Review: As a member of the legendary Flipmode Squad, Rah Digga's rap is bouncing off the walls on this cover of the Marvin Gaye classic "Sexual Healing". It takes the song to a whole new level! The remix is already causing proper dancefloor damage around the globe by all major players on the circuit.
Review: Ad Bourke and Rotla are Italy's answer to Floating Points and the rest of the nu-school, nu-jazz crew. The two Roman beat soldiers are a constant presence on our radars, always keeping things fresh and in flux. They land head-high on the young and vibrant Really Swing label with these naughty three cuts, spread across two sides of 10" wax - our favourite format. "Ostia 1982" makes reference to Rome's decadent riviera and the italo-disco movement, where its 4/4 disco licks dominate the A-side with pride and mystique. "Traffic Jam" is a wonky boogie chiller with liquid-like electro bass tones, and "Foresta" heads down the jazzy pastures that these two usually like to indulge in; the tune is a magnificent excursion into a deep and chimerical world of percussion and ethereal sonics. Bliss.
Review: Exploring the sounds emanating from South Asia, Masaala is a new label with a fresh outlook. The first release features Manchester-based producers Raheel Khan and Adesi turning in some powerful edits that will appeal to anyone seeking invigorating sounds from further afield. Khan's twist on "Mast Qalandar" sounds like a striking version of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's "Mustt Mustt". Adesi offers up the lions share of the edits though, channeling South Asian sounds through grooves ranging from the fierce disco stomp of "Sansani" to the low slung funk groove of "Nah Nah Nah". "Kammata" has a more dense rhythmic complexity at its heart, and "Kuchi Kuchi" collides traditional sounds with contemporary broken beat to brilliant effect.
Review: "Cramp Your Style" by All The People surely belongs among the canon of all time funk standards, sampled aplenty over the years, included on numerous compilations as well as being the recipient of cover versions from Breakestra and Killer Meters. Originally issued on the Blue Candle label back in 1972, a newly remastered edition of that 7" is now available for any funkateers out there without the 45 in their collections already. Robert Moore's yearning vocal sounds all the better for it too! And don't sleep on the bluesy delights of B side track "Watcha Gonna Do About It?".
Review: Ten years deep, First Word showcase just how timeless their output has been by exploring their vaults and repurposing some of their finest classics 10" re-releases. Never press to vinyl before, each of these cuts surges at the very forefront of hip-hop, funk and world music. Each track is a highlight; "African Kings" is quintessential Afrofunk laced with warm keys and undeniable groove infection, "The Nuts" is futuristic homage to Danny Breaks, Marc Mac conjures the spirit of the Steve Miller Band on his Homecut remix and the Capstone remix of the Andreya Triana-fronted "Good Morning What's New?" is a drum-heavy jazz daydream you'll never want to awake from. Here's to another 10 years!
Ohmega Watts - "Platypus Strut" (After School Sepcial re-edit)
Radio Citizen - "The Hop" (Hudson Mohawke mix)
Review: The Ubiquity "Choices EP" series features multiple artists, all exclusive tracks - all killer no filler. Milez Benjiman is brand new talent, and his "All The People" is an exclusive cut. Hailing from the 4Lux crew out of Belgium this tasty mid-tempo freaky future soul cut is backed by a rough 'n' rude b-line and electronics for a mix that breaks musical boundaries and should appeal to DJs of all shapes and sizes.
Review: Leave it to me to come up with a cunning plan to sell Benny's wholesome soul to the devilish underworld of music. I asked Aardvarck and Steven to call him up: "Heya Benny, why don't ya come to our Rednose Distrikt Night?", as if they were inviting him to a party. At the time, The Rednose Distrikt nights at Amsterdam's Bittersweet club were "a very inspiring night out" as the rational critic's opinion read but more like a near death experience, for a real Rednose soldier like Benny turned out to be. Anyway, that night I took Benny along. He whistled a song of his upcoming third Benny Sings album when he entered the Rednose Distrikt and immediately forgot everything his parents taught him. There they were, Aardvarck and Steven de Peven as reliable as my great-grandfather's soldier comrades in the trenches, kicking the shit out of their laptops to the point of spilling guts, happy slapping granny, spray-puking vodka-lime, fisting a freaking' frump. To cut a long self-obsessed biography short, Rednose Distrikt fed Benny a heap of itchy beats and sickly groovy sounds. Benny fell to the floor, his head turned 360 degrees, steam came out of his ears, bubbles out of his nose and he looked like he was about to give birth to Rosemary's Baby. Then Aardvarck gave Steven the sign. They dragged him on stage yelling like a bad actor in a 'Nam war movie: "Sing Benny Sing. Sing or die!"
Lenny McDaniel & The New Era - "Something Out Of Nothing"
Pat Brown - "The Good Got To Suffer For The Bad"
Eddie Bo - "From This Day On"
Review: Blimey....not one single, not two but three 45's housed as a triple pack of essential re-issued releases from New Orleans label Seven B via the mighty Jazzman label. This package picks out possibly the rarest and best tracks from the label which traverses the genres of breakbeat funk, Northern Soul and original Rhythm n Blues flavour. One highlight for us here at Juno towers is the infectious "Something Out Of Nothing" from Lenny McDaniel & The New Era which starts off with a stompy organ and fierce brass section before a thumping bass and fat beat drums take over the proceedings. Elsewhere there's the amazing Roger & The Gypsies jam "Pass The Hatchett" which starts off with a growling bass, picked rhythm guitar before Roger drops those immortal lines.''Let Me Chop It.. Let Me Chop It'' over b-boy drums. Pure gold!
Review: The library music crate-diggers behind Italy's Four Flies label aren't quite sure when regular collaborators Braen (an alias of composer and multi-instrumentalist Alessandro Alessandroni) and Raskovich (Guillano Sorgini) recorded these two previously unreleased tracks, but it's thought to have been around the time of the 1971 sessions for a psychedelic rock 7" by The Pawnshop. A-side "Afro Beat" is something of a saucer-eyed, Modernist delight, with the duo mixing meandering organ lines and breezy Afro-funk grooves with heavy bass. "Afro Flower", on the other hand, sounds like something that would have emerged from the studio of the Graham Bond Organization during the swinging '60s, which is no bad thing in our book.
Review: Destination early 80s Brazil: RCA have curated four previously rare cuts from some of the country's most acclaimed boogie exponents. We ignite with Brenda's Don Beto-produced funk strutter "Natureza Viva", all jazzy chord progressions and razor-sharp tightness. It's followed Rosana's unequivocal synth boogie swooner "Alegria No Ar" which features players from both Banda Black Rio and the mighty Azymuth. Meanwhile on the B, the Latin flavours are more prominent as Junior Mendes's hyper-rare "Copacabana Sadia" and Sergio Mallandro's white-hot Earth Wind & Fire cover "Vem Fazer Glu Glu". Scorching stuff.
Review: Some early 70s string-laden, feel good soul from vocalist Mel Britt, which became a sought after item on the UK Northern Soul scene now gets a worthy repress. On the flip Ruby Andrews drops a heartfelt version of ''Just Loving You'' from 1968 - another hard to find soul gem which normally sells for serious money on Discogs!