Review: Don't be fooled by the smoky jazzy horns on the intro: The Allergies are still at the front of the party queue! They were just lulling us into a false sense of security before hitting us with a precision range of big soul swingers and dynamite party killers; both "Hold You Close" and "Since You've Been Gone" pop with big beat bangs, "Entitled To That" stamps and sweats like Wigan Pier is still holding the best dances in the country, "Main Event" parps and pumps while long-standing affiliate Andy Cooper reminds us who's boss while "It Won't Be Me" (also with Cooper) is coded with so much horn and guitar powered gusto you could be fooled into thinking Ugly Duckling are back. Yet another triumphant album from one of Jalapeno's most exciting acts.
Review: 1975's "Simigwa" album not only launched the career of Afro-funk fusionist and eventual Highlife great Gyedu Blay Ambolley, but also inspired a Ghanaian dance craze. The album was co-produced by another Highlife great, Ebo Taylor, and has long been exceptionally hard to find on vinyl. For this official vinyl reissue on Mr Bongo, Ambolley's landmark set has been fully re-mastered for the very first time. It sounds spectacular, with great clarity on the ear-catching brass solos, serious weight to the bass and superb stereo separation. Highlights include - but certainly aren't limited to - the Afro-blues brilliance of "Toffie", the jaunty dancefloor fuzziness of "This Hustling World" and the heavyweight swing of ear-catching opener "Kwaakwaa".
Kathy Kosins & Paul Randolph - "Could You Be Me?" (Theo Ss translation)
Tatham, Mensah, Lord & Ranks - "Cascade"
Cotonete - "Earth Overshoot Day" (Hugo LX remix)
Cro-Magnon - "Midnight Magic" (feat Roy Ayers)
Freeeze - "Stay"
Grooveman Spot - "Do The Dance"
Root Soul - "My Dream Came True"
Kip Hanrahan - "Her Boyfriend Assesses His Value & Pleads His Case"
Nicole Willis - "Curiosity" (Zanzibar remix)
Velvet Hammer - "Party Hardy" (Alex Attias edit)
Material With Nona Hendryx - "Over & Over"
Sunaga T Experience - "It's You" (Disco Alert mix)
Paul Johnson - "Better Than This" (Soul Talk remix)
Review: Veteran Swiss DJ/producer Alex Attias has long been one of Europe's more versatile and open-minded DJs, so it's fitting that BBE have given him a chance to flex his curatorial muscles. LillyLillyGood, which shares its name with a monthly party and label Attias runs, was inspired by Attias's desire to present "really good grooves that people want to dance to or listen to or home". He's done just that, whizzing through an unmixed selection that giddily flits between trippy, polyrhythmic acid madness (Grooveman Spot), jaunty jazz-funk (Freeeze, Cro Magnon's ultra-deep hook-up with Roy Ayers), synth-fuelled broken beat business (Tatham, Mensah, Lord and Ranks), deliciously spacey deep house (the Zanzibar remix of Nicole Willis's "Curiosity") and killer disco (Attias's own edit of Velvet Hammer's "Party Hearty").
Review: Celebrating 50 years of one of the most definitive fusion records ever made, Now Again present the most fitting remaster Axelrod's critically acclaimed debut album Song Of Innocence has ever had. An immense piece of work that pays homage to William Blake and brought together nodes and notions of rock, classical, funk, psychedelic and boogaloo, this reissue comes straight from the original masters with engineering and consultation from Axelrod's production partner H B Barnum, original keyboardist Don Randi, his widow Terri and producer T-Ray. Still as complex and cosmic and sounding better than ever.
Review: Massive reissue incoming! BBE have answered many of our prayers with this long awaited repress of Roy's 1983 disco funk excursion "Silver Vibrations". A record that's currently fetching triple figures, this is the first time it's been repressed since it was released. Opening with the iconic whispered message of "Chicago", Roy takes us on a trip through his funkiest of quarters; the salubrious slap bass of "Lots Of Love", the Afrobeat staccato vocals and glock rocking vibrancy of "Silver Vibrations" and the dreamy cosmic jazz trip of "DC City" are just some of the highlights, all shared across the 12"s with no more than two tracks per side. Vibes that can't be slept on.