Review: Long before digging South American and African music became popular, Patrick Forge and Chris Franck were serving up club-focused jams that drew heavily on the musical traditions of both continents. It is, then, a good time for them to return from a five-year hiatus with a brand new EP. It's every bit as colourful, vibrant and floor-friendly, with all three cuts hitting the mark. Leading the charge is fantastic A-side "Oba Lata", a supremely sun-kissed Afro-beat affair rich in Africa 70s style guitars, Tony Allen-esque drum patterns and life-affirming vocals. On the flip you'll find a punchy, off-kilter broken beat revision from contemporary bruk hero Namebrandsound, as well as the deep, languid and Rhodes-laden shuffle of "Dakar", a more considered number that nevertheless leaves a lasting impression.
DaM-FunK - "Believer" (Fingers deep funk remix) (8:40)
Nite-Funk - "Can U Read Me?" (3:38)
Review: Damon Garrett Riddick offered a fine addition to the DJ Kicks canon with his 19 track DaM-Funk selection earlier this and in time honoured tradition his exclusive contribution gets a vinyl release backed with a rather special remix. In a nod to his cache and love of classic deep house, Riddick has coaxed a Mr Fingers remix out of Larry Heard resulting in a sublime take on "Believer" that would have gone down a treat at Broken Beat haven Co-Op back in the day. Instead of the original version of "Believer," the flip features another Riddick original from the DJ Kicks mix - his killer Nite Funk collaboration with fellow LA synthesizer enthusiast Nite Jewel.
Review: Under the Danced Til Midnight alias, DJ Andy Anderson has always produced music that eschews easy categorization. His two previous 12" singles successfully blended elements of funk, soul, disco, hip-hop, house and Afrobeat. This madcap, all-that-counts-is-the-dancefloor feel is continued on "She Can't Love You", which laces Ijeoma's soulful, R&B style vocal over a backing track that variously doffs a cap to fuzzy funk, boogie, breakbeat and disco-house. Similar could be said about the more breakbeat-minded "Maxx E", which feels like a reworked instrumental dub of the title track. Speaking of reworks, the EPs's highlight is arguably Egyptian Lover's punchy electro remake of "She Can't Love You".
Review: Dego and Kaidi on Sound Signature whut???? Here's a partnership that makes perfect sense! The West London legends bring their signature blend of soul and brukked up grit to Theo Parrish's label across three stellar cuts resulting in a 12" that will remain long in the box. Lead track "Adam Rock Dissed" sets the tone, gliding out of the grooves with impeccably placed drums snapping away loosely as Kaidi lets loose with his magical fingers on keys. Next up, "Moths In Wallets" rolls forward and fat on a lazy breakbeat with the vibe enhanced by the low bass rumble and rich, rich keys. This might be our favourite cut on the 12" though B-side production "Backchat for Toprock" runs it close. Live drums get ripped up hard, rocking to their own broken step as Dego and Kaidi slowly tease out some heart wrenching chords amidst a flurry of heavy piano. The masters are in session, pay attention!
Review: UK legend Dego and killer keys-man Kaidi Tatham have been in a rich vein of form of late, dropping brilliant EPs on Eglo, Sound Signature and Rush Hour (the latter under their 2000Black alias). Here, they return to Eglo with four more slices of warm, rich, soul-flecked fluidity. As with previous outings, much of the material has a laidback jazz-funk feel, particularly "Orbiting Uhara" and the delicious "The Vault Descends" (think bustling bruk rhythms and darting boogie synths). They also offer up some tougher, synth-laden bruk-funk in the shape of "Man Made", while "Black Is Key" sees them unfurl a head-nodding vocal roller.
Review: Yes Eglo! Alex Nut and crew turn to two elder statesmen of London beat science in Dego and Kaidi Tatham for a killer induction into the art of crafting 'broken beat bullets'. For those who don't possess the necessary knowledge, Dego is the most familiar handle of Dennis McFarlane, founding member of 4Hero and responsible for so much good music over the years, and Tatham has an equally important role in the whole Broken Beat movement, being an integral member of the Bugz In the Attic collective. The pair have worked together previously on numerous occasions and they are on top form here with lead track "Ankle Injury" demonstrating a perfect balance of melody and crafty rhythm. Imagine Theo and Floating Points collaborating and your heads in the right spot to enjoy this track and "Acting Up On That Shit Don't Count" which is the sort of music you could imagine RAMP to be making if they were on the rise today. Do check the sumptuous piano and Rhodes vibes on final cut "Carrots & Sesame"!!
Review: Somewhat confusingly, the two Al Dobson tracks featured on this must-have 12" are not taken from his superb Rye Lane LP, but rather a CD of possible album tracks the producer gave to Rhythm Section International last year. Both cuts are typical of his dusty, rhythm-centric sound, and are particularly sparse. This, though, just makes the remixes even more remarkable. Polish producers PTaki turn "Santiago Black" into a midtempo chunk of analogue-sounding midtempo house, complete with drifting vocal samples and a wonderfully dubby bassline. Arguably even better is Ruf Dug's eccentric version of "Kirton Street", which wobbles, pulses and darts with chiming melodies, rough sub bass and hissing, cymbal-laden percussion, while retaining the blazed feel of Dobson Jr's original.
