Review: Long-time turntablist, erstwhile Christine band member and recent 45 Live crew member, North French Aeon Seven delivers his first ever 45. A loose-swinging, wah wah-rattling, organ-blasting feel good b-boy bomb with all the cheeky chops and cuts you'd expect from a deck wizard of his calibre, "Seven Breaks" is primed for party and battling devastation. Complete with a creative DJ acapella scratch cut, this 45 is alive.
Review: Nothing screams global music culture like a Senegalese-Japanese Afrobeat band, although listening to Afro Begue you would imagine all creative minds involved come from the mother continent. "Boula Niit Tognie" is a wonderfully expressive slice of Afrobeat in the finest tradition of the sound, all interwoven guitar twisting out complex but utterly natural sounding configurations, and a tumbling rhythm section you can happily float away to. Ryuhei The Man steps up for a re-edit on the flip that does a delicate job of beefing the track up for the club - the difference is subtle, but worthwhile, like a good re-edit should be.
Review: Longstanding Osaka live troupe Amanita took the bold step into recorded original territory in 2016 with this exceptional 45 on Rustafe. Reissued for 2018, it's still as endearingly lofi and mesmerising as the five piece Afrobeat evangelists lay down two alluring pieces. "Qnitia" leans back on a hypnotising chord swing, sparse percussion and vibrant sax and subtle dubby echoes while "Makossa" takes a well known rim-shotting rhythm and cooks it up slow n' low for another smouldering summer.
Review: High school band directors used to press up their bands' performances to vinyl, & none made as much sweet noise as this "Texas Thunder Soul." Deluxe gatefold package as well as some previously unreleased live music, plus a bonus documentary.
Review: PMG reissue Kelenkye Band's Moving World LP. In 1974, Augustus Kerry Taylor gathered the hottest musicians in Ghana and recorded an album of the heaviest, funkiest, American influenced music. He designed the cover with Fela Kuti and even released it on his own label. Moving World according to PMG 'is a funky, disparate album that exudes a rare warmth, enthusiasm and togetherness.' Of the album, Accra's leading DJ, Charlie Sam declared his mind 'well and truly boggled.' Although the band was comprised of some of the city's finest musicians, they never recorded another album. Augustus Kerry Taylor shut down the label and went back to designing album covers. But on the Moving World LP, they delivered something that many recognise as a seminal moment in '70s Ghanaian groove.
Review: Destination Nigeria, 1975, Fela and Africa 70 are indelibly locked into a hugely prolific groove with well over 10 albums behind them. Then they release this, an LP comprised solely of two wondrously extended work outs from the troupe. "Expensive Shit" famously tells the tale of Fela's brush with the jaded law while "Water No Get Enemy" speaks - or rather sings - for itself. One of Fela's many notable and hugely influential releases; your collection isn't complete without it.
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: Now a high chief and Kenyan diplomat, Onyeabor was once one of Africa's most forward-thinking popular music contributors. Released in 1983, toward the end of his eight album discography, the two extended cuts on Good Name reflect the emergence of electronic music and how it influenced African pop culture. With conscious lyrics about value and soul, both tracks capture one of the most exciting times in recent musical history. Truly unique.
Review: Since Nick The Record has one of the deepest collections going, it's little surprise that his ongoing Record Mission series has delivered some killer re-edits of ridiculously obscure gems. For this third 12", he once again joins forces with Idjut Boy Dan Tyler to rework a trio of gospel-tinged cuts from the late '70s/early '80s. Arguably most impressive is A-side "Highway To Heathen", a gradually rising, off-piste, boogie-era disco jam blessed with killer talkbox vocals. On the flip you'll find the more straight-forward gospel sing-along of "For Heathen's Sake", and "he Touched Me", a slower, more soulful gospel excursion that benefits greatly from lashings of Tyler's trademark space echo and tape delay.
