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Funk / Reissue Recommendations August 2014

Juno Recommends Funk

Juno Recommends Funk

Funk/Reissue Recommendations August 2014
4 Aug 2014
  1. Strung Out
  2. Prescriptions
Review: Late last year Los Angeles-based synth obsessive Nicholas Benedek made his PPU bow with a untitled album filled with untitled tracks, executed with the sort of lo-fi panache that fit the label to a tee. Here Benedek returns to PPU as RX, a rather surprising self-styled 'smog prog' project with LIES artist and LA Club Resources boss Delroy Edwards. Taking shape in a signature PPU 7 inch, both "Strung Out" and "Prescriptions" sound like a fine balance between the hazy boogie of Benedek and the tape degraded grit that's been a hallmark of Edwards work since his emergence on L.I.E.S.
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out of stock $8.26
Cat: CR 189. Rel: 14 Jul 14
  1. Sweet Power Your Embrace
  2. Good Thing
  3. Free
  4. Mbewe
  5. Funny Girl
  6. Slick City
  7. Rhythm Of Life
  8. Hey Hey Hey
  9. I've Got My Eyes On You
  10. Dreams
out of stock $16.82
Cat: UREP 334. Rel: 07 Jul 14
  1. Didn't I (GUTS remix)
  2. Didn't I (Florent F rework)
  3. Didn't I (Dave Allison rework)
  4. Didn't I
Review: With the passing of William Daron Pulliam last year, the music world truly lost a singular and unique talent. Here Californian soul daddies Ubiquity pay homage to his most recognised works "Didn't I See" with a limited edit-focused 12". There is of course the feeling one shouldn't mess with perfection - and this Darondo track certainly falls into that category - but each of the three edits that accompany the original are considered reworks that subtly add some extra character without losing any of its power to move. Kinjo Music founder Dave Allison perhaps excels the most in this regard, subtly nudging the tempo up and adding some extra percussive detail that soul selectors will appreciate.
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out of stock $15.68
Cat: ROC 006. Rel: 21 Jul 14
  1. Sex Machine
  2. Massare Mousso
Review: In its 1970's prime, the Buffet Hotel de la Gare de Bamako used to mix a broad and diverse clientele of Bamako's fine society and hookers, Western, Chinese, Russian and Arab businessmen with diplomats and African entrepreneurs. Rail Band's music became the exciting soundtrack of modern Mali, blossoming like a big bright bouquet of tropical flowers. In its heyday, the orchestra pretty much defined by itself the idea of afro-pop.

Musicians such as singer Salif Keita, singer Mory Kante, guitar player Djelimady Tounkara and the late bandleader and sax player Tidiani Kone all graduated from the Rail Band before turning to more or less successful solo careers. The Rail Band got started in october 1969 as a regular orchestra in the railway station premises.

In order to keep up with new forms of fusion music which could be heard in Dakar or Conakry night clubs or "paillotes", trumpet player, sax maestro and bandleader Tidiani Kone recruits some bold element for his orchestra. Both a griot and a jazzman, Tidiani Kone was a former Orchestre National A musician. His main idea was to bring Malian music out of the dead-end of afro-cuban and Western imitations. He took the chance to recruit a young albinos singer, accompanying himself with a cheap Chinese guitar.

Kone was the first one to understand that Salif Keita's voice was pure gold. At the end of 1969, Salif Keita, Tidiani Kone and rythmic guitar player Mamadou Diakite practiced for weeks as a trio in order to forge a repertoire of their own. Other musicians such as guitar player Ousmane Sogodogo and lead guitarist Nabe Baba, timbales player Marius as well as percussion player Abdouramane Koumare soon join in, encouraged by Kone.

In July 1970, the Orchestre du Rail Band de la Gare de Bamako gave its first concert, on a tiny open air stage, with palm trees breeze and stars above them. The Rail Band rapidly became one of the city's main attraction. According to its initial status, the Rail Band must "explore and propel mandingo repertoire in order to aim at the neo-classicism of African chanson". Born in the heart of the Mande griot tradition, Salif Keita knew the classic songs. Soon, the folklore part of the repertoire was more prominent than the blues and afro-latin numbers.
Musicians were paid by the Malian train company, ie by the state, who also owned their instruments. Combining mandingo and bambara traditions, French pop, afro-cuban rhythms, Congolese rumba, American rhythm'n'blues and calypso, the Rail Band's rise to fame was striking, paving the way for numerous modern orchestras to follow. They rehearsed five days a week from 5 to 6 pm, before changing, dining and taking the stage from 9 pm till the last customer left the Buffet, sometimes early in the morning. In order to help empty the premises from its patrons, Rail Band musicians played late night jazz themes, strongly encouraged by Tidiani Kone.

