Review: So, how long have you been waiting for this one to drop? The answer really depends on two things - whether you've just been waiting for new long form material from the UK IDM legends Autechre, or whether you've been waiting for Autechre to put a proper album together that stays true to the principles and format of a 'proper album', as this does.
Either way let's just say Signs has been some time in the making, and it's definitely a case of payoff for patience. For the most part it's the waves of space age melody that really stand out, tracks like 'Esc Desc' seem to fill the room with bands of sci-fi harmony. Of course there's plenty of glitch and bleep here, too - the stepping 'Au14' is a case in point - alongside rumbling, bass-heavy business like 'Si100', where playful drips of percussion create a juxtaposition of innocence and menace.
Oops! I Did It Again (Ospina Deep club mix) (6:02)
Lucky (Jason Nevins mixshow edit) (5:52)
Stronger (Mac Quayle club mix) (7:52)
Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know (Hex Hector radio mix) (4:04)
You Got It All (4:08)
Girl In The Mirror (3:36)
Walk On By (3:31)
Review: Britney Spears is currently embroiled in some tough legal battles with her father - her life is a far cry from the pop superstar who broke through in the late 90s. But the music she made back then still bangs, especially when remixed by a selection of names such as those found on this special Record Store Day 2020 collection. It also features lesser known B-sides as well as big room house reworks from Mac Quayle, hi-NRG bangers from Hex Hector and plenty more besides.
Review: Sometimes known as Park Rangers, Japanese outfit Inokashira Rangers are the world's leading purveyors of unlikely, Hammond-heavy reggae cover versions. Since first emerging five years ago, they've served up countless surprise reggae takes on tracks from the likes of Pharrell Williams, Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Underworld. Here they continue on a similar theme by re-imagining New Order's throbbing, surging dancefloor anthem 'Blue Monday' as a cheeky chunk of turn-of-the-'70s rocksteady goodness. As usual, the band's organist is in fine form, playing mazy solos that track the vocal melody found on Bernard Sumner and company's 1983 original. Over on the flip they serve up something slower and breezier: a languid rocksteady interpretation of Simon & Garfunkel's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', this time utilizing plenty of Wurlitzer organ sounds. Ace!
Review: Record Store Day 2020 keeps on serving up the gems even weeks after the official date itself. Here we're presented with the debut release on Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons now seminal Def Jam label. It's a vital release that truly shook the world thanks to its dark and evil bass and raw, hard hitting percussion and has never before been released on 7". It is a true collector's item for raw hip hop heads and features the ground-breaking 'Scratch Party Death Mix' as well as coming with its own fully iconic sleeve. Drop this one and step back to watch the club go right off.
Review: Jimmy 'James' Shaw and his wife Maureen were collectively known as Unity, and were backed by eight piece NYC funk band Downbeats. It is these people being this 1968 slice of smooth R&B and bubbly funk that is now reissued by Fantasy Love. It's the sort of superbly tender and heart aching slow motion soul that will sound good until forever. 'High Voltage' is a more upbeat funk cut powered by deriving rhythms and big horns. Unity & The Downbeats would continue to tour the East Coast until the end of the 70s when they disbanded and left a fine legacy of great singles.
Review: The EEE series may utilise a very simple blueprint - each single-sided, one-track release combines tasty, 21st century tech-house grooves with vocal lifts and instrumental samples from a classic cut - but so far, the publicity-shy producer behind it has yet to put a foot wrong. This ninth instalment in the ongoing series is every bit as alluring as its predecessors, in part because the headline-grabbing Nina Simone vocal samples are used sparingly and dropped into the mix for maximum impact. They mainly appear within the melodious, smile-inducing breakdown, before making way for a return to the track's chunky, seemingly squeezable tech-house groove and sweet, glassy-eyed lead lines. On paper it shouldn't work, but it really does, making this another must-check EEE release.
Review: The Masaala label are laying claim to a unique curio from the '90s here, unearthing the forgotten sounds of Cutmaster Singh from Leicester. This unsung DJ legend was amongst those trying to fuse acid house and bhangra, and on this 12" we're treated to a selection of edits that do a mighty fine job of crossing the cultural divide to bring the infectious energy of Indian music into a dancefloor context. First up is a dubplate from 1994 titled 'Acid Agah', which rides a bubbling 303 and resplendent strings to create a jaw-dropping showpiece. 'Rani' is steeped in bashy '80s drums and more of that lysergic throbbing, offset by a stunning female vocal, while 'Nachdi Drums' unsurprisingly leans in hard on percussion to whip up a frenetic energy that is as much techno as it is bhangra. 'Balle Shava' takes things back to a kind of new beat freakiness which will appeal to old-skool diggers looking for something spicy in their sets.
