Review: We're not sure of the back-story of Devlon Lamarr's eponymous trio, but this debut album for Colemine is an absolute killer. Lamarr is a virtuoso organist, and it's jammed-out Hammond organ and electric piano solos that naturally take centre stage throughout. That said, both drummer David McGraw and guitarist Jimmy James play their part throughout, with the former's ambidextrous fills and the latter's raw licks also catching the ear throughout. Musically, the tracks range from Meters-style heavy funk and lounge soul workouts to a range of cuts more heavily influenced by the blues of John Lee Hooker and the similarly instrumental brilliance of Booker T and the MGs.
Review: Long-established LA funk troupe Orgone re-deliver their 2015 album Beyond The Sun on gatefold coloured vinyl. As if the sounds were beautiful enough... Seven albums deep, the ever-expanding collective (who've backed the likes of Pharohe Monche, The Pharcyde and Plantlife) hone their sound to even tighter, silkier depths. Now rolling with new singer Adryon De Leon, there's a newfound sense of energy and style across the album. From the sweaty, stompy glam-funk grooves of "Someone's Love Is Real" to the smouldering smokiness of "No Pain", Orgone continue to remain in their own universe. If your collection doesn't boast this, now is the time.
Review: With a father who played piano on some of Terry Callier's greatest records, Ben Pirani has solid soul credentials. He's also previously served up a swathe of superb singles, both as a solo artist and as part of various short-lived Chicago soul groups. Given this history, his first solo album, "How Do I Talk To My Brother", is without doubt something of a gem. Pirani's dream pop-influenced blue-eyed soul vocals naturally take centre stage, rising above '60s -style backing tracks - complete with fuzzy period production - that variously doff a cap to Motown style stompers, Callier style folk-soul, impassioned slow jams (see the sweet "Art School Girl"), and the kind of sun-kissed songs that will have even the most miserable of listeners grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat.
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.