With his saxophone hollering at some distant tropical moon, his heartfelt horns arrangements added a sense of epic grandeur to the Rail Band songs. His bold musical mastery set Salif on orbit while modern instruments and instant melancholy radiate through a song like Massare Mousso. He sings about some impossible love : "If you don't have anything to do, fall in love with a woman who doesn't love you / If you dont have anything to do, fall in love with a man who doesn't love you". His voice was frail but Salif shows evidences of his vocal grandeur to come. In the early 1970's, it seems that the Rail Band knew instinctively how to go down in musical history.
The orchestra took off, thanks to Salif's youthful vocal prowesses and to the sheer intensity and dedication of musicians led by Kon'.

Guitar player extraordinaire Djelimady Tounkara joined the band in 1971 as a new recruit. His arrival enabled the Rail Band to reach new heights in a dazzling ascension of recordings done in a tiny Radio Mali studio. His rumbling electric guitar became one of the band instant trademark. Guinean balafon and kora player Mory Kante also jumped in as the Rail Band was by far Bamako's finest orchestra in the 1970's.
Directly inspired by James Brown's funk achievements, Sex Machine belongs to the band's legend, an incredible cover which is both heroic and mesmerizing. It is a pure slice of raw and spicy Malian funk, one of those "straight to your face" songs with a devastating outcome, courtesy of Mamadou Bagayoko's heavy drums and Cheick's Traore sturdy guitar bass playing. Alfred Coulibaly's Vox organ adds up to the hypnotic mood of the song.