Letta Mbulu - "Kilimanjaro" (The Revenge edit) (5:49)
Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "The Secret Life Of Us" (The Reflex Revision) (7:13)
Review: Z Records founder Dave Lee continues to celebrate 30 years of his iconic house and disco label with an ongoing series of various artist EPs. The fourth instalment is another belter opened up by the boss himself in Disco Blend form. He serves up libidinous synths and steamy vocals that get you on your toes and then sinks into a smooth and seductive deep house mould for his remix of Mistura's 'Smile. On the flip, disco don The Revenge works his magic on a lush afro disco cut and then comes a The Reflex version of The Secret Life Of Us which has big strings and a tight rhythm section all bringing the sunshine.
Review: Dynamite Cuts latest double seven-inch presentation takes us back to 1973, and James Brown's often-overlooked soundtrack to Blaxploitation crime movie "Black Ceasar", a set previously described by one critic as "a full-frontal funk attack". What we get is four of the soundtrack's strongest cuts: electric piano solo-laden funk shuffler "Blind Man Can See", one of Brown's most celebrated and best-loved songs, "The Boss" (sample lyric: "look at me, what do you see? A bad mother!"), the softly sweet, strings-and-solo laden breeziness of "White Lightning", and the crunchy heavy funk strut of "Make It Good To Yourself". As the old saying goes: all killer, no filler.
Curumin Chama Cunhata Que Eu Vou Contar (Todo Dia Era Dia De Indio) (3:23)
Rio Babilonia (4:30)
Review: Astonishingly, this is the 80th instalment in Mr Bongo's brilliant Brazil 45s series. Predictably, this edition is every bit as essential as its predecessors. It boasts two superb 1980s recordings by one of the true legends of Brazilian 20th century music, Jorge Ben. On the A-side you'll find the lengthily titled 'Curmin Chama Cunhata Que Eu Vou Contar (Todo Dia Erza Dia De Indio), a synth-splashed samba-funk tribute to the indigenous tribes of Brazil that was first featured on Ben's 1981 album Bem-Vinda Amizade. Turn to the flip for 'Rio Babilonia', a killer Brazilian boogie joint rich in squelchy synth bass, heady Latin percussion and fiery horn arrangements courtesy of the late, great Lincoln Olivetti.
Review: Second time around for the Soul Surfers' superb cover of jazz-funk classic 'Summer Madness', which first hit stores in September 2019. This time round, it comes pressed on gold-coloured vinyl, though you'll have to act fast to secure a copy. It's worth doing just that though, because it sees the Californian act re-imagining one of the smoothest and most seductive cuts in the Kool & The Gang canon as a languid chunk of laidback instrumental soul complete with crunchy drums, elongated lead guitar solos and some suitably spacey analogue synth sounds. The luscious and lazy A-side version is backed by a 'Part Two' take that's a little more stripped-back, raw and heavy.
Review: To close the 3 EP reissue series of Neville King and Lee Laing's King & City label, the all female group Charisma are presented with their summer infused Lovers cut, Everything Is Fine.
Three Lewisham friends, Angela Richardson on lead vocals, with Geselle and Janie backing, were active from 1982 to 1990, but are really remembered for the early recordings made with Neville King. Their debut, Everything Is Fine rides the Lovers sound at its peak. Written with One Blood's Lloyd Robinson, with the rest of band of Robinson brothers providing the rhythm section, this is pure South London sound system music.
Recorded again at TMC (Tooting Music Centre) Recording Studios - working alongside the likes of Dillinger, Tradition and New Musik - Everything Is Fine rides a beautiful soul reggae rhythm as Trevor (Drums) and Lloyd (Bass) Robinson set the foundations, while One Blood provide the Dub mix.
A true love's lament, a song of hope, serenity and pure vibes. Label head Chuggy slides behind the mixing desk for an extended Discomix that stretches, loops and dubs the vocal and dub back forth, to close a glimpse at this uniquely British phenomenon, taking reggae closer to it's heart and soul.
