Review: Eglo Records' 10th birthday celebrations are in full swing. They've already notched up a riotous birthday party that got rave reviews, and later in the year will release a brand new compilation of previously unheard treats. It's this collection that's being trailed here via Kieran "K15" Ifill's "Devotion", a dancefloor-focused chunk of soul-flecked broken beat that Ego co-founder Alexander Nut recently described as "music for the mind, body and soul". Over on the flip there's a vinyl-only exclusive in the shape of Ifill's remix of Patrick Gibin and Javonntte's recent jazz-funk fired soulful house workout "Cloud 9". Ifill opts for a heavy bruk-up flavour, wrapping soulful musical elements from the original around punchy, loose-limbed beats and speaker-bothering low-end pressure.
Review: Time for some Brazilian psychedelic boogie straight from 78. Erstwhile lead singer in Os Mutantes, with a personality thrice as big as the soaking wet bassline on "Agora E Moda", Rita Lee is no stranger to her motherland - even now. Flip for a huge soul injection courtesy of Pete Dunaway. Sounding English in every direction (from his name to his lyrics to the stunning, string-coated arrangement) he's actually Sao Paulo born and is a renowned multi-instrumentalist. Check this and you can tell in an instant. Stunning.
Review: E Da Boss (Myron & E/Pendletons) & Ishtar team up as 'Lucid Paradise' for their second release, produced by non other than Russia's finest, 'The Soul Surfers'. 'Tonight' is the accumulation of two Bay Area soul aficianados coming together to create a smooth & crisp, timeless yet modern cut. Written alongside UK's pioneering soul singer Gizelle Smith, 'Tonight' epitomises the talent of contemporary soul acts worldwide.
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
Painel De Controle - "Relax" (extended Waxist version) (5:54)
Rabo De Saia - "Ripa Na Xulipa" (Charles Maurice extended version) (5:28)
Famks - "Labirinto" (Nick The Record extended version) (6:17)
Review: France's Favorite label dabbles in all things funky and disco-flavoured, and this time they've decided to go with a Brazilian edge on their latest 12". Painel De Controle begins with a Waxist mix of "Relax", a chilled-out boogie monster with sultry vocals, while "Ripa Na Xulipa" by Rabo De Saia is more uplifting and heavy on the disco strings. Finally, Nick The Record rewires "Labirinto" by Famks into a subtly electro-fied boogie nugget. Nice!
Review: Having not released anything for going on eight years, it's something of a surprise to see Pama International return to action. The all-star ska and reggae combo, whose line-up includes members of the Specials, Galliano and PWEI, amongst others, have decided to release a clutch of clear vinyl 7" singles all at the same time. "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" is typical of their output; an effortlessly sweet chunk of sun-kissed ska-soul fusion that sounds like it could have been recorded in Kingston, Jamaica at the turn of the sixties. Flipside "Gasoline", meanwhile, is a tasty instrumental reggae jam laden with bold Hammond organ motifs, jazzy guitar solos and heavyweight bass.
Review: The latest essential missive on San Francisco-based Cumbia label Discos Mas comes from a previously unheard artist: confirmed vintage drum machine and fuzzy psych-guitar lover Pancrudo. The producer's vinyl debut, which has been pressed in limited numbers on gorgeous marbled vinyl, includes two impressively retro-futurist workouts. Check first languid and decidedly psychedelic A-side "Pulsatron", a hip-hop tempo kaleidoscopic dream that sounds like Harry Nillson after a few too many swigs of liquid acid and a fistful of hallucinatory chili peppers. Pancrudo returns to his cumbia roots on flipside "Maestro Del Kiosco", which wraps wonderfully fuzzy, boogaloo-era guitars round a shuffling rhythm track.
Review: It would be fair to say that Paris Holley is not one of the best-known purveyors of 1980s funk and soul, though the handful of releases he put out in the decade tend to be cherished by serious diggers and DJs. 1984 jam "I Choose You", which is here reissued for the first time since the '80s, is undoubtedly one of his standout moments. Hazy, super-sweet and laidback, the cut sees Holley adding his soulful, high octave tones to a blissful backing track rich in fluid piano lines, sun-kissed guitars and mazy synth lines. Arguably even better is synth-funk B-side "Punkin' Funkin", a fizzing workout that sounds like a more soulful, talkbox-free take on Zapp man Roger Troutman's trademark sound.
