funky" is a more laid back but no less musically intricate affair, with a variety of high-grade electric piano and guitar solos riding seemingly endless jazz style drum solos and rubbery bass. Juno hand-numbered copies come in exclusive sleeves and this 45 not be repressed. DJ Support comes from Ge-ology, Dom Servini, DJ Koco (Japan), DJ Food,The Allergies,45LIVE.net ,Dr Bob Jones,Rob Luis, Smoov and more
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out of stock $9.45
17
Super Freak (1 per customer)
Cat: CR 005. Rel: 23 Sep 19
Funk
  1. Super Freak (4:44)
  2. Like I Love You (4:51)
out of stock $12.60
18
Cat: DYNAM 7027/28. Rel: 14 Jan 19
Funk
  1. He's A Superstar (part 1) (3:42)
  2. We Live In Brooklyn Baby (3:46)
  3. Ain't Got Time (2:42)
  4. Fire Weaver (3:35)
 in stock $16.81
19
Cat: MXMRK 2027. Rel: 21 Oct 19
Funk
  1. Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile (Mr K 7" edit) (5:44)
  2. Isabelle & The Rain (Mr K 7" Breakdown edit) (5:28)
Review: 1971: Isaac Hayes redefines what a movie theme can be with the worldwide sensation "Shaft," single-handedly making wah-wah rhythm guitar and racing hi-hats a prime ingredient for the decade of music to come. The huge success of "Shaft" meant Hayes was in demand to bring his vision of cinematic funk to other films, and in 1974 he scored (and starred in) the Blaxploitation B-movie Truck Turner. It's from this soundtrack that "Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile" is drawn. The progression Hayes made as a composer is clear: "Pimpmobile" uses complex layered guitar lines with brass and string sections that build and cascade over each other and takes the "Shaft" formula to an entirely new level.

The song became a firm favorite with funky DJs in the '70s, from the refined space of Mancuso's Loft to Bronx and Harlem jams. Indeed, when the Zulu Nation DJs began spinning at a downtown roller disco / dance club called The Roxy in the early '80s, it was firmly entrenched as one of their favorites. Another resident DJ at The Roxy was Danny Krivit, who was already well acquainted with the song and the effect it had on dancers. For this latest addition to Most Excellent Unlimited's steadily expanding catalog of Mr. K 7-inch edits, the master editor distills the sprawling nine-minute original down to a fit five-and-change, maintaining all the muscle that made this one a perennial champion of New York City's varied dancefloors.

The quirky "Isabelle And The Rain" was also a key cut for deeper DJs, uptown and downtown, albeit often on bootlegs as the original was, and remains, extremely scarce. Very little is known about the obscure jazzy cut, the work of a largely anonymous bunch of Los Angeles studio veterans led by keyboardist Mike Lang, whose electric piano solo is the song's defining feature alongside the driving drums, which get plenty of space to shine on Mr. K's Breakdown Edit.