Now That I Have You (original Soundtrack '81 version) (5:33)
Now That I Have You (original Soundtrack '86 Hip Kik version) (4:54)
Stay With Me (original Soundtrack '81 version) (2:51)
Now That I Have You (original '86 Hip Kik instrumental version) (4:52)
Review: 'Now That I Have You' is simply one of the sweetest and most effortlessly lovely songs in the Tommy McGee canon. The artist himself certainly thought so, because he recorded it a number of times during the 1980s. This essential reissue boasts all of the best versions, starting with the brilliantly produced and performed 1981 original version, which we firmly believe to be one of the greatest cosmic soul tracks of all time. Arguably even better though is the 'Hip-Kik' version from 1986, a jauntier and more rubbery-sounding affair that replaces much of the instrumentation with drum machines and synthesizer sounds. The EP also boasts an instrumental version of this killer re-make nestled on the flip, along with a more laidback 1981 recording, 'Stay With Me'.
Review: Little is known about Human Race and their mysterious, self-titled debut single, other than they were the house band at the Continental Club in Miami, Florida, during the late 1960s. Their sole single, which slipped out on a tiny label at the turn of the 70s, has long been sought after by collectors. Having first been reissued in 2002, it has now been given a fresh pressing. It's well worth picking up, not least for the languid and laidback title track, where scat-style vocals and glistening guitars ride a groove rich in deep, weighty bass guitar, shuffling drum-breaks and ear-catching hand percussion. As it did on previous releases, the track comes backed by an even slower, more laidback instrumental number, the sweltering, sax-laden soul sweetness of 'Grey Boy'.
Review: Aubrey's status as a pillar of underground UK techno comes into focus with this reissue of a 1995 classic from the Solid Groove archives. 'Ginger Biscuit' is a riotous party starter, riding a funked up loop and feverish percussion to make for techno perfection. 'Long Player' is a trippier affair awash with heavy reverb, pads and submerged acid bleeps. 'Shimmer' goes even further out with some shimmering dub techno chords riding elongated filter sweeps for pure eyes closed transcendence. 'U Be Dick' seals the deal with a micro-dub excursion that nudges towards house territory with soaring synth strings to boot. Seminal stuff.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Bishop Jeff Banks & The Revival Temple Mass Choir - "Jerusalem" (album version) (6:09)
Bishop Jeff Banks & The Revival Temple Mass Choir - "Jerusalem" (JC edits & Overdubs) (14:15)
The Gospelaires Of Dayton, O - "God Helps Those Who Help Themselves" (Edits & Overdubs main) (11:06)
The Gospelaires Of Dayton, O - "God Helps Those Who Help Themselves" (JC edits & Overdubs instrumental) (6:49)
Review: No one works a mixing board quite like Joe Clasusell, and his latest project is another high water mark in a career full of them: his Claussell Edits & Overdubs version of Crowns of Glory's 'Lord Look at Your People' is getting put out on a series of 12"s, with this third one being another winner. Bishop Jeff Banks & The Revival Temple Mass Choir offer up two versions of 'Jerusalem' on the a-side, and the reverse is 'God Helps Those Who Help Themselves' by The Gospelaires Of Dayton, O. Both are intense, emotive, life affirming affairs to bring joy to any dance floor.
Review: Canadian minimal veteran Tomas Jirku has been a little quiet of late, but now he makes a welcome and unexpected return with something quite different for Silent Season. You can hear echoes of his earlier work in the soundscapes he's sculpted across Touching The Sublime, as high-definition sonic manipulation draws on his experience and eye for detail in wielding music technology, but rather than creating pointillist rhythmic structures, he's more concerned with billowing clouds of ambience. It's easy to draw parallels with the likes of Tim Hecker, but there's space for more techno-oriented productions in the midst of the maelstrom. Epic in scope and powerfully rendered, this is an album that will feed your head for a long time to come.
Review: You will no doubt have spotted Marcel Vogel's handiwork steering the good ship Lumberjacks In Hell, or perhaps even his choice edits under the Em Vee banner, but increasingly the Dutch artist is turning to his own name to get some fine records laid down outside the realms of pure edit territory. This second outing on Intimate Friends comes on like a mini-album of sorts, with eight tracks made up of remixes as well as originals. It's a powerful step on for Vogel, touching on a grounded variation on neo-soul with a house kick in the rhythm department. Soulful vocal spots from Mey, Milos Gersi, Gianni Tam, Khadija and Tim Jules all add to the sensation, heading away from the dancefloor as an expansive EP for all time.