Review: A bonafide masterpiece; Minnie's first album post-Rotary Connection should need little introduction. A cult hit in 1970, a global smash when re-released in 74, Come To My Garden hasn't enjoyed a reissue for over 10 years. Her first pure soul and jazz album, this was the album where the world truly understood Ripperton's incredible range and tenderness. Powered by the breath-taking orchestration and song writing of Charles Stepney and her husband Richard Rudolph, everything about this album stands the test of time from the dreamy pastoral haze of "Close Your Eyes" or the delicate harmonies and nightingale rush of "Expecting" via the untouchable "Les Fleur". Immaculate music history.
Review: One of Frank Raines' most repeated offenders on Funk Night Records, Russian troupe The Soul Surfers return with two more on-point contemporary funk jams. "My Crew" is a lullaby level ode to mates with a hip-hop-inspired backbeat and gilded harmonies from the crew themselves. "Smell Of Detroit" takes us way out west with an almost cosmic, heavy-washed feel and an old America feel that goes back further than the steel city's most enduring legacy. On-point.
Review: Damon Minchella on bass, the mod jazz funksters now boast Justin Shearn on keys... And come branding this awesome 45. "Crazy" takes the lead; a Booker T-style Hammond heavy version of Gnarlz Barkley that will garner the finest knowing nods from your floor, it's the quintessential definition of a cover. "#LiarsAndCheaters", meanwhile, is a Graham Bond penned breakbeat funk jam that heaves heavily on the horns with a big lick and vibrant crescendos. Perfect party material.
Review: To date, each volume in Africa Seven's thrilling Africa Airways compilation series has been little less than essential. It goes without saying that this fourth instalment is also exceptionally good. Whereas previous volumes have focused on Afro-funk and "Afro-psych" (think Sly Stone, Nigerian style), this set drills down into African disco-funk released between 1976 and '83. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the solo-laden, slap bass-boasting bounce of Tala AM's "Get Up Tchamassi" and Charly Kingson's squelchy, synth-laden Blaxploitation number "Nimele Bolo", to the righteous, piano-driven thrills of Kemayo and K-System's brilliant "Biram" and the superior boogie business of Jake Sollo's "Tinini Yasana".
Gene Washington & The Ironsides - "Next To You" (3:34)
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble - "City Heights" (3:41)
Kris Lager Band - "Money & Loneliness" (4:17)
In Motion Collective - "Jesse's Jing" (3:53)
Orgone - "Do What You Came To Do" (4:47)
Durand Jones & The Inidications - "Smiles" (3:44)
Leroi Conroy - "Remember When?" (4:31)
Soul Scratch - "Pacified" (3:19)
Ephemerals - "Things" (4:27)
The Gripsweats - "Ziggy's Walk" (4:02)
Review: Previously a Record Store Day special, Colemine elevate this epic 45" compendium to permanent status. 22 tracks heavy, the double 12" whammy unites some of Colemine's finest curations over the years into one perfect collection. From the rare shimmering guitars and woozy horns of The Rugged Nuggets to Colemine debuts such as the sweaty afrofunk boogaloo fusion of Ikebe Shakedown's 2009 breakthrough "Hard Stepping" and the garage funk fizz of Alan Evans Trio's 2012 "Drop Hop" via the beautiful "Smile" from Duran Jones & The Indications' debut album last year, no other album represents the breadth, warmth and vitality of Colemine quite as succinctly as this collection. Slab it up.
Review: U.S label Light In The Attic has previously served up compilations exploring various Japanese takes on Western music, most notably folk, rock, ambient and new age. Here they switch tack, curating a brilliant double-album set that showcases the best Japanese synth-pop, AOR and boogie recorded between 1976 and '86. The quality threshold remains impressively high throughout, from the blue-eyed-soul breeze of Taeko Ohnuki's "Kusuri Wo Takusan" and the Chaz Jankel-meets-Thompson Twins style throb of Haruomi Hosono's "Sports Men", to the talkbox-sporting late night AOR-pop flex's Hiroshi Satoh's "Say Goodbye" and the glistening, Latin-influenced jazz-funk brilliance of Masayoshi Takanaka's steel pan-sporting "Bamboo Vender".