Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - "Easily Persuaded" (2:45)
Jimmy & David Ruffin - "When My Love Hand Comes Down" (2:51)
The Temptations - "Psychedlic Shack" (3:51)
Undisputed Truth - "Smiling Faces Sometimes" (3:15)
Barbara McNair - "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" (3:30)
Gladys Knight & The Pips - "Who Is She (And What Is She To You)" (4:08)
Undisputed Truth - "Ball Of Confusion" (10:46)
Gladys Knight & The Pips - "Feelin' Alright" (3:42)
Barbara Randolph - "Can I Get A Witness" (2:20)
Shorty Long - "Here Comes The Judge" (2:40)
Edwin Starr - "Easin' In" (3:12)
The Temptations - "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" (6:55)
Marvin Gaye - ""T" Plays It Cool" (4:19)
Commodores - "Rapid Fire" (3:01)
The Magic Disco Machine - "Scratchin'" (2:42)
The Sisters Love - "Give Me Your Love" (4:17)
Willie Hutch - "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" (2:57)
Four Tops - "LA (My Town)" (3:11)
Eddie Kendricks - "Girl You Need A Change Of Mind" (7:31)
Odyssey - "Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love" (3:35)
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - "Sun Country" (4:05)
Review: All hail The Funk Brothers! Motown's in-house backing troupe who have famously played on more hits that the Beatles, Elvis and The Stones put together. From iconic legends to lesser known film scores, some of the funkiest jams to ever come the Detroit HQ were laid down by this incredible crew. This Record Store Day special is a perfect snapshot of their breadth... From sultry swooning soul of Barbara McNair's "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" to the sweaty frenetic groove of Gordon Staples' "Strung Out" by way of theatrics of The Undisputed Truth's "Ball Of Confusion" to the sly psychedelic funk licks of The Magic Disco Machine's "Scratchin'", The Funk Brothers genuinely did give the world some of the funkiest grooves ever recorded. Grab this while you can.
Review: Ceaser Frazier's debut album was something of an all star cast. Idris Muhammad on drums, Melvin Sparks on guitar, Prestige's most prolific saxman Houston Person and a selection of covers of the likes of Isaac Hayes ("Ellie's Love Theme") and Quincy's "Hicky-Burr". Pure jazz funk early 70s style, Caesar's command of the keys weaves a gossamer thread throughout the instrumental trip weaving and bobbing amid Bridgewater's wild trumpet narrative ("Hail Ceasar!"), the rippling wah wahs on Sylvester Stewart's "Runnin' Away" and plenty more. Close to 50 years old and still sublime; this reissue is long overdue.
Review: American artist Joe Coleman's soulful boogie-down number "Get It Off The Ground" was released back in 1982 and is still popular amongst those that know. Austrian imprint Record Shack present a hot edit by New York City legend DJ Spinna on this edition, which retains the infectious energy of the original but gives the track some much needed dynamics for modern dancefloors. Although we give credit to the edit, the lo-slung funk of the original will always be king and rest assured that is indeed featured here on the flip.
Review: Mr Bongo are spoiling us right about now. With OG presses of the Compton collective's one-and-only album from 1976 fetching high figures, to say this this reissue is long-awaited is an understatement. A dynamic, energetic and tight body of work, the vibrancy ranges from the epic soaring vocals and doo-wop of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" (which tips a wry nod at the style of the famous brotherly troupe who share the same name) to the blazing soul funk flames of "Boy You're Dynamite". Complete with the classic sample source for the likes of Public Enemy, Basement Jaxx and many many more. A truly historic record, this has matured impeccable. Thank you Mr Bongo!
Kenny Smith - "Lord What's Happened To Your People" (2:51)
Kenny Smith & The Loveliters - "Go For Your Self" (full) (4:49)
Review: Soul Street maestro's breakthrough release from 1971 gets a much needed spotlight from Counterpart... "Lord What's Happening To Your People" is gospel re-imagined as raw funk as Kenny calls out humanity's problems with the help of a full backing chorus and some very slick, dramatic orchestration. "Go For Yourself" takes us further back into Kenny's career to 1966. Leaner than the A-side but comes with the same elements -tight bandmanship, emphatic backing vocals, instant feel-good dynamics - and is also loaded with some exceptionally clean drum breaks. Go fun yourselves.