Review: The fantastic Parkway label bring a little - well, a lot of - joy into out collectively miserable lockdown-not-lockdown lives with a tenth release that dazzles on every level. The Whole Truth are a modern funk and boogie band with plenty of knowledge of the past as well as a vision of the future that leads them to create camp, analogue sounding gems like this one. The original has a nice heart swelling and gospel tinged vocal next to soaring chords and the club mix then dials back to the languid beats and sci-fi stabs. Last of all is a mix which goes heavy on the chords and amps up the effects to stellar effect.
Review: Future Islands newest album As Long As You Are is a work that readdresses some of their past while also looking to the future and a new sound. This process of redemption comes as drummer Mike Lowry officially joins the band as a songwriter to add to the foundational trio of William Cashion, Samuel T Herring and Gerrit Whelmers. The synth wave sound the band is famous for remains and is as bright and joyous as it has been in their nearly 15 year history. Heavenly choruses also make it last long in the memory and sure to win new fans as well as retain the old.
Review: .Mikhail Khvasko has been painting a vivid, sunkissed picture of Balearic bliss with his A Vision Of Panorama project since it first emerged on Mellophonia back in 2016. As the nights start to draw in, this latest drop is just what you need to escape to an imagined coastal idyll where the sun never sets. From the steady groove of 'Floral Rhythm' to the gentle skank of 'Seaside Tune' this is immaculately rendered feel-good music rendered in plush synths with an unmistakable 80s finish. There are beats to be enjoyed on 'Blues 909', but you've never heard the totemic techno machine sound as smooth and mellow as it does right here.
Review: Moan is back with more of his cherry picked beats for this small but perfectly formed 7". Heavyweights Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J feature on each side, with funky, soul infused beats that, in the case of the a-side, you will recognise from Keni Burke's heart-melting late night groover 'Risin To The Top'. On the flip, the 'momma said knock you out' chorus is rolled over big sax lines and hip swinging claps. These are playful and party starting, but smartly executed mash ups ready to detonate and club.
Review: Planisphere is exactly the kind of cult deep house and techno producer that For Those That Knoe are all over. David Swatten's last release was 20 years ago, and that one now fetches sky-high prices online, but fortunately the good ship Knoe has taken charge of the situation and commissioned this full-length release of sumptuous electronics. As you would expect for the label, the vibe is primarily classic ambient techno with a spread of different energies from heads down club grooves to blissful back room excursions, all expressed through vintage synth tones. Consistently brilliant throughout, this is the kind of album you could happily melt into from start to finish, as well as having plenty for the mix-minded to get busy with.
Review: 30 years ago in August, Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Eric Avery aka Janes Addiction put out their second album. It proved the most critically acclaimed and successful of all their work and in fact was their last for 13 years. Few other alternative rock albums have ever come close to the impact of the one. Fact fans will know, of course, the original record came with three different covers, and might also have read that the tortuous recording process behind the alum is what eventually lead to the group's demise.
Review: Brewerytown Beats have got a real gem on their hands here, and one that lovers of rare and high quality funk will be falling over themselves for. Power of Attorney was a rehabilitative project of Theodore "Ted" Wing, activities director at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution, who opened a studio in the prison for inmates to get creative. They originally released this one for Nicetown in 1973 - only 500 were pressed and sold direct from prison - and even Discogs hasn't got any recent sales records for it. The high speed jailbird funk of 'Changing Man' is a tale of redemption and is backed with the achingly soulful 'I'm Just Your Clown'.
Review: Originally released back in 2011 on two singles, Shades of Detroit is a journey of six deep and dubby house monsters! The new limited reissue includes both Dark and Light parts, marbled vinyl and a new updated artwork. Essential Detroit house classic!
Review: Sushitech toast 15 years with a plush new edition of one of the label's classic albums. Delano Smith hit a high watermark with An Odyssey when he first dropped it in 2012, and it still sounds utterly flawless as a shining example of Detroit house. From the slinky funk of 'Survival' to the minimalist dub inflections of 'Trust In Someone', this is the positively classy end of the club music spectrum. At all times a sturdy rhythm section carries the tune, whether it be the shuffling hats of 'Midnight Hours' or the shimmering jack of 'No Turning Back', but the real prize here is the seductive mood Smith weaves throughout all 11 tracks. Looped up and hypnotic, but with each piece telling its own unique story, this is a masterclass in deepest house music.
