Cold Diamond & Mink - "Let's Get Together" (instrumental) (4:22)
Review: We just love hearing new soul and funk. Sure, a rare single from the 60s or 70s goes a long way in satisfying our needs, but how good is it to hear NEW music!? That's why we rate Finland's Timmion imprint so highly; they always come through with the goods, and there isn't a single EP they've put out that hasn't interested us... or flown off our shelves! This time, Jonny Benavidez, Cold Diamond and Mink team up for the absolute sexiness that is "Let's Get Together", a seductive soul ballad that is bound to lit up the room instantly! The instrumental is rather fine, too.
Review: Milan mystic funkateering five-piece Calibro 35 tease with two songs from their forthcoming album Decade. As always, expect full instrumental mischief as the long-haired gang duff us up with fast-paced, super-tight grooves laced with heady levels of cosmicity. "SuperStudio" is the entrance theme of your dreams. A big ballsy riff, full orchestration and a momentum that pushes you deep inside your favourite 70s movie. "Gomma" is straight up funk prog fusion with its warbling synths and big dark energetic waves. Bring on the album!
Review: Ten years have passed since Italian "cinematic funk" specialists Calibro 35 delivered their debut release, an anniversary they recently celebrated via a killer album called "Decade". Here, one of the album's standout cuts is released as a single. "Travelers, Explorers", featuring the seductive vocals of Elisa Zoot, is a beautiful end-of-night number rich in atmospheric instrumentation and cinematic strings reminiscent of Italian great Ennio Morricone. Over on the flipside they go down an altogether heavier route, delivering superb vocal and instrumental covers of Barry Gardiner's familiar theme from Gerry Anderson puppet show "Stingray". Short but sweet and thrillingly sweaty, the instrumental is arguably the seven's standout track by some distance.
Candy & The Kisses - "Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby" (2:39)
Val Simpson - "Mr Creator" (2:11)
Review: Candy & The Kisses burst onto the Northern Soul scene with their first single and all-time classic "The 81" co-written and produced by the late Jerry Ross. "Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby" is a storming soul number that went under the radar for the most part, but is good as any of other hits of theirs like "Chains Of Love" and many others. Flipside "Mr Creator" co-written by Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson was taken up by The Apollas in 1967 on Warner Bros. and went on to become an all-time classic.
Review: Captain Over (real name Greg Surmacz) rather brilliantly describes himself as an "intergalactic skengman" who crafts "broken beats out of space debris". Here he makes his label debut on Darker Than Wax with his first fully instrumental EP (much of his previous work featured grime MCs). He opens the 12" strongly via the shuffling broken beats, alien electronics, warm chords and eight-bit melodies of "4D", before skewering the drums further on the wonderfully bass-heavy and out there "Deep Blue". Over on side B, "Mind's Eye" is an off-kilter chunk of spacey bruk positivity, "New Life Forms" boasts some sparkling synths and bleepy "space debris", and "Take It Too Far" is an on-point broken beat roller rich in Sinclair Spectrum beeps and rich, jammed-out chords.
Review: Brazil 45s hit the quarter century in their run and show no sign of stopping. It's an all-girl affair on this one as two hugely popular and prolific singers take a spin under Mr Bongo's spotlight. Elizabeth (often known as Elizete) lays down a steamy samba flavour that gets raunchier as the track develops. Elza, meanwhile, gets busy on a Bossa tip as a carnival of percussion and horns go toe-to-toe with her sharp, sexy staccato vocals. Powerful.
Review: Calvin Carr's wonderful gospel-soul has been a digger's favourite for yonks, often being cited and used by the very best selectors in the game. This 1878 single, originally out on Philadelphia United Records, is aptly named "Without Christ" and it offers listeners, dancers and lovers an opportunity for positive redemption. Much like the rest of the gospel world, this is perhaps the best way to convert people into enlightenment and keep them positive - there is absolutely no way that this disco-tinged gem cannot make you jump up with joy and excitement. The instrumental cut is pretty killer, too. BIG.
Derrick Carter - "Squaredancing" (DC Nu Vox dub) (4:59)
George Alexander - "Promised Land" (feat Big John Whitfield) (3:23)
Review: This tasty release is the first instalment of BBE and Soul Clap member Eli "Bamboozle" Goldstein's "House On 45" series. The basic idea is to offer up rare and hard to find house cuts that have only ever been released on seven-inch singles. To kick things off, Goldstein has selected Derrick Carter's 2017 "DC Nu Vox Dub" of his 2002 classic "Squaredancing In A Roundhouse", an insatiable version of a killer cut rich in bluesy samples, bumpin' beats and scat vocals. Equally as impressive is George Alexander and Big John Whitfield's 2009 cover of Joe Smooth classic "Promised Land", a warm and musically expansive affair that adds superb new flute and electric piano parts to one of house music's most celebrated songs.
Review: Although he built his reputation as party-starting DJ, Mister Saturday Night co-founder Justin Carter has always been a singer-songwriter at heart.This debut solo release sees him delivering evocative, folksy vocals over plucked acoustic guitar lines and ghostly backing vocals. The song's fragile, slightly woozy nature comes to the fore on the flipside "Version" mix, which only emphasizes the weary beauty of Carter's lyrics and vocal performance. It's a bit of a sideways step for Mister Saturday Night, but then the label has never played by the rules.
Review: Casbah strikes again with a powerful homage to the NYC foundations with this juicy, insatiably funky piece of disco soul. Driven by a belting vocal from Angela Goode, there's a strong sense of timelessness, honesty and raw funk that smacks with authenticity and one of the funkiest slap-bass breakdowns you'll hear all year. Chicago's Rahaan takes the remix duties with a pumping contemporary disco cut while Casbah strips things back himself for the essential DJ tool that is the percussion edit. Feel the love.
E Man Boogie '83 (Jimmy Castor/Gerry Thomas 12" mix)
Review: Larry Levan remix - v.e.r.y. r.a.r.e.! 12" Import pressing of the extremely rare Larry Levan remix of 'It's Just Begun'.
On the flip is the original Jimmy Castor/Gerry Thomas 12" mix 'E Man Boogie 83'. We found these Salsoul 12"s in
a warehouse and have hardly any, once they are gone - they. are. gone.
Review: Moving further into the '70s Brazilian scene, Mr Bongo delivers two supreme pop scorchers by Celia, the sweet-faced artiste who released so much great music back in the day. Her "Na Boca Do Sol" is a gentle soul journey that brings out the best in her own voice, and in the Brazilian style of that era. "A Hora E Essa" is more of a dancefloor tune, more uptempo and less reliant on the sensuality and sexiness of the A-side. Excellent, as per usual.
Review: Bay City claim that between the 60s and 70s, the music scene "was so fertile that the speed with which tastes changed left a colossal amount of incredible music to gather dust - perhaps most famously a profusion of funk, soul and rock." This resulted in many local bands who released their music independently without a label. The rather short lived, James Brown indebted Chain were one of those bands. These impressive two tracks feature hard drums, sharp horns, raw vocals, and supercool guitar licks. And a whole lot of soul, of course!
Review: Fresh from the Harlem hotpot, 1980: Harold Sargent's Chain Reaction teamed up with Sound Of New York's founder and producer Peter Brown for a star-lit, horn-baked, organ-licked disco creation that still funks hard 36 years down the line. With its maximal approach, disco bubbles and emphatic gutsy vocals, it could be argued that this funk even harder today due to it ticking every possible disco, boogie and funk box possible.