Candy & The Kisses - "Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby" (2:39)
Val Simpson - "Mr Creator" (2:11)
Review: Candy & The Kisses burst onto the Northern Soul scene with their first single and all-time classic "The 81" co-written and produced by the late Jerry Ross. "Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby" is a storming soul number that went under the radar for the most part, but is good as any of other hits of theirs like "Chains Of Love" and many others. Flipside "Mr Creator" co-written by Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson was taken up by The Apollas in 1967 on Warner Bros. and went on to become an all-time classic.
Review: Wah Dubplate cannot and will not be stopped. The incorrigible little bootleg unit marches on with its usual mishmash of funky, disco-friendly edits from the most improbable of producers out there and this latest outing is another minor success in what is a whole catalogue of hidden gems. Italy's Aldo Vanucci and Del Gazeebo turn up sounding wild and soulful; the farmer's opening edit of "Bobby's Grapevine" does the Mo-Town tricks, while the latter's re-visioning of "Billy's Missus" gives the original 'hey, Mrs.Robison!' a nice little dance makeover. Sweet as a nut.
Review: Raw Georgian soul from Ruby Velle and her ever ready Soulphonics: two of the most powerful songs from their recent sophomore album State Of All Things enjoy a little slice of 45 justice. Big full flavoured instrumentation, and an even bigger presence from Ruby herself, across the sides Ruby and co flex their full palette; "Broken Women" is so heavy and urgent it naturally carries a powerful and infectious rock feel while "Forgive, Live, Repeat" taps a little more into the early 70s with its extended organ blasts and more lyrical clarity from the provocative bandleader. Pay attention.
Review: Atlanta troupe Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics treat us to two of the many highlights from their recent sophomore album State Of All Things. Delivered on a limited white 45, both cuts surge with the full spectrum soul they've been developing over the last 12 years. "Call Out My Name", the triumphant Valli-esque album finale is a thumping yet vastly emotional northern soul shakedown while "Love Less Blind" shows the band in a slightly woozier, dreamer state as the band's clam-tight horn section get given the spotlight shine.
Review: The Voices Of East Harlem were an ensemble of vocalists who for Just Sunshine Records recorded two albums under the direction of Leroy Hutson and Curtis Mayfield. "Cashing In" is one of their most classic songs, a highly sought after track on original 7" fetches a small fortune on the collectors market. First recorded and released in 1973, it has all the hallmarks of a Leroy Hutson composition and an established audience that crosses the boundaries of northern, crossover and modern soul. The song is coupled here with "Take A Stand', another highly regarded and sought after modern soul room dance floor tracks, never previously released on 7" single until now
Review: Those who watch the X-Factor may remember Voices With Soul; the trio, which is made up of three female members of the Campbell family (Grace, Hilda and Corene) reached the last six of the TV talent competition back in the late noughties. Here, they're in full-on contemporary gospel mode, layering their impassioned, righteous vocals over a lushly produced, slow-burning backing track full of chiming synthesizer melodies, bustling synth bass and tumbling electronic sax solos. Arguably even better is the flipside "Promo Mix", which doffs a cap to classic British street soul - a homegrown 1980s variant that is constantly overlooked by dance music scholars - via tactile hip-hop beats and Soul II Soul style production.
Aldo Vanucci - "You're All Show" (feat Kylie Auldist - Smoove remix Craig Charles edit)
Lack Of Afro - "The Outsider" (part 2)
Mop Mop - "Run Around" (feat Fred Wesley & Anthony Joseph)
Euro Cinema - "Koekwaus"
Saskwatch - "Second Best"
The James Taylor Quartet - "Blow Up"
The Bongolian - "The Riviera Affair"
Hot 8 Brass Band - "Ghost Town"
Hidden Jazz Quartett - "High Heels" (feat Omar - Lack Of Afro remix)
The Perceptions - "Bite The Bit"
Jessica Lauren Four - "Happiness Train" (featt Jocelyn Brown)
Omar - "There's Nothing Like This" (feat Pino Palladino)
Dr Rubberfunk - "Creek Walk"
Cookin' On 3 Burners - "Cars"
Deep Street Soul - "What She Said"
The Sweet Vandals - "Feel Alive"
Emma Beatson & The Hawkmen - "Do It" (Mako & The Hawk version)
Tape Five - "Geraldine's Routine"
Review: Self-proclaimed "complete package" Craig Charles (actor, poet, DJ, radio host, stand-up) seems to be enjoying life as Britain's most famous funk and soul fan. Here, he curates a second installment of his Funk & Soul Club compilation series. Predictably, there's plenty to tickle the fancy, from the reggae-soul-house shuffle of Lack of Afro's remix of Hidden Jazz Quartet's "High Heels", and the psychedelic funk madness of The Bongolian's "The Riviera Affair", to the celebratory release of Jessica Lauren Four's "Happiness Train" (featuring a brilliant vocal from old Jocelyn Brown), and a pair of ripsnorting cover versions (Cookin' On Three Burners' fantastic take on Numan's "Cars" and Hot Eight Brass Band's famous remake of the Specials' "Ghost Town").
Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - "Foolish Girl" (feat Alex Ligertwood)
The New Mastersounds - "Tantalus"
The Getup - "Hush"
Orquesta Akokan - "Mambo Rapidito"
Gizelle Smith - "Scared Of Something"
Menagerie - "Spiral"
Review: Craig Charles' annual "Funk & Soul Club" compilations are fast becoming as much of a Christmas tradition as turkey, dodgy decorations and ill-advised snogs at office parties. As with its predecessor, this sixth volume does a good job in showcasing the best in modern funk, soul, Afrobeat and heavy Latin jams, with a few stone cold classics thrown in (see the Mighty Ryeders' peerless "Evil Vibrations"). Look out for deep and heavy funk gems from the Bamboos, the New Mastersounds and Lance Ferguson's Rare Groove Spectrum, some suitably smooth fare from Courtney Pine and Omar, a scintillating, salsa-focused cover of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" by Scotland's Grupo Magnetico, and a dash of dancefloor goodness from funk breaks scene stalwarts Smoove and Turrell.
RA The Rugged Man - "Definition Of A Rap Flow" (3:33)
Roy Ayers - "Poo Poo La La" (4:16)
Herbie Hancock - "I Thought It Was You" (3:40)
Toto - "Waiting For Your Love" (4:10)
Omar - "I Want It To Be" (3:48)
Shalamar - "Take That To The Bank" (3:24)
Teddy Pendergrass - "Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose" (5:19)
The Incredible Bongo Band - "Apache" (4:52)
The Mighty Ryeders - "Evil Vibrations" (3:45)
D'Angelo - "Sugah Daddy" (5:04)
The Mad Lads - "No Strings Attached" (2:30)
The Emotions - "Blind Alley" (3:01)
Erykah Badu - "Next Lifetime" (4:01)
Review: The Cuban Brothers drop some heat of their own with this surprising compilation that blurs the lines between original music and DJ composition. La Familia does have some odd their sounds on it, namely the opening "I Hate Hate", a funky-ass pop tune that kicks this thing off on the right foot, but the majority of it is made from the very artists who launched funk and pop onto the world stage. Inside, you'll fid some absolute classics from legends like Herbie Hancock, Teddy Pendergrass, A Tribe Called Quest, D'Angelo, and many more hot shots.
Family Of Eve - "I Wanna Be Loved By You" (Kenny Dope edit) (5:26)
Total Experience - "Contradiction" (3:56)
Joe Washington - "Blueberry Hill" (3:25)
Ronnie Keaton - "Going Down For The Last Time" (2:54)
The Fabulous Originals - "It Ain't Fun" (re-edit) (3:52)
Sons Of The Kingdom - "Modernization" (5:02)
Ramsey & Company - "Love Call" (4:26)
Rickey Calloway - "Tell Me" (2:47)
The Golden Toadstools - "Silly Savage" (2:19)
Sandi & Matues - "The World" (2:26)
Carleen & The Groovers - "Can We Rap" (2:14)
Review: Like deep funk? Then you'd surely know of the legendary Keb Darge: the Scottish DJ who invented the term. Known as a leading authority on funk and soul music of the 1960s and beyond, he went from modest beginnings in Wigan, before moving to London in the '70s, bringing the sounds of Northern Soul to punters in the capital. Namely His 'Legendary Deep Funk' night at Soho's seminal strip club turned music venue Madame Jojo's. Following up his last compilation put together with Paul Weller; 2009's Lost & Found (Real R'N'B & Soul) LP, Darge presents hits from the 'Deep Funk' series to celebrate BBE's 20th year. Diggers will most certainly appreciate appearances on here such as Soul Drifter's "Funky Brother", Kenny Dope's edit of Family Of Eve's much sampled "I Wanna Be Loved By You", Joe Washington's "Blueberry Hill" and the classic "Love Call" by Ramsay and Company amongst many others.