Review: Soul auteur Jonathan Diggs Duke returns to one of his older EPs for a timely reissue. Originally released in 2015, just after his critically acclaimed debut album on Giles Peterson's Brownswood, the three tracks catch Diggs at his most flighty and free-thinking; "Ambition Addiction" jumps and rolls like a tightly coiled jazz spring before hurling us into the deep harmonic soulful blue of "Welcome" and "Funky Overdose" lives up to its name with its off beat magic, tightly plucked guitar and staccato vocals. Addictive.
Review: Matthew Halsall's Gondwana label is seeing a busy August what with the imprint flooding our jazz charts with reissues and, of course, new releases such as this wonderful collaborative effort from The Gondwana Orchestra and Dwight Trible. Trible's voice is like silk, running up and down the delicate waves of melodies from the collective, with "Colors" and "The Creator Has A Master Plan" both capable of making the toughest of audiences feel utterly uplifted. On the flip, "Love Is Everywhere" shines bright amid a flurry of flutes and intricate drum percussions, while "You've Got To Have Freedom" rides off a much smoother, deeper sort of vibe that's got a little funk at its core. Wicked.
David Tapfuma - "Magamba" (Esa Zimtronix Direct mix) (5:19)
Review: This compilation style outing from Southern African music enthusiasts Nyami Nyami is billed as "an ode to the music of Zimbabwe past and future". Side A boasts cuts from two Bulawayo-based "Kwela" outfits: a terrific, heavily percussive future dub interpretation of Bulawayo Kwela's "Mysterious Africa" by The Comet Is Coming producer Danalogue, and the sparse, sun-kissed acoustic bliss of Elliot Phiri's "Nomalanga". Turn to the flip for two versions of Hararre-based David Tapfuma's beautiful "Magumba". There's the original version, where Tapfuma sings over a solo mbira melody, and a superbly glassy-eyed, synth-heavy 21st century club version by Auntie Flo collaborator (and hugely talented producer) Esa Williams. As good as the rest of the EP is, his version is worth the admission price on its own.
Review: Following the summer-sizzled "LOVE Song" comes another smooth soul schooling from Victor Lavender. Smoking keys and a lolloping bassline set the scene as Diviniti's vocals cause a spell-binding ear roadblock to great effect. For something deeper and more percussive jump on ReelSoul's drum-heavy instrumental while Josh Milan Honeycomb extends the soul aspects and injects a tiny bit of jazz to recipe giving it a confident MAW-like polish. "1929" completes the set with more jazzed out leanings thanks to the dreamy keys and piano work, tied together neatly with a funky squidgy bassline and subtle percussion elements.
Review: Sample-digging beat-maker DJ Mitsu The Beats has been churning out blazed grooves and hazy, head-nodding workouts for well over 15 years. You'll find a fine example of his woozy, laidback and emotion-rich approach on the B-side of this Mukatsuku Records outing, which marks his first appearance on wax since 2016. While that track, "Pilot", is all warm Rhodes lines, toasty bass, Vibraphone flashes and crunchy MPC beats, it lets A-side "Let Go" shine - it was made in collaboration with Kaneko Takumi from Cro-Magnon and features spacey, Herbie Hancock style synthesizer lead lines stretching out over rich Fender Rhodes chords and shuffling, bossa nova-influenced beats.As played by DJ Spinna, Rob Luis (Tru Thoughts),Marc Hype,The Allergies,Kid Koala ,Nancy Noise,Smoov etc
Review: Some two years after dropping his debut album, "Broken Knowz", Jay Daniel delivers a follow-up. Interestingly, the fast-rising Detroit producer opted to move away from his usual club sound on "Tala", recently telling Resident Advisor that it was, "an invitation to know me outside of DJing". It's as deep, jazzy and musically rich as you'd expect, with Daniel flitting between jazz-funk/broken beat fusion, spacey ambient soundscapes, head-nodding hip-hop beats, intergalactic R&B instrumentals, super-smooth beatdown fare and the kind of hushed, glassy-eyed grooves that are best enjoyed while lying flat on your back at six in the morning.
Review: Marcel Vogel's Intimate Friends label turns to an unknown entity for their next release, giving Dear Earth no less than a full album to run with as a first outing. That's a strong statement of conviction, and the label are right to be so bold as Dear Earth shows off the kind of inventive, sample-rich approach that makes your ears prick up in an instant. Supposedly hailing from London, this mysterious figure has been trawling through all kinds of ephemera and stewing it into a soulful, meandering body of work that touches on house, downtempo broken beat and more besides.