The audio fidelity and peerless editing of these essential tracks - virtually nonexistent on 7-inch vinyl before now - makes the latest from Most Excellent Unlimited a can't-miss addition to the playout box of any DJ with a funky floor to rock.
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out of stock $9.99
20
  1. Tan To Setsu (2:08)
  2. Jongara Bushi (3:04)
Review: The Mushi 45 label doesn't release all that much, but what it does put out is invariably insanely good. For the avoidance of doubt, this two-track missive sits in that category. It serves up two rare, sought-after 1970s gems from Rinsyoe Kida, Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffaloes, who made some of the tidiest Japanese funk, jazz-rock and jazz-funk of the period. A-side "Tan To Setsu" is superb, with the assembled players brilliantly blending traditional Japanese style melodic motifs - played on traditional instruments - with a riotous, high octane funk backing track rich in heavy bass and fiery horn lines. "Jongara Bushi" is similarly inclined and every bit as raucous.
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out of stock $10.77
21
  1. Family Tree (2:55)
  2. Family Tree (OST Super Disco Break Beat) (3:08)
Review: Way back in 1999, Acid Jazz Records launched an offshoot dedicated to disco edits: Original Sound Track Recordings. The best of the series' many superb reworks were later gathered together on a compilation album on EMI that now changes hands for significant sums online. Happily, they've decided to reissue some of their early releases, beginning with this 7" of Family Tree featuring Sharon Brown's "Family Tree". You'll find the peerless original - a breakbeat-driven chunk of lolloping funk brilliance - on Side A, with the label's 2002 "Super Disco Break Beat" version on the flip. Inspired by hip-hop DJs doubling up the track's brilliant drum breaks, it's a killer percussion workout with a few quick blasts of funk energy and carefully placed special effects (think flanged drums, reversed sections and so on).
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out of stock $7.88
22
Cat: DYNAM 7033 /DYNAM 7034. Rel: 15 Apr 19
Funk
  1. Goodbye Carter (main Title Theme) (3:39)
  2. Getting Nowhere In A Hurry (3:10)
  3. Love Is A Four Letter Word (2:41)
  4. Hallucinations (4:27)
out of stock $16.81
23
Cat: NOTORIOUS JBS. Rel: 14 Oct 19
Funk
  1. Intro Theme (0:42)
  2. BIG Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag (3:56)
  3. Sex Machine Gun Funk (4:04)
  4. Ten Crack Commandments (feat Fela Kuti) (3:28)
  5. Don't Do Drugs PSA (interlude) (0:43)
  6. The BIG Payback (5:47)
  7. Kick In The Door (4:03)
  8. Say It Loud (I'm Black & Proud) (3:15)
  9. Everyday Struggle (3:29)
  10. Stay In School PSA (outro) (0:19)
  11. Think BIG (bonus track) (2:29)
Review: Amerigo's The Big Payback series finds him bring together some fantasy all stars for his "J.B. and The Soul Mates" tribute concept. Here, James Brown's music is reworked, edited and chopped together with the work of hip hop giant Notorious BIG. It results in speaker blasting, floor filling, ass wiggling jams that mash up all the most iconic verses and choruses from each singer with their most recognisable guitar riffs, drum breaks and samples. It's a colourful collage that is as fun as it is funky.
out of stock $21.29
24
Cat: BBE 493. Rel: 25 Mar 19
Funk
  1. Chicago (7:20)
  2. Lots Of Love (7:58)
  3. Keep On Movin' (6:42)
  4. Silver Vibrations (5:41)
  5. Smiling With Our Eyes (4:51)
  6. DC City (5:43)
  7. Good Good Music (5:54)
Review: Massive reissue incoming! BBE have answered many of our prayers with this long awaited repress of Roy's 1983 disco funk excursion "Silver Vibrations". A record that's currently fetching triple figures, this is the first time it's been repressed since it was released. Opening with the iconic whispered message of "Chicago", Roy takes us on a trip through his funkiest of quarters; the salubrious slap bass of "Lots Of Love", the Afrobeat staccato vocals and glock rocking vibrancy of "Silver Vibrations" and the dreamy cosmic jazz trip of "DC City" are just some of the highlights, all shared across the 12"s with no more than two tracks per side. Vibes that can't be slept on.
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out of stock $22.87
25
  1. Kool & The Gang, Gene Redd - "Give It Up" (DJ Soopasoul edit) (4:04)
  2. Aretha Franklin - "Rock Steady" (DJ Soopasoul edit) (3:30)
Review: Fast-fingered mash-up merchant and lauded scalpel fiend DJ Soopasoul can usually be relied upon to bring the goods. In fact, we've yet to hear an edition of his "Soopastole Edits" series that doesn't include the kind of sure-fire, party-starting fare guaranteed to get any DJ out of a dancefloor hole of their own making. Should you still doubt the validity of this statement, we suggest you check this timely reissue of the series' second volume, which has been going for serious bucks online. On side A you'll find a suitably punchy, funky and chunky revision of Kool & The Gang's Gene Redd produced 1970 jam "Give It Up" - the original source of one of hip-hops most familiar breakbeats - with a tight, club-ready revision of Aretha Franklin classic "Rock Steady" on the flip.
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out of stock $10.77
26
California Love (1 per customer)
Cat: CR 006. Rel: 23 Sep 19
Funk
  1. California Love (4:34)
  2. No Through Road (4:26)
out of stock $12.60
27
Cat: AJX 445S. Rel: 04 Feb 19
Funk
  1. Mercy Mercy Baby (2:45)
  2. Mercy Mercy Baby (instrumental) (3:02)
Review: Puerto Rican music legend Ray Barretto has a seriously impressive biography, including spells with the Tito Puente Orchestra and the acclaimed Fania All Stars. This tasty seven-inch single serves up one of Barretto's best boogaloo-era cuts, 1968 single and Acid album track "Mercy, Mercy Baby". It remains a fine song, wrapping a jaunty salsa rhythm in various boogaloo aural hallmarks, including impassioned vocals, funk-influenced horns and an incessant piano riff. Interestingly, this edition doesn't feature the original single B-side, but rather a previously unissued instrumental version. Shorn of the vocals and pop production, it feels breezier and heavier, with additional trumpet solos that will wind their way into your subconscious.
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 in stock $11.83
28
Cat: MSR 013. Rel: 02 Sep 19
Funk
  1. Harina De Maiz (2:57)
  2. Corned Beef Hash (3:03)
Review: Founded in 1967 by singer/producer Carlos Oliva and other Cuban immigrants to the United States, Los Sobrinos del Juez were briefly one of the leading protagonists of the turn-of-the-'70s "Miami Sound" - a humid and intoxicating fusion of blues, rock, funk and dancefloor-focused Latin sounds. Their 1974 debut single "Harina De Maiz" - here reissued for the first time since - is a perfect example of that short lived style, offering up a mixture of wah-wah-guitar and psychedelic organ-powered Latin funk grooves and righteous Cuban vocals. On this edition it comes backed by the previously unheard "Corned Beef Hash", a swinging Latin-jazz number rich in vibraphone solos, jaunty piano riffs and plenty of hip-wiggling percussion.
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 in stock $10.26
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