Review: Two of Funk Night Records' most distinctive and innovative acts join forces for two outstanding pieces of psychedelic fiery funk fusion. Estonian duo Misha Panfilov Sound Combo set the bedrock on "Soul Strut". All fuzzy, unkempt and energetic, it sets the scene for Detroit's Coco Buttafli to lay her scorched heart on the line in an almost metal-like style. "Electrifying Woman" takes us even deeper into the psychedelic mindset as the groove is given a swampy, dizzying feeling while Coco spits spoken word with such a savage honesty you can't helped but get sucked into the story. Two of a kind.
Review: This desirable 7" single brings together two of the many highlights from the bulging catalogue of New Orleans soul singer Ernie K Doe. On the A-side you'll find 1961's "A Certain Girl", a sweet rhythm and blues number from the dawn of the soul era that ticks all the right boxes (strong lead vocal, jaunty piano lines, lolloping groove, question-asking female backing vocals). Arguably even better is the better known "Here Come The Girls", a later K-Doe recording that was produced by the song's writer, Allen Toussaint, and originally appeared on the artist's eponymous 1972 album. We all know it, of course, but it still remains a sing-along soul staple.
Review: Brand new funk from Bristol-based duo The Allergies, these two pant-swinging numbers mark the build up to their third album Steal The Show. As always, it's an all-out funkathon with full eyes on the party prize. "Can't Keep Working This Hard" jumps with a classic JB style break with some gutsy, raw soul vocal chops while "Run It Back" sees them tagging up with Andy Cooper once again with another classic spitfire rap jam that you know you'll be air rapping to within two or three listens. Yeah you will.
Review: So good it spills over into two parts, Bill Brown's cult 1974 Brownstone release "Bip Bam" has been known to pass hands for triple figures in the past. Now you can enjoy its sweeping MGs style lavish organ and horn fusion at a fraction of the price. Deep, soulful, laced with infectious percussion and Bill's swooning scat vocal textures, this still sounds of its world and time to this day.
Review: Splendor were a very short lived outfit - '70s funk/soul group including Billy Nunn, Robert "Bobby" Nunn, Sascha Meeks and Richard Shaw. "Take Me To Your Disco" and "Special Lady" were released in 1979 as the first single from the group's eponymous and only LP. It represents a heyday of disco - a zeitgeist where big budgets made for some amazing and seminal productions. With the likes of Philip Bailey (of Earth, Wind and Fire fame) and the legendary Tommy Vicari on production duties - you can really hear the magic on these ones.
Review: Having bubbled away in the LA funk scene since forming in 2015, the trio comprising drummer Michael Duffy, organist Frank Carey and guitarist Matt Hornbeck finally unleash their debut recording and it's a serious mission of funk intent. "Get To Steppin'" fulfils its motivational title with rapid boogaloo pace and wild jazz fusion in both the organ and guitar leads. "Blinded" is more of a classic instrumental funk piece with yet more wily organ adventures taking the lead over an insanely tight groove. Blinding.
Review: Athens Of The North have worked with some OGs and veterans in their time but Bobby Boyd is by far one of the biggest and influential. Cutting his teeth in the Lafayette Afro Rock Band before going solo, he recorded a whole host of material that remained unreleased. Until now. "Love Goddess" kicks off the collection with a northern soul stomp, big harmonies backed by a tight, slippery funk groove while "Good News" is golden era Boyd funk with its bright horn work, positive sentiment and driving soul energy. This is an amazing piece of investigatory work by Fryer and co. And there's more, too...
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Epsilon were a cosmic funk/rock four piece from Marburg, Germany that released three albums between 1970 and 1976. While their debut LP went for a much more progressive rock style, the subsequent releases were a mixture of heavy rock and blues when frontman Michael Winzkowski (ex Orange Peel, Nosferatu) joined the band. This EP was originally released in 1975 and features the bluesy rock n roll swagger of "Leave The City" on the A side, and the super sleazy disco funk of "Wake Up"on the flip - which is absolutely terrific! Winzkowski went on to further (yet short lived) success as Michael Wynn/The Michael Wynn Band up until 1983, even breaking into the American market at one point.
Review: Ceaser Frazier's debut album was something of an all star cast. Idris Muhammad on drums, Melvin Sparks on guitar, Prestige's most prolific saxman Houston Person and a selection of covers of the likes of Isaac Hayes ("Ellie's Love Theme") and Quincy's "Hicky-Burr". Pure jazz funk early 70s style, Caesar's command of the keys weaves a gossamer thread throughout the instrumental trip weaving and bobbing amid Bridgewater's wild trumpet narrative ("Hail Ceasar!"), the rippling wah wahs on Sylvester Stewart's "Runnin' Away" and plenty more. Close to 50 years old and still sublime; this reissue is long overdue.
Review: Alongside the drop of their second album, Wild World, Spacek and Katalyst have just gone a reissued their 7" single from 2010, Done It Again. This little batboy was sick as f*** when it first landed, but it was perhaps ahead of its time, released in a moment when minimal and tech-house were reigning supreme on the dancefloors. However, 2018 seems like the perfect moment to release this broken beat monster, with the title tune going all funky and boogie-fiendly and the second, "Listen", laying down some utter truth thanks to a fat groove built with brutal bass, deep echoes, and some pretty far-out vocals. Highly recommended..!
Review: Our main man Dr Rubberfunk is back to enrich our weekends with some outernational vibes and quality drum breaking, courtesy of the ever-reliable Jalapeno label. "How Beautiful" instils the good vibes with a strong cut of drums, breaks, bass and, of course, the man's trademark vocal samples - a true party tune! The title track "Pressure Cooker" is funkier, more melodic and leaning on some surf-rock vibes, while "Beautiful Drums" strips the melodies down to a banging, seductive rhythm of kicks and percussive samples. This is pure party material, people, and there's only 300 of them going...so act fast!
Review: Since it first hit record stores in 2007, this collection of re-discovered 1970s recordings by vibraphonist and marimba maestro Billy Wooten has become something of an in demand item amongst soul-jazz collectors. Happily, Japanese imprint P-Vine Records has decided to make it available again via a fresh pressing. It remains a fine set, chock full of fuzzy, funk-fuelled live recordings (see the Hammond organ and Vibraphone-heavy brilliance of "Let's Stay Together"), sun-kissed, samba-soaked carnival workouts ("Crown Royale"), gentle bossa compositions (the marimba-boasting brilliance of the laidback and melodious "Summerlight") and superb, sax-happy jazz throw-downs ("Jammin With The Boys").