Review: Thomas Bangalter will forever be best known as one half of robotic disco house sensations Daft Punk, but turned out various house and hip hop projects before and during the iconic pair's rise to fame. Once such outing came in 2002 when he paired doff with French hip hop collective
113 for "Fout La Merde", a raw single with plenty of different versions. "113 Fout La Merde!" in original format bares plenty of Daft Punk hallmarks with its hip swinging claps and vocodered vocals, while the dub is more bumpy and low riding. Add in an instrumental and a cappella and you have a fine package that is long overdue this reissue.
Review: If pure party-starting pleasure is your thing, you'll find plenty of instant gratification within the bulging catalogue of Bristol boys The Allergies. Alternatively, you could start with the pair's new seven-inch single, which boasts two steaming summer anthems in the making. Their old pals the Cuban Boys guest on A-side "Let Them Know", adding their distinctive rapped and sung vocals to a hip-swinging mambo-influenced backing track full to bursting with Cuban rhythms, jaunty guitar licks and barrio horns. Over on the flip, regular collaborator Andy Cooper raps his way through a fiery funk-rock-meets hip-hop bomb that will have hands shooting skywards faster than you can say, "Mine's a Tequila shooter!"
Fade Away (feat Andy Cooper From Ugly Duckling) (2:59)
Review: Aside from releasing 2 albums for the imprint, Bristol's The Allergies have been a pillar of the Jalapeno label's success over the years, helping the label find its feet amid the ever-growing broken beat scene. The duo return to the catalogue with a classic helping of their very own breakbeat science, first up with the vocal-led charm of "Dance Now", a commercially-minded dancehall anthem that strays into pop and r&b with utter ease. On the flip, Andy Cooper features on the rap-pop hybrid vocals of "Fade Away", a feel-good party tune that is solely focused on getting you to move!
Review: What a trip it's been for The Allergies; rolling from one killer album to the next, funk is flying from their HQ at a rate of knots. Here are two fine examples from their last LP Push On, both featuring their long-time friend and MC from Andy Cooper. Best known for his witty wordplay and character on Ugly Duckling records, here Andy gets to show off both sides to his expansive flow; "Main Event" is a chubby disco groove laced with mountains of funk, creating space for Andy's laidback-but-hypey charm. In perfect contrast "Buzzsaw" is a much sweatier funk jam allowing Cooper to get rapid and tongue-twisty in a way that only he knows how. Keep on pushing...
Review: The Altered Tapes crew's sneaky remixes are amongst the finest around, as this latest must-check "45" proves. "Cherchez" has been doing the rounds for a couple of years digitally, so it's great to see it finally land on wax. It's a flip of Ghostface Killah's "Cherchez La Ghost", with the venerable rapper's verses rising above a weighty backing track crafted from hand picked samples of classic funk jams. Weighty and floor-friendly, it's the kind of bootleg revision that's guaranteed to get the party started. "Cherchez La B-Boy" on the flip strips out most of his vocals and instead chooses to base the action around fat funk breakbeats and an even more sizable bassline.
Review: Hip-hop diggers will happily tell you that "Top Billin" was one of the tightest, heaviest and most stripped-back rap jams to emerge from New York in the mid 1980s. Here the 1987 hip-hop club classic is given the reissue treatment by fresh label Know How, marking the cut's first appearance on "45" for 32 years. The A-side vocal version - the most famous of the two takes - is a great example of the dancefloor power of stripped-back hip-hop, with the completed cut being little more than chunky drum machine beats and on-point raps rich in call-and-response sections and crowd-pleasing slogans. The harder to find flipside instrumental lays this bare, peppering the duo's beat with select snippets of reverb-laden chants.
Review: Peak time dancefloor action with this 45 with the familiar classic b-boy sampling fodder coupled with an infectious r & b vocal club monster. It's never had a physical release till now. On the flip it's instrumental breaks galore for B-Boy/B-Girl back flips action from a sought after uk trio release now in handy 45 form with tuff breakbeats and smattering of electro vibe...Only 200 copies..
