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.
Review: Larry Grant McGee is little more than a footnote in musical history, releasing the sum total of two seven-inch singles between 1976 and 80. Both, as any serious collector will tell you, are brilliant and - in the case of debut "The Burg (Pittsburgh PA)" - incredibly hard to find. Happily, Dynamite Cuts has given that release a new lease of life thanks to this much-needed reissue. The title track remains a fine slice of hazy, sunshine-friendly West Coast goodness that sits somewhere between Steve Miller Band, Steely Dan and groovy contemporaneous soul, with McGee's glistening jazz guitar solos heightened the baked, loved-up feel. Turn to the flip for "Happy Bicentennial USA", a celebratory tribute to his nation's 200th birthday that's as warm and delicious as they come.
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: 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: The holy grail of Hawaiian Funk has landed! Mike Lundy originally recorded his solo LP The Rhythm Of Life in Honolulu in 1980, sharing the same studio with Hawaiian funk legends Lemuria and Aura. Both sides of this 7" are essential: heavy funk breaks on "The Rhythm Of Life" and breezy island sounds on "Tropic Lightning". This is the first time both tracks have ever been available on 7-inch format. Limited to 500 copies worldwide, this marks the first release from Honolulu-based reissue label Aloha Got Soul.
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.
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.