Review: The Brazil 45s / Mr Bongo outlet is back with its classic moves, coming through with some truly special soul blends out of the Brazilian golden era. Dalila and Neyde Alexandre feature in this latest 7", the former with 1968's "Canto Chorado", a slow-burning bubble of funky exotica - surely impossible to find in its original shade - and the latter with a funky little bomb from 1971 by the name of "Perplexidade" - surely the smoothest, sexiest soul number out this week! Lovely stuff.
DaM-FunK - "Believer" (Fingers deep funk remix) (8:40)
Nite-Funk - "Can U Read Me?" (3:38)
Review: Damon Garrett Riddick offered a fine addition to the DJ Kicks canon with his 19 track DaM-Funk selection earlier this and in time honoured tradition his exclusive contribution gets a vinyl release backed with a rather special remix. In a nod to his cache and love of classic deep house, Riddick has coaxed a Mr Fingers remix out of Larry Heard resulting in a sublime take on "Believer" that would have gone down a treat at Broken Beat haven Co-Op back in the day. Instead of the original version of "Believer," the flip features another Riddick original from the DJ Kicks mix - his killer Nite Funk collaboration with fellow LA synthesizer enthusiast Nite Jewel.
Maria Sabina (feat Huaira - Nicola Cruz remix) (4:47)
Agua De La Tierra (Nicola Cruz remix) (4:54)
A La Muerte (Nicola Cruz remix) (4:21)
Review: Matanza member Rodrigo Gallardo has long been interested in the "folkloric traditions" of South America .....El Origen is his attempt to incorporate these traditional sounds, rhythms and instrumental tropes into a contemporary electronic music setting. His original productions - all fluttering flutes, gentle acoustic guitars, warm electronics and evocative vocals - are showcased on the A side, with pal and fellow Chilean Nicola Cruz providing his own interpretations on the B-side. Naturally, his revisions tend towards the more cosmic and dancefloor-friendly, but also retain enough elements from Gallardo's original tracks to not be too revolutionary. Crucially, all Cruz's versions are superb.
Roger Damawuzan - "Loxo Nye" (Pushin Wood remix) (5:39)
Napo De Mi Amor - "Cacatchoule "Berceuse Bassari"" (3:04)
Sewavi Jacintho - "Miade Dua" (5:35)
Review: Hot Casa's latest must-have release is a veritable smorgasbord of Togolese treats. It focuses specifically on obscure soul music made in Togo in the 1970s, with two hard-to-find original cuts being joined by two contemporary re-edits of similarly obscure classics. The EP opens with Bosq's smooth, dancefloor-focused tweal of Yta Jourias's breezy, horn-heavy tropical soul workout "Adome Nyueto", before Pushin Wood takes over and adds a little contemporary electronic bounce - and some particularly colourful synths - to Roger Damawuzan's "Loxo Nye". Over on side B, Napo De Mi Amor's "Cacatchoule Berceuse Bassari" is a fuzzy soul shuffler rich in bright, Juju style guitar solos, hazy vocals and Hammond organ stabs, while Sewavi Jacintho's "Miade Dua" is a sweatier and heavier concoction powered by loose-limbed drumming and sun-kissed instrumentation.
Review: Former Bugz In The Attic crewmember Alex Phountzi first joined forces with fellow broken beat pioneer IG Culture four years ago. Together, they launched the NameBrandSound project with a tidy EP of bass-weight business on Ninja Tune's Technicolour offshoot. Here the experienced twosome return with their first - and presumably only - missive of 2018. A-side "Shrunken Heads" is something of a percussive, off-kilter dancefloor beast, as the duo re-imagines Talking Heads classic "Once In A Lifetime" as a rolling, bruk-up floor-filler. Over on side B, "Bebop" sees them pepper another swinging, house-influenced bruk-up rhythm with lashings of synth-sax and some suitably shimmering chords.
Review: The Nat Birchall Quartet debuts here with Tunji, a new 7" special out through the inimitable Jazz45 imprint, home to some of the best contemporary jazz - of all shapes and sizes. The title tune "Tunji" is a sax-led masterpiece, slow yet constantly building and morphing into something new and exciting, taking the term 'broken beat' onto a new platform. Conversely, the B-side's "Mode For Trane" lingers at a slow tempo, transporting you into a bittersweet lullaby with Nat Birchall's sax very much in the spotlight. What a cracking little 7" - TIP!
Review: Ahead of a fresh album due later in the year, Nat Birchall fires up his quartet and returns to the Jazz45 series with a second seven-inch salvo for the Jazzman offshoot. A-side "Obeah Man" is wonderfully sweet, soulful and breezy, with Birchall and company layering jaunty spiritual jazz style piano riffs and snaking solos (think Clarinet, sax, trumpet etc) over a warm, loose and bustling groove. They continue on a similar vein on the slightly bolder flipside cut "Seeking", where bandmembers trade solos atop a classic jazz style bassline and fizzing drums. That forthcoming album should be killer.
Review: Following hot on the heels of label boss Tenderlonious's mini album, London's 22a introduces us to a new extended family member, Neue Grafik. Located in Paris, Neue Grafik represents a generation of artists at the forefront of electronic music. Routing his influences in a heavy 70s feel, his latest EP 'Soul Conspiracy' invites the listener to explore a fusion of live and programmed electronic music. Grafik makes good use of live instrumentation on this EP, featuring plenty of Fender Rhodes and lead synth, as well as a sprinkling of live drums and a strong guest vocal from the soulful likes of Wayne Snow. Tunes like 'Modern Man' and 'Thanos Interlude' adopt an inspired broken beat approach, reminiscent of early Bugz productions, whilst the title track 'Soul Conspiracy' has a distinct 22a quality, fusing classic house beats with a lo-fi boogie feel.