Review: The Atlanta based B Boy Breaks series continues with another drop of serious cuts to get beat jugglers, sample diggers and just straight up funk lovers going hog wild over the lashings of drum breaks. First up on the A side there's some widescreen, expansive beatdowns taking place with the massive "Show Me The Funk Breaks" - a fela esque sax screaching ,hammond organ swirling classic you already know from the many times it's been lifted for its treasured sonic ingredients. "Harder Breaks" on the flip is another monumental jam, presented here in instrumental form most recently used for the theme tune of a UK TV show . The evergreen groove is just crying out for someone with the skills to drop some serious turntablism all over this one.
Gotta Work The Funk Breaks (instrumental Breaks version) (3:14)
Review: Super limited colour wax issue with a 45 on a relatively new Stateside label that does what it says on the tin. Big drum breaks that work in their own right in instrumental form for these two massive dancefloor funk breaks soul classics with the debut release for both tracks in a single 7" vinyl format (albeit here in a small run on white wax). Heavy on the drums, heavy on the brass with driving instrumentation to take your dancefloor to B-Boy moves heaven.
BIG Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag (instrumental) (3:59)
Review: When it comes to mash-ups and unofficial reworks, sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that make for the most effective versions. That's certainly the case here, as Soul Mates main man Amerigo Gazaway crafts four slabs of funk/hip-hop fusion fusing funky beats with hip hop accapellas plus the all essential instrumental versions...only 300 copies. Don't sleep !
Review: Northentic Records welcome back cult UK rapper Blade for a link up with producer Seek The Northerner that delivers messages of gratitude in arresting fashion . The signature boom bap production of Seek underpins the whole a-side, while he also adds his own verse which pays tribute to his collaborative partner here. World Champion turntablist DJ Woody layers in plenty of scratches to add some old school cool and engineering from No Sleep Nigel ensures it all sounds super fresh. It you want it even more direct and raw, the flip side instrumental has you covered.
Review: Over recent months and years, Bristol-based DJ/producer Boca 45 has served up more donuts than an average branch of Krispy Kreme. To continue the metaphor, we'd say that his latest - which features guest rapper Craig G on side A - is one of those 'premium' ones with fancy glazing and a gooey centre. "Turn It Up Loud" certainly delivers in instant hit of energy and a sugar-rush, with Craig G turning hype man over a notably crunchy, early Beastie Boys inspired beat from Boca 45. Flipside "Blow Your Mind" delivers similarly sweaty and crunchy drums, with rock riffs and breakbeat lifts being joined by tight scratches and all manner of dusty-fingered vocal samples. Just like a real donut, it will leave you bloated but happy.
Review: To celebrate the dawn of a new decade, Bristolian cut-and-paste maestro Boca 45 has decided to serve up a series of seven-inch singles under a new label, 2020 Donuts (his previous imprint was just called Donuts). A-side "Powerful" is a real treat: an inventive chunk of low-slung, horn-sporting spy-funk goodness topped off with wayward electronic flourishes and a powerful soul vocal by Hannah Williams. Flip-side "Sparky Evans" is a sample-heavy club rocker in the traditional Boca 45 style - all heavy bass, even heavier breakbeats, Sly and the Family Stone style fuck-rock guitars and hip-hop vocal snippets.
Review: When it comes to delivering party-starting funk and soul 45s, Jorun Bombay has an impressive track record. His latest seven-inch is rather fine, too. On the A-side he joins forces with a trio of musicians to offer up "Peas In An Alternate Universe": a riff on JBs classic "Pass The Peas" that layers extended organ and trombone solos over a groove dominated by crunchy breakbeats and virtuoso bass guitar. Flipside "Mister Magic" is a deeper, warmer and more laidback affair, with tidy electric piano parts, toe-tapping drums, occasional string-laden disco samples and warm bass being joined by a simply wonderful new vibraphone solo.
James Brown - "Funky President" (extended Breaks Special edition) (4:25)
The Vibrettes - "Humpty Dump" (part 1 - extended Breaks Special edition) (3:16)
Review: For the second in their series of clear vinyl reissues of some of their most sought-after "sevens", the mysterious Breaks & Beats crew have chosen to revisit their fourth 45, which originally landed in early 2018. It's well worth picking up, if only for the version of James Brown classic "Funky Presisdent", which features extended grooves and breakbeats for added DJ pleasure and double-up opportunities. That said, we're also big fans of the mystery scalpel fiends' light-touch revision of the Vibrettes' brilliant, voodoo funk favourite "Humpty Dump (Part 1)". This, too, makes more of the original's short drum breaks and strutting instrumental grooves, before unleashing the female vocal group's great vocals.
