Review: Still scorching from the heat of their debut album 55, Hamburg's mysterious steel pan handlers return with a dope little 45 that features one of the excellent covers from their album plus an exclusive that we guarantee will drive your next floor crazy... Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio" takes the lead with its instantly distinctive break and pace. Flip for Sugarhill's "8th Wonder" that's riddled with confidently swung drums, smoky trumpets and a groove so funky you might just have to drop it twice. Give the drummer some.
Review: Kylie Auldist is a heavyweight Aussie soul singer whose powerful lungs have graced many a hit over the years. Now, with the help of Lance Ferguson and Graeme Pogson, she's recorded a solo album, Family Tree, and this here EP features a selection of tracks from it. Gone is the raw funk vibes of old with Auldist opting for a bright and synthetic mid-'80s pop-soul sound instead. It largely works too with the Donna Allen-esque "Sensational", the chrome and carpet grooves of "Family Tree" and the late-'70s US funk style of "Rewards" as standouts.
Jackpot (feat Anne Frankenstein - BJ Smith remix) (7:15)
Review: The Gene Dudley Group's debut album, Zambidoose, included one of the highlights of Summer 2015 - a righteous, brass-heavy funk cover of Todd Terje's nu-disco anthem "Inspector Norse". Here, other tracks from that set are given a new lease of life via three new remixes. Alexander Lay-Far kicks things off, subtly turning "Do The Cookie Dough Throw" into a righteous chunk of swinging, offbeat Latin house/funk fusion. In contrast, mixing desk maestro Wrongtom delivers a booming, bass-heavy dub reggae interpretation of "Tiger Jaw", while BJ Smith goes all warm, organic and Balearic on his invitingly sunny mix of "Jackpot", complete with dreamy vocals from Anne Frankenstein.
Review: Veteran soul man Lee Fields has been touring and releasing music almost constantly since the late 1960s. In recent years, he's struck up a great partnership with the Truth & Soul label's house band, The Expressions. Their latest collaborative single, "Special Night", is something of a cinematic soul treat, with Fields wringing every bit of emotion out of his cracking, heartfelt vocal. The sumptuous A-side (subtitled 'Part 1') is joined on the flip by a sparser, stripped back version ('Part 2') that somehow manages to further emphasize the brilliance of Fields' lyrics and vocal. Both versions feel like future end-of-night classics.
Review: Lugnut Brand are one of those labels releasing and championing deep, sensual funk and soul in 2016. We say this because there aren't many good ones around, so it's refreshing to hear stuff so dope and fresh out and up on our vinyl charts. Here we have two funky little slices of organ-fuelled funk, two parts of "Sal's-U-Save" to be precise, but which are really just one long funk bullet spread across two sides of the 7". This is jerky, fun, upbeat dance music with a glorious late '60s twist.
Review: Gwen McRae 1974 album debut either goes by the name of Rockin' Chair or is catalogued under the artist's own name. This reissue from Cat goes for the former, but that doesn't make one fraction of a difference to how iconic and recommended this foundational jazz-fusion LP is; to put it simply, it's up there with all your Herbies and Idris', but perhaps a little more soulful thanks to McRae's singular voice. "Rockin Chair" alone is enough to buy this album, but "Move Me Baby" is another stellar piece of rocked-out soul, and our favourite has to be "For Your Love" - it's a powerful love ballad that is both timeless and impossible to criticize...whether soul is for you or not, you can't touch this. A huge album that should be on everyone's shelf.