Looking for the Rail Band's trails these days, one has to stop by the old Buffet Hotel de la Gare in downtown Bamako in order to feel the countless, panoramic and moving memories of this unrivalled musical golden age and this masterful orchestra.
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out of stock $12.83
Cat: CLMN 126. Rel: 28 Jul 14
  1. Don't Stop
  2. Powerfeed (instrumental)
Review: California funk troupe Orgone really need no prior introduction and it's great to see the group line up for a release here on the Colemine Records label. Initially released on clear vinyl in limited numbers earlier in 2014 whilst label boss Terry Cole was on tour, Don't Stop has now been pressed in a larger quantity for all the budding funk selectors out there and shows two distinct sides to the Orgone sound. The title track is all about the power house vocal performance from Tiffany Austin and how Orgone "make it easy" for her to ride the groove. Flip over and "Powerfeed" is Orgone laying down a heaving slab of heavy instrumental funk.
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out of stock $8.26
Cat: G 77733. Rel: 07 Jul 14
  1. Summer Groove
  2. Summer Groove (Moving-On)
Review: Formative disco five-piece who've been sampled and re-edited to the max over the last 20 years, here we find The Joneses in their original form. And they still sound as relevant and timelessly funky now as they did when this arrived in 1981. The original is a tight Chic-style guitar and bass groove that's accentuated by occasional falsetto vocal hits and flurries of disco bubbles and street sounds. Flip for "Summer Groove (Moving On)" where the blistering tight bassline and guitar licks are complemented with a tiny bit more vocal majesty. Instant seasonal sounds, have you kept up with The Joneses recently?
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out of stock $7.42
Cat: DAP 1080. Rel: 14 Jul 14
  1. Luv Jones
  2. Change, Change, Change
out of stock $5.99
  1. Don't Throw Your Love Away
  2. Got To Get Through To You
Review: Hailing from the Bay Area, Gene Washington & The Ironsides surface with their debut 7" for Midwest powerhouse Colemine Records! As well as possessing the best name for a backing band in some time, George Washington & The Ironsides are a tight outfit to boot on the evidence of the two tracks offered here. "Don't Throw Your Love Away" is a catchy mid-tempo number with a sublime horn section and a blow away vocal turn from the man George and it's blessed by a B Side cover version of the TSU Tornadoes cut "Got To Get Through To You" that showcases The Ironsides talent for the uptempo funk jam session.
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out of stock $8.26
Cat: TV 010. Rel: 21 Jul 14
  1. Top Of New York
  2. To James Brown (edit)
Review: Only 300 pressed ! Don't sleep !
out of stock $6.83
  1. Charlene & The Soul Serenaders - "Can You Win"
  2. Margie Joseph - "One More Chance"
Review: Kent Soul pay homage to two diva-level chanteuses who deserve a little more space in the soul footnotes than they currently have. Originally released on Paradox, Charlene Southern's "Can You Win" was part of a collection that was marketed to Stax. You can instantly here why; a thumping upbeat groove, slim-line instrumentation (just straight-up guitar and bass) and real belly-driven vocals, it's raw and emphatic and honest in its dynamic. Perhaps best known for her covers, Margie Joseph was a lot more prolific than Charlene and this full-bodied, big band jam was one of her earliest releases. Complementing the stripped back A-side with broad horns and lavish pianos, Margie fronts with real confidence and timeless soul-stirring vocal prowess. Two sides of the soul coin, there's something for everyone here.
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out of stock $12.07
Cat: SHOES 015. Rel: 07 Jul 14
  1. Aretha Franklin - "Love" (Shoes edit)
  2. Eddie Kendricks - "Intimate Friends" (Shoes edit)
  3. Al Green - "Something" (Shoes edit)
  4. Frankie Beverly - "Pain Goes Deep" (Shoes edit)
  5. Marvin Gaye - "Inner City Blues" (Shoes edit)
Review: Deep, slow and just a little bit sexual, Shoes have turned into slippers right here as we lean back and get massaged by these wonderfully subversive twists on five well-known soul classics. Stripping the tempo right back and focusing on the dreamiest, haziest aspects of the original, the Shoes crew has excelled themselves here. Ranging from the near-beatless swoons of Aretha Franklin's "Love" to the low-swung bass lollops and percussive wriggles of "Pain Goes Deep", each of these versions is an example of how artistic editing can be when done by the right handy scalpelists. Slow and soulful wins the race...
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out of stock $11.12
Cat: TOWN 152. Rel: 21 Jul 14
  1. Lay This Burden Down
  2. Born To Live With Heartache
 in stock $9.69
Cat: GAMM 095. Rel: 21 Jul 14
  1. Talking About
  2. Brazilian Soul Chant
Review: Having first appeared on Gamm in 2011, Stockholm artist Seegweed has amassed a very respectful portfolio of edits. And there's no signs of him stopping as he digs deeper than ever for this special 12": First up is a rare groove stomper twist of FBI's "Talking About Love" where the original's widescreen orchestration is given full attention... The jazz funk fusion really strides with psychedelic flare while the strings sit happily in a world of their own. Meanwhile on the B, Jon Lucien reps the finest Virgin Islands soul on "Brazilian Soul Chant". Paying full respect to the original, here we find Seegweed adding additional percussion and neat layers on the guitars and vocals. Two completely different chapters to a book we hope Seegweed will continue writing forever... This is what edits are all about!
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out of stock $9.11
Cat: FNR 045. Rel: 07 Jul 14
  1. Lady Lucy
  2. Wicked