James Brown & The Wu Tang Clan - "Sex CREAM" (3:33)
James Brown - "Sex Machine" (dub edit) (3:02)
Review: It would be fair to say that the latest edition in DJ Soopasoul's "Soopastole" edits series is one of the producer's biggest yet. A-side "Sex C.R.E.A.M" is particularly potent, with the mash-up maestro layering the vocals from Wu-Tang Clan classic "C.R.E.A.M" over a chunky beat crafted out of classic James Brown samples. To our ears, it's arguably better than the Wu-Tang original, or at least a little more dancefloor-friendly. Fittingly, Brown gets the treatment on the flip with Soopasoul getting busy with the EQs on a suitably heavy but stripped back "dub edit" of all-time-classic "Sex Machine". While it probably didn't need tampering with, he's done a very good job of delivering a version that successfully takes the track in a different direction.
Review: Brooklyn label Razor N Tape is becoming increasingly well regarded in the edit community, returning here with their tenth release and it's an introduction for newcomer Caserta. Those who scour Soundcloud on the reg will be familiar with Boston-based Caserta who's been throwing up examples of his edit expertise on the orange and white place for the past year. Six tracks deep, the Dynamics EP shows Caserta's style incorporates thumping sample-laden hip-hop grooves, nu disco and bumping old-school house. Furthermore there's a deftness to his touch on cuts such as "Nobody Believed" and "All My Dreams" that sets Caserta apart.
Review: There is nothing subtle about these mash ups. They are big tunes to blast mud from any sealer you can get your hands on. Block party starting rip snorters, each one draws on a wealth of hip hop standards from Slick Rick to Notorious BIG. Audacious, shabby hitting and full flavour, they are restless and energetic edits designed for nothing other than dance floor destruction. "Love Be Faithful" kicks off with big beats and flutes, iconic vocals and more, while "How We Rumpshake" is a slicker rap jam turned low riding bumper.
Review: Bouncing his time between Antibalas and his Marcos Garcia and Chico Mann projects, Chico returns after several years of silence with a sweet slice of lolloping broken soul. With its soft padded synths and cotton wool hug of Kendra Morris's vocals, there's a delicate tumble to proceedings as we nod and slide into a sound that's remained in its own soul universe since emerging almost 20 years ago. When done as well and with as much authenticity as this, it's timeless.
Review: If you've yet to succumb to the charms of Children of Zeus - and there can't be many out there who haven't - then this "odds and ends" LP offers a neat introduction. Five of the seven tracks have been plucked from the Manchester crew's previous full-length excursions, while the other two - seductively soulful two-step garage reworks of "Vibrations" and "Slow Down" by fellow Manchester resident Zed Bias - have previously been almost impossible to get hold of. Setting aside the club-ready remixes, what "Excess Baggage" proves is that Children of Zeus are one of British music's most essential outfits right now, delivering sensual and life-affirming cuts that brilliantly blend the best aspects of hip-hop, R&B and modern soul.
Review: Australia-based American Ivan "Choi" Khatchoyan made his name as the producer/arranger behind funk band The Traffic. Here he switches focus, joining forces with veteran mic man Guilty Simpson for a club-ready hip-hop outing that's every bit as good as his funk and soul productions. The A-side original version is hazy, hot and heavy, with Simpson's celebratory flows about hip-hop culture rising above a slick, '80s style backing track rich in fuzzy bass, vibrant synthesizer lines, organ stabs and some suitably tight scratches. Over on side B the "Space Remix" sees him re-invent the track as a head-nodding slab of boom-bap deepness for those who fancy lighting up and listening rather than dancing.
