Review: No less than 45 years since she recorded her first single, the legendary Chaka Khan with a new album as relevant and up to the minute as anything pretenders a third of her age could dream of. "Hello Happiness" finds Khan drawing on the legacy of her roots while keeping things fresh, upbeat and contemporary, with THAT voice front and centre. Lead single "Like Sugar" has been tearing it up all over the place for good reason - with Switch on production chopping up classic Fatback Band break "The Bus Stop," Khan sounds as fierce as ever.
Fiona Yorke - "Love For Me" (Nigel Lowis Super Disco mix)
Elis - "Praise You" (Nigel Lowis Sound Factory mix)
Hannah White - "Tell Me" (Nigel Lowis Vintage mix)
Francisca Thomas - "Clouds In My Mirror" (Nigel Lowis Sholes mix)
The Dig Band - "Cosmic Wind" (feat Jimmy Gallagher - Dig Construction mix)
Lol Williams - "Everyday" (Dsg Classic mix)
Nigel Lowis - "When The Night Calls" (Nigel Lowis Breezin' mix)
John Reid - "Teardrops" (Nigel Lowis mix)
Teddy B - "I Can't Help Myself" (Dsg radio edit)
Rebekah Ryan - "The Best Of Me" (Nigel Lowis Sound Factory mix)
Marc Staggers - "Timeless" (Nigel Lowis Classic mix)
Peter Symphorien & Fitzroy Facey - "This Ever Changing World" (Nigel Lowis The Soul Academy mix)
Review: An active producer and remixer since the 1990s, Nigel Lowis has a knack for crafting classic-sounding reworks that effortlessly join the dots between contemporary soulful house and the classic sounds of Philly Soul, disco, jazz-funk and boogie. For proof, check out this second collection of new, rare and little-known Lowis reworks. Those of a soulful persuasion will find much to enjoy throughout, from the slick, sax-sporting Philadelphia Soul revivalism of Lowis' take on Tilly Grace's "The Soul Man Theme", and a string-laden, Chic style "Super Disco Mix" of Fiona Yorke's "Love For Me", to the sugary-sweet slo-mo revision of Marc Staggers' "Timeless" and the boogie-tinged soulful house re-make of Kenny Thomas' "Back On Broadway".
Review: Between 1971 and '73, Brazilian singer and composer Tim Maia released a quartet of eponymously titled album, all of which are now considered classics by those in the know. This is the third in the sequence, originally released in 1972 and now available on CD for the first time in the UK. The tracks largely lean heavily on American soul and funk tropes of the time - rich grooves, luscious orchestration, and so on - with Maia adding vocals in both English and Portuguese. There are occasional nods to jazz-funk, samba and rumba, but by and large Maia stuck to his funk and soul script. The results are uniformly excellent, with "Idade" and "Razao De Samba" being particularly memorable.
Review: When it came to recording his sixth full-length excursion, Mocky had a simple plan. The Toronto-raised musician decided to book out legendary Los Angeles recording studio United for a day, invite along a swathe of talented musician friends - Lucky Paul, Mark De Clive-Lowe, Nia Andrews and Joey Dosik included - and record the improvised results straight to tape. Staggeringly, those results are superb, with the assembled cast serving up musically rich and complex soundscapes that variously doff a cap to classic jazz, boogie, swing, neo-classical, Reich and Riley style minimalism, pastoral folk, broken beat, Jon Hassell style "Fourth World" music, and much more besides.
Review: When popular 1950s singer Jaye P Morgan first released this eponymous album in 1976, she would undoubtedly have hoped it would reignite her career. Sadly it didn't, but the album - a curious but hugely enjoyable mix of saccharine, synth-laden slow jams, disco-fired dancefloor workouts, Broadway style torch songs and fuzzy funk - went on to become a cult classic amongst Balearic-minded diggers. As this essential reissue proves, much of the material has aged rather well. Check, for example, the laidback AOR disco chug of "Can't Hide Love", the Barry White style seductiveness of "Here Is Where Your Love Belong" and the spine-tingling rush of Morgan's killer disco cover of Detroit soul staple "You're All I Need To Get By". Don't sleep!
Review: The honey-voiced Barrett was just 29 when he wrote, arranged, conducted and co-produced "Do Not Pass Me By Volume 2", a superb collection of gospel funk and soul rich in uplifting group vocals, bustling grooves, Tambourine-heavy drums, wild organ lines and rousing horns. With Barrett handling lead vocals throughout, the ten tracks veer from sparse and laidback spiritual meditations to surging sing-alongs that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention.