Kool & The Gang, Gene Redd - "Give It Up" (DJ Soopasoul edit) (4:04)
Aretha Franklin - "Rock Steady" (DJ Soopasoul edit) (3:30)
Review: Fast-fingered mash-up merchant and lauded scalpel fiend DJ Soopasoul can usually be relied upon to bring the goods. In fact, we've yet to hear an edition of his "Soopastole Edits" series that doesn't include the kind of sure-fire, party-starting fare guaranteed to get any DJ out of a dancefloor hole of their own making. Should you still doubt the validity of this statement, we suggest you check this timely reissue of the series' second volume, which has been going for serious bucks online. On side A you'll find a suitably punchy, funky and chunky revision of Kool & The Gang's Gene Redd produced 1970 jam "Give It Up" - the original source of one of hip-hops most familiar breakbeats - with a tight, club-ready revision of Aretha Franklin classic "Rock Steady" on the flip.
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: Multi-track re-edits, where producers utilize the instrumental and vocal parts found on studio master tapes, are all the rage right now. While the Rephlex crew and Joey Negro are the most famous exponents of the art, Galaxy Sound Co regular Kadena has previously proved to be rather adept at it, too. Here the little-known producer channels the spirit of original disco remixer Walter Gibbons, first to provide a lolloping, groove-based revision of Instant Funk's intergalactic Salsoul classic "I Got My Mind Made Up" (side A), and then to deliver a similarly minded take on First Choice's "Let No Man Put Asunder". Like its A-side companion, it's warmer, looser and predominantly instrumental, with judicious use of key vocal passages.
There's Never Been (No One Like You) (short version) (4:26)
There's Never Been (No One Like You) (edit) (4:26)
Review: A stone cold cult classic from the West End vaults, Kenton Nix was one of New York's most prolific producers during the late 70s and throughout the 80s working his magic with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Teena Gardner and Gwen McCrae (among many others). On this rare 1980 solo 45" he teamed up with a young Bobby Youngblood to create an emphatic soul disco powerhouse that clear set the foundations for the wealth of big vocal proto house tracks that followed in its wake. Complete with both versions, this is a rare reissue and isn't likely to hang around for long...
Review: The Mushi 45 label doesn't release all that much, but what it does put out is invariably insanely good. For the avoidance of doubt, this two-track missive sits in that category. It serves up two rare, sought-after 1970s gems from Rinsyoe Kida, Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffaloes, who made some of the tidiest Japanese funk, jazz-rock and jazz-funk of the period. A-side "Tan To Setsu" is superb, with the assembled players brilliantly blending traditional Japanese style melodic motifs - played on traditional instruments - with a riotous, high octane funk backing track rich in heavy bass and fiery horn lines. "Jongara Bushi" is similarly inclined and every bit as raucous.
Review: Serious funk fans should already know about the King Rooster, a four-piece revivalist heavy funk outfit that released a trio of killer 7" singles in 2017. The band's first outing of 2018 is every bit as essential as its predecessors, with both cuts offering an attractive blend of sweaty, doubles-friendly drum breaks, razor-sharp guitars and wild, Meters-style Hammond organ solos. Of the two, it's undoubtedly lead cut "Back Chattin" that's the heavier and most insatiable of the two, primarily thanks to some surf-influenced guitar riffs, heavy bass and just the right amount of organ solo action. That said, the Breakestra-esque B-side is pretty darn tidy, too.
Review: A 45 suiting the funky northern soul sound, re-reissued here on a great sounding Record Shack release. Both highly sought after versions of "What I Did In The Street" featured here: from the raw and original Gulfstream label version, backed with the smoother, disco release that came later. Originally released in 1978 as a B side to Betty Padgett's "Tonight Is The Night", King was a Florida based vocalist and this terrific song was her sole release.
Review: Earlier in the year, Kutiman took his brand of psychedelic fusion to Wah Wah 45s for the very first time. Here he returns home to Siyal Music with Turkish vocalist Melike Sahin in tow. "Sakla Beni" is wonderfully odd and exotic - a spaced-out psych-funk affair that wraps mazy, Moog style motifs, mind-altering orchestration and Sahin's wide-eyed vocal around a skewed, low-slung groove. It's brilliantly hallucinatory, as is the accompanying "Karaoke Version" - a superb instrumental take that allows listeners a chance to revel in the intricacy of Kutiman's arrangements. In this context, "Sakla Beni" sounds like it should be gracing the soundtrack of a particularly odd late 1960s Turkish film
Frank Motley & The Hitchikers - "Mr Fortune" (feat The Mighty Pope) (2:43)
King Herbert & The Knights - "Sissy Strut" (3:43)
Review: Described by Austrian retroverted Record Shack as one of the funkiest pieces of wax to come off of Canadian label Heart back in 1970, "Mr Fortune" features ex-Jamaican talent Earle Heeedram aka 'The Mighty Pope' providing vocals alongside esteemed American trumpet player Frank Motley. With no industry or promotional support, the disc disappeared into obscurity, but has now become one of the most in demand 'northern funk' tunes on the rare soul scene and available here on a great sounding 45" reissue with original B side "I May Have Been A Fool" replaced by the obscure but infectious, groovy "Sissy Strut".
Karate Boogaloo - "Do You Even Know What A Passport Is" (4:35)
Review: The second salvo from Aussie imprint College Of Knowledge offers up two sizzling sides of revivalist instrumental soul and funk from bands who've yet to make their mark outside of the Southern hemisphere. Surprise Chef, who helped launched the label earlier in year, handle side A, offering up a loose, percussive and hugely attractive number rich in mazy organ lines, fuzzy bass and classic funk guitar licks. Karate Boogaloo take a slightly more relaxed approach on the flip, layering fluid guitar solos and sustained, elongated Hammond organ chords over a bluesy soul groove.