James Brown - "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" (DJP edit) (3:44)
Eddie Floyd - "Knock On Wood" (DJP edit) (3:59)
Review: Flipping heck! Soul Flip invite everyone's favourite big glasses wearing editor DJP to the fold for some twists on two seminal, genre-affirming party joints. James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" gets a cheeky beat facelift with a fresh set of peppy breaks while Eddie Floyd's tree chopping sing-along enjoys a similar mix-friendly shake-up with a slower, roomier drum arrangement ensuring all the power of the '67 original is kept in check. Flip some switches.
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: Those who pay attention to these things know that Poland's EABS (short for Electro Acoustic Beat Sessions) are one of the hottest jazz combos in the world right now - an accolade earned not only via their incredible playing, but also their willingness to fuse elements of classic Polish and American jazz with hip-hop, soul and funk influences. Here, the fast-rising septet joins forces with 22a regular Tenderlonious (who provides flute and soprano sax solos) for two epic workouts. A-side "Kraksa" is something of an epic; an ever-changing 13-minute jazz journey that brilliantly switches from floor-rocking goodness to horizontal bliss midway through. "Svantetic", meanwhile, wraps fuzzy rock guitars and hammered-out piano riffs around a sweaty groove that just grows in intensity throughout.
Review: More recently spotted with The Georgia Soul Drifters or The Coasters, Early Clover's recording history can be traced back almost 40 years with this previously super-rare 45. With his soft-but-arresting tones, his yearning vocal style is comparable to Stevie Wonder, especially on the slow and dreamy Innervisions-esque "Who Are You?" Meanwhile on the B, "I Wanna Take A Chance With You" switches dreams for funk reality with a Kool & The Gang style feel-good throw down. Silky.
Review: Danny Krivit's officially sanctioned re-edits of Earth Wind & Fire's "Brazilian Rhyme" and "Runnin" have been sought-after since they first appeared on a Japan-only 12" back in 2004. In fact, such is demand that even later bootleg pressings now go for silly money online. As this reissue proves, though, they're arguably amongst Krivit's strongest scalpel works. Certainly, his three-minute revision of the always too short "Brazilian Rhyme" teases it out to just the right length, in the process delivering a sweltering, sing-along summer anthem. The flipside revision of the equally as summery "Runnin" is every bit as good, with Krivit making merry with the original's life-affirming scat vocals and killer piano solos.
The Love I Found In You (feat Chuck Edwards) (4:15)
Review: During the 1970s, San Francisco-based family band The Edwards Generation released a handful of obscure singles that are now sought by funk and soul collectors the world over. These very same collectors should enjoy this tidy seven-inch on Cordial, which offers up two previously unheard recordings from the Chuck Edwards-helmed outfit. A-side "I Like Your Style" is a breezy and laidback dancefloor mover, with a sweet lead vocal, rubbery slap bass, jangling guitars, fuzzy horns and unfussy but floor-ready drums. Chuck Edwards sings lead on the loved-up, West Coast style goodness of "The Love I Found In You", a sunshine-ready number that's arguably the stronger of two killer cuts.
Review: Straight form the heart of London via the mind of Detroit, the ever-consistent Soul Brother crew have laid down another stellar reissue here through Dee Edwards' gorgeous "(I Can) Deal With That". Originally out on the much-coveted De-To label in 1977, the original mix is a delicate, whaling soul monster that'll melt your heart from its first guitar riff - Edwards' voice is truly magnetic over the slow-burning percussion. There's a more stripped-down 'Strings' version to act as the cherry on the cake - you just gotta.
Review: Spinners frontman, Wilson Pickett and Curtis Mayfield affiliate and fantastic solo singer in his own right, John Edwards' rich range and emphatic delivery carries some serious show-stopping motifs. Here Kent Soul represent some of his rarer, non-album work. "Cold Hearted Woman" is a heart-wrenching lament where Edward really puts his heart on the line over a wet guitar-heavy groove. "Ain't That Good Enough", meanwhile, is a much more upbeat jam where the swooning strings and glistening glockenspiel are given some cool time under the arrangement spotlight.
John Wagner Coalition - "Cold Sweat" (edit) (3:12)
Review: Mushi 45 is launching a new series featuring fresh edits of obscure covers of cuts by James Brown and the JB's. The first boasts two thoroughly obscure covers of "Cold Sweat". On the A you'll find a tidy tweak of a rousing, raucous and sexually charged 1968 version by El Klan, a Mexican band renowned for their heavyweight take on funk, soul and rhythm and blues. Over on side B you'll find an interpretation from the John Wagner Coalition that originally featured on their 1976 debut album, which unusually was made up entirely of James Brown covers. Their version is a little more laidback, with tons of spacey synthesizer flourishes, crunchy Clavinet lines and oodles and wild Hammond organ solos.
Review: El Mero Guero Sonidero is a fairly well known DJ on the Californian cumbia underground, though this seems to be the Bay Area resident's debut single release. As with many cuts on Discos Mas, "Cumbia Chulita" offers a suitably 21st century take on the Colombian genre, with traditional elements - accordions, vocals, hand percussion - sitting side by side with hip-hop vocal samples, intergalactic synth lines, heavy sub bass and shuffling drum machine beats. His love of dub delays, wild synthesizer lines and spoken vocals comes to the fore on spaced-out B-side "Saludos Desde Oakland", which is pretty out there despite the presence of a relentless cumbia riddim.
