Review: the return of Eric Boss (aka E Da Boss of The Pendletons and Myron & E) and Ishtar Peeler's Lucid Paradise flexing their falsetto fire over a swinging groove and brazen Hammond smashes while on side B we head to St. Petersburg for an incredible medley/b-boy homage from Russian troupe the Great Revivors. More organs and references than you can pull a powerhead at. Jam on it!
Review: This excellent seven-inch single mines the rich seam of Terry Callier style folk-soul that is Jon Lucien's incredible 1973 album "Rashida". On the A-side you'll find the brilliantly breezy, horn-heavy samba-soul sunshine of "Would You Believe In Me", a song so beloved to Lucien that he re-recorded it several times later in his career. On the B-side you'll find the arguably even sweeter and more loved-up "Kuenda", where Lucien delivers attractive scat-style, double-racked freestyle vocals over a backing track rich in finger-picked folk guitar arpeggio lines and atmospheric field recordings of nature. It's a joyously simple track, but one that will stay with you for hours after you've put the record back on the shelf.
Review: Second time around for "In Togetherness", a private press gem from 1977 that has recently become popular with dusty-fingered collectors of underground disco and soul. It was originally written, performed, produced and pressed by almost unknown singer Judy Pollak and Michigan-based backing band 33 1/3. This Athens of the North vinyl re-issue follows a recent CD edition by Japanese imprint P-Vine. Musically, there's much to admire throughout, from the sax-and-synths-laden disco stomp of "Mr DJ" and down low disco-funk headiness of "Fascinating", to the seductive sweetness of Pollack's breathy vocal on "Come With Me" and the sun-kissed breeziness of the brilliant "More Than Words".
Review: Since Nick The Record has one of the deepest collections going, it's little surprise that his ongoing Record Mission series has delivered some killer re-edits of ridiculously obscure gems. For this third 12", he once again joins forces with Idjut Boy Dan Tyler to rework a trio of gospel-tinged cuts from the late '70s/early '80s. Arguably most impressive is A-side "Highway To Heathen", a gradually rising, off-piste, boogie-era disco jam blessed with killer talkbox vocals. On the flip you'll find the more straight-forward gospel sing-along of "For Heathen's Sake", and "he Touched Me", a slower, more soulful gospel excursion that benefits greatly from lashings of Tyler's trademark space echo and tape delay.
Review: A bonafide masterpiece; Minnie's first album post-Rotary Connection should need little introduction. A cult hit in 1970, a global smash when re-released in 74, Come To My Garden hasn't enjoyed a reissue for over 10 years. Her first pure soul and jazz album, this was the album where the world truly understood Ripperton's incredible range and tenderness. Powered by the breath-taking orchestration and song writing of Charles Stepney and her husband Richard Rudolph, everything about this album stands the test of time from the dreamy pastoral haze of "Close Your Eyes" or the delicate harmonies and nightingale rush of "Expecting" via the untouchable "Les Fleur". Immaculate music history.
Review: One of Frank Raines' most repeated offenders on Funk Night Records, Russian troupe The Soul Surfers return with two more on-point contemporary funk jams. "My Crew" is a lullaby level ode to mates with a hip-hop-inspired backbeat and gilded harmonies from the crew themselves. "Smell Of Detroit" takes us way out west with an almost cosmic, heavy-washed feel and an old America feel that goes back further than the steel city's most enduring legacy. On-point.