Igor Gonya & Crack D - "Two-Piece Orchestra" (6:34)
The Funk District - "Watcha Gonna Do" (6:11)
Paul Older - "Love" (6:35)
Review: Super Spicy is a new Mexican label committing some serious heaters to wax. Helmed by Monsieur Von Pratt, the label boss himself sets the tone with opening track 'Forever Funk' on this various artists 12". The vibe is clear from the outset - classic disco-flavoured house music with oodles of soul and good vibes by the bucketload. Igor Gonya & Crack D get busy with the filters on 'Two-Piece Orchestra' and The Funk District take a more delicate edit approach to stomping peak-time burner 'Watcha Gonna Do'. Paul Older's 'Love' is the perfect swooning closer to the record, romantic and triumphant in equal measure for a proper hand-waving release of energy.
Review: Italian duo Rufus and Mass_prod are back once again as Nightdrivers, shoring up to Holic Trax with more of their infectious club-ready material. Beyond the functionality of their drums, where the Nightdrivers excel is in their choice of samples and textures to add a psychoactive twist to their craft. "A Funny Thang" is a delightfully unhinged workout, while "Stressedout" does a fine job of digging into a heads down, RnB inflected groove. "Rising" switches things up with a broken beat groove that loads up sunkissed soul samples to great effect, and then the record rounds out with a dub mix of "A Funny Thang".
Review: Blue Note Re:imagined is a carefully curated collection of brand-new covers of classic material from the legendary label as served up by a selection of the UK scene's most exciting young talents including Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia and Brit Award-winning Jorja Smith. For this latest 7" it's Jordan Rakei, who actually hails from Aus, but let's not get mad about that because the super smooth soul singer reaches new heights on the free flowing, heart opening 'Wind Parade'. Jazz pianist Alfa Mist takes care of the flip with a suitably cosmic exploration on 'Galaxy' that pairs live, busy drums and soaring synths with rich chords.
Review: After a strong start from Haners, the second drop on Misadventures steps once again into the neon-lit alleyway of finest Italo disco, with all the seductive sass you could ever wish for in a party 12". On the A-side, 'Aargh Money' works around a seriously funked-up rhythm section and a choir extolling the virtues of working together. It's bombastic and elastic, just the right thing to get the limbs greased up for a heated hoedown. 'Little Looks' takes things rougher and tougher, with one of those Italo basslines so nasty it borders on proto-acid. The vocals are divine here too - smouldering come hither lines that amp up the intensity of the track to 11.
Review: More from the bulging back catalogue of Park Rangers, an obscure Japanese reggae band who have spent the last decade delivering surprising cover versions of well-known pop, rock and disco songs. On side A there's another chance to wonder at their 1960s rocksteady style re-make of Pharrell Williams' mega-hit happy, in which the Neptunes star's lead vocal is replaces with a cheery Hammond organ solo. It's the kind of cover that can't help but put a smile on your face. The same could be said about their similarly minded flipside cover of Prince classic 'Kiss'. While it's not as instantly recognisable, it has a similar feel thanks to the band's canny fusion of tuneful Hammond organ solos and retro-futurist reggae riddims.
Review: For Those That Know step up with another exquisite choice of underground hero to boost with a retrospective release - ADJ. Andy Jaggers has been a lynchpin to the UK electro scene since the 90s, and his Pyramid Transmissions label (run with Pathic) is rightly lauded and unsurprisingly hard to get hold of after release. This release gathers together some of Jaggers' finest work from recent years, including some previously unreleased tracks and highly sought after album cuts that have been out of reach for too long already. If you want high grade, forward thinking electro with a braindance tint, this is an album you won't want to miss.
Review: If you've not already picked up a copy of Mutaksuku Records' superb reissue of two of reggae musician Devon Russell's greatest Curtis Mayfield covers, we'd suggest grabbing one of these Juno exclusive white vinyl versions, which also happens to ship with a tasty wooden "45" adaptor. You may already know Russell's incredible '84 version of 'Move on Up', which re-imagines it as a languid, post-disco reggae-soul anthem that just oozes sun-soaked positivity. On this seven-inch, it comes backed by something equally as essential: the artist's lesser-known 1993 take on 'Give Me Your Love', which turns the much-loved song into a colourful, synth-laden trip through Balearic reggae territory. In a word: essential.
