Review: As ever BBE are doing great things! Fresh off that killer Volcov compilation, the tireless soul operation get in archival mode for this essential reissue of the self-titled album from funk troupe Moods. Originally released back in 1978 on the Soiree label, original copies of the one and only album from Moods fetch much more than a pretty penny on the collectors market. For a spot of history on Moods, the St. Louis group formed in the late 70s and was headed by band leader, musician and producer Melvin Turnage. The group met in high school and disbanded soon afterwards, which is a great shame on this basis of this seven-track album which is a fantastic example of the Modern Soul sound which bridged the gap between Northern Soul and Disco, introducing synthesisers alongside incredibly tight vocal harmonies and lush instrumental arrangements.
Review: It doesn't seem like five years since BBE last invited London crate digger and turntablist Mr Thing to get his fingers dusty by picking out gems from his record collection for the Strange Breaks & Mr Thing series. Predictably, this belated third installment is full of killer selections that lives up to it's subtitled billing as More Rock Funk Soul Jazz & Soundtrack Breaks For Modern Living. Favourites come thick and fast though the low down funk of Dynamic Concept's "La Da Da" and the jazz-funk goodness of Harry Beckett's "Ring Within Rings" stand out upon first listen. The cats at BBE spare no expense either with this vinyl edition that features fifteen cuts spread across the two slabs, and there's also Mr Thing's peerless mix available on a CD that's slipped in too.
Ruby Andrews - "You Made A Believer (Out Of Me)" (2:39)
Kalyanji Anandji - "Back Ground Music" (2:29)
Jake Wade & The Soul Searchers - "Searching For Soul" (part 1) (2:40)
Hot Butter & Soul - "ABC" (4:43)
Dick Walter - "Spooky Do" (1:33)
Roy Head - "She's About A Mover" (3:13)
Hot City Bump Band - "It's Just Begun" (2:53)
Val Merrall's Orchestra - "The Horse" (3:45)
Frank Pleyer Big Band - "Sally" (3:24)
Art & Ron - "Can't Stop Talkin" (2:55)
Johnny Griffith Inc - "Love Is Just A Word" (3:23)
The Generation Gap - "Family Affair" (2:40)
Tinga Stewart - "The Message" (2:55)
Jerzy Milian Orkiestra - "Gacek" (2:19)
John L Watson - "Rockin' Chair" (with White Mouse) (3:19)
The Alan Tew Orchestra - "Pink Panther" (3:39)
The Rias Orchestra Conducted By Helmuth Brandenburg - "Pru Urebu" (4:55)
Oscar Harris & The Twinkle Stars - "Twinkle Stars Boo Galoo" (live) (3:54)
Review: Magic happens when Mr Thing hits the crates. His ability to unearth recordings you're guaranteed to never have heard before, and join the dots in ways you'd never have thought before, his "Strange Breaks" series is legendary. Long since off-press, to celebrate their 20th anniversary BBE have repressed this seminal 2009 sophomore. From the turbo blues fusion of Roy Head and the speeding Mancini feels of Val Marrall's Orchestra to the more sedate, slinky funk of Johnny Griffith and sunny-side roots of Tinga Stewart, Mr Thing's odyssey remains as inciteful, intriguing and as full of treasure as it did seven years ago.