Who, What, Where, When & Why (Disco version) (5:10)
No Promises (Disco version) (6:46)
Review: Best Records do it again, dusting down a searing slice of robo-funk from the early 80s that will pop your lock every which way. B Funk was a one-off project from Mario Boncaldo and Tony Carrasco, best known for their incredible work as Klein & MBO. They released the "Magic Spell" album in 1983, and it was loaded with richly produced Italo disco and proto house sounds - there's a good reason the original release has been fetching such crazy prices on the second hand market. Now Best have cherry picked two of the finest cuts from the album, sought out the extended disco versions from Carrasco's vaults, and given them a glorious new pressing.
Sweet Daddy Floyd - "I Just Can't Help Myself" (extended Break edit) (4:17)
Review: This tasty, DJ-friendly 7" single boasts two extended, break-heavy reworks of obscure and in-demand soul workouts. On the A-side you'll find a tasty extension of Melvin Bliss's superb, piano-heavy 1983 cut "Synthetic Substitution". While Bliss's brilliant original - all heartfelt vocals, jaunty keys and warm bass - is largely kept in tact, the mystery re-editor naturally makes more of the opening breakbeat, which was sampled several times during hip-hop's "golden era". Flip for a similarly tasty rearrangement of Sweet Daddy Floyd's 1978 Blaxploitation style disco-funk shuffler "I Just Can't Help Myself", a cut rich in rolling breaks, densely layered percussion, punchy orchestration and "Shaft"-style guitar licks.
Review: Way back in 1999, Acid Jazz Records launched an offshoot dedicated to disco edits: Original Sound Track Recordings. The best of the series' many superb reworks were later gathered together on a compilation album on EMI that now changes hands for significant sums online. Happily, they've decided to reissue some of their early releases, beginning with this 7" of Family Tree featuring Sharon Brown's "Family Tree". You'll find the peerless original - a breakbeat-driven chunk of lolloping funk brilliance - on Side A, with the label's 2002 "Super Disco Break Beat" version on the flip. Inspired by hip-hop DJs doubling up the track's brilliant drum breaks, it's a killer percussion workout with a few quick blasts of funk energy and carefully placed special effects (think flanged drums, reversed sections and so on).
Roger Damawuzan - "Loxo Nye" (Pushin Wood remix) (5:39)
Napo De Mi Amor - "Cacatchoule "Berceuse Bassari"" (3:04)
Sewavi Jacintho - "Miade Dua" (5:35)
Review: Hot Casa's latest must-have release is a veritable smorgasbord of Togolese treats. It focuses specifically on obscure soul music made in Togo in the 1970s, with two hard-to-find original cuts being joined by two contemporary re-edits of similarly obscure classics. The EP opens with Bosq's smooth, dancefloor-focused tweal of Yta Jourias's breezy, horn-heavy tropical soul workout "Adome Nyueto", before Pushin Wood takes over and adds a little contemporary electronic bounce - and some particularly colourful synths - to Roger Damawuzan's "Loxo Nye". Over on side B, Napo De Mi Amor's "Cacatchoule Berceuse Bassari" is a fuzzy soul shuffler rich in bright, Juju style guitar solos, hazy vocals and Hammond organ stabs, while Sewavi Jacintho's "Miade Dua" is a sweatier and heavier concoction powered by loose-limbed drumming and sun-kissed instrumentation.
Flying Fantasy (exclusive instrumental version) (4:35)
Rhodes E Serenidade (3:37)
Review: Small repress of the Modern Sun Records founder and experienced jazz-wise producer Marc Friedli AKA Skymark. A-side "Flying Fantasy" originally appeared on the Spanish producer's 2016 album "Resistance Sonore", but is here featured in instrumental form for the first time. If anything, it's better than the original version, largely because we get to revel in Friedli's mazy Fender Rhodes solos, rubbery jazz-funk synth bass and loose-limbed, West London style broken beats. You'll find plenty more jaunty jazz-funk vibes and liquid electric piano solos on B-side cut "Rhodes E Serenidade", which first slipped out way back in 2015. DJ Support so far from Dom Servini, Emanative,Red Greg,Kevin Beadle, Mike Chadwick,Dynamite Cuts & Rocafort Records so far
Review: First up: Tito Puente (AKA The Musical Pope) with an epic live version of "2001 Space Odyssey". Recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1974 it's never been pressed to 45 during its highly sought-after 41 years. Flip for the hard jazz sounds of Sahib Shihab and "Om Mani Padme Hum" is riddled with thundering percussion and lightening crack pianos. It has flutes so frenetic they'd make Ian Anderson blush and takes its name from an ancient Sanskrit word. Biblical business.