A Strong Move For Truth (feat Nadine Charles) (3:19)
Good Morning (feat Samii) (2:40)
Remini Dream (feat Ivana Santilli) (3:46)
I Don't Wanna Know (feat Obenewa) (3:21)
Unknown Faults (3:59)
Life Can Be Unreal (feat Sarina Leah) (3:26)
Too Much (feat Sharlene Hector) (1:58)
You Are Virgo (5:05)
Come Of Age (3:28)
Just Leave It (feat Lady Alma) (4:52)
Ogawa Okasan Said Just Play (4:45)
A Where Pringle Deh? (2:14)
My Standards Are (Not) Too High (8:40)
Review: In our eyes, 2000 Black lynchpin Dego can do no wrong. You'll therefore be unsurprised to hear that we're huge fans of the 4Hero founder member's latest solo album, a belated follow-up to 2015's "The More Things Stay The Same". It is, of course, superbly soulful, slicky produced and wonderfully paced, moving from the heady soul sweetness of "A Strong Move For Truth", to the deep jazz-funk/broken beat vibes of "My Standards Are (Not) Too High" via 12 other warm and seductive cuts of an equally high standard. Highlights include the summery bruk-soul bliss of "Remini Dream", the toasty boogie revivalism of "Unknown Faults" and the Clavinet-sporting brilliance of Lady Alma hook-up "Just Leave It".
Don't Put Your Hat Where Your Hand Can't Reach (2:20)
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a collaborative debut album (on Sound Signature, no less) from London broken beat veterans Dego and Kaidi Tatham. As with their previous joint releases on 2000 Black, Rush Hour, Eglo and, of course, Sound Signature, it's the duo's love of rich, jazz-fuelled musicality, sun-kissed melodies and loose, languid rhythms that shines through. There are naturally nods towards disco, boogie, jazz-funk, Afrobeat, hip-hop and classic "bruk", with a stellar cast list of guest musicians and vocalists swinging by to lend a hand. If Herbie Hancock decamped to Ladbroke Grove and made an album with Bugz In The Attic, it would probably sound like this. In our book, that's a very good thing indeed.
Review: David Hanke is a man known for his wild and illustrious array of aliases. Through the years, he's appeared under the names Black Soyls, Madball Scientists, Mankoora and Rengades Of Jazz, among many others. Dem Juju Poets is his latest creation and, needless to say, it is perhaps his most accomplished and mature project to date. We don't want to take anything away from his previous productions but there's just something utterly fluid about this latest reincarnation. Matasuna is the new label to launch this new Liberated Thoughts LP, and we're sure this will go down a storm with all the jazz-funk crew, particularly the followers of Giles Peterson's DJ sound. Hanke's approach is playful and diverse, branching out into all sorts of jazzy vibrations that are tied together by funky, off-kilter outernational vibes. Plenty of breaks, bass bumps, and party moves for all sorts of vinyl playaz - oh boy, check those horns on the masterful "People's Republic"!
Review: If your fame is built on delivering rock solid dancefloor cuts, should your subsequent albums stick to the same approach or mix it up a little? It's a conundrum that many artists have struggled with over the years. Smartly, Detroit Swindle has decided to hedge their bets with High Life following 2014's Boxed Out. As full length albums go, it's a bit of a peach, and sees the acclaimed Dutch duo flit between sensuous, home-listening fare, jaunty, instrumental-laden workouts (see the cheery, smoky pop-soul of Tom Misch hook-up "Yes, No, Maybe" and Afro-fired bounce of "Call of the Wild" featuring fellow Dutch combo Jungle By Night) and tried-and-tasty club tracks (Seven Davis Jr collaboration "Flavourism", the driving disco-house of "Freeqy Polly" and "Cut U Loose").
Ich Schreib' Dir Ein Buch 2013 (feat Hildegard Knef)
Review: Though his career has taken many turns over the last decade, DJ Koze has remained that most illusive of creatures: a minimal-minded producer with an ear for a melody. This fourth full-length, packed to the rafters with big-name collaborations (Apparat, Caribou, Ada and Matthew Dear all feature), continues his move towards the home-listening sphere. So, while many of the heady rhythms and shuffling grooves hark back to his stripped-back past, Amygdala impresses with its woozy songs, genre-straddling fusions (see the modern soul meets deep house of "Homesick" or the steppy, tropical vibes of "Marilyn Whirlwind") and homely atmosphere.
Review: Krush's eighth - and last - album Jaku is up there with Endtroducing and Donuts in terms of seminal, influential and forward-thinking beat longer players. 10 years since its release and it still sounds as timeless, unique and exciting as it did in 2004. The slick licks of a young Mr Lif on "Nosferatu", the post-apocalyptic tension of "Univearth" the sludgy, swampy cosmic hip-hop of the Aesop Rock-featured "Kill Switch" and the unashamed sax sex of "Slit Of Cloud"..... Do we need to go on? Limited edition, 180g transparent vinyl; even if you already have this in your collection this is a very, very appealing investment.