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.
Paul Randolph, Kathy Kosins & Theo Parrish - "Be Like Me" (SS translation) (9:41)
John Douglas, Amp Fiddler, Ideeyah & Theo Parrish - "Leave The Funk To Us" (full mix) (6:37)
Review: Theo Parrish's "Gentrified Love" series hits its fourth instalment with two stunning extensions/takes. First up is a powerful expansion of "Leave The Funk To Us". First spotted on the second edition of the series, it's now full length with the golden touch of Amp Fiddler. "Be Like Me", meanwhile, takes Paul Randolph & Kathy Kosins' Brownswood Bubbler to a whole new cosmos with lavish twists and cleverly subverted layers. Yet another precision trip from Parrish.
Review: You'd be forgiven for not knowing "Breaking At The Party", the sole single release from NYC outfit Joey Pastrana & His Back of Tricks. It was originally released in 1984 on the short lived Tropic Of Buddha Records, a label dedicated to Latino takes on electro and disco. Such is the record's obscurity and cult status amongst collectors that you'll struggle to find original copies for sale for less than 500 quid. This City of Dreams reissue presents both of the original mixes ("Vocal" and dub style "Instrumental"), both of which fuse elements of boogie, electro and dub disco in a fabulously eccentric and wonderfully funky way. The synthesizer sounds, in particular, are superb.
Review: From humble beginnings, putting on parties in an Albanian dive bar in in the city's east end, Toronto's Patchouli Brothers have gone on to hit the big time - holding a residency at rotating disco The Piston called Beam Me Up. Their second 12" for UK label Basic Fingers features two cuts which capture the fervent energy of their popular shindig. On the first side we have "Shout On" which is a low slung funk jam that features a wicked horns section, groovy conga drums and a super sleazy vocal delivery. On the flip side we have the sun-kissed and life affirming soul power of "My Love", a respectful edit which will light up the dancefloor - just wait until that soaring church organ comes rushing in.
Review: Formidably hard to find in its original form, Patience Africa's "Wozani" has finally been given the reissue treatment by La Casa Tropical. Those lucky enough to own a copy of the 1987 release - the South African singer's final EP - will note that this edition omits some tracks, instead offering loud cuts of just two (admittedly superb) jams. A-side "Hide & Seek" is a perfect example of the then developing Kwaito sound, with Patience Africa's strong lead vocal and "bubblegum" style synthesizer melodies nestling atop New York freestyle influenced beats and a chunky bassline. "By Hook Or By Crook", meanwhile, is closer in sound and feel to straight-up "bubblegum" synth-pop, with sugary-sweet vocals, "Glam" style triple-time beats and a more swinging electronic bassline.
Review: Last year, Portuguese producer Pedro Ricardo joined forces with Jenna Camille to release an assured debut single on Wolf Music Recordings. Here he returns to the Brighton-based imprint with a seriously good solo salvo. By and large, he's on a loose and language jazz tip, with free-jazz influencer opener "She Is" being joined by the cyclical clipped guitars and fluid piano motifs of the laidback "Faces Sob O Sol" and the sparkling, synth-heavy, intergalactic jazz-funk flex of "Alef". Straight-up dancefloor thrills are provided by Moomin's deep, spacey and wonderfully dreamy drum and bass rework of "Faces Sob O Sol".
Review: Something a little bit different from London deep house/nu-disco specialists Wolf Music here. Portuguese producer Pedro teams up with Washington DC based vocalist Jenna Camille. Featuring influences from jazz though to soul, R'n'B and broken beat: as heard on the sexy late night mood lighting of "Float" which you can imagine hearing in the basement of a smoky jazz club, the super sultry "Keep It H 2000" or the funky beat beneath the smooth groove of "Future Dance" (It'll Be Ok). It might be from Porto by way of the American capital, but this really nails that UK kind of vibe in the vein of Kaidi Tatham, Mark De Clive Lowe or Atjazz.
