Review: The general consensus is that We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service, A Tribe Called Quest's sixth and final album, is something of a triumph, with many critics hailing it as the best full-length of 2016. It's certainly a fine set, full of their trademark musically rich backing tracks (enhanced, this time round, with a greater reliance on live instrumentation), conscious lyrics and distinctive, on-point vocal delivery. Given their legendary status within hip-hop, it's unsurprising to see a string of similarly high profile guests dotted throughout, with Busta Rhymes, Andre 3000, Kayne West, Consequence, Jack White and Elton John (presumably in sampled form) all lending a hand. Even if you're only mildly interested in hip-hop, this should be essential listening.
Review: Another killer issue from the 5 Borough Breaks crew, unearthing yet another classic hip hop anthem rarely seen on 45. Taking it back to 1989, Ultimate Force's "I'm Not Playing" catches a young Diamond D in full flow over a looped blues lick. Famed for its appearance on Shadow & Cut Chemist's "Brainfreeze" mix, the original 45 will set you back a hefty sum. As always, flip it over for the original sample source - step up Blues master Albert King's "Cold Feet".
Review: Jorun Bombay has form for breathing new life into Jackson family favourites, having previously released a fine 7" featuring a stellar revision of "It's Great To Be Here". This time he tackles a solo MJ cut, lacing the vocal and horns from "Soul Makossa"-inspired single "Got To Be Startin' Something" over a bustling, bass-heavy groove previously featured on one of the most famous hip-hop cuts of all time. Arguably even better is flipside "Give Me The Remix", a brilliant, 1980s 12" dub style revision of another Q Jones production. It's pleasingly stripped-down, making use of the original's killer synth bassline, jazz guitars and sing-along vocals, whilst jettisoning much of the musical filler. Top stuff, all told.
Review: Smokecloud's Edinburgh correspondent B Jam returns with a second split release with Enos, vibing off that intersection between head nod heavy hip hop and slo mo disco. This ain't no hip house tho! Fans of golden era Fat City records will be all over this seven inch, especially opening cut "Momentary" that lays down a thick layer of dust over a deftly spliced vocal hook. B Side track "The Time Has Come" sounds sleepy but pay close attention and you'll realise all manner of intricate production trickery has gone into it's execution.