Review: In 2016 the Olympians - an all-star soul combo featuring members of The Dap-Kings, The Expressions and the Menahan Street Band - landed on Daptone with a fine debut album. Three years on, the Toby Pazner helmed group returns to action with a brand new "45". A-side "Midnight Movement" is a particularly sweet and ear-pleasing affair, with the band layering sweeping strings and lilting horn parts over a jaunty, piano-dominated instrumental soul groove. Over on side B, "Stand Tall" is a sharper, punchier and slightly funkier affair, with the band's fuzzy horns and fluttering flute solos rising above a Blaxploitation era-influenced backing track.
Review: Based in Northern Ireland, Hammond Organ Trio The Organauts have been together since 2015 and have a sound drenched in a unique blend of funk & soul.Their debut single 'I Feel Love' is a cover of the 1977 hit by the 'Queen of Disco', Donna Summer. Bombastic power chords and invigorating electric guitar riffs indulge us with their take on this well known classic.As played by Craig Charles on BBC Music
Review: Bobby Oroza has long been a key sideman in the Finnish Music Scene but now he's stepping out on his own and is a welcome voice indeed. Straddling a divide be-tween blue eyed soul and rock balladry once again on this latest single, he does a convincing job indeed. His own dreamy flute lines and gentle percussion tumble lie next to churning drums, but it's that super sweet vocal that makes "Strange Girl" so strong. "Down on My Knees" is more tender and introspective but just as good and sounds more like the work of someone from Southern California than the Nordic countries.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** This timeless classic by American singer-songwriter Shuggie Otis is an instantly recognisable masterpiece of soul. 1971's "Strawberry Letter 23" from his album "Freedom Flight" has endured and become a rare groove touchstone. Flecked with elements of psych and breakbeat, it is prescient, and stuffed with neat tics and tricks. Turn to the flip for an added bonus - "Ice Cold Daydream" is a funk bomb full of bouncing organs and squelching wah wah guitars with Shuggie's trademark vocal tones laid over the top.
Review: Should you be able to find original copies of the two dusty-fingered classics featured on this "45", your bank balance was be significantly smaller. Of course, just because something is rare and expensive doesn't make it good, but Jimmy Thomas's 1969 cut 'Springtime' is genuinely brilliant. Released when funk-rock was arguably at its height, it sees the legendary soul man belting out Alan de Roches' lyrics over a Hammond-heavy fusion of soul, funk and Hendrix-style heavy rock. This time round, it comes backed with a relatively hard to find - on vinyl, at least- chunk of reggae/soul/rhythm & blues from iconic Jamaican singer Owen Grey. It's superb, of course, but we still prefer the incendiary A-side.
Fabio Fonseca - "Ladroes De Bagda" (feat Marina Lima) (3:51)
Fernanda Abreu - "Hello Baby" (4:56)
Luna E DJ Cri - "Acabou Como Comecou" (4:28)
Junior - "Vim Te Buscar" (4:59)
Thaide & DJ Hum - "Coisas Do Amor" (Trepanado edit) (4:34)
As Damas Do Rap - "Um Sonho Real" (4:55)
MC D'Eddy - "Jeito De Ser Menina" (instrumental) (5:12)
Sharylaine - "Saudade" (5:26)
Review: Did you know that Britain was not the only country where street soul was a musical force to be reckoned with during the late '80s and early '90s? As this fine compilation from record collector Augusto Olivani shows, the sound also thrived in Brazil, where inner-city musicians embraced its post-boogie fusion of head-nodding grooves, smooth instrumentation and even smoother vocals. There's much to enjoy throughout "Street Soul Brasil", from the dreamy chords and sparkling melodies of Afrodite Se Quiser's breezy "Fora De Mim", to the Soul II Soul style shuffle of Luna E DJ Cri's "Acabou Como Comecou", via the rushing cheeriness of Junior's "Vim Te Buscar" and the sugary bliss of MC D'Eddy's "Jeito De Menina (Instrumental)".