East St. Louis Gospelettes - "Have A Talk With God" (3:22)
Betty Everett - "Just A Little Piece Of You" (3:35)
The Foreign Exchange - "If She Breaks Your Heart" (5:23)
Sunlightsquare - "Pastime Paradise" (4:40)
US Atlantic First Navy Show Band - "Birds Of Beauty" (3:50)
Billy Preston - "It's My Pleasure" (3:49)
John Minnis' Big Bone Band - "Love's In Need Of Love Today" (4:48)
Tony Sherman - "As" (3:44)
David Porter - "I Don't Know Why I Love You" (2:59)
David Rufn - "Make My Water Boil (Loving You Has Been So Wonderful)" (3:50)
Reel People - "Golden Lady" (feat Tony Momrelle) (4:56)
Quincy Jones - "Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me" (5:20)
GC Cameron - "If You Don't Love Me" (2:30)
Jrod Indigo - "Go Home" (5:17)
Black Sugar - "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing" (2:50)
Review: DJ Spinna is known for many things; his productions, sublime DJ mixes and many a hip hop classic as half of Jigmastas. He's also a complete Stevie Wonder obsessive who runs a popular Stevie-themed club night called Wonderful. A series of albums that expand on the party's concept was a logical next step and The Wonder Of Stevie now arrives at a third volume. This edition has clearly been painstakingly curated by Spinna and BBE, consisting of other people's covers of the man's work. Highlights include sweet and sugary 'Buttercup" by The Jackson 5, the bluesy honky tonk jam "It's My Pleasure" by Billy Preston and Quincy Jones' pure liquid funk version of "Betcha' Wouldn't Hurt Me".
Review: The new Spacetalk label gets off to a flying start thanks to this compilation by French house shotter, Jeremy Underground. We know him, and you surely know him, though his My Love Is Underground label, an imprint that has produced some of the best deep house in the last five years. He's not in house mode today, though, and instead the DJ shows us his soul roots. Ron Rinaldi's opener "Mexican Summer" is a real peach of a song, then there's some Brazilian disco-funk through Leila Pinheiro's "Tudo Em Cima", and the supremely deep and sensual "Superstar" by NCCU. Other favourites include Maureen Bailey's bittersweet anthem "Takin' My Time With You", and June Evans' "Hardly Need To Say", a tune that we could just leave on repeat. A highly recommended comp!
Review: The Spacetalk label returns with this fine compilation by French house shotter, Jeremy Underground. We know him, and you surely know him, though his My Love Is Underground label, an imprint that has produced some of the best deep house in the last five years. He's not in house mode today, though, and instead the DJ shows us his soul roots. Ron Rinaldi's opener "Mexican Summer" is a real peach of a song, then there's some Brazilian disco-funk through Leila Pinheiro's "Tudo Em Cima", and the supremely deep and sensual "Superstar" by NCCU. Other favourites include Maureen Bailey's bittersweet anthem "Takin' My Time With You", and June Evans' "Hardly Need To Say", a tune that we could just leave on repeat. A highly recommended comp!
Sandy Barber - "I Think I'll Do Some Stepping On My Own"
Bill Avery - "Disco Fever" (re-edit)
Spooky & Sue - "I've Got The Need"
Vessie Simmons - "I Can Make It On My Own"
Scarbrough - "Make Love To You"
The J's - "When Did You Stop"
Larry Brown - "Breaking Training" (parts 1 & 2)
Review: In recent years we've become accustomed to disco compilations appearing at a furious rate. While many of these compilations are undoubtedly worthy of attention, the volume of releases can sometimes be bewildering. This eight track selection from Al Kent, the second in his Disco Love series, ticks all the right boxes, however. Even by the highest crate digging standards, these tracks are pretty obscure; many won't have had much of an airing since their original release. Those into the rich, soulful side of disco - that brand of string-laden dancefloor material most associated with the Philadelphia International label and studio -will find much to enjoy. Perhaps the most noteworthy is Scarborough's delightfully sweet "Make Love To You", an epic of biblical proportions that lasts longer than most drunken one night stands. See also Valerie Simmons' super sweet "I Can't Make It On My Own" and the rousing orchestral manoeuvres of "I've Got The Need". This luxurious gatefold double album also comes replete with extensive track notes from compiler Al Kent.