Review: East End Dubs' Eastenderz label keeps on turning out hugely functional but also charming dub tech that is stripped back to its bones and laced with funk. This new various artist EP packs a powerful punch from the off, with Floog laying down some vital kicks and whirring machine sounds to send any floor into overdrive. Cosmjn then takes us to another planet with his dreamy pads and Vlad Arapasu's 'Egoland' sounds like a classic Terry Francis cut from the mid-90s, so in other words, pure fire. There's no mucking around on 'Mello', a razor sharp closer with hi hats that would cut though steel.
Review: Canadian Jorun Bombay is a long time remix master who now lands on Soundweight Records with his latest cut up and reworking efforts. The A-side finds him take on Blondie's legendary 'Rapture', which mixed slick raps with post-punk guitars. Here it becomes sweet rolling funk gem with molten chords and plenty of soul. The flip-side is a tropical rework of 'Don't Pay Any Fuller' that ups the bass and beefs out the drums, while layering in steamy chords and percussion that brim with character. These are two more classics in the spotless catalogue of Jorun Bombay.
The Yorkshire Film & Television Orchestra - "Somebody Stole My Thunder" (feat Martin Connor) (3:10)
Rachel Modest - "I (Who Have Nothing)" (3:06)
Review: These two tracks first appeared on ATA Records's free download series "Hard Work, No Pay" and have been much requested on vinyl ever since. Well now, here they are, after plenty of high profile plays from the likes of BBC 6 Music's Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show And The Huey Morgan Show. The Yorkshire Film and Television Orchestra is a project from ATA label bosses Neil Innes & Pete Williams as well a multi-instrumentalist and arranger Steve Parry. Here they offer up two different but equally brillaint tunes - some high speed 60s funk with more than a hint of Northern Soul swing on the a-side, and the tender, blue eyed soul of Rachel Modest's 'I (Who Have Nothing).'
Dave Lee - "Power Of The Mind" (feat Billy Valentine - JN Redemption mix) (7:34)
Dave Lee - "Power Of The Mind" (feat Billy Valentine - JN Mind Meld dub) (7:03)
AC Soul Symphony - "Manhattan Skyline" (JN Spirit Of 77 mix) (11:08)
Review: ave Lee has collaborated, produced or remixed many vintage soul, jazz-funk and disco artists over the years, though 'Power of the Mind' marks the first time he's worked with Billy Valentine, lead vocalist from legendary soul/jazz-funk duo the Valentine Brothers. The opening 'Redemption Mix' is particularly potent, with Valentine singing his own anti fake news lyrics over a jaunty disco-house groove rich in boogie bass, piano stabs and mazy, life-affirming piano solos. It comes accompanied by a suitably cosmic, synth-laden 'Mind Meld Dub' rework, as well as a fresh string-laden, late '70s style disco track from Lee under his lesser-known AC Soul Symphony pseudonym ('Manhattan Skyline'). It's 11 minutes of pure disco pleasure and almost as essential as 'Power of the Mind'.
Review: NDTAL is the label Kai Alce runs out of Atlanta and is one of the finest deep house imprints out there. Roebrta keeps the reputation in tact with a rich six track journey into deep and smoky late night moods and grooves. 'Reachin Out' has a gospel sounding vocal that is made more driving on version 2, while 'Dat Thang' layers up lush Rhodes chords with real jazz fluidity. 'Gotta Have Love' is a more danceable party tune and a final version of 'Reaching Out' brings the dub. Most of these 12"s sell out quick sharp, so don't sleep.
Review: Nas's 2002 album God's Sun is not his most iconic, but it still spawned some essential singles Chief amongst them is 'Made You Look', built around samples from Incredible Bongo Band's 'Apache.' The tune really established him in his ongoing battle with Jay Z and like all his work it displays intricate lyricism and old school boom bap beats. The free-associative rhymes touch on an array of themes that cover a wide span from hype to legacy, partying and chest beating self congratulation. The flip includes an instrumental that is not explicit like the original, so lacks some of the things that make it so raw.
Handsome Boy Modelling School - "Holy Calamity" (4:02)
Review: Handsome Boy Modeling School is an American duo made up of hip-hop beatmakers Dan the Automator of Gorillaz association and rince Paul from projects with Stetsasonic, De La Soul and Gravediggaz. Dan the Automator assumes his DJ Octagon Palais for the opera here - a hard hitting and deep cut rap with plenty of manic DJ scratching and big stabs. Handsome Boy Modelling School then link up for the flip side 'Holy Calamity' which is another floor filler with bold brass and mad scratching. Both tunes hark back to a golden era of rap and will get any floor pumping.