Review: Canadian beat maker Citizen Kane mixes up the golden era sounds of his production heyday with elements of soul and funk from years gone by. "Soul Survivor" here first came in 1995 on a full length, then got pressed to 7" in 2018 and now gets erupted by Treehouse. It's a laidback joint with bottomless kicks, swirling pads and free flowing vocals that sink you in nicely. "Scartown Beats" is a little more upright, with horn stabs and xylophone melodies colouring in the airwaves nicely. Both tracks are the sort of timeless tunes any hip hop head needs in their collection.
Review: "Forest Hills Drive" was the third album from J Cole all the way back in 2014. Even then the American was regarded as a real hip hop heavyweight, and since its release his stature has only grown. This special Black Friday release presents some of the album's key tracks on a fancy picture disc. Opener "Apparently" was nominated for Best Rap Performance at the 58th Grammy Awards, "Love Yourz" won a BET Hip Hop Award and "No Role Modelz" was certified platinum, so all in all these are some pretty iconic tracks from one of the scene's best.
Crooklyn Dodgers (feat Buckshot & Special Ed & Master Ace) (4:30)
Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers (feat Chubb Rock & Jeru The Damaja & OC) (5:06)
Review: Crooklyn Dodgers have had three different incarnations with members including Mos Def, Memphis Bleek, Masta Ace, Buckshot and Jeru the Damaja, making them something of a hip hop supergroup. They recorded soundtracks for Spike Lee films in 1994 and 1995 and always muse on topical subjects from urban life in New York City to there state of social and political affairs. Buckshot, Masta Ace and Special Ed was the line-up when they laid down their first single "Crooklyn", a sweet rolling bit of classic boom-bap with fluid vocal flow, then Chubb Rock, Jeru the Damaja and O.C came together for next single "Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers" which makes the b-side here. It's a piano laced late night jam with soul to spare and slick DJ Premier production.
Review: This Juno exclusive is a hip hop beat from Australia that has had props from Public Enemy's DJ Lord, no less. A heartfelt eight-minute medley from Brisbane's DJ Bacon whose title is a mash up of Run-DMC and Beastie Boys, it is said that more than 150 samples feature on the two tracks and the resulting collages are real bangers. "RUN-BST Megamix (Part 1)" skews iconic vocals, cow bells, stabs and punctured kick drums through a streetwise lens, and part 2 on the flip offers a more tender groove with soulful vocals over crisp hits.
Review: Dragon Fli Empire's DJ Cosm is back one again with more of his stripped back boom bap rhythms. Over the top of his blistering beat work are battle-hardened veterans Sadat X, El Da Sensei and Prince Po, who muse on what it takes to be a killer MC, with plenty of scratching layered in for extra vitality. On the flip, Beats House head honcho Djar One serves up a standout remix that swings low and bristles with energy. The result is a Tribe type beat that cuts deep and closes out a limited edition 7" in essential style on either black or purple wax.
Review: The Grammy award winning DJ Jazzy Jeff presents the follow up to 2001's hugely successful release "The Magnificent" with a brand new album "The Return Of The Magnificent". The legendary first album featured guest vocalists such as Jill Scott, Shaun Stockman from Boyz II Men and Freddie Foxxx, who all lent their considerable vocal talents to make it a modern soul classic. This release is a preview for "Return to The Magnificent". A five track EP which serves as the perfect taster to the full length album. The EP features Kanye West's new protegee Rhymefest, the infamous CL Smooth, North Carolina's Little Brother, Neo soul superstar Raheem DeVaughn and the new instrumental Latin cut Bossy Nova. Jeff himself says "This is turning out to be the best record I have ever done".
Review: DJ Moves has a new album coming, Moves Presents Hiss 3 Hissterectomy, and this new single on the a-side is taken from it. Touch provides the raps to Moves' beats and the whole thing is a big ode to the herb, with chunky and funky bass riffs, rumbling drums and laid back vibes. On the flip, its the booze that gets the spotlight with an ode to drinking. It's super quick and slick and is taken from the Low Pressure Records album "Fatt Matt and Big Moves Rusty Hooks" released in 2010. Both tracks bang with tongue in cheek messages and sound real ripe in warm summer days.