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".
Jeff Silna - "It's Always Something With You" (3:27)
Stratus - "Girl" (4:34)
7 Days Unlimited - "Dirt (In The Sky)" (3:22)
Willy Santana - "Mais Uma Chance" (2:46)
Funky Team - "It's About Time" (2:54)
James D Hall - "I Wanna Get Into You" (4:00)
George Nasif - "Don't Let The Devil" (3:18)
Omega Sunrise - "Heartbreaker" (4:11)
Steve Turner - "Harbor Place" (5:07)
Billy Always - "More Than A Minute" (3:33)
Stacey - "Keeps Me Hangin On" (3:11)
Archie James Cavanaugh - "Light Unto The World" (3:47)
Out Of The Fog - "Heart To Heart" (3:42)
Jon Konteau - "The Heckler" (3:18)
Review: Pascal Rioux's Favorite Recordings hasn't put out a dud record since its inception back in 2006 and, along with introducing us to artists like Onra, the imprint is surely one of the most complete sources of disco and nu-disco available on the market. Their most recent series, AOR Global Sounds, have all the makings of future classics, and this is especially true given the fact that all of its tunes have been lost in the depths of time and greedy Discogs sellers. The third chapter in the series features tunes from between 1976 and 1985, carefully curated by Charles Maurice with the aim of showcasing various disco artists from around the world that have been influenced by the inimitable 'Westcoast' boogie sound. Make no mistake, these tunes are all rare-as-hens-teeth, and you're unlikely to find them pressed up on wax anywhere else. Although each tune features a different artist, from Stratus through to Funky Team or even Brazil's Willy Santana, this is very much an LA kinda thang. An essential comp for anyone serious about their boogie joints...
Review: It doesn't seem like five years since BBE last invited London crate digger and turntablist Mr Thing to get his fingers dusty by picking out gems from his record collection for the Strange Breaks & Mr Thing series. Predictably, this belated third installment is full of killer selections that lives up to it's subtitled billing as More Rock Funk Soul Jazz & Soundtrack Breaks For Modern Living. Favourites come thick and fast though the low down funk of Dynamic Concept's "La Da Da" and the jazz-funk goodness of Harry Beckett's "Ring Within Rings" stand out upon first listen. The cats at BBE spare no expense either with this vinyl edition that features fifteen cuts spread across the two slabs, and there's also Mr Thing's peerless mix available on a CD that's slipped in too.
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)".
Milton Wright - "The Silence That You Keep" (version 1)
Lynn Williams - "It Takes Two"
Raphael Munnings - "Sleep On, Dream On"
Wildflower - "You Knock Me Out"
Jimmy 'Bo' Horne - "Hey There Jim"
Leno Phillips - "Confusion"
Phillip Wright - "Keep Her Happy"
Willie Johnson - "Lay It On Me"
Johnny K - "I Got Bills To Pay"
Funky Nassau - "Bahama Soul Stew"
Formula 1 - "Walking With My Eyes Closed"
Stevens & Foster - "I Want To Be Love"
Oceanliners - "Cutting Room (Hot Pants)"
Jimmy 'Bo' Horne - "If You Want My Love"
Brand New - "Thousand Years"
T Connection - "Do What You Wanna Do"
Beginning Of The End - "Super Woman"
Robert Moore - "Tears Of The World"
Friday Saturday & Sunday - "There Must Be A Better Way"
Review: Back in the mid 1970s, young engineer Terry 'T.K' Kane and Harry Stone joined forces to launch a studio and record distribution business in Miami. It would spawn a huge number of in-house labels, and even greater number of funk and disco releases, and even a string of million-selling artists. Given this legacy, it's little surprise to see Athens of the North paying tribute to the funk side of Henry Stone's impressive legacy with this superb collection. While there are a few tried-and-tested cuts to be found - see the T Connection and Little Beaver cuts - for the most part The Miami Sound focuses on more obscure - but no less hard-hitting - gems from the likes of Jonny K, Stevens & Foster and Leno Philips.