Beastie Boys vs MFSB - "Check It Out People" (4:19)
MFSB - "People All Over The World" (dub) (4:11)
Review: On his last two singles on Soopastole, mash-up maestro DJ Soopasoul smashed together elements of Stevie Wonder and Redman/Method Man, and James Brown and Crooklyn Dodgers. For his latest trick he's decided to pepper an edited version of "People All Over The World" by Philadelphia Soul legends MFSB, with raps from a stone cold classic Beastie Boys tune. It's the sort of thing that shouldn't work, but the Beasties' flows work perfectly over the flanged guitars, undulating bass and unfussy 4-to-the-floor Philly Soul grooves of the MFSB track. You can hear his instrumental rework of that track on the flip; it's so good that it's arguably worth the entrance price on its own.
Review: Athens of the North's Euan Fryer is not the only collector and selector who believes that the Leaders' obscenely rare 1971 single '(It's A) Rat Race' should be considered a genuine deep funk classic. In fact, it was deep funk specialist Keb Darge who first brought the record to the attention of DJs and dancers in the UK in the early 2000s. Happily Fryer has tracked down the band and got their permission to reissue their sought-after classic. Formidably funky, the A-side version features fantastic group vocals rising above a bed of hazy horns, bustling drums, warm bass and razor-sharp, Blaxploitation style guitars. The accompanying instrumental take is superb, too, with a variety of woodwind and brass solos - often drenched in reverb - replacing the group's fine vocals.
Review: Those who've been followed the nu-jazz sound closely over the last two decades should already be familiar with the work of Italian trumpeter Gerardo Frisina; after all, this is the Schema regular's eight studio set since the dawn of the century. In our opinion, Moving Ahead is also one of the best, with Frisina expanding on his usual Latin-jazz inspired sound via tracks that variously incorporate elements of samba house, West and East African drum music, jazz house, dub and tropical-tinged jazz-funk. Yet for all the subtle eclecticism, there are constant threads that run throughout, specifically densely packed percussion and Frisina's haunting trumpet and sax solos.
Review: There isn't a more hit-packed Kraftwerk album than The Man Machine. First released in 1978 and here reissued on red vinyl accompanied by a fresh booklet of vintage images, the album boasts some of the German band's best loved songs, including 'The Robots', cheery sing-along 'The Model', the staggeringly good 'Neon Lights', and the bubbly title track. It shows how good the album is that such gems as 'Metropolis' and the picturesque 'Spacelab' - cuts that most other bands would kill to be able to write - tend to be ignored or overlooked. If you love electronic music, you need a copy of The Man Machine in your collection.
Review: You still won't find a more perfect electro album than Kraftwerk's Computer World, and it was the album that pretty much invented the style. That much is clear from this fresh 2020 reissue, which presents the iconic 1981 set on translucent yellow vinyl, accompanied by a slick booklet of fitting Kraftwerkian imagery. While 'Computer World', 'Pocket Calculator' and 'Computer Love' are near perfect electro-pop songs, it's the sheer heaviness and funkiness of the B-boy friendly beats on 'Home Computer', 'It's More Fun To Compute' and, most famously, 'Numbers' that make it such an essential. Put simply, Computer World still sounds like the future.
Review: Long-serving Swedish producer Joel Mull, previously best-known for his club-focused techno sets, first started work on Nautical Dawn, his first album under his occasional Damm alias, over a decade ago. Inspired by the natural phenomenon of 'nautical dawn' - that point when the sun is not yet above the horizon, but bathes the sky in vivid colours - he wanted to make music for the break of dawn that combined home-made field recordings with suitably drowsy, opaque electronic motifs, slow-burn ambient chords, tactile aural textures and, when the mood took him, horizontal and hypnotic beats. It may have taken him a while, but the resultant set is little less than inspired: an evocative set of enveloping compositions that tease and tingle the senses.
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Stage 1) (6:01)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Stage 2) (6:21)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Stage 3) (5:02)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Stage 4) (10:36)
Review: Past Inside The Present are on a mission to make you slow down and enjoy the now more than we do in modern life. They do so with this latest 12", which features four accompaniment programs "designed to give the stasis user a pleasurable experience in extended hypersleep." This is hi fidelity listening music that is as cathartic and escapist as it comes. Each track is like tuning into and endless continuum of sound that ebbs and flows infinitely. Celestial and delicate, if you can't relax in the company of these then you got real problems.