Review: We could all do with a little more love, peace and unity in our life and DJ Tron is happy to oblige on his new one with Luana. The title track is an old school bit of hip hop with huge drum breaks, fills and a sing-along-chorus that's all about the good times. "Soul In Ya Mind" is a deeper and more considered jam with golden era flow and warmer chords, put still plenty of playful stabs and breaks to get you moving. Limited to just 100 copies but in three different colours, this one is sure to shift fast.
Review: For those whose Californian hip-hop collection is missing a few gems, the West Coast Classics series should be a must-check. The latest edition in the series of the light-touch "45 Edits" by Ronnie Frazzle serves up two more essential cuts from the peerless Dr Dre and lesser-celebrated Death Row Records signee The Lady of Rage. Side A boasts the superb "Nuthin' But A G Thing" from Dre's iconic 1992 album "The Chronic", in which the main man and Snoop Dogg trade verses over a typically on-point G-funk style beat. The Lady of Rage's 1994 jam "Afro Puffs" is a darker, sleazier and tougher affair, with the Virginia-raised rapper's distinctive flow rising above punchy beats, creepy chords and a filthy analogue bassline.
Review: Soul auteur Jonathan Diggs Duke returns to one of his older EPs for a timely reissue. Originally released in 2015, just after his critically acclaimed debut album on Giles Peterson's Brownswood, the three tracks catch Diggs at his most flighty and free-thinking; "Ambition Addiction" jumps and rolls like a tightly coiled jazz spring before hurling us into the deep harmonic soulful blue of "Welcome" and "Funky Overdose" lives up to its name with its off beat magic, tightly plucked guitar and staccato vocals. Addictive.
How We Do The Show (Doc Flex & NMX Westside mix) (4:14)
Review: They make you wait 15 months for a new release, then put out two in the same few weeks. Dusty Donuts, now five years into their mission to serve up the biggest party breaks and funkiest funk, this time offer the low riding Cali g-funk of "I Get Juiced (Doc Flex & NMX Mix)" which will be familiar to anyone who has heard "I Get Lifted" by Gwen McCrae. The flip is even more smooth and seductive, with the boom-bap grooves and early r&b flow of "How We Do The Show (Westside Mix)" making it a superbly sweet set.
Review: DJ Danny Dan The Beat Mann steps out of the Dusty Fingers shadows with a full live band for this new edition of one of the most comprehensive break collection series known to man. Four breaks, all wrapped up in their own unique vibe, there's a cinematic feel running throughout tapping into the OST source so many samples are taken from. Hungry for tension? Get yourself some "Blood Lust". Need that moody atmosphere vibe to break up the intensity? "The Biler Room" is for you. A little hazy magic to whisk your mix away? You need "It's Just A Dream". Finally, if you're after a more swing and party feel then you can't fail with "Man Hunt". Pure drum magic; get those fingers flexing.
Review: Earl Sweatshirt's Feet of Clay album from late in 2019 was tantalisingly short in length, but not short in quality. The raw, woozy record found him exploring ambiguous wordplay that will keep you entertained trying to unpack it all for many hours. He himself described the 15 minute work as "a collection of observations and feelings recorded during the death throes of a crumbling empire" and it makes for a physical yet abstract record with emotion to spare. From gloomy and introverted r&b styles to more distorted jazz and loop beats, his silky tones always unify each track with great allure.
Review: 10 years ago, El Michels Affair - a hip-hop loving funk combo spearheaded by Leon Michels - released "Enter The 37th Chamber", an instrumental tribute to the world of the Wu-Tang Clan. To celebrate the record's tenth birthday, they've decided to reissue two of that album's most potent cuts. On the A-side they re-imagine Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1995 anthem "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" as a fine fusion of rousing horns, jazz-flecked hip-hop beats and vocals provided by what sounds like a children's choir. Over on side B, Raekwon's "Incarcerated Scarfaces" gets the cover version treatment, with the band peppering their deep, jazz-funk influenced groove with sharp horns and evocative electric piano solos.
