Review: Soopastole now strikes out on his own eponymous 7' edits series and we must say it's impressive. These are well executed and above all much needed edits so credit to the edit! On the A side "Hot Pants" is an edit of the original track and the "dub beats version" (found only on the Urban release in 1988) starts with the drum break. On the flip we have got "Mama Feelgood" which has heavier drums and the instrumental intro and outro.
Review: Neo soul evangelist Adam Gibbons - aka Lack Of Afro - is back with the euphoric, cathartic release of "Freedom", a retro jam that totally evokes the hazy Easy Rider age of American funk rock, featuring the talents of Jack Tyson-Charles. "Clean Living Under Difficult Circumstances" meanwhile is a riot of Blow Up-era Swinging Sixties vintage funk - both cuts are highly recommended.
Sweet Power, Your Embrace (Alex Attias Sweet re-edit) (7:16)
8 Counts For Rita (6:42)
The Blessing Song (Flow Lab Kid Blessed remix) (8:53)
Blackbyrds Theme (5:29)
Review: Freestyle Records continues to be an essential source for visionary funk and soul from across the globe, and now they're returning to recent signing Lance Ferguson and his Rare Groove Spectrum. This 12" carries some remixes and rarities that complement Ferguson's self-titled album from earlier this year. Things kick off with Alex Attias' dreamy, Latin-tinged edit of "Sweet Power, Your Embrace" before the original "8 Counts For Rita" bursts forth in a flurry of trumpets and salsa piano. "The Blessing Song" gets remix treatment from Flow Lab Kid, and then Ferguson tackles a cover of The Blackbyrds' "Blackbyrds Theme", all of which have the next level funk chops Ferguson has displayed elsewhere in his burgeoning repertoire.
Review: Recorded and originally released in 1999, "The Bottle" has been released twice by Expansion on 12" single and now finally gets its first 7" issue. The song is the most classic Gil Scott Heron song, vocalist Maysa Leak (of British supergroup Incognito) is still the finest contemporary soul singer with a unique voice and all here with the magic of a full Incognito production. It is coupled with "Hooked On Your Love", both songs from the Incognito produced album All My Life'. Another fine rendition of this timeless anthem by one of the all time greats.
Review: Time for some Brazilian psychedelic boogie straight from 78. Erstwhile lead singer in Os Mutantes, with a personality thrice as big as the soaking wet bassline on "Agora E Moda", Rita Lee is no stranger to her motherland - even now. Flip for a huge soul injection courtesy of Pete Dunaway. Sounding English in every direction (from his name to his lyrics to the stunning, string-coated arrangement) he's actually Sao Paulo born and is a renowned multi-instrumentalist. Check this and you can tell in an instant. Stunning.
Review: Dynamite Cuts come back with a bang with four sublime cuts taken from the criminally short discography of funk soul troupe Leo's Sunshipp. The first half of their only album, we kick off with their cult solar celebration "Give Me The Sunshine" before "I'm Back For More" shreds through the stratosphere with a swooning Average White Band sparkle, "Get Down People" salutes with an Off The Wall style shine and shimmy before "Madame Butterfly" drifts back into the atmosphere with velvet falsetto harmonies and a groove so laid back it drips off the wax. Feel the sunshine.
Review: Straight from 68; Diane Lewis's Wand double-A has passed hands for well over L300 in the past, and it's really not hard to understand why... Northern soul anthem "Without Your Love" comes with gutsy vocals, full spectrum backing vocals and drums so lively and crisp they sound like they're marching out of the speakers. "Giving Up Your Love" plays the consummate soother; a raw soul ballad with strings and delicate harmonies, it's the ultimate antidote to the emotional frenzy on the A. Highly limited.
Review: Turbotrax was an intermittent curio that belched out of the Bristol underground in a fit of tongue in cheek edits and samples back in the '00s. Someone's clearly rebooted the mainframe and brought this elusive collective out of hiding for another bout of cheeky lifts from more esoteric corners of culture. Library Vultures says it all - this is the work of dedicated diggers pulling forgotten bits n' pieces out of retirement, such as, on the A side here, the storming theme to a Commodore advert, and giving it a buff up more extended retro-pleasure. "Whatever Happened To The Hippies?" on the flip is a more light-hearted affair with a jaunty lilt and a message of positivity for all.
Review: Given that one of the founders of Al & The Kidd Records, Carl Kidd, was the musical driving force behind turn-of-the-'80s Washington D.C combo Light Years, it's perhaps unsurprising that the re-born disco-era imprint has a wealth of previously unheard material from the band to share. The label's latest "45" showcases two of these cuts. On the A-side you'll find the Clavinet-heavy D.C disco-funk of "It's Up To You (How Far You Go)", a decidedly cosmic wig-out with urgent vocals and instrument solos aplenty. Flip for the spacey synths, rising horn lines and Mass Production style disco-funk hustle of "Do It To The Max".
Review: When you talk about 'kid funk', it's always long-lost B-sides that record collectors talk about like myths. But, Athens Of the North have managed to get their hands on the masters of a super-rare Virtue 7" that goes for no less that L1000 on the second-hand market in its original form. "Listen" is a deep, sublimely odd little funk tune that is as deep as you can get for boogie and funk; "Party" on the flip is no less of a gem, backed by Little George's supreme vocals and a tight little break, too. Sick.