Review: This special Record Stay Day reissue gathers together two of Philadelphia soul legend Teddy Pendergrass' finest dancefloor moments. Both are essential, making this a must-buy for disco DJs who've yet to acquire them. On the A-side you'll find "You Can't Hide From Yourself", a sumptuously orchestrated affair whose killer groove is matched in quality by Pendergrass' impassioned vocal (check the rasping freestyle vocalizations towards the end for proof). Equally as impressive is "The More I Get, The More I Want", an insatiably sexually charged affair that builds in intensity throughout and not only contains one of the funkiest basslines in disco history, but also some seriously addictive female backing vocals.
Review: E Da Boss and Trailer Limon, two of the US' most hyped boogie maestros, are back with a new EP for Brooklyn's Bastard Jazz Recordings, under The Pendletons moniker, and we have to say that it sounds like some pretty dope material from the get-go! The lead track "Funk Forever" is a downpour of funky pop vibes guided and charged by jazzy nuances, and the following "Don't Be Late" is a certified tune for the lovers. On the B-side, "Telling Lies" slows the tempo to a majestic r&b swing, filtered through fat boogie bass, while "Set Sail" features the vocals of Ishtar in what is a proper boogie slammer, and "In The Mood" is all about the slow, sensual sound of endless, blissful synths. Gorgeous.
Review: According to the unusual press release accompanying Safe Trip's latest release, Ben Penn's second EP for Young Marco's imprint was the result of vivid hallucinations brought on by the ingestion of an experimental drug provided by agents from a "shadowy" secret organization. "Not Very Important EP" is actually pretty darn trippy. Opener "Nix" is a gently psychedelic, delay-laden trip into outer space with just a clutch of synthesizers for company, while "Not Important" layers alien melody lines over polyrhythmic electro drums and rubbery synth-bass. Elsewhere, "Ben" is a trippy chunk of sleepy alien funk smothered in quirky synth samples and madcap electronics, while "People" is as warm, woozy and as loved-up as they come.
Review: Legendary, and hugely prolific, soulsmith and writer Dan Penn looks back over his last two albums and pick two of the most delicate, soul-stirring tracks. Taken from 2013's I Need A Holiday and 2016's Something About The Night respectively, "Blue In The Heart" is stripped right back to guitar, organs and Dan's rich voice (which hasn't faltered over seven decades in the game) while "Time To Get Over You" hits with more of a bluesy twang and a country influence on the backing harmonies. Raw, direct and guaranteed to get your skin in goosebumps. Just like every other record Dan's given the world.
Review: Mystery might surround fuzzy soul peddlers The Penny Arcade but we know their cover of Rufus Thomas' "Funky Way" was such a strong favourite on Perfect Toy's "Deep In The Valley" collection that they've served it up on its own 45" complete with a fresh soul sojourn in the form of the hazy, light footed swooner "New Love". Penny for your thoughts?
Review: Way back in 1970, People In The News released their sole single on Knap Town, a tiny label based in Indiana. Original copies of that funk "45" are notoriously hard to find, thanks in no small part to the quality of both cuts. Step forward Athens Of The North boss Euan Fryer, who has secured the rights to reissue the single for the first time. A-side "Color Me" is the real bomb: a down-low chunk of mid-tempo funk with politically charged group vocals, rasping guitar licks and hip-hop style drum breaks. Over on side B, "Misty Shade Of Pink" is the kind of rock solid instrumental funk workout you'd expect to hear from the Meters.
Review: Funk fans hold tight: Food City have licensed a reissue of a holy grain tune from 1969 that would usually cost you a month's rent to purchase. The People's Choice were a short-lived group from Grand Rapids, Michigan who only put out a handful of tunes but still managed to leave their mark. "Destruction" is a raw jam with a consistent funky groove as a baseline weaves its way in and out. Big and expressive, it's bound to get any dancefloor going. Flip side "Off-spring" that's led by some florrid flute playing is just as effective.