Review: Afro-Carribean Latin fusionists Empresarios have been doing their thing with modest success since the turn of the decade, serving up albums and singles that cleverly combine elements of cumbia, reggae, salsa, hip-hop, dub and house. Here they appear on 7" for the very first time, serving up two typically steamy slabs of ear-pleasing dancefloor fusion for the Virginia-based Boogieburg imprint. While stoned Latin hip-hop flipside "The Vibes" is undoubtedly a cheeky, cheery and quietly impressive affair, it's A-side "Morena" that hits home hardest. Sitting somewhere between electro-cumbia, salsa and skanking Latin pop, it's a full-force blast of sunshine that will sound particularly potent at outdoor parties in the summer months ahead.
Review: Since launching last year, Lil Static has offered up new, lightly altered editions of classic tracks from Jeru the Damaja, Kraftwerk, Run-DMC, Nas and the Notorious B.I.G. Here they continue to serve up vital beats for break-digging DJs via classic cuts from Eric B. & Rakim and Mountain. The A side sports an edited version of 1986 cut "Eric B. Is President", a synth-bass propelled NYC hip-hop gem rich in unmistakable rap vocals and tight scratching. Over on side B there's a chance to savour Mountain's late '60s rock cut that provided the Eric B. & Rakim track (and so many others since) with its distinctive drum break, "Long Red". This edited version gives more prominence to the breaks, making it an ideal mixing tool for hip-hop DJs.
Review: It's been almost 11 years since Featurecast dropped their heavyweight revision of Aretha Franklin's "One Step" on Wah Wah 45's "Dubplate" series. Here the sought-after side is finally given the reissue treatment. It remains one of their finest revisions: a loose, languid and head-nodding fusion of hip-hop beats, subtle dub skank, occasional Marvin Gaye samples and seduction sections from Aretha's sugary, string-drenched original. Over on side B you'll find another gem from Featurecast's vaults: a tidy hip-hop style revision of Marvin Gaye's "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" from 2016, which was made in collaboration with Washington D.C pal The Gaff.
Review: Given the critical reception rightly afforded to Tahliah Barnett's superb debut album as FKA Twigs, it makes perfect sense for Young Turks to rustle up a swift reissue of FKA Twigs, the four track 12" that announced her to the pop music world last year. This EP was the first instance of Barnett's ethereal vocals weaved in amidst production work from Arca that was at times floating, others crushingly pressurised. Naturally the effects of the music are heightened when combined with Jesse Kanda's mind bending videos ("Water Me" especially) but late comers to the magic of Twigs will be all over this. Do check "Papi Pacify" as Arca is on some "Cry Me A River" era Timbalaand tip.
Review: The latest missive from France's Stereophonk imprint is a heavy double header focused on the production and remix work of cut-and-paste funk and soul heroes Funky Bijou. On side A you'll find a fresh slab of P-funk flavoured B-Boy breaks from the Gallic production twosome that wraps classic early '80s rap samples and excitable synth solos around punchy electro beats and a squidgy synthesizer bassline. On the flip they give their interpretation of the Baker Brothers' 2011 track "Snap Back", re-imagining it as a Clavinet-heavy slab of hazy soul rich in blue-eyed vocals, Funkadelic style synth stabs, squelchy bass and crunchy machine drums.
Review: The second salvo on the Street Knowledge series of golden era hip-hop reissues comes from legendary East Coast twosome Gang Starr. It offers up a pair of much-loved 1990s club bangers: 1999's "Full Clip" and '92's "DWYCK". The former is a classic DJ Premier production: a toe-tapping, head-nodding bounce through rubbery beats, jazzy guitars and toasty bass topped off with the fine flows of the late MC Guru. "DWYCK" meanwhile is a more bass-heavy, floor-friendly affair, with Premier's on-point scratching complimenting Guru's vocal and the addictive weightiness of the groove. In other words, these are two golden era classics you definitely need in your life.
Review: Scarface's appeal endures many years after it first burned so bright, and Tony Montana remains an inspiration for many a young gangster, including studio gs like The Geto Boys who sampled various bits of his dialogue for these two tracks back in 1990. Here, the late DJ Ready Red serves up two edits, fully embracing the stereotypes that went on to become the norm for rappers in the years after. "Trigger Happy Nigga" is a bristling boom bap joint while "Scarface" rolls a little deeper with gun shots and scratching bringing the realness.
