Review: All vinyl, all the time... We know how Osmose rolls. And so do Smokecloud, his most consistent home since he emerged as a producer in the early 2010s. This beautiful two-tracker is no exception as he flexes from his lavish synth boogie take on the Haywood-referencing "Out To Catch" to the slower-burning stomper "Me N U" that gradually smouldering into a raw funk groove fire with Booker T-style results. Powerful, all the time...
Review: Given the vastness of his back catalogue, you'd think there would be plenty of re-issue-friendly gold buried in Eddie Palmieri's discography. "Spirit of Love", first released as a single in 1978, certainly ticks a lot of boxes: the spiraling, disco-era chunk of boogaloo/jazz-funk fusion remains popular on specialist dancefloors - especially jazz-dance ones - and original copies frequently change hands online for well over 50 quid. Like the original 7", this edition of the singles also comes backed with the sweaty Brazilian style jazz brilliance of "Lucumi, Macumba, Voodoo", which also happens to be the title track of the LP that "Spirit of Love" was plucked from.
Review: The latest dusted down archival dig from Emotional Rescue is by Politrio, a short-lived new wave / post punk band from Italy who released one album in the mid 80s. The focus of this release is their cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," which originally appeared on the Amnesty International P.E.A.C.E Benefit Compilation in 1987. It's a wild take full of rampant guitar wailing and limber slap bass that teeters towards the 80s funk rock of Faith No More et al, and that's no bad thing at all. On the B side of this 7" Double Wave gets busy in the edit, offering up a stripped back version for the spinners.
Review: Southern California based Mo Funk has launched the new Cavi Sounds imprint. Originally released earlier in 2018, Christian St. James Cleveland aka Polyester The Saint's "Wazzup" was one of the standouts from his album last album entitled American Muscle 5.0. He is also known for his work in the projects HellagooD, and L.A.U.S.D. It was produced by label boss XL Middleton, who is bringing it to wax for the first time. Proper modern g-funk sounds in the true Los Angeles tradition, with a special Modern Funk Dub Version on the flip that is not available anywhere else.
Review: It was Memorial Day Weekend 2016, and the sun shined bright over the Detroit River. Pontchartrain stepped up to the decks at the Red Bull stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival donning his infamous "Detroit vs. Itself" t-shirt. His first song through the Rane rotary mixer was a dubplate made specifically for his set: "Afterlife". It's a brilliantly executed balearic daytime disco rework that warrants the praise of summer anthem that it's earning. On the flip is "Pool", an equally sunny slomo beatdown rework from Blair French. It's a delightful blend of cerebral and soulful, and is finally getting a release after being originally championed by Peter Croce on his Le Mellotron Paris set back in early 2018.
Review: Almost a year to the day since their last essential re-edit outing, Prescription Pricing Authority returns to G.A.M.M. with two more floor-friendly slabs of contemporary scalpel science. A-side "Pick 'Em Up" is a rolling, filter-sporting revision of a down-low disco-funk classic rich in bouncy pianos, soaring female chorus vocals, metronomic drums and punchy horns. It sounds like a peak-time monster in the making, which is never a bad thing. They up the tempo on flipside edit "Cali '76", a tidy, DJ-friendly rearrangement of a horn-sporting chunk of polyrhythmic jazz-funk that boasts some suitably spacey synth solos and horn lines sharper than your average razor.
Review: GAMM has been responsible for some killer re-edits over the years, though we're struggling to think of any that are quite as good as Prescription Pricing Authority's killer tweak of Carlos Ramanos's "1-2-1". Noticeably heavier and crisper than the original, the rearrangement utilizes a touch of delay at crucial moments and wisely makes more of the fantastic bassline and percussion breaks. Speaking of ace basslines, you'll find a heavy dose of slap bass on the flip, where PPA turns his or her hand to Kathryn Moses's flute-sporting jazz-funk wig-out, "Lucky Duck". It is, of course, killer, though lacks the sheer celebratory rush of the on-point A-side.
Review: An absolutely belting slice of disco soul from Queen Yahna on a long-awaited legitimate reissue on Patrick Adams P&P imprint. Powerful vocals, big backing harmonies, a slippery tight groove and a message of positivity running through both the vocal and the instrumental... There's a reason OG copies of these have flown like hotcakes in the past. High grade 76 business.