Review: First released on green vinyl in 2008 and almost impossible to find since, "Synthetic Substitution" is an instrumental cover version of a celebrated Melvin Gill tune by The Undercover Brother, AKA Kenny Dope collaborator Victor Piagneri. The A-side "Instrumental Mix" re-creates the original version's famous groove, layering it with Clavinet lines, fluid pianos and spacey synth solos not evident on Gill's early '70s original. Arguably even better is the "Melody Mix", which adds in some fine George Benson style jazz guitar solos while retaining the familiar breakbeats, bassline and pianos. If you missed out first time around, we'd recommend copping a copy.
Review: Pal Joey is a legendary New York house producer. Whatever alias he assumes - and there are many - you can be sure of real quality, and this 7" features two of his best: As Soho he offers the jazzy keys and funked up house loops of "Hot Music" which samples Wynton Marsalis's "Skain's Domain". On the flip, he becomes Earth People and serves up pure house joy on "Dance" with its ebullient vocal yelps, party starting sax lines and timeless chords. It's the sort of celebratory, end of the night weapon that will send people home in absolute raptures.
Review: Released 40 years ago in 1977 ''Rhythm Of Life '' by James Mason was possibly one of the greatest vocal Jazz fusion releases of all time . New vinyl imprint Dynamite releases a quality limited edition double pack release showcasing the highlights from that album plus some additional rare versions of the tracks. The version of 'Sweet Power Your Embrace'' is taken from the incredibly rare 7 inch promo only issue. On the flipside is a different version of the club floor dancer ''Free'' which features a heavy bongo workout . The 45 second slab on this package features two tracks featuring the vocals from Clarice Taylor on ' I've Got My Eyes On You'' and the superb 'Slick City' which were both never commercially released as a 45 before.
Henry Mancini & His Orchestra - "The Party" (reprise)
The Savages - "Born To Be Wild"
The Bombay Royale - "You Me Bullets Love"
Blossom Dearie - "I Like London In The Rain"
BB Davis & The Red Orchidstra - "Get Carter"
Peter Ivers Group - "Ain't That Peculiar" (feat Asha Puthli)
One Two Cha Cha Cha - "Usha Uthup" (Salimar Soundtrack version)
Gabor Szabo - "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"
Big Jim Sullivan - "Sunshine Superman" (bonus track)
Review: This tidy compilation from Dishoom shines a light on the largely overlooked cultural crossover between Bombay and London in the mid to late 1960s. While it is widely acknowledged that Western rock musicians looked to India for inspiration during this period, little has previously been made of how British and American rock, pop, funk and soul inspired Indian musicians. Musically, there are some real gems to be found throughout, from the sitar-laden "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Cissy Strut" covers (by Ananda Shankar and Bill Ravi Harris and the Comets respectively) and psychedelic rock thrust of The Bombay Royale's "You Me Bullets Love", to the Merseybeat-goes-Bollywood brilliance of Mohammad Rafi's "Jaan Pechlan Ho".
Review: Stanky sickness from the Brizzle's double M funk machine, Mako & Mr Bristow return with the fifth instalment of their deeply dug (and consistently sold out) Stank Soul Edits series. For this edition we're treated to a heavy weave of breaks and dusty grooves on "Funky Diggin'" and something a little more cosmic and psychedelic on the B with "Dynamic B-Boy". Stick it to the man and get busy on the dancefloor.
Andy Cooper - "Why You Buggin'" (feat The Allergies) (3:14)
Dr Syntax/Pete Cannon - "Downtime" (The Allergies remix) (3:27)
Review: More all-action fare from the popular Bomb Strikes label, an imprint that has gradually moved away from the party-hearty mash-ups and bootleg remixes on which it made its name. This tidy seven-inch single is notable for the presence of Bristol crew The Allergies. On the A-side they guest on Andy Cooper's "Why You Buggin", a bustling, funk-fuelled fusion of hip-hop and rock that sounds like a wholehearted tribute to the Beastie Boys circa "Licensed To Ill". Over on the flip the West Country party-starters turn remixers, delivering a head nodding, toe-tapping take on Dr Syntax and Pete Canon's hip-hop/funk/ska fusion number "Downtime". Like the A-side, it sounds like a bona fide dancefloor bomb.