Review: First time round, this bonafide classic reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the highest charting tune from the Geto Boys. Sampling Isaac Hayes' "Hung Up On My Baby", the Geto Boys' edit plays out in several movements and goes big and small. Stretched over a long legged beat with crisp snares and languid chords with lyrics that touch on a range of deep subjects such as post-traumatic stress disorder, the track was originally destined for a Scarface solo album before it was decided it was more valuable as a Geto Boys single. Wise move.
Review: On their second album together, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib got even more complex and deep than on their debut. The celebrated producer and street rapper duo found plenty of fascinating new ground between their disparate styles and the album gave rise to a number of standout tunes. "Half Manne Half Cocaine" is one of them and is served up here next to an instrumental as well as brief bonus tracks "Zebras Into The Mist" and "Night Vision." "Palmolive" features a heart aching vocal cry as well as Pusha T and Killer Mike on the flip with an instrumental.
Review: Classic hip-hop head Godfather Don is loved by fans for his bulging back catalogue of solo joints and hot collabs. Diggy Down plunge deep into his vaults for this much sought-after track from a 2007 test pressing that has fetched as much as L700 over the years. Though it is rumoured Don was unhappy with the snare sounds on the track - hence it never before getting a full release - "Stuck Of The Realness" is now presented here, warts and all. It's an impeccable cut truth be told: the hits sound just right, the rhymes go deep and there's a woozy feel to the pads that really make you sink far into the groove.
Review: The latest slab of sure-fire dancefloor heat on Wah Wah 45s' "Dubplate" series comes courtesy a Haynesy, a duo renowned for the fat, party-starting nature of their reworks, with turntable wizard Jabbathakut providing plenty of on-point scratches. What we get here is not "edits", but rather banging new hip-hop beats laden with classic acapellas. On side A they bring Jungle Brothers' hip-house classic "I'll House You" back to its hip-hop roots, layering the NYC crew's famous vocals over a bustling, up-tempo, Latin-tinged hip-hop beat. Over on the flip they take on Beastie Boys classic "Root Down", with Jabbathakut's tidy deck-work sparring with acapella vocals atop a weighty club hip-hop beat.
Review: Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz reconvene as Heavy Metal Kings for a hard-hitting new EP featuring long-time collaborator Lord Goat (formerly Goretex). "The Wages Of Sin" pairs hard edged beats and low slung bass with Wu-Tang style shadowy soul to absorbing effect. "Dominant Frequency" utilises a quirkier sample paired with a slower, deeper cut beat that is full of menace and angst.
Review: The first missive from the reissue-focused Throwdown imprint takes a deep dive into the bulging back catalogue of West Coast hip-hop legend Ice Cube. Side A offers us another chance to own 1992 hit "It Was A Good Day" a languid, sun-kissed Golden Era jam crafted from elements of a familiar slab of laidback jazz-funk. Over on side B you'll find 1999's "You Can Do It", another once high-profile single featuring additional verses and vocal contributions from Mack 10 and Ms Toi. For those who've forgotten it, the track is a punchier and heavy club cut that utilizes all three rappers' distinctive flows to ratchet up the intensity throughout.
Review: Premier Norwegian rapper Ivan Ave is set to release his long-awaited debut album in April, but before that he serves up this sweet 7". He's established himself in the Soundcloud generation as a man with a distinctive voice and ear for melody. Check "Triple Double Love", where his voice floats smoothly above the beats that lull you into a mellow vibe. "Phone Won't Charge" is a rickety one with lush chords and hits poking through to add bite, while the instrumental versions on the flip are fully laid back and spaced out quality stoner jams. That album can't come fast enough.
Review: Nearly five years after the first seven-inch appeared, the seventh volume in J Rocc's on-point "Funky President Edits" series lands. As with the tracks contained on previous volumes, the showcased cuts have long been staples in his DJ sets and should be considered "tried and tested bombs". First up on side A is "Flight #2", a shuffling, ear-pleasing affair that combines jangling elements from a semi-acoustic Afro-Soul cut with borrowed chorus vocals and languid, laidback percussion. "Greddy Foot", on the other hand, is a low-slung funk bomb -a slightly dubbed-out revision of a James Brown original with additional vocal samples from other Godfather of Soul workouts.