Let Me Put It In Your Ear (previously unreleased) (2:49)
In My Life (previously unreleased) (3:56)
Review: Two never-before-released cuts from ill-fated Indianapolis troupe who looked set for the big time but moved to LA and consequently got shelved. 1978's loss is 2018's gain, however, as we're treated to two of their shelved gems right here. "Let Me Put It In Your Ear" is a belting falsetto soul slammer articulated with real urgency while "In My Life" is much more of a smouldering affair that builds up into an emphatic soul crescendo. Put it in your collection.
Review: Following the excellent excavation of the Miami band's unreleased album Best Kept Secret, AOTN's Fryer treats us to his two favourite cuts on a 500-only never-to-be-repressed 45. Seeped in powerful vocal harmonies, "Let Go" is rare groove gold with smooth sax and a dynamic that keeps on surprising while "Will You Be There" is an end of night soul shakedown with a tenderness that's tangible in every element. Don't sleep on this... Or the album. One of AOTN's most exciting releases this year.
Ronaldo Reseda - "E Novamente Mas Que Nada" (5:19)
Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti - "Ginga" (2:57)
Review: The 65th volume in Mr Bongo's admirable Brazil 45s series shines a light on Rio De Janeiro's turn-of-the-'80s boogie scene. On the A-side you'll find "E Novamente Mas Que Nada" by Ronaldo Resado, a five-minute chunk of samba-laced boogie sunshine that was originally featured on the artist's eponymous 1979 debut album. While wonderful, it's slightly overshadowed by flipside cut "Ginga", one of the highlights from Robson Jorge and Lincoln Olivetti's sought-after 1982 full-length (which, incidentally, was recently reissued by Mr Bongo and is well worth checking). Joining the dots between synth-heavy electrofunk, horn-toting disco-funk and languid jazz-funk, the instrumental track is arguably one of the best Brazilian boogie records ever made. Don't sleep.
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.
Review: Sauce 81, aka Japanese RBMA alumni Nobu Suzuki, lays down two starlight stunners for a fine 7" debut on the Eglo label operated by Alex Nut and Sam Floating Points. "Natural Thing" is an unashamed, effortlessly hooky boogie jam that sits somewhere between the Funkadelic adventures of George Clinton and Kool & the Gang. "Bustin" meanwhile was originally made for Shing02's short movie of the same name. All slinky and whispering, it's like Samuel L Jackson whispering sweet nothings in your ear over a Faze-O track. Sexy.
Review: Currently laying down soul as 77 Karat Gold, Nobuyuki Suzuki finds time to beam back to Eglo as Sauce81 with a stunning boogie jam that's got summer well and truly locked in its targets. Cruising the Central Line in an inimitable loose, swinging way, there's magic to be found between the synth melody and juicy slapbass. Complete with a floor-focussed dub, this will have everyone dancing, guaranteed.
Review: Sao Paulo's SELVAGEM drop a masterful double sider for Universal Cave 004. "Tudo Bem" is sunny, soulful AOR bliss. A tribute to a favorite Brazilian musician and an update for contemporary rotation. "Luanda" is hypnotic, psychedelic tropicalia. Truly digging deep, SELVAGEM give Universal Cave a taste of the Forward Deep & Free sounds of Balnearico from Brazil. Balnearico is the fusion of balearic and "balneario," the Portuguese word that is synonymous with beach.
Review: Smokecloud Records has long claimed to be the World's only imprint dedicated to Detroit Beatdown style reworks of funk, soul, disco and boogie gems. Whether this is true or not, there's no denying the consistent quality of the imprint's output. This latest release features contributions from two label stalwarts; owner and A&R man Osmose, and New Yorker The Silver Rider. The latter kicks things off with "I Wanna Be", a rolling, soft touch head-nodder that fuses elements of a tactile soul cut with hypnotic, pitched-down house beats and filter sweeps. It's rather good, but nowhere near as inspired as Osmose's "Trust", which turns a classic Motor City soul cut into a smooth, toe-tapping Beatdown shuffler.