Dance Your Blues Away (The Mighty Zaf edit) (4:32)
Review: Originally released in 1979 as a B-side to The Neville Brother's "Sweet Honey Dipper", "Dance Your Blues Away" saw Ivan go solo for the first time on this sultry modern soul jam. Laced with a plucky bass and just the right smattering of sleaze, it set the foundations for Ivan's extensive solo career. It also provides the perfect groove tools for The Mighty Zaf to work his editor craft and beef up the vibe with subtlety. Keep on dancing!
Review: Strong spiritual funk from five-piece family troupe The New Creation; written in 1973 and released the following year on their own Salaam Recordings, "The Fish Song" is a classic Islamic story delivered with powerful harmonies and a vital positive groove while "Elijah Knows" brings both father and son Rasheed Shakoor Senior and Junior to the forefront for some powerful dulcet duelling as the pair feed off each other and explode into massive harmonies with the full group. Only 2500 OG copies were ever pressed and the band built up quite cult following in the mid-70s in LA. Thanks to Soul Junction, their tale lives on...
Review: The Super Disco Edits camp have pulled off something of a coup here, securing the rights to a previously unissued 1987 cut from studio duo New Jersey Connection, whose sole 1981 single, "Love Don't Come Easy", has long been a favourite of boogie DJs. "Red Light Green Light", featuring the breezy vocals of Cynthia Wilson, sounds like a long lost boogie classic: all sugary-sweet backing vocals, rubbery bass guitar, twinkling '80s soul synthesizer melodies and punchy drum machine percussion. The A-side vocal version is accompanied by a tasty instrumental mix, in which the focus switches to the NJ twosome's superb production. File under: "must have".
Review: Johannesburg's Maboneng Precinct is the home of Afrosynth Records and for the last two years it has been an absolute hotbed of reissued African music. This latest missive is originally from 1984 by Obed Ngobeni and his backing singers the Kurhula Sisters, who helped pioneer the Shangaan Disco style that heavily influenced South Africa's bubblegum sound of the 80s. Now a go-to genre for cult favs like Antal and Hunee, they're sure to lap up the hurried funk and proto-house of "Ta Duma", which comes in three slightly different versions. "Xikhobva" closes things in loose percussive fashion with a guitar-driven groove.
Review: Nickodemus is the New York based DJ/Producer/Party & club promoter for Turntables On The Hudson and has been releasing records for well over a decade. This three track sampler are tracks taken from his forthcoming album Moon People and proceedings commence with ''Under The Volcano'' a collaboration with latin electro outfit Naveganto which is based around a melancholic electronic groove with elements of Cumbian accordion in the mix for a late night excursion. ''Nights Of Balaur'' follows, sporting pulsating sub bass and Arabic sounding percussion, whilst LA based DJ and producer Jose Marquez completes the release with a remix of ''Under The Volcano.'' Well established on the deep house scene for his ''Inspiration'' party and brought up on a on a stable diet of Latin and world music , Jose adds more thump to the bump of the original version adding additional western Asian instrumentation into the affair whilst upping the ante on the bpm ever so slightly.
Review: Funk/roots supergroup incoming! LA troupe Night Owls comprises members of The Lions and The Aggrolites and, for this special cover version double-A debut, the vocal fire of Breakestra's Afrodyete on "Break In Every Road". A warm, feel-good twist on the Betty Harris classic, there's a rootsy Jamaican twist to the groove while Afrodyete does the business on the top. Flip for another precision cover version as they woozy up Marvin on the evergreen "Inner City Blues". Trust us, this will make you want to holler...
Review: Since launching a year or two back, the nascent CoOp Presents label has delivered a trio of tasty singles from up-and-coming stars of the revivalist West London broken beat scene. Their fourth release continues this trend by offering up a debut single from former EVM128 collaborator Oliver Night. BB James lends a hand on brilliant opener "Make Believe", where clipped piano notes, heavy sub-bass, dubbed-out synth riffs and echoing vocal samples ride a crunchy, Seiji-style bruk-up groove. The EP's other hugely impressive moment also features a guest artist, Jay Phelps. He helps ensure that "Swing For Life" is a deliciously dubby and spaced-out chunk of late night deep house bliss.
Review: Following killer releases from lesser-known talents like Aristidez, Colossio and Thomass Jackson, Mexico's premier modern disco label Calypso commence a new project that sees them celebrating some of their favourite cities around the world. The journey starts in Tel Aviv, where a range of underground producers present the kind of freaky disco-not-disco sounds that get dancefloors frisky the world over these days. Niv Ast keeps things simmering and sensuous on "Rainey Heart," while Rina gets locked into a dense chug of sweaty sonics and solid rhythms. Naduve has a slower, percussion-led groove rolling on "Hex Mex" that will inject spice into any adventurous warm-up, and Middle Sky Boom finishes the record off with the tense and teasing "Marble Arch".
Review: Hawaiian legend Al Nobriga played a vital role in the island's club and chart scene throughout the '70s and early '80s before chasing his dreams to Nashville (and consequently shattering them). Long before the brutal crush of industry reality, he recorded several albums including They're Playing My Music in 1977 of which these two tracks come from: "My Last Disco Song" lives up to its title with it sturdy dancefloor hook and polished sense of funk while "Break Away" shows Al's softer side as we sail on yacht across positively Balearic shores.