Review: This latest seven from Frank Raines Funk Night label is so hot there is steam rising off the wax! It sees funk troupe The Soul Surfers team up with vocalist Coko and we hope it's the first of several collaborations as there is a real studio chemistry on display here. There's a raw energy to Coko's vocal delivery that is reminiscent of Betty Davis and her vocals and the backing accompaniment sit perfectly on a killer groove arrangement from The Soul Surfers. The partnership shows a different side on the flip with "Wicked" a pensive Blues number that is fairly dominated by Coko's raspy singing.
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out of stock $9.11
Cat: LHLP 048. Rel: 21 Jul 14
  1. Let My People Go
  2. Legs (part 1)
  3. Didn't I
  4. I Want Your Love So Bad
  5. How I Got Over
  6. My Momma & My Poppa
  7. Sure Know How To Love Me
  8. Listen To My Song
  9. True
Review: Limited repress on coloured vinyl... If you haven't got Ubiquity's 2006 Darondo collection yet, now is most crucially the time. Shucks, if you have got it, you might want this for the collection anyway. Criminally overlooked by funk tourists, the Bay Area legend was originally the soul preserve for serious collectors until Gilles Peterson, Jack Penate and even Breaking Bad brought him to our attention a few years before his death. With a stark vocal range that reaches falsettos Jack Splash could only dream of and a lyrical dexterity that sits solemnly between raw emotion and touching poetry, each track shows how helped shape the blueprint that the likes of Child Of Luv, Plantlife, Amp Fiddler and many others developed years later. Essential.
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out of stock $38.49
  1. You Can't Even Walk In The Park
  2. Shaft In Africa
out of stock $11.97
Cat: P 00245/PJ002-45. Rel: 28 Jul 14
  1. Bacao Suave
  2. Round & Round
out of stock $10.25
Cat: AALP 076. Rel: 14 Jul 14
  1. Mingau De Acai
  2. Mambo Do Martelo
  3. Caboclinha Do Igapo
  4. Tubarao Branco
  5. Morena Do Rio Mutuaca
  6. Papa Chibe
  7. Farol Do Marajo
  8. Cade O Anel
  9. Ventinho Do Norte
  10. Siria Quente
  11. Eu Quero O Meu Anel
  12. Perereca
  13. Pra Danca Meu Siria
  14. Passarinho Siriri
Review: A very special release, available for the first time internationally... Here Analog Africa explores the pollination of rural Brazilian music made by Amazon natives and the influence of escaped African slaves. Composed by Mestre Cupijo and recorded between 1975 and 1982, each track blasts and wheezes its own unique narrative. From the frenetic rhumba of "Tubarao Branco" to the spiralling horns and rich chants of "Siria Quente" via sad croons and concrete guitar strums of "Passarinho Siriri" there's a vibrant fusion of elements that will resonate with fans of music from both sides of the Atlantic.
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out of stock $21.66
Cat: FNR 049. Rel: 28 Jul 14
  1. Don't Mess With GR
  2. Hard Way To Go
Review: The Great Revivers continue their unassailable 2014 assault on the record boxes of funk selectors everywhere with yet another killer seven for the Funk Night label. Brashly titled "Don't Mess with GR" may be, but this Russian quartet always prefer to let their musicianship do the talking and you can't fault the Great Revivers funk here as three odd minutes of prime dirtiness unfolds driven by a killer drum beat. It's complemented well by the more uptempo jam that is "Hard Way To Go" and lays down a marker for what to expect from the Great Revivers forthcoming album.
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 in stock $9.41
  1. Y'er Comes The Funky Man
  2. St James Infirmary
out of stock $7.70
Cat: BLGR 003. Rel: 28 Jul 14
  1. Time Bomb
  2. Time Bomb (Dub Bomb Victor Rice remix)
out of stock $7.98
  1. Surfing The Channel
  2. Groovin'
out of stock $6.83
  1. Epicentre - "Get Off The Phone"
  2. Priceless - "Love In Your Life"
  3. Don Brown - "Don't Lose Your Love"
  4. Deuce - "Your Love Is Fine (Lovin' Fine)" (feat Clevon)
  5. Push - "You Turn Me On" (Portland session mix)
  6. Seattle Pure Dynamite - "I Wonder Love"
  7. Septimus - "Here I Go Again"
  8. Priceless - "Look At Me"
  9. Lenny Randle & Ballplayers - "Kingdome" (feat Rashawna)
  10. Malik Din - "Trouble In Mind"
  11. Romel Westwood - "I'm Through With You"
  12. Teleclare - "Steal Your Love"
  13. Stepping Stones - "Darlin Oh Darlin"
  14. Cold, Bold & Together - "Let's Backtrack"
  15. Unfinished Business - "Holding On"
  16. Frederick Robinson III - "Love One Another"
  17. Bernadette Bascom - "I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love"
  18. Robbie Hill's Family Affair - "Don't Give Up"
Review: As the title suggests, this compilation from Light In The Attic sees the label offer up a second selection of nuggets from the Pacific North West funk scene a decade after the first, hugely enjoyable edition of Wheedle's Groove. Once again put together with the dusty fingered assistance of DJ Supreme La Rock, this second volume fast forwards proceedings a decade covering a fifteen year period from 1972 onwards and contains a wonderfully enlightening 18 tracks. As with the overall funk movement as a whole, it's easy to discern a shift in sound across this compilation from the straight up funk sound that dominated the debut collection as disco and modern soul began to emerge. As Wheedles Groove II progresses we are even treated to nascent forms of electro and hip hop which reveals the Emerald City's music scene was much more diverse than many give it credit for. Includes killer liner notes by Jonathan Zwickel with band interviews and rare archive photos.
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out of stock $22.23
  1. New Direct Cutting Servo Tracer
  2. Sicherheits Raketen & Hit Shit
out of stock $10.55
  1. The Last Dance Of The Moai
  2. Veeber
out of stock $7.98
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