Review: Since turning their back on hush-hush re-edits in favour of issuing obscure or previously unreleased material, the Super Disco Edits label has barely put a foot wrong. Their latest 7" boasts two previously unissued recordings by former Reflections member John Simmons, who later went on to work as Whitney Houston's "creative director". Both tracks were recorded in 1979, originally as demos for a band Simmons was working with. "Safe", in particular, is superb; a jazz-funk-tinged chunk of modern soul rich in cosmic bass, crunchy Clavinet motifs, twinkling electric piano solos and jazzy guitar flourishes. Simmons' vocal, too, is rather special. Flipside "I Wanna Be Closer" is similarly funk-fuelled whilst retaining the smooth, soulful vibe that marked out Simmons' early productions.
Review: You'll struggle to find a more loved-up and life-affirming chunk of proto-disco brilliance than The Sisters Love's 1973 "Give Me Your Love". The record's lasting impact can be seen in the number of times that it's been reworked, re-edited or bootlegged over the years. Here it gets an official 7" reissue via Soul Brother Records. It sounds as good as ever, with the all-female group's now familiar vocals rising above Blaxploitation style guitars, fluttering flutes and powerful horns. It's a celebratory release, and then some. This time round it's accompanied by a lesser-known gem, "Try It, You'll Like It", which first featured on the B-side of a 1973 single. This is a powerful chunk of conscious funk/soul fusion of the sort that was incredibly popular during the period it was recorded.
Review: New Zealand based not for profit label Rain & Shine are proud to present the first official reissue of Skye's highly sought after "Ain't No Need" since it's 1976 release. Remastered and reissued, it has long been a favourite of some of the most well respected DJs across the scene: from Floating Points and Sadar Bahar, to Mr Scruff and Theo Parrish. Say no more!
Here's To You (part 1 - Kadena Multi track version) (4:25)
Here's To You (part 2 - Kadena Multi track version) (4:40)
Review: Galaxy Sound return to the classics with this prime slice of 1980 disco funk from NYC troupe Skyy. The lead track on their second Salsoul album Skyyport, everything about "Here's To You" glistens and struts; the slinky keys, the lolloping, walloping walking basslines and the sweet-shuffled double-clapping drum arrangement. Both parts re-purposed, remastered and rebuilt by Kadena, all the original elements are brought to life without losing any of their original funk elements.
The Big Throwdown (Muro vocal edit version) (4:36)
The Big Throwdown (Muro instrumental edit version) (4:32)
Review: Japanese digger doyen Muro returns to one of the most important OG rap records of all time; South Bronx's ultra-funky, politically-sharpened block party jam "The Big Throwdown". The edit titles say it all; Muro's vocal edit really flexes Mike Serrette's vocals right down to the iconic gutsy 'huh!' chant and the big backing vocal rhythm while his instrumental version lets that groove run loose as the plucked bass walks cut through with charm and the keys spiral out of control in the best way possible. An stone cold classic.
Billy Squier - "The Big Beat" (extended Breaks Special edition) (2:54)
Le Pamplemousse - "Gimmie What You Got" (extended Breaks Special edition) (4:12)
Review: We've said this before, but there's something brilliantly simple about the Beats & Breaks label's "Extended Breaks" series of seven-inch re-edits. There's no superfluous fluff or needless rearrangement, just solid and matter-or-fact extensions of key drum breaks to both aid mixing and light up dancefloors. For proof, check the mysterious re-editors' take on Billy Squier's 1980 heavy rock workout "The Big Beat", which prioritizes the track's fat, bottom-heavy drums and the singer's impassioned vocal yelps while stripping out most of the gnarled guitar riffs. If you need a bit of a breather from the heavy dancefloor pressure, the crew's subtle revision of Le Pamplemousse's drowsy, synth-laden deep disco shuffler "Gimme What You Got" - a string-laden slice of sun-kissed sweetness - should do the trick.
Review: "Give Me Your Love" was produced by Roy Ayers and James "Jaymz" Bedford in 1981, this digger's delight was the one and only single by American singer Sylvia Striplin. It is an irresistible serving of soulful disco that really captures the spirit of the times. The track has been sampled on numerous occasions, but most famously on the classic track by Junior M.A.F.I.A. (Notorious B.I.G. production) on their song "Get Money" in 1995 and also by Armand Van Helden on "Full Moon" in 2000. On the flip is the sexy and lo-slung "You Can't Turn Me Away" featuring some sexy funk guitar licks and bass beneath Striplin's powerfully seductive vocals.