Review: Freshly minted label Dance Regular has pushed the boat out for release number one, pulling together no less than six tracks on a multi-artist extravaganza. James Rudie steps up first via the Rhodes-laden, off-kilter deep house dustiness of "Good Fry Up", before Szajna doffs a cap towards 2000 Black on the deep and musically rich broken beat business of "Break In My Back". Captain Over's "No-Look Nutmeg" is a suitably bass-heavy bruk workout laden with 8-bit electronics, while Xtra Brux's "Somebody" brilliant joins the dots between broken beat and two-step garage. Elsewhere, Trev's "For You Around Me" is a sumptuous chunk of summery and soulful dancefloor bliss, while Ishfaq's "Hypnosis No 9" is jazzy, synth-heavy and wayward in the best possible way.
Review: With a career stretching back to the turn of the '90s, Stefano 'S-Tone' Sirone has long been one of Italy's foremost purveyors of jazz-fired goodness. Last year he returned to action with "Onda", a brilliant set of jazz-funk, disco, samba and deep house fusion that also marked his first album-length excursion for four years. This nifty seven-inch offers up two new interpretations of one of that collection's standout tracks, "Luz Da Joaca", by fellow Italian nu-jazz veteran Gerardo Frisina. On the A-side, he turns it into a Clavinet-sporting chunk of samba-house fusion rich in layered percussion and '70s style Brazilian jazz-funk vocals. The flipside dub, an altogether heavier and more percussively intense affair, is arguably even better.
Review: Stefano Tirone has been a stalwart of the Italian scene since making his debut on legendary Italian house label Calypso Records way back in 1992. Since then, his productions have become increasingly more jazz and soul focused, with a sizeable side order of groovy downtempo beats. His latest seven-inch single begins with "Try My Love", a hazy chunk of head-nodding jazz-funk/soul fusion rich in languid synthesizer solos, lazy grooves, hazy horns and soulful vocals. It's really good all told, though we'd argue that flipside "Odoya" - a wiggling chunk of Afro-tinged mid-tempo funk - is even better. Either way, it's another rock solid release from the effervescent Tirone.
Review: Sainte Vie has been working away in the Mexican underground for some time, running Akumandra as a free, digital-only label to help promote all kinds of electronic music. Now it's time for Vie to step up with their first outright release, first time on wax, and hence a new era for the label. The tone is varied across the record, leading in with the worldly drum rattle and string strum of "Huracan", a whirlwind of drama and hand-played musicianship that stands out from the crowd. "Albatross" is a more introspective cut that brings Vie's vocals to the forefront, and then "Maria" chills things out further with a haunting vocal from Pascale and some delicate finger picking guitar delights over a dynamic set of drums.
Review: Who can deny anything Roy Ayers, really? Japanese pianist and electronic music producer Kan Sano reworks the American soul, funk and jazz legend's infamous hit "Everybody Loves The Sunshine". He breaks down the sugar-dusted original into something freeform, downtempo and acid jazz leaning, while on the flip, "Music Overflow", sounds exactly like a production you would make after being inspired by sunshine, soul, Roy Ayers and a room full of drum machines and synthesisers.
Sonia Santos - "Poema Ritmico Do Malandro (Balanco Do Crioulo)" (2:53)
Joao Donato - "Cala Boca Menino" (2:21)
Review: Killer samba from the Mr Bongo crew here on the 23rd edition of their ever impressive Brazil 45s series. Any samba scholar worth their salt will be familiar with Sonia Santos's wondrously psychedelic "Poema Ritmico Do Malandro (Balanco Do Crioulo)", which was originally released back in 1971 on the Copablanca label and has popped up every now and again on compilations. Drop this in the dance and watch it go crazy! On the flip Mr Bongo dig up the horn heavy funk jammer "Cala Boca Menino" from Joao Donato, a hugely talented pianist, singer and composer whose vast discography is worth further investigation!
Review: Australian in London Sarakula whips up a little time machine with this cheeky Legere 45"; "Northern Soul" takes us back a little earlier into Joel's back cat. Fully remastered, it remains an outstanding piece of thumping Costellian pop thanks to its striking piano line and driving drums. "Coney Island Getaway" brings us back to the present day with his recent album Love Club. Flexing a little more of a Roxy Music spirit in this one, there's some deep dreams coded into its DNA.
Review: Should you fancy tracking down an original seven-inch copy of Patrizia Saronni's sole single, 1984's double A-side "Perche Dovrei/E Poi", it would be wise to take out a bank loan. For those on more modest budgets, this reissue should be a must-buy. The release's calling card nestles on side B, where you'll find a previously unheard "Tape Version" of the chugging, alien and otherworldly "Perche Dovrei" (Italian for "Why should I", fact fans) that's arguably a more dancefloor-friendly proposition thanks to throbbing arpeggio-style bass and locked-in drums. A-side opener "E Poi", a slightly more cheery, synth-pop influenced affair that snugly fits the Italo-disco template, is also impressive.