Review: "Fever" is one of Horace Andy's biggest hits. Amazingly, it has never been given its own release so Studio One has done the right thing and put it out on a super loud 12" for the first time. It first landed way back in 1973 before Andy rose to contemporary fame appearing with Massive Attack on five of their albums, but still hits hard. The lush vocals sit well in the swinging drums and bass, and makes it a sure fire dance floor destroyer that won't hang around. Comes accompanied with a Cedric "Im" Brooks instrumental version on the flip.
Review: Previously spotted passing hands for over 5000 quid, this one-off 45" from North Carolina troupe Ice has enjoyed cult status over the years in both the deepfunk and northern soul scenes. Straight from 1980, there's a great balance of classic soul motifs and modern production as "Reality" swoons and sways unhurriedly but emphatically while "Hey Hey" ups the boogie ante with firm focus on the party, sharp switches on the chorus and some insane bass runs. Another ice cold reissue from AOTN.
Review: Ikebe Shakedown is a collective of hyper-skilled instrumentalists who have been pushing boundaries for a decade now. That draw on raw and emotive 70s soul, psyche-sounds and Western soundtracks, and distil all that on this new red hot and pink 7" on Colemine. There is real majesty and joy in this tracks, which were recorded by Ikebe's bassist, Vince Chiarito, at Hive Mind Recording. Lush textures, nagging bass riffs and impressive playing chops all feature across a pair of tracks that very much tell a story that will have you coming back for more.
Review: The first of two major Infinity licences from AOTN this month, this is a significant excavation even by renowned digger label founder Fryer's standards. Usually seen passing hands for well over 500 quid, this second and last single from the relatively unknown troupe Infinity is a stone cold jam that's been sought after for many many years. Absolute rare groove sleaze on the bass and horns, "Queen Of My Universe" sparkles with soul in every element. Meanwhile "Up" strips things back even further with an uptempo disco twang and tight Q&A vocal play between the band. Infinite love for this one!
Review: A stunning soul double A with a percussion heavy smoky soul cover of Leroy Lane & The Upstairs Maids' "There's A Man" and a big-swing, horn-heaved late 60s Motown-style ballad "I Have This World & You". Canadian soul act Joey Irving & Just Us only wrote and recorded a handful of songs and - madly - they couldn't get a deal on home soil so turned to Belgium's Baltic label which was usually the sole preserve of elevator music and native Flemish folk. Few original pressings have been spotted, but when they do they regularly fetch over L200. Jump on this.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Immortalised, slowed down funk from The Isley Brothers, an American R&B/soul group from Cincinnati, Ohio, established in the early 1950s. This 7" houses the much loved and often sampled in the hip hop world, "Footsteps In The Dark" (Parts 1 & 2) and "Between The Sheets". The latter is a silky smooth R&B classic whilst the arguably more well-known "Footsteps In The Dark" is an arrestingly beautiful, hood classic/soul masterpiece. The bassy but laid-back harmonious ballad with delicious percussion and Ronald Isley crooning an uneasy lyric on maintaining "a love that lasted for so long" amid the constant temptation of infidelity, makes it worth the entry price on its own.
Review: Jazzman dip into the unreleased archives of Arkansas label Alley Records and pull out these two absolute gems that will find a welcome home in any self respecting Northern Soul or Funk selectors record box. This dinked 45 from Ike Noble and The Uptights is just the start for Jazzman with further sevens plus an albums worth of material planned after a successful trip to Arkansas. If you like your funk rippling with overwhelming vocal emotion you will love the raw and infectious nature of both "That's The Sound Of My Heart" and "That's What I Get". The A Side leans on an uptempo Midwestern funk vibe whilst Ike's tearing vocal turn on the flip is the perfect accompaniment to a pounding backing from the Up Tights.