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: Delicious timeless soul from Finnish crooner Oroza. Originally released in 2016, "This Love" hums with a Faze O style sunset haze that could melt the stoniest of hearts. "Should I Take You Home" plays the consummate foil on the B. A cover of Sunny Ozuna, there's such a smooth, arresting bluesy feel that runs throughout you kinda want him to take you home even though you've got a perfectly pleasant abode yourself.
Review: Since springing back to life last year, original disco-era funk label Al & The Kidd Records has delivered a string of fine singles featuring previously unheard cuts from the Washington D.C-based imprint's seemingly bulging vaults. Their latest must-have 45 features two delights from Michael Orr, an obscure funk/soul artist best known for his 1975 collaboration with Casey Harris, Spread Love. In fact, B-side "Afterawhile" - a sumptuously loose and laidback affair featuring some superb keyboard solos from Orr - is taken from that sought-after set. Arguably even more thrilling, though, is A-side "Wonder Woman (Super Lady)", a previously unreleased, synth-heavy space funk jam recorded in 1983.
Review: By the time Odetta Holmes recorded Southern Soul classic Odetta Sings in 1970, she'd already released a dizzying array of albums over a 13-year career. Initially a rhythm and blues artist, she played a key role in the American folk revival of the 1960s and became a leading figure in the civil rights movement. While Odetta Sings included some softly spun fusions of folk and soul (see her fabulous covers of Paul McCartney's "Every Night" and James Taylor's bluesy "Lo and Behold") and string-drenched ballads, for the most part it was an impassioned and upbeat affair, containing such classics as "Mama Told Me Not To Come", "Hit and Miss" and "Movin' It On". In hindsight, it's one of the strongest soul albums of all time, making this limited edition reissue a must-have.
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)".
Gave My Heart/Its So (Interlood) (feat Leon Ware/Grant Windsor Big Beat Band) (5:02)
Feeds My Mind (Feal Floacist) (3:56)
De Ja Vu (feat Mayra Andrade) (3:25)
This Way That Way (3:44)
Hold Me Closer (feat Stuart Zender) (3:48)
I Want It To Be (3:47)
Doobie Doobie Doo (4:08)
Grey Clouds (5:01)
Review: One of the UK's most distinctive, consistent and authentic male soul voices returns with his eighth album in 27 years... And it's a serious piece of work. Rich in range, warmth, creativity and a keen eye on the dancefloor, everything about him feels refreshed and energised. Highlights include the Dilla-meets-Iz & Diz style "This Way That Way", the glistening Balearic charm of "Feeds My Mind", the syrupy organs and harmonies on "Insatiable". Winding down with the almost filmic narrative "Grey Clouds", it's one of those records that will have you leaping up, flipping to side A and starting all over again. Feel the love.
Review: Reasons to be cheerful; LA funk fusioneers Orgone strut into 2019 with their long-awaited 10th studio album. Written in the desert, recorded in the shadow of Joshua tree, once again the band tap into that powerful hooky signature that comprises the best of all funk era. The proto house shimmers and soaring harmonies of "Cold Side", the Blue Thumb era looseness of the super sultry "We Can Make It" and the powerful disco dynamics and almost bluesy guitars of "Light In Me" are just a handful of highlights from a band who get tighter and brighter with every dispatch.