The Lively Set - "Blues Get Off My Shoulder" (2:48)
The Three Dudes - "I'm Beggin You" (2:45)
Review: The unstoppable Big Crown label is back with what is, once again, a rare find. In fact, we have two previously impossible tunes to get on this tidy 7" - first up, The Lively Set's excellent "Blues Get Off My Shoulder" roars a deep wave of glorious vintage soul, putting the very best of James Brown material to the test. As a follower, The Three Dudes' "I'm Beggin You" is one for the swings and the shakers, storming out of the speakers with that inimitable Mo-Town glory. An unmissable little 7" from the heart of the 60s!
Review: Wanna hear the Isley Brothers classic "It's Your Thing" given a Latin shakedown? Mr Bongos have got you covered on the latest 7" in their splendid Latin 45s series! Originally issued back in 1974 on TR Records, this Los Africanos cover is a rum heavy Nu Yorican funk-soul instrumental featuring screaming Hammond organ and FX. It's very expensive in original form now, so shout outs to Mr Bongos for pressing it up here along with an equally good 1968 cover of instrumental, boogaloo version of Eddie Floyd's all-time classic "Knock On Wood" from Machito & His Afro-Cubans.
Review: A beautiful repress that celebrates Nigeria and America's contributions to funk music, "Move!" is taken from Eno's 1982 album Living In The USA. Taking the rudiments of his African schooling, the drummer/guitarist/singer turns his hand to early rap on "Move!" over a sleazy funk beat that shimmers with minute echoes of highlife deep in the background. "Hot Love" follows up this fine fusion with a more upbeat 80s pop boogie focus. Big bass and reverbed vocals, it's going to sound great on your next dancefloor.
Review: the return of Eric Boss (aka E Da Boss of The Pendletons and Myron & E) and Ishtar Peeler's Lucid Paradise flexing their falsetto fire over a swinging groove and brazen Hammond smashes while on side B we head to St. Petersburg for an incredible medley/b-boy homage from Russian troupe the Great Revivors. More organs and references than you can pull a powerhead at. Jam on it!
Review: Longstanding reissue kings Soul Brother flex back to this powerful double A last issued by Cultures Of Soul in 2010. Two of Barbara Lynn's fieriest soul sessions, both released on Tribe in '66/'67 respectively, there's a strong northern stomp to proceedings on both sides. "I'm A Good Woman" is characterised by the driving kicks, tight horns and Lynn's urgent vocals while "I Don't Want A Playboy" comes with more of a traditional soul swing. Sleep on this and, in the words of Babs herself, you'll lose a good thing.
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.
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: Mushi 45 is a new, limited-edition 7" series aimed at those DJs who wish that their favourite obscure funk and soul tracks came with longer drum breaks. On the A-side you'll find a "Break Edit" of Ricky Williams' sought-after 1971 cut "Discotheque Soul (Part II)". In keeping with the vibe of the original, the tasty re-edit is a whirlwind trip through Hammond-laden party funk territory - all wild instrument solos and extended percussion workouts. On the flip, the un-credited editor takes his or her scalpel to Les Baxter's "Hogin Machine", a harmonica-heavy rhythm and blues slammer that first appeared on the artist's 1969 soundtrack to the largely forgotten film Hell's Belles. Since Baxter's original version is little over 90 seconds long, this extended, break-driven re-edit is arguably much needed.
Review: Insane boogie fire from Rio circa 82; both Robson Jorge and Lincoln Olivetti were already decorated before they joined forces, but this one took both of their reputations and amplified them beyond expectation. Their one and only album, it's loaded with soul and funk from every corner of Brazil's sexy city and brought together with beautiful attention to detail; the gradual vocal breakdowns, rude synths and lavish instrumental sections, key cuts such as the Wonder-level "Aleluia", the jazz slides and glides of "Pret-A-Porter" and the sexy 80s electro boogie "Squash" will still completely flip any party 35 years later. Stunning.
Review: Since its' release in 1981, this quirky debut album from Louis' Band - a short-lived studio outfit put together by arranger and producer Louis Vanni - has become a sought-after item amongst record collectors. Happily, Mondo Groove has decided to make it available digitally for the first time. It's an eccentric but hugely entertaining affair, featuring a range of tunes that variously touches on jazz-funk, AOR disco, flute-laden instrumental soul, synth-laden rock-and-roll revivalism, sax-laden sleaziness, and the kind of oddball, library music style fair that some may consider 'Balearic'. Given that original vinyl copies are hugely difficult to find, this digital edition is well worth picking up.
Review: Pure Ghanaian gold, Disco Documentary: Full Of Funk was a rare private press released in 1979 never to be released again... Until now. Dusting off the long lost tapes with due care and attention, BBE have kindly reminded us that disco had much wider impact than the US and Europe. Nana Love's slightly nasal tones are instantly alluring, but it's the clam-tight musicianship that really bites. Big Bernard Edwards bass, shiny guitar twangs, extensive organ noodling and vibrant Afrofunk horns galore, this is a truly stunning document.
Saturday Night Special (Lost alternative mix) (3:20)
Belle Isle Daze (Lost alternative mix) (4:11)
Review: One of the most remarkable things about Saturday Night Special, the 1975 debut album by the Lyman Woodard Organisation, is how two musicians - accompanied by various sessions drummers - could make such a rich and layered set. It still impresses that Lyman Woodard and Ron English could create so many superbly evocative and cinematic jazz-fusion workouts almost on their own. The set has long been regarded as one of the best musical commentaries on a particularly low period in Detroit's post-industrial history, and many of the tracks are suitably poignant - even those clearly aimed at the dancefloor. Critically, this reissue deals with one of the major issues with original copies - their poor pressing - by stretching the same tracks over two slabs of wax, rather than one.