Review: Longstanding New York troupe El Michels Affair bite down on 2017 with two on-point left-sided soul jams. "Tearz" is a biggie, not least because it features Lee Fields and The Shacks. A warm, organ groove with loose breaks and drops into pure harmonic bliss, it's another spellbinding affair from the Wu-approved crew. "Verbal Intercourse" takes more of a slinkier, subtle approach with clipped horns spitting an insistent hook over sparse, twanging instrumental elements. Stunning, as always.
Review: 10 years ago, El Michels Affair - a hip-hop loving funk combo spearheaded by Leon Michels - released "Enter The 37th Chamber", an instrumental tribute to the world of the Wu-Tang Clan. To celebrate the record's tenth birthday, they've decided to reissue two of that album's most potent cuts. On the A-side they re-imagine Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1995 anthem "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" as a fine fusion of rousing horns, jazz-flecked hip-hop beats and vocals provided by what sounds like a children's choir. Over on side B, Raekwon's "Incarcerated Scarfaces" gets the cover version treatment, with the band peppering their deep, jazz-funk influenced groove with sharp horns and evocative electric piano solos.
Review: It's been five years since Truth & Soul's octet gave us the incredible Wu Tang version album. It's been two years since they last dropped a single, too. However the band is back and their trademark cinematic soul is richer and more emotive than ever. From the instant the trembling flute and guitar open with the cuddly, ultimately positive "Kiddy Ditty" we're whisked on a largely instrumental journey that flings us through the wild west ("Little House"), soul's early JB chapters ("This Song For You") and straight up NY low-slung funk ("A Little Sloppy"). Climaxing with a Lee Fields featured "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", Loose Change is a kind reminder of just how accomplished and creative El Michels Affair are. No change there, then.
Review: Deep into his chamber-lurking follow-up Wu odyssey, Leon Michels stumbled upon shy New York twosome The Shacks and convinced them to record this hazy summer-primed 45". Singer Shannon steals the show with softness and honesty as the band weave a psychedelic bed of sliding guitars and faraway harmonies. Both laced with a woozy 60s edge and beautifully playful lyrics, the whole EP sparkles with soul and talent from both The Shacks and Leon's ever-reliable troupe.
Review: Ever since their first record launched on Futuristica Music, back in 2008, Emanative have been quietly shaping the contemporary jazz-dance landscape - an achievement for which they are rarely accredited to. Hopefully, we can change some of those misconceptions by telling you just how special this new EP for Jazz45 is sounding! The opening "New Day" features the soulful vocals of Ahu over a rolling, breaks-centric groove with plenty of melodic quirks and, of course, the unstoppable euphoric power of the flute; the flipside's instrumental allows you to get even closer to the music constructed by Emanative, which is undoubtedly the outfit's long-running forte.
Review: Astonishingly, original copies of Energize's 1979 private press single "Piece of Class" have changed hands for over 500 quid online. Helpfully, Rain & Shine have decided to save us all a few bob by slinging out this licensed reissue. The title track is something of a bustling disco-funk gem - a genuinely wonderful fusion of hazy vocals, dueling horn solos, spacey synthesizer flourishes and driving bass guitar. B-side "Star of the Disco" is an even more up-tempo affair, with mazy saxophone solos, rasping horn stabs and starry jazz-funk keys riding a walking bassline and high-octane disco drums.
Review: Newcomers Energy MC2 are exactly the sort of ensemble needed by the supremely funky Soul Junction imprint. The label have done a great job in continuously finding new, raw talent in the soul game, and these dudes know the score. "If You Break It" features the voice of Vincent Bonham, and it's a veritable lovers tune, made for dance floor antics and Saturday night romance, whereas "Other Side Of The Mirror" is more of a soulful abstraction, a gorgeous little ballad led by the delicate, majestic vocals of Arnell Carmichael. Oh, boy...
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Epsilon were a cosmic funk/rock four piece from Marburg, Germany that released three albums between 1970 and 1976. While their debut LP went for a much more progressive rock style, the subsequent releases were a mixture of heavy rock and blues when frontman Michael Winzkowski (ex Orange Peel, Nosferatu) joined the band. This EP was originally released in 1975 and features the bluesy rock n roll swagger of "Leave The City" on the A side, and the super sleazy disco funk of "Wake Up"on the flip - which is absolutely terrific! Winzkowski went on to further (yet short lived) success as Michael Wynn/The Michael Wynn Band up until 1983, even breaking into the American market at one point.
Review: Writer, singer and former New York banker, Eric Harris first emerged in the late 2000s with tear-jerking tracks such as "Drama" and the belting "Queen" and has appeared on Soul Unsigned and Soul Junction on various occasions. "Nightlife" is a great example of his Vandross-style depth, tone and warmth while the heartfelt (and just a little steamy) "Backstage" finally sees 45" justice after becoming a cult radio hit in 2012. Pure bedtime music.
Review: Since launching last year, Lil Static has offered up new, lightly altered editions of classic tracks from Jeru the Damaja, Kraftwerk, Run-DMC, Nas and the Notorious B.I.G. Here they continue to serve up vital beats for break-digging DJs via classic cuts from Eric B. & Rakim and Mountain. The A side sports an edited version of 1986 cut "Eric B. Is President", a synth-bass propelled NYC hip-hop gem rich in unmistakable rap vocals and tight scratching. Over on side B there's a chance to savour Mountain's late '60s rock cut that provided the Eric B. & Rakim track (and so many others since) with its distinctive drum break, "Long Red". This edited version gives more prominence to the breaks, making it an ideal mixing tool for hip-hop DJs.